Insects

 

True Bugs

slf.me.jpg

Spotted Lanternfly

(Lycorma delicatula)
Size: Adults are about 1 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Description: A large planthopper with gray wings and black speckles. In flight they reveal bright red underwings. Early stage nymphs are black with white spots, gaining red coloration as they grow larger.

largemilkweedbug_edited.jpg

Large Milkweed Bug

(Oncopeltus fasciatus)
Size: About 1 inch long
Habitat: Anywhere there is milkweed: meadows, old fields, weedy edges of RR tracks. 
Description: A black bug with bold orange markings on the thorax and abdomen. The black background forms a band across the middle of the back and a black diamond towars the rear of the abdomen

boxelderbug.navin_edited.jpg

Box Elder Bug

(Boisea trivittata)
Size: About 1/2 inch
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Description: Black bug with orange around the edges of its back and, about 2/3 of the way down the back, diagonally in from the sides, forming a V. Somewhat elongated body shape

stinkbug.navin_edited.jpg

Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

(Halyomorpha halys)
Size: About 1/2 inch long.
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Description: Adults are brown shield-shaped bugs with light bands on the antennae and a dark banded section towards the rear of the abdomen where the wings overlap.

 

Mantids

chinesemantis_edited.jpg

Chinese Mantis

(Tenodera Sinensis)
Size: About 4 inches
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Gardens, meadows, vacant lots, and other greenspaces throughout Philadelphia
Description: Green or brown mantis. Adults have wings that do not extend past the abdomen (unlike the Chinese mantis). Egg masses (ootheca) shorter than that of the Carolina mantis.

carolina mantis_edited.jpg

Carolina Mantis

(Stagmomantis carolina)
Size: About 2 inches
Season: Spring-summer
Habitat: Gardens, meadows, vacant lots, and other open greenspaces throughout Philadelphia. 
Description: Green or brown mantis. Adults have wings that do not extend past the abdomen (unlike the Chinese mantis). Egg masses (ootheca) look a little like an armored caterpillar clinging to a plant stem, longer and narrower than that of the Chinese mantis.

 

Butterflies

monarch.navin_edited.jpg

Monarch Butterfly

(Danaus plexippus)
Size: About 3.5 inches wide.
Season: Late spring-fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. 
Description: Adults are orange, black, and white-patterned butterflies. Their bodies and the edges of the wings are black with white spots. Black lines on the wings divide up the orange interior of the wings, yielding an appearance like stained glass. Caterpillars are banded with white, black, and light green.

black.swallowtail.navin_edited.jpg

Black Swallowtail

(Papilio polyxenes)
Size: About 3 inches wide
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Open habitat in parks and neighborhoods. Host plants are in the carrot family (including dill and parsley) and so are common around gardens.
Description: Black swallowtail (rearward projections of wings look like tails). Males have two rows of yellow spots towards rear of wings and blue spots towards rear of hind wings. Females lack the yellow spots and have smaller white spots instead. Both sexes have an orange spot with a black center on each side of the upper inside of rear wings.

eastern.tiger.swallow.m.navin_edited.jpg

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

(Papilio glaucus)
Size: About 4 inches
Season: Spring-Summer
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Large butterfly with yellow wings with black bands running into the yellow and rear black edge with small yellow spots. Some females are mostly a dark brown. All females have blue spots towards rear of wings. Two trailing points on rear wings look like tails. Black swallowtail females have an orange spot with a black center on each side of the upper inside of the rear wings.

buckeye_edited.jpg

Common Buckeye 

(Junonia coenia)
Size: About 2 inches
Season: Summer-Fall
Habitat: Open greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Upper side of wings rich brown fading to orange to the rear. It has large eyespots as well as three smaller eyespots along the rear edge of each wing.

redadmiral_edited.jpg

Red Admiral

(Vanessa atalanta)
Size: 2 inches
Season: Spring-Summer
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Upper side of wings black with white spots towards front tips, orange/red on rear edge and an orange/red band across each wing. Undersides of forewings is similar to upper surface. Underside of rearwings mottled brown.

cabbagewhite.andrew.conboy_edited.jpg

Cabbage White

(Pieris rapae)
Size: About 2 inches
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: White butterfly with black tips on forewings and a two black spots on forewings as well.

silverspottedskipper_edited.jpg

Silver Spotted Skipper

(Epargyreus clarus)
Size: About 2 inches
Season: Spring-Summer
Habitat: Woods and along waterways
Description: Dark skipper with triangular wings easily identified by large white spot on underside of wings.

