Beneficial Insects

close up of Parasitic Wasp with Mummys

The Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, in keeping with our sustainable gardening philosophy, uses beneficial insects to attack pest insects. There’s an interesting example going on right now. A couple of the West Indian jasmine plants (Ixora), have been attacked by aphids, so we introduced a tiny parasitic wasp to the affected plants. The wasps sting the aphids and lay an egg inside them. The resulting larvae feed on the aphids from the inside, eventually killing the aphids and causing their bodies to puff up and harden. The new adult climbs out, leaving behind remains of the aphid that looks like an insect mummy. We’ve left these mummy-like cases on the plants for visitors to view and enjoy.

— Nathan Brockman, Curator, Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing