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Dale's Pollinator photos --- Add yours, name and describe them. Let's make it a catalogue

 
Dale Hodgins
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I got a new camera last week and have taken dozens of close up shots of insects. It's a movie camera but it takes pretty good stills. All of these are poliinators on Southern Vancouver island. Until I started chasing them I didn't know how many there were. Some of them are less than 1/10th the size of a honey bee. The extent of their coloration and detail is more evident in the photos than with the naked eye.

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Brenda Groth
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I have a photo of my leafcutter bees in the mason bee forum under leafcutter bee thread..they are fun to photograph
yours are well done as well.
 
Dale Hodgins
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1. This little bee (thank you Dave) could fit on the wing of a honey bee. I was able to hold my camera less than a foot away without spooking him. Even at this range the fly appeared small in the shot.
Luckily, the camera takes HD pictures that can be magnified hugely without going all pixeley( yes that's a word). It set me back $400 which was half of the original price.

There are several other colourful insects who were too fast for me. The camera has about a half second delay. Due to the size and speed of my quarry, most shots turn out fuzzy or the creature moves to the next flower while I fiddle with the camera. Sometimes it's right in front of me but I can't find and focus in time. honey bees will spend several seconds in one spot while the bumble bees pictured here pop from flower to flower quickly and they roll around a dozen times all within a second or two.
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Dale Hodgins
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This big bumble bee is by far the largest insect pictured so far. It's probably 5 times larger than the bumble bees in the previous post. The little fly in the photo beneath is actually smaller proportionally than the two photos would indicate.

The little bee in the last picture is covered in pollen. This species seems to get more covered in it than any of the others.




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Dale Hodgins
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Colourful abdomens are quite common. The first one is sitting on a driftwood bench. The clear wing shadow tells me that it's in focus.

The one in the last photo has black and white bands around his abdomen. This is a fairly big fat insect, that looks like a hornet. I've only seen this single specimen. Although this is a pretty nice shot, this was one of the most strikingly handsome critters I've ever seen so it's the one that got away.
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Dale Hodgins
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The next three photos are in sequence. This bee? was vigorously raking fibres from this plant. He made a neat ball about the size of a pea and flew off with it while I scrambled to keep up. Too fast.

I suspect that the fibres are meant for nest building. The same plant had flowers which were visited by other bees and flies so it would seem that these fibres are not food.

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Burra Maluca
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They are fantastic photos, Dale! Thanks so much for sharing them.

I don't suppose anyone here can identify any of them, can they?
 
Dave Hunter
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Dale,

that last photo with the strange striping is a wool carder. She gathers the down(?) from flowers and stuffs that into a hole for her nesting material. Tons of pollen in that hole, an egg, and then more flower down. I suggest that it's a predator barrier of some nature?

The male is VERY territorial and larger than the female in this species. He patrols a 3 m x 3 m area and will attack/kill any other bee coming into his turf through "squishing" them with his horny spikes on his abdomen. Visiting wool carder females, of course, are given a welcome reception.

They are great generalist pollinators.

some of your other pictures have "mock" flies in there. You can tell them apart by their fly like eyes and antenna. Plus only two wings rather than 4. Evolution has them looking like a bee. They do pollinate, but i have no idea where they lay their eggs or what they're doing with the pollen/nectar. I suggest they are consuming it directly rather than using it for progeny.
 
Dave Hunter
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The "green" fly is a bee. I suggest that it's an Osmia aglaia, but it's out of it's neighborhood if so. The aglaia lives south of the Columbia River through Northern CA and on the west side of the Rockies. It's cousin, the Osmia bruneri lives east of the rockies and looks very similar.

Dale... are you trying to rear any of these with a variety of hole sizes to encourage their growth in your yard/area? The aglaia needs a 6mm hole. I've got that if you're looking. A variety of reed sizes will encourage multiple species through the summer. Big bees use big holes, little... use little.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Great photos, lovely bees.

 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you Dave and Burra. I don't know the names of any of the subjects of my photos. Anyone with knowledge in this area feel free to chime in.

Everyone feel free to drop in your own photos.

I found the most difficult creature to stalk were the dragon flies. They aren't pollinators but they do eat a few. There were green, flourecent blue and red ones. All were uncooperative subjects.

The red dragonfly chased a number of critters but was most concerned about another red one that kept coming to the small pond. It may be a territorial thing. They fought each time that the interloper tried to hunt here,
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Dale Hodgins
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Life around the pond. 1. Many of the water lillies had bees and flies on them.

2. These very small dragonflies were numerous but ellusive.

3. Victims are everywhere. Look beyond the fly on the lilly pad. There are dozens of little bugs on the underside of each leaf.
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Dave Hunter
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It pays to have friends in great places. A peer of mine, Dr. Karen Strickler of Polinator Paradise, gave me this advice Dale on the green bee that I though could have been Osmia aglaia...

Your photos are not O. aglaia, the body is too rough. O. aglaia have a smooth exoskeleton. I think that your photo is Chrysidid wasps, cuckoo wasps. The Peterson Field Guide to the insects says they are metallic green or blue, usually with coarse sculpturing; Abdomen with 4 or fewer segments, concave beneath, the last abdominal segment often toothed at the tip. When disturbed they often curl into a ball. They do not sting. Larvae are parasites in nests of other wasps and bees.


