Balance in the Garden: Ichneumon Parasitic Wasp

My latest Icheumon Wasp find on Redbud

Sometime ago I talked about how some wasps keep a garden in balance by using other arthropods as their larval hosts, laying eggs to hatch and feed off the caterpillars of moths or butterflies or beetle larvae.  It’s Nature’s way of ensuring you don’t get too many of one species.  The food chain in action. […]

Aphids are Good? Wait….WHAT???

syrphidCowbaneHoverOct2014

Down at my pond recently, I waited patiently for a flower fly to land for a photo op.  I use a point and shoot camera and have yet to find that the sports setting is effective at getting close-up photos of insects so I don’t use it.  I took a random shot or two while […]

A Heron By Any Other Name Would Be Easier To Identify

Who's out there on the island?

This is a fun time of year in Florida.  The birds are returning from their summer digs so I get a wide array of visitors.  I glanced out at the pond the other day and eyed a thin white head poking up through the cover of native grasses.  There standing on the tussock in the […]

Night of the Living Dead

Is the planthopper dressing up for Halloween?  The coloring seems ghostly

How does one control pest species such as grasshoppers and plant hoppers?  Often Mother Nature takes over control TO control.  Grasshoppers and other pests have some natural predators besides birds, and it isn’t just fauna. Think PATHOGENS… disease-causing agents!  All natural, no chemicals involved.   In recent times I ran into two examples of this phenomenon […]

Native Plant Garden of Gold

Solidago spp.

We’ve cooled down some in Central Florida, although by Northeast or Midwest standards it still is steamy and hot.  Still, it is Florida Autumn and the garden is reflecting the standard fall colors everyone is so accustomed to. As the golden flowers unfold, the birds wait with anticipation for some of the flowers to go […]

Inviting Dragonflies to Lunch in the Garden

Erythemis simplicicollis (male)

I noticed someone enjoying a bit of lunch in the garden recently.  It was an Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis) and based on the coloration, a male. Males become pruinose blue with white claspers and a green face.” More often than not when I come across an Eastern Pondhawk in the garden it is one […]

Gardening Change of Attitude

twigs2fledge37

YIKES!  Another year flew by and this article begins my fifth year as a writer here at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. Four years in the tank…every Friday since October 8, 2010.  Mother Nature has provided so many interesting encounters to share in my  208 articles.  I begin article 209 with how things have molded my gardening […]

The Mydas Touch (Part Deux)

A quick look might have you thinking Mydids are robberflies.

This week I got an email from Bugguide giving confirmation of a fly species that graced my place a year ago.  I had pretty much forgotten about the submission, but the confirmation had a timely arrival since I was stumped earlier in the week on what I might write about today. Oddly, these insects are […]

Killer on the Loose

I am not a bee

Tis the time of year when huge “bees” are flying all over the yard.  They aren’t actually bees, but bumblebee mimics and they prey on the very insects they resemble.  Meet a Robberfly (Mallophora bomboides), a member of the insect order Diptera.  This particular species is commonly called “Florida Bee Killer” due to their preferred […]

When the Gall Moves, it Probably isn’t a Gall

Look at the shades of color in the markings

I was walking past the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) tree, one of two saplings I have planted on the southwest side of the pond. Bald-cypress are known for getting species-specific insects known as Cypress Twig Gall Midge (Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa). The smaller of my two trees has a few sprinkled throughout. Galls are housing created from […]

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