Monday, 28 May 2007

DOWN ON THE FARM

As much as we gardeners complain about the pests in our gardens you can't help but admire their initiative and dedication as they fight for survival. On Friday (before it started raining continuously!) I was sitting in the garden watching some ants climbing the stalk of one of my plants carrying a small aphid. I realised that there was some ant farming going on and watched fascinated. Aphids are good at sucking sap out of plants. In fact, they're so good at it that they often suck out more than they can digest. The extra juice is secreted out the back of the aphid, where an ant can milk it like a farmer milking a cow. This is a symbiotic relationship, and in exchange for the nutritious juice (honeydew) the ants protect their aphid flocks from predators. Some species even bring the aphids' eggs into the safety of their own nest, and feed the aphid young until they are ready for grazing. As excess honeydew dripping on leaves can cause sooty mould on many ornamental plants maybe the ants are doing us a favour????

2 comments:

CG said...

I have often observed this and wondered what was going on!! Thanks for explaining Ruth :)

talj said...

What a lovely photo Ruth! I've never really paid attention to the world around me until a couple of years ago when I started photography...since then every little thing fascinates me...and this is wonderful! :o)

SKY ALBUM -

EVERY SUNRISE AND SUNSET WE SHARED WAS PRECIOUS

A TOUR OF OUR GARDEN 2006

MEET THE FAMILY

www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called family. Make your own badge here.
Thanks Akelamula

DENISE'S WISH FOR US ALL

A 1st Birthday Gift to my Blogpals

Thank you from Ruth

Thanks to Akelamula

creative blogger

Thanks Shaz

Thanks Skittles...worn with pride

created by Denise - given with love

AWARDS!

Rockin' Shaz sxhmoozed me From Mags, Gill, Libby,Denise and Meeyauw