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Are astilbes poisonous to some insects?

Hi - I have got quite a few astilbes in my garden primarily because they were in a list I read of plants which are good for beneficial insects. However, they always seem to have several dead insects stuck to them. Not sure if this is a good sign - the insects like them so much they keep on eating their nectar until they die doing it, or whether it is a bad sign - the insects are being killed by the astilbes? Really hoping it's he former! Thanks as ever for all your helpful replies image


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    They are not being killed by the plant-if they die from being drunk then that might be a happy death-I wouldn't read anything into it at all-there are plenty more to take their place

  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    What colour and size are the insects in question? Are they definitely dead or could it be gatherings of blackfly etc?...

    If you could take some pictures of the insects and post them on here for us we might be able to get to the bottom of this mystery!??

    One thing that did go through my mind is if they could be the corpses left by the 'Flower 'Crab spider' (Misumena vatia)? This little spider is a voracious hunter and uses flowers to ambush it's prey! It is a really interesting little fellow as it also has the ability to change colour (within reason) to camouflage itself against the flower it is on! Bit if a long shot but a distinct possibility and this year has been extremely good for the 'flower crab spider' in my garden, however they seem to favour Astrantias as their hunting ground here!!.... If it turns out to be something like this then it is a big positive for your "wildlife garden" as they're all part of the gardens' 'eco system'....


    Here's a picture of a 'Flower Crab Spider' on my Astrantias, have you seen any of these on your Astilbes?....



  • LunarzLunarz Posts: 93
    Thanks higgy. Unfortunately between my poor camera and my poor photography skills, none of my photos came out, but there are large black flies, small black flies, hover flies and those little things that look like mosquitoes but aren't. There are also assorted legs and wings which don't seem to belong to any bodies. Your spider hypothesis is really interesting and sounds like it could be right, although I haven't seen one, the bodies do have that dessicated look to them as if the moistuire has been sucked out. Poor creatures! Thanks for the insight...
  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    Hi Lunarz,

    Very interesting and we might be onto something here!!?

    I wonder if anyone else has any other ideas as it does sound as if they could be left over dinners from some form of predator don't they??


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  • LunarzLunarz Posts: 93

    Hi higgy - yesterday I saw one of these spiders in my garden too.  I think that's problem solved.  Thanks image

  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    Glad to be of assistance! It's the wonder of creating a wildlife habitat, you get to see such diverse wildlife from tiny insects up to new birds and even mammals depending where you live!

    I have to say that I love nothing more than walking around the garden looking under the plants etc to seeing what I can spot! A quick photograph and look in my reference books or search on here generally identifies it! My four year old loves spotting all the bugs also so she's getting a great education and enjoyment from the garden as well!!...



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