Honeybee

honeybee web

Honeybees are highly social, cooperative insects. Led by a single queen, worker bees—which are all female—forage for food, build and protect the hive, and care for the young. The male honeybee, the drone, exists for the sole purpose of mating and passing on the colony genes.

Brown Recluse Spider

brown-recluse-spider-milan-bushing

This potentially dangerous spider is in fact quite shy (a real recluse) and normally bites humans only when accidentally trapped against the skin. It often bears a fiddle-like marking, but is best identified by its characteristic eye pattern (three paired lens). Unfortunately, many similar beneficial spiders are mistakenly killed.

Emperor Scorpion

emperor scorpion

A female scorpion produces live young and carries them on her back for several weeks until they leave to hunt. A young emperor scorpion kills its prey with venom injected through the sharp sting at the tip of its ‘tail.’ An adult, however, clamps and crushes its prey with powerful pincers, saving the sting for self-defense.

Desert Hairy Scorpion

desert scorpion

This arachnid spends the hot daytime hours hidden deep in an underground burrow, and emerges at night to patrol its territory and hunt. It is named for the numerous sensory hairs on its pincers and legs. These hairs detect vibrations caused by both prey and enemies, and tell the scorpion to either attack or retreat.

Giant African Millipede

African Millipede - 11 web

This elongate arthropod moves slowly, thus, cannot make a quick escape. For protection, its body is lined with many repugnatory defense glands. When the millipede is disturbed, these glands secrete a foul smelling and tasting liquid.

Zebra Bug

zebra-bug-milan-bushing

This handsomely marked insect is actually a species of cockroach. Its colorful pattern warns potential predators, such as birds and small mammals, that it can quickly release a noxious, eye and noseburning chemical deterrent. In other words, “Do not try to eat me or you’ll regret it!”

Yellow-bellied Beetle

yellow bellied beetle

This brightly patterned beetle really does have a yellow underside. It is a strong flyer, widespread and commonly observed in nature, much like our native June beetle in the United States. Eggs are laid in the ground and the grubs, or larvae, burrow and feed in compost and dung, then pupate within small earthen cocoons.

White-eyed Assassin Bug

white-eyed assasin bug

Assassin bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts used to impale prey or enemies and inject venom. The white eye-like spots on this insect’s wings serve to warn enemies of its painful bite. Like all true bugs, it has gradual metamorphosis involving three life stages: eggs, nymphs and adults.

Water Strider

water strider

This aquatic bug is sometimes also called a water skipper or pond skater for an obvious reason—it spends most of its life on the water surface! Its long mid and hind legs spread body weight over a large area and are coated with tiny air-trapping hairs providing pontoon-like floatation.

 

Water Scorpion

water-scorpion web

Using a long tube, or siphon, as a snorkel to access air, the water scorpion sits on the bottom of a pond and waits for prey to come by. It grabs prey with its forelegs. Through a straw-like mouthpart, the water scorpion injects the prey with saliva to liquefy it. Then it sucks up dinner.