Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Visitors in the Garden

I really like keeping an eye out for all the insects and bugs in the garden.  Some of the things I have seen recently, include the larvae of a small parasitic wasp that targets cabbage worms, building their little cocoons.  The wasp is called Cotesia glomerata.  

Cotesia glomerata cocoons near a parasitized Imported Cabbage Worm

Cotesia glomerata larvae spinning their cocoons

Last year I noticed solitary bees were digging out tunnels in last year's dead raspberry canes and nesting in there, so I leave the canes alone until they vacate the nest the following year.

Solitary bee nesting in a dead raspberry cane
I'm always glad to see a few aphids here and there, because all the beneficial insects such as ladybug and lacewing larvae need a food source.  If my garden was completely aphid free, I think the adult lacewings and ladybugs would move on and find another place to lay eggs.  By not using sprays and planting lots of food and host plants (cilantro, dill, fennel, alyssum, parsley), the beneficial insect population explodes pretty quickly and keeps things in balance.

Ladybug larva on chamomile
And spotted this morning, a pretty little butterfly taking a rest.  After some googling, I think this is a Silver-Spotted Skipper.

Butterfly on apple tree

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