Since childhood I have always been fascinated by arthropods and the tiny environments they occupy. Observing arthropods visiting a large flowering Buddleia would conjure images of a colourful, bustling treetop city - each inhabitant enticed by a particular reason.
Some may have piercing mouthparts that extract sap from the Buddleia; others are frequent visitors frantically gathering pollen to feed their developing brothers and sisters. Predators patiently wait to ambush those visitors, using strategically placed organic structures called webs to ensnare their victims.
This miniature world is unforgiving, beautifully intricate and incredibly diverse. Those that dwell here often serve vital roles in ecosystem functioning and without them, the world would be a very different place.
I would like to share with you my findings when exploring this tiny world that hides in plain site.