July 15, 2015

Bugs on a Flower

There are some flowers that seem to be especially attractive to insects. In the spring, the lilacs host all sorts of insects, large and small, some of which you can see in this blog post. I first noticed this delightful flower blooming wild in my field last year; this year it had spread, and I saw that it was covered with insects of all sorts, including this tiny butterfly, with its proboscis dipping for a meal.

I couldn't identify the flower, but a Facebook friend pointed out that it looked like a Centaurea, and indeed it does look like the Centaurea montana above that is in my garden.

This beautiful little spider is color coordinated with the flower.

Many bees visited the blooms, from smaller....

....to larger....

....to extremely tiny. You can see the yellow pollen on the legs of the brilliant shiny green bee; its coloration is sumptuous.

And finally, an itty-bitty worm with an elegant brown and beige pattern (you can click on the photos to see these insects more clearly). Flowers that are simply a visual delight for us are sustenance for some in the insect kingdom.


  1. I find it amazing that there are whole other worlds in such small spaces. We are not alone.

    1. So true, Lisa; there's so much more life in the world than we realize.

  2. Your plant may be Centaurea maculosa, aka Spotted Knapweed -- beautiful indeed, but considered an invasive in some areas. The butterflies and bees don't seem to mind that a bit though, do they? Lovely photos!

    1. Thanks, Kathleen. I looked up maculosa, and it's a big problem in the western US, but not here in the northeast. I'm not sure this is the same plant, because I don't think it has the black-tipped bracts of Centaurea maculosa, but I'll look to be sure.