Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet

Over Fourth of July weekend I was in closer proximity to a garden than I usually get to be in my apartment-dwelling existence; I admired the many flowers blooming within it, including a number of roses, and, as I investigated the roses more closely, I also admired the enormous number of insects inhabiting (or at least visiting) those roses.

I’m not very good with terrestrial insects, being neither an entomologist nor a gardener (see “apartment-dwelling”), so some of these animals may have been harmless pollinators—rather more exotic than the easily identified bumble- and honey bees plunging themselves greedily into the cups of petals, but still not malign.

[look at that cute, innocent face!]

Others, though, were more obviously predatory, however amusing and charismatic I found their elongated insect faces to be:

I don’t know if there was something especially tantalizing about these roses, or if the poor things were just in a place that was chock-full of ravenous insects—or if this is the normal number of creatures one generally sees lounging in blossoms—but the number and diversity of arthropod life very much impressed me. The only trouble was getting the wary little things to stay still long enough for me to snap their picture.

["I just remembered I have to go
pick up my car at the repair shop..."]

That probably wasn’t the only trouble for the roses, but in my defense, in spite of the hordes descending on them, the bushes were overall quite healthy and flourishing—and so I didn’t feel too guilty about just documenting their insect intruders rather than trying to get rid of them. And, since I hadn’t ID’ed them, I didn’t want to unknowingly injure a pollinator or even a (I love this term) nectar robber.

Better safe than sorry, right? (I just hope the roses felt the same.)

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Mike B. said...

Excellent series! None of those insect looked harmful to me.

Anca said...

The holes in the petals look like the work of Japanese beetles, who have made themselves comfortable in the rugosas here, as well as on the raspberry canes for the first time! Fall is the time for beneficial nematodes, I reckon. A gardener's work is never done, sigh.

biobabbler said...

Okay,if I post 3 times, please delete all but this one. =) Keep clicking on your pics and then comment is gone. A little slow, this a.m. =)

That red guy looks like a weevil or snout beetle. My Peterson's Guide to Insects (yo no soy entomologist) says of snout beetles (cute name!): "Many snout beetles chew holes in fruits, nuts, and other parts of the plant." Perhaps flower petals act as a breath freshener. =) Maybe it's got a big date, later. SO CUTE!!!

Love the smiley little katydid kind of thing, and your caption for the (mysterious and intriguing) bug that's gotta fetch his/her car.

Delightful post! Thanks!


pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, just lovely. I am so depressed to hear about the Monarchs though. Mankind just f**** up everything.

Anonymous said...

I really liked finding your note: "Went to look for grasshoppers in the roses."

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