Monthly Archives: July 2019

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly (Perithemis tenera)

Male shown. Quite small. Dragonflies are beneficial as they are predatory on pest insects in both the adult and larval stages. Larval state is aquatic and helps control mosquito larva.


Learn Key to Florida Dragonflies:

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Spanish Needles (Bidens alba)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Brown-winged Striped-Sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) female

A member of the Halictidae family. also referred to as sweat bees. This one is female.

“Adult halictids eat nectar, and collect nectar and pollen for the larvae. All halictids are mass provisioners, that is, the adults provision each cell with all the food (pollen and nectar) a larva will need until it emerges.” source:

Learn to identify:



Shown on Florida Native Plant: PAINTEDLEAF; FIRE-ON-THE-MOUNTAIN (Poinsettia cyathophora)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Gulf Fritillary Butterfly (Agraulis vanillae)


Shown on Florida Native Plant: TROPICAL SAGE; BLOOD SAGE (Salvia coccinea)

Larval host: PURPLE PASSIONFLOWER (Passiflora incarnata) and other Passiflora spp.


mating pair:

my take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Dun Skipper Butterfly (Euphyes vestris) male

New to my buggy life list. Many thanks to Andrew D. Warren, Ph.D., Senior Collections Manager, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History
aka @AndyBugGuy for the confirmed identification “Great pics! That’s a male Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris), widespread in FL but not commonly encountered…

My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at


Larval host: Sedges (Cyperaceae)—Sedges (Carex spp.)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: CLIMBING HEMPVINE (Mikania scandens)

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

One of the larger aquatic frogs and this one topped the scales for any I’ve ever encountered.  From a distance I thought for sure it was a bull frog.

Diet: insects, crayfish, other aquatic invertebrates


My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa)

larval hosts:  Madder Family, Rubiaceae, including Smooth buttonplant (Spermacoce glabra), Borreria, Manettia; and Bignoniaceae: Catalpa. Also noted, in North Carolina, from Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana) also in the Rubiaceae.  Non-native starclusters (Pentas spp.)

Caterpillar from 2008:

The caterpillars have large eyespots which make them look adorably inquisitive

Transitioning into pupae



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Potter/Mason Wasp (Euodynerus sp. likely castigatus rubrivestis)

New to my buggy life list.   I initially thought this was a Red-marked Pachodynerus Mason Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis) but it seemed too small.  On closer examination I saw the red dots on the rear, side and behind the eye which led me to this species.

Eumenines prey mainly upon moth larvae, although some take larvae of leaf-feeding beetles. Adults take nectar.
Superfamily Vespoidea – Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies
Family Vespidae – Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps
Subfamily Eumeninae – Potter and Mason Wasps
Genus Euodynerus


There are many different species in this genus found in the state of Florida.  See the collection list here:

There is interesting documentation on the subspecies of certain wasps in Florida that appear to have taken on red coloration where it is yellow in other locations.  Research paper:

“Lists are presented of 79 species of Florida insects, mostly wasps, that have distinctive dark red markings on a black background. Most of these species have more northern relatives (subspecies or congeners) whose markings are yellow rather than red. This apparent replacement of yellow-marked forms by red-marked forms in Florida has occurred at least 31 times in different lineages. Yellow-marked and red-marked species may be sympatric in Florida. Biogeographic details of the phenomenon are poorly known.” Deyrup, Mark. (2009). Red and black coloration in Florida hymenoptera. Southeastern Naturalist. 2. 511-522. 10.1656/1528-7092(2003)002[0511:RABCIF]2.0.CO;2.

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia)

My take: