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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: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)

This spider does not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:

“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

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: ROSY CAMPHORWEED (Pluchea baccharis)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris)

Diet: Ants, bees, beetles, crickets, roaches, snails, and other invertebrates.

If you look closely at the photo, to the left of the head you can see a dragonfly nymph (might be exuvia). The scientific name use to be Bufo terrestris.

Learn: http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/southerntoad.shtml

The following photo of the back really shows the prominent crests and oval glands which distinquish it from the invasive Cane Toad.

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