Bug of the Week

The wildflowers are going, well, wild right now.

It's been cool and rainy, so the insects haven't been quite as active.

I did find a few false chinch bugs on the brittlebush.

False chinch bugs (Nysius raphanus) feed on weeds like London rocket. If the conditions are right, they can build up to high numbers. They aggregate as they prepare for migration and sometimes clouds of these tiny insects can be found in certain locations in the desert. Once the migration starts, however, they disappear rapidly.

No clouds of insects in my yard, though. Just flowers...

Honey bees do different jobs as they get older. The young bees take care of the brood, and the older bees go out and forage or gather food.

In the fall, the foraging bees don't look too bad.

honey-bee-sunflowerhoney-bee-pollen-basket-251They are still fuzzy and their wings are in good shape.

Now contrast that to some honey bees out foraging this week.

Can you see the dark patch on the back of the thorax? This bee has lost some of her hair.

The quality of this photo isn't the best, but can you see how ragged the edges of this honey bee's wings are?

These honey bees have been in the nest all winter, probably working hard to keep it warm. They are worn out.

Have you ever spotted a honey bee that was worse for wear?

It was a bit cold, cloudy and rainy over the weekend, so I wasn't expecting to find any insects. But there it was.

A praying mantis, bold as can be.

Isn't it interesting how the pink shades on its thorax match the pink flower buds of the fairy duster plant it's resting on?

The cold weather was probably making it sluggish, because it did not move when I ran to get my camera or the whole time I was taking photographs.

Perhaps it is wishing for warmer days.