Plants of the genus Asclepias, better known as milkweeds because of its white, sticky sap, attract a huge variety of insects and other creatures. Its most famous resident is the monarch butterfly that depends on milkweeds for nutrition; but it is not the only one. Here is a small sample of the menagerie that you can find on a single plant of Asclepias.
Milkweed beetle, Tetraopes tetrophthalmus (the four-eyed one)
Silver spotted skipper
Leaf-footed bug, with eggs of a parasitic fly on top of its head
Lady bug in search of aphids.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
Flower flies, those tiny imitators, don’t look at all like the familiar house fly, instead they look like bees; with a disguise of yellow and black stripes.
They fool birds that avoid them for fear of being stung although they are innocuous.
Like the bees they imitate, many of them are good pollinators. Who would have thought that flies could be so pretty and so useful!
Some of them go a step further on their usefulness and eat a large number of aphids while they are larvae. Here
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Don't let this little beauty fool you. It is not a tiny hummingbird, but a hawk moth. Not surprisingly it is called hummingbird moth. It is one of the few moths that are active during the day. It pollinates long throated flowers like this Monarda.