Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus carolina)

I think this is where I have to admit I have a problem. I was hanging around in the backyard, waiting for our dog do what she does best, and noticed that one of our local anole lizards had passed on. I knelt down to look, and saw that it was swarming with ants. “Oooh,…

Asian Lady Beetle

I grew up calling these “ladybugs”, too, but, technically, Harmonia axyridis, and other lady beetles, are not true bugs. H. axyridis, also known as the harlequin lady beetle, Halloween lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, or multicolored Asian ladybeetle, is native to eastern Asia, but was introduced to Europe and North America in order to control…

Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle

Oh dear — another glorious little beetle who has been formally named, and then abandoned, a series of tiny stub articles on Wikipedia and not even mentioned in the Britannica article on shining leaf chafer beetles. I understand that even if 50% of the human population each picked a species of beetle and spent their…

Admirable Grasshopper

I can see where this gorgeously striped and spotted green grasshopper got her common name — she is truly an admirable grasshopper! (She must have just molted, her colors are so bright!) Also known as the handsome grasshopper, Syrbula admirabilis is a species of slant-faced grasshopper from the family Acrididae. This individual is about 3.5…

Forest Tent Caterpillar

A cousin to the eastern tent caterpillar, the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) doesn’t actually make tents; instead, it constructs silken mats along tree trunks and branches. Like its cousin, however, it also congregates in large numbers and the mats can be just as unsightly and large as the tents. The caterpillars are harmless to…

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…

Limpkin

This handsome bird is about 25-29 inches long, with a wingspan of 40-42 inches, with males slightly larger. Plumage is identical for both sexes. It is a wading bird native to warm parts of the Americas, including Florida, and its primary diet is the huge, destructive apple snails of the genus Pomacea. Aramus guarauna is…

Calligrapha Beetle

Why is there not more written about this family of darling little beetles? Something like 80 species and subspecies of leaf beetles in the genus Calligrapha roam from Canada to Argentina, each one uniquely striped, splashed, or spotted black against a vividly colored, often red, green, or gold, background. They are sometimes pestiferous and their…

Giraffes

These three giraffes (baby, older juvenile, adult) arranged themselves symmetrically for less than a second. (These may be Masai giraffes, I’m not sure. The facility identifies them only as “giraffes”.) Photo taken at the Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, FL.