Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Photo of a collared water scavenger beetle showing back.

Water Scavenger Beetles

Beetles in the family Hydrophilidae
Water scavenger beetles are a mostly aquatic family. They are similar to predaceous diving beetles, but unlike them many have a distinctive spine running down the center of their bellies.

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Photo of a single water strider

Water Striders

Aquarius remigis; also species in the genus Gerris
Also called “pond skaters” and “water spiders,” water striders are hard not to notice. Water-repellant hairs on the hind and middle legs allow these nimble insects to skate on the surface of the water.

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image of Cocklebur Weevil

Weevils (Snout Beetles; Bark Beetles)

About 2,500 species in North America north of Mexico
Weevils are plant-eating beetles with a characteristic long, down-curving snout. The antennae are clubbed and elbowed. There are thousands of weevil species.

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image of a Wheel Bug, Side View

Wheel Bug

Arilus cristatus
This large gray or brown insect carries something interesting on its back: Is it a cog, or a wheel, or a circular saw blade? It’s unmistakable!

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Photo of a whirligig beetle viewed from above

Whirligig Beetles

Species in the beetle family Gyrinidae
Groups of these aquatic beetles swim on the surface of water in quick, random patterns, searching for food. They have two pairs of eyes—one pair above the water, and one pair below—which helps them to quickly and accurately capture their prey.

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white backed garden spider

White-Backed Garden Spider

Argiope trifasciata
The white-backed garden spider is slightly smaller than the black-and-yellow garden spider and has a pointier hind end. The abdomen is patterned with many thin silver and yellow transverse lines and thicker black, spotty lines.

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image of a bold jumping spider

White-Spotted Jumping Spider (Bold Jumping Spider)

Phidippus audax
The white-spotted jumping spider, like most other jumping spiders, is fuzzy, makes jerky movements, jumps surprisingly long distances, and doesn't build webs. This species usually has a black body with white, orange, or reddish spots on the abdomen.

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Photo of wolf spider with young

Wolf Spiders

Numerous species and genera in our state.
A wolf spider doesn't spin webs to catch its prey — it runs it down like a wolf! Spiders in this family have long legs and are usually gray, brown, black, or tan with dark brown or black body markings (especially stripes).

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Photo of a Xysticus crab spider, tan individual

Xysticus Crab Spiders

Xysticus spp.
Missouri has several species of crab spiders in the genus Xysticus. They are usually dull gray or brown with brown, white, or yellow markings. They typically live under bark or on the ground in leaf litter.

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Photo of an eastern yellowjacket


Most are in the genus Vespula
Yellowjackets are bee-sized social wasps that build paper nests, usually underground. Their defensive stinging makes them a major pest when they nest near people. If you want to eliminate a yellowjacket nest, consult a licensed exterminator.

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