Field Trip to Stengl with the Ento Class

The Entomology Class for Fall 2017 took a field day out to Stengl Lost Pines Biological Station on Saturday, September 29. Stengl is a field station within the University of Texas Biodiversity Center. Less than an hour from the UT campus, this research station has hundreds of acres available for student and faculty research. The habitat is more like that …

Maternal care (?) in Bark Scorpions

Last month, UTIC Volunteer Anne Schultz brought in a scorpion momma loaded with baby scorpions on her back. Our natural reaction was to photograph them asap! Anne and I used a white box to get live photos of these adorable arachnids. The species we have here is the Striped Bark Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus), the most commonly-encountered scorpion in our area.
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Orchid Bee Project Finished!

Late in August, I was focused on imaging sawflies when I suddenly changed course after finding a drawer of orchid bees. I was browsing Dr. Lawrence Gilbert’s tropical insect collection, recently donated to the UTIC, and the product of trips to Trinidad, Costa Rica, and Mexico during the 70s and 80s. In this tropical collection are insects with striking colors, …

Salticidae

Not sure specifically what kind of jumping spider this is — the list of possibilities is long. I’m in Southern Ontario at the moment, Platycryptus undatus are supposed to be common around here. I like jumping spiders. They’re quite charismatic as spiders go, always waving their silly little pedipalps around. How do you feel about spiders?

Crown wasp

This wasp, Megischus bicolor, parasitizes wood-boring beetle larvae by injecting eggs with her impressive ovipositor. This family of wasps, Stephanidae, is infrequently encountered but this particular species can be found throughout the eastern US, Mexico, and Central America. At first glance they can be easily mistaken for the more common Ichneumonids, but can be distinguished by their elongated neck and the …

Graphocephala coccinea

Known as the red-striped leafhopper or the candy-striped leafhopper, these colourful creatures are common garden pests. They are also kind of adorable. I noticed a handful of them in the garden outside the place I’m renting in Salt Lake City, and having never seen them before, snapped some photos for later identification. Turns out that they’re responsible for spreading Pierce’s …