Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ Who's hanging out on the coneflowers?

A few weeks ago I was out counting pollinators on the coneflowers and monarda for the Great Sunflower project. When the woodchucks eat all the sunflowers, what's a bee-counter to do?

Anyway, there was a lot of activity: tiny metallic green bees, big bumbly bumble bees, sleek single-minded honey bees, sweat bees and more. All busy collecting pollen (and dropping pollen grains onto other flowers as they went flower-hopping). There were butterflies. And there were some interesting flies (Diptera). One was small and so hairy it looked like a teddy bear with a long beak. Others looked like wasps. And there was this guy, busy slurping up nectar from the coneflowers with his fat fly tongue.

It was bigger than most of the bees. It looked scary. Its abdomen pulsed. But it didn't act fierce like you'd expect a bald face hornet to. There were also bug buddies hanging around: spiders hiding on the petals and beetles chewing on the flowers.

What insects do you find hanging out on your flowers this month? Draw or take photos of what you see. If you're not sure what sort of insect it is, check a field guide. And while this guy - and other flower flies - won't sting, wasps and hornets do. And wasps and hornets sometimes hang out on plants hunting for caterpillars or looking for something sweet to drink.

1 comment:

  1. What a spectacular photo, Sue! Wednesdays are always a treat for me.