Arkansas Arthropod Photo Gallery

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striped bark scorpion Striped bark scorpion
Arkansas scorpions are easy to identify becasue there is only one species, the striped bark scorpion, Centruroides vittatus. Adults are about 2½" long, and they have 2 broad, dark longitudinal bands on the dorsal side of the abdomen. The appendages of the post- abdomen are uniform yellowish brown, except for the tip of the sting, which is black. This species is the most widespread scorpion.

Click on the image for more information about the striped bark scorpion.
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Chigger Chiggers
Chiggers are minute and nearly invisible arthropods about 0.02 mm long. They range from yellow to light red. Most chiggers are natural ectoparasites of several classes of vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, while some species parasitize invertebrates. On their natural hosts they do not cause severe dermatitis, but when they attack man they are often responsible for swellings of the skin accompanied by intense itching.

Click on the image for more information about chiggers.
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Fillicle mite

Follicle mites
Follicle mites live exclusively in human hair follicles. They are minute, about 0.3 millimeters long, worm-like, and they have rudimentary legs. They can occur anywhere on the face, around the ears, and sometimes elsewhere, but they are most common on the forehead, cheeks, and nose.

Click on the image for more information about follicle mites.

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deer ticks Deer ticks
Adult deer ticks are about the size and shape of a sesame seed when not fed, increasing to about 0.13 – 0.25" (3 - 6 mm) when engorged with a blood meal. They are dark reddish brown, and the hard dorsal plate (scutum) is uniformly colored. Lyme disease is a non-contagious, inflammatory condition caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted by the bite of the deer tick.

Click on the image for more information about deer ticks.
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Trapdoor spider

Trapdoor spider
Trapdoor spider burrows are often foudn on sides of forested ravines. The silk-lined, underground burrows are hidden under hinged trapdoors that are camouflaged with soil and bits of plant material. The spiders are nocturnal, holding the trapdoors ajar at night waiting to ambush passing prey.

Click on the image for more information about trapdoor spiders.

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Arkansas chocolate tarantula Arkansas chocolate tarantula
The Arkansas chocolate tarantula, Aphonopelma baergi (formerly identified by many researchers as Dugesiella hentzi) is Arkansas' only tarantula. Females of this hairy spider average 2" long, and males average a little over 1½". The body and legs are uniformly dark brown. Tarantulas occur in dry, rocky glades, where they inhabit silk-lined burrows in natural cavities.

Click on the image for more information about the Arkansas chocolate tarantula.
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Brown recluse spider Brown recluse spider
Arkansas is at the center of the natural distribution of brown recluse spiders. These spiders are variable in color, but usually yellowish brown, and they reach to about 3/8” long, excluding the legs. They have 6 eyes arranged in 3 pairs, rather than the 8 eyes found in most spiders. A distinctive violin-shaped dark marking is present on the cephalothorax of this and other recluse spiders.

Click on the image for more information about brown recluse spiders.
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Common house spider Common house spider
Dusty cobwebs hanging from ceiling corners are remnants of this species’ work. It has a cosmopolitan distribution and has probably been transported around the world by man. It is a common and characteristic species of houses, barns, and sheds. Rarely have common house spiders been known to bite humans, and their bites apparently do not result in serious symptoms.

Click on the image for more information about common house spiders.
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black widow spider Black widow spider
For many years, the black widow was thought to be single species, but it is now known to represent several species, at least 2 of which occur in Arkansas. The southern black widow, Latrodectus mactans, is probably the most common species in this state. The posterior portion of the red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen may appear more like a rounded rectangle than a triangle.

Click on the image for more information about the black widow spider.
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Triangulate cobweb spider Triangulate cobweb spider
This small household spider is easily overlooked as it weaves cobwebs in the dark corners of houses, basements, and outbuildings. This species is common in towns and cities, in and around man-made structures, in dark corners of walls, lower angles of windows, and under eaves. There are no known cases of human envenomation by the triagulate cobweb spider.

Click on the image for more information about the triangulate cobweb spider.
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Hentz’s orbweaver spider Hentz's orbweaver
In late summer and early autumn, the commona and abundant Hentz’s orbweaver spiders become conspicuous elements of the Ozark landscape. Females make large webs, often with more than 20 radii or spokes, in relatively open, shaded areas, such as open woods, among garden shrubs and trees, and under overhanging roofs of houses in wooded areas.

Click on the image for more information about Hentz's orbweaver.
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Spined micrathena Spined micrathena
The dark-spotted, whitish abdomen surrounded by 5 pairs of black-tipped spines distinguishes the female of this common woodland spider. Males do not resemble females and are only a fraction of the size, have a flattened, elongate, whitish abdomen. Micrathena gracilis is found in dense deciduous forests in eastern North America south to Costa Rica.

Click on the image for more information about the spined micrathena.
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Yellow garden spider Yellow garden spider
This brightly colored and conspicuous species is frequently observed in open, sunny areas, especially in late summer and early fall. Females can reach a length of one inch or more. The yellow and black abdomen is oval, and it bears of pair of humps near the base. Yellow garden spiders are familiar sites around homes and in gardens and old fields throughout the United States.

