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Today’s garden pics include more ants milking aphids, speckled bush-cricket nymph, Japanese beetle, and a green bottle fly.
These pics are from June 12 & 13. Some species of ants have a symbiotic relationship with aphids. The aphids feed on plant sap and produce a sugary secretion called honeydew that the ants eat. The ants “milk” the aphids by stroking them with their antennae to stimulate them to produce more honeydew for them to eat. The ants will in turn guard the aphids from other predators.
13 June 2021
12 June 2021
The Issus coleoptratus nymph has to be one of the coolest insects ever! They’re among my favorites in the garden. Their legs contain the only gears known to be found in nature! And they have a blue brush sticking out of their back end. They’re definitely a very steampunk-ish looking bug! I was happy to see the first one of the season in the garden today. I’ve never seen one of this light color though. It must be a newly emerged one.
No snails out today but there were lots of other critters in the garden. Japanese beetles, ladybugs, a jumping spider, a flesh fly and a gold fly (not sure what kind it is).
No snails today. It was sunny and dry. But I found the love dart from the pair of happy Helix aspersa snails that I photographed on Saturday. What is a love dart you ask? Love darts are made of calcium carbonate. Snails stab their mates with it during their “courtship”. Here is an article from wikipedia about love darts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_dart
Found this Helix aspersa making bubbles. Not sure why it was doing that. Snails make bubbles when they’re scared or dehydrated. It stayed on that branch for a while after making the bubbles. Its tentacles and eyes were retracted (see gallery below). It perked up after I sprinkled some water on it.