A few of my favorite things #3

Flowers and the many faces of those who visit them…

A mason wasp (Monobia quadridens) and a white-faced tachinid fly (Archytas apicifer) sharing the bloom of a wild carrot (a.k.a. bishop's lace or Queen Anne's lace; Daucus carota) (20080422_04440)

a mason wasp (Monobia quadridens) and a white-faced tachinid fly (Archytas apicifer) sharing the bloom of a wild carrot (a.k.a. bishop’s lace or Queen Anne’s lace; Daucus carota)

Brownbelted bumble bees (Bombus griseocollis) foraging on aromatic buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) (20080713_09651)

brownbelted bumble bees (Bombus griseocollis) foraging on aromatic buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

A black and gold bumble bee (Bombus auricomus) weighing down a plains sunflower (a.k.a. petioled sunflower or prairie sunflower; Helianthus petiolaris) (20080727_10335)

a black and gold bumble bee (Bombus auricomus) weighing down a plains sunflower (a.k.a. petioled sunflower or prairie sunflower; Helianthus petiolaris)…

A metallic sweat bee (Augochloropsis metallica) visiting a different bloom on the same plains sunflower (a.k.a. petioled sunflower or prairie sunflower; Helianthus petiolaris) (20080727_10337)

…and right next door, a metallic sweat bee (Augochloropsis metallica) visiting a different bloom on the same plains sunflower (a.k.a. petioled sunflower or prairie sunflower; Helianthus petiolaris)

A female southern carpenter bee (Xylocopa micans) piercing the base of a pink Texas skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens) (20080727_10366)

a female southern carpenter bee (Xylocopa micans) piercing the base of an amazingly hardy pink Texas skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens)[1][2]

A scoliid wasp (Campsomeris plumipes) enjoying the furry bloom of woolly croton (a.k.a. hogwort or doveweed; Croton capitatus)(20080809_10694)

a scoliid wasp (Campsomeris plumipes) enjoying the furry bloom of woolly croton (a.k.a. hogwort or doveweed; Croton capitatus)

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Notes:

  1. Beautiful bit of adaptation in this case.  The carpenter bee is too large to fit into the flower, and it lacks a tongue long enough to reach from the opening to the base of the bloom.  So these ingenious insects pierce the base of the flower with their mandibles so they can reach through the hole and access the nectar.  Clever!
  2. This herb draws in hummingbirds and insects in large numbers.  It can be entertaining to watch the varied horde compete for the blooms.

4 thoughts on “A few of my favorite things #3”

    1. I’d never heard that word before, Warren, so I had to look it up to figure out what you were talking about. Gracias for the education! (Being a word nerd, nothing thrills me more than expanding ye ol’ vocabulary!)

  1. Just catching up – love this collection. Queen Anne’s Lace is always buzzing with visitors and has such a nice, wide platform. Only thing – it is so bright white, it kinda hard for me to not blow the highlights. I wish I could have Button Bush around my house, but I don’t have a good site. There are tons of these shrubs at the Forth Worth Nature Center & Refuge, and I could hang out near them all day, watching all of the activity in and around them. Love that metallic bee – I think I’ve seen/photographed one of these before, but didn’t know what it was.

    This was fun!

    1. Thanks, Amber! The carrot blooms are a real challenge, I agree. Like in this photo, the insects are dark and the background is dark, but the bloom itself is bright white. Yes, I’ve blown out the highlights on many photos. And you’re absolutely right about buttonbush: it’s always active with a litany of critters–and it fills the air with a delicate perfume that’s enchanting. Thankfully it grows in many places around the shore of the lake.

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