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Posts Tagged: prey

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Yes, we can see you. A crab spider on Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.--Nursery Rhyme It was an itsy bitsy spider. But it wasn't...

Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Yard & Garden

How Do Insects, Spiders React to a Partial Solar Eclipse?

A honey bee nectaring on African blue basil during the partial solar eclipse in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The sky darkens. The temperature drops several degrees. A breeze rustles the leaves of the African blue basil. Dogs bark. And off in the distance, a hawk shrills. A partial solar eclipse is about to happen in Vacaville, Calif. I am watching the...

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2:05 PM
Tags: eclipse (1), Eric Mussen (1), honey bee (4), milkweed (2), orbweaver (1), praying mantis (7), predator (7), prey (13), spider (1), Tithonia (2)

Not a Good Day for the Jumping Spider

A honey bee narrowly avoids the outstretched jumping spider,  a Phidippus audax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you go hungry. Take the case of the huge jumping spider (a female Phidippus audax or bold jumping spider, as identified by Wade Spencer of the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology) hanging out in our Spanish lavender....

Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 3:08 PM

The Monarch and the Mantis

A gravid praying mantis, her abdomen bloated, grabs a migrating monarch nectaring on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're rearing monarchs or offering them a “way station” of nectar-producing flowers in your yard, there's one thing you don't want to see: A praying mantis nailing a monarch. That's when the "pollinator friendly garden" seems more like a...

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 5:00 PM

To Kill a Monarch

A praying mantis nails a monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey(

It's a sin to kill a mockingbird, wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee in her classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." "Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy,"  one of her characters, Miss Maudie, wisely...

Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 6:44 PM

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