Other Wildlife Resources
Locating the appropriate resource if you have found an an animal:
- National Wildlife Rehabilitator's Association (NWRA)
- If you have found an injured or orphaned wild animal, NWRA knows how important it is that you contact a local rehabilitator as soon as possible. Use their website to connect with various licensed rehabilitators, or contact the NWRA Central Office during normal business hours at 320-230-9920 to try to locate an NWRA member in your area.
- Wildlife Rescue Center
- Located in Ballwin, MO
- Wildlife Rescue Center rehabilitates injured, sick and orphaned native wildlife and releases healthy animals to their natural habitat. Through educational outreach the Center provides environmental awareness, promotes a harmonious relationship with native wildlife, and encourages the community to protect our delicate ecosystems.
- World Bird Sanctuary
- Located in Valley Park, MO
- World Bird Sanctuary’s mission is to preserve, protect and inspire to safeguard bird species as part of the global community for future generations. Their vision is to create a world where diverse bird species are secure and thriving in a variety of stable ecological communities.
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic
- Located in High Ridge, MO
- The Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic is an all volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization which specializes in the rehabilitation of native Missouri mammals and is licensed by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
- Treehouse Wildlife Center
- Located in Dow, IL
- TreeHouse Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife and the educational promotion of environmental stewardship and awareness.
- A great resource for ruby-throated hummingbirds
- Also a great place to learn about attracting, watching, feeding, and studying the hummingbirds that breed in North America.
Bring Conservation Home’s Floral and Faunal Connections Corner
December 9th, 2015
Cup Plant's Overwintering Residents
By Cori Westcott
Someone told me
It's all happening at the zoo
I do believe it
I do believe it's true
From Paul Simon’s “At The Zoo”, 1968
When I think of the potential for a bustling natural winter community that may be happening in the stems of my Cup plant -- Silphium perfoliatum -- during the winter, Simon’s song cycles through my mind. Wisconsin entomologist Andrew H. Williams collected (in 1996) and identified (1997) over twenty species of insects and spiders overwintering in Silphium perfoliatum stems. In February, Mr. Williams sent a copy of his table on discovered insect and spider collections from Cup Plant stems in Grant County, Wisconsin to me upon request. He graciously has given me permission to share his findings with you.
Mr. Williams’ findings are listed by taxon. I’ve done a little research to further identify the insects and glean any special behavior to pass along. I’m about to share some intriguing behavior of the Cup Plant’s winter residents in a rapid fire style Mr. Simon used in describing the zoo’s citizens. Cue Simon’s song…
Many of the cup plant stem insects are entomophagous (larva who consume their insect hosts). The movie, Alien, wasn’t original, you know. Braconid wasps are entomophagous, too. Like a chalcidoid, a braconid wasp larva starts as an egg that hatches in the host insect. The host itself intended to overwinter in the Cup plant stem. After emerging from the host, some braconid larvae overwinter in the stem.
Among the specimens Mr. Williams found is the Camptomyia sp., commonly known as a gall midge. Some fungus eating gall midge larvae exhibit a reproduction phenomenon called paedogenesis, “…in which daughter larvae are sometimes produced inside mother larvae, eventually consuming the mother.”(p. 393)
In startled launch, the Mordellistena convicta or Tumbling flower beetle has a tumble caused by his habit of pulling in his legs.
Did you know booklice didn’t eat the book? They ate the mold that ate the book. Lachesilla corona are members of the Psocoptera (meaning gnawed or rubbed wing) order, booklice and plantlice.
Plant bugs of the Miridae family inject enzymes to turn plant tissue into a Slurpee and sip it up through their “beaks”.
Mr. Williams and his colleagues also identified a mite or tick, a cicada, a Silphium borer moth larva, a checkered beetle, a katydid, a featherwing beetle (usually < one mm.) and others. All of these are food sources for birds and other wildlife.
I have great fondness for a plant that defies the common patterns of nature by displaying a square stem. It gets its name from the supply of water it keeps at the base of its joined leaves that serves as a public water source for birds and small mammals. I once bumped a Cup plant and inadvertently drenched my poor husband!
Once the pollinators (in abundance) are finished, the seeds provide much needed food supply to American Goldfinches. Although their brilliant yellow color is waning at this time, it still can be a spectacular sight.
So, once its glory has past, its leaves curled and brown, consider cutting it in foot-long sections and simply leave in on the ground. Its winter residents will find it and still be happy to reside in a horizontal rather than a vertical home. You can also bundle up some, hollow out the ends’ tips on one side and store somewhere the solitary bees can find them for shelter. The plant serves a natural service year round!
Cori Westcott is president of Missouri Master Naturalist, Great Rivers Chapter and serves as a Habitat Advisor for St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bring Conservation Home. Westcott also coordinates monitoring efforts in the Grand Glaize Creek watershed for Missouri Stream Team.
Flora & Fauna Archives