Order Hemiptera ( True Bugs, Froghoppers, Leafhoppers, Planthoppers, Treehoppers, Cicadas, Aphids, Scales, Whiteflies, & Mealybugs) in the Christopher B. Smith Preserve

Order Hemiptera Characteristics: All hemipterans have gradual metamorphosis (egg, nymph, and adult stages). Hemipterans live in a variety of habitats, including terrestrial and aquatic.

Although body style is extremely diverse among the thousands of species, all have syringe-like beaks used to suck liquefied food. The beak is composed of four narrow blades. One pair of blades is used for cutting and the other pair for spitting saliva and sucking.

Taxonomists disagree in the number of suborders of hemipterans. Some say two, others say up to four or more. This field guide will discuss three suborders of Hemipterans found in the Smith Preserve: 1) Suborder Heteroptera was previously called Hemiptera. Hemiptera means "different wings." In this suborder, the base of the rostrum is on the ventral, anterior portion of the head. 2) Suborder Auchenorrhyncha was previously part of Order Homoptera. 3) Suborder Sternorrhyncha was also previously part of Order Homptera. Homoptera means "uniform wings;" wings are held roof-like over the abdomen at rest. The base of the rostrum is on the ventral, posterior of the head. These insects eat plant sap (sugar water). Individuals spend most of the time eating. During the injection of saliva, plant cells are injured; leaves curl and turn brown. Some of these homopterans also carry plant diseases.

Suborder Heteroptera (Hemiptera): There are 8000 species of hemipterans in Florida. At rest, wings are folded flat over the back, with the forewings protecting the hind wings. Forewings are divided into two sections, one is thick and protective, the other, a thin membrane. Because of this division, "Hemiptera" means "half-wing." As seen in the first photograph, the scutellum, a plate of the thorax between the bases of the forewings, is triangular. This characteristic is used to identify this suborder.

As shown in the second photograph, the beak (mouth) is folded under the head and body when not is use. It extends forward for feeding.

Stink glands exist on most species near the bases of the middle pair of legs. The chemicals emitted by these glands are used as a defense against predators.

Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera): As shown at left, a member of this suborder has well-developed wings and jumping legs. They are capable of acoustic communication. This suborder includes cicadas, froghoppers, leafhoppers, planthoppers and treehoppers.

Suborder Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera): This suborder includes aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies, and psyllids. Most show reduction in structural complexity and are relatively inactive. For many, the nymphal stage is protected, as in scales and galls.

Interactions in the Smith Preserve: Some hemipterans are herbivores, others are insect predators. In both cases, the beak pierces the tissue, salivary secretions break down the tissue, and the hemipteran sucks out the liquids. As a result of their feeding behavior, hemipterans keep populations of other organisms in check. Members of this order provide food for larger animals.

 
Suborder
Family
Species Name
Common Name
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Alydidae
Hyalymenus longispinus ?
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Alydidae
Megatotomus sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Alydidae
Megatotomus sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Alydidae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Blissidae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Coreidae
Acanthocephala femorata
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Coreidae
Leptoglossus gonagra
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Coreidae
Namacus annulicornis
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Coreidae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Corixidae
Micronecta ludibunda
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Cydninae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Gerridae
Limnogonus franciscanus
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Gerridae
Neogerris hesione
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Gerridae
Rheumatobates sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Hydrometridae
Hydrometra myrae
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Lygaeidae
Nysius sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Mesoveliidae
Mesovelia mulsanti
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Miridae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Miridae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Pentatomidae
Stiretrus anchorago
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Pentatomidae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Reduviidae
Phymata mystica
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Reduviidae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Rhyparochromidae
Ligyrocoris sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Rhyparochromidae
Pseudopachybrachius sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Scutelleridae
Sphyrocoris obliquus
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Thyreocoridae
Unknown
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Tingidae
Minitingis sp.
Heteroptera (Hemiptera)
Veliidae
Microvelia
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Acanaloniidae
Acanalonia pumila (Possibly)
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Acanaloniidae
Acanalonia servillei
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cercopidae
Prosapia bicincta
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cercopidae
Clastoptera xanthocephala
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Jikradia olitoria
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Gyponana tenella
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Hortensia similis
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Scaphytopius sp.
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Unknown Species
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Unknown Species
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Unknown Species
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Unknown Species
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadellidae
Unknown Species
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Cicadidae
Neocicada hieroglyphica var. johannis
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Derbidae
Cedusa sp.
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Derbidae
Cedusa sp.
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Derbidae
Omolicna sp.
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Flatidae
Flatoidinus punctatus
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Flatidae
Ormenaria rufifascia
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Flatidae
Unknown
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Membracidae
Cyrtolobus sp.
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Membracidae
Stictocephala lutea
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown
Unknown
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown Family, Superfamily Fulgoroidea
Unknown
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown Family, Superfamily Fulgoroidea
Unknown
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown Family, Superfamily Fulgoroidea
Unknown
Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown Family, Superfamily Fulgoroidea
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Aleyrodidae
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Aleyrodidae
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Aleyrodidae (Possibly)
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Aphididae
Unknowns
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Aphididae
Acyrthosiphon pisum ?
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Aphididae
Drepanaphis sp.
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Coccidae
Ceroplastes floridensis
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Coccidae
Toumeyella parvicornis
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Coccidae
Toumeyella liriodendri
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Coccidae
Unnamed Species
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Coccidae
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Dactylopiidae
Dactylopius coccus
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Diaspididae
Unaspis citri
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Diaspididae
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Eriococcidae
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Eriococcidae
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Kermesidae
Allokermes galliformis
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Kerridae
Paratachardina lobata lobata
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Unknown
Unknown
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Pseudococcidae
Nipaecoccus nipae
Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera)
Pseudococcidae
Planococcus sp.

 

Suborder Heteroptera (Hemiptera)

Family Alydidae

Hyalymenus longispinus ? ... Broad-Headed Bug

On December 8, 2014, this 15 mm long broad-headed bug was captured with a sweep net in the Christopher B. Smith Preserve's dry, seasonal marsh.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On March 17, 2016, the bug was identified as a member of Family Alydidae by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>.

Family Alydidae characteristics include: broad head similar in length and width to pronotum and scutellum, last antennal segments are elongated and curved, compound eyes are globular and protruding, ocelli are present, upperside of abdomen usually orange-red, scent glands produce stink, inhabit fairly arid and sandy habitats, main food is seeds.

Also on March 17, 2017, Yurika Alexander identified the bug as possibly Hyalymenus longispinus. She linked a photograph of that species to her identification. This specimen does resemble that photograph.

According to internet references, Hyalymenus longispinus is endemic to Florida. Adults are elongate, slender, depressed above, and subconvex beneath. Spines on the pronotum are long, and individuals have pleural white spots. Some nymphs are ant mimics and live in ant nests.

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Family Alydidae

Megatotomus sp. ... Broad-Headed Bug

 

Members of Family Alydidae have antennae with four segments. As seen in the first photograph, the outer width of the head at the eyes is about equal to the width of the pronotum. This adult Megatotomus sp. was crawling on Cassytha filiformis (Love Vine) in the Smith Preserve.

All of the broad-headed bugs shown in the photographs below were eating Crotalaria pallida var. obovata (Smooth Rattlebox). The next three photographs show nymphs, that resemble ants. Note the developing wingpads.

Adults (below) have fully-developed wings.

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Family Alydidae

Megatotomus sp. ... Broad-Headed Bug

T

This broad-headed nymph is an ant mimic of Camponotus floridanus(Florida Carpenter Ant). The adult form of this bug has not been photographed in the Smith Preserve.

The species may be Megalotomus quinquespinosus (The Lupine Bug), but more research is needed for verification.

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Family Alydidae

Unknown Species ... Broad-Headed Bug

On December 8, 2014, this 7 mm long broad-headed nymph was captured with a sweep net in the Smith Preserve's dry, seasonal marsh.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On March 17, 2016, the family was identified by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>.

This species resembles the species immediately above in its nymphal stage. Both are ant mimics of Camponotus floridanus (Florida Carpenter Ant).

One difference in the two species is that this one has black eyes, while the one above has red eyes. Also, the abdomen of this species seems to be more elongate that the species above.

According to <BugGuide.net>, there are 30 species in 13 genera in our area. Adults are 10 to 18 mm long. All eat plants, often the seeds of Fabaceae and grasses.

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Family Blissidae

Unknown Species ... Blissid Bug

On November 11, 2015, this 5 mm bug was observed on the pant leg of this webmaster as she was exiting the Smith Preserve.

These two photographs were taken and submitted to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology, for identification.

On November 16, 2015, Ken Wolgemuth, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, stated that it was probably a bug in Family Blissidae, but he'd still like expert confirmation.

Family Blissidae is comprised of nearly 50 genera and 435 species worldwide. There are four blissid genera in the United States. Adults are elongate and are typically at least 4 times as long as broad. All the species feed on plant sap, mostly of grasses, and most live between the sheaths of leaves. The size range is 3 to 15 mm.

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Family Coreidae

Acanthocephala femorata ... Florida Leaf-Footed Bug

On the morning of April 16, 2015, this 20 mm leaf-footed bug was spotted on Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed) that was growing just inside the eastern gopher tortoise fence of the Smith Preserve.

The insect species was identified by the web master and confirmed from the 1st and 3rd photographs on April 17, 2015 by Ross Hill, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Ross explained that this is a male. "Females have narrower femurs and spikes along the ventral edge that are similar in height."

The genus name, Acanthocephala means "spiny head" and describes the pointed tylus (the forward projecting lobe of the front of the head). The species name "femorata" refers to the swollen hind femurs on the male.

The body of the Florida Leaf-Footed Bug is reddish brown to almost black; antennae are curved with distinctive orange tips; lower rear legs are wider than the upper legs with serrations.

This bug is found in the continental United States and Mexico and is considered a pest because it eats and damages citrus and roses.

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Family Coreidae

Leptoglossus gonagra ... Passionvine Bug

The Passionvine Bug is an example of a leaf-footed bug. These bugs have a leaf-like expanded part of its hind legs. In addition to having this leg structure, the species shown here has an oval shape like other members of Family Coreidae. Forewings have many veins and antennae have 4 segments. Several coreid species are pests of agricultural crops.

On December 23, 2013, this individual was posed on a leaf of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed).

On April 20, 2014, Ken Wolgemuth, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, hosted by Iowa State Entomology Department, identified the species from these photographs as appearing "to be a faded Leptoglossus gonagra." He went on to explain..."but I'd feel safer with a second opinion." On February 21, 2017, "v belov", a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net> confirmed the identification.

