Monthly Archives: June 2019

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ichneumon Wasp (Anomalon sp.)

Apparently these wasps are difficult to identify down to species and since they are miniscule I can understand why.  A. ejuncidum is the only species listed by The University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory

Parasites of the larva of Coleoptera (beetles) and possibly Lepidoptera (butterfly/moth)


Learn more:

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Clay-colored Leaf Beetle (Anomoea sp. possibly laticlavia)

Order Coleoptera – Beetles
Suborder Polyphaga – Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles
No Taxon Series Cucujiformia
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea – Long-horned and Leaf Beetles
Family Chrysomelidae – Leaf Beetles
Subfamily Cryptocephalinae – Case-bearing Leaf Beetles
Tribe Clytrini
Subtribe Clytrina

(could also possibly be A. nitidicollis crassicornis)

Feeds on a variety of forbs and shrubs: Lespedeza; Honey Locust, Gleditsia tricanthos; Willow, Salix; Oak, Quercus; Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana; Ragweed, Ambrosia.

larvae are myrmecophiles having an association with ants of the genus Formica.


Larva are connected with ants` nests. ( )

“The first of the three main study insects, Anomoea laticlavia (Forster), is a large (6-8 mm) yellow and black beetle (Chrysomelidae, Clytrinae), which consumes material from both immature inflorescences and young vegetative tissue. This beetle often feeds in one area of a raceme for several hours, creating a pit where many immature flowers are destroyed. Amorpha fruticosa L. (Fabaceae, false indigo) is the only other local plant on which I have observed A. laticlavia, but Dillon and Dillon (1961) report its presence on several other species, including Lespedeza spp. (Fabaceae, bush clover), Ambrosia spp.
(Asteraceae, ragweed), Ceanothus americanus L. (Rhamnaceae, Jersey tea), Gledistia triacanthos L. (Caesalpiniaceae, honey locust), and Salix spp. (Salicaceae, willow).”

(source:  Lewis, Cassandra Kasun. “The effects of habitat fragmentation on Amorpha canescens, a prairie forb, and its associated herbivores.” CHAPTER II MATERIALS AND METHODS page 7
MS (Master of Science) thesis, University of Iowa, 1999.

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Morella cerifera)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Flatid Planthopper (possibly Ormenoides venusta)

New to my buggy life list.

Superfamily Fulgoroidea – Planthoppers
Family Flatidae – Flatid Planthoppers
Subfamily Flatinae
Tribe Nephesini

I spotted this planthopper on the SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens) flower stem and automatically assumed it was a Palm Flatid Planthopper (Ormenaria rufifascia) which are commonly found here but usually on the fronds.

When I pulled up the photo on the computer I could see there were no colorful markings on this insect.

Food:  Often found on wild grape

Did a little research and this one is commonly found on Vitis sp.  A tangle of grapevines twine throughout this stand of saw palmettos in my garden. And there are indications that it feeds on other plants as well, so perhaps saw palmetto can be included in ihat list.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) juvenile and adult

The adult stopped by this area to snag some Florida native BLACKBERRY (Rubus sp.).

Soon baby followed begging.  I suspect for insects.

Quite vocal, you can always hear them as they glean insects from tree trucks.

diet: mostly insects, but as can be seen here enjoys fruit as well. Nests in dead trees, so leave those SNAGS!


My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bee Wolf Wasp (Philanthus ventilabris)

New to my buggy life list.  This one was hovering in place before landing on grasses in the meadow area.  Interesting to watch.

Food for this genus
“Adults feed on nectar, but larvae feed on bees provided by mother at time of egg-laying. Many species prey especially on sweat bees (family Halictidae),”



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis)

Velvet Ants Family (Mutillidae) This one is female.

on the hunt along the railing.

Not an ant but a wasp. Painful sting from female, thus the common name. Females do not have wings so don’t fly. Males do have wings, but don’t sting.

Predator, but not of cows.


My take:


Male from 2012:

Male Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis)