Hello folks who think butterflies are the worst dinner guests because they taste with their feet,

Recently on a hike in Windy Hill Preserve, I came across this
Common Buckeye butterfly unable to walk back to its car in a straight line.

So I stopped it and asked some questions. The eyespots on its wings earn it the name Common Buckeye and you will see them often snacking on the Monkey flowers.

Some butterflies will supplement their diet of nectar with tree sap, mud puddles and rotting fruits as well.
Occasionally the rotting fruits will have the sugars break down into ethanol and will lead the butterfly to do some questionable actions like stalking its ex on social media or eating the entire cake.

Don't judge, it just broke up with its childhood sweetheart.




Honey Bees grab all the limelight as pollinators because they have a really strong marketing team, and also because they sell us their honey in those plastic bear bottles.
Small Carpenter Bees on the other hand look tiny but pack quite a punch as pollinators. These bees unlike their larger cousins the Large Carpenter Bees do not carve out tunnels in solid wood but will burrow into the soft parts of a plant.

This one looked engrossed in collecting all the pollen from a
Bristly Oxtongue.



Another cool insect that you might have seen but never observed are the Bark Lice. Bark Lice are interesting because they do not hurt trees and are thought to be beneficial since they help keep the trees clean by eating fungi, mold and dead plant tissue.

Bark lice will spin webs on the underside of the leaves and live in large communities.
One group I found under a
Coast Live Oak leaf can be seen below.



They have eyes that resemble Pixar characters.



Flipping the underside of leaves on trees is like opening the refrigerator in a dorm room, you don't really know you what you will find, except a few cans of beer.

This time around, I found a
Green Lacewing egg. Green Lacewing Larvae are voracious predators of aphids and are used as biological pest control.

The egg is hung on a slender stalk on the underside of a leaf.



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