Some cool Florida arthropods

I know they get a bad rap, but when you take the time to get a good close look, "bugs" can be pretty awesome. Here are a few of my favorites from the past week or so. The grasshoppers get quite a bit of the attention here, and that's because they've been grabbing my attention lately.

Golden Silk Spider (Nephila clavipes) Almost every time I see this species, there's a male and large (sometimes 4+ inches long including legs) female in the web together. I wonder if it's a seasonal thing. Their silk really is a golden color instead of white or cream.

male rhinoceros beetle (Strategus antaeus) Males of this impressive species use those huge "horns" on their thorax along with their strong legs to fight each other for mating rights.

Handsome Grasshopper (Syrbula admirabilis) A fitting name in my opinion.

female Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea guttata) This is a hulk of a grasshopper, with its width equal to that of my thumb.

unidentified grasshopper - Even if I can't figure out what someone named this thing 100 years ago, it's still an attractive enough animal to include here.

Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) I've seen this species in other states, but I just really like hairstreaks. I mean, look at the black and white striped legs and antennae, along with the obvious cool wing markings when you blow up the photo. What is there not to like? As an interesting natural history note, the caterpillars of this species feed on dead and decaying leaves on the ground rather than living leaves that are still attached to the plant. Definitely not a "garden pest."


MWYork said...

Great pics, Kelly. Congrats on the job, again. I look forward to viewing future pictures of organisms you find down there.

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is great. Makes me think of the Horse Lubber Grasshopper in Big Bend. Did you guys come across that guy on your visit down there?

Crip said...

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper makes me think of transformers (in disguise). Probably an auto-bot.

MWYork said...

There were Insecticons among the Transformers. I don't know if they survived (un)natural selection for this new movie or not. But back in the day...
Kelly, a Fan-tailed Warbler has been regularly seen at BBNP ~the Pine Canyon pouroff for a couple of weeks now. No intention to annoy with that one, I wont have a chance to check it either.

Kelly said...

If my memory of saturday morning cartoons from my early childhood doesn't fail me, I seem to recall insecticons being at least loosely associated with decepticons rather than autobots. Thinking otherwise could prove a dangerous mistake.
Matt, I'll swing by and pick you up in my Learjet for the fan-tail. Shouldn't take more than an afternoon.

MWYork said...

Insecticons, Constructicons, all were under the ever tightening, metal, mental grip of Megatron, the Cobra Commander of the evil Decepticons. How about the Dinobots? Now they...were certainly more than met the eye.

Lots of jet-A to burn for one bird, Kelly. Nevertheless, you do have that long-term gig and all.

Oh, and a Red-faced down in BBNP, too.