Tmarus Floridensis

Crab spiders are much like jumping spiders — they don’t build a permanent web, and instead go hunting for their prey. Crab spider have smaller eyes than jumpers (relatively), and the eyes appear to extend out of a “hood” on the head. Their first two pairs of legs are much longer than their last two,…

Mydas Fly

I thought I’d snuck a photo of a wasp (most wasps are not tolerant enough to let my camera get close) until I got the photos home and had a better look. This 35mm long insect is a wasp mimic — a clever fly which makes its living by looking like something much pointier and…

Grizzled Mantid

Also known as the lichen mimic mantid or Florida bark mantid, Gonatista grisea is very well camouflaged — I would never have noticed this 10mm baby if it had not moved! (When it’s grown, it will only be about 35-40mm long.) Their coloring resembles that of lichen, and they are practically invisible on tree bark….

Oak Beauty Caterpillar

There is a surprisingly large number of moths in the family Geometridae whose caterpillars “look like a stick”. Beyond that very general description, the caterpillars have huge variation: little pinstripes, big, bold black markings, warts and bumps and protuberances, and generally it is very difficult to pin down just which Geometrid moth caterpillar, or inchworm,…

Twin Flagged Jumping Spider

Wikipedia wants to tell me that the twin-flagged jumping spider’s name comes from those white marks on its cephalothorax, but I’d put my money on the name coming from those bright white pedipalps, which look like little flags waving around as she moves. This glorious little twin flagged jumping spider, Anasaitis canosa, is almost invisible…

Trashline Orb Weaver Spider

The name of the trashline orb weaver spider (Cyclosa turbinata) is derived from the thick vertical line of silk and/or debris in its web. Called the stabilimentum, the line may help stabilize the web, may attract insects, or may deter birds from flying through the web by making it visible. The line of silk also…