Puss Caterpillar

The distinctive, furry, yellow puss caterpillar is actually the larva of the equally distinctive, furry, yellow southern flannel moth, Megalopyge opercularis. The adult moths are lovely, cuddly-looking things, yellow and cream, with big soft wings and fluffy abdomens. The caterpillars are equally cuddly looking, but the soft yellow setae (hairs) on their body are interspersed…

Fragile Forktail

As a macro photographer, whose gear requires that I get pretty personal with my subjects, I generally have a lot of problems with fast-moving, flighty damselflies. I can’t blame them for not wanting something the approximate same size as a semi truck to get within two inches of them, but it makes photos like this…

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle

This globular, yellow creature is the larva of a swamp milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. Leaf beetles, in the family Chrysomelidae, tend to be named after the plants on which they specialize; as you may guess, the swamp milkweed leaf beetle eats the leaves of the swamp milkweed plant, Asclepias incarnata. These larvae will grow…

Green Trig Cricket

This tiny beast, about 3mm long without, and 8mm long with, the antennae, is a nymph of a green trig cricket or green sword-tailed cricket, a member of the genus Cyrtoxipha. Cyrtoxipha means “curved sword”, and refers to the females’ ovipositor. “Trig” comes from the subfamily name for sword-tailed crickets, Trigonidiinae. This is either C….

Green-Striped Grasshopper

This is a nymph of the green-striped grasshopper, Chortophaga viridifasciata. The adults are…well, let’s say they’re variable in color, so this little one may be brown when it grows up, or green, or possibly a shade of neon pink with bright green wings (there are multiple subspecies, or possibly not, involved, and it’s all very…

Rugosana Querci

Another no-common-name, no description on Wikipedia, nothing beyond “It’s a leafhopper”. I understand the problems involved with trying to do field research on an animal 1/4″ long, but it just seems sad that just about all I can say about this striking little insect is “It’s a leafhopper”. Bugguide.net tells me it’s probably a second…