Pushmi-pullyu butterfly

Whilst photographing this striking butterfly – The Common Tit (Hypolycaena erylus himavantus) in Thailand – I noticed that it was moving the tails at the end of its wings.  The movement was quite noticeable; the little black ‘tails’ with white tips, moving up and down. This behaviour not only draws attention to the back of…

Skippers

If skippers were dogs, I think they would be pugs!  Skippers are stocky little butterflies with hooked antennae, large eyes and a rapid, bobbing or darting flight. There are about 3,500 butterflies in the Family Hesperiidae, including skippers, skipperlings, darters, flats,  awls, awlets, and a type known as policemen.  There are only eight species in the…

The Common Earl, a butterfly with green eyes!

The Common Earl (Tanaecia julii), as the name suggests, is a relatively common butterfly with a wide distribution, including India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, China, West Malaysia and Sumatra.  It is a butterfly I see regularly whilst walking in Doi Suthep–Pui National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and all of these photographs were taken there, at different times.…

Land iguanas: a link with the past

There are 44 species of iguanas (in nine genera), but remarkably, some are still undescribed (1).  There are three Land iguanas found in The Galápagos Islands: Conolophus marthae, Conolophus pallidus and Conolophus subcristatus. The commonest one, C. subcristatus,  is found on about seven islands, including North Seymour, where these pictures were taken.  I was not fortunate enough to come across…

A sea-going lizard

Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) have probably been living happily on the Galápagos islands for over 10 million years (1).  The first human being they saw was the Bishop of Panama in 1535 (2).  I don’t suppose they took much notice!  They look to me like they are not easy to impress.  I guess 10 million…

Rock on pigeons, you are just like us!

Feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica) – also called city pigeons or street pigeons – are extremely successful animals.  They are derived from domesticated pigeons, which are themselves derived from rock doves.  Rock doves nest on cliffs, and are relatively rare.  On the other hand, feral pigeons have successfully adapted to our urban environment, treating buildings…

Bees love lilies

Whilst taking pictures of water lilies in Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens (Chiang Mai, Thailand) I noticed that there were bees feeding on the flowers.  Honey bees are generalists and visit a huge range of flowers, which they pollinate whilst feeding on their pollen and nectar.  There are five species of honey bee in Thailand and…