UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County
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UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: Tithonia

The King of the Butterflies on the Queen of Annuals

A monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Is there anything more beautiful than a monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, nectaring on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) in the late afternoon sun?  The brilliant orange and black butterfly, famous not only for its...

A monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly spreads its wings on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly spreads its wings on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly spreads its wings on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifola, in Vacaville, Calif., on Oct. 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

As striking as a stain glass window, the monarch takes flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
As striking as a stain glass window, the monarch takes flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

As striking as a stain glass window, the monarch takes flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 3:42 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Buckeye Butterfly: Wanna Piece of Me?

Signs of a predator. A tattered Buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia, sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wanna piece of me?  "Hey, Buckeye butterfly, you over there with chunks of a wing missing, yeah you, what happened?"  "Well, it was like this. I was just fluttering around, looking for some good nectar, and a predator grabbed me. I don't know...

Signs of a predator. A tattered Buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia, sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Signs of a predator. A tattered Buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia, sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Signs of a predator. A tattered Buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia, sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Buckeye butterfly can't get enough of the nectar of the Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Buckeye butterfly can't get enough of the nectar of the Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Buckeye butterfly can't get enough of the nectar of the Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready to fly, the Buckeye butterfly checks out the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready to fly, the Buckeye butterfly checks out the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready to fly, the Buckeye butterfly checks out the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 6:20 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Eye on the Tiger

A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilo rutulus, lands on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here, you are, a Western Tiger Swallowtail sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower. You are a Papilo rutulus. And your menu choice? A delicate orange beauty from the sunflower family:  a Tithonia rotundifolia. Ah, the...

A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilo rutulus, lands on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilo rutulus, lands on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilo rutulus, lands on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A dark shadow heads toward the Western Tiger Swallowtail. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A dark shadow heads toward the Western Tiger Swallowtail. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A dark shadow heads toward the Western Tiger Swallowtail. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male territorial long-horned bee, buzzes the Western Tiger Swallowtail, like a jet fighter plane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The male territorial long-horned bee, buzzes the Western Tiger Swallowtail, like a jet fighter plane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male territorial long-horned bee, buzzes the Western Tiger Swallowtail, like a jet fighter plane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Right wing? Left wing? Up the middle. The male territorial longhorned bee tries to dislodge the Western Tiger Swallowtail. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Right wing? Left wing? Up the middle. The male territorial longhorned bee tries to dislodge the Western Tiger Swallowtail. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Right wing? Left wing? Up the middle. The male territorial longhorned bee tries to dislodge the Western Tiger Swallowtail. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm coming for you! The male territorial bee roars up over the Mexican sunflower as the Western Tiger Swallowtail scrambles for safety. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I'm coming for you! The male territorial bee roars up over the Mexican sunflower as the Western Tiger Swallowtail scrambles for safety. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm coming for you! The male territorial bee roars up over the Mexican sunflower as the Western Tiger Swallowtail scrambles for safety. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Portraits of The Predator and the Prey

Occupied! A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata occupies a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Heads will not roll.  The Hunger Games will not begin.  Preying does not always work.  It's Aug. 2, 2020 and a praying mantis decides to occupy a specially stunning Mexican sunflower. Specifically, it's a female Stagmomantis limbata...

Occupied! A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata occupies a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Occupied! A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata occupies a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Occupied! A praying mantis, a female Stagmomantis limbata occupies a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Double Occupancy: The praying mantis and honey bee share the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Double Occupancy: The praying mantis and honey bee share the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Double Occupancy: The praying mantis and honey bee share the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Stare: The praying mantis, a carnivore, stares at the honey bee, a vegetarian. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Stare: The praying mantis, a carnivore, stares at the honey bee, a vegetarian. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Stare: The praying mantis, a carnivore, stares at the honey bee, a vegetarian. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Oh, Yours? The honey bee prepares to leave the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Oh, Yours? The honey bee prepares to leave the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Oh, Yours? The honey bee prepares to leave the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Lone Occupancy! The praying mantis again owns the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Lone Occupancy! The praying mantis again owns the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Lone Occupancy! The praying mantis again owns the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Behold: A Mexican Cactus Fly on a Mexican Sunflower

It's not often you see a Mexican cactus fly, Copestylum mexicanum, nectaring on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia. At first glance, you may think the insect is a carpenter bee or bumble bee. Then you see it...


"Aah, nectar!" A Mexican cactus fly, Copestylum mexicanum, on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia, in Vacaville. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Aah, nectar!" A Mexican cactus fly, Copestylum mexicanum, on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia, in Vacaville. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"Here's looking at you!" A Mexican cactus fly, Copestylum mexicanum, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia, in Vacaville. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Here's looking at you!" A Mexican cactus fly, Copestylum mexicanum, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia, in Vacaville. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"My territory!" says a dive-bombing male longhorned bee, a Melissodes agilis, as it targets the Mexican cactus fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"My territory!" says a dive-bombing male longhorned bee, a Melissodes agilis, as it targets the Mexican cactus fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"Coming at ya!" A Mexican cactus fly sails over a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

"Coming at ya!" A Mexican cactus fly sails over a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The wings of the Mexican cactus flower glisten in the morning sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The wings of the Mexican cactus flower glisten in the morning sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The wings of the Mexican cactus flower glisten in the morning sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 4:37 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Yard & Garden

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