Garlic chives pollinator survey

The garlic chives have been blooming for a week or so now, and every pollinator in the area knows it. Well, not every pollinator, but a lot of them. The butterflies and honeybees may get all of the press, but there are a lot of other critters involved too.

I spent about ten minutes at these blooms the other day, just to see how many different insect species I could see.


First, it was impossible to get a photo of the garlic chives without getting at least one insect in the shot. Even the photo above has somebody hiding behind a tiny bloom:

So here's a look at everything I saw on this one afternoon.

Wasps (well, one wasp at least):

That crazy-thin waist and wickedly pointy tail frighten me.


These tiny bees were everywhere! I'm assuming they're all one species.

The same bee as the previous photo, but I had to show that tongue!

None of the larger bumble or carpenter bees visited. I wonder why not?

Spotted cucumber beetles:

Those are everywhere! I guess they're making due since my cucumber plants didn't survive this year.

Flies, starting with this species that I've never seen before:

It's so exciting when I see something new, even when it's just a fly. I had to take photos of it when it moved to a nearby non-chive bloom too. I love the rear leg's "feathers":

Moving on to other flies:

That's a hairy fly!

Finally, a single moth:

If I checked back later in the evening, toward dusk, I expect I'd see a lot more moths.

Not bad for ten minutes of watching, isn't it? Eleven different species (that I noticed -- there may have been more) all feeding from the same plants. Amazing.

There are a couple of other late season bloomers in my garden that I have to survey too. It will be interesting to compare the results -- are all of the same creatures visiting all of the available blooms? I doubt it.

I'll have fun checking though!

(Note: I could probably ID all of these using, but I'm not up for that right now. Maybe I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader. Sound fun?)


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Andrea  – (September 19, 2011 at 8:59 AM)  

yes that's a lot for 10 min. They are beautiful and the photos so vivid including details. What lens did you use? thanks. I like that cucumber bugs, which i still haven't seen here.

Janet  – (September 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM)  

I'm rather taken with your spotted cucumber beetles. Forget that they've been at your cucumbers and look at the markings. Some lovely photos of insects, Alan.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (September 19, 2011 at 12:59 PM)  

Andrea: The lens I use for macro shots is a vintage manual lens: Super Macro Takumar 50mm F4

Patrick's Garden  – (September 20, 2011 at 8:05 PM)  

Greetings from across the state in Kansas City. I lived in St Louis for three years and I envy your ability to go to MOBOT when you want to. I've become a quadriplegic in the years since so I don't know when I'll be back. This is a quite a survey of pollinators in just ten minutes. Thanks for sharing.

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