Click on the image for more information about the yellow garden spider.
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Dark fishing spider Dark fishing spider
When the dark fishing spider shows up in Arkansas homes, it can cause much excitement. With legs outstretched, the animal can measure over 3” long. The fangs are certainly able to penetrate human skin, but reports of humans being bitten are rare. A single known report indicates immediate burning pain at the site of the bite, followed by redness and minor local tissue necrosis.

Click on the image for more information about the dark fishing spider.
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Agrarian sac spider Agrarian sac spider
Sac spiders are the probable cause of more spider bites than any other kind of spider. The agrarian sac spider is often found on trees, shrubs, and low vegetation bordering open expanses, such a fields. Their chelicerae are long and powerful, and the fangs can easily penetrate human skin. Most bites occur when people are gardening or performing other kinds of outdoor activities.

Click on the image for more information about the agrarian sac spider.
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Bold jumping spider Bold jumping spider
The jumping spiders, Family Salticidae, are bold daytime hunters with acute vision. The bold jumping spider, Phidippus audax, is a grassland and prairie species and a common predator of many crop pests. These spiders are mostly black, and typically the top of the abdomen has a rather large white to red central spot and a pair of smaller posterior spots. The chelicerae are metallic green.

Click on the image for more information about the bold jumping spider.
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Giant redheaded centipede Giant redheaded centipede
These fast moving and aggressive titans are among the largest centipedes. They attract a great deal of attention because of their size and fierce appearance. Specimens average about 6½” in length. They have been known to deliver painful bites, but symptoms seem to disappear quickly. Females lay eggs and care for their young until they can fend for themselves.

Click on the image for more information about the giant redheaded centipede.
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House centipede House centipede
The house centipede is often seen darting across floors at high speed. It is an inhabitant of damp places, such as bathrooms, moist closets, cellars, crawl spaces, and piles of fire wood. Although house centipedes are not aggressive, they will sometimes bite in self-defense. Severe swelling and pain can occur, but in most cases the bite is no worse than the sting of a bee.

Click on the image for more information about the house centipede.
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Silverfish Silverfish
The silverfish is a common household pest in many parts of the world. It is scaly, has a silvery sheen, and it is about half an inch long at maturity. It is active at night and hides during the day, and it prefers cool, damp situations. Individuals frequently attain an age of well over 3 years and under favorable conditions may lay an average of about 100 eggs. Immature and adult stages consume items containing carbohydrates and protein. Silverfish are primary pests of paper and paper products containing starch, dextrin, casein, gum, and glue. They will also attack leather, furs, carpets, and starched fabrics.

Click on the image for more information about the silverfish
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Woods roach Woods roach
The woods cockroach, Parcoblatta pennsylvanica, is a fairly large, harmless, native species. It normally lives outdoors in hollow trees, under bark, or in piles of dead wood, such as firewood. In the spring, the males sometimes invade homes in moist woodland areas, such as the Ozarks. The large males, up to an inch long, with wings that cover the tip of the abdomen, are attracted to lights.

Click on the image for more information about the woods roach.
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Chinese mantid Chinese mantid
The Chinese mantid is a large species. Some individuals reach 3.5 inches in length. They are variable in color, from brown to green, but most Arkansas specimens tend to be mostly brown, with green stripes along the leading egde of the front wing. The species has only one generation per year. Adults are present in late summer and fall, and females dies after producing eggs in the fall. As many as 200 eggs are embedded in a Styrofoam-like egg case called an ootheca. The eggs overwinter and hatch the following spring, with most eggs hatching simultaneously.

Click on the image for more information about the Chinese mantid.
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Camel cricket Camel cricket
Camel crickets get their common name from their arched, tan or brown bodies. Adults are wingless and up to 1½” long. The antennae are very long and fragile, and the long hind legs with enlarged femora give them the ability to jump strongly. These crickets usually occur in humid, concealed areas, and they are active mostly at night. They are incidental pests around the home.

Click on the image for more information about camel crickets.
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Post-oak locust Post-oak locust
The post-oak locust occasionally appears in outbreaks of devastating local abundance in oak forests of the eastern United States, and then populations subside to levels of near rarity. Nymphs and adults spend most of their time in host trees or shrubs, where they feed on the foliage. Trees can be completely defoliated, but they rarely die. These grasshoppers prefer oaks of the red oak group, such as red oak and black oak, rather than the white oak group, and they also attack foliage of hazelnut.

Click on the image for more information about post-oak locusts.
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Autumn yellow-winged grasshopper

Autumn yellow-winged grasshopper
The band-winged grasshoppers are among our most conspicuous grasshoppers. Those of the genus Arphia are usually heavy bodied and bear enlarged hind legs. They are a rather drab gray or brown color and uninteresting when at rest, but when in flight, the bright orange or red hind wings are revealed as the male hopper makes a distinctive snapping, crackling, and buzzing sound.

Click on the image for more information about autumn yellow-winged grasshoppers.

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Common meadow katydid Common meadow katydid
This katydid frequents dry weedy fields, gardens, and lawns. The male's songs, produced by structures on the bases of the leathery forewings, attract females and help maintain local territories free of other males. Females lay eggs in the stems of a number of plant species. Oviposition activity has been known to damage sorghum in Arkansas and raspberry canes in Illinois.

