A galling mite!

  It must be galling to be covered in these!  Sorry for the schoolboy pun but they do not look very attractive do they?!  These so-called nail galls are caused by a very tiny mite in the Family Eriophyidae. Eriophyid mites are only about 0.2 mm long and up to 200 of them can be…

Rhododendron ludwigianum

This beautiful plant is a Thailand endemic (only found there) which occurs towards the top of mountains, such as Doi Inthanon and Doi Chiang Dao, in northern Thailand.  The plant was first described in western scientific literature by a German botanist called Dr. Carl Curt Hosseus, who led an expedition to northern Siam, as Thailand was…

Feisty pheasant!

I came across this bird when I visited Wat Tham Pha Plong at the base of Doi Chiang Dao, a lovely mountain north of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was the first time I had seen a Silver Pheasant this close up; but this was no ordinary bird, it was ‘tame’ but highly aggressive. When I…

Rainbow tree

The Rainbow Eucalyptus tree is a strikingly colourful eucalypt which originated from South East Asia (the native distribution covered: New Britain, New Guinea, Ceram, Sulawesi and Mindanao) (1). It is a member of the family Myrtaceae, and it can now be found growing throughout the tropics, because as well as being beautiful, it is a very fast growing timber species…

Dandelions are born survivors!

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are so common that they are easy to take for granted; but look closer and you will see an amazing organism (perhaps even a super-organism) so well adapted to reproduce and spread, it is hard to believe that they will not be here long after we have moved on! Dandelions pop up each year…