Friday, September 11, 2015

Who's Visiting the Goldenbush?

Around this time of year, the "Goldenbush" (Ericameria parishii) is blooming in Cuyamaca Woods and plenty of other mountain locations. This large, flower-covered shrub attracts lots of pollinators, so today I decided to take a drive into the Laguna Mountains and see what might be visiting the Goldenbush.

There were a few isolated bushes here and there along the Sunrise Highway as I drove south, and then I hit the jackpot - an area just to the east of the road loaded with flowering Goldenbushes.

The most common pollinator by far were honey bees. A good sign for them, anyway, although not too exciting. It took a little looking to find native species, and none were numerous.

A typical "Goldenbush". Thanks to Aaron Schusteff for helping with the identification of this shrub.
Close-up of the flowers. They are a vivid "gold" when fresh.
A native bee visitor. To be determined.
An ambush bug (Phymata pacifica), beautifully camouflaged. I almost overlooked it myself!
Pepsis sp. (possibly P. pallidolimbata?). This is a male, with long, straight antennae.

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