Sunday, April 19, 2015

In-between Thunderstorms

Phyllomydas parvulus, female
 Thunderstorms are one of my favorite things about Florida and I am enjoying this last week's odd weather pattern: afternoon thunderstorms (typical of summer) in April. Glancing out the window at the Dirt Patch I noticed an interesting insect shape and quickly stumbled over myself to grab the camera and dart outside. Success! At a distance I thought, perhaps it is a sawfly (a relative of bees and wasps)...but then its Diptera (fly) characteristics became more apparent: one set of wings (the halteres are clearly visible above) and sucking mouthparts. This is a smaller species of Mydas fly. The female is brightly colored as seen here, and the male is a more uniform black.

Prepops fraternus
 While photographing the Mydas fly, this guy flew past me and into the palmetto. It is a species of plant bug in the family Miridae.

Euthyrhynchus floridanus
I am so glad I planted the onion last December - it has attracted all kinds of interesting insects (it was a grocery store onion which began sprouting in my fridge, so I thought, "what the hell?" and planted it). Above is a predatory stinkbug on the flower stalk of the onion...NEAT! The majority of stinkbugs are vegetarians, but this is a stinkbug that will eat other stinkbugs and insects which cause a lot of damage to plants. It paused to clean the excess water from its proboscis - and my camera chose this moment to forget how to focus on its subject.

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