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Family Coreidae

Namacus annulicornis ... Leaf-Footed Bug

This leaf-footed bug is 13 to 15 mm in length, slender. and elongate. Individuals have sides that are parallel.

The dorsal surface is a dull red color with many conspicuous dark punctures. The eyes, ventral surface, and legs are red. Antennae are dark brown, with contrasting lighter colors on some segments.

The only known host of Namacus annulicornis is Thalia geniculata (Alligator Flag.) Females lay eggs end to end along the flower stems; when nymphs hatch from the eggs, they feed on the flowering parts. As shown in these photographs, this adult was resting on the bract of an alligator flag flower in the filter pond. The species was identified from these photographs by Ken Wolgemuth, Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net> (sponsored by Iowa Department of Entomology) on November 12, 2014.

This species is found in Mexico and Florida.

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Family Coreidae

Unknown Species ... Leaf-Footed Bug

These photographs show leaf-footed bug nymphs. These bugs often gather in large groups, as these did on a thistle in the Smith Preserve.

World-wide, there are more than 1,800 species in over 250 genera of leaf-footed bugs.

Depending on the species, adult leaf-footed bugs are 7 to 45 mm long. They have 4-segmented antennae, ocelli, and a forewing membrane with 15 to 20 parallel veins. Some species have their hind tibiae flattened and expanded into leaf-like structures, which may function in camouflage or courtship. Leaf-footed bugs have stink glands for defense. All eat plants. Some leaf-footed bugs, like the ones in these photographs, have many sharp spiny structures.

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Family Corixidae

Micronecta ludibunda ... Water Boatman

This very flattened, 2 mm-long Corixid nymph was captured in a netted sample taken in the marsh in the Smith Preserve on January 11, 2017 by Leif Johnson, a Conservancy of SW Florida scientist.

A possible species identification was made by the web master, using Identification Manual for the Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Heteroptera of Florida by J. H. Epler, 3.14.

These photographs (Image 1: Dorso-lateral; Image 2: Ventral) were created using photomicroscopy and sent for species confirmation to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. On February 22, 2017, the species was confirmed by J.H. Epler, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net> and the author of the referenced manual above. Epler stated, "most likely Micronecta ludibunda."

Corixids are very small to medium-sized bugs that swim beneath the water surface. Antennae are short and cannot be seen from a dorsal view. The beak is triangular, short, and unsegmented. Fore tarsus have one scoop-like segment called a "pala". The pala is lined with stiff setae (hairs) on the inner side; the distal abdominal segments of the male are asymmetrical. (Distal refers to being situated away from the center of the body or the point of attachment.)

Family Corixidae is the largest family of aquatic insects; nine genera (2 introduced) are found in Florida. All feed on plants.

The species Micronecta ludibunda is characterized by having: 1) an elliptical to subquadrate pronotum 2) an exposed scutellum 3) in adults the hemelytra is marked with longitudinal stripes and is rounded posteriorly. (Note: This specimen is a nymph and does not have a developed hemelytra (aka forewing).) Micronecta ludibunda are typically small, ranging from 1.9 to 2.2 mm.

The species was probably introduced to the United States from the Orient and SE Asia via aquarium plant trade.

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Family Cydnidae

Unknown Species ... Burrowing Bug

On November 17, 2015, a 2.75 mm nymph was captured in a pitfall trap placed under a Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak) just north of Smith Preserve Way in the Smith Preserve. Photographs, created using photomicroscopy, were submitted to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology, for identification. The first image is a dorsal view; the second is a ventral view.

On November 25, 2015, the insect was identified as possibly a Cydninae nymph by Yurika Alexander, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. The webmaster of this website agrees that this insect certainly looks like other images posted on the internet and in reference books.

Note the sharp spines on all of the legs. This seems to be a distinctive characteristic of this family. Another characteristic of the family is that members resemble small versions of stink bugs..

As the common name indicates, members of this family are mostly subterranean and suck sap from plant roots. However they often surface and are attracted to lights at night. There are 28 species known in North America.

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Family Gerridae

Limnogonus franciscanus ... Water Strider

On January 11, 2017, the 3.5 mm-long water strider nymph shown below was captured with a net in the marsh of the Smith Preserve by Leif Johnson, Conservancy of SW Florida scientist.( Note: the body length does not include the length of its legs.)

These photographs (2 dorsal views in different light and 1 ventral view) were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. On January 28, 2017, the species was identified by Brady Richards, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>. His comment, "I've been waiting to see this species. Thanks for sharing."

In the same netted sample, the adult below was also captured. It is 6 mm long. This individual was identified by the webmaster, using the Identification Manual for the Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Heteroptera of Florida by J. H. Epler, 5.13. These images were sent for verification of the identification to <BugGuide.net>. Confirmation was made by Bradly Richards on January 28, 2017.

Genus Limnogonus characteristics include: 1) Dorsal inner margins of the eyes sinuate. (Sinuate means the margin is wavy or sinuous; with alternate rounded notches and lobes). 2) Pronotum shiny, with a dorsal pair of yellow-orange stripes.

In general, Family Gerridae species are very small to moderately large and dwell at the surface of water bodies. The antennae are visible from above. Tarsal claws are preapical, which means they are found before the end of the tarsus. The femora of the hind legs extend well beyond the apex (end) of the abdomen.

The Genus Limnogonus is found mostly in the tropics, but Limnogonus franciscanus is found in Florida and Texas. The typical length is 7-9 mm.

 

 

Family Gerridae

Neogerris hesione ... Water Strider

Family Gerridae has several characteristics that help distinguish it from other families of heteropteans. Species have: 1) 4-segmented antenna; 2) no ocelli (simple eyes); 3) short front legs (see photograph 1); 4) long and slender middle and hind legs with the middle leg originating closer to the hind leg than to the front leg (see photograph 1); 5) a body covered by short, soft, water-repelling hairs; and 6) the ability to skate, glide, and dart on top of water surfaces. Gerrids may or not have wings.

There are over 1,700 species of gerrids. All are inhabitants of standing and flowing water. Some species are marine, but 90%, like Neogerris hesione live in freshwater ponds, river, or lakes.

Hairs on the legs have grooves that trap air, increasing buoyancy and water resistance. An air cushion between a water strider's feet and the water surface creates stability and helps the insect maintain balance.

Middle and hind legs are used for locomotion.

As shown in photograph 2, front legs have claws that are preapical (not at the end of the legs). Because of the claw location, claws do not break the surface tension of the water. The front legs have at least three functions for the water strider: 1) claws are used to puncture prey; 2) sense organs on the legs detect ripples produced by struggling prey; 3) muscles push the water surface, creating ripples to define its territory. Even though individuals make their presence known through repel, ripple signals, they often live in large groups.

The water striders shown in these photographs, captured in a dipnet sample of pond water at the Christopher B. Smith Preserve on November 20, 2013, were identified using Identification Manual for the Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Heteroptera of Florida. Epler, J.H.; 2006.

There are 9 genera of water striders in Florida. Genus Neogerris is unique in the shape of the eye margin, the long and relatively narrow body shape, a shiny pronotum, and a central yellow-orange spot on the pronotum (see photograph 3). Nerogerris hesione is the only member of the genus in the Eastern United States. It is 4.5 to 8 mm long.

Water striders are both predators and scavengers, eating tadpoles, mosquito larvae, eggs, and dead insects. Once food is found, the water strider uses its beak (shown in photograph 4) to pierce the prey and inject digestive juices that dissolve and liquefy internal organs. It then sucks out nourishment.

Water striders are prey for birds, fish, frogs, and insects.

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Family Gerridae

Rheumatobates sp. ... Water Strider

On January 11, 2017, two ~1.5 BL water strider nymphs were captured in a net in the Smith Preserve Marsh by Leif Johnson, a Conservancy of SW Florida scientist. (Note: BL = Body length without antennae and legs).

Photographs were created using photomicrosopy. The first four photographs are of the first specimen. Views are as follows: Image 1- dorsal; Image 2 - ventral ; Image 3 - close-up of body without legs; Image 4 close-up of eyes and antennae.

The genus was identified by the webmaster, using the online key titled Identification Manual for the Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Heteroptera of Florida by J. H. Epler. Confirmation of the genus was made by Dr. Jeff Schmid, a Conservancy of SW Florida scientist.

As shown in the photograph at right, Rheumatobates spp. are known to have the third antennal segment with several large bristles that are at least as long as the width of the antennal segment. The first antennal segment length is much less than the combined length of the remaining segments. The abdomen is as long as the rest of the body. Males often have complexly modified antennae and strongly arched hind femora. The female has a large serrated ovipositor.

The next three photographs are of the second specimen. Views are as follows: Image 1- dorsal view; Image 2 - ventral view; Image 3 - close-up of eyes and antennae.

Please note: The antennae of both individuals fit the description above for the genus. The abdomen lengths do not fit the description. However, these are both nymphs and not fully developed.

According to Epler's document, there are seven species of Rheumatobates recorded in Florida. Some of the smallest gerrids in North America belong to this genus.

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Family Hydrometridae

Hydrometra myrae ... Water-Measurer

There are seven Hydrometra species in the United States. The individuals shown in these photographs were captured in a dipnet sample at the Christopher B. Smith Preserve on November 20, 2013.

By using the document "Taxonomic and Distributional Notes on Hydrometridae of Florida (Hemiptera), Herring, Jon L., Florida Entomologist, Vol. 31, No. 4, (December 1948), these water-measurers were identified as Hydrometra myrae, the most common Hydrometra species in Florida.

Hydrometra myrae has three characteristics that separate it from the rest of the species: 1) photograph two shows it has two pits on the acetabula (cavities in which the front and middle legs are inserted), 2) photograph three shows the 2nd antennal segment is 2.5 or more times the length of segment one, and 3) there are exaggerated outlines of the terminal segments of the abdomen.

Water-measurers stand on stilt-like legs, that are sensitive to vibrations of the water's surface.

They are both predators and scavengers. They typically sit hidden near water borders and slowly walk along the land and water surface with their stabbing mouth tube folded under the body (see photograph 4). When an individual spots prey, it turns its "beak" from its horizontal resting position to a vertical position and thrusts it forward. Prey include small crustaceans (water-fleas) and insects (midges and mosquitoes) that live in the water, and small insects that fall into the water.

