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Back to the hollyhocks.

The light is so lovely on the white flowers.

Wait, what's that on the stem below the buds at the top?

It is a tiny praying mantis nymph.

Too cute.

Have you ever seen a newly-hatched praying mantis nymph?


The rush milkweeds are flowering like crazy this week.

Not surprisingly, this tarantula hawk wasp was taking full advantage (I've written about the relationship between rush milkweeds and tarantula hawks previously.)

This one reacted to my approach and flew away.

It went to another plant, then returned. It continued to watch me.

I was surprised it was so timid because the female wasps of this species are armed with a potent sting. At first I thought it might be a male, which wouldn't have a stinger, but typically the females are the ones with the curled antennae.

It is hard to see at this resolution, but the wasp has a patch of dirt on the side of her thorax. That's pretty common. The females sting tarantulas or other spiders and drag them into a burrow underground. They often wear dirt.

As for being timid, I guess I'm scarier than a tarantula.


What happens when you send an entomologist to visit a rose garden?

There will be some photographs of roses, of course.


But not only roses.

There will be even more photographs of insects.

Isn't the contrast between the dark red rose and the light green aphids striking?

If there are aphids, there will be lady beetles.The adult in this photograph is a convergent lady beetle.

And lady beetle larvae. This one is an ashy gray lady beetle larva. It is searching for aphids to eat.

  The larvae of the green lacewings also eat aphids.

This green lacewing egg looks like it might already have hatched.

The fly might have been attracted by the aphids, as well. Flies will eat the honeydew the aphids release.

The assassin bug was probably interested in the bigger insects, like the fly.

Butterflies visit roses, too.

So, yes an entomologist will spend more time looking at insects, but he or she just might enjoy the roses, too.

What about you?

Roses and insects provided by the rose garden at Mesa Community College.