Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Bald-Faced Hornet

image of Bald-faced Hornet on Goldenrod
Dolichovespula maculata
Bald-faced hornets are fairly large wasps that are primarily black, with white or ivory markings on the face, thorax, and toward the tip of the abdomen. The large, rounded, papery, gray nests of this social insect are frequently seen in natural history displays. More

Black Widow Spider

Image of a black widow
Latrodectus mactans & Latrodectus variolus
The glossy, black-bodied female widows have distinctive red spots on the underside of their abdomens. In L. mactans this spot often is shaped like an hourglass; in L. variolus it is not. Faint red or white spots may also appear on top of the abdomen, as they do in males. Only the sedentary female black widow is capable of inflicting a potentially dangerous bite; the wandering and seldom-seen male is harmless. More

Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider

Image of a female Argiope garden spider.
Argiope aurantia
This large, harmless spider sets up large, circular webs in gardens and grasslands. Lucky gardeners can host this remarkable pest-exterminator all season long. More

Black-Legged Meadow Katydid

Image of black-legged meadow katydid
Orchelimum nigripes
Walking in tall grasses, you catch a glimpse of movement. Closer inspection reveals a gorgeous, strikingly marked katydid hiding among the foliage. These secretive katydids are quick to hop away or hide. More

Blister Beetles

Photo of a meloe blister beetle, female, on ground
More than 400 species in North America north of Mexico
The name is a warning—blister beetles are famous for their chemical defenses. Beetles in this family can exude an oil that can cause a person’s skin to blister. More

Blow Flies (Bottle Flies)

image of greenbottle fly on carcass
About 84 species in North America.
Many blow flies are so shiny and colorful they’re called greenbottles and bluebottles—but pretty as they are, it’s hard not to be repulsed by their larval diets. More

Boxelder Bug

image of a boxelder bug
Boisea trivittatus
Notoriously numerous, these harmless bugs like to spend the winter in nooks of tree bark and rocks, but they will settle for warm crannies of your house as well. Their food plant is the box elder tree, hence the common name. More

Brown Recluse (Violin Spider)

Image of a brown recluse spider
Loxosceles recluse
Most spiders are unfairly feared and hated by humans, but the brown recluse is indeed one spider to avoid. The brown recluse is venomous, though a bite is almost never fatal. They are most commonly encountered in houses, where they occupy little-used drawers, closets and other small hiding spaces. More

Bumblebees

photo of bumblebee on a wild rose flower
At least six species in the genus Bombus in Missouri
Bumblebees are fuzzy, familiar and are like huge honeybees: They are yellow and black, collect pollen and nectar, live in colonies and make honey. They are capable of stinging, if molested or if their nest is endangered, but you need not fear them; they are not aggressive. More

Caddisflies

image of Caddisfly on leaf
Various species in the order Trichoptera
The adults are mothlike. The aquatic larvae are famous for building portable, protective cases out of local materials, including grains of sand, bits of leaves and twigs, and other debris. More