Plenty of predators
While watching several funnel spiders in a 10 foot square
area, a glance around revealed more than just spiders. There are
many animals of all kinds on these plants.
How many preying mantises can you spot in this
There are three. Here are closer photos. Can you
spot them in the top photo now?
The preying mantis is a nondiscriminate eater, much like
the funnel spider. It will even watch you,
measuring you up as it measures everything in pursuit of a
meal. Reader Kay Neff says, "As a
child I used to keep crickets, grasshoppers, katydid, mantises
(until a big 4 - incher bit me hard on the finger!), etc. in the
large bug box my dad built for me."
But more likely they are watching for other prey like the
ailanthus webworm moth and hummingbird
hawk moth that were at that same time on the dwarf Alberta
spruce. Who knows how many more there were we didn't see? Any type
of spraying will kill all of them, not just a particular target
insect that's in your sights.
Pesticides can have an adverse effect on the
predator population including this guy who was camped out two feet
up in another dwarf spruce two steps away. Who'd a thunk it, a
spruce climbing garter snake.
To kill a predator is much more upsetting to a natural
balance than killing a prey creature. It takes much longer for
Nature to re-establish a lion than to replace one antelope, and the
same goes for insects and their predators. You're the only predator
remaining to keep the "bad guys" in check if you wipe out your