Bugs & Pests Christine's garden Gardening Home page features


It’s a bug-update post! Some are pretty, others not so much. But they are all fun to photograph.

The white spider in the third photograph was hidden in an iceberg rose and I noticed him as I was cutting off the spent blooms last week. I let him disembark and he hopped onto the Heliotropium bloom where I thought he looked quite beautiful contrasted against the purple flowers. I’m scared of big spiders that get into the house but I love the smaller ones and value them all in my garden.

Here’s my latest Bug-parade …

[one_half]From the ordinary chafer beetleFrom the ordinary chafer beetle[/one_half]

[one_half_last]to the almost scary looking bugto the almost scarey looking bug[/one_half_last]

[one_half]an intsy wintsy white spideran intsy wintsy white spider[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and then another one of theseand then another one of these[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Who’s eating my Anemones?Who's eating my Anemones?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Ah ha! Caught in the act!Ah ha! Caught in the act![/one_half_last]

[one_half]There was a parade of caterpillarsThere was a parade of caterpillars[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and we saw plenty of beetlesand we saw plenty of beetles[/one_half_last]

[one_half]He annihilated one of the IrisesHe annihilated one of the Irises[/one_half]

[one_half_last]And perhaps turned into this?And perhaps turned into this?[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Or was he this before?Or was he this before?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Or maybe even this?Or maybe even this?[/one_half_last]

[one_half]They keep the aphids at bayThey keep the aphids at bay[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and then get munched by this!and then get munched by this![/one_half_last]

I’m a very “bug-friendly” gardener. The truth of the matter is, I’m way too lazy to be bothered with all the spraying and laying of potions and pellets. My idea of “pest control” is throwing snails over the wall and lifting those really ugly grey worms up with a trowel and throwing them out with the garden refuse. The rest I let live and hope they keep each other in check or provide food for insect-eating birds. It’s all much easier that way :).

Seen any interesting bugs in your garden lately?

Happy gardening

Bugs & Pests Christine's garden Gardening Miscellaneous

Very Scarey Spider – ID help

Not quite gardening but he must have come inside from the garden. I woke up this morning to see this very large spider above my head on the ceiling! I’m generally not scared of spiders. They leave me alone and I stay away from them so I have a fairly healthy relationship with them. But this is just a bit too much for me … and frankly, I’m terrified of this guy (or gal?). The spider is about 15 cm in length and has been sitting in the same spot since I woke up this morning. Unfortunately my camera and macro lens “went away for the weekend”, so this is the best shot I can get until my camera comes home this afternoon, hopefully with some muscle to help me get rid of this spider. Well … not rid of it but moved to a more acceptable (to me) location!

Does anyone have any idea what kind of spider this is? I’ve spent the better part of two hours trying to ID it via info on the internet. The best I can come up with is that it is a common house spider, baboon spider or huntsman spider, all of which are apparantly not dangerous to humans.

We had quite a storm here last night. The garden is a mess this morning with branches and debris everywhere, so I’m guessing she was somehow forced inside by the wind or dislodged from her web. To me the spider looks black, but from the photographs it appears to be a dark brown, not black at all. You can click on the photos to see the enlargement.

[one_half]Scarey spiderScarey Spider[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another viewHuge spider[/one_half_last]

Barbie's garden Bugs & Pests Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

What are Solifuges?

HaarskeederHave you ever in your life seen anything so weird as this?? Found this on our outside deck! Had to do some research on this creature – Hannes calls it a haarskeeder!

Members of the order Solifugae,  usually referred to as solifuges, solifugids, solpugids or by an assortment of vernacular names (e.g., camel spiders, false spiders, haarskeerders, jagspinnekoppe, jerrymanders, roman spiders, sun spiders, walzenspinnen, wind scorpions), are a diverse and fascinating, yet poorly known, order of specialized, mostly nocturnal, cursorial hunting arachnids notable for their massively powerful two-segmented chelicerae, voracious appetite, and tremendous speed (Punzo, 1998).  They constitute the sixth most diverse order of arachnids in number of families, genera, and species (Harvey, 2002).  Many solifuges are able to run at extremely fast speeds (53 cm/sec) for short bursts, but like most arachnids, cannot sustain such rapid locomotion for long periods.  Solifuges vary from a few millimeters to 10 centimeters in length and look superficially like stout, hairy, fast-running spiders with an extra pair of legs (leg-like, sensory pedipalps, held out in front of the body). 

Sunspiders are not really spiders. They are a very important animal group in Namibia, which has the highest diversity of sunspiders in the world, and many peculiar endemic species. According to current theories, Namibia is also the place from where sunspiders evolved. As part of the research project, three scientists from Germany are in Namibia to collect sunspiders for research. 

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