Archive

Insects

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:

Mordella sp. on Oakleaf Fleabane

Tiny. about 1/4 inch.

“Larvae are believed to eat plant material in decaying wood, etc. Some are leaf and stem miners. Some are predaceous. Adults visit flowers.”

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/144

Learn more: http://texasinsects.tamu.edu/bimg162.html

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-02-14/business/0110070069_1_flower-beetle-beetle-species-tumbling-flower

9 species documented in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (source: http://www.fsca-dpi.org/Coleoptera/Mike/mordell.htm)

Learn host associations for this genus: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4009273 pages 361-368 (account needed to access all pages, available for free)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius) 

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Satellite Fly

Satellite Fly on Oakleaf Fleabane

New to my buggy life list.

A member of the Flesh Flies family (Sarcophagidae)
Subfamily Miltogramminae
Kleptoparasites of wasps. They are called satellite flies because of their habit of tracking sphecid wasps looking for nest provisions. Where ever the wasp goes the fly is sure to follow hovering behind until the wasp finds its prey and brings it to the nest location.

Learn: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098813/00041/43j

“This group of flies has a rather interesting way of reproducing. Unlike most insects, they don’t lay eggs. Instead of eggs, they lay young larvae which immediately begin feeding. This puts them at an advantage over the wasp eggs, which must incubate a few days to a few weeks before they hatch.”

Learn: https://askentomologists.com/2015/04/01/the-perfect-april-fools-day-post-whats-going-on-in-this-video/

Adults pollinate.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)


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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Fiery Skipper Butterfly (Hylephila phyleus)

Many thanks to @AndyBugGuy for the identification of this female.

Learn: https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wings/completeButterflyInfo.asp?id=49

Larval host: grasses

Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/skip-skip-skip-to-my-lou/

More photos from prior years:

Fiery Skipper on Bidens alba

Fiery Skipper on Bidens alba

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Whirlabout Skipper Butterfly (Polites vibex)

Polites vibex on Oakleaf Fleabane

Learn: https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wings/completeButterflyInfo.asp?id=67

Larval host: grasses

Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/skip-skip-skip-to-my-lou/

More photos from prior years:

From March 2014 Mating on grasses

From September 2015 on Bidens alba

Dorsal view from September 2013

September 2013 on Sedge

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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

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio polyxenes)

Nectaring on Florida native Bidens alba the dots on the body are an identifying characteristic of this beauty.

Black Swallowtail, Eastern Papilio polyxenes

Black Swallowtail, Eastern Papilio polyxenes

Larval host: carrot family (Apiaceae) including non-native parsley (Petroselinium crispum), dill (Anthum graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Florida native mock bishop’s weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)

In my yard they use Florida Native Plant WATER COWBANE (Tiedemannia filiformis)

Despite having mock bishops weed in my yard, I have never seen this species use it.

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=1

There are color variations in adults.
Learn more: http://butterfliesofamerica.com/t/Papilio_polyxenes_a.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WATER COWBANE (Tiedemannia filiformis)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/moving-day-black-swallowtail-butterfly/

From past encounters: eggs:

blackswallowtaileggssept2014

older instar larva:

blackswallowtailcaterpillar092014

see also: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/eastern-black-swallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar-papilio-polyxenes/

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