sachem.navin_edited.jpg

Sachem

(Atalopedes campestris)

Size: About 1/2 inch

Season: Summer

Habitat: Meadows and Fields

Description: Wings orange towards the middle and brown towards the edges for males along with dark spot towards middle of forewing. Females have brown wings with orange and white spots on wings. Often rests with wings swept back a bit into a triangular shape, a little like a fighter jet

 

Bees and Wasps

eastern.carpenterbee.navin_edited.jpg

Eastern Carpenter Bee

(Xylocopa virginica)
Size: A little under 1 inch long
Seasons: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Relatively large bee with shiny black abdomen and fuzzy yellow thorax (middle section).

westernhoneybee.navin_edited.jpg

Western Honeybee

(Apis mellifera)
Size: a little longer than 1/2 inch
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: The default bee: fuzzy with abdomen variably banded orange and black

easternbumblebee.navin_edited.jpg

Eastern Bumblebee

(Bombus impatiens)
Size: Workers about 1/2 inch long, queens 1 inch
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Relatively large bee with fuzzy black abdomen and yellow thorax (middle section).

brownbeltedbumblebee.navin_edited.jpg

Brown-Belted Bumblebee

(Bombus griseocollis)
Size: Workers are about 1/2" while queens are about an inch
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Relatively large bee with fuzzy black abdomen and yellow thorax (middle section). They have a brown-colored band just below the yellow thorax.

baldfacedhornet.navin_edited.jpg

Bald-Faced Hornet (Aerial Yellowjacket)

(Dolichovespula maculata)
Size: About 1/2 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Nests in trees throughout Philadelphia greenspaces and neighborhoods with workers seen often at ground level.
Description: Mostly black with white/pale yellow face, bands on rear of abdomen, and around edges of thorax, giving the look of white shoulders and belt. Nests are gray, papery, and up to 2 feet wide

cicadakiller.navin_edited.jpg

Eastern Cicada Killer

(Sphecius speciosus)

Size: About 1.5 inches

Season: Summer

Habitat: Forest edges, gardens throughout Philadelphia greenspaces and neighborhoods. Nests in the ground.

Description: Big wasp, mostly black with amber wings and narrow yellow bands on abdomen.

southernyellowjacket.navin_edited.jpg

Southern Yellowjacket

(Vespula squamosa)
Size: About 1/2 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Nests in the ground in greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Black wasp with yellow markings, including thin yellow bands on abdomen. Thorax has yellow stripes running lengthwise (not across). Queens are a little larger and with abdomens nearly all yellow.

easternyellowjacket_edited.jpg

Eastern Yellowjacket

(Vespula maculifrons)
Size: About 1/2 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Nests in the ground in neighborhoods and greenspaces throughout Philadelphia
Description: Black wasp with yellow markings, including thin yellow bands on abdomen. Thorax is mostly black with a couple yellow bands running across towards the rear. Queens are a little larger and have wider yellow bands on the abdomen.

europeanpaperwasp.navin_edited.jpg

European Paper Wasp

(Polistes dominula)
Size: About 3/4 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Near trees and buildings throughout Philadelphia. 
Description: Black wasp with yellow bands and markings on thorax and head. Looks like a yellow jacket but a bit thinner and with a longer waist. Nests are gray, papery, anchored (often to a building) by a thin connection and shaped a bit like an umbrella, with hexagonal cells visible from below.

brownpaperwasp.navin_edited.jpg

Dark Paper Wasp

(Polistes fuscatus)
Size: About 3/4 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Near trees and buildings throughout Philadelphia. 
Description: Brown wasp with otherwise variable pattern. Some have narrow yellow bands on abdomen. They may also have some orange coloration. Nests are gray, papery, anchored (often to a building) by a thin connection and shaped a bit like an umbrella, with hexagonal cells visible from below.

yellowleggedmuddauber.navin_edited.jpg

Yellow Legged/Winged Mud Dauber

(Sceliphron caementarium)
Size: About 1 inch long
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. Often nests on the side of buildings.
Description: Mostly black with yellow on wings, legs, at base of head, and on its long, narrow waist. Nests are mud tubes often attached to the side of a building.

bluewingedwasp.navin_edited.jpg

Blue Winged Scoliid Wasp

(Scolia dubia)
Size: About 1 inch long
Season: Summer
Habitat: Fields, meadows, lawns, other open and grassy areas throughout Philadelphia
Description: Mostly black with blue sheen on wings. Rear 2/3 of abdomen brown with two wide yellow spots.

