Updated: Jun 24
As Anita mentioned in yesterday's meeting, this week is Pollinator Week (June 20-26, 2022). This project is run by North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. We will also have a Texas Polllinator Bioblitz coming up in October run by TPWD's Texas Nature Trackers.
Last night, I took a look around my yard to see if I could find any pollinators. As usual, I had my moth sheet going, but it was early so I didn't find much there. For this bioblitz, moths don't count anyway. Only Bees, Bats, Butterflies, Hover Flies, and Hummingbirds are included. Update: Thankfully moths and some wasps were added to the Pollinator Week iNaturalist project. Though it is changing, research has largely focused on diurnal pollinators. Maybe soon moths will get more recognition for their pollinator work. The Texas Pollinator Bioblitz usually covers a lot more pollinating taxa, such as certain families of Moths, Wasps, Flies, Beetles, etc.
After a few minutes of finding mostly spiders, I went back to look at the moth sheet and I had a large black visitor. But it wasn't a moth, it was a Western Giant Swallowtail. The butterfly was very confused by the ultraviolet light, flapping all over the sheet. I got it to crawl on my hand and took it far away from the UV lights. Once I found it a nice hiding place in my neighbor's bushes, it was much happier and settled down.
When I got back to my sheet, I had another big black visitor, a Large Carpenter Bee. This one wasn't much of a surprise even though bees aren't supposed to be active at night. This bee lives in a dead log near my moth sheet and occasionally wakes up and notices all the exciting blacklights. Luckily she just sits there calmly on the sheet because I don't want to pick up a bee to move her.
So, even though moths aren't being counted for this bioblitz, I am finding a few pollinators for the project with my moth sheet. Whether there is a bioblitz or not, I just like posting things to iNaturalist to document and learn more about what I have found. I have learned so much about wildlife in the Rio Grande Valley through iNaturalist. I am often finding a species I haven't seen before.
Pollinator Week is an annual event celebrated internationally in support of pollinator health. This citizen science project is hosted by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign's (NAPPC) Pollinator Communications Taskforce. Join this project to help collect data on the distribution of pollinators across the US, Canada, and Mexico during pollinator week (June 20-26, 2022). You can participate in this bioblitz on iNaturalist.