Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Buggy Tuesday

I was off today and took my sister to the airport.  We had a great visit together.  I returned home around noon and enjoyed a quiet day at home for the rest of the afternoon.  I did get out once it was below 90 degrees again in the evening to take some photos.   I decided to get out my macro lens and look closely through the yard.  I found some cool things!
I started with the beautiful and still steadily blooming, Coral Honeysuckle that is just outside of my home office window.  It was such a long flower that the majority of it was out of focus with the macro lens.  I liked the surreal feeling of this photo.

I was taking a closer look at this budding flower.  I was wondering what it will become, I will have to wait until it blooms to find a name for it.  Then I noticed that some ants were very interested in the buds as well.  One was so focused that it didn't notice the camera lens just inches away from it.

One insect was not as cooperative.  This caterpiller was a very quick mover.  It was spotted crawling across the ground, but it quickly took camouflaged cover on a pine tree.  It was amazing to see how well it blended in with the bark.  I think that it was the same type of caterpillar that we saw on our shed. 

A Lubber Nymph caught my eye on a tiny milkweed plant by my front door.  One of the former residents of my house planted several butterfly and caterpillar friendly plants in multiple gardens around the house.  Milkweed is a favorite food plant to many insects, including Monarch Butterfly caterpillars.  The Lubber Nymph will feed on many different types of plants as it grows into the giant,  bright colored adult.  This guy didn't seem too interested in the Milkweed.  It was pacing round and round the plant, but there weren't any chew marks on the leaves.

While I was looking at the Lubber Nymph, I spotted some more babies.  These tiny yellow specks are Aphid Nymphs.  They were definitely enjoyed a Milkweed feast.  These little things are 1-2mm long.  They are almost hard to see without the macro lens.

Thought of the Day #51
Insects either go through complete or incomplete metamorphosis as they grow from an egg to an adult.  Insects that go through a complete metamorphosis change from an egg to larva to a pupa to an adult.  A familiar example would be a butterfly.  The caterpillar larvae hatches from an egg.  When it grows large enough, it will pupate in its chrysalis and emerge as an adult.  The young and the adult look completely different in complete metamorphosis.  With incomplete metamorphosis, the young nymph hatches from the egg and it looks very much like the adult.  It will grow in size and it may change color or grow wings, but it will still look very similar as an adult.  The Lubber and the Aphid go through incomplete metamorphosis.  The adult Lubber will be bigger and brighter and have wings, but it will still have the same legs and antennae and body parts.  The aphid will also change color and grow wings, but will look very much like the nymph above.


Linda Beja said...

I love coral honeysuckle!!! Great photo!

Big Linda said...

Yes, that was lovely! And the information about complete vs. incomplete metamorphosis was very interesting.

Heidi H said...

Amazing photos, I liked the Lubber Nymph.

Paula said...

Those little bitty aphids sure do look different from what I thought they would look like close up. Thanks for the education and totally cool photos!