Friday, July 10, 2015

Insects of the Day - Lake Mills Park

Mantispid or mantisfly, Mantispidae

Today I explored Lake Mills Park and came across the above mantispid (among many other insects) which made my morning! So far I've only seen one other mantispid in my life, a green one. This one seems decidedly rotund in the abdomen, I wonder if it is a gravid female (or, hope not, possibly it has internal parasites)? Mantispids are in the order Neuroptera and not related to mantids, though they hunt in a similar fashion; ambushing prey by grabbing them in their raptorial forelimbs.

Air potato leaf beetle - Lilioceris cheni

Florida is overrun with invasive air potato vine which chokes out native vegetation. This beetle was introduced as a biological control a few years ago since it was found to feed exclusively on the air potato...and I'm happy to report it's kicking ass.

Invasive air potato vine

The "potato"

Ebony jewelwing damselfly, Calopteryx maculata - male

Restless bush cricket, Hapithus agitator - female

Restless bush cricket, Hapithus agitator - male

I'm not sure how they earned their moniker...both crickets seemed quite calm ;)

Florida oblong-winged katydid, Amblycorypha floridana

Long-legged fly, Dolichopodidae (possibly Plagionerus univittatus)

Netwinged beetle, Caenia dimidiata

Citrus root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus

The citrus root weevil is a beautiful insect and comes in many colors but is unfortunately an introduced agricultural pest. Besides citrus it also feeds on many ornamentals.

Palm flatid planthopper, Ormenaria rufifascia

Robber fly:


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