Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ants and Scale Insects

I went out to grab a picture of a possible relationship between ants, most likely Argentine, and scale insects. I am not certain what plant they are on, but it is definitely some kind of chaparral bush, probably Baccharis sarothroides. If all goes well, I will be doing volunteer research studying Argentine ants and their relationship with cotton aphids. Ants are in family Formicidae, and the scale insects, if I am correct that they are soft scale insects, are in family Coccidae.

In addition, I took a few pictures of the hundreds of caterpillars roaming the area - it seems like these caterpillars are the dominant organism out there. I grabbed a total of 6 to rear and confirm my hypothesis that they are Painted Tiger Moth larvae, as well as document any that have been parasitized.

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