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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Out and About in Bozeman: Part 1

I have to admit that I got so many good photos from my hike out by the Fish Technology Center (This trail turns into the Drinking Horse Trail.) that it was very hard to choose just three. In fact, I decided to do two posts, one with highlights along the trail and this one with the insects I found. Above is a blister beetle. Notice the pollen bunched up around his mouth parts. I don't think that most people think of beetles as pollinators, but they are. Again is it a pest or is it a beneficial insect. If you take into account the leaf eating, it's probably not a favorite, yet it does pollinate the flowers and they wouldn't bloom otherwise. I did find this fun link on the forest services site about beetles and pollination.

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/beetles.shtml

I believe this little guy, maybe 2 mm long, is a bombardier beetle. I love the way he's eyeing me. Of course, he then turned around to point his abdomen at me. That's not something you want. They spray out a noxious and hot chemical. Fortunately, he spared me.

I have no idea what kind of caterpillar this is. That is unfortunate. He is very beautiful. I thought maybe a fritallary, but no luck there. Surprisingly, I did not see him. I only spotted him after I stood up from photographing the bombardier beetle. It's amazing what we can over look. He sure doesn't look like he'd blend in so well.


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