Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Photo of an adult damselfly on a twig next to water.


Species in the suborder Zygoptera
Like their close relatives the dragonflies, damselflies have long bodies, two pairs of long, membranous, finely veined wings, and predaceous aquatic larvae that have extendible mouthparts. Damselflies typically hold their wings together, above the body.

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Image of a differential grasshopper.

Differential Grasshopper

Melanoplus differentialis
This grasshopper is familiar to most Missourians. Originally it lived only in wet meadows and creek bottomlands, but with the spread of farms, it has become a pest of many food crops.

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Photo of a male Banded Pennant dragonfly


Species in the suborder Anisoptera
Like their close relatives the damselflies, dragonflies have long bodies, two pairs of long, membranous, finely veined wings, and predaceous aquatic larvae. Dragonflies typically hold their wings stretched outward, horizontally.

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image of Dung Beetle rolling a dung ball

Dung Beetles (Tumblebugs)

Subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae
Horses, cattle, dogs, and deer all drop manna from above to eager dung beetles, which collect, hoard, and guard the precious organic materials left undigested in the pile.

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Photo of a female and male European earwig on a dead leaf.

Earwigs (Pincer Bugs)

Forficula auricularia, Euborellia anulipes, and others.
Earwigs have smooth, slender, flattened bodies that are perfect for living under rocks, leaves, and tree bark. Their pincers can repel insect predators, but they are harmless to people.

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Photo of an eastern carpenter bee

Eastern Carpenter Bee

Xylocopa virginica
Eastern carpenter bees somewhat resemble bumblebees but have a noticeably black, shiny abdomen. Also, they are rather solitary and excavate their nests in wood. Carpenter bee nests are provisioned in the spring and summer.

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Photo of eastern dobsonfly

Eastern Dobsonfly (Hellgrammite)

Corydalus cornutus
Adult dobsonflies are huge and mothlike, with large wings and a weak, fluttery flight. The fiercely predaceous aquatic larvae, called hellgrammites, are well-known to anglers, who often use them as bait.

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metallic, emerald-green beetle on ash leaf

Emerald Ash Borer

Agrilus planipennis
Learn to ID and report signs of the emerald ash borer: a highly destructive, invasive beetle that kills every type of ash tree — even healthy, vigorous ones.

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Photo of male and female European wood wasps on pine stump

European Wood Wasp (Sirex Woodwasp)

Sirex noctilio
The European wood wasp, or sirex woodwasp, is known to cause the death of up to 80 percent of the pine trees in an area, and it could soon arrive in Missouri. Help protect our pines by learning how to identify this troublesome insect.

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Photo of an adult female field cricket

Field Crickets (House Crickets)

Gryllus spp., Acheta domesticus, and relatives
The familiar black or brown field crickets are celebrated singers. There are several species in Missouri.

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