Click on the image for more information about common meadow katydids.
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 True katydid True katydid
True katydids are 1.5-2.5-inch, flightless inhabitants of deciduous treetops. Their green wings mimic leaves. Nymphs mature and adults start calling in July. Males produce raucous chirping sounds resembling the word katydid at night with their forewings. Calling males seem to remain at approximately the same place in a tree throughout adult life. Adults are killed by autumn frosts.

Click on the image for more information about true katydids.
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Prairie mole cricket Prairie mole cricket
Mole crickets are stout, fuzzy, brown insects with short antennae and fossorial front legs reminiscent of those of moles. They burrow in moist soil, often near ponds and streams. The prairie mole cricket is the largest mole cricket in North America, growing to two inches or more in length. It is a rare insect native to the tall grass prairie in the south-central United States.

Click on the image for more information about prairie mole crickets..
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A southeastern grass leafhopper A southeastern grass leafhopper
This southeastern grass leafhopper, Cuerna costalis, was first shown to transmit phony peach disease in 1949, and in 1962 it was shown to vector Pierce’s disease in grapes. However, Cuerna costalis feeds primarily on grasses. Females lay eggs in the lower surfaces of grass blades. There are at least two full generations per year, and in some areas there is a partial third generation. This species normally winters as adults sheltered in matted grasses in open fields, orchards, and woodland margins.

Click on the image for more information about Cuerna costalis.
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Frosted planthopper

Citrus, or frosted, flatid planthopper            This species occurs on a wide variety of woody plants, not just citrus. It can be found on many forest and orchard trees, grape and other vines, many kinds of ornamental and native shrubs, and some herbaceous vegetation. It rarely causes significant damage, but the nymphs produce an unsightly waxy material on stems of host plants.

Click on the image for more information about the frosted planthopper.

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Acanalonia conica

Green coneheaded planthopper
The green coneheaded planthopper feeds on a wide variety of native and cultivated trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and grasses. However, populations are usually small and incapable of inflicting serious damage on their host plants.

Click on the image for more information about the green coneheaded planthopper.

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Azalea lace bug

Azalea lace bugs
Azalea lace bugs live and feed on the undersides of azalea leaves. Nymphs and adults damage plants by piercing cells and sucking out their contents. Because they remove much of the chlorophyll form the upper palisale parenchyma of the leaaves, the plants appear bleached and chlorotic. Severelyh damaged leaves may trun brown and fall.

Click on the image for more information about azalea lace bugs.

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bed bug Bed bugs
Until recently, few living Americans – including entomologists – had any experience with bed bugs. Although they have been associated with humans for thousands of years, the pests had been kept under control by synthetic insecticides since the last world war. However, within the past decade, there has been an alarming resurgence of bed bugs. The bugs hide in crevices, in folds in bedding, and in other tight spaces. They move rapidly when disturbed. At night they feed on blood of mammals and birds using their sharp beak to painlessly pierce the host's skin.

Click on the image for more information about bed bug bugs.
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Large milkweed bug Large milkweed bug
Although they might be considered a nuisance by gardeners trying to propagate milkweeds, and they sometimes congregate in large numbers on or near buildings like the boxelder and golden raintree bugs, large milkweed bugs are not usually accorded pest status. However, they have been widely used as research animals because they are easy to rear and manipulate in the laboratory. Their aposomatic coloration warns potential predators the they are unpalatable. In the process of feeding on milkweed seeds they sequester toxins from the host plant.

Click on the image for more information about large milkweed bugs.
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Golden raintree bug Golden raintree bug
Also known as the soapberry bug or redshouldered bug, the golden raintree bug feeds on seeds of native and introduced plants of the soapberry family. The bugs amass on or near hosts and buildings and may enter homes in the fall, while searching for a place to spend the winter. They are a nuisance but not dangerous, and they cause little damage, except some staining when crushed. Rapid adaptive evolution and development of allopatric host races has followed the colonization of recently introduced, non-native soapberries.

Click on the image for more information about golden raintree bugs.
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Boxelder bug

Boxelder bug
The boxelder bug is sometimes found entering Arkansas homes in fall. In natural settings, it passes the winter in forest litter and other protected places, but homes also offer an attractive alternative. The species feeds almost exclusively on the boxelder tree, especially the developing seeds. Inside homes, it is not likely to find anything to eat. However, the bugs can be a nuisance, especially when they begin to wander about on warmer winter days.

Click on the image for more information about boxelder bugs.

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Garden fleahopper

Garden fleahopper
The garden fleahopper can be an important early season pest in many legume, vegetable, and fruit crops. These true bugs suck the contents of plant cells, causing pale speckling of the foliage and possibly stunted growth or even death of seedlings. Infestations can reach large proportions in alfalfa fields, and the leafhoppers may spill over into nearby gardens, where they are especially attracted to beans, beets, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes.

Click the image for more information about garden fleahoppers.

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Phlox plant bug

Phlox plant bug
Lopidea davisi is considered a pest on cultivated phlox in the eastern United States. As early as 1925 it became a serious pest of cultivated phlox in Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and West Virginia. It breeds on wild phlox, but it may fly to cultivated varieties nearby. A spring generation appears in May and June. The summer generation appears in July and lasts to late September. The bugs suck sap from the phlox foliage, causing the leaves to turn brown, curl, dry out, and drop.

Click on the image for more information on the phlox plant bug.

