Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Backyard Entomology





Todd and I have been working in the back yard the last little while trying to resurrect our overgrown garden. It is a very small space so I’m not really sure how we managed to let it get away from us to such an extent. I guess we’ve had some other things on our minds, LOL.

For such a small area there are a lot of critters living in and around our yard. We are used to seeing a variety of insect life, the occasional opossum and last week we rescued a tiny rabbit that the cats were trying to take down.There are several types of lizards as well, although their survival rate is limited with three cats lurking around. I think I’ve mentioned before that we also seem to have an inordinate amount of spiders as well. 

There are the big brown house spiders, the little black jumping spiders, and the creepy little scorpion spiders to name a few. However, on our last weeding day the insect population was much more interesting than usual. In the picture below you are seeing an emerald jumping spider, a busy little guy that didn’t really want to stop to model but Todd managed to catch him anyway.




Shortly after the spider made his appearance I noticed a beetle that I had never seen the like of. He was at least 2 inches long and one wide, with a shield of shining copper on his back. I tried to find out what he might be, I’m not even sure he is a beetle, but I couldn’t find anything that was exactly right. He might be some kind of leaf eating bug.




Sometime later when we had stopped investigating bugs and moved on to actually weeding plants, Todd came over to me and said “Look down at your left shoulder, you are not alone”. Sure enough I had a little green passenger. A praying mantis. I don’t think I have ever seen a praying mantis prior to that, other than in pictures and public television shows. We immediately went back to investigating bugs.


Bugs 010 -1

My little passenger, and a closer view below.

Mantis fb


I was amazed and thrilled by this little guy. We didn’t get a lot of work done that day but we had fun with critters, enjoyed the sunshine and just being together in the garden, which I think is more important.


  1. Wow! Too bad Sebastian, my grandson, wasn't there with his bug case! He would have been totally enchanted. Nothing like nature to bring everything to life!

  2. I could have used a bug castle that day, LOL! Great fun, I've always been fascinated by bugs.

  3. Great pictures, its amazing what lives in our gardens.

    1. Isn't it? I've always been a bit of a bug geek. Ever since I was a kid. Bugs, lizards snakes, I always had my pockets full of them. Drove my mom nuts, LOL. It was REALLY cool to see the praying mantis though.

  4. Your "beetle" is actually one of the true bugs. We use the term "bug" for almost all insects. But the word is applied to these creatures. A beetle has a hard shell covering its wings. Isn't bug life interesting?

  5. Thanks Steve!! I did a lot of searching and the closest thing I found was a leaf eating bug that had the same general shape, legs and antennae. Yes bug life is fascinating!