Who are the pollinators we'll meet this year? Bees, hummingbirds, moths, bats, butterflies, flies, beetles, and more!
Learn more about the 2021 Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant.
There are over 550 species of swallowtail butterfly, and 30 are native to North America. Coloring and patterns differ between species and also between males and females. Most have some combination of yellow, blue, black, or red coloration on their wings.
- Adults sip mud puddles for vital nutrients.
- When threatened, swallowtail caterpillars put off a stinky smell to keep predators away.
- The life span of most swallowtail butterflies ranges from 6 days to 6 weeks.
Download the Swallowtail butterfly Pollinator Pal profile to learn more!
Lesser Long-nose Bat
These bats have tan, rust, or cinnamon-colored bodies that are usually around 3'' long, which is also about the same length as their tongues! They have gray wings and a wingspan of about 10".
- Like all bats, lesser long-nosed bats are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night.
- From spring through fall, lesser long-nosed bats live in the southwestern U.S. but spend their winters in Mexico.
- Lesser long-nosed bats eat the nectar and fruit from night-blooming desert cacti such as saguaro, organ pipe, and agave.
Bumblebees are the largest bee and range from 1.5 - 2.5 cm long. Bumblebees are generally very gentle and rarely sting unless they are disturbed.
- There are over 250 species of bumblebees in the world.
- Bumblebee colony sizes range from 50-400 bees.
- Only the queen bee survives through the winter.
Download the Bumblebee pollinator pal profile to learn more!
These tiny flies are only 1-3 millimeters long — about the size of a pinhead! They resemble miniature mosquitos, but with feathery antennae.
photo by Tom Murray
- Chocolate midges live in tropical rainforests.
- Cacao trees depend on chocolate midges for pollination.
- Without these midges, we wouldn't have chocolate!
Download the Chocolate Midge Pollinator Pal Profile!
Mason bees resemble house flies! Only females have stingers but they are not aggressive and rarely sting.
- A single mason bee can pollinate 2,000 flowers per day!
- Every mason bee female lays eggs and raises offspring by herself without the help of an organized colony.
- Mason bees emerge in early spring, making them excellent pollinators of early-blooming fruit trees.
Download the Mason Bee Pollinator Pal fact sheet and coloring page.
Their wingspan can range between 1.25'' and 6'' and their wings come in a wide variety of shapes and colors.
Fun facts about sphinx moths!
- They are also called hawk or hummingbird moths, and the caterpillars are known as hornworms.
- They are some of the fastest flying insects in the world.
- There are over 1,200 species of Sphinx moth!
Download the FREE printable of the Sphinx Moth Pollinator Pal fact sheet, complete with a coloring page of their life cycle!
As an adult, the yucca moth is around half an inch long with females being slightly larger than males.
Fun facts about yucca moths!
- Yucca is the only plant that the yucca moths feed on.
- Adult males never eat because they only live long enough to mate.
- Many different species of yucca, such as the Joshua Tree, have exclusively interdependent relationships with a particular species of yucca moth.
Download the Yucca moth Pollinator Pal fact sheet, complete with a coloring page their life cycle!
Flying fox bat
Flying foxes are the largest of all bats. Their wingspans can measure up to 5' or more, and they can weigh up to 3.5 lbs.
Fun facts about flying fox bats!
- There are more than 60 species of flying foxes.
- Colonies can have up to 200,000 bats.
- They are nocturnal, so they sleep during the day and search for food at night.
Download the Flying Fox Bat fact sheet, complete with a coloring page about what they pollinate!
Honeybees are predominately dark brown with a golden fuzz that covers their body. Their heads have 2 antennae and 5 eyes
Fun facts about honeybees!
- Only females have stingers.
- Honeybees pollinate around 80% of agricultural crops grown in the U.S.
- Honeybees see on the ultraviolet spectrum. Flowers that appear red to humans look black to honeybees!
Download the Pollinator Pal - Honeybee fact sheet, complete with a coloring page about ultraviolet light!
Ruby-throats can grow up to 3.5'' long and weigh an average of 4 grams (less than a nickel!).
Fun facts about ruby-throated hummingbirds!
- Their heart can beat up to 1,200 times per minute and they can take about 250 breaths per minute.
- Ruby-throats consume up to twice their weight in food (nectar, insects, and tree sap) every day.
- Their nests are the size of a thimble and take 6-10 days to build.
Download the Pollinator Pals Ruby-throated hummingbird fact sheet, complete with a coloring page of their migration pattern!
Ranging in size from 1/4 to 1/2" long, hoverflies have two wings, large eyes, and stubby antennae. Although they don't have stingers, they mimic the color patterns of bees and wasps to scare off predators.
Fun facts about hoverflies!
- There are 6,000 species of hoverflies found across the world.
- They are the second most important pollinator after wild bees.
- Hoverflies are one of the best examples of Batesian mimicry when one species copies the appearance and behavior of another to protect themselves.
Download the Pollinator Pal Hoverfly Fact Sheet, complete with a coloring page of a hoverfly with their favorite flowers!
Monarch butterflies have two pairs of bright orange wings with a black border and white spots on the edges. They are about 4 inches wide and weigh less than half a gram.
Fun facts about monarch butterflies!
- Some monarchs travel up to 100 miles a day during their 3,000 mile migration across North America.
- Adult butterflies love native plants and are attracted to red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple flowers.
- Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed plants because their leaves are the caterpillar's only food source.
Download the Pollinator Pal Monarch Butterfly fact sheet, complete with a coloring page of monarch life cycles!