Musings from a Phoenix Pollinator Garden

10june22 Yellow-legged Mud-dauber Wasp, Bee Fly (genus Geron), Queen butterfly, White-winged Dove, Bee Fly, Fiery Skipper, Smoketree Sharpshooter.

It’s been a hot week, with temps of 110 degrees F and above. Can’t remember the last time it rained, but forecasts are favoring an average to above average monsoon season this year, yay!

In the mean time plants are requiring extra water to carry them through this oven dry period. Water is becoming a scarce resource here in the southwest US, so I’m glad that all plants are being watered by drip irrigation, and swales are in place to retain rainwater in the garden, when, in fact, it rains again.

Down the road I see water conservation becoming more front and center, possibly leading to policy enforcing reduced water usage. The landscape is about 2 years old now, with some new plants added this year, so the watering schedule is geared towards less frequent, deep waterings to promote deeper roots that will hopefully make the garden more resilient to reduced waterings down the road, if necessary.

Anyway, on to some photos of interesting insects in the garden, and the plants they like to visit.

Yellow-legged Mud-dauber Wasp on Cascalote, feeding on Psyllid honeydew
Bee Fly, Genus Geron, on Lantana
Queen butterflies on Gregg’s Mistflower
White-winged Dove
Bee Fly on Zinnia
Fiery Skipper on Lantana
Smoketree (Glassy-winged) Sharpshooter on Sunflower

Found a most unusual insect on a sunflower today: Homalodisca liturata (Glassy-winged Sharpshooter). Considered a pest, and a major vector of the bacterial Pierce’s disease of grapes, phonypeach disease, plum leaf scald, and oleander leaf scorch in southern United States and northern Mexico.

The glassy-winged sharpshooter is an extremely polyphagous insect, feeding on the xylem fluid of over 100 known species of plant, in at least 37 different families. The actual feeding on plants causes little damage.

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