SUMMER DAYS IN THE FOREST - part three

in StemSociallast year (edited)

This entire episode was photographed on a small, cleared parchment in the woods ...
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... carpeted with dead leaves fallen some time ago when the trees were still there.
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Now you can find fresh green sprouts of two oak species that grow on the small remains of the cut trees.
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They look like bushes ... surrounded by small trees.
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Oaks in this relatively dry seaside area with poor soil, never grow like in the inland of this peninsula. I'll put the post on the pinmapple Map, to avoid explaining where exactly this place is.
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This is the Attelabus nitens. You saw it already on the opening photograph.
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This Weevil species is also called the Oak Leaf-roller ... and on the following photograph ...
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... you can see the female at work. This may look like feeding at first glance ... but she's actually cutting the leaf with its mandibles ...
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... she's cutting along the main vein ... and then will proceed ...
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... to shape the thing by rolling it ...
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... until the nice, cozy shelter for the egg is formed. The weevil lays 1 - 5 eggs before start the rolling.
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Here you can see a recently finished roll.
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This one is a bit older ...
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... and is situated on the young sprouts of the Evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) ... an iconic tree in this area.
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While observing the work of another female not far from there ... I took this shot. Or more precisely ... I took a shot ... and this is a crop of that shot. I was photographing the female and I noticed the minuscule black wasp on the right, only later, on the PC monitor. I did a little search on internet ... and came to conclusion that this must be one of the Poropoea stollwerckii wasps that use the eggs of Attelabus nitens as food reservoirs for their offspring. I found only a couple of pictures of this wasp species online ... and I'm not sure if the one on my photograph is a complete match ... but there is a good chance that it is ... I think.
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Here is another crop, and a more close up look with considerable loss in image quality. I actually had the opportunity to take a good picture of this tiny insect, my lens was up to the task ... but I just didn't notice it.
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While the weevil was rolling and the wasp parasite was waiting for the good moment to do its reproductive job ... there were some other interesting species on the neighboring leaves ... this Lynx spider, Oxyopes lineatus, was patroling the shrub like formation made of oak sprouts. These spiders are very fast hunters, able to do sudden jumps similar to Jumping spiders.
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These lovely amber Tumbling beetles ...
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... were feeding on the upper surfaces of the leaves.
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I don't know what exactly they were eating. Maybe some kind of mildew fungus ... like some Lady beetles.
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Usually I encounter black Tumbling beetles on flowers ... on the shrubs and on the meadows, where they feed on pollen ...
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... I never saw this woodland species before.
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Although the days are constantly hot and dry ... I found a small mushroom ... this was a highly unexpected find.
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Some leaf - rolls made by Attelabus nitens look like they will fall at any moment ...
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... and eventually they will ... here you can see a rolled leaf laying on the upper surface of a healthy leaf.
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The egg laying and leaf rolling is preceded by mating, of course.
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And on that day I had the opportunity to photograph this part of the story too.
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Small groups assemble on leaves and each female will mate repeatedly over a few days ...
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... so the situation often looks crowded ...
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... with some rolling and tumbling involved.
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While I was photographing the life of these small arthropods ... I noticed a few quadrangular holes scattered around ...they looked like little graves.
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I saw some plastic containers too ... I didn't think much about that stuff ... it looked like something the workers that cleared that parchment in the woods, left behind ...
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... but than a man from a nearby village appeared ... a young man that I know very well ...
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... this was his property in the woods ... and he told me a story ...
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... he found something is buried here when he cut the trees ...
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... and called the police.
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They dug up the containers ... and found nothing inside ... but they found in the last few years containers like this filled with a nice stash of drugs ... in the form of powder. He didn't know what exactly they found ... Cocaine ... heroin ... who knows ... he had quite a few talks with the police after that find, and the thing was bordering with real trouble for him ... so he confessed that was pretty scared when he saw me crouched there.
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Now some very legal looking little plants are growing in those containers.
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As always in these posts on HIVE, all the photographs are my work.
[//]:# (!pinmapple 44.873849 lat 13.979282 long d3scr)

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That mushroom is beautiful!

True :) is a pretty colorful one ... and looks a bit cartoonish too :)

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Beautiful nice post :-)

I just want to thank you for sharing all of these pictures and stories, and what a plotwist! I'm your fan now :)

Thanks :) That drug story was a total surprise for me too. I was in a very child - like and meditative mood surrounded by all those cool insects ... when the man came out of the blue and started talking what was happening to him recently, it sounded pretty surreal.

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:D

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Wow muy impresionante y didactico tu post, gracias por compartir, te dejo mi voto y te sigo.

great post

Thank you :)

I like your post, can also add knowledge to me. Thanks @borjan

Observing insects is always fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for the comment :)

My pleasure!

Your photos are very beautifull.

Manually curated by brumest from the Qurator Team. Keep up the good work!

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WOW. extraordinary photos.

Thank you :)

Beautiful photos !

Thank you :)

@borjan wonderful photos again 😊

Thanks :)

Your post is very attractive

Thanks :)

I love your photos. They are really beautiful.
Weevils have a kind of host attached to them, very small and orange.
You found them at a peak and active moment in their life, hahaha.
The story you tell is entertaining and scary. They can go back to the same place again. A tender greeting.

True :) they have some kind of mites on them. Glad you like this photo report from the woods in my area.

It is as if you carry your child on your back. They look fantastic!
Yes, I like macro images of nature.
As your camera it can reproduce all that life full of details and colors. And how whoever handles that camera can show it to the world. I congratulate you.!

Absolutely amazing. i never knew such anthropods actually existed. Thanks for sharing these amazing shots! you are a pro with macrophotography i must say!!

Thank you :)