Saturday, July 19, 2014

Skippers, Pots And More In The Yarden

All In The Yarden

Hesperiidae on Rosmarinus officinalis
Hesperiidae on Rosmarinus officinalis

Little Skippers

The little skipper butterflies are flitting around in the yarden.  We happened to catch this one on the rosemary, getting some needed rest. 











Eumenes bollii building her nest
Eumenes bollii building her nest

Pots And Their Creators

The Potter Wasp is back, and as suspected the creator is the Eumenes bollii species which we captured a shot of last year.  This time she was caught in the act of construction.  The wetness of the neck of the pot-nest is visible here.  She worked diligently firming up the edges, then took off and came back with more mud.

Eumenes bollii building her nest
Eumenes bollii building her nest
I couldn't see exactly where she went to pick up her mud.  I was only able to capture a few semi-decent photos from about 10 taken while she was so incredibly focused on the task at hand.

The complete process about how and why the wasp constructs her
Eumenes bollii building her nest
Eumenes bollii building her nest
little mud pots is more thoroughly documented in a previous post, Yarden Mud Pots In July.

This particular pot is being built on our patio slab.  I'm not sure why this particular spot was selected or if it is a good place that will not get stepped on or kicked somehow.  After it's completed, I may move it for safety.

Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae)
Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae)

Olive Tree Leaf Hoppers

These common leaf hoppers look similar to the shrill clicking male cicadas out this time of year, just smaller and not such wide eyes on a narrower head. 

Leafhoppers and cicadas are in the same family Cicadoidea which could explain the similarities in form. 

I haven't been able to identify this particular species of leafhopper yet.  They're all over the olive tree and I am patiently waiting for the leafhopper assassin bugs to appear.

Tomato or Tobacco Hornworms

I generally don't mind insects, or getting up close and taking photos.  But... there is something about caterpillars I just can't stand. They're sticky and squishy and I will sacrifice a small branch or entire leaf to avoid touching them (as demonstrated here).  

These two fatties were on our yellow pear tomatoes.  We didn't discover them until they were so big it was hard to miss them and they had demolished about 1/4 the top of the plant.  We picked them off (along with a stem), stranded them in our bare dirt patch and the birds took care of the rest.  Good riddance.