Orange-banded Mydas Fly

Photo: Brice Praslicka Species: Orange-banded Mydas Fly (Mydas clavata) It may look terrifying with its black hairs, orange waist and toes, and odd shape, but the mydas fly is actually a rather benevolent creature. It doesn’t sting and doesn’t seem to bite. Some believe that they hunt other insects, but it apparently has not been…

Texas Indian Paintbrush – a Beautiful Parasite

Photo: Brice Praslicka Species: Texas Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) As a hemiparasite, the Indian paintbrush is part wildflower and part leech. The paintbrush roots reach into the roots of nearby grasses and rely mostly on them in order to gather their nutrients. As you can see in the photo above, all three are sprouting from the green…

Grey Hairstreak

Photo: Brice Praslicka Species: Grey Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) Measuring in at a mighty wingspan of 1 inch, the grey hairstreak is one of the more common of hairstreaks of Texas. If you see a little blue butterfly flutter on by, it’s probably either one of these or some other kind of hairstreak. If you look…

Catclaw Brier

Photo: Brice Praslicka Species: Catclaw Brier or Nuttall’s sensitive-briar (Mimosa nuttallii) Click the photo above or here for the full resolution image. Catclaw briers, also known as a touch-me-not, shameplant, or shy plant, has a unique trait not found in many other plants. As the name hints, it’s “shy”. Yes, the “catclaw” part is because…

Slender Meadow Katydid Nymph

Photo: Brice Praslicka
Species: Conocephalus fasciatus
Ever been camping or outside at night and hear an extremely loud cricket? So loud it almost hurts your ears?

Eastern Carpenter Bee

Photo: Brice Praslicka
Species: Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)
Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees – they are about the same size and shape after all. However, they couldn’t be more different.

Katydid (Species Unknown)

Katydids rely on their camouflage to blend in with the foliage. So, in the fall, some have color shifts to mimic the dying leaves.

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoos are some of the most beautiful and clever little wasps you’ll ever see.

Bold Jumping Spider

The bold (or daring) jumping spider is known for two things – an all black body with white spots and hairs, and bright green, metallic fangs.

Tiny Yellow Mushrooms

Ya know, I have no clue what these are and can’t seem to figure it out. If anybody knows, please – do tell!

Honey Bee

You can tell just how much honey bees love asparagus by how much pollen is on this guy’s legs.