Sunday, June 24, 2012

Macro Monday: Designer Bugs

I went on a bug safari.  I didn't have to go far, just to my back garden where the annual black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida) and Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) are in full bloom.  Many of the black-eyed Susans have inchworms camped out on them chewing away at the centers of the blooms (hmm, maybe that's why the goldfinches are so interested in them already, too!)  So I searched around and found one of my favorites.  This Synchlora species (I think) caterpillar glues bits of flowers onto its back for camouflage.   The common name is Decorator Geometer.  What a cool name for a cool insect.
Inspired by the decorator, I went looking for some "color echo".  This is a concept I hear about all the time in the context of garden design, where you group plants together so that colors on the two plants echo each other.  I especially like it when the dominant color of one bloom is echoed in the color of a detail on the other, like the anthers or a colored edge to the petals.  I decided to try to get a few shots of color echo between bugs and blooms.  This hover fly (Eristalis sp., I think) was a great color echo, but not a great photograph since I didn't get much of the head and the wings are not distinct.  Unfortunately, it zipped off after the first shot and I couldn't find it again.

The spotted cucumber beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata, was more cooperative as it was munching on daisy pollen.  It would sometimes run off to hide under the white ray flowers (i.e. the "petals"), taking along a snack, as you can see, but it kept coming back to the disk flowers for more.

For more Macro Monday offerings, including more bugs, please visit Lisa's Chaos.