Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
University of California
Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: milkweed

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, how many times have you seen a lady beetle (because they're beetles, not bugs) take off? Look closely...

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

Not a Good Time to Be a Monarch Caterpillar

A monarch caterpillar munches on   tropical milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Friday, Oct. 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Migrating monarchs are fluttering daily into our yard in Vacaville, Calif., one by one, two by two, three by three, and four by four, for a little flight fuel. They're sipping nectar from the Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia, and tropical...

A monarch caterpillar munches on   tropical milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Friday, Oct. 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar munches on tropical milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Friday, Oct. 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar munches on tropical milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Friday, Oct. 27. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pacific Northwest monarchs began migrating to their overwintering sites along coastal California in last August and early September. This one touched down on milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Sept. 12. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Pacific Northwest monarchs began migrating to their overwintering sites along coastal California in last August and early September. This one touched down on milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Sept. 12. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pacific Northwest monarchs began migrating to their overwintering sites along coastal California in last August and early September. This one touched down on milkweed in Vacaville, Calif. on Sept. 12. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This was the scene Nov. 14, 2016 at the  Natural Bridges State Park's Monarch Grove Butterfly Natural Preserve, Santa Cruz. They were overwintering 80 feet high in a eucalpytus tree. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This was the scene Nov. 14, 2016 at the Natural Bridges State Park's Monarch Grove Butterfly Natural Preserve, Santa Cruz. They were overwintering 80 feet high in a eucalpytus tree. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This was the scene Nov. 14, 2016 at the Natural Bridges State Park's Monarch Grove Butterfly Natural Preserve, Santa Cruz. They were overwintering 80 feet high in a eucalpytus tree. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 4:22 PM

How Do Insects, Spiders React to a Partial Solar Eclipse?

A honey bee nectaring on African blue basil during the partial solar eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The sky darkens. The temperature drops several degrees. A breeze rustles the leaves of the African blue basil. Dogs bark. And off in the distance, a hawk shrills. A partial solar eclipse is about to happen in Vacaville, Calif. I am watching the...

A honey bee nectaring on African blue basil during the partial solar eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee nectaring on African blue basil during the partial solar eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee nectaring on African blue basil during the partial solar eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Andrew Pfeifer) lurks beneath a milkweed leaf during the partial eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Andrew Pfeifer) lurks beneath a milkweed leaf during the partial eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata (as identified by Andrew Pfeifer) lurks beneath a milkweed leaf during the partial eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A pollen-coated honey bee ignores the eclipse and forages on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A pollen-coated honey bee ignores the eclipse and forages on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A pollen-coated honey bee ignores the eclipse and forages on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Two stink bugs on a bluebeard,Caryopteris x clandonensis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Two stink bugs on a bluebeard,Caryopteris x clandonensis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Two stink bugs on a bluebeard,Caryopteris x clandonensis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An assassin bug looking for prey. It's on a tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An assassin bug looking for prey. It's on a tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An assassin bug looking for prey. It's on a tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee trapped in a web (and freed by the photographer). It was the spider's second catch of the day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee trapped in a web (and freed by the photographer). It was the spider's second catch of the day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee trapped in a web (and freed by the photographer). It was the spider's second catch of the day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2:05 PM
Tags: eclipse (1), Eric Mussen (245), honey bee (195), milkweed (32), orbweaver (1), praying mantis (86), predator (12), prey (17), spider (13), Tithonia (51)

A Fly, Oh, My!

A female Eristalis stipator (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, foraging on tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A fly, oh, my! On the approval scale, they don't rank nearly as high as honey bees, but some are often mistaken for them. Take the Eristalis stipator, which belongs to the family Syrphidae, the hover flies. It's about the same size as a honey bee and...

A female Eristalis stipator (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, foraging on tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female Eristalis stipator (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, foraging on tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Eristalis stipator (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, foraging on tropical milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The female Eristalis stipator peers at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The female Eristalis stipator peers at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The female Eristalis stipator peers at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eristalis stipator in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Eristalis stipator in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eristalis stipator in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

See you! Off flies Eristalis stipator, heading for another blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
See you! Off flies Eristalis stipator, heading for another blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

See you! Off flies Eristalis stipator, heading for another blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 5:12 PM

Got Milkweed? Bees Like It, Too!

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka

The Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, stocks a "Got Milkweed?" t-shirt in its gift shop. In real life, insects "get" milkweed. We all know it's the only host plant of the monarch butterfly--where monarchs lay their...

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka
A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka "teddy bear bee"), heads for the showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa. A honey bee is already there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka "teddy bear bee"), heads for the showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa. A honey bee is already there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Three's a crowd? That's how many bees are on this milkweed. One carpenter bee and two honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Three's a crowd? That's how many bees are on this milkweed. One carpenter bee and two honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Three's a crowd? That's how many bees are on this milkweed. One carpenter bee and two honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the male Valley carpenter bee's tongue or proboscis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the male Valley carpenter bee's tongue or proboscis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the male Valley carpenter bee's tongue or proboscis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Valley carpenter bee arrives to take her share. The male of this species is a green-eyed blond (a clear case of of sexual dimorphism). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female Valley carpenter bee arrives to take her share. The male of this species is a green-eyed blond (a clear case of of sexual dimorphism). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Valley carpenter bee arrives to take her share. The male of this species is a green-eyed blond (a clear case of of sexual dimorphism). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 3:28 PM

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