Journal archives for November 2022

11 November, 2022

Flying insects on the Korean Chrysanthemums in Central Park

By November in NYC, most flying insects have started to disappear as winter begins to approach our city, and it is usually quite hard now to find more than a very few, rather boring flying insects.

However, in the Conservatory Garden within Central Park, entering on 5th Ave at 106th Street, there is the "French Garden". Every year in summer they plant an enormous number of young Korean Chrysanthemum plants, in every possible color and variety.

The Korean Chrysanthemums plants are large by fall, and they come into flower quite late, in October, reaching their peak flowering in early November. The flowers are quite fragrant, and the smell of the nectar broadcasts their presence over a large area, attracting every kind of insect that is interested in nectar or pollen, as well as some predatory insects who are hoping to capture and eat a few of the pollinating insects.

I try to visit the French Garden numerous times during the flowering weeks of the Korean Chrysanthemums, whenever the weather is sunny and warmish. While I am there, I walk around the oval-shaped flower beds, photographing almost every insect I see, although I confess that I ignore most of the zillion Western Honey Bees that visit the flowers.

Because I take so many photographs, I end up with numerous observations of the most common bees and flower flies, but because of my scattershot approach, I also usually end up with photos of a few uncommon or rare critters. For example, this year I photographed a Scatophaga species which I thought might be Scatophaga furcata. If that is the correct ID, that would be a new record for NYC:

I really enjoy making images of insects on the Korean Chrysanthemums, because the colorful flowers are such a lovely backdrop for the insects, which are also often quite beautiful in themselves. I see honeybees, bumblebees, small bees of other various kinds, flower flies, numerous other kinds of flies, beetles, true bugs, butterflies (e.g. this Monarch:, moths too, and sometimes one or more dragonflies.

In the French Garden at this wonderful time of year, I also often run into Ken Chaya and/or Mike Freeman, two terrific naturalists and iNatters who both specialize in Syrphids (flower flies).

This whole Korean Chrysanthemum outburst is really a kind of flower and insect festival, and it serves me as a highly colorful and entertaining goodbye to summer/fall each year.

I love it!

Posted on 11 November, 2022 17:36 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 45 observations | 6 comments | Leave a comment