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Luck Be a Lady

Ladybug pupa on sage

Ladybugs love our Russian sage. Ladybugs, aka ladybird beetles, eat aphids, which are pests in the garden. The ladybugs are welcome. The aphids are not. Belonging to the family Coccinellidae, ladybugs look resplendent in their bright red or orange wing...

Ladybug pupa on sage
Ladybug pupa on sage

An immature ladybug on sage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pupa shedding skin
Pupa shedding skin

One more step toward becoming a mature ladybug. A pupa sheds its skin. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mature ladybug
Mature ladybug

A mature ladybug on a Russian sage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Pity the Poor Caterpillar

Tachind fly

Pity the poor caterpillar. Here you are, minding your own business, and this tachinid fly comes along and lays eggs in your head. Good day for the tachinid fly. Bad day for the caterpillar. The tachinid fly, from the family Tachinidae, is frequently...

Tachind fly
Tachind fly

The parasitic tachinid fly feeds on nectar in the Storer Gardens, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Cenizo!

Honey bee in cenizo

If you’ve ever visited the Storer Gardens, UC Davis Aboretum, you’ve probably noticed the honey bees enjoying the cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens), an evergreen shrub with silvery foliage and bell-shaped pinkish-lavender...

Honey bee in cenizo
Honey bee in cenizo

A pollen-packed honey bee dips her head in cenizo in the Storer Gardens, UC Davis Aboretum.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sideways
Sideways

Let's go sideways. A honey bee relishes the cenizo in the Storer Gardens, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bottoms up!
Bottoms up!

Whoopsie, daisy! Er, whoopsie, cenizo! It's bottoms up for this honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Queen of the Crops

Find Waldo

We often hear of "cream of the crop," but the honey bee is  the "queen of the crops." Honey bees are crucial to California’s $32 billion agriculture industry. They  pollinate more than 90...

Find Waldo
Find Waldo

A pollen-packed honey bee curls up in a pomegranate blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 5:04 PM
Tags: Eric Mussen (245), honey bee (196), major crops (1), pollination (10), pomegranate (6)

What's for Dinner?

Camouflaged

The praying mantis isn't at all concerned about culinary choices. It doesn't worry about who's coming to dinner, only that dinner will come. This aggressive, predatory insect will eat just about anything it can get its claws on, entomologists agree....

Camouflaged
Camouflaged

The praying mantis, camouflaged, lies in wait. Hmmm, is that camera edible?(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Waiting for dinner
Waiting for dinner

A praying mantis awaits prey. Note its forelegs with strong spikes for grabbing and grasping prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, October 6, 2008 at 2:48 PM

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