CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus)

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.

Learn: http://sites.duke.edu/dukeinsects/insect-orders/hemiptera/leptoglossus-phyllopus

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: Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis)

A legless lizard often mistaken for a snake. Based on range map, It could be O. ventralis, Ophisaurus compressus or O. attenuatus. Based on habitat is it likely Eastern Glass Lizard (O. ventralis). The other two species apparently prefer drier habitats than that found at my place.

Learn: http://srelherp.uga.edu/lizards/ophven.htm

Diet: “eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates as well as small reptiles and probably young rodents” (source: University of Georgia)

Feed on a variety of insects, snails, bird eggs, and small reptiles (source: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fact_sheet_animal/32242-Ophisaurus%20ventralis/ophisaurus_ventralis.pdf)

My take: Wildlife Deception as a Defense


video of a headless tail moving: https://youtu.be/pYGX7REMC3w


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Cottonwood Leaf Beetle (Chrysomela scripta)

Oh how I wish this guy (gal?) was feeding on this invasive cogon grass.  Wouldn’t that just be a win/win.  Unfortunately, I believe it was just resting probably looking for a member of the Populus genus (Cottonwood) from which it derives it common name.  Other hosts include Willows (Salix spp.)

“Infested trees rarely die from cottonwood leaf beetle defoliation.”
“Handpick beetles off trees if possible.”

Learn: https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/Forest-Health/Forest-Health-Publications/Insects-and-Diseases/Cottonwood-Leaf-Beetle

My take:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/handpicked/


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaf Beetle (Oulema sp. possibly collaris)

Leaf Beetle (Oulema sp. possibly collaris)

New to my buggy life list.

Family Chrysomelidae – Leaf Beetles
Subfamily Criocerinae
Tribe Lemini

Larval host:  Commelinaceae, e.g., spiderwort – Tradescantia spp.    This one was directly above some introduced Dayflower which is in that same family. If it is munching that I would be thrilled.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/196982

7 species in this genus listed on the Florida Beetle Checklist.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Leaf Beetle (Oulema sp. possibly collaris)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Large Crane Fly (Brachypremna dispellens)

This very large fella (gal?) was dancing among the Florida native Blackberry (Rubus sp.) brambles

Craneflies are beneficial decomposers. They have legs that go on for days.

Family Tipulidae – Large Crane Flies
Subfamily Tipulinae

Learn: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/flies/craneflies/craneflies.htm

Key:  http://web.archive.org/web/20141221002551/http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/idkeys.htm

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/mistaken-mosquito/

Large Crane Fly (Brachypremna dispellens)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Brown Stink Bug (Euschistus sp.)

When it comes to stink bugs, there are pests and beneficials. Spiders will eat either one. Shown is a pest variety.

“The eggs and nymphs of stink bugs often suffer high mortality from parasites, predators and pathogens.”

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/bean/brown_stink_bug.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : Bidens alba

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/it-just-stinksor-does-it/