Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: milkweed

Hey, I'm Eating as Fast as I Can!

An immature lady beetle (larvae) chowing down on an oleander aphid. This photo was taken on a milkweed plant in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen the larva of a lady beetle (aka ladybug) dining on an aphid? Lights! Camera! Action! So here is this charming little immature lady beetle chowing down on an oleander aphid that has the audacity to infest the milkweed in our...

An immature lady beetle (larvae) chowing down on an oleander aphid. This photo was taken on a milkweed plant in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An immature lady beetle (larvae) chowing down on an oleander aphid. This photo was taken on a milkweed plant in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An immature lady beetle (larvae) chowing down on an oleander aphid. This photo was taken on a milkweed plant in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A well-fed adult lady beetle (aka ladybug) ignores a fat Oleander aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A well-fed adult lady beetle (aka ladybug) ignores a fat Oleander aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A well-fed adult lady beetle (aka ladybug) ignores a fat Oleander aphid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 5:27 PM

The Enemy of the Gardener

Oleander aphids clustering on a milkweed stem. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Aphids, don't you just hate them? Especially those oleander aphids that suck the very lifeblood out of our milkweed plants that we're struggling to save for monarch butterflies. Just call aphids "The Enemy of the Gardener" or "The Enemy of the...

Oleander aphids clustering on a milkweed stem. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Oleander aphids clustering on a milkweed stem. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Oleander aphids clustering on a milkweed stem. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Aphids magnified on a Leica DVM6 microscope, operated by Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology.
Aphids magnified on a Leica DVM6 microscope, operated by Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology.

Aphids magnified on a Leica DVM6 microscope, operated by Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology.

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Monarch Madness: Thanks, Monarch Mama!

A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Thar's gold in them thar hills? Probably not. But thar's definitely gold in that there pollinator garden--our little pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif. Gold, black and white--as in the iconic monarch caterpillars. We've been waiting all year for...

A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar swirls to get the best angle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The monarch caterpillar swirls to get the best angle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar swirls to get the best angle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The long and short of it--a monarch caterpillar crawls on a stem to its next dining spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The long and short of it--a monarch caterpillar crawls on a stem to its next dining spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The long and short of it--a monarch caterpillar crawls on a stem to its next dining spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Even seed pods are fair game for hungry monarch caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Even seed pods are fair game for hungry monarch caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Even seed pods are fair game for hungry monarch caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a monarch caterpillar, taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a monarch caterpillar, taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a monarch caterpillar, taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

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; they're beetles belonging to the family Coccinellidae, and they're not all "ladies"--some are male!). How...

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 ball. We've been watching the critters on our milkweed, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, for the last couple of...

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

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