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Family Lygaeidae

Nysius sp. ... False Chinch Bug

All members of Family Lygaeidae (Seed Bugs) are small (most less than 10 mm long), have four-segmented antennae, ocelli, and wing membranes with four or five parallel veins. There are 115 species of seed bugs in Florida.

The genus Nysius contains approximately 106 species throughout the world. Like other seed bugs, there are some species of Nysius that are crop pests of wheat and other grains, and vegetables.

This nymph was crawling in quartz sand adjacent to biological soil crust in the scrub of the Smith Preserve.

 

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Family Mesoveliidae

Mesovelia mulsanti ... Mulsant's Water Treader

On January 11, 2017, this 3 mm-long water treader was captured in a netted sample obtained by Leif Johnson, a Conservancy of SW Florida scientist, at the Smith Preserve marsh. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>. On January 29, 2017, the family and genus names were confirmed by Brady Richards, a contributing editor to <BugGuide.net>.

Members of Mesoveliidae have the following characteristics: They are elongate and live on the water's surface, where they walk and run. Their antennae have 4 segments and are longer than the head. There are both winged and unwinged individuals. [Note: this individual is wingless.] Winged forms have ocelli, wingless forms lack ocelli. All legs of adults have 3-segmented tarsi. The head is without a deep ventral channel for reception of the beak.

Mesovelia is the only genus in North America north of Mexico. Wingless adults are more common than winged adults in this genus. Species of this genus feed on dead and injured arthropods and are known to be cannibalistic. There are three species in Florida.

On January 30, 2017, the species was identified by the webmaster using J.H. Epler's Identification Manual for the Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Heteroptera of Florida, 8.3.

Mesovelia mulsanti is 3 to 4 mm in length, the most common species of the genus in Florida, and usually lives in still water. As shown in the photograph at left, the species is recognizable because both the fore and mid femora have a posterior row of dark spines.

Shown below, and collected in the same net sample as the specimen above, was another wingless individual. This one was 2.25 mm long. It's identification was made by the webmaster using Epler's key. Confirmation of the identification came from Brady Richards on January 29, 2017.

The first two photographs show the dorsal view, while the third and fourth are of the ventral view. Note the spines on the mid femora.

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Family Miridae

Unknown Species ... Plant Bug

Worldwide, there are 10,000 species in Family Miridae. This number makes Family Miridae the largest family in the Suborder Heteroptera, and includes1/3 of all known Heteropteran species. There are 1800 species in the United States.

As shown in these photographs of a plant bug on Balduina angustifolia (Coastalplain Honeycombhead / Yellow Buttons), the wingtips tilt down at an angle when viewed in profile. This angle is created by the structure of a plant bug's wings. Additional characteristics of a plant bug include antennae with four segments and the absence of ocelli. The membranous portion of the forewing has 1 to 2 closed cells at the base and no other veins.

As can be inferred from its common name "plant bug", most members of Family Miridae feed on plants, but some are scavengers, some are predators, and many feed on both plants and insects. Many are considered pests to crops, while others are beneficial because they are predators of insect eggs, lace bugs, and thrips, which damage plants.

 

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Family Miridae

Unknown Species ... Plant Bug

This unknown plant bug was photographed on Ludwigia peruviana (Peruvian Primrose Willow). The first photograph shows the distinctive structure that all members of the family have, a cuncus present on the corium.

The corium is the part of the forewing lying between the clavus and the membrane, visible when the insect is at rest.

The cuneus is a small triangular area on the corium. This structure causes the wingtip to be reflexed downward.

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Family Pentatomidae

Stiretrus archorago ... Anchor Stink Bug

This stink bug was photographed in the Smith Preserve on March 11, 2015. On March 27, 2015, it was identified from these photographs by Ross Hill, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Stiretrus archorago can be recognized by the reddish- orange anchor-like pattern on its dorsal surface, seen in the first and third photographs. The pattern is easy to see on this specimen, but it can be highly variable on many specimens.

The anchor stink bug is 7 to 9 mm long, and it is a predaceous stink bug; adults eat the larvae of beetles, butterflies, and moths.

The life cycle begins with eggs that take about 7 days to hatch, followed by 5 instars that take 25 to 35 days.

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Family Pentatomidae

Unknown ... Stink Bug

Stink bugs have 5-segmented antennae and ocelli (plural for ocelllus). The photograph at left shows the location of an ocellus.

Family Pentatomidae are shield-shaped or broadly oval. They have a large triangular scutellum and the dorsum is relatively flat. The body is often covered with small depressions. Some species have spines at the edges of the pronotum.

The stink bug eggs shown here were on a Sabal palmetto (Cabbage Palm) leaf. They may be a different species from the species shown in the remaining photographs.

Photographs one and three through five are stink bugs on Crotalaria pallida var. obovata (Smooth Rattlebox).

Photograph three shows two nymphs. The remaining photographs show adults. Both the brown and green color forms are believed to be the same species and may be Thyanta acerra (aka. Thyanta pallidovirens). Known as the red-shouldered stink bug, this species is a relatively rare stink bug that occurs in both green and brown forms. The green is more common in the summer and the brown in the fall. The brown form is covered with black dots. Green forms are smaller than other green stink bugs. The stink bugs in these photographs were observed in March in the Smith Preserve.

Note the bright red spines on the pronotum that give this stink bug its common name, red-shouldered stink bug.

Adults and nymphs of plant-feeding species, like these, are capable of injuring plants. Damage is caused when they insert their piercing-sucking mouthparts into the plant, inject digestive enzymes,and extract plant juices. Pathogenic microorganisms enter the host plant during the feeding process.

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Family Reduviidae

Phymata mystica ... Ambush Bug

As seen in these photographs, ambush bugs are well-camouflaged by both their shape and color. These predatory bugs wait motionless on plants for prey that gets too close.

Prey for ambush bugs include flies, bees, wasps, and moths attracted to flowers. As shown in the first and second photographs, the front legs are raptorial with the front femora greatly thickened. After capturing prey with their claws, they use the three-segmented beak to inject digestive enzymes and siphon out the resulting fluids.

 

As shown in the third photograph, an ambush bug's antennae have four segments and are clubbed. Two ocelli are present, one on each side of the head above the compound eyes.

As is shown in this photograph, when observed from above, the abdomen extends laterally beyond the wings. The wing membrane has parallel branching veins extending to the margin.

All of these photographs were taken of the same individual in March 2012 at the Smith Preserve.

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Family Reduviidae

Unknown ... Assassin Bug

Reduviidae is the second largest family in Suborder Heteroptera. There are 184 species in 49 genera found north of Mexico. The 65 species that live in Florida have diverse colors and forms, but have some structures in common.

As shown in the first photograph, every assassin bug has a long and narrow head, constricted behind the eyes, which gives it the appearance of having a neck. It has both compound eyes and ocelli, and it has a transverse suture between the compound eyes.

The antennae are 4-segmented, long, thin, and unclubbed.

As shown in the second photograph, all Florida assassin bugs have curved, 3-segmented beaks. When not in use, the beak fits into a groove between the two front legs. The beak is used to stab and inject venom into prey. Venom paralyzes the prey. Care should be taken when handling these insects because many species can inflict a painful bite to humans.

Some assassin bugs, like the one in these photographs, have enlarged forelegs which help in catching prey.

All of these photographs are of a single individual in the nymphal stage. Note the wing pads in the third photograph.

Most assassin bugs are found waiting on flowers or the tips of leafy plants for prey (other arthropods) to wander by. Others hide on trees under loose bark or on tall grasses. The individual in these photographs was waiting patiently on Eupatorium capillifolium (Dog Fennel).

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Family Rhyparochromidae

Ligyrocoris sp. ... Dirt-Colored Seed Bug

On January 23, 2017, this 5.75 mm long bug was living in leaf litter beneath a Psychotria nervosa (Shinyleaf Wild Coffee) bush and a Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak) tree in the eastern section of the Smith Preserve, just south of the marsh.

The bug was isolated from the litter with a Berlese funnel, photographs were prepared using photomicroscopy, and the photographs were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On February 16, 2017, the family was identified by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>.

According to <BugGuide.net>, there are 170 species in 60 genera in our area and 1,900 species in 370 genera worldwide.

In fitting with other members of the family, this particular individual is small, brown, and mottled. The fore femora are enlarged, as can be seen in the third photograph.

 

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Family Rhyparochromidae

Pseudopachybrachius sp. ... Dirt-Colored Seed Bug

This 4 mm long bug was caught in a sweep net in the dry marsh in November 2012. Photographs were prepared using photomicroscopy.

On February 1, 2015, the bug was identified by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

"v belov" said he based his identification on the "hemelytral pattern and overall looks." He said it may be Pseudopachybrachius vinctus, but typically that species has pale legs.

The name of the family, Rhyparochromidae comes from the Greek words rhyparos, meaning "dirt", and chromus, meaning "color." Members of the family have enlarged fore femora, are small, and mottled in shades of brown.

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Family Scutelleridae

Sphyrocoris obliquus ... Shield-Backed Bug / Jewel Bug

On December 30, 2015, this 7 mm long bug was captured with a sweep net in low, dry vegetation growing along the East fence just South of Smith Preserve Way. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On January 15, 2016, the individual was identified as a shield-backed bug by John and Jane Balaban, Contributing Editors of <BugGuide.net>.

Shield-backed bugs get their common name from the enlargement of the scutellum (the last section of their thorax) that forms a continuous shield over the abdomen and wings. Under the scutellum are four membranous wings. The head of a shield-backed bug is triangular, antennae have three to five segments, and like all heteropterans they have a segmented rostrum (beak-like mouthpart.) This long rostrum can be seen in the ventral view (2nd photograph) above.

Shield-backed bugs feed on plant juices. While feeding, they inject enzymes from their saliva into the plants. This digests plant matter and changes it into a liquid form which the bug then sucks up.

Many shield-backed bugs are brightly colored, thus the second common name for the species, "jewel bugs." There are ~450 species worldwide.

On June 28, 2016, the species was identified by J. E. Eger, a research scientist at Dow AgroScience in Tampa, Florida. According to <BugGuide.net>, Bidens seems to be the preferred host, but it will eat a wide variety of plants.

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Family Thyreocoridae

Unknown Species ... Ebony Bug / Negro Bug

On December 30, 2015, this 2.25 mm long ebony bug was captured in a sweep net in low, dry vegetation along the eastern gopher tortoise fence just South of Smith Preserve Way. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

Ebony bugs are black, broad and oval, and have a convex shape. The large scutellum covers most of the abdomen and wings, as can be seen in the lateral view of this individual shown below.

