Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Learning Another Beneficial
I rather like this photo for a couple reasons.
First, it's a great example of mimicry. The insect on the left is a goldenrod soldier beetle. Note the banding on its abdomen? That sort of banding is mimicking the banding on bees and wasps - this species of beetle is essentially trying to puff itself off as bigger and badder than it really is!
Secondly, the insect to the right in this photo is a fivebanded tiphiid wasp. Kind of a funny looking thing, isn't it? I've seen them many times, but hadn't looked them up to hang a name on them until tonight. When I did, I learned that tiphiid wasps are nectar feeders as adults, but they parasitize the small white grubs of scarabaeid beetles (aka June bugs) as larvae.
So, the more tiphiid wasps I see, the fewer white grubs I should have in my lawn! I love learning this stuff! Best of all, I love learning this stuff right in my own backyard!