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Camas pollinators and visitors

Native plants such as camas depend on insect pollinators to reproduce.  Pollinators, in turn, rely on the food (nectar and pollen) provided by native plants.  This plant-pollinator co-dependency has evolved over millenia.  Loss of native plants may result in the loss of native pollinators and vice versa. 

Little is known about camas pollinators.  Common camas has been described as a "magnet species" for pollinators by Dr. Elizabeth Elle, who has documented pollinators on the Cowichan Garry Oak preserve on Vancouver Island. (A photo album of this work can be seen here:  http://support.natureconservancy.ca/site/PhotoAlbumUser?view=UserAlbum&AlbumID=11503.)  Dr. Elle's team has identified 65 native bee species (including a mason bee previously unknown to science) and a host of other insect visitors on the Nature Conservancy of Canada preserve. The high species diversity may be attributed to the extent of intact habitat available at the preseve and the removal of invasive species. 

During our field work, we witnessed many insect visitors to camas.  We welcome your identifications of any of the following species:

   
Bumble bees of many sizes. Mason bee at rest on camas stigma. 

 

Almost white camas blossom with cricket ant foraging for nectar  
Cricket perched on an
almost-white camas blossom.
Ants were very common visitors. 

 

Spotted beetle  Ladybug on camas.  
Beetle on buds. Ladybug on flower pedicel.