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Trinity County Cooperative Extension

Posts Tagged: Mexican sunflower

Just Being Totally Territorial

A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, targets the back of a painted lady, Vanessa cardui, on a Mexican sunflower in a Vacaville pollinator garden. This is typical territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What was that! If you grow Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia) in your pollinator garden, you've probably noticed the fast-flying longhorned male bees being totally territorial. Their job is to target whatever's on the Tithonia. It doesn't matter if it's a...

A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, targets the back of a painted lady, Vanessa cardui, on a Mexican sunflower in a Vacaville pollinator garden. This is typical territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, targets the back of a painted lady, Vanessa cardui, on a Mexican sunflower in a Vacaville pollinator garden. This is typical territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, targets the back of a painted lady, Vanessa cardui, on a Mexican sunflower in a Vacaville pollinator garden. This is typical territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Heads up! A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, heads straight for the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Heads up! A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, heads straight for the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Heads up! A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, heads straight for the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly is interrupted by a male longhorned bee engaging in territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly is interrupted by a male longhorned bee engaging in territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly is interrupted by a male longhorned bee engaging in territorial behavior. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Of Predators, Sidewalks and Black Saddlebags...

A female Tramea lacerata or black saddlebags dragonfly, on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. Shortly after this image was taken, it flew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's always a good day when you encounter a dragonfly on Main Street USA. Such was the case on Wednesday, July 17 when seemingly out of nowhere, a shiny Tramea lacerata "black saddlebags" appeared in front of me on the sidewalk fronting the Vacaville...

A female Tramea lacerata or black saddlebags dragonfly, on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. Shortly after this image was taken, it flew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female Tramea lacerata or black saddlebags dragonfly, on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. Shortly after this image was taken, it flew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Tramea lacerata or black saddlebags dragonfly, on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. Shortly after this image was taken, it flew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Male Longhorned Bees: Boys' Night Out!

Male longhorned bees, Melissodes, spending the night on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Boys' Night Out! Have you ever seen a cluster of longhorned male bees sleeping overnight on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)? Every day around sunset, the longhorned bees, probably Melissodes agilis  (tribe Eucerini), call it a day and head for...

Male longhorned bees, Melissodes, spending the night on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Male longhorned bees, Melissodes, spending the night on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Male longhorned bees, Melissodes, spending the night on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Male longhorned bees, probably Melissodes agilis, begin to wake up after spending the night clustered on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Male longhorned bees, probably Melissodes agilis, begin to wake up after spending the night clustered on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Male longhorned bees, probably Melissodes agilis, begin to wake up after spending the night clustered on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Autumn's Hues: The Gulf Fritillary and Mexican Sunflower

A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."--Rabindranath Tagore  When we think of orange and autumn, we think of the marriage of the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), and the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). The...

A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Gulf Fritillary will soon be able to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Gulf Fritillary will soon be able to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Gulf Fritillary will soon be able to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not two butterflies; this is one, the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Not two butterflies; this is one, the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not two butterflies; this is one, the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The showy Gulf Fritillary on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The showy Gulf Fritillary on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The showy Gulf Fritillary on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 10:02 AM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Yard & Garden

Henrietta and the Drone Fly: The Predator and the Prey

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, perches on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). She is as patient as she is persistent. The drone fly, aka syrphid and also known as a hover fly or flower fly, makes the fatal mistake of touching down on...

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, lies in wait on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly (syrphid) lands on the blossom as a hungry praying mantis watches intently. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

One quick move and praying mantis has dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The spiked forelegs hold the prey in place. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's eat and be eaten in the garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Henrietta the praying mantis polishes off the last of the fly but a wing is visible evidence of what happened. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Food Yard & Garden

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