Ebony bugs have 5-segmented antennae and a 4-jointed beak. they feed on flowers and developing seeds. Females attach their eggs to plants with a sticky substance.

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Family Tingidae

Minitingis sp. ... Lace Bug

On December 29, 2014, this 2 mm long lace bug was living in pine needle litter beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve. It was separated from the litter using a Berlese Funnel. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy.

On February 25, 2015, the family name was confirmed from image 1 by "v belov", Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

On February 26, 2015 , Dr. Laura T. Miller, identified the Subfamily as Cantacaderinae. Dr. Miller is a Contributor to <Bugguide.net> and the curator and taxonomic entomologist of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture insect collection.

This specimen is the first species to be documented for Subfamily Cantacaderinae on the <BugGuide.net> website. This individual is the only example of the subfamily to ever be recorded in our area. Worldwide, there are ~ 40 genera and ~ 150 species. Subfamily Cantacaderinae is primarily tropical.

On March 4, 2014, Dr. Miller identified the genus as Minitingis. Additional photographs (Images 2-4) were taken by this webmaster and sent to <BugGuide.net> Dr. Miller is analyzing these images to determine the species name.

Lace bugs get their common name from the lace-like appearance of the pronotum and forewings.

Most lace bugs are host-specific, and can be very destructive. Most feed on the underside of leaves, sucking sap. This one must have fallen from the leaf of a nearby tree that was growing near the pine.

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Family Veliidae

Microvelia sp. ... Small Water Strider

All members of Family Veliidae are called "small water striders." Characteristics of the family include: 5 mm or less in length, 4-segmented antennae, no ocelli, thorax wider than abdomen, and front tarsal cleft with claws arising before the tips (as shown in the second photograph).

Because Microvelia spp. are so small, most members of the genus have not been given common names. The 1.5 mm long Microvelia sp. shown in these photographs were captured with a dipnet along the edge of the Christopher B. Smith Preserve pond on November 20, 2013.

As can be seen in the third photograph, the surface of the eyes of Microvelia sp. is granulate (rough and grainy).

Legs are bent backwards. All legs are about the same length and alternate in movement as the bug moves quickly over the water surface. They often swim in large numbers on the water surface near the edges of a water body.

Females lay eggs in rows on floating plants.

Adults have wings and can fly to new locations.

All Microvelia spp. are aggressive hunters. They use their sharp sucking snouts to pierce prey (see photograph 1). Prey include springtails, waterfleas, and other small invertebrates.

 

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Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera)

 

Family Acanaloniidae

Acanalonia pumila (Possibly) ... Planthopper

On January 26, 2016, this 4.3 mm long planthopper was captured in a sweep net used to sample invertebrates living on Ceratiola ericoides (Florida Rosemary) plants, that were growing in clumps in the middle of the Smith Preserve.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

As can be seen in these photographs, the veins of its wings look like the veins in a dry leaf. The second image, a ventral one, shows its beak tucked between its front legs. When getting ready to fly, this individual gets a take-off boost from its powerful hind jumping legs.

There are 220 species of planthoppers found in Florida.

On April 7, 2017, the family was identified by Kyle Kittelberger, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>.

Various hemipterists have been working on this bug's identity. One suggestion by Susan Halbert at the Florida State Collection of Arthropods is that it is Acanalonia pumila. This species is found from North Carolina to Florida and Bermuda. Hosts include Borrichia arborescens (Asteraceae); Argusia gnaphalodes (Boraginaceae); Batis maritima (Bataceae); Salicornia depressa & Suaeda linearis (Chenopodiaceae). To date, these plant species have not been found in the Smith Preserve.

The species identity of this planthopper is yet to be confirmed.

 

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Family Acanaloniidae

Acanalonia servillei ... (No Common Name) Planthopper

The insect shown in these photographs, taken April 28, 2014, was misidentified by the photographer as a woolly aphid. The correct identification as a planthopper nymph was made from these photographs on April 29, 2014 by Ken Wolgemuth, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology Department.

There are 63 species in this genus of planthopper according to Rebecca Freund and Stephen W. Wilson, authors of "The planthopper genus Acanalonia in the United States (Homoptera: Issidae): male and female genitalic morphology", INSECTA MUNDI, Vol. 9, no. 3-4, September-December 1995.

The name planthopper refers to the resemblance of the adult insect to leaves. All are plant-feeders. Nymphs of many planthoppers, like this species, have glands that produce wax. The white wisps of material covering most of this nymph is wax.

On April 7, 2017, the species was identified by Kyle Kittelberger, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. He stated, "A. servillei nymph...tentative, but color pattern matches." According to <BugGuide.net>, this species is mostly a species of Gulf and southern Atlantic coast states. It host plant is Capparis comosa (Caper Bush). To date, this flowering perennial plant has not been seen at the Smith Preserve.

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Family Cercopidae

Prosapia bicincta ... Two-Lined Spittlebug

As shown in the first two photographs, Family Cercopidae are most easily recognized by the froth of bubbles they produce on vegetation. Nymphs create these bubbles to hide inside, and the spittle prevents the nymph from drying out.

Each nymph creates its ball of protective froth by producing wax that it dissolves to form a waxy soap. It draws air into the tip of its abdomen, dips the abdomen into the soap, and blows a cluster of hundreds of tiny bubbles.

All spittlebugs are sap-sucking insects that resemble leafhoppers in the way they hold their wings over their backs. In Florida, the two-lined spittlebug is common in the southern part of the state. This species has two generations/year and overwinters in the egg stage. The two photographs below show a young nymph that was removed from its bubbles on the leaf of Ludwigia decurrens (Winged-Primrose / Willow Primrose.) Note its creamy-yellow color.

A young adult, shown in the next two photographs, has light brown coloration, orange stripes, and wings. This adult is 10 mm long.

As an adult ages, it will become dark brown to black, and retain the two vivid red-orange lines along the forewings and its reddish-brown eyes. It will leave behind its bubbles, become most active in early morning, and hide near the soil's surface during the heat of the day. Adults produce an unpleasant smell, and their red and black coloration is probably a warning that they are inedible.

Two-lined spittlebugs are often found living on a variety of grasses, as were the adults above. Adults rather than nymphs cause visible damage to the grass. This species is considered the most important pest to improved pasture grasses throughout the Southeast.

Interestingly, some wasps have learned to recognize that inside spittle are nymphs, which they remove from the spittle and consume.

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Family Cercopidae

Clastoptera xanthocephala ... Sunflower Spittlebug

The following photographs are of an adult sunflower spittlebug. The tiny size of this insect, 2-3 mm, becomes apparent when it is compared to the size of the plant hairs on the stem of its host plant in the Christopher B. Smith Preserve, Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed). As with other spittlebugs, the nymph and pupal stages of this individual would have been surrounded by bubbles.

In addition to ragweed, this insect's host plants include other members of Family Asteraceae (The Aster, Daisy, and SunflowerFamily).

 

 

 

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Family Cicadellidae

Jikradia olitoria ... Leafhopper

There are about 3,000 described species of leafhoppers in North America; several hundred of these are in Florida. As can be seen in this photograph, Family Cicadellidae can be identified by a fringe of bristles on the hind legs.

Some leafhoppers sing, producing the sound with special vibrating tymbals (corrugated exoskeletal structures). Sound travels through the plant tissue to alert other leafhoppers they are there.

Leafhoppers feed by sucking the contents of plants with their straw-like beaks. Some species are very specific to a particular host plant or even to the type of tissue in the host plant (stem, leaf); other species are general feeders.

In the process of feeding, some leafhoppers cause local discoloration of leaves called "hopperburn," and some transmit viruses among plants. This species is vector of the virus that causes strawberry pallidosis. Leaves of the plant turn purple to red in color, plants are stunted, there is reduced fruit production, and roots are brittle. In addition, some hoppers destroy plant tissue when they insert eggs with their sharp ovipositors.

In general, members of the Family Cicadellidae have a slender, tapered shape. Their forewings are narrow and held over the back. They are active, and can scoot sideways and backward, and jump.

This female leafhopper was photographed in the Christopher B. Smith Preserve on March 19, 2012. In a website, Hemipterans of North Carolina: Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, and Planthoppers, it is noted that females have dark wing venation and pale wing spots. This photograph was sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On October 4, 2017, Kyle Kittelberger, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net> identified this specimen as Jikradia olitoria. On October 9, 2017, Kittelberger posted, "This species is somewhat of a slight taxonomic nightmare. The status of the subspecies and various synonyms under J. olitoria has fluctuated greatly over the past several decades. Recently Nielson et al. (2014) reinstated floridana as a distinct species separate from olitoria, but it is not clear why this is the case and what characteristics he used to separate the two species. C. Dietrich notes that males and females differ in coloration in the genus and there seems to be a great deal of variation in color pattern within one sex. Nielson (1979) showed that all the different color forms, originally thought to represent different species, instead were all the same species with the same male genitalia. Therefore, it seems that until a proper revision of the genus is published, everything should be placed under J. olitoria, and we can for now refer to J. olitoria as a species with a great deal of variation in both color and pattern (and therefore it is not worth trying to separate to subspecies due to the variation).

Below and right are images of another Jikradia olitoriais individual that was photographed in the preserve. It is about 6 to 8 mm in length. As can be seen in these photographs, this specimen is a well-camouflaged beige color, and also appears to be a female. Note: Its wings reach beyond the tip of its abdomen, while the wings of the one shown above do not reach that distance. The other obvious difference is the color.

 

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Family Cicadellidae

Gyponana tenella. ... Leafhopper

On March 6, 2012, this adult green leafhopper was on a Hibiscus coccineus (Scarlet Hibiscus) leaf on a plant growing near the pond at the Smith Preserve.

On February 15, 2015, it was identified from this photograph by Even Dankowicz as "probably Gyponana." Kandowicz is a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Forty-nine species of Gyponana live in America north of Mexico. On average, females are 1 mm longer than males. There are two species of Gyponana that are vectors of plant viruses: Gyponana striata and Gyponana lamina.

On October 18, 2017, the identity of the species was confirmed as Gyponana tenella by Kyle Kittelberger, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. According to <BugGuide.net>, this species is 8 mm or larger in length and has simplified wing venation with very few extra cross veins. Its range is the United States to Costa Rica.

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Family Cicadellidae

Hortensia similis ... Common Green Leafhopper

On December 30, 2015, this adult 4.5 mm long leafhopper was captured in a sweep net sample taken in low brush growing adjacent to the eastern fence of the Smith Preserve north of Smith Preserve way.

