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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
University of California
Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: Tithonia

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...

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

Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer

A tattered monarch makes a refueling stop on a Tithonia in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You've heard the expression, "On a wing and a prayer." It apparently originated during World War II. Remember the 1942 film,  "The Flying Tigers," starring John Wayne as Capt. Jim Gordon? John Wayne, aka Jim Gordon, asks a Rangoon hotel clerk...

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Sharing the Nectar--But Not All at the Same Time

A syrphid fly (bottom right) heads toward a Mexican sunflower occupied by a honey bee. The fly, aka hover fly and flower fly, wants some nectar, too.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Everybody eats in the pollinator garden. Maybe not at the same time, but they all eat. We noticed a syrphid fly, aka flower fly/hover fly, heading toward a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in our pollinator garden. Alas for the fly, it was occupied....

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 4:36 PM
Tags: drone fly (2), Halloween (1), honey bee (5), insects (1), Mexican sunflower (28), nectar (1), syrphid fly (1), Tithonia (40)

Common Checkered Skipper: Sometimes It's Not So Common!

A common checkered skipper, Pyrgus communis, visits a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) is never alone. It loves company, attracting scores of insect guests, from honey bees to bumble bees to butterflies. We've seen monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Western tiger swallowtails, buckeyes, and fiery skippers...

Posted on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 3:18 PM

In a Butterfly State-of-Mind

An unsuspecting monarch lands next to a Mexican sunflower occupied by a predator, a praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here's this gravid praying mantis perched on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in a Vacaville pollinator garden. She's in a butterfly state-of-mind, a picture of patience and persistence, a predator like no other. She doesn't have long to wait. A...

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 5:49 PM

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