8.28.2010

Cool predatory insects

I was struck by how beautiful and impressive this dragonfly was.


Southeastern Spinyleg (Dromogomphus armatus)


video
I recently took this short video of a female solitary wasp carrying a subdued Broad-tipped Conehead (Neoconocephalus triops), which is a type of katydid, down into a burrow in which the wasp will lay a single egg. When the egg hatches, the young wasp larva will begin feeding on the katydid until it is fully grown and can metamorphose into an adult wasp. It will then go find a mate, breed, and begin the cycle once again. I was impressed by seeing the wasp actually fly in with something that is close to twice its size!

8.16.2010

Gulf Saltmarsh Snake and other neat herps

I was excited to finally get a chance to photograph a Gulf Saltmarsh Snake. I had seen them in the past, but without a camera. The other species are simply ones I've enjoyed seeing in the past few weeks.






Gulf Saltmarsh Snake (Nerodia clarkii clarkii)



Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)



male Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata sexlineata)



River Frog (Lithobates heckscheri)

8.12.2010

Trapdoor Spider

Living in Florida, I don't get to see tarantulas like I did when we were in Texas. While not as large, Trapdoor spiders are a really neat relative of tarantulas. Here's a male that I found crossing a road recently.


Trapdoor spider (Ummidia sp)

Trapdoor spiders are so named because they build burrows in the ground, and cover the entrance with a hinged, camouflaged "trapdoor." They wait inside for vibrations of potential prey near their entrance, throw open the door, and grab the unsuspecting prey.