I’ve always loved how the camera teaches awareness and now that I’m spending most of my time in the garden, I’ve been thrilled to learn about things I never thought I’d be interested in. Things like bugs, for example. After my troubles with Cabbage Loopers last year, I became quite invested in learning more about the little critters. And now, as I prowl through the rows of vegetables with my camera in hand, I’m hooked! Here are a few of the critters I’ve been learning about:
These photos, taken last November, are of syrphid fly larvae. They’re great to have around because they feed on soft-bodied insects such as aphids.
This photo, taken last month, is of a Waved Light Fly (Pyrgota undata). The life history of these parastic flies is quite fascinating: “Female lights on a feeding May beetle, causing it to take flight. Pyrgotid then oviposits into beetle’s back while soft parts are exposed in flight. Flies usually attack female beetles only and may pursue them under lights. Larvae is about 1 cm long, takes about 14 days to kill host beetle and then consumes entire interior. Fly pupates inside host remains and pupates there, emerges following spring.”
I took this photo last week. What you see here is an assassin bug, Zelus sp., snacking on a garden pest.
For those of you who inspired by my bug pictures, here’s a great field guide to discovering beneficial insects in your own yard.
CSA members, the Orrtanna pick-up is tomorrow and the Waynesboro drop-off is Wednesday.
I look forward to seeing you!