Friday, September 6, 2013

Pests and Pollinators

Welcome to the garden!  It's 61 degrees, and the mosquitoes have given up trying this morning.  But for those insects who like the brisk weather, the Jerusalem artichokes have bloomed, and are waiting.  Native plants attract native pollinators?  Maybe.  Let's take a closer look.

The humble native Jerusalem artichoke, not an artichoke at all, but a tasty tuber with a tall, yellow flower, is inviting visitors by pretending to be one large bloom.  Click on the photo to admire the multitude of tiny true flowers awaiting visitors.

What is this?  A bee?  No!  It's the transverse flower fly, Eristalis transversa, collecting pollen. 

A fruit fly has landed nearby for perspective.  

A closer look.


Bumble bees are a common visitor to the Jerusalem artichokes.

Crickets?  I guess so.

A smaller pollinator--a hoverfly?
 I actually got a photo of it hovering, but it was too blurry to use to identify the creature.

Another shot.

Rhagoletis completa?  The walnut husk fly.  Probably taking a break from the walnuts on the other side of the yard. That would make it a European invader.  Pretty pest.
I'm reading Waiting for Aphrodite right now, and the author has some interesting things to say about native pollinators.

For the younger crowd, try these:

The Bee Tree
The Life and Times of the Honeybee

And a family project:  Attracting Native Pollinators
Or why not install a mason bee lodge?

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