Thursday, September 15, 2011

Backyard Wasp and Weevil

Insects are taking advantage of the crop of fall flowers in the backyard. Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) is now in bloom and attracting a variety of bees and other insects. One of them was this paper wasp. It seems to match some examples of Polistes fuscatus that I found on BugGuide, but I am not absolutely sure of the identification. Polistes fuscatus is a very common and variable species, and I have encountered it before around the same time of year.

Here is another view of the same wasp. Its face was yellow, which I think means that it is a male.

Another insect I found yesterday was this weevil, which is crawling through Sedum flowers. There are numerous species of weevils, and I am not sure which one this is, or even what its genus is. Curculionidae is one of the largest of all animal families, with over 40,000 species worldwide and 2,500 species in North America. If you are familiar with Sedum, you can get a sense of just how tiny this weevil is. It seems dwarfed by the flowers, which themselves are pretty small.