Journal archives for August 2023

August 01, 2023

August Updates and Events

Hello Everyone!

Happy August! I hope everyone has been having a fun summer!

Our August Pollinator Walk will be held on Saturday August 12, 2023 from 12:00pm-1:30pm at Caburn Park. Register for the event here.
Hope to see you at the next walk!

Our June prize winner is @pbulman for submitting 55 observations this month! Upload observations during the month of August to have a chance to win the next month's prize. Prizes include native plant seeds from ALCLA and Wild About Flowers, beeswax food wraps, eco-cloths from Mystical Metis, and other prizes!

July 2023 Stats
Observations made: 650
Research grade identifications: 317
New members joined: 10

Posted on August 01, 2023 03:58 PM by jdo77 jdo77 | 2 comments | Leave a comment

August 07, 2023

Plant of the Month: Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa)

Dasiphora fruticosa, commonly known as Shrubby Cinquefoil, is within the Rosaceae (rose) family. Its other common names include golden hardhack and potentilla. Dasiphora fruticosa, formerly Potentilla fruticosa, is the only species of plant in the Dasiphora genus.

Shrubby cinquefoil is a low rounded shrub about 3-4 feet tall and equally as wide. Its leaves are dark green and pinnate in shape with 5 leaflets that are oblong and typically 3-20 mm in length. The leaves have fine silvery hairs about 1mm long. They most commonly have bright yellow flowers, that have 5 round petals, similar to a buttercup flower, but blooms can be pink, white, or red.

Shrubby cinquefoil is commonly used as a landscaping plant in Alberta due to its drought resistance and its benefits in reducing erosion. It will grow in partial shade or full sun, prefers cooler overall climates, and requires medium to minimal moisture. It is a perennial shrub that is attractive to butterflies as well as other pollinators such as bees. Shrubby cinquefoil has a long blooming period from early June through October, providing pollinators with a consistent nectar source. Shrubby cinquefoil plants can be dioecious (having one sex per plant) or bisexual (having both sexes in a single plant). Dioecious bushes are either all female or all male flowers, meaning in order to be pollinated there must be two bushes of each sex within pollinating distance from one another.

I have had awesome luck finding many different types of pollinators visiting D.fruticosa this summer!

Our August Pollinator Walk will be held on Saturday August 12, 2023 from 12:00pm-1:30pm at Caburn Park. Register for the event here.

Posted on August 07, 2023 06:19 PM by jdo77 jdo77 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 21, 2023

Pollinator of the Month: Two Spotted Lady Beetle (Adalia bipunctata)

Adalia bipunctata, commonly known as the two-spotted lady beetle, is a species of beetle in the order Coleoptera. The species name ‘bipunctata’ is composed of the Latin prefix “bi,” meaning two, and “punctatus” meaning spotted. Two-spotted lady beetles are native to North America and are one of the 75 species of lady beetle present in Alberta. This includes introduced, invasive, and native species. The most common introduced species is the seven spotted lady beetle (Coccinella septempunctata). Some other examples of native lady beetles include the eye-spotted lady beetle (Anatis ocellata) and convergent lady beetle (Hippodamia convergens). Increased pressure and competition from introduced species is leading to the range of the two-spotted lady beetle to narrow.

Two-spotted lady beetles can act as pollinators when they seek shelter in flowers for short periods of time, known as accidental pollinators. Adults can overwinter by burrowing in fallen vegetation such as leaves, bark, and sticks. Two-spotted lady beetles can be found inhabiting grasslands, forests, rural, and urban environments. Both adults and larvae prefer to be in shrubs and trees, or any vegetation where there are small insects such as aphids, small insect eggs, and mites to feed on. Their life cycle starts with females laying their bright yellow eggs on the bottom of leaves in locations with sufficient food sources for the larvae. The eggs hatch into larvae which feed until they pupate, and then emerge in their adult form with wings.

Two-spotted lady beetles are 4-5 mm in length and ovoid in shape with 6 legs when at adult size. Their pigmentation and patterning is highly variable. However, the most commonly found form has orange/red elytra (wing cases) with two black spots on the centre of each elytra. The thorax and head are black with two large symmetrical white spots on the thorax, and two smaller symmetrical white spots on the head. The thorax also has two rounded white patches closer to the midline near the base of the elytra. The underside of the lady beetle is also all black.

two spotted lady beetle on a leaf

Posted on August 21, 2023 05:20 PM by jdo77 jdo77 | 0 comments | Leave a comment