I think I might have found a mummy on one of my latest walks! 🙂
But let’s start from the beginning. I had been on one of my regular walks through the little forest in the neighborhood and had seen lots of insects and some birds.
Then I saw something sitting on a leaf of which I thought it was a tiny snail.
But with the help of the macro lens of my camera (which I often use as a kind of magnifying glass) I recognized it had a little head and feet…..
I still didn’t see what it was and thought it might be a tick. But after counting it’s feet I realized it only had six, so couldn’t be a tick because that would have had eight feet.
Then my husband suggested it must be an aphid. And he was right!
If you look carefully you can detect that it has two cornicles. These are tubes on the back of it’s abdomen, through which it can secrete droplets of defensive fluid. (I know: it’s really hard to see on this picture….. )
So I thought: Well, that’s it. It looks a bit weird, but it’s just some kind of aphid….
But yesterday I listened to a podcast. (Did I mention that I LOVE listening to podcasts!) It was a podcast of Roots and All – it’s a gardening podcast and I can really recommend it. Sarah Wilson – the presenter – was interviewing Val Bourne and she talked about how having a garden without using pesticides allows a lot of insects to live in your garden. They then help the gardener to create a healthy garden, because one insect is the predator of the other and so they can establish a kind of natural balance.
And in this interview she mentioned that some tiny wasps lay their eggs inside aphids, which then mummify. The larva of the wasp eats the aphid from the inside and after a while makes a little round hole to leave the mummy of the aphid.
I directly thought about this weird aphid. I checked it with some help of google and I really think this must be a mummy….. Wow!
I’m always surprised about what you can find….and learn……. Next time I see such a mummy I will look if I can find one with a hole!!