Rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) are regular visitors to my garden. They land on my Caesalpinia plant (Peacock flower plant) in small groups or in pairs to feast on the seeds. They are definitely a noisy lot!
We can easily identify the male and female birds. Males have a black-red neck band and females don’t. They have long tail feathers and very pleasing green plumage. In fact, it has given rise to the phrase ‘parrot-green’ to refer to that particular shade of green.
Rose-ringed parakeets are least threatened and have adapted well to changing habitats. I believe they can be trained to talk when caged and kept as a pet!
Here is a pair of lovely rose-ringed parakeets captured in my garden; the pictures were captured in a continuous series.
Let us meet friends from my garden once again. This time I will introduce Lynx spiders.
Most species of lynx spiders do not use webs and they spend time hiding under leaves and waiting to ambush the prey. Most of them have large spiny bristles on their legs that may assist in confining the prey in their grasp.
Lynx spiders are very agile and have a small body of barely 1cm, with long legs. They have very good eyesight with 8 eyes! Generally they run away from predators. Though they rarely bite human beings, a bite can cause swellings on the body part.
Groups or pairs of Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) regularly visit my garden or backyard; they can be seen foraging on the road in front and the nearby properties.
This particular one was of interest as it frequented the backyard and moved in circles. A close encounter showed the reason for this circular motion… it was blind in one eye! May be a fight between the members in a group or a disease.
I noticed the disability as it flew down from the palm tree where it was perching.
I have seen it always alone and its absence is noticed since a month.
Common myna is considered a flourishing species. The prefix ‘common’ distinguishes it from ‘Jungle myna’.
Two guests from my garden that are not so welcome. They are pests of my plants…
These are pictures of a pest on Brinjal or Eggplant- Coccinellid beetle (Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata). These bugs eat away the green portions resulting in the skeletonizing and drying of the leaves. The bugs are of 5-6 mm in size. They are also named as ’28-spotted potato ladybird’.
Now certain bugs on Curry leaf plants.
These appear to be new entrants as I have never seen them before! These pictures show the larvae and adult of Tortoise Beetle (Silana farinosa) that damage the plants by skeletonizing the leaves. The bug may be 5-6 mm long.
Larvae have a deceptive shape. The globose structure is the poo carried by the larvae, mostly to scare away the enemies!
Katydid or long-horned grasshopper…. The species is green and grows to one and a half to two inches in length. The forewings have “veins” that resemble the veins of leaves, helping to disguise the insect. The filamentous antennae can even exceed their body length.
I found these on my geranium plants and looks like they like to eat geranium leaves.
The first picture is that of a female Katydid with a brown coloured structure, the ‘ovipositor’, clearly visible. This structure helps the female to stick her eggs together in clusters.
The male is shown in the second picture. Poor guy, he has lost one of his hind legs!
Katydids can make shrill sound by rubbing special structures on their forewings together.
This pretty Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is a regular visitor to my garden.
During breeding seasons a pair of them fly around my terrace garden, unmindful of my presence, drink water and bathe in the shallow pan I have provided for the birds. They take turns and cool off!
Red- whiskered bulbuls are beautiful with brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest and red face patch. The tail is long ; the vent area is red.
They feed on fruits and insects.
Their shrill sound reverberates in the morning and evening hours and needless to say, I enjoy it.
A ‘friend’ or a ‘foe’? This butterfly, my garden friend, is actually a pest.
Banana skipper or Palm redeye (Erionota thrax) is a pest of banana plants as these are the host plants for their larvae.
One fine morning I observed that the leaves of my banana plants are almost gone! Though I tried, could not locate the eggs. After hatching, the caterpillars move towards the outer edge of the leaf where they feed and roll the leaf to make a shelter. They also exude a fine white powdery material over their body and pupates in this leaf roll.
You can see the plant here, destroyed by the larvae.