Posts Tagged ‘Greenbottle’

Autumn Wood

The daylily season has wound down to a few late blooms. The remaining flowers are still lovely, but the full blush of mid-summer has come and gone.

Flaming Wildfire

Although daylilies like Flaming Wildfire, above, and Golden Tycoon, below, certainly are eye-catching, the daylilies have been overtaken as the garden stars.

Golden Tycoon

The huge hydrangea bush at the corner of the house is now taking on the starring role.

Certainly, this is the case for visiting pollinators! From the time that the sun warms the morning air until late in the afternoon, the hydrangea plays host to a wide range of industrious insects. Spectators can stand next to the bush, ignored by the workers, and listen to and watch their comings and goings.

Many bumblebees, representing several species, set up a buzz, but there are many other insects at work, such as this honey bee.

This bee looks like a honey bee, but lacks the golden coloration.

There are paper wasps…

and yellowjackets,

and several different types of flies, such as this greenbottle (Lucilia sp).

After studying my Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, I concluded this is probably a flesh fly, family Sarcophagidae.

I’m sure this is just a partial inventory of the pollinators that visit the hydrangea. The longer you stand and watch, the more you see. The bumblebees are my favorites. Below, you can see the salmon-coloured patch of pollen this bumblebee has accumulated.

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At the corner of the house, there is a large hydrangea bush. Over the past few weeks, it has been putting on a magnificent display, with huge cones of flowers billowing over it. The flowers are much appreciated by a host of pollinators. The large, showy clusters of flowers mean that insects visiting the bush aren’t always conspicuous as they move from bloom to bloom. Rather, as you walk past the apparently-empty bush, you become aware of the hum of many insects at work. When you stop to look, it is clear that the bush is host to a small army of workers. Here are a few of the visitors.


The most conspicuous visitors are butterflies. Pictured above is a Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus), while below is a rather battered-looking Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma).


A few flies were among the visitors. The individual below may be a Greenbottle (Lucilia sp.).


The striped bottom shown here seems to be that of a Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata).


This yellow-striped bottom is probably that of an Eastern Yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons).


I was happy to see quite a number of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).


This fuzzy bee, probably a Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) rounds out my roster of visitors. Undoubtedly, many others are also enjoying this bountiful hydrangea.


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