Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

image of Admirable Grasshopper on grass stem

Admirable Grasshopper

Syrbula admirabilis
Although they both have slanted faces, male and female admirable grasshoppers look quite different: The females are large and marked with bright green and tan, and the males are smaller and wear brown, black and tan hues.

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American burying beetle

American Burying Beetle

Nicrophorus americanus
This brightly patterned beetle specializes in cleaning carrion from the landscape, burying dead mice, birds, and other creatures. It is endangered in our nation and in our state, and restoration efforts are under way.

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image of Walker's Cicada clinging to a perch

Annual Cicadas (Dog-Day Cicadas)

In Missouri, cicadas in the genus Tibicen
Annual cicadas look like larger and greener versions of the famous periodical cicadas. Annual cicadas go through a life cycle of only about 2–5 years, and some are present every year — thus they are called annual.

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image of Antlion pits in ground

Antlions (Doodlebugs)

More than 100 species in North America north of Mexico
Antlions, also called doodlebugs, are most familiar in their immature stages, when they create pits in sand in which to trap ants. The adults look something like drab damselflies.

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image of acrobat ants on a leaf


More than 700 species in North America
Ants are everywhere! They outnumber us a million to one. These colonial insects are familiar to everyone on Earth. Their lives are endlessly fascinating.

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image of Aphids on plant


More than 1,300 species in North America north of Mexico
Aphids are common, small, soft-bodied insects that suck plant juices. To see them well, you probably need a hand lens, but the damage they do to plants can be all too obvious!

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Photo of an arboreal orb weaver spider

Arboreal Orb Weavers

Neoscona spp. and Araneus spp.
It can be hard to identify the several species of Neoscona and Araneus orb weavers in Missouri. But they all tend to have camouflage patterns, and they all make the characteristic, delicate, wheel-shaped "orb" webs as nets for catching prey.

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Photo of an Asian longhorned beetle male, specimen

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Anoplophora glabripennis
Learn how to identify this invasive, potentially devastating insect! An unwanted arrival from Asia that's now living in parts of the United States, the Asian longhorned beetle could destroy millions of acres of American hardwoods. Report any sightings immediately.

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image of Assassin Bug crawling on a leaf

Assassin Bugs

Nearly 200 species in North America north of Mexico
Assassin bugs are usually black or brown, with an elongated head bearing a single, clawlike tube used for piercing and injecting venom into their prey. They are common in Missouri.

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Photo of backswimmer, side view


About 32 North American species in the family Notonectidae
Sometimes called “water bees” or “water wasps,” backswimmers are predaceous and can deliver a painful bite if mishandled. True to their name, they swim belly-up, and their backs are keeled like a boat, which makes back-swimming easier.

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