This family of aphids watches helplessly as one of their clan is ruthlessly devoured by their arch enemy, the ladybird beetle (aka ladybug). When you look at a ladybug it’s easy to forget they are savage predators.
Category Archives: Insects and Spiders
Spider Wasp on Lance-Leaved Goldenrod
Here’s another wasp I’m not quite sure I correctly identified. I believe it is a Spider Wasp. Regardless, it was one of the pollinators that shared their meadow with me in early September. Like other wasps and bees I’ve photographed, this one didn’t seem to pay any attention to my presence. Perhaps because I was sitting still and it approached me rather than the other way around.
From what I’ve read Spider Wasps can be aggressive and have quite a painful sting. I guess it’s a good thing it didn’t mind me being there.
Eastern Carpenter Bee Landing On Thin-Leaved Sunflower
During a photo outing to shoot wildflowers I decided to take a few backlit shots. In the process I began tracking a few Eastern Carpenter Bees as they passed by. I was lucky enough to capture this one as it prepared to land on a thin-leaved sunflower.
I like the way backlit flowers almost glow but that’s pretty easy to predict, setup and shoot. After all, except for the wind, the flowers aren’t really moving. I was really pleased with the lighting of the bee in this photo.
Like most of the photos on my blog, you can click the image to open a larger version of the photo. Check out all the pollen covering this bee. This clearly wasn’t its first flower of the day.
Ailanthus Webworm Moth
Eastern Carpenter Bee on Wildflowers I
The Eastern Carpenter Bee is easily confused with the American Bumble Bee. While the bumble bee is covered covered in fuzzy hair, the carpenter bee is missing the fuzz from its abdomen.
Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle on Thin-Leaved Sunflower
At first I thought the beetle on this thin-leaved sunflower was a soldier beetle but something didn’t look quite right. Looking more closely I’ve identified it as a Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle. According to insectidentification.org, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle is highly beneficial in their predation of aphids. As a bonus, their quest for insect prey turns them into efficient pollinators.
Paper Wasp on Lance-Leaved Goldenrod
I had a little trouble identifying this species of wasp but I believe it is a paper wasp. In my experience they are not aggressive unless you disturb their nests. In this case I was photographing wildflowers when the wasp approached to gather nectar. I sat still, watched and photographed it and the wasp didn’t even seem to notice me.
Skipper on Thin-Leaved Sunflower I
Last Saturday morning I walked through an open field covered in wildflowers. I always like diving into areas like that and discovering all the little things you would miss if you didn’t actually look for them. On this particular morning I found the butterflies, bees, wasps, and dragonflies had their run of the meadow. This little skipper was feeding on the nectar of thin-leaved sunflowers which dominated the field.
Rough Stink Bug on Ficus
I believe our subject is Brochymena arborea, also known as the Rough Stink Bug. After photographing it I did a little research and was surprised to learn there are several beneficial species of stink bugs, the Rough Stink Bug being one of them. While many stink bugs feed on plants and cause crop damage there are also species, such as this one, that prey on caterpillars and other crop damaging insects.
Virginia Integrated Pest Management published the Field Guide to Stink Bugs which explains how to identify stink bugs in the Mid-Atlantic region and identifies the beneficial ones.
Fly Silhouette On Palm Leaf
I saw this fly walking along a palm leaf and decided to try out some macro shots. I wasn’t happy with any of the more traditional photos I took but liked this one, taken from the underside of the leaf.