Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Snooty" planthopper and a warrior ant

I enjoy looking for insects in my garden and I usually don't have to look for long! Yesterday afternoon I spotted two insects that looked like a green thorn. After doing some research I learned that they were Dictyopharid Planthoppers (Rhynchomitra lingula). They had a "snooty" look to them because they looked as though they had their "nose" in the air!

I also got a kick out of watching a Syrphid Fly larva eat an Oleander aphid on my milkweed. There were some large black ants on the leaves too. As I was focusing my lens on the larva, an ant suddenly rushed over and nipped her mandibles on the larva! Ants protect the aphids because they obtain honeydew (a sweet liquid secretion) from them as a food source. I wish the ant had been in focus better, everything happened so fast I hardly had time to even snap the shutter much less focus the lens!

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