18 de junio de 2015

June 13 and 14, 2015 Avon, Connecticut ecosystem in a flower pot

I spent some time at my parents' apartment and was not able to get out and visit some special protected preserve, but on there 3rd floor deck in a flower pot of Calibrachoa was a very active ecosystem. Here is a breakdown:


  • Calibrachoa

Primary Consumers:

  • Aphids - plant fluids
  • Adult Flower Flies - nectar
  • Adult Green Bottle Flies - nectar
  • Treehoppers

Secondary Consumers:

  • Larval Flower Flies - eating aphids
  • Blue-Black Spider hunting wasps - chasing jumping spiders
  • Two species of spiders, unidentified, one jumping and another small web weaver (this one eating flies)


  • Adult European Paper Wasp feeding on aphid honey dew

All is a little pot of flowers, I am sure there was more!

Publicado el junio 18, 2015 05:08 TARDE por jholmes jholmes | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de agosto de 2013

Walking from Washington Heights to the Conservatory Garden

An amazing August day, not the usual hot and humid, but perfect in the high 70s-low 80s, sunny and a slight breeze. Headed down Amsterdam Avenue and spotted a Cabbage White enjoying some nectar from a sedum planted in a tree pit. pretty much put away the camera from that point down to the Conservatory Garden on the east side of Central Park around 105th Street. It was a nice walk around the Meer lots of native bee action on the swamp milkweed around the Meer. They are so small and hard to ID from a photo that I did not pursue them too much.

The Conservatory Garden is one of my favorite places for observing insects. It is not as natural as the Meadow in the Ravine, but when you are traveling with friends, it is generally more enjoyable for them :) The North end of the garden is a "French" garden, fairly formal. It had been home to Cicada "Killer" Wasps in many previous years, but I did not notice any on this visit. Which is unfortunate they can add a bit of drama. There were many butterflies and native bees.

My favorite park of the garden is the southern end. There is a much higher diversity of of plants and many are great nectar producers, so lots of fun observing. There were many that I did not get good photos of to share, and there are some little wasps that I have no clue about their identification.

It was a beautiful day and I could have lingered all afternoon but had other destinations, so I had to move on.

Publicado el agosto 12, 2013 12:57 MAÑANA por jholmes jholmes | 15 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de agosto de 2013

Hudson River Park July 27, 2013

Tina and I road our bikes from 151st and Broadway down to Union Square to the Green Market. We stopped at a largely native plants garden planted with a variety of milkweeds, bee balm, black-eyed Susan and others. This garden was located at 27th Street and Hudson River Park.

There were many Northern Golden Bumble Bees, which I found interesting since I had not seen them in other gardens in Manhattan. As I was watching, one of the Golden Bumble Bees left a flower and was apparently buzzing around another Golden, but on closer examination the second bee was being eaten by an immature mantis! The bee was about 1/3 eaten, but still struggling. The first bee watch and adjusted its position a couple times and got very close before leaving.

After visiting the Green Market and heading back north along the Hudson we stopped at an amazing garden in Hudson River Park at 91st Street. I spent about an hour circling the perimeter getting several new species for the summer. In addition to those photographed and posted here, I saw a female Cicada Killer Wasp which did not stop for a photo. There were lots of great nectar producers in this garden so there was a wide variety of pollinators in the area. I was at this spot mid afternoon.

Publicado el agosto 1, 2013 02:06 MAÑANA por jholmes jholmes | 18 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de julio de 2013

Morris_Jumel Mansion Sunday, July 21, 2013

Headed over to the Morris-Jumel Mansion, 162nd Street in Manhattan, NY around 11:30 AM. Weather: sunny and in the 80's. I went straight for the Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) where there was a lot of action last visit. The annual cicadas were singing strong when we arrived. There were tons of bumble bees on the Mountain Mint. In addition to the photographed species, I also observed the European Wool Carder Bee, Anthidium manicatum. There were also several helictidae and maybe orchard bees in the mountain mint but I have trouble identifying them from photo or in the field. I need to work some more on that.

I also observed a Cuckoo wasp (Chrysis sp.) but was unable to get a photo. The Cuckoo wasp was on some of the shrubbery out in the sun where there was some watering going on.

I was surprised not to see any Ommatius tibialis Robber flies which were very common the week before.

We spent about an hour at the Mansion and was a lot of action.

After leaving the Mansion we headed west on 162nd Street and ran into a small community garden just before Amsterdam Ave. There was a Tiger Swallowtail on a Zinia, that was attracting the attention of a visitor, and myself from the sidewalk!

Publicado el julio 25, 2013 12:39 MAÑANA por jholmes jholmes | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de julio de 2013

Battery Park, New York, NY

Today (7/13/13) we (Tina, My sister Deb and her husband Rob) ventured down to Battery Park to visit the National Museum of the American Indian and on the way visited Battery Park. First excitement was around a collection of bee hives which were VERY active near South Ferry. So, there were lots of honey bees in the area which I did not count in my observations. There were also at least two species of Bumble bees which I find difficult to ID without a specimen, so I did not include them in my observations either.

I did get good photos of a Katydid nymph, probably an angled-wing katydid since that is what I see most of the time in Manhattan when they as adults, but since this one was immature I left it at the Katydid family level. An interesting syrphid fly was observed on yarrow. Genus Chalcosyrphus, they have enlarged femora, I could not get this one to species for sure, so I left it at the Genus level. I will look further to see if I can get it down to species.

Publicado el julio 14, 2013 02:01 MAÑANA por jholmes jholmes | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario