Intriguing goldenrod visitors – Part 2

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I’ve been using the photographs I took recently of the insect show on the Rough-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) to try to identify the insects I saw.

I was surprised to discover that what I thought was an iridescent green fly was actually a sweat bee (Augochloropsis metallica).

Augochloropsis metallica on Solidago rugosa

And this interesting-looking insect is a Feather-legged Fly (Trichopoda pennipes). It doesn’t fit my mental image of a typical fly, and it’s considered a beneficial insect. I’ve not found any information on what function the leg “feathers” serve.

Trichopoda pennipes on Rough-leaved Goldenrod

I wouldn’t have guessed this Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis) was a moth, either. It is apparently widespread over much of the U.S., feeds on flowers by day and is attracted to lights at night.

Lycomorpha pholus

I’m not sure which is more challenging – getting good insect photographs or identifying the subjects later. I’ve got a lot to learn on both counts, and I look forward to discovering more about all of our backyard visitors – large and small.

What plants, birds, insects, etc., are you noticing in your backyard?

P.S. Click on the images to see a larger view.

4 thoughts on “Intriguing goldenrod visitors – Part 2”

  1. These are great pictures. I found a stick bug on my Rosemary plant last week that was 8 inches long. At first I thought it was a stick (of course) that had fallen into the plant, then it moved a leg and I knew something else was going on. It was amazing. The light was terrible so my poor little camera did not do a good job getting a picture. It was an amazing sight.

    Linda

    1. Thanks for sharing your “find”, Linda. I don’ t think I’ve ever seen a Walkingstick in our yard, though I’ve enjoyed seeing them elsewhere. They are certainly well named and I can understand how easily it would be to mistake them for a stick.

  2. Oh, yes, That incredible goldenrod fauna! There are so many visitors to goldenrods that I lead walks, called “The Goldenrod Zoo”. I also have a set of photos by that name in Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45284874@N00/sets/72157623364977617/
    Not only the flower visitors are legion but the galls are amazing; round, elliptical, bunch, goblet and blister shaped. Between all the gall makers and the parasitoids and inquilines of the gall makers, there are dozens of interesting species worth looking at: http://bugguide.net/node/view/324012

    1. Beatriz, thanks for your comment on “Intriguing goldenrod visitors”. I’ve enjoyed your Goldenrod Zoo images on Flickr. I especially appreciated the labels which will help me identify some of the photos I’ve taken. I can see the galls could be another very interesting subject. So far, have not found galls in the backyard but will be watching for them.

      So many insects…….. so little time. It seems over whelming at times and I keep reminding myself – one bug at a time will be just fine. I’m especially interested in knowing more about the insects in our small backyard which the diversity of native plants has attracted. Thanks for all the information you share and for your work on BugGuide. I’ve enjoyed looking at “Bee Basics” and it is on my winter reading list.

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