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Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Image of a honeybee worker.

Honeybee

Apis mellifera
In 1985, the honeybee was made Missouri's official state insect, and most people know how to identify it. This social insect is unquestionably a friend to humanity and has been for millennia. Today, more than ever, we rely on honeybees to pollinate our crops, as well as for the sweet honey that only they can make.

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image of Horned Passalus crawling on wood

Horned Passalus

Odontotaenius disjunctus
The horned passalus lives in colonies in rotting wood. It is Missouri’s only representative of a beetle family called the “Bess beetles” or “patent leather beetles.” Oh, and it can talk to you, too.

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Photo of a Pigeon Tremex Horntail

Horntails

About 28 species in North America
Horntails look a lot like wasps but have a taillike spine that projects from the tip of the abdomen. Their cylindrical bodies also lack the narrow waist so common in wasps.

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image of Horse Fly on tree trunk

Horse and Deer Flies

Tabanus, Chrysops, and related genera
Meet the horse fly: Stealthily, one will land on your back, slice your skin, and lap your blood. By the time it starts to hurt and you swat at it, the painful, itchy welt is rising.

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Image of house centipede

House Centipedes

There are several species of house centipedes in the world.
Exceedingly fast, with a hundred wiggly legs! House centipedes seem that way. We usually see them in houses, where they prey on all the other insects and spiders you don't want around.

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image of an Ichneumon Wasp on tree trunk

Ichneumon Wasps

More than 5,000 species documented in North America
Most ichneumon wasps are harmless, although the long ovipositor of the female is intimidating. Their larvae live as parasites inside caterpillars and other larval insects.

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image of Japanese Beetle on leaf

Japanese Beetle

Popillia japonica
Despite its decorative bronze wing shields, metallic green thorax, and black-and-white striped abdomen, the Japanese beetle is a serious agricultural pest.

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image of Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle on flower petal

Lady Beetles (Ladybird Beetles; Ladybugs)

Nearly 500 species in North America north of Mexico
Lady beetles are beloved for many reasons. Farmers like the way they devour injurious aphids and scale insects. Everyone else appreciates their bright colors and shiny, compact bodies.

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Photo of a swamp milkweed leaf beetle on a leaf it has chewed on

Leaf Beetles

About 2,000 species in North America
Leaf beetles, or chrysomelid beetles, are members of a large, diverse beetle family. As the name suggests, they eat leaves and other plant parts and are common on foliage.

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photo of a leafcutter bee

Leafcutter Bees

Species in the genus Megachile.
Leafcutter bees are common throughout Missouri from late spring into early autumn. All are solitary. They are dark-colored with several whitish hair bands across the abdomen. One sign of their presence is the rounded holes they cut in the leaves of plants.

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