Dateline: February 13, 2013*
Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and I just thought I would share the love of my garden with you all. Hmmmmm, maybe that is love IN my garden. I did a similar article a while back, but there can never be too much L♥VE! I present to you, some more of my mating friends and what entices them to visit my place.
Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis): These comical reptiles eat insects so they are attracted to plants, such as Bidens alba, that attract insects. I’ve written in the past about their affinity for the Syrphid Fly.
Speaking of Syrphid Flies: They are bee mimics who perform pollination duties. Larvae are predators of aphids, thrips and caterpillars. This couple is likely Toxomerus spp.
Delta Flower Scarab (Trigonopeltastes delta): Here they are shown on Rattlesnakemaster, but I’ve also found them on Barbara’s Buttons. Larvae are found in decaying wood.
Yellow-marked Buprestid Beetles (Acmaeodera spp.): This couple seems to love the Black-eyed Susans. Larvae are wood borers, maybe not the best thing, but heck, the holes will give haven to solitary bees and I’m sure the birds would add them to the menu…they look “lemony”.
Banded Pennant Dragonflies (Celithemis fasciata) stop by the pond since I leave dead branches as landing stations.
Cassius Blue Butterfly (Leptotes cassius): They stop at my place because I provide a native larval host plants, Doctorbush (Plumbago zeylanica aka P. scandens). This butterfly has been declared a Federally-designated Threatened species due to similarity of appearance to the endangered Miami Blue Butterfly.
The Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio palamedes) relies exclusively on Redbay (Persea borbonia) as a larval host, which has been afflicted with laurel wilt disease brought on by a fungus carried by an invasive insect. This beetle’s presence threatens not only the tree, but this beautiful species as well.
Grasshoppers: Ok, we can’t always love what’s in love around our place, but grasshopper nymphs are a major component of baby bird food, so sometimes in the interest of our wildlife friends, it is necessary for us to look the other way. These guys are shown on dogfennel, which is unlikely to show any lasting damage.