Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 9th, 2016

Goers in the snow

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Orange-Black Insect on Snow-on-the-Mountain 7191

While taking pictures of snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) in Cedar Park on August 30th I couldn’t help noticing lots of insects coming to the flowers. Some tiny ones were on a par with the plants’ small flowers. In contrast, this female tarantula hawk* (Pepsis spp.), at perhaps two inches in length (5cm), was by far the largest visitor I saw, and its quick movements made picture-taking difficult. Also apparently difficult to bear is the pain felt if one of these wasps stings you. An article I read says that the best reaction is to “lie down and start screaming, because few if any people could maintain verbal and physical coordination after getting stung by one of these things.” Fortunately I have no personal experience with that. The wasp went about its business feeding on the flowers’ nectar, I went about my business taking pictures of the wasp, and although in close company, never we twain did meet.

* Thanks to a volunteer at BugGuide.net for identifying this wasp as a female in the genus Pepsis.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2016 at 4:56 AM

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