Monday, September 19, 2011

Backyard Insects on Goldenrod and Sedum

With the approach of autumn, a lot of summer flowers are starting to die back and be replaced with seed heads or berries. The insects that made such intensive use of them are also fewer in number. A few types of flowers still are blooming, though, and if you look closely you can still see insects using them.

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) is one of the most prominent plants of autumn meadows and wildflower gardens. Insects notice and take advantage of their rich yellow flower bracts. One of the insects making use of the goldenrod in my backyard was this fly. It appears to be Trichopoda pennipes, a new species for me. It is in a group known as "feather-legged flies," in reference to the hairy tufts on their hind legs.

Also nectaring at goldenrod were several mosquitos, including this one.

Finally, this wasp, which appears to be Eumenes fraternus, was sitting on top of one of the Sedum plants. It barely moved at all while I ran off a series of photos, which made me wonder if it was really sipping nectar or doing something else.