Myxosargus nigricormis

The entirety of Myxosargus nigricormis‘ Wikipedia entry reads (at time of writing): “A species of soldier fly in the family Stratiomyidae.” INaturalist puts its range at most of the eastern United States (and of course Florida). Soldier flies in general are somewhat large and can look imposing (some mimic wasps), but they are usually harmless…

Culex erraticus

This mosquito (thankfully a male, note the plumed antennae) is Culex erraticus, no common name. It is widespread over the southeastern United States, and while in Florida the females primarily bite birds and reptiles, they do of course also feed on mammals and also on people (usually me). They actually generally feed on birds during…

Green Banana Cockroach

Usually, if you find a bright green cockroach it means it has just molted and will shortly, as the air dries its carapace, turn the expected brown. The green banana cockroach (Panchlora nivea), however, is always green as an adult, freshly molted or otherwise. (Nymphs/juveniles are brown.) The “nivea” in its name means “snowy” —…

Acrolophus walsinghami

This darling little bagworm moth (whose juveniles and their debris-covered cases are scattered liberally across the sides of my house) is Acrolophus walsinghami. The dark “W” shape on the forewing is “distinctive”, but not definitive — the coloration of the moth is pretty variable, so we’d have to take these poor little things apart in…

Banded Tussock Moth

I hope someday to meet an adult of this handsome caterpillar; the adult banded tussock moth (Halysidota tessellaris) is equally handsome, with light brown, outlined/checkered stripes on a light background, perhaps with a hint of blue and yellow on the body, the whole insect looking a lot like an art deco stained glass window. Tessellaris…

Four-Spotted Aphid Fly

This lovely little syrphid fly, with the distinctive white spots on a dark abdomen, has a couple of common names: four-spotted hover fly, four-speckled aphid fly, and various combinations thereof. Its Latin name is Dioprosopa clavata. Its body shape and coloration somewhat mimic that of a wasp, but this fly is harmless to humans and…

Australian Cockroach

This juvenile male Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) is probably one molt shy of being a handsome adult like this one. He’s quite peeved that I’ve caught him in a clear plastic drink cup, so I could get him out of my kitchen and back into the world, where he is one of the many vitally…

Spartocera fusca

This large and strikingly marked leaf-footed bug (family Coreidae) is Spartocera fusca. The lack of common name is pretty criminal for this strikingly marked orange and black species that’s almost 3 cm long. S. fusca is native to “Mexico, the southwestern United States, and Florida”, because everything makes its way to Florida eventually. It eats…

Chionomus quadrispinosus

This handsome black, brown and white planthopper with clear wings is Chionomus quadrispinosus, no common name. The “thumblike” antennae (such a little alien, isn’t it?) and the spur on the hind leg mark it as a member of the family Delphacidae, the largest family of planthoppers. Someone has carefully photographed each of the 14 members…

Coastal Plain Meganola Moth

This darling little moth is a coastal plain meganola moth, Meganola phylla. It is native to eastern and southeastern North America. The larvae feed on Quercus species (oak trees). Unfortunately, this is another of the many, many species where a bunch of stubby little internet articles all quote one another. At least it photographs well….

Horned Spanworm Moth

This strange, “dragon” shaped caterpillar has eversible tentacles extending from the top of two of the central sections of its body. In the above photo, they are in the “relaxed” configuration, but, when the caterpillar is startled, it can extend its tentacles to 2x their resting length. The adult moths are varying shades and patterns…

White-Spotted Arvelius

This sad-eyed little green and yellow alien is a white-spotted arvelius, or tomato stink bug, Arvelius albopunctatus. It’s honestly a little spectacular — about 2cm long, brilliant green, with yellow “shoulders” yellow and black spots, and a black striped face — which makes it sad that it has Wikipedia Stub Syndrome (or, actually, doesn’t even…

Split-eyed Owlfly (Ululodes sp.)

I thought this insect was a badly mangled dragonfly at first, one that was in the process of being sucked into a spider’s lair. You’re looking down at this insect — i.e., its right side is pointed upwards, its top is pointed sideways, and its legs are wrapped around a piece of wood in a…

Atlantic Bluet

Meet the Atlantic Bluet (either an immature male or a female, alas, the end of its abdomen is not quite in focus enough for my inexperienced eyeballs to tell), a narrow-winged damselfly found in the Caribbean and North America. Males are a beautiful bright blue, which may be related to the name “bluet”. This genus,…

Mexican Cactus Fly

This huge, imposing (and absolutely harmless to humans) big, black fly is the Mexican cactus fly (or Mexican flower fly), Copestylum mexicanum. It is named because the larvae feed on rotting cacti (and the adults, as you might guess from the above photo, visit flowers). This individual is about 13-15 mm long, a very big…

Chrysopodes collaris (Lacewing)

This lovely little green lacewing is Chrysopodes collaris, no common name, local to coastal Texas and southern Florida down into Central America. (This describes 90% of species found in Florida….) “The red lineations on the clypeus [above and between the mouthparts] are a highly unique trait among all Chrysopidae in our area”, according to bugguide….