Wednesday, April 9. 2008
Janet found this Phacelia grandiflora on one of her walks in the San Dieguito River Park, so she sent me out to photograph it. First, the whole plant:
Here's a view of just the flowerhead:
Did you see that beetley-looking insect on one of the flowers? Here's a couple of photos showing them in close-up:
And even closer...
So does anyone know what kind of insects these are and if they have some special relationship with this species of plant or if they just happen to be there by chance? Are they pollinators? (More on pollinators in my next posting.) You can email me or answer by clicking the "comments" link at the beginning of this posting.
***Phillip Roullard thinks it's a blister beetle. I Googled it and I think he's right. I don't know if they are "good" or "bad", and Wikipedia says there are over 2500 species of blister beetles world wide, so I suppose there is still more to learn. And more interesting news: the "blister" in "blister beetles" is a toxin called cantharidin which will cause your skin to blister if you touch these beetles, but will kill you if you eat one. I know they look tasty, but don't say I didn't warn you!
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