Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

image of May Beetle on wood

May Beetles (June Bugs)

Phyllophaga spp.
These common beetles are named for the months they are most numerous. Clumsy walkers and fliers, May beetles are usually brownish and are attracted to lights at night.

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Photo of a mayfly


There are hundreds of species in North America.
The mayflies are a fascinating group of insects. The nymphs live from months to years under water, breathing through gills, and the adults fly around in the air, mating, living for only a day or two.

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Photo of arrow-shaped micrathena spider

Micrathena Spiders

Spiders in the genus Micrathena
Some of us hate blundering into spider webs, but much of our fear can be alleviated when we learn more about the creatures whose homes we’re destroying. Micrathenas are one group of spiders whose webs are commonly “nailed” by hikers!

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image of Narceus Millipede crawling across gravel


More than 900 species in North America north of Mexico
Millipedes, which have two pairs of legs per body segment, are harmless detritus-eaters, move slowly, and curl up defensively when harassed.

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Image of a tarantula

Missouri Tarantula

Aphonopelma hentzi
This hairy species is Missouri's largest spider. The body and legs are uniformly dark chocolate-brown, with reddish hairs on the carapace.

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image of Mosquito


There are about 50 species of mosquitoes in our state.
Who likes mosquitoes? Certainly not people! However, mosquitoes have lived on Earth for millions of years, and all that time they’ve been feeding fish with their legions of “wriggler” larvae.

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image of Black-and-Yellow Mud Dauber

Mud Daubers

Three genera: Sceliphron, Trypoxylon, and Chalybion
Mud daubers are among the most familiar solitary wasps. They belong to a number of related groups, but we call them all "mud daubers" because they all build their nests out of mud. One way to tell the different mud daubers apart is by the distinctive architecture they use.

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orchard orb weaver

Orchard Orb Weaver

Leucauge venusta
These colorful, delicate spiders make circular webs that are usually positioned horizontally or at an angle to the ground, and they typically hang in the middle of their webs.

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image of a Four-Spotted Owlfly


There are 8 species in North America
An owlfly looks like a dragonfly with a butterfly’s head. Dragonfly shaped and sized, they have long, clubbed antennae and large, bulging eyes. Look for them in summertime dusks and evenings.

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image of Paper Wasp on flowers

Paper Wasps

Species in the genus Polistes
Paper wasps are the most familiar of Missouri's social wasps. A late summer nest bristling with dozens of wasps can be an impressive sight. If you have a garden, however, these wasps are your friends!

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