Home Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Common Invertebrates by (Mostly) Solid Color

All of the animals on this page are have one complete (or almost complete) solid color.     Go back to color/pattern menu:    

Green      Red or Orange      White        Black        Blue       Brown

Green Animals

Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus), Occoneechee Mountain, Orange County, NC  It was about ½ inch long.  These beetles only eat milkweed and dogbane, so they are not pests.  Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida), UNC at Chapel Hill, NC, 7/24/09 Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle, Durham, 3/31/07 Golden Tortoise Beetle (Charidotella bicolor), Durham, NC, 7/1/07.  In a different light, however, they look orange.

Southern Green Stink Bug (Nezara viridula [Linnaeus, 1758]), Durham, 11/30/05. This bug appeared under a pile of raked leaves. Green Stink Bug (Acrosternum hilare) nymph, Moses Cone Memorial Park, Watauga County, NC, 8/31/05.   ID according to the University of Kentucky Critter Files.  According to information at University of Missouri (at Columbia)Extension's stink bug (as soybean pest) page,  i.e., "pale, yellow-green color with black markings," this is probably a fourth or later instar. Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia conica), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC   7/22/07 Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia bivittata), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/28/05 Leafhopper (Balclutha impicta), Durham, NC, 6/24/09.  A tiny leafhopper, only 2 mm long, and very lively.  Photo was taken at night. Green Lacewing (genus Chrysoperla, family Chrysopidae), Durham on  7/3/07.  The carnivorous larvae are used to control pests, as described at Cornell University's website on useful insect predators.   Adult wing pattern and shape, not color, distinguishes it from the Brown Lacewing.  


Young Magnolia Green Jumping Spider (Lyssomanes viridis, subfamily Lyssomaninae), outdoor trail at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Wake County, NC, 5/8/07 Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans), Indian Creek Trail, a Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC, 9/3/06 Mangora genus spider? Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 8/17/05.  Ventral view.          


Luna Moth, Durham, 6/2/05.  This moth clung to the door of our house during a heavy rain.  It was obviously in mint condition. Bad-wing Moth (Dyspteria abortaria), Asheville, 7/9/05.  Although relatively innocuous in life, these moths frustrate people who try to mount them with their uncooperative hind wings (poetic justice, I think!)  This moth appeared in a shrubby area in back of a motel. Pale Beauty Moth (Campaea perlata), Falling Creek Camp, near Tuxedo, NC, 5/25/03. Cuckoo Wasp, Ft. Fisher Aquarium (outside), New Hanover County, NC, 6/26/08 Mealy Plum Aphid (Hyalopterus pruni) giving birth on a cattail leaf. Durham, 6/14/08.  Mealy Plum Aphids attack plums in the spring and fall but spend the summer on cattails.          

Giant Katydid (Stilpnochlora couloniana, Phaneropterinae "false katydid" subfamily), Durham, NC, 8/19/09 Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata), Durham, 8/14/05.  A type of "false katydid" (Phaneropterinae subfamily)  ID thanks to Will Cook. Oblong-winged Katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia, Phanopterinae subfamily).

 © 2006 Mick Phillips

Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia, Pseudophyllinae "true katydid" subfamily), Durham, NC, 7/5/05          

Red or Orange Animals

Brown Prionid Beetle (Orthosoma brunneum, Prionini tribe), Durham, NC, 7/7/08.  Flea Beetle (Altica genus), about 2 mm long.  Thanks to Rob Westerduijn for ID. Flea beetle (Strabala rufa), Durham, 7/15/05.  Golden Net-winged Beetle (Dictyopterus aurora), American Tobacco Trail (Mile 5), Durham, NC, 2/26/09.  (OK, there's a little black...) Golden Tortoise Beetle,  Durham, NC  9/10/06.  Here the "shell" is transparent.

Mirid bug nymph, Penny's Bend, Durham County, NC, 5/5/06.  This bug was about ¼ inch long without the antennae. Thanks to Eric Eaton for ID. Leaffooted bug nymphs (Coreidae family),  Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 5/31/07 Black-tailed Red Sheetweaver Spider, Durham, NC, 9/3/05.  According to Patrick Moran, this is a male spider;  The large pedipalps are the key. Adult velvet mite (Trombidiidae family), Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 10/26/09.  This predator (a former parasite as a nymph) was unusually large for its type at about 2 mm long.  Brown Ambrosia Aphid (Uroleucon ambrosiae), Durham, 6/19/06          


Male Golden-winged Skimmer Dragonfly, Ft. Fisher Aquarium (outdoors), 6/26/08 Male Needham's Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula needhami),  Fort Fisher, 7/16/04.  About five of these red dragonflies showed up together at the beginning of the Basin Trail, but I've never seen any of this species before or since.  Randy Emmitt and Josh Rose provided this ID. Carolina Saddlebags Dragonfly (Tramea carolina), Ft. Fisher Basin Trail, New Hanover County, NC, 10/15/09 Common Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius).  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.  This color is unusual for the species.  Natural Bridge area (roadside, ~1000 feet in elevation), Rockbridge County, VA, 7/8/09.        

This is an example of the infamous Puss Caterpillar, the larva of the Black-waved Flannel Moth (Megalopyge crispata) and the most poisonous caterpillar in the US according to several authorities.   It hung out on the bottom of a leaf at Penny's Bend, Durham County, NC, on 9/10/05.   See Texas A&M's page for general information.  Thanks to Josh Rose for ID help.          

