While walking through Explore the Wild I noticed that Swamp Rose was in bloom. A closer look revealed a beetle and a spider on one of the flowers.
The beetle is a flower longhorn beetle. To be more specific it looks to be Strangalia luteicornis. As suggested, adults nectar on flowers. The larvae feed on the wood of various trees and vines.
Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) is a native rose, unlike the, unfortunately, much more familiar Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) which was in bloom several weeks ago. Swamp Rose has single blossoms while Multiflora Rose blooms in clusters of many smaller flowers, multiple flowers = multiflora.
The spider appears to be a White-banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes). These crab spiders (crab spiders in general) are small but I’ve seen them pounce on prey much larger than themselves. I’m surprised this one hasn’t jumped on the beetle. This longhorn appears to have been lucky, so far.
Come on out to Explore the Wild and see what you can spot.
Greg Dodge is a professional naturalist as well as a writer, videographer and producer of natural history DVDs. His images have been used in various TV productions, museum displays, and corporate videos. Above all, he has a fascination and passion for all things natural.
He can be found Tuesday thru Saturday in Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind, or on the Dinosaur Trail. Ask him what’s new in the wild!