Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sap suckers or Cow herders?

This is my "first" post for my supposedly new blog. Bloggersupport haben replied to my request to restore my deleted blog after a week so might as well give up on that. Really missed those earlier noobish enteries on yellow vented bulbuls and changable lizard, etc.

Sorry let me divert abit from nature and focus abit on my comeback in the gaming arena xD. Last week I finally came back online after being inactive for the past 3 months in Knight Online. And glad to see all the old clannies still active and powerful. Valhala, Lordxeus, Igen, Ger4 and Bona. Looking forward for more adventures with them.

Me, Sapphire the chio ice mage, casting frost nova on the harpies.

Valhala with his Fire nova bombing the birds

Yea, back to the main topic. Yesterday, went back early to school before GENUS starts to see if my Plant Physiology textbook is still there (forgot to bring home the day before). Haiz, but its gone...

I also brought my macro lens in order to take some pictures of something which I wanted to docu for sometime.

Those shrubs along the pathway near LT23

Ants! Mmm... ok, nothing surprising about ants, we see them everywhere. But these ants somehow look different to me. Each little leaf have a few little ants on them. And the little ants were all not moving much, unlike others which usually scramble about. They were only moving their feelers.

At first I had thought that they were feeding on the sap. Wow, thats new, sap sucking ants! But looking more closely at the leaves, they seemed to contain more then ants.

Circular flat "things" embedded on the leaves

Eh, are those scale insects? They look so different from the ones I saw behind medical library (added the picture again since that post was deleted). Then again theres about 7000 species of scales around. Apparently, ants make use of these scales as their cows to exude out droplets of sugarly honeydew (wonder how they do that, use their feelers to tickle them?). They also protect their cows tenderly. Got one tried to bite me when I wanted to hold the leaf to keep it steady from the wind for a shot.

Scale insects behind medical library. Pretty right, like snow (gone now, as pluck out by gardeners)

Lastly got a short video of those ants in action:


tHE tiDE cHAsER said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Could the circular things u saw on the leaves be galls? But den again, thot I remember u blogging about galls before in one of your entries, so oso not exactly sure if I'm right :P

Anyway, understand that some ants feed on the nectar in galls caused by other parasites, while some other ants caused galls themselves to convert the starch into sugar. But dunno if your ants are doing any of the above or something else, since I'm not much of a plant or insect person :P

Siyang said...

Mmm I never know the ants do that too. Haa I'm not much of anything too, so ty for the tip :P

Godfrey said...

Yeah.... those are galls formed by the scale insects. Instead of being protuberance, the gall is formed inbetween the upper and lower layer of the leaf. You should be able to see a hole through which the scale insect breathe, extrude the honeydew and releases the young (usually on the bottom of the leaf, If u break apart the leaf carefully, you can see the flattened scale insects inside it.

The honeydew produced by the scale insect helps to attract the ants, which in turn will help to keep away the parasitoid wasps from parasitizing on the scale insects.

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