Archive for June, 2012

Red-shouldered Stink Bug nymph – Thyanta custator on Salvia Coccina “Coral Nymph”

These hemipteran nymphs were really difficult to capture because they wouldn’t sit still.  I wasn’t able to get great pictures unfortunately.  They measure to approximately 2 mm in length.  They look similar to carpet beetles, however there are a few clear dissimilarities.  First of all, the pattern on the back of the bug looks like some kind of tribal design.  The carpet beetle has more of a zigzag pattern on its back.  This bug’s shape flattens out at the edges whereas the carpet beetle is more of a bubble shape.  It also has very long antennae and thicker protruding legs compared to the carpet beetle.  Also they are about half the size of the carpet beetles.

Red-shouldered Stink Bug nymph – Thyanta custator

Red-shouldered Stink Bug nymph – Thyanta custator

Compare to the carpet beetle

Carpet Beetle

Mysterious giant wasp

It was really difficult to photograph this wasp because it wouldn’t land on a surface so I could focus my lens.  I was only able to capture this picture.  The wasp is about 1.5″/4 cm long.  It has a long elegant body.

Possible Paper Wasp

Look what I found! An itty bitty bee hive in the corner of my patio!

Bee Hive

Lewisia – my current favorite CA Native plant


First time I’ve seen a coccoon!





Etiolation is the stretching of a plant which has been deprived of sufficient sunlight.

Both of these plants were purchased together and divided 6 months ago.  The first plant has been living in my patio and gets a lot of direct sunlight from dawn till sunset.  The second plant has been living in my boyfriend’s balcony which gets a few hours of sun light.  Notice the difference in color and style of growth.  The first echeveria is a bright green.  It has stayed short but popped out two babies on each side.  The etiolated echeveria has pale chalky leaves and has stretched out, growing upward.

Healthy Echivera growing horizontally with pups on each side


Echeveria Etiolation

Mystery Dudleya

So I purchased this Dudleya from a local San Jose nursery.  The customer service rep told me that it was the Dudleya Britonii after looking the plant up in their purchase records.  I chuckled because it looks nothing like that!  In the last picture below, you can see my mystery plant photographed with a Dudleya Pulverulenta which is commonly confused with the Dudleya Britonnii, so you can tell how vastly different the plants are.

Update: After doing research online, I think this plant looks very similar to Dudleya Ingens.  I’m still going to continue to research to make sure though! 🙂

Mystery Dudleya width of over 30 cm /12 in

Impressive Long Cauex of about 18.5 cm /5 in

Mystery Dudleya Profile

Dudleya Pulverulenta and Dudleya Ingens


Dudleya Brittonii and Dudleya Ingens


Nom nom nom…a true cat’s buffet

Kiwi eating grass and catnip

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