 

Beetles

asianladybeetle.navin_edited.jpg

Asian Lady Beetle

(Harmonia axyridis)
Size: 1/4 inch
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Vegetation throughout Philadelphia
Description: Round, shiny, red beetle with variable number of black spots. The pronotum (what looks like the face) is black with white spots to either side and a white spot towards the top middle, giving it the look of having a black W.

hornedpassalus_edited.jpg

Horned Passalus

(Odontotaenius disjunctus)
Size: 1.5 inches
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: In and under rotting logs throughout Philadelphia
Description: Large, black, shiny (like patent leather) beetle with ridged wing covers (elytra).

milkweedbeetle.jpg

Red Milkweed Beetle

(Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)
Size: 1/2 inch
Season: Spring-Summer
Habitat: On milkweed, in open weedy areas throughout Philadelphia
Description: Bright red beetle with black spots and long, black antennae.

spottedcucumberbeetle_edited.jpg

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

(Diabrotica undecimpunctata)

Size: About 1/4 inch long

Season: Summer

Habitat: Often found in gardens

Description: Yellow beetle with black spots on elytra (wing covers) and a black head.

junebeetle_edited.jpg

Common Green June Beetle

(Cotinis nitida)
Size: 1/2 to 1 inch
Season: Summer
Habitat: Greenspaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Variable colors (brown, green, gold). Shiny, chunky beetle with the pronotum (the shield over the thorax) extending down a little between the elytra (wing covers)

oriental.scarab_edited.jpg

Oriental Scarab

(Anomala orientalis)

Size: About 1/2 inch

Season: Summer

Habitat: Often found around gardens and houses in Philadelphia. 

Description: Dark brown beetle, relatively long body with the brown elytra (wing covers) outlined in yellow, and an orange pronotum (a shield that covers the thorax) that has a black spot in the middle. Lights up at night.

dogbaneleaf_edited.jpg

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

(Chrysochus auratus)

Size: About 1/4 inch long

Season: Summer

Habitat: On dogbane, which grows in weedy patches and meadows throughout Philadelphia. 

Description: Shiny round beetle with green head and gold elytra (wing covers)

easternfirefly.navin_edited.jpg

Common Eastern Firefly

(Photinus pyralis)

Size: About 1/2 inch

Season: Summer

Habitat: Meadows, lawns, gardens, and other green spaces throughout Philadelphia

Description: Dark brown beetle, relatively long body with the brown elytra (wing covers) outlined in yellow, and an orange pronotum (a shield that covers the thorax) that has a black spot in the middle. Lights up at night.

 

Dragonflies and Damselflies

fragileforktail.navin_edited.jpg

Fragile Forktail

(Ischnura posita)
Size: 1 inch
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Mostly near ponds and other still bodies of water
Description: Variable in color, but always with yellow markings on shoulders that look like exclamation points

commonwhitetail.m.navin_edited.jpg

Common Whitetail

(Plathemis lydia)
Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
Season: Summer
Habitat: Ponds, marshes, and streams
Description: Chunky body. Males have a white abdomen, females brown. Males have a large black patch on each wing, females a dark tip to the wing and a dark triangular spot towards the middle of each wing. Both also have a small dark section towards the front of the base of each wing.

bluefronteddancer.navin_edited.jpg

Blue Fronted Dancer

(Argia apicalis)
Size: 1.5 inches
Season: Summer
Habitat: Creeks, rivers, wetlands
Description: Males with light blue thorax, blue face, and blue tip of abdomen. Females can either look like males or be brown with a light green thorax.

pondhawk.m.navin_edited.jpg

Eastern Pondhawk

(Erythemis simplicicollis)
Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
Season: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Ponds and other still water
Description: Mature males powdery blue with a green face. Females and young males are green with dark squarish markings down the abdomen.

bluedasher.navin_edited.jpg

Blue Dasher

(Pachydiplax longipennis)
Size: A little more than 1 inch
Season: Spring-Summer
Habitat: Slow water with vegetation
Description: Small dragonfly with white face. Adult males have a powder-blue abdomen with a dark tip. Females have dark brown or black abdomen with two rows or yellow dashes.

wanderingglider_edited.jpg

Wandering Glider

(Pantala Flavescens)

Size: About 2 inches

Season: Spring-Summer

Habitat: Near waterways, but also often seen far from water in Philadelphia neighborhoods. 

Description: Mostly orange with dark markings down the top of the abdomen, red eyes, face yellow or orange.