Cauliflower Mystery

The other day I found this:

I found it when cutting up some of my disappointing cauliflower. I think the main problem with the cauliflower was I waited too long to pick them, as they had turned kind of yellow and had several areas of caterpillar and slug damage.

Regardless of the quality of the cauliflower, I found the little green capsule nested in the center of it, underneath:

It looked like a little fruit seed, but I suspected it was an egg of some sort, so I put it into a jar (the same one I used for the mantises earlier this year) and waited a few days.

Today my wait was rewarded:

You can see that its wings are not yet expanded. I wish I had gotten a couple of photos yesterday, to see what it looked like in a more intermediate state. At least I didn't miss it completely.

It's a hoverfly! I don't know the exact species, but it's common in my garden. If there is a flower in bloom, these little guys are there. They're important pollinators, but they don't get the credit that bees do.

I couldn't get a good photo of this specific guy, as he (she?) just wanted to get away and fly, but here's one from a couple of summers ago on a cucumber (or melon) flower:

I think it's the same species -- it looks like it has the same markings.

They're really interesting, especially the way they just hang in one spot in the air -- as if they are hovering. (Gee, I wonder how they got their name?) So now I know what their eggs look like, although I don't think I'll be finding them too often -- they're quite well camouflaged.

Glad I put this one in the jar!

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Anonymous –   – (June 21, 2010 at 7:41 PM)  

So...yesterday was Father's Day...did the Praying Mantis eggs hatch??

Anonymous –   – (June 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM)  

Nope, they hatched early. Check the "mantis" label in the right-hand column. I can't tell if the one under the deck stairs has hatched yet either.

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