Thursday, October 13, 2016

Zombies and Mummies

This post is for my husband. He loves 'The Walking Dead'. Me...I've never seen it.  
Well, it's not quite zombies, but it's close: mummies.
I have a lot of Oleander Aphids on my milkweed. I do have some natural pest controls though. I've told you about Ladybeetles, and their larva, and Lacewing larva. They just start munching away on aphids. But, there is another creature out there that I have an 'It's complicated' kind of relationship with. It's a very tiny, parasitic black wasp, aphidius matricariae. This wasp will inject an egg inside an aphid's body. The aphid will begin to die as the larval wasp grows. Good thing. Bad thing: they also will parasitize Monarch eggs and caterpillars. That is part of the reason I go out a couple of times a day and look for Monarch eggs. I hope to find them before the wasps do.
Remember to 'like' and 'share' the love of nature!

This wasp emerged from a tiny, unknown moth cocoon I found. It's on a paper towel. Notice the dimples of the towel for size reference.

2 Mummy Aphids next to healthy ones.

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