It is not unusual to come across mating butterflies, although sometimes copulation takes place well away from where they normally feed or defend territories: for example, in the tree tops … Continue Reading Mating Gatekeepers
Last year (8th Sept 2016) I reported on sightings of large numbers of Asian hornets (Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836) feeding on flowering bell heather in late August, in Galicia in NW … Continue Reading Asian hornets in Galicia
The great Dutch biologist Niko Tinbergen, first described the highly stereotypic courtship behaviour of the Grayling, Hipparchia semele (Linnaeus 1758), a butterfly which was common on a dune area in the … Continue Reading Rock (and roll!) Grayling
There is a huge diversity of different courtship behaviour in butterflies, but one feature appears to be universal: female butterflies ‘almost never fly towards males to mate’ (Scott, 1973). In … Continue Reading Lang’s Short-tailed Blue: courtship behaviour
I was very happy to come across a huge bumblebee whilst walking on the heather-clad hills of Galicia in NW Spain. To be honest I have never seen such a … Continue Reading A huge bumblebee from Spain: Bombus magnus?
I have written about this beetle before (1), but it is so beautiful I thought that it would be worth posting a few more photographs which I took this summer. … Continue Reading An iridescent dung beetle from Spain
These nine images, which appear here in temporal sequence (from top to bottom), show a male Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) butterfly flying around a female. I am not sure exactly … Continue Reading Iberian Marbled White – courtship sequence
If you go to college (I studied Zoology) you learn a lot of exciting new words and phrases – things like parapatric speciation – very useful for impressing your friends at the … Continue Reading The Bath White: a parapatric species or a peripatetic pierid?
Finding a mate is one of the biggest challenges facing any animal which relies on sexual reproduction. For butterflies, the process of finding, recognising and attracting a mate usually rests … Continue Reading Butterfly body language
We are in the middle of The big butterfly count which is a nationwide survey run by Butterfly Conservation, Friday 14 July to Sunday 6 August, to assess the status of the nation’s butterflies … Continue Reading Common but extremely beautiful: The small tortoiseshell
I came across a dead mole as I was walking along a logging tract in a pine forest in Galicia, northern Spain. It looked as though it had only just … Continue Reading Decomposition of a mole
When damselflies mate, the male grasps the female by the front end of her thorax (the pronotum); but only if she is willing! Accepting his advance is not compulsory according … Continue Reading Mating Common Blue Damselflies
These remarkable flies, known as Thick-headed Flies (Conopidae), are larval parasitoids of bees and wasps. Females of this species, Conops quadrifasciatus, attack bumblebees in flight, which has earned them the name ‘bee-grabbers’. Apparently, … Continue Reading Canoodling bee-grabbers
Source: Chasing leopards by the falls!
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 … Continue Reading Wild at heart: the Giant honey bee
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 … Continue Reading Hitching a ride on a giant wasp