Archives for category: October

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Romalea microptera (Romalea guttata)

Size: adult female 50-70mm (2-2.8″), males 43-55mm (1.7-2.2″)

Location: Southeastern US, broad range in low, wet areas in pastures and woods and along ditches.  In north Florida from about March to November.

Food:  broad variety, but prefers broad-leafed plants.  Polyphagous — eats small amounts of a large variety of plants.  In Florida can create problems in citrus groves, vegetable plots and landscape ornamentals.

Life cycle:  One generation per year, with eggs over wintering (this stage can be as long as 8 months), egg laying begins about one month after reaching adult hood, usually the summer months.  Eggs are deposited in soil located in drier areas although adults prefer damp or wet habitats.

Predators:  tachinid fly (Anisia serotina).   Most birds and lizards avoid these insects, except loggerheard shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) will capture them, impale and cache the grasshoppers on barbed wire and return when the toxins have degraded.

Generally the adult is dull yellow color, but in North Florida adults remain black.

The common name describes the walking and crawling behaviour of the grasshopper.  “Lubber” is from an old English word meaning lazy or clumsy.  Novice seamen were called “landlubbers”.

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Lyssomanes viridis

Size:  females 7-8-mm (2.8-3.1 inch), males 6-8mm (2,4-3.1 inch)

Range:  throughout Florida, from spring to early autumn

Habitat:  woodlands, on broad leaf evergreens (e.g. magnolias, bays) and live oak.

Food:  aphids, mites, ants, other plant insects and other jumping spiders

The photo above seems to be that of a female.

 

 

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Family:  Tetragnathidae

Spiders have 8 legs, 2 body parts and no antennae.

Longjawed spiders are called because their fangs (chelicerae) are as long or longer than their cephalathorax.  All Tetragnathidae have 8 eyes.  They are called orb weavers because they build a web which has a circular grid, although the spokes (radii) are not as many and the webs look a bit disorganized compared to regular orb weavers.

The spiders hatch from eggs in the spring and look like small adults, molting as they grow.  They live for about 1 year, mating and laying eggs at the end of summer.

The genus Tetragnatha are often found near or over water, as the spider above was.

They do bite, but are not considered dangerous.

 

 

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Diodia virginiana L.

Forb/herb/annual/perennial

Native L 48

Blooming:  September, October, white

Location:  Nick’s Road primitive camp site (3.75 RR upstream from Womack Creek campground landing), good take-out

Climbing Aster

Symphyotrichum carolianum
Shrub/vine, Perennial
Native: L 48
Blooming: May, June, July, August, September, October, November, purple
Nectar for pearl crescent, monarch, skipper and dainty sulfur butterflies, hornets  and bees; larval host plant for pearl crescent butterfly.  On September 26, 2013, we saw a northern green anole (Anolis carolinensis carolinensis), in a blink of an eyelid, catch a skipper and dispatch it down its gullet.   When in full bloom, the bushes are full of inveterbrates and their predators (spiders and anoles), a fascinating demonstration of the mutuality of blossoms and insects.   Plan some time from your paddling to enjoy the activity around these flowers.
Location: N30 00.940′ W084 33.343′ (1.2RL), N30 00.098′ W084 33.439′ (1.6RR), N30 00.353′ W084 33.666′ (2.3RR)