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Fourlined plant bug Fourlined plant bug
Fourlined plant bugs damage many species of herbaceous and woody plants, causing immediate damage, which may be severe in areas where bug populations are dense. Nymphs can develop on many species of plants. More than 250 species in 57 families have been reported as hosts, but the bugs seem to prefer certain species in the mint, nightshade, and the aster families.

Click on the image for more information about fourlined plant bugs.
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Harlequin bug

Harlequin bug
The harlequin bug is an important pest of cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and related cruciferous crops.The bugs suck sap from the plants, causing them to wilt, turn brown, and die. Harlequin bugs exhibit aposematic, or warning, coloration, advertising their toxic qualities. They sequester toxins – mustard oil glycosides ­– from their host plants. When adults are squeezed, they expel toxic liquid from the sides of the prothorax.

Click on the image for more information about harlequin bugs.

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A common leaf-footed bug

A common leaf-footed bug
Acanthocephala terminalis is readily recognized by the distinctive shape of the leaf-like dilation of its hind tibia. It is frequently encountered in Arkansas, where it can be seen resting and walking on vegetation, especially trees and shrubs along woodland margins and in weedy fields. Nymphs and adults suck sap from various plants, but unlike some relatives such as the squash bug, they are not pestiferous and do not harm cultivated plants.

Click on the image for more information about common leaf-footed bugs.

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Squash bug nymphs

Squash bug
Squash bugs attack nearly all cucurbits, such as pumpkin, squash, watemelon, cucumber, and muskmelon, but they have a distinct preference for pumpkin and squash plants as egg-laying sites.  Plants or parts of plants that are under attack by squash bugs dramatically wilt, die, and turn brown and crisp in midsummer.

Click on the image for more information about squash bugs.

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Magicicada tridecim

Periodical cicadas
At 1.0-1.2 inches long, periodical cicadas are smaller then the more common dog-day cicadas, and they are readily recognized by their red eyes and orange wing veins. There are two broods in Arkansas, both with 13-year life cycles. Brood XXIII last emerged in 2002 and will appear again in 2015. Brood XIX last appeared in 1998 and is due again in the spring of 2011

Click on the image for more information about periodical cicadas.

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Tibicen pruinosa

Dog day cicadas
Dog day cicadas are large black insects, usually with green markings. Males sing loudly during the hot, sultry dog days of summer. Males of each species have a distincitve call, and some have such colorful names as scissor grinder or buzz saw cicadas. With some study, one can identify cicada species simply by listening to their calls.

Click on the image for more information about dog day cicadas.

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Oleander aphid

Oleander aphid
The oleander aphid feeds primarily on plants in the dogbane milkweed families in tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. Its bright yellow coloration warns of its poisonous qualities to would be predators. Apparently, all adult aphids are all females, and they are viviparous, depositing nymphs rather than eggs

Click on the image for more information about oleander aphids.

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Caterpillar hunter Caterpillar hunter
This brilliant, metallic-green beetle is sometimes found in large numbers during the Arkansas spring, being attracted to lights at night. It may cause alarm because of its large size (it reaches 1 - 1½" in length) and the odor it emits to ward off predators and careless humans. However, Calosoma scrutator is a highly beneficial species that climbs trees in search of caterpillar prey.

Click on the image for more information about caterpillar hunters.
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American burying beetle American burying beetle
In the past, the American burying beetle was widely distributed in southeastern Canada and 35 states in the eastern and central United States. Population decline was well underway by the 1920s, and all specimens collected since 1960 have been found on the periphery of the original range. Today, the American burying beetle is known primarily from three areas in the United States, including west-central Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

Click on the image for more information about American burying beetles.

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Pinching bug Pinching bugs
Pinching bugs are large, shiny, reddish brown beetles with lighter, orange-brown femora. The male’s fearsome mandibles are large, about twice the size of the female’s mandibles. When disturbed, males rear back in a threatening display, with head high and mandibles open. However, they can be handled easily because their mandibles have so little leverage that they can only deliver a mild pinch.

Click on the image for more information about pinching bugs.

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Green June beetle Green June beetle
Sometimes called the fig eater because of the adult’s fondness for figs and other ripe, thin-skinned fruits, the green June beetle is native to and widely distributed in the eastern United States from Connecticut to Florida and Kansas to Texas. Adults feed on and damage many kinds of ripening fruits, including peaches, grapes, blackberries, apples, and even tomatoes. The beetles are attracted to decaying organic matter as oviposition sites. Green June beetle larvae are considered only minor pests. They mechanically damage turf through their burrowing activity.

Click on the image for more information about green June beetles.
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Euphoria sepulcralis

Dark flower scarab
Euphoria sepulcralis is a day-flying scarab beetle from the eastern United States. Adults are often found in association with flowers, apparently feeding on pollen. They are also associated with fermenting sap and rip or decaying fruit. There is usually little cause for concern, although the species occasionally damages corn, roses, or fruit trees flowers.

Click on the image for more information about dark flower scarabs..

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Japanese beetle

Japanese beetle
Both adult and immature Japanese beetles are highly destructive pests. Adults emerge in July and August and skeletonize foliage and gouge fruit of hundreds of species of plants. Larvae, which are among the many kinds of “white grubs” found in lawns and pastures, feed in the roots of grasses and other plants. They are the most widespread turf-grass pest in the United States.

Click on the image for more information about Japanese beetles.

