Hello folks who wonder if insects indulge in small talk when they pass each other,

Recently on a hike at Byrne Preserve, I came across a turret spider burrow, but since it was daytime I assumed the spider might be off to work and I could break in and grab a glass of lemonade from the fridge.

Little did I know, the
turret spider was working from home that day. During the night, they will hang around the entrance and grab any visitors and take it in the burrow for dinner.



Large yellow underwing moth is a common species across the Bay Area, even though it is not native to this region. Its common name gives away its defense mechanism, when it is sitting peaceful, it looks like any run of the mill moth, but when it feels threatened, it unfolds its wings and reveals a bright yellow underwing which confuses predators and allows it to fly away. Over here you can see, it showing the yellow underwings.



The scales on this moth look different than the ones seen before on a Variable checkerspot butterfly.



A dead Black-tailed Bumble Bee does not warrant a second look, but this one looked like it was carrying something on its back and wings.



On closer inspection, it turns out these are mites. Now don't reach for that phone and dial 911, these mites are harmless to the bumblebee and just use the bumble bee to UberPool(because they have to share the ride with other mites) from the flowers to the nest of the bumblebee. In the nest they will eat the nest debris, wax and leftovers from last night's dinner. Once they had their fill, they will hitch a ride on a departing Bumble Bee and go to a new flower and hop on to another bee.

Here is one hanging on to the wings of the bee.


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