Nor is it a locally found insect. There have been lots of scary photos in the press in recent weeks of giant, orange “murder hornets” appearing out Vancouver-way. This is not one of those (which anyway spend their time murdering hive bees rather than bee keepers and their friends) but it is a similar looking, but half size, version from central Europe. In this case enjoyed in eastern Austria.
There has been a cluster of nymphal forms of these true bugs on the milkweed patch in front of the house for some time now. Those that have not been made into snacks for birds and the like have now found a mature seed capsule and were busily making their way to the interior.
“All it will take is one more heave, chaps. On the count of three, now … ”
Coming in to land on New England Aster flowers – the number of Monarch butterflies have been reduced this year – apparently because of weather problems in central Mexico where they over-winter and then prolonged and cold winds from the north in spring that made sure many never made it back north of the Great Lakes. Some got here though and now the return migration has begun.
A gathering – no social distancing here – of immature Oncopeltus fasciatus – Large Milkweed Bugs. Quite an impressive collection – the orange sttod out from a distance and I at first thught I was seeing an unusual flower until I got closer.
This may be the species that gave me a lot of grief a few weeks ago when I inadvertently disturbed a nest – but today they (there were a lot around) couldn’t care less about my presence as they worked the golden rod flowers. Treat with caution, but tbey are very attractive.