Category Archives: Insects

Passion Vine Butterfly on a Zinnia Violacea flower

Passion Vine Butterfly on a Zinnia Violacea flower in Hawaii

Following on from yesterday’s post about the lack of rain at Upolu, it occurred to me that I rarely see Passion Vine Butterflies there these days. They used to be all over the place, but now I’m lucky to see one or two. I don’t think it’s related to the lack of rainfall, but don’t know what other factors might be involved.

Cricket on a white anthurium

A beetle on an anthurium flower in Hawaii
A beetle on an anthurium flower in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Macro or Close-ups.’ See more responses here.

I saw this cricket climbing up the spadix of a white anthurium at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. As it neared the top, I zoomed in for a close up. I haven’t been able to find out what kind of cricket it is (open to suggestions), but I was very taken by its extravagantly long antennae.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.

Updated 9-17-2022: Thanks to Forest and Kim Starr at Hawaii Insect ID for pointing out this is probably a cricket, though exactly which kind remains unknown.

Lady beetles on passion vine leaves

Ants and ladybugs on a passion vine leaf

I spotted these two lady beetles on the underside of a passion vine leaf. The top one is a Seven-spotted Lady Beetle, the other a Variable Lady Beetle. But what got my attention was the fact that they appeared to be interested in the yellow spots on the leaf, as were several ants.

I knew that some passion vines produce these colored bumps to make it look like butterfly eggs are already there. Butterflies don’t like to lay eggs where another butterfly has already done so, though the leaf bumps aren’t foolproof in this regard (see here).

What I didn’t know was that the bumps produce nectar, which attracts ants, as was the case here. And the ants will defend this food source against caterpillars munching on the leaves. Isn’t nature fascinating!

Flies on him

A steer covered in flies

The expression ‘No flies on you’ means you’re a busy person and/or quick to pick up on things. It dates back to the 19th-century and was intended as a contrast to horses and cattle, such as the fellow in this photo, which tend to be fly magnets when at rest.

Butt out

A Bee on a mock orange.

When I got home from work yesterday afternoon, the sun was shining, the mock orange was blooming, and the bees were busy. So I took some photos, the last one of which was the top one, which is posted in response to Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge (see more responses here).

That photo is unedited for the challenge, but the bottom one shows how I’d edit it, mostly involving a crop to remove some dead space and put the bee in a better place.

A Bee on a mock orange.