Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

This huge (~5cm) black beetle, with its distinctive black and white eyespots, is commonly referred to as the big-eyed click beetle or eastern eyed click beetle for what I hope are obvious reasons. It is also known as the eyed elater. The Latin name is Alaus oculatus. “Click” beetles have have a spinelike structure on…

Diaprepes Root Weevil

The gloriously iridescent diaprepes root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus) is, of course, an invasive species (native to the Caribbean) that infests crops — citrus, to be precise — and is therefore a pest, etc., etc. (I get so tired of reading that under every insect description! It’s not the weevil’s fault that it likes all the…

Wheel Bug

One of the largest terrestrial true bugs in North America, this bad boy (or girl) can reach up to 1.5 inches / 38mm in size (although subjectively it seems much bigger in person!). The wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) is an assassin bug, which means that big pointy bit on the front is in fact a…

Florida Leaf-Footed Bug

This is probably an adult female Florida leaf-footed bug (Acanthocephala femorata) — this species is named for the exaggerated “femurs” on its back legs, and the femurs are larger in the male, with impressive spikes. She’s about an inch long, not including her antennae. Leaf-footed bugs are named after the “leafy” extensions of their hind…

Golden Silk Orb Weaver

These highly impressive spiders are brilliantly colored, very big (two to three inches across), and like to hang right at face-height in nearly invisible webs strung between branches. They are also known as banana spiders, although they do not like to hang out in bunches of fruit — they just are the color (and, it…