Friends in My Garden- 43


Katydid- female

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.




Friends in My Garden- 17

Common Baron Butterfly

Common Baron Butterfly

A resident of India and South East Asia, Common Baron (Euthalia aconthea) is a lovely brown butterfly with dimorphism, lending the female adults to be larger and lightly warm-colored compared to its male counterpart.

They visit flowers or ripened fruits, either still on the plant or fallen down. They frequent my backyard when the guava fruits ripen and enjoy the fruits that are half-eaten by the squirrels. I have often seen two or three butterflies simultaneously feeding on the same fruit.

Though a rapid flyer, Baron can often be seen basking in sunlit spots with its wings opened flat.

On my Guava tree
Feeding on ripe Guava
Greenish probosis is visible

Friends in My Garden- 16

Weaver Ants

A Weaver Ant

My garden is teeming with activities of many types of ants. Today I have the Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) for you.

Weaver ants are arboreal and build their unique nests, where workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk. There is a division of labour associated with the size difference between workers; larger workers forage for insects and aggressively defend the colony, whereas minor workers stay within the nests and care for the larvae.

Weaver ants can inflict painful bites and often spray formic acid that causes irritation.

This pair was curious about my presence
Making of a nest…
And the nest!

Friends in My Garden- 6

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

A healthy garden is one that is teeming with all life forms.

Here is a cute Praying Mantis from my garden. These insects get their name because they have very long front legs that they hold in a position that reminds people of praying.

Front legs of mantis have rows of sharp spines to help them hold on to their prey, which they usually begin to eat head first! They have long necks and triangular head, which can be turned an entire half circle.

Well camouflaged mantis

The eggs of a mantis are enclosed in a foamy pouch called an ootheca or egg sack. When the female produces the ootheca it is soft, but very quickly it will dry to become firm . The ootheca protects the eggs until they hatch.

Mantis ootheca