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Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Image of camel cricket (cave cricket).

Camel Crickets (Cave Crickets)

Numerous species.
Humps aren’t just for camels, they’re for crickets, too! These odd-looking insects are commonly found in caves, basements, cellars and similar places.

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Image of Tomentose Burying Beetle crawling on the ground

Carrion Beetles (Burying Beetles; Sexton Beetles)

Silphid beetles: Nicrophorus, Necrophila, Necrodes, etc.
The famous entomologist J. Henri Fabre wrote that carrion beetles make “a clearance of death on behalf of life.” When we overcome our revulsion, we, too, can appreciate these interesting little grave diggers.

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magnified chigger

Chiggers

Trombicula alfreddugesi and other Trombicula spp.
The worst thing about Missouri summers is chiggers. They are nearly invisible but leave itchy red welts. Avoid their habitat areas, especially after noon.

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Image of Chinese mantis.

Chinese Mantis

Tenodera aridifolia
This large, green and tan predator is often called a “praying mantis” because the front legs resemble hands folded in prayer. Those who know its predatory nature are more apt to call it a "preying" mantis!

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image of Cicada Killer on Goldenrod

Cicada Killer Wasp

Sphecius speciosus
The cicada killer might be the scariest-looking wasp in our state. It is, however, not aggressive toward people and is virtually harmless, unless handled roughly. As in all ground-nesting wasps, an active nest can usually be recognized by the mound of earth excavated by the female with her mandibles and legs.

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Photo of eyed click beetle on bark

Click Beetles

Approximately 1,000 species in North America
Their streamlined shape is distinctive, but the behavior of click beetles is even more unique: Placed on their backs, these beetles flip suddenly into the air with an audible click.

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image of a Common True Katydid

Common True Katydid

Pterophylla camellifolia
This katydid is a master mimic. Its bright green color matches surrounding leaves, and its wings are veined like leaves as well.

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image of Crane Fly clinging to a twig

Crane Flies

There are over 500 species of crane flies in North America.
Many people are frightened of crane flies, which resemble huge mosquitoes. But crane flies don’t bite or suck blood. In fact, as adults, most of them don’t have mouths at all!

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image of a Harvester, Front View

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestmen)

About 6,500 species have been named so far, worldwide.
Daddy longlegs, or harvestmen, are familiar Missouri animals. They are not spiders, but opilionids. Unlike spiders, they have a fused body form and lack silk and venom glands.

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Photo of an adult damselfly on a twig next to water.

Damselflies

Species in the suborder Zygoptera
Like their close relatives the dragonflies, damselflies have long bodies, two pairs of long, membranous, finely veined wings, and predaceous aquatic larvae that have extendible mouthparts. Damselflies typically hold their wings together, above the body.

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