Full House

A range of appetites — lust to dust — happening here. The crab spider has snagged a fly for supper and a pair of blister beetles are busy making baby beetles. Meanwhile, almost out of sight, another beetle minding its own business.

Blister beetles (one of the longhorn beetles) are a staple of our roses. Judging by last summer each rose will soon house at least one.

Mating longhorn beetles with unidentified beetle

Although the beetles didn’t pay me any attention the crab spider was more alert and started to drag her meal off the petal.

Crab spider & fly and longhorn beetles

Crab sider and fly

The spider settled down after a few minutes and hauled her catch back up again.

Full house

Next time you pass a blossom take a second look — who’s living in your flowers?


Blister beetle   Lytta spp. ?
Goldenrod crab spider   Misumena vatia
Prickly wild rose   Rosa acicularis        (Provincial flower of Alberta)

 

Gone to Seed

We are rushing through summer. Not long ago I was finding the first flowers of the season. Now those flowers have seeded out.

Shooting star   Dodecatheon radicatum

 

Common pink wintergreen   Pyrola asarifolia

 

Dewberry   Rubus pubescens 

 

Pale coralroot orchid   Corallorrhiza trifida

 

Elephant head   Pedicularis groenlandicus

 

Wild rose   Rosa acicularis

Pinto Beetle

The wild roses have been prolific this year and most of them have at least one or two small longhorn beetles eating the pollen.

One day a new kid showed up. I nicknamed it “the pinto beetle” for its striking colours, intending at some point to ID it.

I found a lead on Pete Hillman’s nature photography blog.

His photo looked very similar, except his beetle was yellow, mine was creamy white. But he got me going in the right direction.

Today I went hunting again. Bingo! I have a name:  Judolia montivagans, the flower beetle. Quite a mouthful for such a little guy. 🙂


Flower beetle   Judolia monitvagans

Fly By

The wild roses put on a colourful show this spring — their pink blossoms dot roadsides, fence lines and wooded areas.

I got quite used to finding a small longhorn beetle in almost every flower. But when I noticed a not-quite open blossom that looked black inside I came up short.

IMG_3400

It was filled with flies!

Were they feeding? Mating? Staying warm?

Moments later they were gone and I was left to ponder the mystery.


Prickly rose   Rosa acicularis