Wednesday, 28 June 2017

30 Days Wild day 19- Hunt for tansy beetles

It was another hot day today, so I went back to Museum Gardens to spend some time with friends. It's home to a breeding population of endangered tansy beetles, which I saw during 30 days wild last year. Unfortunately we weren't able to find any adults this year. Perhaps there were only larvae around, or all of the adults were sheltering deeper in the patch of tansy because of the heat.

Aphids on a tansy stem with ants moving alongside them

However, there were plenty of other things to see. Some of the tansy plants were covered in multiple generations of aphids, decreasing in size as the went up the stem. At the bottom were winged adults ready to disperse, while at the top were tiny juveniles which I could barely see the details of with the naked eye. There were ants moving up and down the column, farming them for the honeydew they produce. They probably needed the protection- the tansy patch was also full of ladybirds and their larvae.

Orange ladybird on a tansy leaf

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