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Posts Tagged: California Department of Food and Agriculture

This Hover Fly Engages in Identity Theft

A hover fly that's a bumble bee mimic: this is Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The wonderful world of insects... Have you ever seen a syrphid, aka hover fly or flower fly, that resembles a bumble bee? Volucella bombylans is a...

A hover fly that's a bumble bee mimic: this is Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A hover fly that's a bumble bee mimic: this is Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A hover fly that's a bumble bee mimic: this is Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The hover fly, a Volucella bombylans complex, departs its perch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The hover fly, a Volucella bombylans complex, departs its perch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The hover fly, a Volucella bombylans complex, departs its perch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's a fly; not a bee! Side view of the syrphid fly bumble bee mimic,  Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's a fly; not a bee! Side view of the syrphid fly bumble bee mimic, Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's a fly; not a bee! Side view of the syrphid fly bumble bee mimic, Volucella bombylans complex. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, investigates a pansy. This image was taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, investigates a pansy. This image was taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, investigates a pansy. This image was taken in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 2:53 PM
Focus Area Tags: Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources

Andrew Young: Natural History of Syrphids, from Pollinators to Parasitoids

A syrphid, also known as a hover fly or flower fly, nectars on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

At first glance, they're often mistaken for bees, but bees they are not. They're flies. You've probably seen them hovering over flowers, which is...

A syrphid, also known as a hover fly or flower fly, nectars on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A syrphid, also known as a hover fly or flower fly, nectars on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid, also known as a hover fly or flower fly, nectars on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid in flight, heading toward a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A syrphid in flight, heading toward a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid in flight, heading toward a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid tucked inside the petals of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A syrphid tucked inside the petals of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid tucked inside the petals of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid hovers over Jupiter's Beard, Centranthus ruber. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A syrphid hovers over Jupiter's Beard, Centranthus ruber. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid hovers over Jupiter's Beard, Centranthus ruber. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, February 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

Not Just Honey Bees Pollinate Almonds

A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's beginning to look a lot like...almond pollination season in California. Almonds usually begin blooming around Valentine's Day, but it's often...

A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, forages on almond blossoms in Benicia, Calif., on Feb. 2. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, peers up at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, peers up at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This yellow-faced bumble bees, Bombus vosnesenskii, peers up at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flight of the bumble bee. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Flight of the bumble bee. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flight of the bumble bee. This is a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Coming right at you! Bombus vosnesenskii departs one blossom to find another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Coming right at you! Bombus vosnesenskii departs one blossom to find another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Coming right at you! Bombus vosnesenskii departs one blossom to find another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 4:39 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Natural Resources

Ever Seen a Snakefly?

A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a snakefly? Not a snake. Not a fly. A snakefly! They're predators but rarely seen. They eat insects such as aphids and mites....

A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A snakefly, genus Agulla, snared in a spider web in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The snakefly, a predator, struggles in the spider web. The spider is out of sight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The snakefly, a predator, struggles in the spider web. The spider is out of sight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The snakefly, a predator, struggles in the spider web. The spider is out of sight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In the end, the score was: Spider, 1; snakefly, 0. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
In the end, the score was: Spider, 1; snakefly, 0. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

In the end, the score was: Spider, 1; snakefly, 0. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 5:23 PM

The Lady Beetle and the Syrphid Fly

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So, here I am, an Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) perched on a rose bush in Vacaville, Calif., as dawn breaks. I'm eating  aphids and...

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri (as identified by Martin Hauser of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, heads for a lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Touchdown! The large syrphid fly, Scaeva pyrastri, lands next to the lady beetle.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly licks honeydew from the lady beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.
Honeydew is a sugar-rich sticky liquid, secreted by aphids and some scale insects as they feed on plant sap. When their mouthpart penetrates the phloem, the sugary, high-pressure liquid is forced out of the anus of the aphid.

"Let's try this again! I'm coming in. Wait, turn around, will ya!" Syrphid fly caught in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 4:38 PM

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