Goutweed Community 2021

Before the next-door neighbor's Big Old Bur Oak had to be taken down, a Ground Cover was kept in its place near the back gate between the far back of both out properties by the shade of that huge tree. No sooner than the tree was out of there, the sun finally was able to nurture the Goutweed so that it began to spread and has now taken over the southeast corner of my yard. At first I thought, I must get rid of that rather blah Ground Cover, but like most things, that resolution fell by the way and the Goutweed garden, a collection of hundreds (or so it seems) of plants, took over.

It might almost be mistaken for Queen Anne's Lace, but it is more rounded , not a rough disc like Queen Anne's Lace. It is apparently regarded as Haute Cuisine by smaller insects. Here you see it visited by three Bees, which I think are Mining Bees in Genus Andrena, maybe the Hawthorn Mining Bee. In picture 2, there is room for many more Ants. (These seem to be Small Honey Ants). And picture 3 shows how many many seeds a single head can carry. No wonder it can spread with such abandon!

I believe this Hawthorn Mining Bee can be determined by the two white vertical lines on its cheeks, which quite a lot of Andrena have; its golden pollen-filled knees; and its not very noticeably striped abdomen. Second is the Allegheny Mining Bee (click for another view). Third seems to be another Andrena, this one with prodigious white sideburns.

The Nomad Bees start showing up at about this time. I'm not sure if they just happen to be around, but I know if they aren't on the front sidewalk, they will be on the Goutweed. These are among my favorites, probably because of their gorgeous purplish-red fur.

Here is the Masked Modest Bee. Next is apparently a Soldier Fly of Genus Stratiomys - what a Bee Wannabe. Third is a Fly, Merodon equestris, also mimicking a Bee. Fourth is a Golden Sweat Bee.

Ants galore love the Goutweed. Here is a Punctured Ant. You can tell by its round head and droopy butt (or gaster, as they say around here). The Eastern Black Carpenter Ant is black, and has a lot of golden hairs on its gaster. Third is a Scented House Ant (genus Tapinoma).

This really tiny little ant is probably the Hairless Rover Ant. You saw it running around with the Keeled Treehoppers. Second, the big pointy gaster says Small Honey Ant. Third, I've seen a picture that looked like this strange thing. The caption was "Cricket mimicking an Ant".

One of the Beetles I have not seen except on the Goutweed is this Atalantycha bilineata, the Two-lined Leatherwing. The Asian Lady Beetles are everywhere, why not here? Third is a Lady Beetle of another species, the Polished Lady Beetle.

Carpet Beetles are particularly fond of the Goutweed. Indeed, it is the only place I've seen some of the variants.

Some of the species of Carpet Beetles come in several color schemes. All of them love it here. These last two are the same Beetle.

Other Beetles include the Longhorned Flower Beetles. Picture 1 is Analeptura lineola, and picture 2 is the same but it has found a sweetie. Number 3 is Strangalia luteicornis, the Yellow-horned Flower Longhorn Beetle.

There are a lot of kinds of Tumbling Flower Beetles, but the only one I've seen in the Goutweed is Mordellochroa scapularis. Strangalepta abbreviata is another Longhorn Flower Beetle. Sometimes they catch the light crazily and look blue and red.

Two members of the genus Valgus (V.hemipterus and V. canaliculatus) are here every year and I've never seen them anywhere else. But the Redbud Bruchid is NOT specially here, as it is visible almost everywhere in this yard.

This beetle is Atalantycha bilineata, a Two-lined Leatherwing. The next two pictures are of a Mystery insect.

First, a Stilt Bug. Look at those legs! The next two are a conundrum. I believe this is a White-margined Burrowing Bug. Then we see one that looks just alike, but it is an Ebony Bug of the genus Corimelaena. It is actually half of a mating pair.

One Butterfly, the Silver-spottted Skipper - that's it for Butterflies on the Goutweed! Wonder why! I also found only ONE damselfly and ONE dragonfly. Of course, the Goutweed only blooms in June and a bit of May, which may be a little early for these things.

One black Fly. And two big shiny bottle-bot-some kind of enormous fat flies, one orange and one green.

A big round Fly that I've only seen twice (in 2019 and 2020)- it's in the genus Gymnosoma. And both were on June 7, and both were on the Goutweed.

The Hover Flies also love the Goutweed when it's out. Here is Syritta pipiens. Then the Common Oblique (Allograpta obliqua), and then Toxomerus geminatus, one of the tiniest.

Here's Toxomerus marginatus, another of the tiniest. And what looks like a Midge. And a tiny Mystery Fly.

Another Mystery Fly. And two more.

And now for the most amazing relatives of Wasps. It's called a Gasteruption. This one has even a longer ovipositor. I love them. And I've only seen them each year in Goutweed season.

The harvestmen come, but not specially for the Goutweed. But you don't ALWAYS see these tiny red Mites. Is number 3 a Caterpillar or a trail of Lichen stuff?

Here's the best reason to have a bit of Poison Ivy around - this is the Poison Ivy Sawfly! Third is a Scudder Katydid nymph!

A Slug. A tiny Crab Spider. and Another. And one Pirate Spider, genus Mimetus.

The Wasp Ancistrocerus adiabatus; another of genus Cerceris; and Eumenes fraternus.

. Here's one I forgot I had, the Four-toothed Mason, Monobia quadridens. Maybe it only shows up on Goutweed? the second one I first thought was the Great Black Wasp, but now I see it as a Grass-carrying Wasp. Third is another Mystery Wasp.

The Dark Paper Wasp, Polistes fuscatus. And two or maybe two views of a mystery tiny Wasp.

And finally, a Horsehair Worm that I have only seen ONCE, and guess where that was? It was a damp late Spring morning right after a rain. Confession: there were more than one. They were up on top of the Goutweed and another plant near it. There were possibly three or four. It was an amazing morning.