Saturday, April 14, 2018

More parasitoids

Unfortunately it appears that another temporary blog shutdown is underway, because parasitoid waspgrubs have eaten more than 90% of my brain tissue.

I expect my head to fall off at any moment

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Parasitoids and spring ephemerals

April 2: Gray ladybeetle is as dead as a pinned museum specimen. It is extremely suspicious that all four of my “tropical-zone” captives (cantharid-like thing, both ladies, matte darkling) have all suffered the same mysterious abrupt death. Poor gray thing seemed fine one day and was motionless the next! The fact that the gray beetle died soon after the 7spot is even more suspicious, but I cannot pin down the cause.

In any case, this is quite an addition to an already-increasing list of disasters. I shall turn white and cough up copious loads of metaphorical parasitoid wasps =(

Apr 4: At least the annual spring swarm of black diurnal scarabs has begun. Today there were at least two drowned in the pool, but I lack photos because I misplaced the corpse of one I fished out. Hoplia is a strong suspect, because there only appears to be one tarsal claw per leg.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I hate bland mini-updates

and I must take a rest from being constantly in a foul mood every now and then.

Ecosnapshots one and (maybe) two are being filmed

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Red Lady is dead too

One day it was zipping around eating aphids, the next it was crawling slowly on the floor.

After two days of moribund crawling, the seven-spot ladybeetle was found unconscious yesterday

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Another small coccinellid update

The 7spot lady has apparently gotten tired of eating white oregano hemipterans too. Probably too many chemical defenses; aphids simultaneously present were happily chewed up.

 I had left the poor white pancakes in the cage for way too long anyways, and given the nutrient-poor diet of many sap-feeders I was surprised that they had managed to outwit starvation for an estimated week. I embarrassedly dumped the survivors back to their oregano bush and washed the rather littered cage.

Two maggots (probably hover fly) were seen during the wash session. I had noticed them before, but assumed they would get eaten by the beetles. I’ll probably release them near an aphid cluster if they are still alive. Apparently the 7spot does not seem interested in masticating them, at least.

Of course, I still have my summer trip to bite my nails over, and the 7spot’s picky eating will not do it any favors.

= |

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cotinis mutabilis is dead

Found it limp today. Probably a combination of old age and dehydration (must really stop procrastinating). Still, living all the way to spring is pretty impressive for a summer-restricted insect.

There is a chance it may revive if moistened, so I have plopped it on damp paper

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I almost regurgitate a parasitoid wasp

No, the fruit scarab is not dead, although its time does seem to be running out quickly. I dropped it on the floor a week or so ago, disabling several of its tarsi and sending it into an even more senile state.

Last night, my gray ladybeetle escaped due to a silly accident. Given that my vertebrates were already driving me half-insane, the escape took quite a toll on me.

Today I found it drowned and unconscious in the sink. Of course, I never throw away dead invertebrates until they decay or dehydrate, so I stuck the body into an old bug jar and pathetically stared at it for a long time.

It regained consciousness, but since I have made a ton of silly accidents in the past (including this onethat one, and a few more I will not mention) I am still quite terrified.

PS: the moth was dumped the night after my previous post. No eggs