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Eastern Hercules beetle Eastern Hercules beetle
The eastern Hercules beetle, relatively common in Arkansas, is the most massive beetle in the eastern United States. Adults range in length from 1.5 to 2.5 inches. Males have horns that project forward from the pronotum and head. Larvae are found in cavities at bases of oak trees, where they feed on collected granular debris. Development may require 2 to 3 years.

Click on the image for more information about eastern Hercules beetles.
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Glow-worm

Glow-worm
The term glow-worm is applied to the beetle families Phengodidae and Lampyridae.  Both families contain species in which females are wingless and resemble larvae. Wingless females and most larvae of both families are luminescent, and eggs and pupae of some phengodids are also reported to glow.

Click on the image for more information about glow-worms.

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Pennsylvania leatherwing

Pennsylvania leatherwing
Pennsylvania leatherwing adults can be found in abundance visiting goldenrod and many other kinds of flowers in mid to late summer. Modified mouthparts enable them to feed on nectar. Adults feed in the open, oblivious to potential predators and protected to a degree by their bright aposematic coloration, which apprises predators of their antifeedant glandular secretions.

Click on the image for more information about the Pennsylvania leatherwing.

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Varied carpet beetle adult

Varied carpet beetle
The varied carpet beetle is a serious pest of stored organic products in homes, warehouses, and museums, and it has a virtually worldwide distribution. The larvae feed on a variety of dry protein of both animal and plant origin, including woolen goods, furs, leather, stuffed animals, mounted insect specimens, feathers, horn, silk, grains, and spices.

Click on the image for more information about varied carpet beetles.

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Odd beetle

Odd beetle
This aptly named beetle is the most bizarre member of the family Dermestidae. Males and females bear little resemblance to each other. Larvae normally feed on dry animal matter and can be serious pests of museum collections, especially damaging dry, pinned insect specimens.

Click on the image for more information about odd beetles.

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Black larder beetle

Black larder beetle
The black larder beetle feeds on various organic substances, especially dead insects and vertebrate carrion. .It has been recorded infesting cheese, dried fish, leather, silk, wool, milk powder, ginger, dry pet food, and other materials. It is an especially important pest of museum collections and fishmeal-processing factories. It is also an intermediate host for poultry tapeworms.

Click on the image for more information about black larderbeetles.

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Drugstore beetle

Drugstore beetle
The drugstore beetle is one of the most common household pests in Arkansas. The larvae can extensively damage a wide variety of plant and animal materials stored in the home, but they most commonly infest dry foodstuffs, such as pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, pet food, spices, flour, sauce mixes, dried fruit, dried fish, and fish meal. The North American common name is derived from the beetles' habit of feeding on prescription drugs.

Click on the image for more information about drugstore beetles.

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Foreign grain beetle

Foreign grain beetle
Foreign grain beetles are brown and tiny, only about 1/16 of an inch long. They are found in association with a wide range of moldy foodstuffs, including grains, cocoa, oilseeds, dried fruit, herbs, spices, and roots. It is often seen as a pest in brand new homes in Arkansas, usually in the heat and humidity of midsummer. After sheetrock is plastered, mold forms in the wall voids, and this provides a food source for the beetles.

Click on the image for more information about foreign grain beetles.

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Sawtoothed grain beetle Sawtoothed grain beetle
Both sawtoothed grain beetles and merchant grain beetles are common pests of stored foods. The sawtoothed grain beetle prefers cereal-based products, such as breakfast foods, flour, corn meal and buscuit mix, whereas the merchant grain beetle prefers nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Adults beetles are around 1/10" long, flat, and reddish-brown, with 6 teeth on each side of the prothorax.

Click on the image for more information about sawtoothed grain beetles.
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Nine-spotted lady beetle Nine-spotted lady beetle
Nine-spotted lady beetles consume hundreds of aphids each day, and when abundant the species is an important biological control agent for pest aphids. Only 25 years ago the it was considered one of the most widespread and common lady beetles in North American with a range stretching from coast to coast. Unfortunately, the species has undergone a severe decline in recent years, and few if any individuals are now being found in most states.

Click on the image for more information about nine-spotted lady beetles.
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Multicolored Asian lady beetle Multicolored Asian lady beetle
The multicolored Asian lady beetle is an important biological control agent for pest aphids and scale insects, but it is also a nuisance pest, especially in the autumn when it forms large aggregations on buildings while searching for concealed places in which to pass the winter. Indoors, the beetles can accumulate on window sills, inside walls, and at other places.

Click on the image for more information about multicolored Asian lady beetles.
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Confused flour beetle Confused flour beetle
Confused flour beetles consume broken grain, grain dust, milled grain, and cereal products. They are the most abundant and injurous insect pest of flour mills in the United States. They are often found in large numbers in infested grain. Damage to food is primarily due to the beetles' dead bodies, feces, and secretions. The adults are less than 1/4 inch long and reddish-brown

Click on the image for more information about confused flour beetles.
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Ebony blister beetle Ebony blister beetle
Blister beetles produce a substance called cantharidin, which can cause blistering of skin and mucous membranes and irritation to the digestive and urinary tract. Adult beetles usually respond to disturbance by feigning death and bleeding cantharidin-laden hemolymph from certain leg joints. The ebony blister beetle is among the most pestiferous species of Epicauta. Although the larvae consume of eggs of the destructive differential grasshopper, the adults are sporadic pests of gardens and crops in Arkansas.

