Category Archives: Insects

Sonoran Carpenter Bee

A Sonoran Carpenter Bee clambers through agave attenuata flowers
A Sonoran Carpenter Bee clambers through agave attenuata flowers

I saw this female Sonoran Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa sonorina) in an Agave Attenuata and at first thought she was dead. But when I went out to look, she moved a bit, then burrowed deeper into the plants and disappeared from sight. I saw her three days in a row on the same plant and then she must have moved on. I’m not sure exactly what she was doing there. She didn’t appear to be collecting pollen but might have been doing so, albeit very slowly!

Spiders and stick insect

A Hawaiian garden spider and a stick insect snared in its nest
A tiny spider on a stick insect snared by a Hawaiian garden spider

Outside my bathroom window, a colony of crab spiders has created a vast network of webs between the house and utility lines. The image (bottom photo) would have been a good one for Halloween.

In amongst the crab spiders, a female Hawaiian garden spider has staked out a spot. It’s close to the window and I get a good view of what she’s up to. Usually there are one or two little cocoons of white webbing where she has captured and stashed a wee bug for later.

On this morning I glanced outside and saw a large brown shape stuck in the web and lightly wrapped in white. So I went outside and took the top photo of the unfortunate victim. When I looked at it, I realized the garden spider wasn’t the only one in the photo. I noticed a much smaller spider on the stick insect. So I went out again and took the second photo.

I don’t know what kind of spider it is, but I liked its shiny metallic abdomen. I assume that spider was in the process of snagging itself a free meal. The garden spider didn’t seen too bothered, I presume because she figured such a small spider wasn’t going to deplete her larder very much.

Spider webs on utility lines

A spiky passion vine butterfly caterpillar

A Passion vine butterfly caterpillar on a passion vine in Hawaii
A Passion vine butterfly caterpillar on a passion vine in Hawaii

This is a caterpillar with a message and the message is ‘Back off.’ This is illustrated by the orange and black coloring and black spikes, which in this case conveys that these caterpillars are poisonous. Fortunately, I wasn’t hungry at the time so no harm done. Passion vine butterfly caterpillars, on the other hand, seem to be permanently hungry. Whenever I see them they’re munching leaves like old time video game characters.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – Spiky.’ See more responses here.

Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Close ups and Macros.’ See more responses here. Here’s a selection of some little creatures up close and personal.

Fiery skipper butterfly on aptenias

A Fiery skipper butterfly feeds on an aptenia haeckeliana flower
A Fiery skipper butterfly feeds on an aptenia cordifolia flower

I often see fiery skipper butterflies on what I know as ice plants. I thought the different color flowers were just variations within the plant but, while they’re members of the same family (Aizoaceae), they’re different plants. At the top is an Aptenia haeckeliana with its yellow flower. To the left is an Aptenia cordifolia with a magenta flower.

It’s a different butterfly on the two flowers, but both are fiery skippers.