Plant-Insect-Insect Interaction: Goldenrod, Crabronid wasps, and jagged ambush bugs

Today I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at a goldenrod plant (Solidago sp., Asteraceae).  It’s not that I found the plant itself interesting, although it was flowering and rather beautiful.  What drew my attention was the sheer number of insects the plant attracted.  There were a large number of flies (order Diptera), butterflies (order Lepidoptera) and Crabronid wasps (order Hymenoptera) sipping on the flowers’ nectar.

Wasp of the family Crabronidae feeding on the nectar of a goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae). Photographed 08/22/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

What really excited me was that I noticed a number of jagged ambush bugs (Phymata sp., Reduviidae) sneaking around amongst the flowers.

Jagged ambush bug (Phymata sp., Reduviidae) on goldenrod flowers. Photographed 08/22/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

Reduviids aren’t known for sipping nectar, they’re known for eating other insects.  Sure enough, these predators were hiding among the flowers, waiting for the nectar-sippers to get close enough to catch and eat.

Jagged ambush bug sucking the life out of a Crabronid wasp. Photographed 08/22/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

Jagged ambush bug sucking the life out of a Crabronid wasp. Photographed 08/22/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

This was completely awesome to watch.  I would have liked to get a video of the action, but it was hard enough to get clear still photos of something so small.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Plant-Insect-Insect Interaction: Goldenrod, Crabronid wasps, and jagged ambush bugs

  1. Pingback: Insect Love: Jagged ambush bugs | The Life of Your Time

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