Monday, June 04, 2007

Backyard Biodiversity Project - Day 3

I started on what I thought would be the most sterile “zone” on the property - Zone 17, a barren, gravely planter next to the sidewalk and the lower driveway. To my astonishment I logged in six species of plants and individuals, or remnants of individuals, from 24 animal species!


What’s that bug? This is a small milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii). I came across 9 adults.

And if you look closely at the gravel.

In between leaf litter and seeds from the now cutback oleander, there were 58 juvenile small milkweed bugs. That means this population is living and reproducing in this small planter, along the driveway.

These bugs typically feed on milkweed, but there is no milkweed in the area. What are they feeding on? Could it be the oleander? It seems to be the sterile oleander seeds they are eating. It will be interesting to see if there are milkweed bugs near the other oleanders.

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