Ambiguous Moth

The ambiguous moth! This delightfully-named little moth may well become my spirit animal. About 2cm across, this tiny brown moth, resembling a very small leaf with a rhinoceros horn, is in the family Erebdiae, the litter moths. Litter moths are named because many of their caterpillars feed on dead plant matter. Adults come in a…

Tumbling Flower Beetle

This beetle is so tiny (approximately 2-3mm long) that I wasn’t even sure it was an insect when I snapped its photo. This minuscule insect is a tumbling flower beetle, or pintail beetle, in the family Mordellidae. These beetles all share the long, pointed abdomen extending past the elytra, the bent-over posture with the angle…

Mango Seed Weevil

A mysterious, 3mm sphere stuck to my front door turned out to be a mango seed weevil, Sternochetus mangiferae. I’m afraid I had to bother him to figure out what he was — his distinctive, weevil-ular “snout” is hidden under his body, making him difficult to identify. Apparently that’s standard for his subfamily, Cryptorhynchinae, the…

Grizzled Mantid

Also known as the lichen mimic mantid or Florida bark mantid, Gonatista grisea is very well camouflaged — I would never have noticed this 10mm baby if it had not moved! (When it’s grown, it will only be about 35-40mm long.) Their coloring resembles that of lichen, and they are practically invisible on tree bark….

Wheel Bug

One of the largest terrestrial true bugs in North America, this bad boy (or girl) can reach up to 1.5 inches / 38mm in size (although subjectively it seems much bigger in person!). The wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) is an assassin bug, which means that big pointy bit on the front is in fact a…