Archive | October, 2013

Common Confusions

20 Oct

Reblog of an oldie but informative post. Enjoy!

Wannabe Entomologist

Now, I’m not exactly an expert in entomology.  That takes a lot of schooling…a lot, and probably a much higher IQ, than I’m willing to admit, over mine.  But I have learned a thing or two and my passion keeps the excitement in this insect/human relationship.  This post will be sort of a recap of some other posts, like THIS ONE,  but I get a lot of questions (and a lot of hits on my blog, by the way) concerning a certain four insects: the katydid, the grasshopper, the locust and the cicada.  So, I’m going to list a few facts with pictures just to clear up these common confusions.

1. Katydid

Order: Orthoptera

Suborder: Ensifera

*Over 6,400 species

*Distinguished from grasshoppers by their extremely long antennae

*Also called the ‘long-horned grasshopper’ although they are more closely related to crickets and weta

2. Grasshopper

Order: Orthoptera

Suborder: Caelifera

*2,400 Caelifera and…

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Weekly Photo Challenge-Good Morning!

9 Oct

This one was tough challenge for me. Mainly because of the fact that it’s “Good Morning” and I have an adorable baby boy who I take pictures of nearly every morning. I know you, my loyal readers would have let that slide but I thought I’d stick with the entomology slant as I’ve done with (most of) the other challenges.

And before you go saying, “Lisa, this picture has a horse in it and last I checked, horses don’t fall under the entomology umbrella.”

And you’re right, they don’t. But you tell me that there aren’t probably thousands of insects somewhere in that picture…just hidden.

I should have been a lawyer.

Anyway, here’s a picture of our back paddock on a foggy morning. That’s our horse Gus waiting for me to serve him his breakfast.

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So, what was it?

8 Oct

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A caterpillar? Nope.

A piece of belly button lint? Wrong again.

And I’m not even sure any of you were able to find out (quickly) because it took me a while.

It is….

Ladybug (ladybird) larvae!!! Specifically a ladybug called the Mealy Bug Destroyer. Pretty cool name, huh? And a little funny that it’s a name of a teeny cute wittle ladybug.

“Lisa, what’s a mealy bug?” I hear you asking in my mind where I have tons of curious readers. A mealy bug, strangely enough, looks like this…

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Photo credit: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

Look alike, don’t they? See, these little cuties do some bad things to certain plants. The excrete something called honeydew (don’t worry, the melons at the grocery are fine) which is the name for the secretion of sap-feeding insects. This honeydew causes sooty mould on the plant.

The cool thing is that the female Destroyer lays her eggs next to the mealy bugs egg sac. And even cooler than that is the Destroyer and their larvae both feed on mealy bugs and their honeydew! So, now you know why they’re called Mealybug Destroyers. Infiltrate the camp and take them down from the inside!

I found these Destroyers on my Gardenia plant in the front yard. Upon inspection I couldn’t find any mealy bugs so they must be doing their job.

What is it?

3 Oct

Well, we’ve got two days left until the big reveal!  I know it’s taking long and that’s mostly because I’m having to do some of the web design myself.  I’m versed in WordPress but I’d say it’s more along the lines of “getting by” rather than being fluent.  So, it’s a learning curve.

And since I feel like I’m making everyone wait, I thought I’d throw in a What is it? in the meantime.

Any of my facebook pals might have some idea what this is since I’ve been photographing something in particular lately on my newly identified Gardenia bush.  I’ve taken tons of really cool pictures that I will be sharing in a later post of that mystery subject.

When I first saw this from afar I thought it was a spot of bird dooty.  But upon further inspection of the maybe 1cm long thing, I realized it was in fact alive. Da, da duuuuuuuuum.

So, what is it??

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