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Photo by Terry Stone with Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Beneath the Lens at the Arboretum

The folks at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum have been posting some fascinating facts, along with photos, about the magnificent little creatures that roam this side of the desert on their Facebook page lately. We have been so intrigued that we asked if we could re-post some of their photos and words here. Being the fabulous people that they are, they said “yes”.

Here are just a few of our favorites from their awe-inspiring collection. Take a look for yourself, and then go to Boyce Thompson Arboretum’s Facebook page and “like” them so you, too, can follow their posts!

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A tarantula hawk (the largest species of wasp in the United States) enjoys the nectar of Melaleuca lanceolatas which is currently blooming at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. By Terry Stone



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If you pay close attention to your plants this time of year, you may see one of these gorgeous spiders sitting patiently among the foliage. It is called the green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) and, as the name implies, it is a hunter and does not rely on a web to capture prey. Of course, it’s completely harmless to humans and we humans, in turn, should never harm it. The green lynx is fairly common and, around the Arboretum, can be found on almost any type of cactus or shrub. This photo, taken yesterday, shows a female who appears ready to lay her egg case somewhere on a cactus. She’ll guard the eggs until they hatch. By Terry Stone


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In the Demonstration Garden this morning, the Leucophyllum spp. (Texas Ranger Plants) are in full bloom, attracting honey bees, pipevine swallowtails, and a host of other insects. By Terry Stone

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  1. I just went to the Arboretum for the bird walk last Saturday morning and it was amazing!! There was such an abundance of beautiful sights to admire and nature experts willing to share their vast knowledge. I will definitely have to return again soon!

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