CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaf-footed Bug (Phthia picta)
May be a particularly damaging tomato pest because nymphs and
adults feed on both leaves and fruit. (source: http://www.quimica.ufpr.br/semioquimicos/artigos/jce2012picta.pdf)
“Solanum nigrum preferred, other plants from the Nightshade family possible.” source: https://bugguide.net/node/view/107351 [syn. Solanum americanum AMERICAN BLACK NIGHTSHADE which is Florida Native Plant]
NATURAL ENEMIES: (source: http://ipm.ifas.ufl.edu/pdfs/Stink&Leaffooted_Bugs.pdf)
Parasitic wasps attack eggs and parasitic flies attack nymphs and adults.
• Generalist predators include fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), grasshoppers, big-eyed bugs (Geocoris spp.), damsel bugs (Nabis spp.) and spiders.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Broad-headed Bug (Hyalymenus sp. possibly longispinus)
Sort of new to my buggy life list. I discovered one last year on the same plant but never got around to identifying it. It is one of the leatherbugs which are plant feeders.
There are three species in this genus that are endemic to Florida. One that occurs in TX has the common name bow-legged bug which is apropo.
“it is not possible to reliably identify the species in this genus” (source: Key to Florida Alydidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) and selected exotic pest species. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303722336_Key_to_Florida_Alydidae_Hemiptera_Heteroptera_and_selected_exotic_pest_species [accessed Jun 17 2018].
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Black Stink Bug (Proxys punctulatus)
“Although the black stink bug is a phytophagous species, it can also be predaceous, and has been found attacking insect larvae in cotton.” ( polyphagous: Feeding on many different kinds of food)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)
My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20120723020819/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/it-just-stinksor-does-it.html
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus)
May be a pest of fruit bearing trees and shrubs but has a place in the circle of life.
eggs feed parasitoids including important pollinators such as chalacid and other parasitic wasps (Gryon spp. and Ooencyrtus sp.)
egg predators include: fire ants and tree crickets.
adult predators include spiders.
Mating pair and Learn more: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/leaffooted-bug-leptoglossus-phyllopus-mating/
Shown on Florida Native Plant: NUTTALL’S THISTLE (Cirsium nuttallii)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Saltbush Seed Bug (Ochrimnus mimulus)
New to my buggy life list. A true bug in the Seed Bugs (Lygaeidae) family, it is a “univoltine seed predator occurring on Baccharis sp. and other Asteraceae (Gould & Sweet 2000)”
Shown on Florida Native Plant GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia), a.k.a. Saltbush the preferred larval host.
also reared on solidago and horseweed in a controlled study. source:
“The seed feeding habit of the insect, its oviposition behavior and egg shape appear specifically adapted for Baccharis dwelling.” source: http://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-1994-THESIS-G696
Gould, Georgianna Grimshaw (1994). The biology and ecology of Ochrimnus mimulus (Stal, 1874): an assessment of its coevolution with Baccharis in Brazos County, Texas. Master’s thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from http: / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1994 -THESIS -G696.