NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS - 11. April 2021

in Fascinating Insects8 months ago (edited)

Today's walk through the grass started with this Tibellus oblongus spider ...

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... clearly visible on the vivid green background ...

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... of the long wild oat's leaf.

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In the near future, a couple of months from now ... when the grass dries out, this kind of spider won't be so easy to spot.

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A bit further, another Tibellus oblongus has caught a small cricket ... the very young nymph of the Pholidoptera griseoaptera bush - cricket.

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I saw quite a few Tibellus oblongus spiders today ...

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... this one was resting on the long blade of grass upside - down & vertically ...

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... and if you enlarge this enlargeable photograph, and take a good look at the head of the spider ... you may notice that he's feeding on a small green aphid.

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I took quite a few almost identical shots, but on each one the light and background was used differently, and o0n this one, the last one in the series, I used only the natural light to show you the beautiful translucency and interplay of shadows and light on these small details of the natural world.

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Just a few steps further, I photographed a spider that has just caught an aphid ... you can see another, much smaller aphid near the spider's feet. Aphids are easy and abundant source of food for many small predators.

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Here you can enlarge the picture and take a better look at this situation.

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Here I caught a glimpse of something happening on the wild oat, in the sack created by the folding at the base of the leaf ...

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... some minuscule ants were running around the place ...

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... so I came closer to explore the details ...

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... and I encountered some aphids again.

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These minuscule Crematogaster auberti ants are protecting the aphids because they are a rich source of honey dew ... sweet droplets excreted by insects feeding on the sugar-rich plant sap.

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Not far from there ...

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... on another leaf, I found this aphid trio without the ant protectors. All the aphids in this post are Sitobion avenae aphids, a species that feeds on sap of various wild and cultivated cereals.

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This Crematogaster auberti is feeding on nectar of the Hieracium sabaudum flower.

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Here the ant is cleaning the mouth and antennae after the meal.

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Many pollen and nectar eaters are visiting these flowers. This is the Malachius bipustulatus, a soft-winged flower beetle from the Melyridae family that feeds on pollen, nectar and small insects ... like aphids, ad example.

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Here you can see the European honey bee (Apis mellifera)

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I encounter these small flies often here on the Hieracium flowers ...

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... but I wasn't able to find out the name of the species ... yet ...

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Here you can see the Formica fusca ant ...

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... feeding on nectar.

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The small green nymphs of the Tettigonia viridissima bush - cricket often sit on flowers and feed on pollen.

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Here you can see the young cricket posing with both antennae pointing forward ...

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... here one antenna is pointing forward and the other is pointing backward ...

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... and on this shot, both antennae are pointing backwards.

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The minuscule Kochiura aulica spiders build their silky structures under the flowers ...

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... and usually stay there ...

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... but today I found one of them on the upper side of the flower.

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Some daisies were also scattered around the meadow, mixed with the Hieracium sabaudum flowers. Here you can see the very minuscule Sminthurus viridis springtail foraging on one of the many white petals.

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This is one of the smallest beetles I ever saw, approximately the same size as the springtail. Some prickly leaf beetle from the Genus Hispa, Chrysomelidae Family.

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The Gibbaranea bituberculata spider was hanging on its web. After I took this shot ...

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... the spider descended from the web ...

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... and assumed this cool pose. One of its hind legs was holding a thread connected to the web, so the spider could feel the vibrations up there.

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At one point another spider climbed on that web, and when the first spider went to see what's going on, the intruder disappeared in the grass. Although the colors and the markings are different ...

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... this is also a Gibbaranea bituberculata spider.

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The abdominal markings can vary considerably inside the same species.

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Here is another, slightly differently lit and enlargeable this time, shot of that cool pose you saw before.

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Crab spiders of the Thomisus onustus species can be even more varied and colorful. You could (and still can) see the white variation with pink markings on the opening shot of the NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS - 05. April 2021 post. https://peakd.com/hive-127788/@borjan/news-from-the-meadows-05

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And now ...

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... with this last, enlargeable shot of the yellow Thomisus onustus spider posing on the top of the Euphorbia helioscopia plant ... is time to end these NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS.
As always in these posts on HIVE, the photographs are my work ... and as always in this NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS series, they were all taken today.

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Thank you :)

Simply impressively beautiful ;))

hehehehe, thanks

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Wonderful pictures! This post is as good as the previous posts

Thank you :)

These shots are just wonderful! I will have to look your previous posts in the series.

Thanks :)

it is really very interesting and amazing...

Thank you :) Glad you like this report from the meadows in my area.