Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Horned Passalus

image of Horned Passalus crawling on wood
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. More


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. More

Horse and Deer Flies

image of Horse Fly on tree trunk
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. More

House Centipedes

Image of house centipede
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. More

Ichneumon Wasps

image of an Ichneumon Wasp on tree trunk
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. More

Japanese Beetle

image of Japanese Beetle on leaf
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. More

Lady Beetles (Ladybird Beetles; Ladybugs)

image of Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle on flower petal
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. More

Leaf Beetles

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

Leafcutter Bees

photo of a leafcutter bee
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. More

Longhorned Beetles (Borers; Sawyer Beetles)

Photo of a red milkweed beetle eating a common milkweed leaf.
About 1,000 species in North America north of Mexico
Longhorned beetles are elongated and cylindrical, with antennae that are at least half the length of the body—sometimes much longer. The larvae are grubs that bore in wood or other plants. Some are serious pests. More