As can be seen in these photographs, this green leafhopper has a distinctive pattern of black dots and lines on top of it head, black markings on the anterior half of the pronotum, and several small black dots and lines on the triangular scutellum. There are several longitudinal lines running along the length of the forewing, and there is a band of clear cells at the apex of the forewing. The frontal part of the pronotum, abdomen, and legs have a yellowish color.

The species ranges from Florida to the northern half of South America. Habitat includes vegetation surrounding sugar cane plantations, citrus orchards, and commercial bean fields. Individuals may damage citrus trees and are a vector of a virus of rice in Central and South America, causing yellow leaves, stunted growth, and sterile flowers in rice.

The species is host for wasps and individuals can be parasitized during the egg stage. The species also serves as a food source for other organisms such as lizards.

On December 4, 2017, the individual below was photographed as it rested on a branch in the oak hammock in the northeast quadrant of the Smith Preserve. On December 7, 2017, it was identified by Kyle Kittelberger, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>.

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Family Cicadellidae

Scaphytopius sp. ... Sharp-Nosed Leafhopper

On December 30, 2015, this 5 mm long leafhopper nymph was captured in a sweep net sample taken in low brush growing along the eastern fence just north of Smith Preserve Way. These photographic images were prepared using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

On January 7, 2016, the genus was identified by Yurika Alexander, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. On January 9, 2016 that identification was confirmed by Kyle Kittelberger, another Contributor.

In the same sweep net sample, the 4.24 mm long adult leafhopper shown below was captured. As with the other individual, photographic images were prepared and sent for identification.

On January 9, 2016, this individual was identified by Kyle Kittelberger as an adult Scaphytopius sp. [Note: it might not be the same species, but it is the same genus.] Below are images of the dorsal, ventral, and lateral views of this specimen.

Worldwide, there are ~180 species in this genus.

According to Entomology Circular No 204, Fla. Dept. Agric. and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry, July 1979, distinguishing characteristics of the genus include: "broadly expanded genae (cheeks) that extend dorsally behind the compound eyes, and a flat, triangular crown that is always narrower than the pronotum." "The anterior edge of the forewing has numerous recurved veinlets most of which are only pigmented lines." All adults "are heavily spotted (irrorate) with dull olive, brown, or black." Just below the ocelli of species with white or yellow faces there is usually a V-shaped marking called the sharksmouth."

"Neither color nor external morphology are adequate for species determinations; internal genitalia of males provide the only useful series of characteristics for such identification."

Images below show the dorsal and lateral views of the head showing structures described above.

Hosts of Cytophagous spp., are usually dicots, including oaks; many are vectors of plant diseases.

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Family Cicadellidae

Unknown Species ... Leafhopper

This adult 7 mm female leafhopper was trapped in a yellow bowl trap that had been placed beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) on April 16, 2015.

These photographs were sent to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. John S. Ascher, Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>, identified the family on August 6, 2015. Identification of the species is to be determined.

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Family Cicadellidae

Unknown Species ... Leafhopper

This adult 8.25 mm female leafhopper was trapped in a yellow bowl trap that had been placed beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) on April 16, 2015.

These photographs (lateral, dorsal, and ventral) were sent to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Hopefully, someone at <BugGuide.net> will be able to identify the species.

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Family Cicadellidae

Unknown Species ... Leafhopper

On January 16, 2016, this adult 2.75 mm long lemon-yellow leafhopper adult with blue eyes was captured with a sweep net. At the time, the leafhopper was perched on a Ceratola ericoides (Florida Rosemary) bush in the middle of the Christopher B. Smith Preserve.

Photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>. On February 23, 2016, the Subfamily Tryplocybinae was identified by Kyle Kittelberger, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. He gave little hope that the species could be identified.

Based on the number of described species, Tryplocybinae is currently the second largest leafhopper subfamily. Approximately 6000 species in about 330 genera have been described so far, and many more are yet to be described.

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Family Cicadellidae

Unknown Species ... Leafhopper

On December 30, 2015, this adult 4 mm long leafhopper was caught in a sweep net sampled in a bramble of Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine Grape) vines in the northeast quadrant of the Smith Preserve, north of Smith Preserve Way.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On March 26, 2016, the family was confirmed by John S. Ascher, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>. As can be seen in these photographs, the front of the head of this particular species is pointed.

Leafhoppers lay their eggs in plant stems. Nymphs and adults feed on sap of above ground stems or leaves of plants. Some are host specific, others are not.

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Family Cicadellidae

Unknown Species ... Leafhopper

On December 30, 2015, this 3 mm long adult leafhopper was captured with a sweep net in grasses growing on the south side of the Smith Preserve Pond.

The ventral image (left) and the lateral images (above and below) were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. To date, the species has not been identified.

The overall color of this leafhopper is brown with yellow-brown stripes on the abdomen and white and rust colored stripes on the head. The wings are transparent with a leopard spot-like pattern. The earth tone colors and patterns camouflage this small leafhopper in its surroundings.

On September 10, 2017, the specimen was identified by Kyle Kittelberger, a <BugGuide.net> Contributing Editor, as belonging to Subfamily Deltocephalinae, Tribe Deltocephalini. Within this tribe, there are ~570 species in ~70 genera worldwide. Members of this tribe feed on grasses and sedges. Several species are vectors of pathogens of corn, rice, and wheat.

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Family Cicadidae

Neocicada hieroglyphica var. johannis ... Hieroglyphic Cicada

This male cicada was heard before being seen and photographed on a Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) tree on June 22, 2015 in the Smith Preserve.

On June 25, 2015, it was identified by Bill Reynolds, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

This species is common in Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and southern Maryland south to Florida. Florida populations usually have less black pigmentation than populations living in other states.

Although this individual was not measured, according to <BugGuide.net>, the size of the species is approximately 32 mm from the head to the tip of its folded wings.

According to an online source "Cicadas of Florida," of the 19 species known in Florida, this is the first species to be heard in spring. The song resembles a model airplane warming up its engine. The sound is made using paired drum-like structures on the sides of the basal abdominal segments, called timbals. Only males have timbals. Most timbal-created sounds are species-specific songs used to attract females.

Adults live in trees (usually oaks) and are strong fliers. Females lay eggs into woody tissues of small branches. Once eggs hatch, the tiny nymphs fall to the ground and burrow to find rootlets upon which to feed. As with other cicadas, nymphs feed on xylem sap in rootlets. A nymph molts four times underground. Then it climbs out of the ground, anchors itself with its tarsal claws to a tree, and molts the fifth time to become an adult.

Adults feed on tree xylem 24 hours a day, and live only a few weeks. Cicadas provide food for birds, small mammals and other insects.

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Family Derbidae

Cedusa sp. ... Derbid Planthopper

This 1.5 mm insect was caught in a sweep net sample obtained in the dry, grassy marsh at the Smith Preserve on December 8, 2014.

It was confirmed on December 12, 2014 to be a member of Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Free-Living Hemipterans) by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

On May 13, 2015, the species was identified by John Ascher, another Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>.

According to <BugGuide.net>, there are 33 species of Cedusa in our area and 180 worldwide. Nymphs feed on fungi that develop in leaf litter.

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Family Derbidae

Cedusa sp. ... Derbid Planthopper

On December 8, 2014, this 3.5 mm long planthopper was captured in a sweep net in the Smith Preserve's dry, seasonal marsh.

These two photographs (1st: dorsal view, 2nd: lateral view) were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On February 9, 2016, the superfamily was identified by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>.

According to <BugGuide.net>, there are about 4000 described species in our area and perhaps an additional 2000 that are yet to be described.

All are active insects with 3-segmented tarsi. Antenna are short and bristle-like. Hoppers, like this one, have thickened front wings.

On August 7, 2016, the genus was identified by John S. Ascher, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>.

Note this specimen resembles another member of the same genus shown above, but the one shown here is 3.5 mm long while the one above is only 1.5 mm long.

 

 

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Family Derbidae

Omolicna sp. ... Derbid Planthopper

On November 21, 2012, this hopper was photographed in the Smith Preserve on a leaflet of Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto).

On February 16, 2015, it was identified from this photograph by Joe Keller, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Some leafhoppers secrete brochosomes. These microscopic granules cover their body and eggs and protect them from predation and pathogens. The white substance in this photograph may be brochosomes.

There are four species of Omolicna in our area with the range from the southern United States to Venezuela and the West Indies.

Some of the known plant hosts of some of these species include Sabal palmetto (Cabbage Palm), Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto), Cocos nucifera (Coconut Palm) and members of the night shade family Solanaceae, including Physalis (Groundcherry) and Solanum americanum (American Nightshade). All of these host plants grow in the Smith Preserve.

All members of the genus are pale (usually orangish), robust, and with frons (front of the head) compressed. Most are 6 mm or less. According to internet-posted research sources, larvae are often found in rotting wood debris and probably feed on fungi.

 

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Family Flatidae

Flatoidinus punctatus ... Planthopper

 

This 1 cm planthopper was photographed at 8:44 AM on March 6, 2012. There are 220 species of planthoppers in Florida. All are small. Some, like those in Family Flatidae resemble small moths.

As a result of posting these photographs at <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology, this planthopper was identified by Charles Bartlett, Entomologist with the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Delaware.

As shown in the first photograph, Flatoidinus punctatus is dorsoventrally flattened and the broad wings are held horizontally.

As shown in the second photograph, antennae originate on the side of head beneath eye.

Planthoppers produce large quantities of wax as nymphs and wax production decreases as they become adults.

 

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Family Flatidae

Ormenaria rufifascia ... Palm Flatid Planthopper

These palm flatid planthoppers had just completed molting when they were spotted in the Smith Preserve on April 30, 2014. The species was recognized from these images on January 25, 2015 by Ken Wolgemuth, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Palm flatid planthoppers are common on some Florida palms, including Sabal palmetto (Cabbage Palmetto) and Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto).

Adults can reach 11 mm in length. Laterally flattened and deltoid in shape, the background color is light blue-green with orange to reddish markings. Marking locations include two patches on the face near the middle, bands along the dorsolateral margins of the head, and two longitudinal stripes on the prothorax and mesothorax. Forewings are bordered with orange-yellow. Compound eyes are orange.

After mating, females probably insert eggs into palm leaves. Once they hatch, nymphs are light green with longitudinal orange stripes. Colors are partially masked by the wax they secrete. As can be seen in the photograph at right, nymphs have caudal filaments covered with wax. Nymphs go through 5 instar stages before becoming adults. A generation is completed in one year's time.

