Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Tiger Beetles

image of Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle crawling on dead leaves
Subfamily Cicindelinae (about 100 species in North America)
Dizzyingly fast runners and fliers, tiger beetles are remarkable, and often colorful, insect predators. More

Tree Trunk Spider

Image of a tree trunk jumping spider (front view).
Platycriptus undatus
This jumping spider usually lives on tree bark and is camouflaged with grays, tans and browns to blend in with that background. There is usually an undulating pattern on the abdomen. More

Triangulate Orb Weaver

Photo of a triangulate orb weaver
Verrucosa arenata
Late summer and fall Missouri's woodland hikers can count on walking into the triangulate orb weaver's web. Its woodland web is small and delicate, and its diet consists of tiny flying insects. More

Velvet Ants

Image of a red velvet ant
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. More

Walkingsticks (Stick Insects)

Photo of a northern walkingstick on autumn dogwood leaves
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. More

Water Boatmen

Photo of a water boatman
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. More

Water Striders

Photo of a single water strider
Aquarius remigis; also species in the genus Gerris
Also called “pond skaters” and “water spiders,” water striders are hard not to notice. Water-repellant hairs on the hind and middle legs allow these nimble insects to skate on the surface of the water. More

Weevils (Snout Beetles; Bark Beetles)

image of Cocklebur Weevil
About 2,500 species in North America north of Mexico
Weevils are plant-eating beetles with a characteristic long, down-curving snout. The antennae are clubbed and elbowed. There are thousands of weevil species. More

Wheel Bug

image of a Wheel Bug, Side View
Arilus cristatus
This large gray or brown insect carries something interesting on its back: Is it a cog, or a wheel, or a circular saw blade? It’s unmistakable! More

Whirligig Beetles

Photo of a whirligig beetle viewed from above
Species in the beetle family Gyrinidae
Groups of these aquatic beetles swim on the surface of water in quick, random patterns, searching for food. They have two pairs of eyes—one pair above the water, and one pair below—which helps them to quickly and accurately capture their prey. More