Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
Bee flies are flies that resemble bees and are usually found resting on flowers or open ground.
All members of the Diptera (flies) order - including bee flies - have a single pair of membranous wings, with the hindwings reduced to tiny structures called halteres.
is one of the more common species of this genus in the eastern United States. Their larvae are parasitic on June beetles (genus Phyllophaga).
Progressive bee flies have brown wings and large brown compound eyes. The thorax is black and reddish-brown. The abdomen is black with yellow bands. The species name - fasciata - means banded.
When the large red flowers are not blooming, this plant is often mistaken for marijuana at first glance.
The leaves are palmately divided into 3 or 5 lobes on long stalks.
The leaves look very similar to Cannabis sativa - marijuana or hemp - although the Hibiscus leaves are typically less toothed.
Another species, Hibiscus cannabinus - like hemp - can be used to make fibers and newsprint.
The large distinctive flowers of Hibiscus coccineus are up to 20 cm across, have five bright red petals and a green five-lobed calyx with linear, entire and unforked bracts. Scarlet hibiscus blooms in summer, mostly in July and early August.
This is an occasional shrub-like plant of swamps and other wet areas found mostly in the central and northeast peninsula and also some counties of south Florida and the panhandle. Scarlet rosemallow ranges throughout the southeastern coastal states from Virginia to Louisiana plus Arkansas.
A very fast lizard found in open woods and grasslands throughout much of Florida except for the southern peninsula.
The range extends throughout much of the southeastern United States, throughout the great plains west into Texas to Wyoming, and northeast into Rhode Island. This lizard is slender, 20 cm (8 in.) long, with a wedge shaped, pointed snout. the head, body and tail are dark brown with six thin stripes, usually yellow but can vary from nearly white to light brown and sometimes blue. Males have a blue wash underneath, females are white below. Juveniles have a blue tail.
An annual trailing or twining vine of dry open hammocks, fields and dunes found occasionally along the northeast Florida coast, in the panhandle from Wakulla County westward, and in Madison County.
The range extends throughout the eastern United States, west to Texas, north to South Dakota and Minnesota, plus Ontario and Quebec. This species is not found in Vermont or New Hampshire.
The pea-shaped flowers appear on long stalks from the leaf axils. Flowers are initially pink to rose colored, fading to green, then turning to a light yellowish-brown. The lower petals are united to form a purple-tipped strongly incurved keel. The calyx tube is short, with bracts of about the same or slightly longer length than the tube. Leaves of trifoliate leaflets are alternate along the vine. Leaflets are ovate to rhombic-ovate with entire margins, often three-lobed basally. The fruit is a slender, pubescent legume.
Strophostyles helvula is also called sand bean, or amberique-bean. An early Wild Florida Photo of the flower of this plant appears in the brochure of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
A dragonfly backlit by the sun and perched on the end of a twig created this silhouette at Lyonia Preserve in Deltona.
This member of the morning glory family is a frequent vine of beaches throughout much of Florida's coast.
The range extends along the southeastern coast from Texas to South Carolina, plus Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Puerto RIco and the Virgin Islands.
The funnel-shaped corolla is lavender, darker in the center, with five ovate sepals unequal in size. The blooming season is mainly from May through November, with sporadic flowering at other times of the year. The alternate leaves are ovoid or kidney-shaped with a notch at the apex, smooth, entire, succulent and long-stalked. The fruit is a capsule with four large seeds. The glabrous vine is trailing, rooting at the nodes and branched.
Also called bayhops, this plant is an important dune protection and restoration species as it grows out onto the beach ahead of other plants typically in a straight line - prompting the common name railroad vine. The leaves catch blowing sand to start natural dune building and provide an anchor for other plants. This makes it a desirable plant in Florida and other coastal states.