Meet the Slugs – Nason’s Slug

In my anecdotal experience of hunting for slug caterpillars over a six to eight week period this summer, the Nason’s slug (Natada nasoni – Hodges #4679) was by far the most abundant that I came across.  This was particularly true in the drier, oak/hickory/pine hillsides of Hickory Canyon N.A. in Sainte Genevieve County.

nasans-slug-limacodidae-natada-nasoni-4679-img_7670
Nason’s Slug – Limacodidae – Natada nasoni (4679).  Horseshoe Bend Natural Area – Washington SP, Texas Co, MO.

This species is able to retract its spines, elongating them to their fullest with any notion of danger.  These guys have pretty substantial spines and because the cats were so abundant, I found I was accidentally stung a few times while lifting vegetation.  This was not a pleasant experience.

nasans-slug-limacodidae-natada-nasoni-4679-img_8286
Nason’s Slug – Limacodidae – Natada nasoni (4679).  Hickory Canyon Natural Area – Sainte Genevieve Co, MO.

I really enjoy the colors and patterns this species displays.

nasans-slug-limacodidae-natada-nasoni-4679-img_8281
Nason’s Slug – Limacodidae – Natada nasoni (4679). Hickory Canyon Natural Area – Sainte Genevieve Co, MO.

The image below was one that I had previsualized and worked a good bit on to get it right.  I used my plamp to hold the leaf and attached the plamp to a dead limb to position the leaf high enough to get the leaf and caterpillar back lit by the sun.  I then used just a bit of flash to illuminate the ‘face’ of the caterpillar and the underside of the leaf.  In cases where I removed the leaf to get a photo, I always placed the leaf securely back on the same plant.

nasans-slug-limacodidae-natada-nasoni-4679-img_8406
Nason’s Slug – Limacodidae – Natada nasoni (4679). Hickory Canyon Natural Area – Sainte Genevieve Co, MO.

-OZB

Derbid Plant Hopper

Derbid Planthopper – Derbidae – Apache degeerii.
Photographed 08-13-16 at Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln Co, MO.

Derbid Planthopper - Derbidae Apache Degeerii
Derbid Planthopper – Derbidae – Apache degeerii
derbid-planthopper-derbidae-apache-degeerii-img_7308
Derbid Planthopper – Derbidae – Apache degeerii

Meet the Slugs – Stinging Rose Caterpillar

Stinging Rose Caterpillar -Limacodidae - Parasa Intermedia (4699). Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln Co, MO.
Stinging Rose Caterpillar -Limacodidae – Parasa intermedia (4699). Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln Co, MO.

Arguably the most stunning of Missouri’s slug moth caterpillars, the Stinging Rose Caterpillar can most often be found on oak and hickory saplings. However, a number of other woody species (including those in the rose family) will also be used as host plants.

stinging-rose-caterpillar-limacodidae-parasa-intermedia-4699-img_8884
Stinging Rose Caterpillar -Limacodidae – Parasa intermedia (4699). Horseshoe Bend Natural Area – Washington SP, Texas Co, MO.

This is one of the species I voluntarily allowed to sting me – it wasn’t that bad, perhaps a mild ‘stinging-nettle’ type of experience that was gone in 30 minutes or so.

stinging-rose-caterpillar-limacodidae-parasa-intermedia-4699-img_7609
Stinging Rose Caterpillar -Limacodidae – Parasa intermedia (4699). Horseshoe Bend Natural Area – Washington SP, Texas Co, MO.

The image below shows a little of the variety of color and patterns that can be found in this species, this one showing more of a yellow/orange background.  Some animals can be found that are completely yellow.

stinging-rose-caterpillar-limacodidae-parasa-intermedia-4699-img_8877
Stinging Rose Caterpillar -Limacodidae – Parasa intermedia (4699). Horseshoe Bend Natural Area – Washington SP, Texas Co, MO.

-OZB

The Imperial Moth

Belonging to the family of moths called Saturniidae, the Imperial Moth can reach up to  six inches.  Many members of this family are large-bodied and short-lived as adults – typically living only one or two weeks and not feeding in this stage.  This female was attracted to lights during a national moth week event at Cuivre River State Park on July 31, 2016.

Imperial Moth - Saturniidae - Eacles imperialis, photographed at Cuivre River SP during national moth week.
Imperial Moth – Saturniidae – Eacles imperialis, photographed at Cuivre River SP during national moth week.

 

Shiny Flea Beetle

Shiny Flea Beetle - Chrysomelidae - Asphaera lustrans, Shaw Nature Reserve, MO
Shiny Flea Beetle – Chrysomelidae – Asphaera lustrans, Shaw Nature Reserve, MO

While investigating a patch of Maypop (Passiflora incarnataI could not find my goal of the Passion Flower Flea Beetle, but I was still happy to find a number of Shiny Flea Beetles – Chrysomelidae – Asphaera lustrans.

IMG_6358 - Shiny Flea Beetle - Chrysomelidae - Asphaera lustrans
Shiny Flea Beetle – Chrysomelidae – Asphaera lustrans, Shaw Nature Reserve, MO

 

IMG_6343 - Shiny Flea Beetle - Chrysomelidae - Asphaera lustrans
Shiny Flea Beetle – Chrysomelidae – Asphaera lustrans, Shaw Nature Reserve, MO