Insect Group

Insect Group.

The purpose of the insect grouping is to attract insects to your garden that will in turn attract birds that feed on them. In many cases we don’t even know that there are insects on the trees, but many leaf preeners will find them very appealing.  Some of the best ones that I know of are:

Lavender Tree (Heteropyxis natalensis)

 Attracts bees, wasps, flies, beetles and butterflies

Lavender Tree on Plantzafrica

All Ficus Species  –

They are also good for frugivores, but the fruit attracts a host of insects.

Red-leaved Fig on Plantzafrica

All Rhus species –

Karree and Mountain Karee being the well know ones, and they have berries that birds enjoy.

Karee on Plantzafrica

Combretum Species (Bushwillows) –

 The seeds, although said to be generally poisonous, are eaten by Pied Barbets. Wasps often lay their eggs in the fruit where the larvae feed on the seeds. Birds such as the Southern Black Tit tap each fruit, open those that contain grubs and eat them.

River Bushwillow on Plantzafrica

White Stinkwood (Celtis Africana) –

Insects are not really visible, but many leaf preeners seem to favour the tree. Birds also feast on the ripe black berries.

White Stinkwood on Plantzafrica

Wild peach (Kiggelaria africana) –

The tree is stripped bare by the caterpillars of the Acraea horta butterfly, but the trees quickly recover and put out a new set of leaves. Larvae of the Battling Glider also feed on the tree. The Diderick, Red-chested, Klaas’s and Black Cuckoos love the hairy caterpillars.

Wild Peach on Plantzafrica

 

Female Cardinal Woodpecker feeding on grubs in a White Stinkwood

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