This family of aphids watches helplessly as one of their clan is ruthlessly devoured by their arch enemy, the ladybird beetle (aka ladybug). When you look at a ladybug it’s easy to forget they are savage predators.
At first I thought the beetle on this thin-leaved sunflower was a soldier beetle but something didn’t look quite right. Looking more closely I’ve identified it as a Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle. According to insectidentification.org, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle is highly beneficial in their predation of aphids. As a bonus, their quest for insect prey turns them into efficient pollinators.
I saw this fly walking along a palm leaf and decided to try out some macro shots. I wasn’t happy with any of the more traditional photos I took but liked this one, taken from the underside of the leaf.
The grasshopper waited quietly in the tall grass and weeds while I watch and photographed it. When I attempted to coax it into a “better” pose it decided I was no longer trustworthy and quickly disappeared into the foliage.