Enjoy this short video exploring the LLCT Pollinator Meadow in July 2020
In order of appearance, you will see a Great Golden Digger Wasp and Great Black Digger Wasp. Digger wasps are ground nesters that are often seen nectaring on (and pollinating) flowers. Female wasps also hunt other insects. In the video, these wasps are seen on a Butterfly Weed (milkweed) and a Goldenrod.
The Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) is a great pollinator that we see all over Lincoln. In the video, this short tongued bee is visiting a Coneflower.
Next we see the Golden Northern Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus). This is an at-risk, long-tongued bee, and one of the bees targeted in LLCT’s Pollinator Action Plan. By planting more tubular flowers like this Monarda (bee balm), we hope to see increased numbers of Bombus fervidus in Lincoln.
The Silver-spotted Skipper is identified by the large white spot on the hind wing. Preferred host plants include plants in the pea family. In the video, we see the butterfly enjoying the Monarda.
Next up is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The males are identified by their red throat and green crown. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds that nest in Massachusetts.
The Half-black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans) is another at-risk bee that is a focus of LLCT’s Pollinator Action Plan. Bombus vagans has a medium-length tongue is is seen here on a wild Monarda.
On the oregano, we see the Perplexing Bumble Bee (Bombus perplexus), perhaps named for its similarity in coloring to other bumble bees.
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is always a treat to see. The male is always yellow. The females can be either yellow or black (they are dimorphic), and females also have a band of blue along the hindwing. In the video, the butterfly lacks the distinctive blue on the wing, and is therefore a male. Common host plants for the caterpillar include the tulip tree, sweet bay magnolia, black cherry, birches, and willows.
The two most common hummingbird moths in Massachusetts are the Hummingbird Clearwing, and the Snowberry Clearwing. The Hummingbird Clearwing is reddish, while the Snowberry Clearwing is usually yellow and black. They are both members of the sphinx moth family, and unique in their family in that they fly during the day.
There are many other bees that make great pollinators. Two featured in the video are a leafcutter bee and a sweat bee. After that, we see a few other butterflies, the Common Wood Nymph, and a Pearl Crescent. The Pearl Crescent and Northern Crescent are very visually similar, and we could not make a positive ID.
Lastly, we see a monarch butterfly. This is a male butterfly, identified by two black spots on each hind wing, which are visible when the wings are open (and sometimes visible when wings are closed and the light is shining through).