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Posts Tagged: aphids

The Incredible Aphid-Eating Machines

Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just call them the "incredible aphid-eating machines." That would be the lady beetles, commonly known as ladybugs (although they are not bugs;...

Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Lady beetle larva dining on aphids on milkweed, UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, tracks down more prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 5:38 PM

Lady Beetles: The First Ladies of the Garden Having a Ball

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

See those red spots on your milkweed seed pods? Lady beetles (aka ladybugs or "garden heroes") are feasting on aphids. And they're having a...

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-boo? Or peek-a-beetle? A lady beetle, resplendent in red, crawls through the spiky hairs of milkweed seed pods. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Peek-a-boo? Or peek-a-beetle? A lady beetle, resplendent in red, crawls through the spiky hairs of milkweed seed pods. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-boo? Or peek-a-beetle? A lady beetle, resplendent in red, crawls through the spiky hairs of milkweed seed pods. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hurry! A lady beetle snags aphids on a milkweed seed pod, while other aphids try to escape (far right). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Hurry! A lady beetle snags aphids on a milkweed seed pod, while other aphids try to escape (far right). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hurry! A lady beetle snags aphids on a milkweed seed pod, while other aphids try to escape (far right). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home!

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised  for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ladybug!  Ladybug!Fly away home.Your house is on fireAnd your children are gone. How many times have you heard that nursery rhyme? Better yet,...

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised  for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised for flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All systems go! The lady beetle opens its elytra, revealing its wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
All systems go! The lady beetle opens its elytra, revealing its wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

All systems go! The lady beetle opens its elytra, revealing its wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready for liftoff? This lady beetle is good to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready for liftoff? This lady beetle is good to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready for liftoff? This lady beetle is good to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And we're off! The lady beetle spreads its wings and is off. Photos taken with 105mm lens on Nikon D500; ISO 2000; shutter speed, 1/1000, and f-stop 16. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
And we're off! The lady beetle spreads its wings and is off. Photos taken with 105mm lens on Nikon D500; ISO 2000; shutter speed, 1/1000, and f-stop 16. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And we're off! The lady beetle spreads its wings and is off. Photos taken with 105mm lens on Nikon D500; ISO 2000; shutter speed, 1/1000, and f-stop 16. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The Lady Beetle and the Syrphid Fly

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So, here I am, an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) perched on a rose bush in Vacaville, Calif., as dawn breaks. I'm eating  aphids and...

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.
Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.

"Let's try this again! I'm coming in. Wait, turn around, will ya!" Syrphid fly caught in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 4:38 PM

Insect Wedding Photography in a Rose Garden

Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"I do! I do! I do!" Some of us engage in wedding photography. Not with humans. With insects. All you need is a bride, a groom and...

Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Love in the rose garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bridal couple heads for some privacy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Bridal couple heads for some privacy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bridal couple heads for some privacy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Don't let a thorn get in your way. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Don't let a thorn get in your way. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Don't let a thorn get in your way. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The view is better over here. I think I see an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The view is better over here. I think I see an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The view is better over here. I think I see an aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just need a pillow of rose petals for the night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey. All images taken with a Nikon D800 and a macro lens, 105mm)
Just need a pillow of rose petals for the night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey. All images taken with a Nikon D800 and a macro lens, 105mm)

Just need a pillow of rose petals for the night. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey. All images taken with a Nikon D800 and a macro lens, 105mm)

Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 5:15 PM

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