Biodiversity on a Sunflower

Late Sunday morning in early September.  I walk along our unpaved road next to the Snake River.  The sun is hot, grasshoppers whir and click, bees drone and American goldfinches call to each other in the aspen grove.  Small stands of native sunflowers (Helianthus tuberosus L.) dot the roadside.  In a single group of three plants, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, I spot four species of native bees, two species of wasps, several ladybird beetles, a goldenrod soldier beetle and a northern crescent butterfly.  Here’s a sampling:

Green metallic bee.

Metallic green bee on a native sunflower known as Jerusalem artichoke.

Ladybug beetle on woodland sunflower.

Ladybird beetle on a native sunflower (Helianthus tuberosus L.).

Goldenrod soldier beetles are important pollinators of native sunflowers, goldenrod and tansy.

Goldenrod soldier beetles are important pollinators of native sunflowers, goldenrod and tansy.

A crescent butterfly, most likely a northern crescent, sips nectar.

A crescent butterfly, most likely a northern crescent, sips nectar.

5 thoughts on “Biodiversity on a Sunflower

  1. Well done, Beth! It is so cool to follow your observations and see the miniature world that exists all around us and yet is seldom noticed. This is beautiful!
    Lisa H.

  2. Pingback: Less beetles in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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