Both nymphs and adults feed by sucking plant juices, usually on the lower surface of older palm leaves. In large infestations, palm fronds become coated with extruded honeydew that supports black sooty mold.

Natural predators of these planthoppers may include stink bugs.

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Family Flatidae

Unknown Species ... Planthopper

On December 4, 2017, this planthopper was photographed as it rested on a branch in the northeast quadrant of the Smith Preserve.

These photographs were taken, and sent for confirmation that the individual was a member of Family Flatidae to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On December 7, 2017, the "hopper" was confirmed as a member of Family Flatidae by Kyle Kittelberger, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. Further, he identified it as belonging to Subfamily Flatoidinae.

According to <BugGuide.net> there are 10 species in 3 genera in this subfamily in our area. The species is yet to be identified by the experts.

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Family Membracidae

Cyrtolobus sp. ... Treehopper

Treehoppers are a group of insects related to cicadas and leafhoppers. There are about 3,200 species of treehoppers known. All have an enlarged pronotum (the dorsal portion of the first thoracic segment).

Treehoppers feed on sap by piercing plant stems with their beaks. In the United States nearly 100 species are associated with oaks. On April 14, 2014, this tiny treehopper was photographed while on an oak leaf in the Smith Preserve.

As can be seen in the 2nd photograph (a top view of this treehopper), the enlarged pronotum comes to a point behind each of this treehopper's pink eyes.

This particular treehopper was identified as a member of genus Cyrtolobus on July 17, 2015 by Stuart McKamey, Systemic Entomology Research Entomologist, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. ( McKamey identified the treehopper from these photographs submitted to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.)

According to <BugGuide.net>, there are 41 species of this genus living in our area. The range of the species is Canada to Mexico.

In the Smith Preserve, treehoppers are food for other arthropods and vertebrates.

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Family Membracidae

Stictocephala lutea ... Buffalo Treehopper

There are at least 65 species of treehoppers in Florida. The individual in this photograph, a buffalo treehopper, has a profile similar to that of a bison. This structural shape is created by the thorax that develops into a heavy shield that covers most of head and body. An adult buffalo treehopper grows 6 to 7 mm long; females are larger than males. In both sexes, the bright green color and transparent wings provide good camouflage.

Males attract females with a song similar to the way male cicadas and crickets attract their mates. However, treehopper songs are not discernible to the human ear.

Both the adult and immature buffalo treehoppers feed on sap. These treehoppers are found in Florida throughout the year. Two host plants that grow in the Smith Preserve are Quercus spp. (Oaks) and Smilax spp. (Catbrier).

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Unknown Family ... Superfamily Fulgoroidea

Unknown Species ... Planthopper

On December 30, 2015, this 3 mm planthopper nymph was captured in a sweep net sample obtained from a tangled vine of Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine Grape) growing in the northeastern quadrant of the Smith Preserve, just North of Smith Preserve Way. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On January 8, 2016, the insect was recognized as a member of Superfamily Fulgoroidea by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.com>.

In our area, there are 13 families, 170 genera, and 900 species in this Superfamily. According to <BugGuide.net> (and shown in this close-up), all have antennae inserted on the side of the "cheeks" below the eyes and the antennae have three segments, the basal two are thickened and round or egg-shaped, the second segment bears the third segment, a fine filamentous arista.

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Unknown Family ... Superfamily Fulgoroidea

Unknown Species ... Planthopper

On December 13, 2016, this 3 mm long, immature planthopper was captured in a yellow bowl trap left overnight in the Smith Preserve near 14th Ave N and a private residence.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy. Images were submitted for identification to <BugGuide.net>. As yet, the family name has not been identified.

As was stated above for this superfamily, all members have antennae inserted on the side of the "cheeks" below the eyes and the antennae have three segments, the basal two are thickened and round or egg-shaped, the second segment bears the third segment, a fine filamentous arista. Note: The hind legs are adapted for jumping.

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Unknown Family ... Superfamily Fulgoroidea

Unknown Species ... Planthopper

On December 30, 2015, this 1.8 mm planthopper nymph was captured with a sweep net in low, dry brush growing along the eastern gopher tortoise fence just South of Smith Preserve Way.

Note its transparent wings have begun to form.

The common name "planthopper" originates from the resemblance of these insects to leaves and other plant structures in the environment, and from the fact that they can hop quickly as a way of escape. Normally, most planthoppers walk very slowly to avoid attracting attention.

All planthoppers feed on plants and are often vectors of plant diseases.

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Unknown Family ... Superfamily Fulgoroidea

Unknown Species ... Planthopper

On January 13, 2017, this 1.25 mm long planthopper was living in a mass of nesting material along with many other invertebrates. That day, as the Conservancy science volunteer team was removing exotics along the southern gopher tortoise fence adjacent to 14th Ave N, the nesting material was retrieved from some vines. The material consisted of Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) fibers.

In order to isolate the invertebrates, the fibers were collected and placed in a Berlese funnel.

After isolation, these images were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology. To date, the planthopper has not been further identified.

In the UK journal, Science, published September 13, 2013, Malcolm Burrows, a zoologist, and Greg Sutton, a mechanical engineer, described their 10-year study of the movements of jumping insects. They discovered planthopper nymphs can synchronize the movements of their hind legs to 30 millionths of a second. They are able to do this because they have a small system of shark fin-like gears in the first segment of their hind legs. This synchronous movement allows a planthopper nymph to propel itself fast, far, and in a straight path to escape predators. The curved, hooked gears have less friction than gear systems made by humans and found in modern machines. Burrows and Sutton suggest new methods of fabrication such as 3D printing make it possible to create tiny, high-speed, high-precision gears modeled after planthopper nymphs to use in small machines where friction reduction is critical.

Of note is that adult planthoppers do not have these gears on their legs.

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Suborder Sternorrhyncha (Homoptera):

Family Aleyrodidae

Unknown Species ... White Fly

There are about 60 species of white flies known to Florida.

Female white flies lay up to 400 eggs in a circular pattern on the bottom of leaves. Eggs hatch between one week and one month. Nymphs have reduced appendages and sensory organs. As shown in the first photograph, the nymphs of this particular species look like oval blobs.

As shown in the second photograph, both nymphs and adults are found in large numbers on the undersides of leaves during the day, feeding on plant sap. This photograph shows white wax, produced by these individuals. This infestation was on Bursera simaruba (Gumbo Limbo).

 

As shown at left, adult whiteflies look like microscopic moths.

 

 

 

 

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Family Aleyrodidae

Unknown Species ... White Fly

In some species of white flies, nymphs have fringes or tufts of wax, as seen in these photographs. These yellowish nymphs with many lateral wax filaments were on Citrus spp. (Citrus Tree.)

Plants infested with white flies have dry yellow leaves and stunted growth. Since whiteflies produce honeydew, fungal growth develops on the leaves and ants are attracted to the honeydew.

The adult whitefly, shown in the photographs below, was observed on Citrus sp. on a different day from the first three photographs. It is unknown whether this is the same species as shown in those photographs.

Several species of whiteflies are pests of crops in Florida and some transmit plant diseases. Populations of whiteflies are sometimes kept in check by their natural enemies, ladybugs and spiders.

 

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Family Aleyrodidae Possibly

Unknown Species ... White Fly Possibly

On December 13, 2016, this 1.1 mm long insect was captured in a yellow bowl trap left overnight in the southern portion of the Smith Preserve near 14th Ave N and a private residence.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On February 15, 2017, "jbremer", a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, responded "Not hymenoptera [as this webmaster thought].This looks more like a true bug. Something close to Aleyrodidae, maybe."

Note: This identity has not been confirmed.

In the same yellow bowl trap, the 1.1 mm long insect shown below was captured. On March 30, 2017, it was identified by John Schneider, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>. He stated, "I think it's a whitefly (Aleyrodidae.)"

From the coloration of the eyes, thorax, and abdomen, it appears to the webmaster to be the same species.

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Family Aphidae

Unknown Species ... Aphid

Florida has at least 75 species of aphids. Several different species are shown in these photographs.

Sometimes called plant lice, aphids are small; most adults are less than 6 mm. Nymphs and adults are pear-shaped with long antennae and long legs. Long legs allow clearance for them to step over sharp and sometimes barbed leaf and stem hairs.

As shown in the first photograph, an easy way to identify Family Aphidae is to look for the short tubes, called cornicles or siphuncules, that extend upward from the abdomen. The tubes secrete a waxy substance used to fend off predators.

Aphids are usually found in large clusters on a variety of different types of vegetation. The aphid in the first photograph was on Ludwigia decurrens (Willow Primrose). The cluster in the second photograph were on Sonchus oleraceus (Common Sowthistle). In the third and fourth photographs, aphids were clustered on Muhlenbergia capillaris (Muhly Grass).

Most Florida species are green, but some are pink, yellow, brown, or black. Bright orange-yellow aphids, like those in photograph five are found on milkweed and oleander. Since both of these plants are toxic to most other organisms, these aphids are poisonous to eat. Their orangish-yellow color warns predators. Color of an aphid may also indicate its age, the color of the plant sap it ingests, or the color of the microorganisms that inhabit its gut.

Aphids excrete excess sugar and water as honeydew. This attracts ants and other insects that protect the aphids against predators in exchange for the honeydew. The second, third, and fourth photographs show ants tending aphids.

Predators of aphids include crickets, earwigs, wasps, flies, ladybeetles, and lacewings. Photograph five shows a muhly grass aphid; photograph six shows a ladybeetle feasting on muhly grass aphids.

Reproduction by aphids is quite unique. There are winged females and males, but there are also unwinged, reproductive females. Both winged and wingless females give birth to fully-developed nymphs. Shown at right, a wingless aphid is giving birth to a nymph.

Below are several winged adults of unknown sex.

Aphids usually mature in two weeks or less with only three to four molts. At least once a year, most aphids produce eggs.

Several species of aphids are pests of fruits and vegetables in Florida and some carry plant diseases.

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Family Aphidae

Acyrthosiphon pisum ? ... Pink Pea Aphid

This pink aphid is thought to be Acyrthosiphon pisum, but the identification needs to be verified. There are two color strains of this species, green and pink.

Research by Nancy Moran and Tyler Jarvik, published April 2010 in the journal Science, documents genes this species uses to make pink carotenoid pigments are derived not from the aphid but from a gene lineage from a fungus that infects the aphid. Individuals without that gene are green.

Research shows that predators prefer particular colors of aphids. Lady beetles like the pink aphids, while parasitic wasps prefer the green strain.

