Friday, July 06, 2007

Where the bugs are, Part II

The Children's Garden is a wonderland of sunflowers and bamboo tunnels overgrown with vines and gourds. There are also a few bugs in here, but either way, it's a must see. Little bugs and worms can be found in the center of the flowers, and it's interesting to see how the birds have eaten the seeds out of some of the flowers.

The asparagus is full of ladybugs.

I just recently learned that the larvae are cannibalistic.

Here is a ladybug that has just emerged from its pupa case. Its shell will harden, darken, and get spots.

Oh, and I didn't get a picture of it, but in the colorful flower bed between the stone kiddy-table and the gate, there are some inchworms on the flowers.

While you're near the desert area, don't forget to show off the cochineal bugs on the cactus pads. (unless you have too large a group with too many squirmy children to go near the cacti. It's your call.)

Out here in the desert, there's a colony of red ants. (harvester ants)

In the same area, but a little south and closer to the path, is a highway of what I think may be fire ants.

You can see where they have built a substantial wall of sand grains along the sides of their highway.

This is the Pride of Madiera (sp?) plant, at the convergence of the deciduous woodland, tropical rainforest, and arid gardens. BEHIND this plant, and the scraggly lilly thing next to it, is a beehive inside a sprinkler box.

There's an iochroma plant with purple flowers just to the right. There are a few bugs in there, but use caution in such proximity to the bees, especially if you have a lot of people in your group.

Leaf footed bug. A member of the assassin family.

This flowery bed next to the tropical rain forest has some little things in it.

like this guy.

At the north end of the Thorn Forest path, there's this wierd little milkweed plant.

It's full of milkweed bugs!

In this photo, you can see one of the bugs shedding its skin. I actually took these photos a couple of days ago, and the milkweed bugs are no longer in clusters like this, but there are still lots of them on the plant.

If you take the thorn forest path south through the salvia area, you may find, bees, spiders, grasshoppers and caterpillars in the salvias. Most of what you will see is sporadic, small and variable, so just tell the kids to keep their eyes open, and somebody is bound to find something.

Click here for Part III
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