Tag Archives: Macro

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!

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.

Assassin Bug nymph

An Assassin Bug nymph in Hawaii

I was juicing tangerines in the kitchen when I noticed this little bug atop the pile of fruit. I took the tangerine it was on outside and tried to free it onto the rail there. The bug stuck to the fruit, scampering around as I rotated it. Eventually, it dismounted and I went inside to get my camera.

When I started taking photos, the bug accommodated me by approaching the lens. It quickly got too close so I moved to a different spot. The same thing happened. Every time I moved, the bug followed me until we both tired of the game and I left it in peace and it did the same to me.

At first, I thought it was a baby Praying Mantis because of the curve of its body, but a bit of research revealed that this is an Assassin Bug nymph. Assassin Bugs can deliver a painful bite, so maybe it was after me to take me out!

This one was only about half-an-inch long, as indicated by the average-size tangerine on the rail above and the fact the bug is standing on the thin side of a 2×4.

Three views of a Milo flower

A view of a milo flower in Hawaii
A view of a milo flower in Hawaii
A view of a milo flower in Hawaii

I saw this Milo (Thespesia populnea) flower during a walk on the South Kohala coast and liked the different views it afforded. Milo is a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by Polynesian settlers. It’s similar to another canoe plant, Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus), but Milo is more of a tree and has different shaped leaves, pointed as opposed to heart-shaped.