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 … Continue Reading Ant-attended aphids
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 … Continue Reading A trick of the tail!
The Black-rimmed snout hoverfly, Rhingia campestris Meigen, 1822 (Diptera: Syrphidae) is a common and widespread fly which is often seen visiting flowers or resting on nearby vegetation. The larvae live … Continue Reading Black-rimmed snout hoverfly: the Heineken Fly!
The leaves have only just started to open on this oak tree, a Sessile oak I think, yet it is already covered by many galls. These rounded disfigurations – called … Continue Reading Oak apple galls
Stabilmenta are conspicuous patterns or decorations made by spiders – particularly orb-web spiders – in their webs. Google ‘stabilmenta’ (singular: stabilmentum) and you will see many wonderful examples of these … Continue Reading Stabilmenta: spider’s web decorations
Males butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, the so-called Blues, typically have brightly coloured, iridescent colours on the upper (dorsal) surfaces of their wings. Vivid blue iridescence such as this on the … Continue Reading Bright iridescent patches are honest signals!
Migrant Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta (L.), usually arrive in the UK during May and June each year. Like the closely related butterfly, The Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui (L.), these migrations of Red admirals originate from … Continue Reading Red Admirals – European migrants
I always enjoy seeing bombyliids (bee-flies). They sound like little helicopters, hovering and buzzing about, and their furry appearance gives them a certain cuteness. They are flies pretending to be … Continue Reading Bee-flies: the dipteran narwhals
I came across these termites moving along a water pipe on the Gully Trail at Wat Tham Pha Plong, Doi Chiang Dao, northern Thailand. The pipes provide water for the … Continue Reading Termites on a trail
The peculiar shape of this nest entrance caught my eye. Bees were moving in and out of the trumpet-shaped nest which was located below a large dipterocarp tree, at the … Continue Reading Stingless bees and resin bugs
I came across this magnificent spider wasp (Pompilidae) feeding on nectar from these flowers beside the steps leading up to Wat Tham Pha Plong, Chiang Dao, Thailand. I have come across … Continue Reading Pompilid spider killer
One hotel I stayed at recently in Bali (the Ramada Bintang Bali Resort) had attractive gardens with a number of water fountains. These were a magnet for birds, specifically munias: small, gregarious seed … Continue Reading Munia mayhem
Flying lizards are a common group of agamids in southeast Asia. The Common Gliding Lizard, Draco Volans – also called the Javanese flying lizard – is found in Java and Bali … Continue Reading Lizard language
The Plain Tiger, Danaus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758), is a butterfly with an enormous distribution – from West Africa to New Zealand (1, 2). There are a large number of different forms or … Continue Reading Tigers mating
The Longbanded Silverline (Spindasis lohita), Family Lycaenidae, is a beautiful insect with a remarkable structure – a tail, or ‘false head’ – at the end of its hind wing. There is … Continue Reading Bluff and deception in Blues
I spent some time observing and photographing Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete indica) butterflies feeding and courting on Bougainvillea flowers in Thailand. These beautiful and very common butterflies are often seen flitting … Continue Reading Courting Jezebels