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.
Why would I take a photograph of this white fluff? Because it was walking around.
Can you spot the insect?
The "wolf in sheep's clothing" is a lacewing larva. It uses debris to disguise itself, and most of the time the disguise works, unless of course it starts walking.
green lacewing life cycle
brown lacewing larva
Lacewings are pretty common in Arizona and I found another lacewing larva last week. (Check previous posts about the life cycle of lacewings).
This lacewing was walking on the silk cocoon of a moth. You can just see the outline of the pale green moth pupa under the white strands of silk of the cocoon. I think the lacewing larva was trying to get inside, without much luck.
See its long jaws? I think it might be the larva of a brown lacewing, rather than a green lacewing, because it looks a bit different. The brown lacewing adult has brown wings, hence the name. They aren't as fragile-looking as the green lacewing and we tend to find them more often in the colder months.