Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wildlife Wednesday May 2017

It's time for Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says" on the first Wednesday of each month.  Here's what's been happening wildlife wise in my garden during April.

First up we have a tiny dancing baby Praying Mantis.  So cute!


I'm happy to have them in the garden as they eat flies, crickets, grasshoppers, moths, and many other insects.  I'll keep an eye on the hummingbird feeder as a Praying Mantis can grasp and eat the much larger and heavier hummers.

Different stages of bug nymphs on a wire garden ornament.  They are all slightly different so tough to ID.  I looked through hundreds of photos, possibly a leaf-footed or assassin bug.


Another stage in development.  Then they all disappeared by the next day so I can't be sure how they look as adults.


Swallowtail caterpillar on a plant I typically pull out as a weed.  The plant is a member of the carrot family and similar to Queen Anne's Lace though this one is probably native.  From now on I'll leave a few for this beauty.


Speaking of Swallowtails, this Black Swallowtail enjoys a native Prairie Verbena.  These native wildflowers weren't planted, they just showed up when I put out the native plant welcome mat.



My garden isn't limited to Texas natives.  This Arizona Sister butterfly is enjoying South American import Verbena Bonariensis.  Since Verbena is common to the Western Hemisphere, many butterflies on the move stop by to enjoy the flowers.  I spotted a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail (my personal favorite) on Verbena Bonariensis yesterday when I didn't have the camera.  Of course it hasn't returned now that I'm on the lookout!



That's the wildlife report from my garden for May.  Be sure to follow the links at "My Gardener Says" to see garden wildlife from across the world.

11 comments:

  1. Great shots of your babies! Funnily enough, I saw a teeny, tiny praying mantis a week or two ago, but didn't have time to get any photos--I loved your video and his/her dance! Those beetles! I've had a bunch this year and they are a nymph stage of one of the stink bugs. I'd been patient with them, but late this afternoon, quite a number of them received the Soapy Bath of Death treatment! Anyhow, thanks for joining in!

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    1. Stink bugs! Good to know, as I searched hundreds of photos to reach no conclusion. If they had stuck around I might have gotten the soap out too!

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  2. Great Wildlife Wednesday post! I enjoyed your praying mantis and butterfly videos. We don't have the large praying mantises here--I'd heard they can catch and consume hummingbirds, which is hard to imagine!

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    1. I wouldn't have believed it either but there are videos to confirm.

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  3. The praying mantis video is great. I'd love to have some to go after the grasshoppers but hummingbirds - yikes! I guess I'll rely on my ample population of western fence lizards to take care of the grasshoppers.

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  4. Love your videos! The shots of the butterflies are great. Butterflies and hummingbirds are a real challenge to photograph.

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  5. Your wildlife videos are always wonderful! Your garden is alive with interesting flora and fauna!

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  6. As always, your post was fun and informative! I'd never seen an Arizona Sister butterfly before! Maybe one will visit my garden and now I'll know what it is. Also, thanks for the reminder to not pull ALL of the weeds I don't like, maybe something else will like the taste of it!

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  7. Someday I'll do my take on your video snippets... The mix of natives and adapted non-natives to attract so much is a good model.

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    1. Pretty easy, the trick is to take five or more photos without moving the camera. Mine has a multiple setting which helps.

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  8. Hi Shirley, I love the photos of those pretty butterflies, and the dancing mantis is great! I'm glad to read I'm not the only one who has trouble identifying insects, they are so difficult because you don't know if they're an adult or not or even what kind of insect they are sometimes! :)

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