Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Leaf-Footed Bugs - The Babies

Recently I posted a short piece on young Milkweed Assassin Bugs and I got a comment on how much they looked like an instar of the Leaf-Footed Bug.  So true!

Here's the original picture of the young Milkweed Assassin Bug (left), and the adult (right).

And here are pictures of young Leaf-Footed Bugs.  How can you tell them apart?

Mainly by thinking about where they are and what they're doing.  I saw the assassin bug on a milkweed plant, where I had previously seen milkweed aphids.  So it was a good bet that he as a predator, eating those aphids.

Two weeks ago, there was a brief infestation of adult leaf-footed bugs on my jalapeno peppers.  The instars tend to cluster around the egg-site and that's what these guys were doing.  If I had seen them on the milkweed plant, I might have thought they were just more of the assassin bugs. 

If you're going to ask a nurseryman about garden insects, it's a good idea to make a mental note about what plant seems to be attracting them and what the bugs are doing.  Sometimes it makes a big difference:  assassin bugs are beneficial insects who eat other insects, while leaf-footed bugs are pests of the first order!

Did you know that assassin bugs fly?  I hardly ever see them do it, but here's the proof!

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