NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS - 24. May 2021

The minuscule insect on the following photograph ...

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... is the Trialeurodes vaporariorum whitefly ...

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... that feeds and reproduces on a wide variety of wild and cultivated plants.

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The wings of this, and most other species from the Aleyrodidae (whiteflies) family are covered with fine wax powder, giving them a floury, dusted appearance.

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These Hemipteran insects, closely related to aphids, feed by sucking the sap of the plant, usually on the undersides of leaves, which makes them hard to notice at first glance ... after I took these shots ...

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... the whitefly crawled to the leaf's underside, and disappeared from sight.

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While sitting on the same spot, I photographed another small creature that feeds by piercing the plant to get the sap ...

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... it was a nymph of some leafhopper (Cicadellidae family) ... I can't tell you the exact species.

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When the nymph jumped on the leaf of the flat plant underneath the grass ...

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... I noticed an adult, considerably smaller than the aforementioned nymph, of another Cicadellidae species ....

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... this is the Hauptidia maroccana leafhopper.

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A few steps further ...

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... high in between two straws of taller grass ...

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... the small, young Neoscona adianta spider has caught a green colored nymph of some leafhopper ...

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... and here again, I can't tell you the exact Cicadellidae species. After taking these shots ...

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... I approached a group of red poppies (Papaver rhoeas) not far from there ...

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... I got pretty close ...

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... because the poppy's interior looks like an interesting, slightly surreal landscape.

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In one of those flowers I photographed the iridescent Psilothrix viridicoerulea beetle eating the pollen.

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Here you can see a bud with petals still folded inside the envelope that holds what will be a showy red flower soon.

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A bit later on my walk ...

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... I came across a cobweb with quite a few aphids caught in it.

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The spider was resting near his web, well camouflaged - practically invisible on the seed pod of some dried out plant.

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At one point, while I was photographing the doomed aphids ...

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... the spider moved ...

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... crawled on the web ...

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... and started to feed on the aphids.
This is the male Agalenatea redii spider. This species already appeared in more than one occasion in this NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS series, but was always represented by females. It was the first time I photographed the long-legged male. When he ate enough ...

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... the spider climbed along the thread parallel with the web ...

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... and continued his rest ... crouched and invisible on the desiccated plant.

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I took a few more shots ...

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... of the aphids on the web ... and then ...

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... continued sniffing around the meadow in search for interesting stuff. The Tropinota squalida beetle was feeding camouflaged on the Plantago lanceolata flowerhead ...

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... the Cryptocephalus aureolus beetle was shining on the yellow flower of the Lathyrus aphaca plant ...

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... and I found the interesting, spiky seed pods of the Datura stramonium plant.

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Among those cool capsules covered with thorns ...

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... I noticed a wasp nest ... didn't see any wasp though ...

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... at first ... on another nest situated on the nearby desiccated Datura plant ...

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... I photographed the Polistes gallicus paper wasp that was guarding it.

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Some time later and about a 50 meters further I came across an interesting, almost rectangular clearing, surrounded by grass and various herbaceous plants.

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This place was shaped by ant activity ...

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... there is a large colony underneath.

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I don't know the name of this ant species.

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A bit further, in the same area ...

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... I photographed the Sphaerophoria scripta hoverfly on the Helminthotheca echioides flower ... and some minutes later ...

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... I took this shot with the same fly on the daisy.

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While passing by another Helminthotheca echioides plant ...

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... I noticed some small gnat, probably from the Sciaridae family ... I mean, I noticed something minuscule that could be an insect, only when I took a better look through the macro lens I saw a gnat.

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I photographed another very small insect on the same plant ...

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... the Longitarsus exoletus flea beetle.

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This happened near my car, parked by the country lane ... and then after taking the following photograph ...

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... with some minuscule wasp or sawfly, I don't know exactly ... I was driving home to transfer the photograph into the PC and prepare this post.

As always in these posts on HIVE, the photographs are my work ... and as always in this NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS series - they were all taken today.

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