Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

image of Fiery Searcher on dead leaves

Ground Beetles

About 2,400 species in North America north of Mexico
Ground beetles are mostly nocturnal or light-shunning beetles that tend to be shiny black and have grooved wing covers. This group also includes tiger beetles, however, which includes many colorful daytime fliers.

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Photo of female heptagonal orbweaver in web.

Heptagonal Orbweaver (Seven-Sided Orb-Weaver)

Gea heptagon
The heptagonal orbweaver, Gea heptagon, builds its circular webs in vegetation only a few feet off the ground. When disturbed, it drops instantly to the ground below and turns a drab brown.

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Image of a honeybee worker.


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


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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