Tigrosa annexa (Wolf Spider)

This is a tentative identification, because I can see from the bugguide forums that not everyone is decided on what this species is or even what genus it’s in, but based on “two yellow dashes flanking the median stripe in the cephalic region“, I’m pinning this lovely female wolf spider as Tigrosa annexa. Formerly members…

Attidops cinctipes (Jumping Spider)

The minuscule size of this spider is difficult to convey — I thought it was a lint ball until it moved and tried to pounce on a springtail (which was bigger than it was, to give you an idea of scale). Attidops cinctipes, no common name, is a well-camouflaged and extremely tiny jumping spider which…

Green Hoverfly

This shiny little marble is an adult female Ornidia obesa (most likely)…a green hover fly, or syrphid fly. (Like horse flies, female green hover flies have widely separated eyes while males have contiguous eyes, giving them a wrap-around sunglasses look.) I find these little things charming, and they’re apparently fearless: this one hung around to…

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…

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

A common and striking yellow and black butterfly seen across the eastern United States, this is the eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus. It’s a male, because its hindwings have almost no blue — in females, there are big blue patches right above the black parts on the hindwings. Females are actually dimorphic, and have two…

Barred Owl

This adult barred owl (Strix varia) and almost-fledged juvenile were out and about in the early morning in May. The adult was absolutely silent in flight, and I would not have noticed it if it had not flown directly in front of me. Barred owls live all over the eastern half of the US. They…

Twin Flagged Jumping Spider

Wikipedia wants to tell me that the twin-flagged jumping spider’s name comes from those white marks on its cephalothorax, but I’d put my money on the name coming from those bright white pedipalps, which look like little flags waving around as she moves. This glorious little twin flagged jumping spider, Anasaitis canosa, is almost invisible…

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…

Rainbow Scarab Beetle

I never thought I’d find dung beetles exciting, but here we are. This gorgeous lady is a female rainbow scarab beetle, Phanaeus vindex, almost an inch long and with the cutest little bright yellow antennae! The ancient Egyptians worshiped scarab beetles. Looking at these colors, I can see why! Like all dung beetles, she looks…

Southern Yellowjacket

This grumpy, chilly southern yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa) would not have let me get this photo if it hadn’t been 55 degrees F outside. She was sunning herself and did not appreciate being photographed; you can see her head turned toward me, and one foreleg half-raised in a very rude gesture. These social wasps are found…

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…

Io Moth

The io moth, Automeris io, is notable for large eyespots in the middle of the hind wings. There are seven species in the US; Automeris io is the only one found in Florida. Its range extends through most of the eastern US. These moths are sometimes also called the corn emperor moth and peacock moth….

Whitefringed Weevil

The whitefringed beetle, or whitefringed weevil, Naupactus leucoloma, is originally from South America but can now be found across the southern US, Australia, and South Africa. They are a type of weevil with a broad, down-pointing snout. Adults are relatively large for a weevil, around 12 mm long. N. leucoma is light to dark gray-brown…

Dog Day Cicada

Growing up in Kentucky and Indiana, I saw one or two of the big “cycles” of the 17-year cicadas. Those periodical cicadas don’t live in Florida, but here we get serenaded each summer by a variety of annual cicadas which brood every year. The dog day cicada (Tibicen canicularis or Neotibicen canicularis, depending on whom…

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

I love these dragonflies, because they are so easy to identify — they are the only dragonfly in Florida with those multiple big, brown spots all over their wings. Also, who doesn’t love Halloween?!? Celithemis eponina lives all over the eastern United States, mostly near bodies of water. They mostly appear in the summer in…