Molly Keck, Texas AgriLife's board certified entomologist, gives us a glimpse into the wonderful world of South Texas insects!
Spend any time outdoors and you’ll quickly find that insects are a huge part of nature. At any given moment you are probably within reach of hundreds of insects without even knowing it!
It’s important to remember that very few insects are actually harmful and there are no truly deadly insects, arachnid or other arthropod in Texas (except the mosquito) – no matter what you’ve heard!
This spring, weather fluctuations have made predicting what insects will be emerging a difficult thing! But, these drastic changes from warm/hot to cold usually bring about rain and rain brings about flowers. Flowers produce nectar, and nectar feeding insects will be abundant. In South Central Texas we have only a few good nectar producing months, so insects will take advantage quickly.
If you want to observe some insects, look around the park at any flowering plant. You are sure to find butterflies, skippers, wasps, beetles, and bees galore!
Along the trails, look under rocks, logs, leaf litter. Insects are always hiding there. You may not always see the insect, but you can look for their damage. Small or large holes form when the adults emerge from the wood. A year before, a mother laid her eggs on the wood, the egg hatched and burrowed into the wood, fed on the wood and made little tunnels, turned into a pupa and then emerged, leaving behind the hole.
Once the weather really heats up, we won’t notice as many insects, so spring is the best time to get out and watch them!