On the sex parts of plants

The sex parts of plants attract so many insect species, not just bees but various other nectar and pollen eaters – and the predators that wait for them in ambush, like this bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax):

The aptly named assassin bug (Zelus renardii) captures prey with a quick stab of its long mouthparts, injects a paralyzing toxin, then takes its time sucking the prey’s body fluids. This one’s been busy on the asters still blooming in our garden:

I often see yellowjackets such as this Vespula alascensis patrolling the roses, looking for damaged buds dripping nectar:

Some wasps are important pollinators (just less fuzzy and in general less effective at it than bees). I was unreasonably excited to spot this beautiful wasp (genus: Ancistrocerus) on the late blooms of mint:


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