UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
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UC Master Gardener Program

Latest News from the Bug Blog

Know Your Dragonflies!

A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You're walking through a park and suddenly spot a dragonfly perched on a stick. "What's that?" you ask. As you edge closer, it takes off. "Missed it!" Well, you won't want to miss the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on Sunday, Sept....

A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrium madidum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrium madidum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrium madidum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 5:52 PM

Find the Praying Mantis!

Late afternoon sun gives away the location of this praying mantis hidden in a bed of lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Whether you call them "praying" mantis or "preying" mantis, one thing is for sure: they are difficult to find. Tucked away in vegetation and as quiet as "the proverbial mouse" (except praying mantids are more quiet than the "proverbial" mice), they...

Late afternoon sun gives away the location of this praying mantis hidden in a bed of lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Late afternoon sun gives away the location of this praying mantis hidden in a bed of lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Late afternoon sun gives away the location of this praying mantis hidden in a bed of lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Dead Tithonia leaves camouflage this praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Dead Tithonia leaves camouflage this praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Dead Tithonia leaves camouflage this praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A very gravid female hanging out in the lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A very gravid female hanging out in the lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A very gravid female hanging out in the lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

These are all green leaves, right? No, there's a green praying mantis here, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
These are all green leaves, right? No, there's a green praying mantis here, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

These are all green leaves, right? No, there's a green praying mantis here, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 5:34 PM

How Small Is Small?

A lady beetle, a monarch caterpillar and an infestation of oleander aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sometimes in a world of towering skyscrapers, jumbo jets and warehouses big enough to hold a small planet--or at least a state the size of Rhode Island--we don't realize how “small” small is. Last weekend it was a veritable insect...

A lady beetle, a monarch caterpillar and an infestation of oleander aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle, a monarch caterpillar and an infestation of oleander aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, a monarch caterpillar and an infestation of oleander aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An oleander aphid on
An oleander aphid on "the nose" of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An oleander aphid on "the nose" of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An oleander aphid on the back of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An oleander aphid on the back of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An oleander aphid on the back of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An oleander aphid crawling on a tentacle of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An oleander aphid crawling on a tentacle of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An oleander aphid crawling on a tentacle of a monarch caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 6:36 PM

Thank You, Mrs. Monarch!

A monarch caterpillar chowing down milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Thank you, Mrs. Monarch. Thank you for laying your eggs on our newly planted narrowleaf milkweed. We planted the narrowleafed milkweed last spring, hoping we could coax you to come. We laid out a floral welcome mat for you with some of...

A monarch caterpillar chowing down milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar chowing down milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar chowing down milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The long and short of it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The long and short of it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The long and short of it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An adult monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An adult monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An adult monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Spreading his wings--a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Spreading his wings--a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Spreading his wings--a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 5:27 PM

Yes, It Happens: Sexual Cannibalism in Praying Mantids

A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yes, it happens. We've heard the stories and read some of the scientific literature about what a female praying mantis will do to her partner during the mating process. Sexual cannibalism. She'll bite the head off of her mate and eat it--but the...

A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A mating pair of praying mantids. At left is the male, soon to lose his head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The headless male lived about eight hours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The headless male lived about eight hours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The headless male lived about eight hours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the headless male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the headless male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the headless male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 8:15 PM

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