Insect Visitors to Scabiosa Caucasia (page 9)
Hoverflies feed on scabious pollen. Unlike bees, they show no interest in the nectar since their proboscis is not long enough.,I watched in amazement through the lens as this hoverfly went along a series of anthers ( out of focus top left) A stripped them of pollen. Notice how the insect uses the tarsus of its front legs to hold the anther filament. It also holds onto filament form the stamen in another flower with its tarsal claws.,A hoverfly stretching out its front legs towards an anther. Notice the pattern of the ommatidia on the large compound eyes. In addition to of the snall dark simple eyes (or ocelli) of the ocellar triangle on the top of the head is clearly visible.,This was an incredibly difficult shot to take as I had to be looking up towards the fly. It took several years to obtain this image. Notice the pollen attached to the proboscis and head. The insect is holding on to several stamen filaments., A closeup of the hoverfly proboscis with attached pollen. Note the serrations.,The hoverfly proboscis is pressed against the anther. Note the little hairs on the proboscis to which pollen is attached.,A fly resting on the phyllary hairs of the immature flower. Note the pattern of ommatidia in the compound eye and the tarsal claws ,A small fly sitting on the phyllary hairs that cover and probably protect an immature Scabious flower,Pollen is attached to the head and even the yes of this hoverfly while it is feeding on an anther,Pollen attached to the bristles (or setae) on the tibia and metatarsus of the bumblebee leg. The pollen at this stage is indented rather than swollen indicating that it is partially dehydrated. The tarsal claws are attached to a flower petal
,The two tarsal claws and a central spike of a bumble bee are attached to a marginal flower petal. The epidermal cell sof the petal can just be seen. Two anthers have lost most of their pollen,,Notice how deeply the bumblebee is penetrating into this peripheral floret to look for nectar., The flower is not large enough for the bumblebee to accommodate all of its legs when they are spread out. Notice that the bee holds on to the edge of the large outer petals of the marginal flowers with its tarsal claws.
,,This bee is taking off from the flowers and so can rest its rear legs when doing so. The long tongue is still extended.,An aphid on the petal of marginal flower
,Aphis can be found on the spepals, stems and on the large petals of the marginal flowers