Golden Silk Orbweaver

This is a huge Golden Silk Orbweaver, I want to say at least the size of my hand around 3 inches wide and 6 inches to the tip of my middle finger. So I believe this may be a female.

She picked the best spot for her web, and how they know where and at what height to build their webs is truly amazing. I am hoping to head back there to measure the web.

Her nutrition is a Hercules Beetle.

Looks like some little ones are practicing their web weaving!


Links

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/golden_silk_spider.htm

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/MISC/BEETLES/Dynastes_hercules.htm

Southern Dogface Butterflies

While in-between assignments I was able to get some nature photography in! First stop was a quick couple of hours at Citrus Tract in Withlacoochee State Forest. Loads of Southern Dogface butterflies and Pipevine Swallowtails.

Southern Dogface | July 18 | Alice Mary Herden
Southern Dogface | July 18 | Alice Mary Herden
Pipevine Swallowtail | July 18 | Alice Mary Herden
Pipevine Swallowtail | July 18 | Alice Mary Herden

The last time I visited Citrus WMA was June 17 and June 20, and there were so many Queens and Bella Moths… only saw a few on this day. As I gather more details I believe this is some good information to keep track of.


Links:

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflowers/butterfly/southern-dogface/

Host plants: Bastard Indigo and Summer Farewell