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Animal Biodiversity in the Food Forest

 
master gardener
Posts: 2205
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
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I want to use this thread to document all of the different types of animals, mostly insects, that I find in my food forest!

Animals of all shapes and sizes make their way into the food forest. From large deer that seem to target my most prized plants, to the almost invisible wasps that help to keep other bugs in balance.

Having a large biodiversity of both animals and plants (I'm going to document plants in a separate thread) seems like it has balanced out my small food forest ecosystem, and has created a healthier and more vibrant and alive area that can produce tons of amazingly healthy food with very little work!
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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These robberflies seem to be voracious hunters in the food forest. Suddenly the Japanese beetles are nowhere to be found!
20200809_170122.jpg
A robberfly hanging out with a snack
A robberfly hanging out with a snack
20210214_204450.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210214_204450.jpg]
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
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The metallic colors on long legged flies are amazing, they come in so many different colors!
20200809_170236.jpg
Yellow long legged fly
Yellow long legged fly
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
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I took this picture in the food forest at the end of August last year after a storm.

This little guardian had come out to keep watch. He was so small he could sit on a thumbnail.

One of my favorite pictures!
20200829_142951.jpg
Tiny frog on a heart leaf
Tiny frog on a heart leaf
20210215_203403.jpg
Little frog guardian
Little frog guardian
 
Steve Thorn
master gardener
Posts: 2205
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
forest garden fish trees foraging books earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
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This is one of my favorite, and also one of the most common butterflies I see, an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus). It didn't sit there long, and started to fly away!
20200906_121121.jpg
eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus)
eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus)
20200906_121123.jpg
eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus) taking flight
eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus) taking flight
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
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This is most likely Anolis carolinensis, green anole or Carolina anole. Interesting fact, anole is pronounced like "a nully".

I had never seen these types of lizards in my area before. The diversity of animals and plants in the food forest is truly amazing! I found it last September at the height of plant growth as the season was about to start winding down.

The coolest part was that it changed colors while I was looking at it! It changed from a bright green to a light tan color.

I love finding all of these neat animals in the food forest, all playing their part to help keep the ecosystem in balance!
20200906_151539.jpg
Can you see me now?
Can you see me now?
20210211_160741.jpg
Anolis carolinensis, green anole or Carolina anole
Anolis carolinensis, green anole or Carolina anole
20200908_150121.jpg
Anolis carolinensis, green anole or Carolina anole closeup
Anolis carolinensis, green anole or Carolina anole closeup
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
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In a healthy ecosystem, nature balances out. These parasitoid wasps, probably Cotesia congregata, are balancing out the caterpillar population significantly.
20200912_142805.jpg
Parasitic wasps, probably Cotesia congregata, on a caterpillar
Parasitic wasps, probably Cotesia congregata, on a caterpillar
20200921_150836.jpg
So many wasp cocoons on this caterpillar
So many wasp cocoons on this caterpillar
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
839
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Guardian of the Leaf Galaxy
20210302_234701.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210302_234701.jpg]
 
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