09-19-13 Botany and Insect Field Note

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09-19-13 Botany and Insect Field Note

September 19, 2013

Teagan Hayes reports on late blooming plants, and the insects who are sometimes entrapped by them.

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Teagan Hayes Botany and Insect Field Note September 2013

Near the base of each flower, horny teeth encircle five nectar-bearing glands. When visiting insects probe for nectar, their tongues catch on the teeth of these traps. Butterflies and larger insects can free their long proboscis with a strong pull. The teeth trap flies and smaller insects. They then starve to death inside the flower. Source: Going, M. 1986. “Dogbane and Milkweed.” Popular Science Monthly, vol. 49. Aphids

Aphids form flocks on fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium). Fireweed colonizes burned areas and often blooms late in the summer.

Stink bug nymphs (Chlorochroa sp.) navigate fireweed stems.

Snowberry’s (Symphoricarpos albus) ghost-white berries are hard to miss in large thickets.

Yellow monkey flower (Mimulus guttatus) grows in shallow water, including the corral spring. This plant can flower from April to August given a consistent source of moisture.

Rocky slopes deter most plant species, but roundleaf alumroot (Heuchera cylindrica) thrives in this inhospitable niche. Red leaves signal shortening days. Raceme pussytoes leaves (Antennaria racemosa) wither and expose their white hairy undersides.

Knapweed under god light.

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