Hornets on Escallonia

27th August 2006, Sunday

Hornet on Escallonia bifida

One of the best flowers for butterflies and other insects at this time of year in my experience is Escallonia bifida, a South American shrub.

We have had a plant for many years growing against a South Wall and, while it has suffered a bit in hard winters, it flowers well every year.

At the moment it is being constantly patrolled by hornets who are interested in prey, not nectar or pollen. The picture shows one of them hanging by one of its hind legs as it devours a hoverfly (an Eristalis I think). This is a characteristic hornet feeding position.