UCCE Sonoma County
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UCCE Sonoma County

Posts Tagged: Mexican sunflower

A Bright Face in the Garden: Banded Argiope

A banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata, stretches out near its wrapped bee in a Vacaville, Calif. pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We have bright faces in our Vacaville, Calif., pollinator garden. The bright faces are usually that of assorted bees and butterflies nectaring on members of the sunflower family: Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and blanketflowers (Gaillardia). But we did not expect to see this bright face: a...

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 5:01 PM

A Tiger by the Tail

A longhorn bee, probably Melissodes agilis, has this

One of Buck Owens' signature songs that never failed to please his fan base was "I Got a Tiger by the Tail." The Country-Hall-of-Fame singer, who died in 2006 at age 76, said the lyrics came to him after he noticed a gas station sign advertising "Put a tiger in your tank." (Source:...

Posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 4:22 PM

The Bee and the Tiger

A male longhorn bee, probably a Melisoddes agilis, targets a Western tiger swallowtail nectaring on Tithonia in Vacavile, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Talk about a butterfly ballet... A large Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, with a wingspan of about four inches, flutters into the Vacaville, Calif. pollinator garden and lands on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). It proceeds to nectar, unaware that the patch "belongs" to a male...

Posted on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 4:39 PM

Not a Good Way to Welcome an Admiral

A territorial male long-horned bee, probably Melissodes agilis, targets a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It was not a good way to welcome an admiral. The Red Admiral butterfly, that is. The Vanessa atalanta fluttered into our pollinator garden on Sunday, July 16 in Vacaville, Calif., and touched down on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). The warmth of the sun, the rich nectar, a soft breeze, and...

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 5:35 PM

Do You Know Me?

A drone fly, Eristalis tenax, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The drone fly is an identity thief. It's often mistaken for a honey bee. Hey, isn't every floral visitor a bee? No, not by a long shot. One's a fly and one's a bee. That came to mind last weekend when we saw a large  number of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and drone flies (Eristalis tenax)...

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM

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