Black Animals

Male Purseweb Spider (Sphodros atlanticus), Eno River State Park, Fews Ford access, top of Cox Mountain, Orange County, NC, 5/27/06.  Family ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban, referring to BugGuide's Purseweb Spider page. Genus, species and sex ID thanks to Jeff Hollenbeck. Warty Leaf Beetle (Neochlamisus gibbosus, Chlamisini tribe), Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 6/4/08.  You can see that there is some variation in the shape and color with this species. Black Blister Beetle (Epicauta pennsylvanica), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, 8/31/08 Bess Beetle (Papilius disjunctus?), Eno River State Park, Fews Ford access, 12/31/05.  This beetle was grinding up rotten log material with its mandibles.  The Papilius taxon is valid according to the ITIS.  Species name given by Encyclopedia Britannica. Horned Passalus Beetle (Odontotaenius disjunctus), Durham, NC, 7/20/07.  Photo taken at night. Dung beetle (Canthon simplex), pushing a clump of dung along with its hind legs at Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 5/29/05.  Carrion beetle larva, Durham, NC, 5/24/09    

Mating White-lined Burrower Bugs (Sehira cinctus), Daniel Boone Gardens, Boone, Watauga County, NC, 8/5/08. Ebony Bug, Durham, NC, 6/8/09.  Very tiny, about 1 mm long. Adult Squash Bug, also called the Orange-tipped Leaffooted Bug (Acanthocephala terminalis), Durham, 7/4/05. Lace bug (Teleonemia genus), Riverside Nature Center, Kerrville, Kerr County, TX, 5/27/10, 2 or 3 mm long.  I'd guess the species was nigrina. Stink bug (Mormidea lugens [Fabricius, 1775), Duke Forest, Korstian Division, Orange County, NC, 6/11/06.  This little critter was about ¼ inch long.  ID based on BugGuide's Mormidea lugens page.          



March fly, Goose Creek State Park, Beaufort County, NC, 11/7/07 Mydas Fly, New Hanover County Arboretum, Wilmington, NC, 6/23/06 Flower fly (Chrysogaster genus, Bracypini tribe), Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, Wake County, NC, 5/8/07 Bee fly (Anthrax irroratus, subfamily Anthracinae), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 6/17/06. Bee Fly (Anthrax georgicus), Durham, 6/2/06. Bee Fly (Anthrax analis), Carolina Beach State Park, 4/28/05.  Contrary to what its common name might suggest, the larvae of these flies prey on beetle larvae.  Note the similarity of its wings to those of the Large Bee Fly. Stilt-legged Fly (Taeniaptera trivittata), Durham, NC, 8/24/07.  ID according to Marshall (2006), p. 509        

Spider Wasp (Arachnospila genus), Johnston's Mill, Orange County, NC, 2/3/06 Sawfly (Cimbex Americana), Indian Creek trail in Chatham County, NC, on 5/3/05.  Thanks to Prof. Norman F. Johnson for family ID. Springtail (Tomocerus genus maybe, Tomoceridae family), Durham, 6/30/08.  This springtail was 2 or 3 mm long. Springtail (Tomocerus genus, maybe), about 4 mm long.  Durham, NC, 9/14/08          


Male and female Northern Black Widow Spiders.  The female was much more reclusive and had made a rare trip outside this dark hiding place. The other disappeared after a couple of days. Adult female Northern Black Widow, Durham, NC, 7/22/09.  Note dorsal red spots on abdomen.  You can also see how the web has a rather inefficient and disorderly design, designed to fill a particular space. False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa), venomous but less dangerous than black widows. Durham, 12/30/05.          

Yellow Animals

Male Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebus sennae, maybe Coliadinae subfamily), Duke Gardens, 9/17/05.  These abundant summer butterflies fly rapidly, often at high altitudes. Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe, maybe Coliadinae subfamily), Little Scaly Mountain, Macon County, NC, 8/19/04.  There is a lot of variation in wing markings for this species.  So much so that I've devoted a whole page to this subject at Sleepy Oranges.          

White Animals

Dogbane Tiger Moth (Cycnia tenera), found on the underside of a dogbane leaf, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham, NC, 4/26/10 Crambid snout moth (Urola nivalis, Argyriini tribe, Crambinae subfamily), Durham, 9/6/05 Four-spotted Palpita Moth (Palpita quadristigmalis, Spilomelini tribe, Pyraustinae subfamily, Crambidae family), Fort Fisher Recreational Area, New Hanover County, NC, 6/21/07 Artace cribaria, Macrophaliinae subfamily, Durham, 10/12/05 Smooth Flower Spider or White-banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes), North Carolina Museum of Art outdoor trail, Wake County, NC, 5/8/07, with grasshopper prey. Whitefly (about 1 mm long). Boone Greenway Trail, Watauga County, NC, 7/2/10        

Derbid planthopper (Mysidia missisippiensis), about 20 mm wingspread, seemed white at a distance, had partially transparent wings. Durham, NC, 6/27/09 Flatid Planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 7/6/07.  You can see a couple of little legs near the top. Durham, 6/20/05.  This unusual leafhopper seems to be an albino, or could be freshly emerged from a molt.  It was about half an inch long. Ambush Bug, probably a nymph, about 2 mm long, Durham, NC, 6/30/08          

Blue Animals

Male Spangled Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula cyanea), Durham, 6/13/06 Male Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta), Durham, 7/28/05. Male Great Blue Skimmer, over a large water pipe.  Durham, NC, 7/30/10. Adult male Blue Corporal  (Libellula deplanata), Occoneechee Mountain, Orange County, NC, on 4/22/05.  Male Blue Dasher (Pachydiplex longipennis), Durham, 6/9/05, in obelisk position.  This skimmer is the most common dragonfly at a swamp in my neighborhood.  See other Blue Dasher photos.  


Male Familiar Bluet Damselfly (Enallagma civile),  Durham, NC, 7/4/08          

Copyright © 2010 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.  Please contact for rights to use photos.

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