The Insects of Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center

Ant mimic bug at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL.


Ant Mimic Bug at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL


I spent hours exploring insects in the ephemeral wetland habitat of Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center today and spotted a few I've never before seen.

Florida Entomology Group helped me identify the ones above. The first photo, a  member advised, is an ant mimic bug that seems to be in the Alydidae family of broadheaded bugs, while the third is in the same family and likely a Hyalymenus longispinus (also a bug that mimics ants).

I've already begun reading about these ant impostors and am looking forward to learning more about them. Meanwhile, here are a few more sightings -- insects and otherwise -- from my visit to Long Key. 


Grasshopper at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

Notice how the grasshopper looks like a blade of grass. I am so in awe of insects today.

Grasshopper at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

Today I beat my not-so-hard-to-beat record for the most grasshoppers seen in one day. There were so many babies that it was like a grasshopper population explosion. When it was really quiet, I could hear the grasshoppers eating.


Thin-lined passionvine beetle at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

A thin-lined passionvine beetle crossing a bridge over The Land of the Tiny Grasshoppers.


Green bee at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

The Shining (a flower fly).


Palmetto tortoise beetle at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

This is a palmetto tortoise beetle. There were about five of them on this saw palmetto. What's not apparent in this photo is their yellow antennas. Someone said these small insects look like the pugs of the beetle world, and I can see that,  Until you get really close-up, they don't even look like insects ... They just look like little black spots. But once you zoom in on then, they're really quite beautiful.


Turtle at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

Not everything is about insects. Here's one of many turtles swimming through the reflections of  clouds, as viewed from the bridge behind Long Key Nature Center.


Pond Lily at Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center in Davie, FL

Here is one of the numerous pond lilies that can also be viewed from that bridge.