Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An embarrassment of riches

 I was SUPER excited to find this ambush bug (possibly Pacific ambush bug, Phymata pacifica)
in my mint this week. 
Actually, the above photo should be rotated 180 degrees
to indicate its actual position ...

Looks like its beak is going straight for the neck. Look elsewhere for mercy.

Common buckeye. LOVE these guys.
So beautiful, but subtle, so from a distance they just look brown.

This dahlia makes me think about math: fractals, specifically.

Wee moth sipping mint plant nectar; I bet it's extra refreshing. =)
According to Dan Rubinoff, my mothy friend, it's in the pyralid family
which bugguide.net succinctly describes as "cosmopolitan." =)

Ridiculously glorious dahlia bloom: but wait, there's more!

If you look very closely, the petals have cinnamon sparkles in them (near the lower edge).
An embarrassment of riches, to be sure.

This tachinid fly (tribe Cylindromyiini?) worked this flower
moving its buns in swoopy circles,
very much like how phalaropes feed.

Trying to figure out what this wasp is (still not sure, maybe a sand wasp?),
I kept repeating, while flipping through field guides,
Because, I'm a professional biologist. =) 

Dahlia bunk bed for bumblebees (Bombus sp.).

Close up of how top bee has feet hooked onto petal edge.


While I enjoy all of these flowers & animals,
and I have more to ID and post later, 
 I'm EXTRA stoked my garden has an ambush bug--that was a first! =)



  1. Incredible photos. Love the faces on some of these. My gosh, it's a whole 'nother world .............

    1. =) It's really fun. I can readily forget how tiny they are, when I'm messing around w/the uploaded images. Then I go back out there and realize the ambush bug is as big as my pinky fingernail (thank goodness). =)


Cool people write inside rectangles....