18 August, 2023

I need your hibiscus pollinator sightings!

Hello everyone! I am currently doing a study investigating the insect visitors to swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) in the northeast, in locations where its specialist pollinator Ptilothrix bombiformis is absent. I just wrapped up fieldwork and after many hours of observation across multiple states not many insect visitors were observed (which did not really surprise me given what I knew coming into this research question).

If anyone in New England or non-NYC New York, or even other locations where Ptilothrix is not present, could observe and post any insects (particularly bees, butterflies, flies, wasps, beetles besides the common hibiscus seed weevils) visiting swamp rose mallow flowers, that would be of value to my study. Swamp rose mallow is a wetland plant commonly found along freshwater and brackish marsh and pond margins, especially coastally. It has very large flowers that can be pink or white, with or without red centers. It is rare in much of northern New England but becomes more common in Massachusetts and southward. Ptilothrix bombiformis is a large (about honeybee-sized) bee that resembles a bumblebee and when present is generally the primary visitor to swamp rose mallow. If it's at a site you'll probably know it.

Please tag me in your posts, and use the observation field "Interaction -> Visiting Flower of: Hibiscus moscheutos" that will allow me to sort and filter all of the sightings. Any additional notes about whether the insect was there for pollen (collecting from the fluffy anthers) or nectar (sticking its head into the very base of the flower) is also very helpful.

Insects appear to only infrequently visit this flower so the more observations from more locations, the more complete picture we will have of the potential pollinators of this plant. Thanks!

Posted on 18 August, 2023 04:19 by mollymjacobson mollymjacobson | 0 comments | Leave a comment

06 March, 2023

NH Bee Checklist

Hi all, first journal post. I just wanted to send out a notice to those interested that I have been updating the New Hampshire Bee Checklist to better conform to up-to-date unpublished datasets from Michael Veit (referenced in Veit et al. 2021, 'A Checklist of the Bees of Massachusetts'). There remain a dozen or so species which differ between this list and my initial version of the NH Bee Checklist due to various historical or singleton records, some of which may be dubious but others seem legitimate, which I will continue to attempt to resolve. A handful of species are additionally unrecorded from NH but present in VT, MA, and/or ME which suggests they are here as well (thanks to the very thorough VT Wild Bee Survey headed up by Spencer Hardy, @beeboy). This leaves the list at 337 extant species (338 including Bombus affinis). This may still change, give or take a few, as I continue to revise, and I am attempting to add notes to species of interest. Any naturalists in NH would do well to search for bees wherever possible, as only around one quarter of listed species have been documented in the state on iNat. A few, such as Hylaeus nelumbonis, Melitta americana, and Habropoda laboriosa, are as of yet undocumented but possible in the state and I consider these high priority to go out and look for. H. nelumbonis is a probable diet generalist associated with freshwater marshes, M. americana is a cranberry specialist found in bogs, and H. laboriosa is a blueberry specialist associated with sandy soils.

Posted on 06 March, 2023 05:40 by mollymjacobson mollymjacobson | 0 comments | Leave a comment