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…

Pantropical Jumping Spider

I assumed at first this was a wolf spider, Lycosidae sp. I am hesitant to call it a jumping spider because this individual was “huge” — I would have put it at half an inch long — and pantropical jumping spiders seem to max out at 12mm with the females. On the other hand, half…

Water Lily Planthopper

Meet the water lily planthopper, Megamelus davisi. Despite appearances, this atomic-scale little being (5mm long) is fully grown, and the “shrek ears” are what his/her antennae normally look like. Unlike most planthoppers, this one does not have wings, just the body plates that would protect the wings if they were there. This makes it look…