Thursday, December 22, 2005


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.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Flower flies

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

Hummingbird Moth

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.

Lapachos of Cordoba, Argentina

Bignoniaceae. A sea of flowers and it isn't spring yet, this is the end of August in Cordoba, Argentina. The weather is mild and some trees, such as these lapachos, cover themselves with flowers.