The Atavism

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Spinelessness - Pollinators of Vancouver 2

Another of Vancouver's pollinators today, and this one's not a bee:

This is another photo form the UBC botanic gardens, and this time it's a beetle in amongst the flowers. More specifically it's Rhagonycha fulva, the common red soldier beetle. A little research tells me these guys are actually native to Europe, but they've become established in much of Canada. I've included these pics under the 'pollinators' heading, even though they aren't principally nectar eaters, soldier beetles are carnivores, in fact the've been used as biological control agens for small pest insects like aphids .Rhagonycha fulva visits flowers, but only to to find other insects living in them:

The flower in question, for those of you wondering, is Astrantia major involucrata. As you might imagine, sticking your head into flowers all day does tend to move a bit of pollen around and Rhagonycha fulva has been shown to be an "incidental" pollinator of a number of plants. That's all you'll get from me today, but there's much better blogging out there for you to read, including photos of the same beetles and the same gardens thank's to the UBC Botanical Gardens own blog.There's a stunning shot of this very beetle in flight here. If that's not enough beetling for your Sunday then Ted MacRae is bound to have something stunning for you to look at, and if you really can't get enough invertebrate blogging then there's a whole mess of it at this moth's Circus of the Spineless hosted by hectocotyli (you should probably look up just what an hectocotylus is too)

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Posted by David Winter 8:30 AM


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