Who needs to hunt when you have aphids around?

Who needs to hunt when you have aphids around?

Stumbled upon this photo that I took in September.

The bull ant provides protection, nurtures, and grooms the aphids while it feeds off the sweet honeydew collected from the aphids (sometimes referred to as milking).

This is a great exam
ple of the honeydew being released from two separate aphids. This ant is really living the high life with these little guys around. Just a little back massage and viola! Food!

Aphids themselves are defenseless. Their relationship with this bull ant is keeping them safe from lady beetles and other predators.

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20 Mile Bend

Western Palm Beach County

If you have followed my photography for any length of time you probably already know my interest in Western Palm Beach counties agriculture area. This was shot close to the area of 20 mile bend. Semis with payloads of sugar cane hurried just behind me while I stood waiting for sky to do something interesting.

Photography requires a lot of patience. Luckily it’s those times when I wait that I truly appreciate the peacefulness of my surroundings.

Okeeheelee Skipper

Okeeheelee Skipper

These skippers were abundant at Okeeheelee park and I couldn’t resist shooting them. There are certain insects that I have dozens of photos of and at times will not attempt to photograph. Something told me I was bound to take a shot worth keeping and with some persistence I was able to take this particular photo.

Okee Atala

I have only spotted the Atala (Eumaeus atala) on several occasions. This small and colorful butterfly was thought to have been extinct at one point. The host plant of the atala is the coontie. Coontie is a Seminole word meaning starch or w
hite because the roots of the plant can be made into flour. Commercial factories starting commercially harvesting the coontie plant to make biscuits and virtually eliminated the plant. In 1965 this butterfly was thought to be extinct. Thankfully it’s not and if you are lucky you might spot one.

Lox Damselfly

This damselfly was photographed at Arthur J Marshall wildlife refuge. I typically find these insects to be very skiddish and getting a good shot doesn’t often come easy. For whatever reason I was able to get extremely close (in another shot) using full tube set at 1:2 macro.  This damsel was especially small.