Stimulopalpus japonicus (Bark Louse)

This insect was so tiny in person that I was not entirely sure it was an insect. My eyes could only pick up a small, moving white dot. Once “blown up” through the camera lens, I saw…what was that? It looks kind of like a baby grasshopper or cricket, except the legs are wrong for…

Red-Eared Slider

This common and distinctive turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) carries the dubious distinction of being the most popular pet turtle in the US, and the most traded turtle in the world. Red-eared sliders are native to the southern US, but have popped up pretty much everywhere — Australia, Europe, South Africa, the Carribbean, Israel, Asia, and…

Sri Lankan Weevil

This diminutive Muppet is, unfortunately, an exotic, invasive pest which arrived in Florida around the year 2000 and is quietly eating its way through native, ornamental, vegetable and fruit plants. The adults eat the leaves; the larvae eat the root systems. Alas! Everything cute is terrible and evil. The Sri Lankan weevil (either Myllocerus undecimpustulatus…

Cuban Tree Frog

This little Cuban tree frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is adorable, but it’s another invasive species. It grows larger than our native tree frogs, outcompetes them for food, and unfortunately also eats them. The University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation actually recommends euthanizing Cuban tree frogs if you find them on your property! These…