Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Most of us have no idea that there are millions of eyes watching us.

There was an estimate in Scotland that 3 billion insects fly over your head during a summer month. In most of the United States, it's probably closer to 6 billion. There is an intricate system of parasites, prey and predators working  dawn to dusk. Most of the insects live short, very active lives. Twenty or thirty perennial plants in a very small garden may have thousands of small little critters buzzing around trying to get through their life without being eaten. If we'd stop thinking that we are important and look around we'd see real life and death playing out in front of us. Get off your rear and go out in the garden dear. Plant a couple of small shrubby manzanitas, like Sentinel or Margarita Joy, a couple of Buckwheats, like Cliff Buckwheat and Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat, if you have the room, California buckwheat, a Ceanothus or two, Ceanothus Remote Blue or Snowball, a few Monardellas, a few California fuchsias, one Narrowleaf Milkweed and maybe one Ribes. Shazam! You have an active native garden for birds and insects, and YOU created life.
phoretic mites traveling on a Eleodes ,  "darkling" or "pinacate " beetle. The mites do not harm the beetle, but they can slow him down. They commonly live on a beetle and ride along until they find dead animal to feed on. The mites like fly eggs so the beetle gets some protection from them. - grid24_12
Phoretic mites traveling on a Eleodes , "darkling" or "pinacate " beetle. They are just hitching a ride and do not appear to harm the beetle.
The Mason bee is in green one. The Beefly is the fuzzy hover one. Neither are any bother for us, we we bother them if we get too close. Both were pollinating  manzanita  flowers. - grid24_12
A Beefly and Mason Bee working the same flowers. Mason Bees are solitary bees. A the Beeflies are parasites of their nests.
Green Sweat Bee, Agapostemon - grid24_6
Sweat bees are Solitary bees.
Sinuous Bee Fly (Hemipenthes sinuosa)
A parasite of parasitic bees such as Banchus and Ophion and parasitic flies like  tachinids - grid24_6
Some of the Beeflies prey on the predators of bees.
Watching a jay eat Bumblebees can be interesting. (They scrap the stinger off on a rock or branch. One just sat next to a flower and ate bee after bumblebee for an hour.)
Having them tell you off for setting in your garden is annoying. They Commonly will tell us off as they eat our grapes.
Talk, talk, talk, eat some bugs, talk, talk, talk, eat a berry, talk, talk, talk. - grid24_12
Wrentits spend all day looking for bugs and berries on your plants.
Trichodes ornatus; Ornate Checkered Beetle is a parasite of Megachile leafcutter bees - grid24_12
Ornate Checkered Beetle's larva prey on bee larvae, grasshopper eggs, and larvae of wood-boring beetles.
Metallic wood borer that looks like a woolly click beetle - grid24_12
So this beetle bores into wood, and the Ornate Checkered beetle lives on this beetle.
Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineata) - grid24_12
Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineata) has a number of bugs that look similar. These pictures of bugs were taken next to each other under a Box Elder.
Bordered Plant Bugs (Largidae) » Largus - grid24_12
Bordered Plant Bug, Largus is a sucker of plant sap. Nothing to do with a Box elder.
Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii) - grid24_12
Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii). Another bystander, nothing to do with Box Elder.