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


No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments