Mantis Fly

Okay, technically, this is a shore fly, and it’s definitely a fly, not a mantis, but what else can you call this little dude? Meet Ochthera tuberculata, one of about 13 North American species, and 40 species worldwide, of “shore flies with raptorial forelegs”. (They’re not technically “mantis flies”, because that’s an entirely separate family…

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…

Hentz Orb Weaver Eating a Dragonfly

This is quite possibly the most “nature is metal” photo I’ve ever taken. This Hentz orb weaver spider (Neoscona crucifera), about 2″ radius max, has taken down a fully grown great blue skipper dragonfly (Libuella vibrans), which is about 3 1/2″ inches long. Imagine the rodeo that must have been!

Metallic Blue Lady Beetle

Entomologists can’t always be good at naming. At least the metallic blue lady beetle, Curinus coeruleus, is easy to remember, as well as identify. C. coeruleus is a native of South America which has traveled all over the world, where it has largely been introduced by humans as a means of controlling insect pests such…

Punctured Tiger Beetle

The punctured tiger beetle, Cicindela punctulata, is common throughout North America and is primarily recognized by the twin lines of indentations on either side of its midline. It is also known as the sidewalk tiger beetle. Tiger beetles are a group of more than 2,600 known species and subspecies living all over the world. They…