Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!

Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!
Deep in the Lair of the Perpetually Curious Fox

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bugs! Aphids, Misumena vatia and some bumbling bees.

There's been quite an infestation of aphids and spider mites in the Evil Plot. I'm trying to make the garden as hospitable as possible to spiders, bees and ladybugs - so insecticide is out of the question ... most of the time! I did have to resort to spraying some of the vegetable seedlings and the rosebushes new growths with pyrethrin spray as they are starting to look pretty decimated even after spraying with water and liberal applications of Neem Oil mix spray (oh, this do work, just not immediately, and the seedlings looked like they are dying from all the sap being sucked out!).

Them nassssty suckers

I hate them as much as I hate mosquitos

Poor larkspur has no chance

I did check to make sure I'm not killing any nice spiders, bees or lady bugs. Here's some of the good guys:

Misumena vatia (Goldenrod Crab Spider).

Of the thomisidae family, so it has a crab like habit of using it's front legs to catch prey. In most cases it catches bees, but it also eats the nasty bugs like wasps and ants (who like to herd their aphids up the rosebushes!) so I'm pretty happy to let her (it's female if it is white - the males are brownish and smaller, although having the same crab-like stance) stay in the garden. Plus Misumenas have a very unique ability to change colour -green or yellow or white - to best suit it's lair (she doesn't build any webs, but lies in wait in the flowers for visiting insects). 

The fact that she's reliably residing in the rosebushes or in one of the flowers under the rosebushes makes it (relatively) easy to photograph her compared to other spiders who quickly sneaks away while I get my camera. White spiders look pretty unusual to a person from Southeast Asia!

She's waving her front legs threateningly at me!

Waiting for some careless bug to walk riiiight into her dinner table!
Bombus terrestris (Bumblebee)

I like the fact that there's a Bumblebee nest somewhere nearby the back garden. The colony visits the plants regularly so I did have a chance to follow and take snapshots of one bee. She (the workers are female) was not very amused with having a Nikon lens zooming in and out close to her while she's busy gathering nectar!

Need a better setting to catch a bumblebee in mid-flight!

Another arachnid has taken residence with the Papaver rhoeas.Technically not a spider eventhough it has 8 legs. It eats small bugs (like aphids) so it is more than welcome to stay on the poppies.

Welcome to my parlour, says the Opilione

No comments:

Post a Comment