Myrtle Tree Microcosm

 

A few years ago I had a go at growing native trees from seeds, and I managed to grow a crepe myrtle tree. When it grew big enough, I planted it in what I hoped would be the perfect spot and crossed my fingers that it survived. Now it’s about 1.5 metres tall and in all its splendour. This tree is appropriately named as the pretty pink petals definitely look like crepe paper.

I went to take a few photos of my success in gardening and while I was there I discovered a whole little world going on just on that one small tree.

I was very happy to see at least half a dozen native stingless bees visiting the flowers. They were all loaded with pollen like this little guy.

Unfortunately, these little busy bees also risked becoming food for the resident spiders on the tree. This is a small St Andrews Cross spider who caught a bee and promptly wrapped him up for later as I watched on.

And this lynx spider also caught a bee for his next meal.

I saw this black flying insect hovering around the flowers. The photo isn’t really clear unfortunately, but I don’t know what it could be.

I found this cicada husk hidden under a leaf.

And I saw this hoverfly flitting among the blooms.

This cute looking insect is a type of weevil.

I even spotted this strange looking insect but it flew off pretty quickly so I only have this one photo which is not enough to try and identify it.

I also discovered two interesting looking brownish caterpillars, munching away on the leaves and flowers from within their cocoons.

I went back a few days later and the caterpillars had tucked themselves up into their cocoons.

I don’t know what they are, so I will keep checking the tree to see if I spot them emerge.

Amazing what you see in your own backyard!

 

12 thoughts on “Myrtle Tree Microcosm

    1. Yes, it is quite a pretty looking spider who likes to decorate their web with zig zag ribbons of silk to make a cross which it is named after. I believe this is a female spider because of the yellow stripes and I think she’s chosen a perfect spot for her web because of all the activity happening on this little tree. On the other hand, those poor little bees meeting an untimely end after all their hard labour of gathering pollen, but I guess that’s Nature at work.

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  1. Beautiful Crepe Myrtle Sue👍 Well done. Yes it amazes me how complex
    Life is. Having been a medical scientist
    most my life I have seen our bodies as
    a world containing another world, and
    so it is with your Crepe Myrtle bush. The interdependence of all life forms
    on each other is the product of awesome Intelligent Design. We have
    been trying. to keep our birdbath topped up several times a day as so many different birds are coming for drinks and swim, birds we have never had visit before. Keep Kool and have
    a good weekend 😊

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  2. Hallo Sue
    What lovely flowers, and what a great ecosystem! Those caterpillars could be from the Bagworm moth. It’s cute the way they attach twigs and other bits and pieces to their cocoons.
    Cheers
    Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah, yes I agree, the crepe myrtle is quite beautiful, and the pretty pink flowers stand out in the yard. This is the first time it’s flowered and it’s put on a lovely display. Thanks for the tip about the Bagworm Moth. I Googled it and I think you’re right – the cocoon and the caterpillar looked exactly like it.

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    1. Thanks! The close ups were taken using the macro setting on my compact digital camera, an Olympus Traveller SH-1. As to gardening, well, I live on a rocky hill, so not much chance of getting too many things planted in the ground, but was able to scrape a reasonable hole in the ground before hitting rock so thought I’d see how it went. The myrtle tree has actually grown the most in the last 12 months and this is the first time it’s had flowers. Very happy!

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