Wild at heart: the Giant honey bee

The Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) is a large (17–20 mm long) bee, which occurs in India and S E Asia. (1) There are four subspecies; the one shown here from Thailand is Apis dorsata dorsata Fabricius. The colour is somewhat similar to the European honey bee, with golden, black and pale bands on the abdomen. Like A.…

Hitching a ride on a giant wasp

I came across this very large (c. 5 cm in length) digger wasp which was searching the leaf litter in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, northern Thailand. It is a scoliid wasp called Megascolia azurea (Subfamily Scoliinae; Tribe Scoliini).  There are five subspecies. (1) Given the location, perhaps it is ssp. siamensis  Bertem). Regiscolia  is an alternative name for this genus,…

Ant-attended aphids

Many homopteran species, including aphids, have evolved mutualistic relationships with ants. Such symbiotic relationships are beneficial to both species and will endure as long as the costs do not outweigh the benefits. The basic parameters of this mutualism are that the aphids provide the ants with a source of food – their honeydew secretions –…

A trick of the tail!

When we look at an organism, we see a host of different adaptations which have evolved to improve or enhance the fitness and survival of that species. One such trait is the detachable tail of lizards. In a life or death moment, many lizards are able to shed all or part of their tail. The…