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

Posts Tagged: predator

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...

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2:05 PM
Tags: eclipse (1), Eric Mussen (1), honey bee (3), milkweed (3), orbweaver (1), praying mantis (5), predator (10), prey (7), spider (1), Tithonia (1)

There's an Assassin in Your Garden

Can you find the nymph assassin bug on this Cleveland sage? This bug belongs to the genus Zelus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ever seen assassination attempts in your garden? They are not pretty if you're the prey. Neither are the successful attempts. Take the Zelus renardii, aka the leafhopper assassin bug. They've been hanging out in our nectarine tree, cosmos,...

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017 at 3:08 PM

Not a Good Day for the Jumping Spider

A honey bee narrowly avoids the outstretched jumping spider,  a Phidippus audax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you go hungry. Take the case of the huge jumping spider (a female Phidippus audax or bold jumping spider, as identified by Wade Spencer of the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology) hanging out in our Spanish lavender....

Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 3:08 PM

Where's the Praying Mantis?

Where's the praying mantis? Look closely on the milkweed and you'll find it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's one of the most recognizable of all insects--if you can find it. Ever had someone poke you and point toward a plant: "Look, there's a praying mantis?" "Where?" "Right there. See it?" "No. Where is it? "Right there. It's right there. Can't you...

Posted on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 4:47 PM

To Kill a Monarch

A praying mantis nails a monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey(

It's a sin to kill a mockingbird, wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee in her classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." "Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy,"  one of her characters, Miss Maudie, wisely...

Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 6:44 PM

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