Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: California Department of Food and Agriculture

Not Just Honey Bees Pollinate Almonds

A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's beginning to look a lot like...almond pollination season in California. Almonds usually begin blooming around Valentine's Day, but it's often earlier, depending on where you look or live. Take Benicia, Solano County. Its little hot spots near the...

A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, peers up at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, peers up at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, peers up at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flight of the bumble bee. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Flight of the bumble bee. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flight of the bumble bee. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Coming right at you! Bombus vosnesenskii departs one blossom to find another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Coming right at you! Bombus vosnesenskii departs one blossom to find another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Coming right at you! Bombus vosnesenskii departs one blossom to find another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ever Seen a Snakefly?

A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a snakefly? Not a snake. Not a fly. A snakefly! They're predators but rarely seen. They eat insects such as aphids and mites. They have a long neck, or technically, an elongated prothorax, their most distinguishing...

A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The snakefly, a predator, struggles in the spider web. The spider is out of sight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The snakefly, a predator, struggles in the spider web. The spider is out of sight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The snakefly, a predator, struggles in the spider web. The spider is out of sight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In the end, the score was: Spider, 1; snakefly, 0. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
In the end, the score was: Spider, 1; snakefly, 0. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In the end, the score was: Spider, 1; snakefly, 0. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 5:23 PM

The Lady Beetle and the Syrphid Fly

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So, here I am, an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) perched on a rose bush in Vacaville, Calif., as dawn breaks. I'm eating  aphids and minding my own beetle business, which consists of gobbling aphids and more aphids. And more aphids. Did I say...

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.
Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.

"Let's try this again! I'm coming in. Wait, turn around, will ya!" Syrphid fly caught in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Know Your Dragonflies!

A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You're walking through a park and suddenly spot a dragonfly perched on a stick. "What's that?" you ask. As you edge closer, it takes off. "Missed it!" Well, you won't want to miss the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on Sunday, Sept. 20...

A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A red flameskimmer dragonfly, (Libellula saturata) perches on a bamboo stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrium madidum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrium madidum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrium madidum). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Buddy, Can You Share a Meal?

Freeloader fly sharing a meal with a spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The next time you see a spider eating a bee snared in its web, look closely. The spider may not be alone. It may have a dinner companion.  A freeloader fly. The common name, "freeloader fly," refers to the Milichiidae family. These flies are very...

Freeloader fly sharing a meal with a spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Freeloader fly sharing a meal with a spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Freeloader fly sharing a meal with a spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Freeloader fly perched on top of a spider's prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Freeloader fly perched on top of a spider's prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Freeloader fly perched on top of a spider's prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM
 
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