That would have been awesome had it been the aglaia as it's a superior polinator for berries. Nonetheless... these are beautiful photos Dale.
 
Dale Hodgins
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A few posts back I posted some dragonflies. The blue ones further down are damselflies. The most noticable difference is that damselfly wings are held against the body while at rest while dragonfly wings stick out like airplane wings. Damselflies have a wide space between the eyes.

1. I pointed the camera at several humming birds but most shots were blurry or the bird had departed by the time the camera clicked. This one saved energy by perching on one of his favourite plants.

2. My best shot of the day.

3. The long skinny wasp on the leaf showed no interest in nectar. It walked along quickly in search of prey. I watched it eat a small bug about the size of it's foot.



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Dale Hodgins
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This is the same type of moth that was on the stone wall earlier in the thread. Oops, that was a different thread. Gone to get it now. He was sitting on a very warm dumpster so his antennae may be extended in an effort to cool off. This species is often seen resting during the day so it's safe to guess that they are nocturnal.

The wasp appears to have a tatoo of a masked ninja wearing a helmet on his thorax.
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Dale Hodgins
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I think this is an aphid farm. The ants seem to be attending to the other bugs. The ants continually travel to the flowers above and return to the aphids. These are incredibly small ants so it's hard to tell what they are doing.



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Dale Hodgins
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1. I had never noticed how much grooming bees do before embarking on this project. I followed this one for a while. After every few flowers he droppped to the ground for a grooming sesion. The plants were lavender. I wonder if it produces some irritant. Eventually this one crawled into a hole in the ground litter.

2. Lambs ear is a favorite of many bees and wasps.

3. I built the drift wood bench that this one is using for a grooming session. The bench looks better if you stand back a little more.

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Dale Hodgins
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I got a little sidetracked. No polinators here. This burdock was the only plant in the public garden that was infested like this. Ladybugs are feasting. The large grubs are young lady bugs. Balance of nature - circle of life - bla bla bla

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Dale Hodgins
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Dale Hodgins
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Dale Hodgins
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Until now, I have ignored honey bees. This exotic is not at all dominant in the unsprayed areas where I take photos.

My camera isn't fast enough to freeze the moving wings. One day I'll spend a couple thousand on a top notch camera, but not until I come up with a clear means of it paying for itself.

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Dale Hodgins
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1. I accidentally learned that lady bugs molt.

2. This freshly liberated bug is lightly coloured. It seems to be eating the shed skin.

3. Older ones develop full colour when dry.
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Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Great thread Dale!
 
Devon Olsen
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nice thread, all i got is a phone camera so no contributions from me lol
ive noticed a lot more insect activity recently after putting in the hugelkultur bed though... a few pollinator's ive noticed live right on the bed...
 
Collin Vickers
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Hey Dale Hodgins, that's a nice picture, but could it be a Mexican bean beetle, instead?

There are scads of related species that look similar, so I don't for sure, but I have some critters in my garden that look like that, and they are not ladybugs.

Unlike ladybugs, which are carnivorous, bean beetles will skeletonize the leaves of some plants - bean plants in particular, as the name implies.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Collin Vickers wrote:Hey Dale Hodgins, that's a nice picture, but could it be a Mexican bean beetle, instead?

There are scads of related species that look similar, so I don't for sure, but I have some critters in my garden that look like that, and they are not ladybugs.

Unlike ladybugs, which are carnivorous, bean beetles will skeletonize the leaves of some plants - bean plants in particular, as the name implies.


I looked up a map that says they aren't found near here but found photos on google images that match perfectly. Some photos did not match. There were no beans anywhere near as this was taken in a downtown public flower garden.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Devon Olsen wrote:nice thread, all i got is a phone camera so no contributions from me lol
ive noticed a lot more insect activity recently after putting in the hugelkultur bed though... a few pollinator's ive noticed live right on the bed...


My HTC android has an 8 megapixle camera. When you upgrade, look around. Up until 3 weeks ago, all of my photos were from the phone.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:Great thread Dale!


Thank you Jeanine and everyone else. Lots more to come since my new business will allow me to always have a camera close at hand. Here are some honey bees. Later I'll post a very colourful spider.

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Dale Hodgins
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Dale Hodgins
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More honey bees. I've noticed that in very natural areas only about 5% of the polinators are honey bees. In manacured areas that are sprayed they can make up 75% or more.

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Dale Hodgins
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This plant was so popular that there were a few near misses and at least one mid air collision. Some big bees landed on the backs of smaller ones to drive them off choice blooms.

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Dale Hodgins
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Here's another ant farm. Other than the aphids, this little fly is the smallest insect in the thread. 20 of these fies could stand together on a penny.

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Dale Hodgins
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Some sort of nymph. Judging from the eye it looks like it may turn into a bee.

I've taken dozens of photos of nymphs in the past few weeks. Can a man become a nymphomaniac ?

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Dale Hodgins
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This little spider looks like he is decorated with gold leaf. I found him in the centre of a flower, posing motionless as though he was a stamen. He fled upon being discovered.

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Dale Hodgins
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Luckily, I was able to stop the van before this giant spider could snare it. This is another example of camoflage. The camera has trouble with scenes that are half in shadow and half in light.

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