Warm weather is settling on east-central Florida with an almost vengeful humidity and along with this change of seasons come Lovebugs swarming everywhere, especially the roadways where they die in incalculable numbers smashed against speeding cars. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences explains the reasons for this carnage on the highway: Lovebugs are attracted to irradiated automobile exhaust fumes (diesel and gasoline) when the ultraviolet light incident over the highway ranges from 0.3 to 0.4 microns […]
A Scarab Hunter Wasp or, more properly, a Five-banded Tiphiid Wasp. The adults eat flower nectar but their larvae dine on the paralyzed bodies of scarab beetle larvae courtesy of the gruesome prospecting of the female Tiphiid Wasp who seeks out the unlucky scarab larvae in their underground nurseries. This is a male Five-banded Tiphiid Wasp that is showing off his faux stinger which is all for show to scare off predators but is not a real stinger. This lone […]
Unlike most moths that are nocturnal, the rattlebox moth, or more properly, the ornate bella moth, is active during the day. The larval host plant are members of the Crotalaria species, which explains the “rattle” in its name in Greek. According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: “The name Crotalaria originates from the Greek root “crotal” which means “a rattle”. It is the same root word as used in the genus name for rattle snakes, […]
A cluster of eggs at the ends of stalks are the hallmark of a lacewing insect. Once hatched out, the larvae are intense predators of other insects, the adults not so much. The eggs are on a leaf at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.
A Zebra Longwing butterfly is not deterred by a cloudy day at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area to lay a multitude of eggs on a corky-stem passion vine, the larval plant of the Zebra Longwing’s caterpillar stage. Note just below the butterfly all those yellow ovals on the plant are freshly laid eggs.
A rabbit hit by a car attracted a group of Black Vultures to dine on the carcass for breakfast. One of the Black Vultures ignored the temptation of a meal and, instead, warmed itself in the rays of the rising Sun over the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.