Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Soldier Beetles

image of Soldier Beetle on Goldenrod
Nearly 500 species in North America north of Mexico
Sometimes called leatherwings, soldier beetles are most often seen on flowers. Many species are pollinators, and yellow, orange, and red are their most common colors, besides black and brown. More

Spiny-Bellied Orb Weaver

Image of female spiny-bellied orb weaver on a leaf
Micrathena gracilis
The color pattern can vary, but the ten-spined, chunky abdomen sets the female spiny-bellied orb weaver apart from all other spiders. More

Spotted Fishing Spider

Image of a fishing spider
Dolomedes triton
These long-legged, dark-colored water spiders are distinctive in that the oval abdomen is smaller than the broad cephalothorax. The rim stripe surrounding the dark carapace, and sometimes the abdomen, is whitish-yellow. On top of the dark brown abdomen, three distinctive pairs of minute white spots create a connect-the-dot pattern or run mid-line down the back. The brown legs are robust and dotted with white hairs. More

Squash Bugs

image of Squash Bug crawling on sand
Anasa spp., including Anasa tristis
Sooner or later, most Missouri gardeners learn about squash bugs, which feed on the foliage of squash, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, and other plants in the squash family. More

Stag Beetles

photo of a male reddish-brown stag beetle
About 24 species in North America north of Mexico
While stag beetles are not very colorful, they make up for it in pincers! Male stag beetles usually have enlarged, sometimes astonishing jaws. These “antlers” give rise to the common name. More

Stink Bugs

Photo of a green stink bug on a leaf
In North America, more than 200 species in 64 genera.
Stink bugs are shield-shaped insects that can smell very bad! This is a large family of true bugs known for producing a foul odor when harassed. More


Photo of an adult stonefly on a leaf
There are hundreds of species in North America
Stoneflies have a lot in common with mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies and dobsonflies: They begin life as aquatic larvae, then molt and become winged adults. Many fish find stoneflies irresistible, and anglers take advantage of it! More

Striped Scorpion

Image of a striped scorpion
Centruroides vittatus
Young striped scorpions are pale yellowish-brown, usually with two lengthwise dark stripes on the abdomen; older scorpions are uniform dark brown with the stripes faint or lacking. More

Sweat Bees

Image of a sweat bee
Numerous species and genera in Missouri
There are many species of sweat bees in Missouri. Some are solitary, but a number show different levels of social behavior. They got their common name from their attraction to perspiration, which offers them precious moisture and salts. More


Image of a tick.
Three species are most commonly encountered in Missouri.
Some of the most problematic animals in Missouri, ticks drink the blood of humans and other mammals. The idea of blood-sucking parasites is hideous enough, but ticks are known carriers of serious, sometimes deadly diseases. Learn more about these large mites and how to protect yourself from their bites. More