Cool picture

In the summer of 2016 we planted a bunch of Mammoth sunflowers from seed.  They are a very cool plant, they are really big!  But one thing I wasn’t expecting was the habitat they provided.  All summer long these plants were a swarming scene of life and death.  They were infested by aphids but remained healthy all summer.  The aphids attracted lady bugs, praying mantis, and wasps.  Here is a pretty cool picture of a typical scene of just one leaf, click on the picture for the full size version:

I’m not sure exactly what is going on here besides a feast.  I think the small white critters are larval praying mantis.  We have a ton of mantis’s on our farm, it looks to me like the ladybug is eating the mantis’s instead of the aphids.

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