The Mountain Mint and the Macrosiagon limbata

A bit of a taste test just to see what may be found

Mountain mints, or any of our native mints, are often overlooked when we pick out our pollinator plants. This past year Basil Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum clinopodioides, was on my rare and endangered plant survey list and I was thrilled to find a nice population of them! No photos as any metadata info could possibly give away their location and since they are endangered that is a definite NO!

A very intent look at this flower

These images are of native Broad-leaved mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum, and a Macrosiagon limbata, one of our native beetles, seemed to really enjoy sticking its head into a flower.

The dive right into that mint flower

These wedge-shaped beetles are in the Ripiphoridae family. They are active in the summer months and can easily be skipped over as they are 5.0-12.0 mm. The beetles also enjoy elderberry flowers, bee balm, and goldenrod. The adult beetles lay their eggs on flowers and when they hatch the young adhere to solitary bees that visit the plants for pollen. These little predators are carried back to the nest where they prey on bee larvae. Such is the way of the wild that has been happening for a very long time. Plant natives and the natives will find their way!

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