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.
Have you ever wondered what life is like for insects?
For example, take these aphids feeding on a sunflower stem. Look at how spiky the stem looks from a closer perspective. Must make getting lunch a bit more challenging, don't you think?
We usually consider aphids to be fairly sedentary. They put their straw-like mouthparts into the plant and stand sucking the juices. Do they ever get uncomfortable? Too hot? Too full?
Just as I was pondering this, the biggest aphid pulled out her mouthparts and walked away, leaving the tiny nymphs behind.
Apparently aphids aren't so sedentary after all.
I should have posted these photographs of aphids in honor of Mother's Day.
They were on a pink hollyhock flower.
Yes, even aphids are moms.