Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wee wingéd things...

A different hairstreak on another patch of mint. (Yes, I looked it up; butterfly id is downright easy compared to dragonfly id. Okay, well maybe not the skippers… Oh, you want to know what it is? Red-banded Hairstreak.)

Definitely a pollinator, whatever it is. Iridescent green like some flies (or are those little lovelies bees?) and body-striped like a wasp. My insect guide is far too general, but there's enough info to guess that if this beastie has four wings, it's likely a bee/wasp; flies are two-winged. (Flies are in Diptera: "two wing"--oh, yeah, now I remember: that's why I took three years of Latin in high school…) Another field guide and our local butterfly man have claimed this is a sweat bee.

Regarding the beautiful flower, which is what I originally meant to shoot before the bug showed up: closest I can come is an alien (of course) called Ragged-Robin (how marvelous!), Lychnis flos-cuculi. My wildflower guide pictures it as pink (or white) and not quite so dense in the middle. But surely those deeply-split, four-branched petals cannot be anything else?