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penolta Jun 13, 2007 9:18 PM

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Some of you might have seen these on another forum, but if not, you might be interested. These are Oleander Aphids (which I didn't know when I first posted them) which also feed on milkweeds, as these are. They ingest compounds from the noxious sap, and the yellow color is thought to be a warning to predators.

penolta Jun 13, 2007 9:21 PM

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This is one of the winged forms, along with earlier instars in which you can see their stomachs filling. They oftenhide beneath the leaves when in sun.

Pentax K100D with Promaster 100mm macro and fill flash.

wk7leung Jun 13, 2007 9:51 PM

Thanks for the tips in 2. The shot there is terrific.

musket Jun 14, 2007 5:20 AM

Nice shots, these insects are born pregnant and are a favourite

food for ladybirds (lady bugs).........:cool:.............musket

penolta Jun 14, 2007 6:57 PM

Thanks to you both for looking and commenting.

Musket, I have yet to see anythingbother this particular species, although I have had many birds and wasps hunting on and in other plants in my yard. They must taste as bad as the milkweeds do (to everything but the Monarch caterpillars thatlive on them and get protection from birds with the bad tasting compounds they absorb), but I am not about to taste the milkweeds, as I don't know if or how toxic they might be.But I do know thatOleanders can sicken or kill - when I was ayoungster in Florida, children were warned never to chew the leaves, andhad been toldnever to use the branches for barbecue sticks as blindnesshad resultedfrom getting the smoke in the eyes.

I don't know if the last was actually true (certainly it is at least irritating), but Oleandershave beenon the lists of poisonous plants for years and yet are still widelyplanted as ornamentals and"street trees." In Florida there is a really beautiful "Polkadot Wasp Moth" that lives on them (neverseen them in California), and I don't remember ever seeing anything eat them, either. They crawl about actively on the Oleanders in the daytime - maybe someone down there would like to get a picture of one (blue/black with white polkadots a red tipped abdomen, and narrow wings that I remember they flicked a lot (maybe as a warning ?)- very distinctive, and they don't look much like moths, either).

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