Thursday, September 17, 2015

Insects on Hoyas

Part I

 Since i started tending hoyas in 2011 i left the habit of chasing butterflies and moths. I only have the afternoon of Saturday and the morning of Sunday for the hoya activities, before i leave again for the big city. I cannot say that it is a stress-relief because the very limited time to finish the work make it stressfull too! I just don't know, but i like what i am doing. A hoya-enthusiast friend very aptly said that the other half of hoya addiction is hoya photography. And in my case, not only the flowers catch my attention, but the leaves, the peduncles, the stages of blooms, the roots, and the insects that visit and reside within the hoya community.

I thought only moths and butterflies visit hoyas. Hoyas start blooming in the afternoon before dusk, concomittant with the sweet fragrance that most hoyas emit. This connotes that moths pollinate them because moths are mostly nocturnal. However, a lot of life go there at daytime, and a lot of them make the plants their home. My hoya area is a biodiversity in itself, with preys and predators living within it. And i am the onlooker, observer, photographer, gardener, rolled in one!

This is a fruit fly, often associated with ripening fruits, but i see them often on hoya leaves. They just stay there for long hours unless they are disturbed.

This fly, no identity yet  but maybe also a blowfly, is often seen on hoya leaves and stems too.  I just don't know yet if they are friend or foe. Like the fruit fly, they just leave when disturbed. 

 Another species of fly with the same behavior has more hairy body and legs. Maybe this is one of the Blowflies because of the hairs on its body. A report says it voraciously consumes larvae of other species, and primarily they are necrophagous, eating decaying organic matter.  

Being necrophagous, i just don't know what they are doing on hoya leaves and flowers. I still haven't observed them sucking nectars as other insects do. However, i have seen a post by a hoya enthusiast of the hairy flies with hoya pollinaria on its legs. Those feet probably can pollinate hoyas.

This metallic green beetle is often seen in hoyas too. I am now sure the reason it is there, sucking nectar. It was caught in action, as the nectar are produced in between the two corona lobes. However, reports say it is sucking plant sap also, so it can also be a hoya foe.

This black beetle might just be lost, or it might also be looking for nectar as the top and bottom beetles do. However, i haven't seen it sucking nectar yet as it is not very commonly seen in hoyas.

Clinidium calcaratum, are reported to feed on slime molds and decaying fungi. Why it is found here sucking the nectar obviously defies the original normal observation. But who can resist the taste of the hoya nectar, it surely cannot. It kept on sucking even with my prodding presence, seems oblivious of my disturbance.


 I guess this is a ladybeetle. They eat mealybugs, i hope their population increase.

 Isopods are terrestrial crustaceans. They are also called pillbugs or sowbugs. They are often found in moist places or under decaying logs and leaf litters and aid decomposition. I often found them in the media when decaying coconut husks are included. However, some of them wander on the hoya leaves, and i wonder why they just stay put there unless disturbed. While exposed they can be prone to other insect predators like spiders and ants.

NOCTUID MOTH or GREEN GARDEN LOOPER, Chrysodeixis eriosoma (Noctuidae; Plusiinae; Argyrogrammatini)

The above also looks like a fly, but i don't know for sure. It is at the active predatory act as shot, having a big ant for its prey. Look at the feet, they have some orange appendages that really look like hoya pollinaria. I wonder if the previous picture i once saw in the hoya group photos, i thought are pollinaria might be this species. This might be a very significant shot, as not many photos have been shot having those pollinaria, and hoya pollination is a very difficult job. It is not conclusive yet what insects do these, i just don't know if flies are one of them.

 Oh the above insect is very much known as a gardener's friend because it preys on many insects. The sad part is they also prey on beneficial and lovely insects. I saw a green one darting on a butterfly, but failed. Another one was successful in getting a butterfly i am currently shooting, but it is in the duranta flowers. Recently, i just noticed 2 egg masses of praying mantis on the Hoya diversifolia.

The above looks like a cricket. It is on a trunk which also has climbing hoyas. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals, as we do. They have preference for rotting plant materials, but also like tender growing plant parts. They are not discriminating when it comes to food, so i guess it is preying on many things in my hoya community, be it insect eggs, larvae, or plants. I hope it can be caught by the praying mantis.


30 comments:

  1. What a great series of macro pictures. They are all so sharp. I particularly like the ladybeetle. Your pictures remind me of my childhood when I spent a lot of time watching small creatures in our garden. My eyesight was a lot better then!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha, my eyesight is not cooperating that much too, it was more difficult now than we were kids! Thank so much Nick for your always kind words and your patronizing.

      Delete
  2. Oh, I so enjoyed these photos of the visitors to your Hoyas! They're so beautiful! The green metallic beetle looks like the Japanese beetles we have here. They aren't native to us and they cause a great deal of garden damage, with very few reliable solutions to get rid of them. Maybe they're native to you with less damage? Anyway, thank you for sharing this beautiful post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Beth, the green beetle maybe suck a little juice or nectar but it is not often seen there. I guess you're right. Thanks for the comments.

      Delete
  3. Nice to see you in Nature Notes Andrea and with such an informative and interesting post.. Thank you for highlighting some insect visitors...Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle, i've always linked with Nature Notes whenever i remember to and not very late. Thanks of course not only for hosting but also for the lovely kind words in comments.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. ak-kut, it's your first visit here. Thanks.

      Delete
  5. Wow, awesome collection of insects and macro shots. Well done, a great post. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope i enticed the birders to look at some insects, hehe. Thanks Eileen.

      Delete
  6. Fascinating little insects and your macro photos are excellent. Wonderful series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your lovely and kind words. Thanks for dropping by Denise.

      Delete
  7. I've never seen hoyas - I wonder if they exist in the U.S. It looks like they'd be a photographer's paradise!
    Please come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/steam-powered-whatchamacallits.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that's sad that you haven't seen hoyas in the US. A lot of them are growing this successfully there. Their growths are even healthier there than here in their country of origin, even in Vermont. pls see www.vermonthoyas.com, Doug is very successful and is selling hoyas for a long time now.

      Delete
  8. Your photos are fantastic! I love all the details of the pretty flowers and the wonderful visitors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much bettyl-NZ. I was just lucky sometimes.

      Delete
  9. Those are awesome photographs. I never would have imagined so many types of insects on your flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes Al, i also never expected there are so plenty, and there are still a lot more my lens cannot capture well so not included here! Thanks for the kind words.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. You are so kind Mersad, knowing what a great photographer you are! Thanks for the visit and kind words.

      Delete
  11. a wide range of bugs on your hoyas :) Interesting to see. I never seen a hoya outdoors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, here where a lot of hoyas came from, endemic, they are exposed to all the elements. Thanks for visiting

      Delete
  12. May I just say, your macro images are just stunning! What a great 'eye' you have for composition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, Karen told me that! You are so very kind, receiving something like that coming from someone like you is really something i am so grateful of. Thanks so much Karen.

      Delete
  13. As always your pictures are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gorgeous captures of all the insects!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gunilla, where are your shots of the Blood Moon?

      Delete

Your visits and comments are the life of this site. I certainly appreciate them and I will make sure to return the favor. Energies are not destroyed, they are just transformed, so healthy energies be with us all, just like the breath of life!

But i am requesting that no other personal links should be put on your comments. I am sorry, but backlinks give me some problems, so i might not publish them.Thank you very much for understanding.