Click on the image for more information about the ebony blister beetle.
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Red oak borer Red oak borer
In the 1990s an unprecedented outbreak of the native red oak borer was devastating forests in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Missouri. Research revealed that populations began to increase in the 1980s and peaked around 2001-2003, possibly related to extreme drought events and trees weakened by age. They then declined to historically low levels.

Click on the image for more information about red oak borers.
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Twig girdler Twig girdler
During the Arkansas autumn, when it is time to rake leaves, homeowners often notice that there are lots of 1-2 foot twigs on the lawn. Some might blame high winds or squirrel activity. However, if close inspection of the bases of the twigs reveal even, conical cuts, as if produced by miniature beavers, it is the work of beetles known as twig girdlers.

Click on the image for more information about twig girdlers.
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Cottonwood leaf beetle Cottonwood leaf beetle
Adults and larvae of the cottonwood leaf beetles feed on foliage of poplars, willows, aspens, and alders, sometimes causing severe damage to the trees. Young larvae feed together and skeletonize leaves. Older larvae and adults feed individually, chewing holes or consuming entire leaves, except for the larger veins. The quarter-inch adults are yellow with a distinctive black pattern.

Click on the image for more information about cottonwood leaf beetles.
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Common asparagus beetle, adult

Common asparagus beetle
The common asparagus beetle is an introduced species that feeds exclusively on asparagus, and it can cause extensive crop damage. Adults and larvae scar the tips of asparagus spears and frass stains them. The beetles can stunt plant growth when they strip asparagus fronds, interrupting photosynthesis and energy storage functions.

Click on the image for more information about common asparagus beetles.

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Cowpea curculio

Cowpea curculio
The cowpea curculio adults and larvae damage legumes by feeding on seeds within pods. It infests field peas, stringbeans, soybeans. Lima beans, cotton, and strawberries. Black-eyed peas and crowder peas are commonly attacked. Some leguminous weeds such as vetch are also attacked.


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Twobanded Japanese weevil

Twobanded Japanese weevil
Adult twobanded Japanese weevils feed on leaves of a broad range of host plants, and when they are abundant they can cause major damage especially to landscape plantings. In the meantime, larvae feed on and destroy roots of the adults’ host plants.

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Moth fly Moth flies, drain flies
Moth flies are very small flies covered with a furry covering of fine setae that renders a resemblance to tiny moths. Indoors, they may become pests in bathrooms, kitchens, locker rooms, and other areas provided with water service and drains. Larvae live the gelatinous material that covers filter stones at sewage plants and the insides of drain pipes and overflow areas of indoor plumbing.

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Snake-worms

Snake-worms
Mass migrations of the larvae of some species of darkwinged fungus gnats have been well documented, but their purpose remains unknown. Progression of the long, slender snake-worms is accomplished by individual larvae crawling forward on top of the bodies of their comrades. Snake-worms are usually little more than a foot long, but at least one observer reported a morm five feet long.

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Mydas fly

Mydas flies
These large, common Arkansas flies mimic spider wasps. They are probably territorial, chasing away nonresident flies of the same species. Adults apparently consume nectar. Larvae are associated with decaying stumps and logs, where they feed on scarab beetle larvae.

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Robber flies Robber flies
Robber fly males and females, adults and larvae, are rapacious predators of other insects. Adults are easily recognized by the depression at the top of the head between the eyes and by the moustache, or "mystax," over the mouthparts. They pounce on their prey and drain its body fluids. Larvae are found in soil, fallen leaves, and decaying wood, where they feed on other insects.

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Purple small-headed fly

Purple small-headed fly
Lasia purpurata is a large, pilose, metallic blue fly with strong purple reflections that occurs in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. In Arkansas, the larval stage apparently parasitizes tarantulas, feeding on the spider’s tissues while obtaining air from the spider’s book lungs.

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Bagworm

Bagworm
Bagworms have been recorded feeding on more than 125 different species of woody plants in 45 families, placing them among the most important pests of ornamental trees and shrubs in the eastern United States. The caterpilars construct conical cases - or bags - around themselves and enlarge them as they grow. The cases consist of silk with attached bits of vegetation from the host shrub or tree.

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Ailanthus webworm moth

Ailanthus webworm moth
Colorful Ailanthus webworm moths can be seen visiting flowers during daytime. Larvae of various ages feed gregariously in communal webs on Tree of Heavan foliage. The species is multivoltine, and it apparently does not diapause. It is unlikely that it overwinters in the northern part of its range. Rather, it migrates north across the United States to southern Canada each year.

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Indian meal moth Indian meal moth
The Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, is one of the most important household pests in Arkansas. It often infests dried fruits, nuts, cereals, powdered milk, chocolate, birdseed, and dry pet food, and it is considered the number one moth pest of dried fruits in storage. The larvae of these moths seldom attack whole kernels. They prefer broken grains and processed cereal products.

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Cross-striped cabbageworm Cross-striped cabbageworm
The cross-striped cabbageworm is a pest of Brassica crops, including cabbage, broccoli, turnips, Brussels sprouts, collards, rutabaga, rape, cauliflower, kale, and related plants. More mature larvae have bluish-gray bodies up to 25 mm long with narrow, black, transverse stripes. They tend to feed on the outside of the head, or they burrow into the developing head.

