All Wet! April 26, 2018
A water trough and cool morning temperatures equate with a desperate situation if your wings are wet and they aren’t the inflatable kind that keep you afloat. I rescued two, soon to be drowned, little specimens yesterday morning and can tell you, they were “happy” to dry off in the sunshine ☀️ .
The first rescue was a delicate, Green Lacewing in the family Chrysopidae. Lacewings are in the insect order Neuroptera which means nerve-winged insect. It is named for the intricate, sheer, net-like pattern of its wings. They are valued because they prey on garden and orchard pests insects like aphids. The intriguing thing about this specimen (make sure to pay close attention to frames 0.22 and 0.24 in the video) was its reaction to my voice when I stopped Millhouse the cat from interfering with my cinematography. The Lacewing appears to have a look of surprise when it hears me.
The second rescue from the water trough is the beautiful, iridescent green cuckoo bee you see in the video below. Cuckoo bees are actually wasps in the insect order Hymenoptera, and family Chrysididae. While they are pollinators in that adults seek out nectar for food from flowers, they are named, like the cuckoo bird, after their habit of seeking out nests of other wasp and bee species to steal food, or the life of developing larvae as a host for their own young. Never-mind that part of the life cycle of this bee. It is truly a gem, glittering in the sunshine…a jewel worn by a new spring blossom in the garden.