I’ve renewed my Chattanooga Nature Center membership for the first time in a long time this year – long overdue, I’d say – and have been over there a few times over the past couple of weeks. The CNC membership includes access to Reflection Riding, where there are areas in which they have allowed free roam of several fields by wild plants. In those fields many late summer wildflowers are blooming now, and probably the biggest show right now is the massive growth of Bidens aristosa – Tickseed Sunflower.
While this display is beautiful, it’s not just the human visitors who are enjoying the flowers. The number of flying insect buzzing, flitting, and darting around the blossoms is staggering. Below photos of a few of them. I don’t know my insects, so if someone has identification information, I’d really appreciate a comment or email.
Enjoy; the bugs sure did. Click on a photo for a larger image.
Based on a post by Jim McCormac over at the Ohio Birds and Biodiversity blog, I believe the insect in photo #1 is a Blue-winged Wasp – Scolia dubia.
For the rest of the photos, read the rest of the story…
Photo #2 sure looks like a wasp to me, but I recall reading or hearing about a fly with distinct white stripes on its – abdomen? – which masquerades as a wasp. I wonder…
On to some butterflies that are probing the mysteries of the disk flowers of Bidens aristosa. I really like photo #3 because the butterfly’s proboscis is deep in a flower – “Fill ‘er up!” I believe the butterfly is a Skipper.
I think the butterfly in photo #4 is another Skipper, but a different species. The eyes seem to be much larger relative to the head than I expected to see.
Staying with butterflies, I’m pretty sure photo #5 is a black Swallowtail.
Photo #6 is a bit closer look at various appendages of that same black Swallowtail.
Today there seemed to be more bees on the Bidens than butterflies. Photo #7 is a mid-sized bee.
Photo #8 is of a somewhat smaller bee.
Finally, photo #9 – a beetle on Bidens? Update 09/08/2010: Following a lead from @KerriFar via @rachidH this next photo is of a Soldier Beetle. It’s probably a Goldenrod Soldier Beetle; Chauliognathus pensylvanicus, aka Pennsylvania Leatherwing.
These bugs seem to enjoy the Bidens even more than I do.