The pink aphid shown in these photos was found on the skin of the webmaster as she exited the Smith Preserve. Note how the aphid blends with the color of human skin.

Pea aphids have reddish eyes and a body length of 2.0 to 4.0 mm. The species is found throughout the United States wherever there are peas, alfalfa, and leguminous weeds. There are many leguminous weeds growing in the Smith Preserve.

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Family Aphidae

Drepanaphis sp. ... Maple Aphid

On December 30, 2015, this 1 mm long aphid was captured with a sweep net in the high grasses and other vegetation growing along the southern edge of the Smith Preserve Pond.

The aphid had red eyes, very long patterned wings, and three brown markings on its dorsal surface. This photograph was created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On February 17, 2016, the following statement was made by Natalie Hernandez, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>. "Maybe Drepanaphis...Drepanaphis are pretty distinct but you need to check the siphunculi, which you can't see from this angle. They would have "vasiform" or vase-shaped siphunculi. The arrangement and length of those dorsal spines are used to ID species. Were there maples nearby? They feed on the genus Acer. There are some other genera that might have big dorsal spines, but their siphunculi tend to be reduced."

Note from this webmaster: siphunculi (aka. cornicles) are structures on the dorsum of the sixth abdominal segment of an aphid. Each siphunculus has an opening or pore from which pheromones are emitted. Siphunculi have distinctive shapes, used in classification. There are Acer rubrum (Red Maple trees) growing along the southern edge of the pond.

In response to Natalie's request, the photograph below of the siphunculi was posted to <BugGuide.net>.

After seeing the photograph, Natalie responded, "Yep. Definitely Drepanaphis. I'm not sure on species, I've only collected a few and there are several in the genus, but definitely Drepanaphis. I'll try to remember to take a look in my key and see if I can ID species."

 

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Family Coccidae

Ceroplastes floridensis ... Florida Wax Scale

Florida wax scales infest many different plants, including ornamental landscape plants. The scales shown here were on Asimina reticulata (Netted Pawpaw).

Viewed from above, as shown in the first photograph, females of this "soft scale"are globular in shape and coated with a heavy layer of pink or beige wax. Under the wax, the body is red. An adult female can grow to 3 mm.

The bottom surface of adult females are covered with oval, reddish-orange eggs. In two to three weeks, first stage nymphs, called crawlers, hatch from the eggs. They crawl to leaves, twigs, and stems of host plants. Often, they line up on the veins on the upper leaf surfaces and insert their mouthparts into the plant. Upon hatching, these first instars are pink.

Later, white wax forms in tufts around their bodies. As shown in these photographs, this wax gives them a star-like appearance. Females typically develop through three immature stages before becoming mature adults that produce eggs. Several immature stages are shown below. Males are not known for this species.

In Florida, these wax scales are known to attack species of holly, elm, crepe myrtles, oaks, pine, cedar, citrus, and other hardwoods and softwoods. Florida wax scales injure plants by removing large quantities of sap. Heavy infestations result in leaf discoloration, branch dieback, and death. As a result of eating so much sap, they extrude large amounts of honeydew. Sooty mold grows on the honeydew and causes plants to become black. The sweet honeydew attracts bees, wasps, ants, and bark lice.

Three generations of Florida wax scales develop each year in Florida; each generation lasts three to four months.

 

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Family Coccidae

Toumeyella parvicornis ... Pine Tortoise Scales

The pine tortoise scale is one of two scales found on Pinus elliotti (Southern Florida Slash Pine). This scale is found on both branches and needles of the pine. Toumeyella pini, the striped pine scale, is found only on branches.

Both scales feed by piercing the plant and sucking sap. As a result, they produce large amounts of honeydew. Sooty mold often lives on the honeydew, causing the tree to have a black, fuzzy appearance.

As shown in all of these photographs, these scales were on the pine needles, which confirms they are T. parvicornis. Pine tortoise scales that live on the needles conform to the shape of the needles. Those that live on stems are more spherical in shape.

Pine tortoise scales are native to the Eastern United States and Canada. With heavy infestations, they reduce vigor of trees, stop seed production, cause dieback, and lead to tree mortality. Fortunately, none of the slash pines in the Smith Preserve show evidence of being heavily infested with scales.

Mature female pine tortoise scales are 6 mm long, roundish-oval, convex, and dark brown to black with light brown to cream colored mottling. They resemble small tortoise shells. Male scales are smaller, white, elongate, and flat. The first two images are probably immature females.

There are several generations of pine tortoise scales each year. When mature, a female lays several hundred eggs, which hatch within a few days under her scale covering. Crawlers leave her protection, find a place to settle, and begin feeding. They molt several times and develop scale coverings. Image three shows crawlers.

When a male scale matures, he is small and winged. He emerges out of the scale covering as shown below.

Insect enemies of scales include lady beetles and parasitic wasps. The photograph below shows the exit hole of a tiny wasp that had parasitized an immature female scale.

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Family Coccidae

Toumeyella liriodendri ... Tuliptree Scale

On November 20, 2014, scales were photographed on a Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) tree growing on the berm of the marsh at the Smith Preserve. They were identified on January 20, 2014 from these photographs by Doug L. Caldwell, Commercial Landscape Extension Agent for Collier County, Florida.

The tuliptree scale is one of the largest soft scale insects in the United States. Mature females, like the two in the second photograph, can be as large as 7 mm in diameter. They have an oval, convex shape, with a flange around the margin of the waxy cover. The very small adult males look like tiny wasps with one pair of wings. Crawlers are dark red and ~.5mm long.

Large numbers of these scales give twigs a warty appearance.

Like with other scales, an early indication that a plant has a tuliptree scale infestation is sticky honeydew, produced as the scales suck the plant's juices. The honeydew attracts ants and black sooty mold. The first photograph shows three ants attracted to the honeydew produced by these scales. Ants will protect the scales from predators and parasitoids.

 

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Family Coccidae

Unnamed Species ... Croton Scale

The croton scale is an exotic soft scale. Individuals were first spotted in Monroe County, Florida in 2008. It is an undescribed species in an undescribed genus of unknown origin.

Since its discovery in 2008, the species has been found on over 50 different types of ornamental and fruit species in numerous Florida counties, including Collier. Two of its favorite hosts are Codiaeum variegatum (Croton) and Bursera simaruba (Gumbo Limbo). These photographs show croton scales covering a young gumbo limbo tree in the Smith Preserve in December 2012.

Research being conducted at the University of Florida indicates the life cycle is about one month. Females do not produce egg sacs like a similar looking species, Philephedra tuberculosa. Instead, each female lays about 388 eggs. As shown in the first photograph, young scales (crawlers) are yellow . Adult females are greenish-yellow with dark striations. As females age, they become brown. Adult females are approximately 3.5 to 7.0 mm long X 2.0 mm wide.

As shown in the second photograph, immature males are smaller than female scales and have a whitish-glassy appearance. They tend to settle on the bottom of leaves. Adult males are quite different in appearance. They are small, orange, and gnat-like with white wax tail filaments.

The first photograph below shows two adult females and crawlers. Upon magnification (second photograph), an adult male can be seen. Note the size difference in the mature male and female.

Since croton scales produce great amounts of honeydew, black sooty mold grows on the stems and leaves of the host plant. Note the black sooty mold coating on the stem of the plant and even on the scales themselves. Once attacked by these scales, a plant weakens and drops its leaves.

As shown in the two photographs below, the honeydew also attracts ants which feed on the honeydew and protect the scales against predation from some of its natural enemies: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Mealybug Ladybug), Laelia coccidivora (Scale- Eating Moth Caterpillar), and Metaphycus flavus (Parasitic Wasp).

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Family Coccidae

Unknown Species ... Immature Scale

On December 13, 2016, this ~.3 mm long insect was captured in a pitfall trap left overnight in sand and dried grasses in the Smith Preserve near 14th Ave N and a private residence. The insect is very flat, has 6 legs, antennae and cerci. The legs and antennae end in bristles.

These photographs were created using photomicroscopy. The first image is a dorsal view, the second is a ventral view, and the third is a closer dorsal view of its head. Note the eyes and bristled antennae.

These photographs were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

On December 24, 2016, the insect was identified as a Coccidae hatchling by Edward L. Ruden, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. Ruden based his identification on its "size, habitus, and cerci." He stated, "since it's immature, it's difficult to be more specific."

In this stage of its development, a scale is called a "crawler" because it has mobility. It was crawling on the ground when it fell into the pitfall trap.

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Family Dactylopiidae

Dactylopius coccus ... Cochineal Scale

Cochineal scales are quite common on Opuntia humifusa (Prickly Pear) in the Smith Preserve. The species is Dactylopius coccus.

When young scales first hatch from eggs, they have functional legs, antennae, and eyes. They can crawl to find a place on which to settle, and they are small and light enough to be picked up by the wind and carried to new vegetation.

Many Florida cochineal scale species are non-native and have been transported by people on plants. Most scales live on perennials.

Cochineal scales feed almost exclusively with their sucking mouth parts on the pads of prickly pear cactus.

As a scale ages, it loses most external features and its ability to move. Adult male scales become recognizable again as insects with wings, legs, and eyes. They look for females and are able to move from one plant to another.

As shown in these photographs, a cochineal scale produces a white, sticky, soft, waxy substance that looks like mold. To the touch, it feels like sticky cotton candy. The coating is for protection from predators. 

The two photographs below are of an adult female, first surrounded by wax, and then removed from the wax.

 

Cochineal scales produce a chemical for defense called carminic acid.  This substance has a brilliant red color, used in making carmine dye. The process involves drying and crushing the insects and mixing them with aluminum or calcium salts.  In the 15th century, this dye was used to color fabrics, and it was an important export from America during the colonial period. Today, it is used in food coloring and cosmetics. 

As explained earlier, carminic acid and wax protect cochineal scales from many predators. However, there are some predators unaffected by these defense mechanisms. These predators include a few very specialized wasp, fly, beetle, and moth species.

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Family Diaspididae

Unaspis citri ... Citrus Snow Scale

On February 17, 2016, several Citrus X meyeri (Meyer lemons) were picked from one of the citrus trees growing in the middle of the Smith Preserve. Upon examination, the fruit had several patches of white scales.

Photomicroscopy was used to create these photographs.

As described at the History of the Preserve link, the Smith Preserve was a citrus grove in the 1950s and 1960s. According to the University of Florida online document "Featured Creatures: Common Name: Citrus Snow Scale," the citrus snow scale was probably introduced to Florida's citrus groves in 1962 following a freeze. Damaged trees were replaced with new saplings from nurseries and those trees were likely infested with the scale. The scale is thought to have originated in Asia. Although the scale is very common in Florida today, it rarely results in economic damage.