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Stinging rose caterpillar

Stinging rose caterpillar
The stinging rose caterpillar is the bizarre larva of a handsome, early summer, green and brown moth that has a wing span of about an inch. The caterpillar is said to be aposematically colored: its bright orange background with brilliant yellow spines warns potential predators of its poisonous qualities. The moth is widespread in the forests of the eastern United States, but it is not particularly common. In fact, in some areas, such as New York State, it is considered a species of conservation concern. The caterpillars are known to feed on foliage of rose, dogwood, apple, cherry, bayberry, hickory, maple, poplar, and oak.

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Maple clearwing moth

Maple clearwing moth
Synanthedon acerrubri larvae bore in various species of maples, usually tunneling under the bark of branches. They pupate in spring in cocoons near the bark surface that are made of wood chips and frass There is one generation each year, and adults fly from spring through mid summer.

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Silver-spotted skipper Silver-spotted skipper
Adults select many kinds of summer flowers, especially pink, red and purple flowers, as nectar sources. Black locust is the preferred host of the Cateripillar. The caterpillars cut and fold leaflets of compound-leaved legumes to create shelters, abandoning older shelters as they grow. Larger and more mature individuals require larger shelters, which can consist of several leaflets. This species has more than one generation each year, and it seems that adults are present all summer after their first appearance in the spring.

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Orange dog

Orange dog caterpillar of giant swallowtail butterfly

Arkansas homeowners occasionally find odd looking caterpillars defoliating small, potted citrus plants. These caterpillars are known as orange dogs. They  are the immature stages of giant black and yellow swallowtail butterflies.

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Black swallowtail caterpillar Black swallowtail caterpillar (parsleyworm)
Caterpillars of black swallowtail butterflies, Papilio polyxenes, are various shades of green, with narrow black bands on each body segment. The black bands are interrupted by yellow-orange dots. The caterpillars consume leaves and flowers of various plants in the carrot family (Apiaceae), including cultivated carrot, parsley, dill, and celery. Older larvae often prefer the inflorescence.

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Great spangled fritillary

Great spangled fritillary
The great spangled fritillary is the most common silvered fritillary in the eastern United States. It occurs throughout Arkansas except for the Southern Coastal Plain and Delta regions. As with other silvered fritillaries, females scatter eggs near violets on which the caterpillars feed. The species overwinters as an unfed first instar larva.

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Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly
The monarch butterfly is one of North America’s most iconic insects. Both the adult and immature stages are aposematically colored, warning potential predators of their poisonous qualities. T The monarch’s mystique is further enhanced by the fact that it is one of the few butterflies that migrate. Shockingly, the monarch population delved into drastic decline at least a decade ago, and it continues to spiral downward.

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Luna moth

Luna moth
Adult luna moths are often seen flying around lights on spring and summer evenings in Arkansas. Larvae are fairly sedentary, actively wandering only when searching for a pupation site. In the South, hickory, walnut, sumac, persimmon, and sweet gum are preferred food plants.

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Snowberry clearwing Snowberry clearwing
Snowberry clearwings are regarded as important pollinators, and they are a common sight in Arkansas gardens. They dart quicly from flower to flower, sipping nectar in fulll sunlight. Their wings beat rapidly, giving the animals the appearace of large bees or small hummingbirds. The species has a large range, encompasising much of the United States and Canada, and its coloration varies seasonally, geopraphically, and individually. This variation historically caused much confusion, with the naming of many forms as dicfferent species.

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Tobacco hornworm

Tobacco hornworm                                     Tobacco hornworms, larvae of Carolina sphinx moths, are pests that often defoliate tomato plants and damage tomato fruit in Arkansas gardens. The mature yellowish green hornworm has seven white, oblique, lateral lines on each side, and its caudal horn is orange to red, distinguishing it from the tomato hornworm, which is less common in the South.

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Tersa sphinx caterpillar

Tersa sphinx                                                   Caterpillars of the tersa sphinx moth are sometimes found feeding on foliage of starclusters (Pentas species) in Arkansas flower gardens. They are eerily snake-like, and the head and three thoracic segments can be withdrawn into the swollen first abdominal segment, which is adorned with a pair of realistic eye spots.

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copper underwing caterpillar

Copper underwing
Solitary copper underwing caterpillars feed on many species of woody plants, including apple, ash, basswood, birch, blueberry, cherry, chestnut, currant, grape, breenbrier, hawthorn, hickory, lilac, maple, oak, poplar, raspberry, redbud, rhododendron, viburnum, Virginia creeper, walnut, and willow. However, they are not considered to be pests.

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Armyworm caterpillar

Armyworm
Also sometimes called the true armyworm, caterpillars of this species tend to form large aggregations, consume all the grasses from pastures and yards, and move together as an “army” in search of a fresh field to plunder. They often seem to appear suddenly and can be highly destructive. They feed mostly at night.

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Beet armyworm caterpillar

Beet armyworm
The beet armyworm is a serious pest of a wide range of crops, including various table vegetables cotton, cereals, flowers, and tobacco. Young larvae feed gregariously on leaf parenchyma, leaving behind only the epidermis and veins. Larger larvae are solitary. They eat holes in foliage and burrow into thick areas of plants - into a head of lettuce or a maturing tomato, for example.

