Ant and Spiders
When i started my hoya collection and garden, i didn't have any idea of what insects or animal visitors come to the hoyas. I just read that moths visit them because the hoyas bloom at night, so nocturnal insects are expected. I confess that i haven't listed many moths, not because they are lacking but because i don't normally go there at night. Moreover, moths normally fly away when hit by flashlight.
During the day it is normal to see the day insects because i usually stay with the hoyas. A lot of chores get my full attention for them on weekends i am at home. Hoyas are mostly vines, so they cling to each other while growing. It is also their habit to cling not to their own stems but to the other stem or twigs next to it. Probably that is the outcome of small space.
With camera on the neck, the creatures on the hoyas somehow distract my chores, but they are also very informative in caring for hoyas.
A lot of ants are common sights with the stems and blooms. Many species either visit them or just make the blooms its home. They are definitely permanent residents of the hoya community. In the above photo, those black small ants are sucking the nectar of this Hoya obscura.
The ants above and below can be of the same species. They obviously get food from the hoya community, although i am not sure of what. They are not often seen on blooms but dwell on leaves and stems. They are one of the bigger ants seen in my collection.
This is a big black ant. They are not often seen in blooms but on stems and on the ground. I guess this time they realized it is better to stay on the blooms as a lot of sweet blends can be suck on those. I tried reapeatedly to disturb and shoo it away, but it kept on coming back.
This white crab spider (Misumena sp.; Thomisidae) is the most common resident of the hoya community. They mostly hid inside the hoya umbels. They are known as ambush spiders, just waiting for their food to be near, however i haven't seen them yet eating insects of prey.
They are not selective of hoya species, every umbel has a resident white spider. They are also persistent, no matter what i do to drive them away, they just cling on their spider silks and drop to the ground to scape. I am sure they will climb again when the intruder me goes away. The above is on Hoya celata bloom.
Photo above is on one of the biggest hoya blooms, Hoya imperialis
The above spider is also common in the hoya community. At the moment i still don't know its name.
There are other spider species looming in my hoya garden. However, i haven't fully documented them. One of these days, i have to shelve my chores for the hoyas and do actual insect documentation. There are ongoing drama enfolding also in this community. I have only a few sub-drama recorded yet. That will be for succeeding posts. Pleas tune in.