Tiptoeing Through the Lavender
Ever seen a tachinid tiptoeing through the lavender?
The tachinids are parasitic flies that lay their eggs in hosts such as Lepidoptera (butterfly) caterpillars.
As larvae, they live in and kill their hosts.
As adults, they sip nectar and other plant juices.
That's why you'll see the adults tiptoeing through the lavender, sage and mints.
The scenario is unforgettable. The soft, silken flowers contrast sharply with the insect's long, hairy bristles.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as entomologists are fond of saying.
This one (below) was exploring a lavender in our yard last weekend.
If it were six-feet tall, it would probably scare little children.
Except for future entomologists!