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Fall armyworm

Fall armyworm
The fall armyworm is frequently a pest in the Deep South. The caterpillars feed on grasses and low-growing forbs and woody plants, including many field crops, such as rice, soybeans, alfalfa, corn, clover, cotton, and tobacco. They are among the most devastating pests of pastures and hayfields. Lush fields of bermudagrass seem to be preferred.

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Southern armyworm

Southern armyworm
Southern armyworms have been reported to feed on a broad range of plants, including important vegetable, fruit, field, and ornamental crops. They also consume weeds, especially pigweed and pokeweed, and there are reports of southern armyworm infestations beginning with these weeds and subsequently spreading to adjacent crops.

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Yellow-collared scape moth

Yellow-collared scape moth
The yellow-collared scape moth is distinctive and unusual in that it is one of few moths that fly during daylight. Because it is vulnerable to visual predators, it must have special protection in order to survive,perhaps warning coloration or mimicy of other insects dangerous to predators

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Mallow or hibiscus sawfly Mallow or hibiscus sawfly
Plants especially susceptible to attack by the mallow sawfly include the popular ornamentals hollyhock (Alcea rosea), rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), and some other Hibiscus species. The mallow sawfly shows little or no interest in some other economically important malvaceous plants, including cotton, okra, and rose of Sharon. The species occurs from New England south to Florida, and west to Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas.

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Elm sawfly larva

Elm sawfly
The mature elm sawfly larva is a striking 2 ¼ inch animal that looks like a big, yellow caterpillar with a black stripe down its back. However, it is not even closely related to true caterpillars. Caterpillars mature to become butterflies and moths. Sawfly larvae produce wasp-like insects. Elm sawfly larvae cause sporadic defoliation of elms and willows, especially in urban settings.

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Minute egg parasite

Minute egg parasite
Trichogramma species are among the most extensively studied and used biological control agent for pest insects, especially caterpillars and moths. Trichogramma minutum is a North American species found in natural areas, annual crops, and orchards. In the United States it is used as a biological control agent primarily in orchards.

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Golden digger wasp Golden digger wasp
The female golden digger wasp makes a burrow that is nearly vertical and penetrates 3–12 inches into the soil. She excavates 2–7 side compartments or cells into the main shaft, and she provisions each cell with several paralyzed nymphal long-horned grasshoppers (katydids) early in the season or a single adult later in the season.

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Cicada killer Cicada killer
Cicada killers are large wasps, nearly 1¼" long, resembling large yellow jackets or hornets. They are common in areas where annual cicadas are prevalent. Adult wasps appear about the first week of June in Arkansas, at about the time when cicadas begin to emerge. They mate and then excavate nests in the ground, usually in full sun where vegetation is sparse and the soil is light and well-drained.

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Organ-pipe mud-dauber

Organ-pipe mud-dauber
Organ-pipe mud-dauber females build elongate, tubular mud nests under bridges and eaves, on protected rock faces, in tree holes, and on other smooth, shaded surfaces with a nearby source of mud and adjacent woods. The nests are often built as clusters of contiguous mud tubes resembling organ pipes. The females provision each cell of the nest with paralyzed spiders as food for their offspring.

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carpenter bee Carpenter bee
Carpenter bees cause alarm because they are large insects –­­­ up to about an inch long – resembling bumble bees, the territorial males harass humans and other animals that enter their terrain, and they are often found boring holes in structural timbers, such as rafters and fascia boards. The males lack a stinger, but females have been known to deliver potent stings. They are common in Arkansas.

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Red velvet ant; cow killer

Red velvet ant; cow killer
Females of these wasps superficially resemble very large ants, up to an inch long. Their stings are reputed to be extremely painful, thus the common name cow killer. Their aposematic coloration warns of this dangerous quality. Red velvet ant larvae are external parasites of bumble bee larvae and pupae.

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Baldfaced hornet Baldfaced hornets
Baldfaced hornets are widespread in North America but most common in the southeastern United States. The football-shaped paper nests are always aerial and usually suspended from tree limbs or beneath eaves and roofs. Inside the paper nest envelope are combs of paper cells used for rearing the larvae, one per cell. Females defend the nests aggressively with repeated stings.

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European hornet European hornet
The giant European hornet, measuring up to 1.5 inches long, was first detected in Arkansas in 1999. It appears to be nesting and breeding in the northwestern counties. It usually builds paper nests in hollow trees, but in urban areas it will nest in homes and other structures. Its sting is said to be painful, and it can cause severe reactions in people who are allergic to wasp and bee stings.

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Black carpenter ant Black carpenter ant
Carpenter ants are named for their habit of hollowing out wood to produce nesting sites. They attract attention because of their generally large size, ability to bite humans, and habit of excavating and dwelling in wood. Some species infest structural timbers to the chagrin of homeowners.

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Red imported fire ant Red imported fire ant
The term fire ant refers to any of several red or yellow ants of the genus Solenopsis that can inflict a harsh sting. Six species of Solenopsis have been reported from Arkansas. The most widespread and economically important one is Solenopsis invicta Buren, the red imported ire ant. Worker ants are aggressive and can inflict painful stings while holding their groiund on the surface of the victim with tightly clasped mandibles.

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