Sayornis phoebe

Does not nest in our area.  Prefers woodland edges.

Food: flying insects:  wasps, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, flies, midges, cicacadas and spiders, ticks, millipedes.  Will eat small fruit or seeds occassionally.

Solitary; rarely seen in groups, even as a pair when nesting.

 

Megachile xylocopoides

Hymenoptera

Coastal plains area of SE US

Host plants (most of which are on Womack Creek):  American and dahoon hollies, various asters, various sunflowers, snow squarestem, climbing hempvine, button bush, Virginia creeper, coast plain honey combhead, American sneezeweed, Virginia sweetspire.

Call “carpenter-mimic” because of resemblance to carpenter bees.

 

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Pantherophis spiloides

Reptilia/Squamata

Not protected in Florida, protected in Georgia.

Non-venomous, but as a defensive tool will waggle its tail sufficiently fast to create a rattling sound.

Length: up to 72″.

Habitat:  found only in the panhandle and northwest peninsula of Florida in a variety of locations as upland pine areas and lowland cypress swamps, along river’s edges, in farming areas.  It is the most common snake to enter homes in Florida being excellent climbers.

Food: carnivorous — small birds and eggs, rodents and other small animals.

Breeding: March through July, gestation 50-70 of anywhere from 5-27 eggs.  Hatches in September.

 

 

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Asclepias lancolata Walter

Forb/herb/perennial

Native L 48

Found in moist ditches, brackish marshes

Summer blooming

Host plant of monarch, queen and soldier butterflies; pollinated by bees, insects and moths and butterflies.

Poisonous if ingested in large enough quantities; vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms.

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Ischnura kellicotti

Odonata

Found on floating lily pads in lakes.  This was on a spatterdock leaf.

Larvae cling to the bottom of the pad.

Young females are orange, but as they approach reproductive maturity turn blue.

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Leptidotera

Eastern US, frequent in old fields, roadsides and pastures from Southern Minnesota and west to Colorado.

Larval host plants: various asters

Nectar sources: Black eyed Susan, butterfly weed, red swamp milkweed, gray dogwood, purple coneflower, asters

Can overwinter (enter diapause during the winter months) and adults seem to be cold tolerant.

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Papilio palamedes

Lepidoptera

Southeastern coastal states from SE Virginia to Texas, including all of mainland Florida. Rare in the Florida Keys.

Host plants: Red Bay, swamp bay.   Because both bays are threatened with laurel wilt disease, it is not known what the impact will be on this species of butterfly.  Previously sweet bay was thought to be a host plant, but studies have indicated that the observations may have been referring to the spicebush swallowtail.  Palamedes will not lay eggs on sweet bay.

See:  http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/palamedes_swallowtail.htm

 

 

 

 

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Xanthopastis timais

Lepidotera

A native of Surinam, the Spanish moth, can be found in lowlands along the coast as far north as the Carolinas and west to Texas, with observations noted as far north as New York.  It can be found throughout Florida.

Host plants:  spider lilies and other Amaryllidaceae and also irises and other Iridaceae.  The caterpillars chew on leaves, bulbs and rhizomes of host plants.

This recently hatched batch had decimated the Cow Creek spider lily which hosted the eggs.  The larger caterpillar was on a swamp dragon head stem.  This was found in an area with Cow creek spider lilies, golden clubs and swamp dragon steams.  Close by are blue flag iris plants.

See: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/flowers/spanich_moth.htm

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Querus nigra

Tree/Perennial

Native L 48