No males? No problem. Short-horned walking sticks are parthenogenic, which means these bug beauties can reproduce sans males.
Female tarantula hawks can really pack a punch! Their sting is rated a 4 out of 4 on the Sting Pain Index.
Girls. Do. Work. If you see a busy bee pollinating a flower, chances are GREAT that it’s a female. The males stay in the hive to help reproduce.
A protein-heavy meal helps ensure quality and quantity of eggs. Thus, female mantises often eat what’s near them before, during, and after mating.
Red Velvet Mite
These gorgeous mites make a showy appearance after the monsoon rains. They emerge from the soil to eat, dance, build love gardens, and mate!
Green Lynx Spider
Few spiders shine as brilliantly as a green lynx whose coloration is at once dazzling and cryptic.
Jewel beetles are world-famous among entomologists due to their brilliant metallic coloration. Arizonans can find 3 of the 4 United States species in the southern Sky Islands south of Tucson.
The Western Hercules beetle is among the largest insects in the United States. While females have a sleek look, males are distinguished by an overtly large statement horn adorning their head. Used for fighting or intimidation, this ‘sword’ signals to the ladies that bigger is better.
Milkweed and migration have become synonymously tied to this much-publicized butterfly. But, did you know? Their coloration is aposematic– meaning the orange, black and white markings indicate to a predator that they are poisonous and distasteful. That’s sick!
Giant Water Bug
True bugs in the genus Abedus are smashing stereotypes. Males exhibit parental care by aerating and cleaning the eggs they carry on their ‘backs’!
Clumsy…but cute! These green beetles are notorious for their haphazard flying during June and July. Not to worry if they land in the pool (or your hair) just scoop them up and send them on their way.
White Lined Sphinx Moth
Have you spotted olive-colored grenades the size of peas on a sidewalk? That’s a sure fire sign that there are bright yellow caterpillars above you on the branches of a desert willow tree. These caterpillars will metamorphosize into the white-lined sphinx moths (aka, hummingbird moths) you see at porch lights.
Talk about underappreciated but amazing decomposers! Millipedes rule the desert after it rains cleaning up rotting plants and other detritus.
Aww SNAP! Antlion larvae hang out at the bottom of self-built conical pits waiting for ants to fall in. The shape and loose soil ensures ants cannot escape and then WHOMP. The antlion uses its powerful jaws to grab and devour their unsuspecting prey.
Written by Catherine Bartlett, ASDM Education Specialist