Why Don’t We Do It In The… Diplacus??!!

Dasytinae in monkey flower

First off, my apologies to The Beatles for usurping the title of their song for my nerdy, semi-humorous, botanical purposes. *GRIN* This is a photo I took yesterday of a pair of mating Soft-winged Flower Beetles (Dasytinae). Be sure to click on the image for a close-up of the beetles. I discovered them nestled deep inside the center of a Diplacus aurantiacus blossom. Diplacus aurantiacus is also referenced as Mimulus aurantiacus, and is known commonly as Orange Bush Monkey Flower or Sticky Monkey Flower.

This is a very common and prolific flower here in the canyon. As it is extremely drought-resistant, it easily covers the hillsides in a bright, orange perfusion of blossoms and continues to bloom long after most of the other Spring wildflowers have peaked.

orange bush monkey flower hillside


orange bush monkey flower hillside


Beautiful from afar and beautiful up close… don’t you think?


orange bush monkey flower

Harsi / May 29, 2011 / arthropods, flowers, hillsides, plants


  1. ro - May 30, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    You did a fantastic job of capturing the prolific welcome silly faced mimula. Evie Canyon has beautiful maroon colored sports. Look in the very beginning of the canyon. I’ve grown them in my garden as bi annuals, yellow and gold grew very well but the maroon couldn’t take full sun and neither can I 🙂 signed, you’re umbrella hiking friend, Ms Poppins of the trail.

  2. Harsi - May 30, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    Hiya, Ro! Yeah… I grimaced a bit when I woke up this morning and saw that harsh expanse of blue stretching out to the horizon. Phooey! Oh, well… I keep trying to be grateful for the unusually high number of gorgeous cloudy days we have had and accept that summer will be what it is in this area. We still haven’t managed to get over to explore Evie Canyon. 🙁 I’m gonna’ try and talk Ez into doing that with me later this week, if I can. There are some other Mimulus species that grow near the creek here (a bright yellow one and a red one), but I have yet to see anything other than the above orange variety growing on the dry hillsides. I think it’s the only one that can tolerate the heat.

  3. Ruth Gravanis - May 30, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    Ah! Another great shot for the “Bug Porn Calendar” that I imagine someone will produce one of these days. What a sharp eye you have, Harsi.

  4. Harsi - May 30, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    Ha! Funny, Ruth… very funny! Well, I don’t know if they’ve come out with a calendar yet… but, a brief search online did turn up this Flickr group dedicated to just such fornication matters: http://www.flickr.com/groups/insectporn/pool/ Whenever the weather turns cloudy and cool here in the Spring/Summer months, it’s always great fun to check the inside of flowers for critters hanging out in there. I do think I have a pretty sharp eye for spotting the tinier insects, but I confess that I peered into a lot more empty flowers that day than occupied ones. 🙂 Finding the neat-o stuff is usually just a matter of persistence and patience.


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