Acutalis tartarea (Treehopper)

This strange little beastie does not have a common name, alas, although I’ve seen it on Project Noah as “Black-veined treehopper”, which works. It is notable for its bright green abdomen, black “painted” lines along the wing veins, partially clear wings, and a wide, dark brown “stripe” on the pronotum. The pattern of coloration varies…

Saddled Prominent Moth

Meet the caterpillar of the saddled prominent moth, Heterocampa guttivitta. This spectacular, bright green caterpillar is speckled with red spots, and has longitudinal yellow stripes, and a huge, flat, almond-shaped head with black, red, and yellow stripes. Apparently the defining characteristic here is the two red and yellow horns, or warts, at the back of…

Green Lynx Spider

The green lynx (Peucetia viridans) is a gorgeous, brilliant green spider commonly found on shrub-like plants all over the southern U.S. It is the largest North American lynx spider. Spiders in the family Oxiopidae are fast-moving diurnal predators which do not construct webs; they use webbing mostly as as safety draglines when they move. They…

Brown-Winged Striped Sweat Bee

The brown-winged striped sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) is another victim of Extremely Obvious Naming; it’s unfortunate that this gorgeous, metallic green bee has such a boring name. This is actually a male A. splendens; the abdomens of females are metallic green, and their tibia are furry. Sweat bees (family Halictidae) come in a huge variety…

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…

American Green Tree Frog

It’s so nice to see a native frog species! (I love Cuban tree frogs, but they’re invasive and eat gorgeous native frogs like this.) This is an American green tree frog, Dryophytes cinereus, about 6cm long and actually native to Florida. American “green” tree frogs actually come in all sorts of colors, from yellow-olive to…

Palm Flatid Planthopper

Having gotten a camera that can make these little insects visible, I’ve decided that I love planthoppers. They look like tiny, perpetually-startled, neon aliens. The palm flatid planthopper, Ormenaria rufifascia, is a charming, Muppet-faced, bright green species, with bright orange and blue stripes on its head. Adults are relatively big for hoppers, about 11mm in…

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…

Waterlettuce Leafhopper

This tiny green beastie is a waterlettuce leafhopper, Draeculacephala inscripta. Just try to un-see that grumpy little face in the middle of its back — that’s actually one of the distinguishing characteristics for this species! (“Scutellum often with distinctive pattern of black dots.”) The other big feature on this guy is the handsome black scrollwork…

Cypress Emerald Moth

The moth family Geometridae has a number of brilliant little bright green moths in it, not even all in the same genus. To make things weirder, the cypress emerald moth (Nemoria elfa) also comes in a red or brownish flavor, which appears to be seasonal to cooler weather. Adults are approximately 9-12mm across, with females…

Saddleback Caterpillar

This spectacular fellow is the saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea. It is named for that bright green “saddle” on its abdomen, but its most notable feature is the four tubercles (one on each “corner”), each featuring some serious-looking, spiky armament. The sharp spines on those tubercles are venomous, and will break off in your skin if…

Humpbacked Orbweaver

Humpbacked orbweaver spiders (Eustala anastera) are identified primarily by the little bump on the end of their abdomen (sort of visible in this photo) and by lichen-green coloration (although they also come in orange and rusty brown colors). They are pretty variable, pattern-wise; you can see some of the color variation here. This one has…

Green Trig Cricket

This tiny beast, about 3mm long without, and 8mm long with, the antennae, is a nymph of a green trig cricket or green sword-tailed cricket, a member of the genus Cyrtoxipha. Cyrtoxipha means “curved sword”, and refers to the females’ ovipositor. “Trig” comes from the subfamily name for sword-tailed crickets, Trigonidiinae. This is either C….

Florida Giant Katydid

I love insects with definitive identifications. When I type “big green katydid” into Google, this bad boy pops right up (along with suggestions that I search for “Florida giant grasshopper”, “Florida giant centipede”, and “Florida giant mosquito”, making me wonder why I moved to this state). And it’s exactly like it says on the tin…

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…

Slender Meadow Katydid Nymph

This is not an adult; it’s a mid-range instar (aka nymph, aka baby). You can tell because it has no wings — adults have long, reddish wings which extend past the end of their body. In a couple more molts/instars, the wings will emerge! This tiny little creature (about 5mm long) took a ride on…