Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Garden Insects

We've found some interesting creatures in and around our garden lately.

First, this walking stick is kinda neat:

Then, at last,  the wasps are helping me out:  there's a parasitic wasp that feeds on tomato hornworms.  I finally found a zombie hornworm in my garden, easily recognizable by the wasp egg sacks all over his back (click to enlarge):

That guy now lives a sad zombie hornworm life, existing solely to feed the wasp eggs eating him from the inside out.  You're not supposed to kill them - because you want the wasps to hatch and grow to eat more hornworms.  Note that the hornworm is clearly messed in the head - he's on a dead leaf, which he would never bother with if he were sane.  He hasn't moved from that leaf in days, but he did quickly rear up when I touched him yesterday.

Then there's this monster spider:

I guess she was hungry for a monarch butterfly, because she was smart enough to build her web between two milkweed plants, which the monarch loves.  Although this spider looks scary, it seems she's harmless to humans (Black and Yellow Argiope).

stay tuned for the latest on the garden crops.



Transor Z said...

The hornworm photo is incredibly cool.

Wong Chun Xing said...

How large is this walking stick ?

Kid Dynamite said...

I'd say the walking stick is about 4 to 5 inches long