Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Camel Crickets (Cave Crickets)

Image of camel cricket (cave cricket).
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. More

Carrion Beetles (Burying Beetles; Sexton Beetles)

Image of Tomentose Burying Beetle crawling on the ground
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. More

Chiggers

magnified chigger
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. More

Chinese Mantis

Image of 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! More

Cicada Killer Wasp

image of Cicada Killer on Goldenrod
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. More

Click Beetles

Photo of eyed click beetle on bark
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. More

Common True Katydid

image of a 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. More

Crane Flies

image of Crane Fly clinging to a twig
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! More

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestmen)

image of a Harvester, Front View
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. More

Damselflies

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