Thursday, 24 July 2014

Our precious milkweed plants – everyone loves them!

Getting down to it, like ants on aphids!
Lots of milkweed plants
in our backyard fields.
It seems it is the height of the season. I thought spring was the thing.

Insects are hungry and twitterpated!

Milkweed plants host many critters.
They smell beautiful!

Obviously, the Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars, but there are several bugs who are named after the plant.

Whilst searching for Monarch butterfly eggs, I managed to find a ton of bugs I'd never photographed. Serendipity.
(Never mind the deerflies that bit me!)

It's amazing the bugs that depend upon this plant.
I did find ONE Monarch caterpillar that hatched this week. I was so excited. It was confirmed on BAMONA.
First Monarch caterpillar in two years!
I know what they are up to!
Milkweed tussock moth larvae

She kept on eating, then she moved away!
He gave me a dirty look, 'Back off, sister!'
Red Milkweed Beetle 
(Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)

Dorah walks in the milkweed
in the lower field meadow!
She was frog hunting.
Red Milkweed Beetle
(Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)
Macro lens is tricky,
especially with my glasses.
Its front spider legs are focused...
Here are some photos of some of the others. Earwigs, lots of beetles.
Butterfly up close. Was it ever mad at me!
One critter chewed a hole, and sucked up the juice in the plant stem. Others chew off the leaves, like the Red Milkweed Beetle. Some bugs use Milkweed itself, others, like the ants, spiders, and lady beetles, feed on the aphids that feed on the plants. It's an insect eat insect world!

goldenrod soldier beetle, also known as Pennsylvania leatherwing (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus)



Joe Todd said...

Thanks for the post. A lot of effort went into taking those photos

Debbie said...

WoW....some amazing close-ups. perhaps even a little "too" close!! i am not a fan of bugs, bugs but i love lady bugs!!!

i see your balloon decoration. our festival is this weekend, i am so excited!!!

Hilary said...

Wonderful finds and captures, Jennifer. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of those eggs. What a difference a day makes.

You might have to adjust the diopter on your camera if you're having trouble seeing your macro subject well. Perhaps it's not at the optimal setting for your glasses.

Nancy J said...

Bugs galore, so many, but the Monarch is for me the favourite. Jennifer, I love your hanging lantern, Is it stained glass? Perfect place in your garden. Cheers,Jean

Powell River Books said...

I don't know if we have milkweed or not around here. Love your photos, what an amazing amount of critters who depend on it. The ladybugs were the best of course. - Margy

William Kendall said...

Quite an eclectic group of shots. Insect porn is something I wouldn't have expected.

Miss Dorah looks suitably regal.

Red said...

I think I deserve at least one credit for taking in all the information in this post!