Diversity is making a come back

>> Friday, July 6, 2007

Saw this wasp just this morning.

It is the first time I have seen one of these since my childhood in Indiana.

This is a good thing to see one of these because they live off of caterpillars. Of course, it means there are caterpillars about. But it also means that the insect diversity is beginning to grow here and that is always good news.

Here’s some text from everythingabout.net when I searched for the name of this wasp. It is a Thread-Waisted wasp but we used to call them paper wasps.

“Wasps are highly important to ecosystems. Sawflies consume vegetation and so limit plant growth. Most other wasps are either parasitic or predaceous and therefore play a vital role in limiting the populations of thousands of other insect species. All wasps are eaten by other species, thereby providing many links in the food web. Many parasitic wasps have been cultured and used in the biological control of agricultural pests. Although a few of the stinging wasps are considered nuisances, they also provide benefits. Yellow jackets and paper wasps, for example, prey on caterpillars and other larvae that can destroy crops. Wasps feed on flower nectar and play a role in pollination.”

I haven’t seen much caterpillar damage to my garden yet, I attributed it to having so many birds around. I have six bird feeders throughout the yard that I fill almost daily and just figured their part in pest control is working, but now that I have seen this guy hanging around maybe he is the one that is helping to protect my plants.

Here is a caterpillar I found a couple of weeks ago on one of the Primrose Fireworks. I took care of this one myself but I'm sure there are others around, or maybe the Thread-Waisted Wasp got one of his own. This little beauty is called a Hyles gallii and is the larvae of the bedstraw hawkmoth pictured below.

I'm pretty sure I have seen a few of these around.

Should I be worried for the butterfly population that I'm trying to attract? I'm thinking, maybe not, because nature has a marvelous way of balancing things out so I’m just happy to see the diversity starting to come back.

Yesterday I saw a large bumblebee on the salvia, first time I have seen one of those in the garden. I got this picture from the site mentioned above. I didn't have my camera with me when I saw it.


© 2007 -2011 - Utah Valley Gardens - All photos and content copyrighted by Utah Valley Gardens unless otherwise attributed. The use of photographs posted on this site without permission is forbidden and is protected by copyright law, as is all original text.

Blogger templates made by AllBlogTools.com

Back to TOP