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Content tagged with "insect"

Photo of a shed exoskeleton molted by an annual cicada.

Annual Cicada (Molted Exoskeleton)

In July and August, annual cicada nymphs claw out of the ground, climb trees or other objects, and molt to become winged adults. Their shed skins remain behind, while the adults sing, mate, and produce the next generation.

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image of Walker's Cicada clinging to a perch

Annual Cicadas (Dog-Day Cicadas)

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

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Photo of adult antlion with wings spread

Antlion Adult

Adult antlions look like fragile, drab damselflies, with an elongated body, four intricately veined wings mottled with browns and black, and clubbed or curved antennae about as long as the head and thorax.

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photo of adult antlion with wings folded

Antlion Adult (Wings Folded)

Adult antlions fly soon after their wings harden and are best looked for during calm, late-summer sunsets and evenings, as they flutter about seeking mates and good places to lay eggs. They also come to lights.

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image of Antlion Larva on rock

Antlion Larva

Antlions live just beneath small, conical pits they create in sandy or loose soil. There they wait quietly, ready to grab any ant or other insect unlucky enough to tumble down the sides.

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image of Antlion pits in ground

Antlion Pits

Antlions, also called doodlebugs, are most familiar in their immature stages, when they create pits in sand or dust in which to trap ants. The adults look something like drab damselflies.

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image of Antlion pits in ground

Antlions (Doodlebugs)

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

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image of acrobat ants on a leaf

Ants

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

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image of Aphids on plant

Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied, plump, pear-shaped, and tiny. They suck plant juices. They have two tubelike projections on the hind end of the body, called cornicles, which aid in defense. Aphids are commonly green, yellow, or brown, but the color varies among the many, many species.

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image of Aphids on plant

Aphids

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

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