Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drama in the garden

Okay, okay, okay, I PROMISE to take some cat photos today (especially some Emily shots for Deb at Just Cats!) But first I MUST show you my shots of the latest drama in my garden last night.

 What's going on here?



Why it's a female ambush bug with a male ambush bug on her back (getting all amorous), and they've just assassinated one of my dear honeybees!



They have the poor bee by her reddish proboscis (tongue). You can read more about the honeybee's proboscis here.



Ambush bugs hide on flowers (they prefer yellow flowers from the aster family) then, as the name suggest, run out and ambush their prey, which is often much larger than them. They then inject a fluid into the victim that dissolves its insides, which are then sucked out and enjoyed by this wily little predator. Afterwards the drained exoskeleton of the tasty little snack is tossed aside like yesterday's news. 

Eeeyuw! But oh-so-fascinating. You wouldn't believe the things that go on in an innocent-looking flower garden.


This was yet another pair of ambush bugs I found yesterday. That fly was lucky they were looking the other way!



Faces only a mother could love. But isn't their camouflage colouring extraordinary?


I have lots more bug photos to share but first I'll get you some kitty-cat pics!


39 comments:

  1. That lens is letting you get close up and personal! What drama in the tiny world and how interesting. So far nothing I've seen is as creepy as the giant red-headed centipede. (SHUDDER)

    Janet

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    1. I admit, centipedes creep me out a bit, and I bet yours are HUGE down there!

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  2. Those things are BL**DY ugly!
    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. Aren't they? BUt ah, tenderly in love!

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  3. Killing other insect while they couple!? It's depraved!

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    1. The female mantis eats her mate as they couple. Humans don't know how lucky they are!

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    2. The fun never stops in INsectland!

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  4. Geez..Louise, I'm going to have nightmare's tonight. That is the ugliest garden terrorist ever. Nature is beautiful and yet, so violent. Your camera is amazing. Thanks for the shout-out. "Here Emily.....here kitty"

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    1. Amazing what you can find on an innocent-looking flower!

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  5. Amazing, not only the 'bug lore' but the fact that you found them!

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    Replies
    1. Now that I'm looking for them, I'm finding more and more!

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  6. Your lens is AMAZING! love that last shot!

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    Replies
    1. Aren't they cool? I saw them and thought "WTF?!?!"

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  7. I notice that in every picture of the ambush bugs, the male is on the female's back. I think these guys might need to go to one of those sex addiction clinics. Great pics - nature as it really is!

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    Replies
    1. WHole lotta lovin' going on out there!

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  8. I love a fantasmid! These are incredible, NatGeo worthy shots and I hope you pass them on. May I?

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  9. I want a new macro, too!

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    Replies
    1. I hear you can used ones on eBay and such!

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  10. Nifty bugs! Also, if it makes you feel any better, Allison saved a bee from the swimming pool last night.

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    1. That about sums it up. :)

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  12. Replies
    1. The secret world in my garden...

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  13. Wonderful photos! You must be really in tune with Nature to catch these small dramas that most of us would never see otherwise.

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    1. I have to admit, I spend a LOT of time watching things in nature. :) My Mum got me started on that very young!

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  14. You really dig into things and make it very interesting. Somehow we have to get more people interested in the insect world. Not only is it imprtant but very interesting.

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    1. I want to write/illustrate some kind of book to that effect but I haven't got it all worked out in my head yet!

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  15. Great Bug Porn..apparently these guy are not camera shy.

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    1. Insect exhibitionists!

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  16. Yes, well.... glad I'm not a nectar sucking target for those guys (and gals). Great pix; I've recently changed cameras, and my new one doesn't have a macro setting. I suppose I should have checked first!

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    1. Can you imagine if those bugs were human size? Shudder! And bummer about the lack of a macro setting!!

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  17. They are some weird looking bugs!

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    1. They really are freakish! Now I want to see what else is lurking out there.

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  18. Strange looking creatures! You captured them quite well. You may have posted this at one point, but what type of camera do you have? I'm researching DSLRs and there is so much info to sort through. Your photos are always wonderful.

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    1. Hi David! I've had a Nikon D50 for many years now and love it, although after eight or so years, it's time for an upgrade. If I were buying one right now I'd get a Nikon D7000, but I'm waiting to see if something else comes out soon. I'm a big fan of NIkon! I had a Pentax K1000 manual SLR (film) for many, many years and learned photography on it. I still miss using it, but I love digital photography and am really happy with Nikon. I have three Nikkor (Nikon) lenses: the 50mm that came with the camera, a 70 - 210 mm zoom, and my new AFS-DX Mircro 40mm (which I LOVE!)

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    2. Thank you for the info Natalie! This is great. Your photos are fantastic which I know is mostly due to the photographer but I was curious what you used. You have a good eye. And patience. Love the insect shots. All this info is noted. Thank you again!

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    3. THanks David! :) All my art training helps, as well as the two years of photography courses in high school and college. Mostly I'm willing to crawl around in the dirt with the bugs. Yoga is good for keeping me flexible enough to do that. And yes, patience is a virtue here!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!