Sunday, October 25, 2009
Mantis in the Milkweed
One of the many predators hanging out in the milkweed forest in my front yard is this golden-eyed California mantis. She is a really beautiful dark color variation, but terribly shy. Here she is peaking out from behind a nearby buddleia plant. Lots of predators live in the milkweed because lots of insects feed on milkweed and therefore feed the predators.
Its ironic, since milkweed has gone to the evolutionary effort to produce milky latex and toxic juices to discourage insects from feeding on them, but a large number of bugs have adapted to be able to feed on them. My milkweeds get heavily used by plant-feeding insects but grow back fast and continue to support a vibrant and diverse community of insects.