Both male and female citrus snow scales develop "armor" once they hatch from the egg and begin feeding. The female armor is oyster-shell shaped and 1.5 to 2.25 mm long. The male armor is white with three longitudinal ridges and ~ 1 mm long.

The white scales shown in these photographs are armored immature males. Once the male crawlers hatch from eggs, they begin feeding and become immobile. They develop through several stages, finally to emerge as bright orange, winged adults from the pupal stage. Adult males do not eat. Their main function is to mate.

Females also hatch from eggs as crawlers. Once these immatures insert their long mouthparts into the plant, they become immobile. Females have a larval body type for the rest of their lives, eventually acquiring reproductive organs, but remaining immobile. Over a period of two to three months, a fertilized female can lay up to 150 eggs.

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Family Diaspididae

Unknown ... White Armored Scale

Diaspididae is the largest family of scale insects. Within the family, there are 400 genera and more than 2,650 species.

Each of these insects produces a waxy protective covering, into which it incorporates pieces of molted exoskeleton, fecal material, and fragments of its host plant. This construction makes a complex scale cover, under which the insect feeds. The scale covering resembles a suit of armor. For this reason, Family Diaspididae species are commonly called armored scales.

The scales in the photograph are white armored scales. The species is either Duplachionaspis divergens or Haliaspis sp. Each scale has a white, elongate cover with a light brown terminal exuvia (remains of its molted exoskeleton.)

Duplachionaspis divergens was first detected in Florida in 2000. It first appeared in the Western Hemisphere in 1991 on sugarcane. Today it is a common species in Florida. Females produce an average of 130 eggs and there may be nine generations each year.

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Family Eriococcidae

Unknown Species ... Felt Scale

As shown in the photograph at left, a female individual of this unknown felt scale species has a dark reddish-purple body color. Adult female felt scales produce an ovisac that is shiny white (almost silvery).The body length of an adult female is 3 to 4 mm.

Eggs and immature crawler stages are pinkish-orange. Immatures have legs and move; adult females lack legs and cannot move. Once an adult female inserts her mouthparts to feed, she stays in place for the rest of her life.

Felt scales have rather soft bodies, and as is shown in the second photograph, are covered with white powdery wax.

As shown in the third and and fourth photographs, these scales are generally found in nodal areas or "forks" of twigs and branches, but there are exceptions like the scales shown in the fifth photograph.

 

Felt scales have a wide variety of plant hosts, but each species is usually specific to a particular host plant, or a related group of host plants. The scales photographed here are living on Lyonia fruticosa (Coastal Plain Staggerbush.) This particular species of felt scale may be Erococcus azaleae (Azalea Bark Scale), but this needs to be verified.

As indicated by the black sooty mold covering the stems and leaves, these felt scales produced a lot of honeydew.

 

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Family Eriococcidae

Unknown Species... Felt Scale

The felt scales shown here were thriving on Ceratiola ericoides (Florida Rosemary. The scales were clustered on top of the brown, male flowers of the plant, near the tops of the branches between the needle-like leaves.

As shown in the second and third photographs, nymphs and adult females of various ages and sizes were present. Also shown in the second photograph, black sooty mold grew on the honeydew extruded by the scales. In exchange for honeydew to eat, ants protected the scales from predation.

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Family Kermesidae

Allokermes galliformis ... Kermes Scales

Kermes scales are pests of Quercus spp. (Oaks) throughout the northern hemisphere. There are 32 species in North America and Mexico. The adult females of these species look like galls. Although not confirmed, the scales shown here are likely Allokermes galliformis. In the Smith Preserve, they appeared to be galls attached to a twig of Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak).

Kermes scales feed on the sap of twigs, leaves, and/or petioles of their hosts. Infestations can result in branch dieback, leaf distortion, accumulation of black sooty mold fungi, and stunted growth.

The first instars are called "crawlers." They are tiny (.4mm long), oblong, salmon-colored, wingless, and have well-developed legs and antennae. Males in the second instar cover themselves with white wax. Adult males are gnat-like, about 1 mm long, and red to light brown. Legs are slender and wings are fragile. Females in the second instar produce a waxy coat that covers their bodies. As they mature, they become more bulbous, darker, and with very reduced legs and antennae. As shown in these photographs, adult females look very much like galls.

Allokermes galliformis is spherical with an average diameter of 5 mm. The color is a pale yellow with tiny and evenly speckled brown dots mottled with grey. The body has a polished and smooth appearance. The upper-most part of the dorsal surface has irregular rows of black dots (often connected by an irregular black line) separated by white or pale yellow bands The three uppermost rows of dots are most distinct.

Natural enemies of kermes scales include ladybird beetles, lacewings, predaceous moth larvae, and parasitoid wasps.

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Family Kerridae

Paratachardina lobata lobata ... Lobate Lac Scale

These scales were found growing in the Smith Preserve on the branch of a young Psychotria sulzneri (Dull-Leaf Wild Coffee) tree on December 3, 2014. On January 20, 2015, the scales were identified from this photograph by Doug L. Caldwell, Commercial Landscape Extension Agent for Collier County, Florida.

Lobate lac scale, native to India and Sri Lanka, is relatively new to Florida, with its documented arrival in 1999.

First instars (crawlers) are elongate-oval, deep red, and~.2 mm long. The tiny red creatures in the photograph above are first instars. They become more lobate in the second instar, and after that stage, they molt to become adult females. Males of the species have not been observed in Florida.

Mature females are 1.5 to 2 mm long and wide. The body has two pairs of prominent projections or lobes. The species name "lobata" refers to these lobes. The outside layer of a mature female is hard, brittle, glossy and a dark reddish-brown color; it often appears dull and black due to a coating of sooty mold. The mature females in the photograph above appear as brownish purple blobs.

Lobate lac scales infest the woody portions of twigs and small branches. Where these insects are crowded, they form a contiguous mass that looks like a dark, lumpy crust. Dense infestations cause branch dieback and in severe cases can kill a shrub or small tree.

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Unknown Family

Unknown Species... Crawler Stage of Scale ?

On January 23, 2017, this insect was living in leaf litter beneath a Psychotria nervosa (Shinyleaf Wild Coffee) bush and a Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak) tree that were growing near the gopher tortoise fence at the eastern edge of the Smith Preserve, south of the pond.

The specimen, thought by the webmaster to be the crawler stage of a scale, was isolated from the litter by using a Berlese funnel. These images, created by photomicroscopy, were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

Images 1 and 2 are dorsal views using different colored backgrounds to show details. Image 3 is a ventral view and image 4 is a lateral view.

To date, the family and species have not been identified. In fact, the specimen has not been confirmed by an expert as being a scale.

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Unknown Family

Unknown Species... Male Scale

On December 19, 2014, this 1.25 mm long male scale was living in leaf litter that was collected under a citrus tree in the northeastern hammock of the Smith Preserve.

It was extracted from the leaf litter by using a Berlese funnel. Photographs were taken using photomicroscopy (a Nikon D-90 camera attached to a compound microscope.)

Based on its minute size and having only one pair of wings and abdominal bristles, the insect was identified from these photographs on January 22, 2015 by Natalie Hernandez, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Ms. Hernandez stated it is definitely a member of Superfamily Coccoidea. This superfamily contains scales and mealybugs. There are 45 families worldwide.

Females in this superfamily become less mobile as they mature; most attach to a single spot and develop thick protective layers of wax or other substances. Males, like the one shown here resemble winged aphids.

 

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Unknown Family

Unknown Species ... Male Scale

On December 13, 2016, this .8 mm long insect was captured in a yellow bowl trap that had been placed overnight in the Smith Preserve near the gopher tortoise fence adjacent to 14th Ave N and a private residence. These photographs were created by photomicroscopy and sent for confirmation of the identification that they are of a male scale to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.

The webmaster based her identification on the similarities of this specimen to another male scale posted at <BugGuide.net>. Both have two long white filaments at the tip of the abdomen. Both have forewings with reduced venation. In both, the hind wings have been lost altogether. According to the description of the species posted at <BugGuide.net> the male scale lacks mouthparts and has two pairs of eyes on its head, one set is dorsal and the other ventral. It appears from the images below (Image 1: Dorsal; Image 2: Ventral) that this is the case with this specimen.

To date there has not been confirmation from <BugGuide.net> that this is a male scale.

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Family Pseudococcidae

Nipaecoccus nipae ... Coconut Mealybug / Spiked Mealybug

The body of a coconut mealybug is maroon, reddish-brown, or orange and covered with wax. Adult females are 1.5 to 2.5 mm, round to oval, with lateral and dorsal wax filaments (as shown in this photograph.) Females do not produce ovisacs. Winged adult males are common, but are not present in this photograph.

Coconut mealybugs are found in Louisiana and Florida, as well Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa. They are known to attack more than 40 families of plants and the most common host is Family Arecaceae (Palms). The individuals in this photograph were feeding on Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto), a member of the palm family.

The coconut mealybug can be economically damaging to a variety of different species of palms and tropical fruit crops. Adult females and immatures feed on the sap of the host plant and secrete honeydew. As a result, plants may be covered by black, sooty mold, which can cause a decrease in the plant's ability to photosynthesize. This may lead to defoliation and death of the plant.

As shown in the photograph, honeydew attracts ants which feed on the secretions and defend the scales from predators and parasitoids.

 

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Family Pseudococcidae

Planococcus sp. ... Mealybug

On December 19, 2014, these mealybugs were living in leaf litter under a citrus tree in the hammock located in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. They were extracted from the leaf litter using a Berlese funnel. Photographs were produced using photomicroscopy.

They were identified from these photographs on January 2, 2015 as mealybugs by "v belov," Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Based on their shape, and the location where they were found (ie. living in litter close to citrus trees), they are thought by this webmaster to be Planococcus citri, but this has yet to be confirmed.

A member of genus Planococcus has an oval body that is slightly rounded in lateral view. The body is yellow just after molting and is pink or orange-brown when fully mature. Legs are brown-red. Mealy wax covers the body, but is not thick enough to hide the body color.

The orange individual shown here was 1.25 mm long. The first view of that individual is a dorsal view, the second view is a ventral view. Both photographs of the yellow individual are ventral views.

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© Photographs and text by Susan Leach Snyder (Conservancy of Southwest Florida Volunteer), unless otherwise credited above.

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