"The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract a variety of insects, especially bees, wasps, flies, and beetles. These floral visitors include Halictid bees (Agapostemon spp., Haictus spp., Lasioglossum spp.), Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), plasterer bees (Colletes spp.), Sphecid wasps (Oxybelus spp., Cerceris spp., Tachysphex spp.), Vespid wasps (Polistes spp., Stenodynerus spp.), spider wasps (Anoplius spp.), Syrphid flies, thick-headed flies (Conopidae), Tachinid flies, flesh flies (Sarcophagidae), bottle flies (Lucilia spp.), Muscid flies, and miscellaneous beetles (Robertson, 1929). Hairstreak butterflies (Satyrium spp.) also visit the flowers. Other insects feed destructively on the foliage, seeds, and other parts of New Jersey Tea. These species include stem-boring larvae of a long-horned beetle (Calliomoxys sanguinicollis), leaf beetles (Babia quadriguttata, Pachybrachis trinotatus), seed-eating broad-headed bugs (Alydus spp.), and the Angulate Tingid (Gargaphia angulata); see Yanega (1996), Clark et al. (2004), Schaeffer (1980), and Cranshaw (2004). In addition, the larvae of several moths feed on New Jersey Tea, including the Broad-lined Erastria (Erastria coloraria), Sulfur Moth (Hesperymia sulphuraria), and Red-fronted Emerald (Nemoria rubrifrontaria); the caterpillars of a butterfly, the Spring/Summer Azure (Celastrina argiolus), and caterpillars of a skipper, the Mottled Duskywing (Erynnis martialis), also feed on this shrub (Covell, 1984/2005; Bouseman & Sternburg, 2001; and Bouseman et al., 2006).
"The foliage and stems are readily consumed by various mammalian herbivores, including elk (native in Illinois at one time), deer, rabbits, and livestock (Martin et al., 1951/1961). Some upland gamebirds, like the Wild Turkey and Bobwhite Quail, also use New Jersey Tea as a food source (Van Dersal, 1939). This can make the establishment of this plant difficult where there is an overpopulation of such animals." (Hilty)