Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Image of a striped scorpion

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.

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Image of a sweat bee

Sweat Bees

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.

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Image of a tick.


Three species are most commonly encountered in Missouri.
Ticks drink the blood of humans and other mammals. The idea of blood-sucking parasites is hideous enough, but ticks can carry serious, sometimes deadly diseases. Learn more about these large mites and how to protect yourself from their bites.

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image of Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle crawling on dead leaves

Tiger Beetles

Subfamily Cicindelinae (about 100 species in North America)
Dizzyingly fast runners and fliers, tiger beetles are remarkable, and often colorful, insect predators.

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Image of a tree trunk jumping spider (front view).

Tree Trunk Spider

Platycriptus undatus
The tree trunk spider is a jumping spider that usually lives on tree trunks. Its gray, tan, and brown coloration camouflages it against tree bark. There is usually an undulating pattern on the abdomen.

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Photo of a triangulate orb weaver

Triangulate Orb Weaver

Verrucosa arenata
In late summer and fall, woodland hikers can count on walking into the triangulate orb weaver's web. These webs are delicate circles that help the spider snare tiny flying insects.

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Image of a red velvet ant

Velvet Ants

Numerous species in Missouri
Velvet ants are not true ants. True ants are social insects, while velvet ants are a group of solitary wasps. Female velvet ants are wingless throughout their lives; males are winged.

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Photo of a northern walkingstick on autumn dogwood leaves

Walkingsticks (Stick Insects)

Diapheromera femorata, Megaphasma denticrus, and others
Walkingsticks are long, slender insects that are perfectly camouflaged to look like brown or green twigs. Most species are tropical, but some types are found in Missouri.

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Photo of a water boatman

Water Boatmen

About 125 species in North America in the family Corixidae
Water boatmen are one of the few aquatic “true bugs” that are not predaceous and do not bite people. Instead, they suck juices from algae and detritus. Only a few species eat other small aquatic creatures. Learn more about these nifty water bugs.

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Photo of two water penny beetles clinging to a wet rock.

Water Penny Beetles

Beetles in the family Psephenidae
Water pennies are one of the truly nifty aquatic invertebrates that bring out the child in all of us. Some of them really do look like pennies!

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