Content tagged with "Insects, Spiders and Kin"

Photo of mating pair of musk mares, on a gravel surface, viewed from above.

Northern Two-Striped Walkingstick (Musk Mare; Devil’s Riding Horse)

Anisomorpha ferruginea
Be careful when approaching northern two-striped walkingsticks: They can squirt an acrid fluid at you. Musk mare, devil’s riding horse, and prairie alligator are all names for this remarkable stick insect.

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orchard orb weaver

Orchard Orb Weaver

Leucauge venusta
Orchard orb weavers are colorful greenish, delicate spiders that make circular webs in low bushes and damp woodlands. 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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Photo of a periodical cicada shown from the side.

Periodical Cicadas

Species in the genus Magicicada
Periodical cicadas live as nymphs for 13–17 years underground, and then emerge simultaneously to metamorphose into their adult form. Tremendous numbers of periodical cicadas, calling all at once, are a memorable event.

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Photo of a sowbug (left) and pillbug (right).

Pillbugs and Sowbugs (Land Isopods)

Land-dwelling members of the crustacean order Isopoda
Pillbugs, roly-polies, woodlice, and sowbugs — the terrestrial members of order Isopoda are familiar to anyone who has overturned a rock. But what do you really know about them?

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Photo of a predaceous diving beetle

Predaceous Diving Beetles (Water Tigers)

Species in the beetle family Dytiscidae
Like many aquatic insects, these large oval beetles prey voraciously on other aquatic organisms. Excellent swimmers, they fly well, too, and are often attracted to lights.

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Image of a pseudoscorpion.


Various species in the order Pseudoscorpionida
Pseudoscorpions are unusual little arachnids. They look something like tiny scorpions but with a rounded (and nonvenomous) hind end. They are often overlooked. Learn more about these fascinating animals.

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Image of a red-legged grasshopper.

Red-Legged Grasshopper

Melanoplus femurrubrum
These small, red-legged grasshoppers are an important food for Missouri’s wild game birds.

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Photo of ridge-faced flower crab spider on daisy-family flower

Ridge-Faced Flower Spider

Misumenoides formosipes
The ridge-faced flower spider is a small, whitish-yellow or yellowish-brown crab spider commonly found in flower heads. Often its carapace is slightly greenish, with a broad whitish-yellow midband bordered by darker, thinner sides of yellowish brown.

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