Aug. 2nd, 2016

urbpan: (dandelion)
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Until the drought killed them, our nasturtiums were a food source for many. This bejeweled true bug (hemiptera) is unidentifiable, but was probably drinking plant juice.

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Likewise these candy-stripe leafhoppers were using their beak-like mouthparts to jab holes in the plant and sip its fluid.

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And then underneath the leaves these black aphids were also settled in to drink.

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Enter the cavalry: ladybeetle larvae specialize on soft-bodied plant-feeders like aphids.

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Off they go to eat some aphids--ultimately the plant succumbed to the combined stress of drought and bugs, but it was fun to record the events.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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When I saw this animal I wasn't sure if I was seeing a wasp or a fly or some other kind of insect. The illusion is intentional--well, maybe not--the illusion has resulted from evolution. This fly resembles a wasp because it helps it survive. The illusion extends to the fly's front legs, which are marked with white segments, and moved in a way to suggest that they are the wasp's antennae. This is the entirely harmless stilt-legged fly Rainieria antennaepes.

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