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Spring is dragging along this year because we've had cool weather longer than usual. That's a good thing!

But is has also meant some insects are behind their usual schedule.

solitary beesTake the solitary bees, like the digger and sweat bees. Usually we have clouds of tiny bees visiting flowers in March. This year they have been delayed.

The cuckoo bee can be an indicator. I watch the desert marigolds for them every year. This is a photograph of the first one I've spotted this year and it is April 15, 2020. In past years, we've seen them in February and March.

Taking photographs can be a way of keeping records of when certain events occur.

Do you have any insects that you look for year after year?

Time to post the answers to a plant quiz from a previous post: "What is a Plant?"

1. Is this a plant?

is it a plantAnswer:  No, this is a sea anemone. Although it is attached to the sea floor and sort of green in color, it catches food with its tentacles. It is an animal.

B. Is this a plant, yes or no?

is it a plant quizYes. This is a cactus that is known as queen of the night for it's beautiful flowers (see previous post for flower pictures).

 

C. Are these plants?

is this a plantYes, mosses are multi-cellular and considered to be non-vascular plants.

D. Are the things growing on the rock below considered to be plants?

is-this-a-plant-dNo. Although they can produce their own food from sunlight, lichen are a a mix of algae and fungi living together. They don't have roots and other characteristics of plants.

 

Thanks for taking our quiz. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Do you know what this insect on a brittlebush flower is?

Not very attractive is it?

I'll give you a hint. Remember the lady beetles we saw two weeks ago?

This bumpy creature is a lady beetle larva.

Even though people usually can identify an adult lady beetle, not as many people recognize lady beetle larvae. The larvae are impactful, however, because they eat way more aphids than the adults do. Plus, if they survive, they become an adult.

The bottom line is that taking time to identify insects in all their stages and forms is important.