Bocage’s Wall Lizard

Bocage’s Wall Lizard (Podarcis bocagei) is only found in the NW corner of the Iberian Peninsula, including Galicia, Spain. It is a small lizard which is often seen on wooden broad-walks, where it pops up to bask in the sunshine. They quickly disappear beneath the planks when heavy footed humans get near! The sexes are differently coloured:…

Woodlouse lunch

Mr Woodlouse reached for his coat and trundled towards the door. “Shan’t be long love” he said to his wife,  as the little woodlice looked searchingly up at their departing father. “Just popping out to look for some crumbs”. Mr Woodlouse crawled upwards towards the light, all his legs moving in a wave of harmony.…

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A Palmking (Amathusia phidippus palawanus) butterfly which had been pecked right on the eyespot. Also showing the feature at the end of the hind wing – the tornus – with two small black spots, that look rather like eyes. These look a bit like a tiny head, or nose, which might fool predators into thinking that this…

Eyespots as deflection devices?

There are two theories about eyespots on lepidopteran wings. The first is that large conspicuous eyespots can startle or intimidate predators into not attacking, or at least deter them long enough for the insect to make an escape. The other theory, is that they deflect the point of attack, e.g. a peck, away from the…

Palawan peacock-pheasant

The Palawan peacock-pheasant, Polyplectron napoleonis, is endemic to the island of Palawan in the Philippines. I was not sure how easy it would be to see this species during my visit in April, but it proved to be surprising easy. The best site to see one is probably at the Puerto Princesa (formerly St Paul’s) Subterranean River…

Harbour sparrows

Much has been written about the demise of House Sparrows in the UK, which according to the BTO have declined in numbers by nearly 71% since 1977 (1). There are a number of reasons for this decline, including increased pollution, increased predation by resurgent sparrow-hawks and a loss of suitable nesting sites. Crab or lobster…

Tour de Yorkshire, Stage 3, May 1st 2016

The third and final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race began at Middlesbrough and ended up in Scarborough, 196 km later.  The course of the race can be viewed on the race website (1) and the… Source: Tour de Yorkshire, Stage 3, May 1st 2016