The warmth of the sun and the lure of nectar beckoned the hover flies or flower flies to our bee friendly garden.We saw this one nectaring the rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora) last weekend. Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus...
Hover fly on rock purslane
HOVER FLY, aka flower fly, nectars the rock purslane. The insect is from the family Syrphidae, and probably genus Platycheirus, according to native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THIS hover fly, aka flower fly, reaches for more nectar from the rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready for Take-Off
READY FOR TAKE-OFF, the hover fly, crowned with pollen, heads for the tip of the blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A dandelion poking through the rocks near Nick's Cove on Tomales Bay, in Marshall, Sonoma County, seemed an unlikely host for squatters' rights.
It first drew a tiny bee, barely a quarter-inch long. It was a female sweat bee, family...
HOVER FLY, from the family Syrphidae swoops down on a dandelion claimed by a sweat bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
TWO'S COMPANY--A tiny sweat bee and a hover fly share the same dandelion. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
On the Rim
POLLEN-PACKING sweat bee (top) prepares to leave the dandelion to the much larger hover fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
ALONE, the hover fly nectars the dandelion flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If you see a caterpillar near a cluster of aphids, don't squash it. It could very well be the larva of a syrphid or hover fly (family Syrphidae) and it's eating aphids.
What do they look like? I happened to capture an image of a tiny syrphid...
SYRPHID LARVA, on a rose leaf, is feeding on aphids. Soon it will become a flower fly or hover fly, like the one below. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Adult syrphid fly
ADULT SYRPHID FLY feeds on nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Last Saturday the rock purslane in our bee friendly garden drew a honey bee, several hover flies and one spotted cucumber beetle.
A hover fly landed on a blossom, only to find a spotted cucumber beetle there first.
Spotted cucumber beetle
SPOTTED CUCUMBER BEETLE--A spotted cucumber beetle feeds on nectar in a rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THE MEETING--A hover fly (left) encounters a spotted cucumber beetle on a rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ah, liquid precipitation!
Just when we were feeling drought-stressed, the weather forecast turned to rain.
I don't know if "the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain," but the rain in Northern California fell squarely on our bee...
Hover fly on sage
HOVER FLY--A hover fly, mimicking the coloring of a wasp, is nectaring sage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
SAGE ADVICE--A syrphid fly, aka hover fly, sips water from purple sage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Rain drops keep falling...
RAIN DROPS KEEP FALLING--A hover fly, about the size of a rain drop, lands on a leaf as rain lands on the insect. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)