Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A little beetle

Good bugs are hard to come by around here lately. Not that I've been looking that hard. I was cleaning up a little bit in the planter bed out front and I noticed this tiny beetle, about the size of a grain of rice.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mantis Monday for 1-29-07

This giant robotic mantis was on display in Tokyo last summer.
Click here for more views of it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life in captivity

Recently at the arboretum, I noticed this newly-planted milkweed covered with a protective wire cage. On the one hand, I wonder why they went to the trouble to do this, as the milkweed plants have self-seeded all over the arboretum and tend to grow like...weeds! But this particular plant is the yellow variety where nearly all the others are the orange-red, so maybe that's why.

Anyway, I know that the Monarchs visit the nursery and lay their eggs on the milkweeds growing there. I couldn't resist peeking through the wire to see if there were any caterpillars. I was not disappointed.

It's a sweet life for this caterpillar: A plant all to itself, and no worry about predators. But I will need to keep an eye on it after it pupates, so when the butterfly emerges, we can release it.
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Mantis Monday for 1-15-07

Today's mantis is Tarachodula pantherina
Tarachodula pantherina
photo by zulaan

This strange and exotic little mantid is native to Africa, I think.

One thing I am noticing by looking at online photo galleries is that in other countries, people are free to buy and sell exotic mantid species. There are lots of beautiful species that I have never even heard of before. I will try this year to "discover" them, and bring them to Bug Safari fame!

Friday, January 12, 2007


Yesterday was my first day back working at the arboretum since before Christmas. I noticed this big beehive up in a tree. A lady who often works cultivating bulbs in that area was there, and she told me she had been aware of the hive for a few months now. I guess I hadn't noticed it before because last time I was there, the tree probably still had leaves.

The hive was about the size of a large grocery bag. These are about the best my camera could manage, but I'll try to get Jerry over there with his big fancy camera and see if he can do better.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Gray Bird color parade!

I've been meaning to do this for a while now. Just a sample of the awesome variety of colors this grasshopper is capable of. The adults are always the same dull grayish-brown, as you can see in the first photo in the "parade". While they are nymphs, they're masters of color!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mantis Monday, the next generation

Happy New Year!

I may have run out of my own praying mantis collectibles, but there is certainly no shortage of mantis images in cyberspace, so Mantis Monday will now resume with pictures and links to other nifty mantis pages that I find.

For my first selection, a little YouTube mantis video originally uploaded by JohnaldChaffinch:
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