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
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
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 am very fond of these tiny little black and white flies, which go by the rather unattractive name of Root-maggot flies. Their Latin family name sounds a bit more … Continue Reading Pretty little Anthomyiid flies
The Yellow-faced fly or giant tachinid fly, Tachina grossa, is the largest European tachinid fly, between 1.5 and 2 cm in length. It is widespread in Europe, including the British Isles and … Continue Reading Tachina grossa – a big black fly!
I came across this magnificent insect walking along a path through some pine woodland, with an under-story of heather and gorse, in Galicia, NW Spain. It is The Saddle-backed Bush-cricket. … Continue Reading Saddle-backed Bush-cricket
Since it’s Bees Needs week, I thought that I would put together a blog about bees using photographs I have taken recently in Scarborough and Spain. Taking photographs of bees … Continue Reading Bees knees and tongues!
I took a picture of this fly, which I think is a common Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria), sitting on the inflorescence of an umbelifer plant. When I looked closely I … Continue Reading Tiny green metallic wasp
I remember being delighted when, as an undergraduate studying zoology, I first came across the term ‘spaced out gregariousness’. This memorable phrase was coined by Professor J S Kennedy (1912-1993) and … Continue Reading Spaced out aphids!
I took a few photos of a large Bombus terrestris bumblebee (queen I think) visiting foxglove flowers in St. James Park, London on a fine day last week. When I … Continue Reading Do bumblebees know when ants are in?
Common vetch plants (Vicia sativa) are much favoured by ants. The reason being that they have tiny glands – called extrafloral nectaries – which produce a nectar solution which the … Continue Reading Be my bodyguard and have a drink! Said the vetch to the ant.
My local museum here in Scarborough has a small exhibition of art works painted by children (1). They were inspired by trays of insects held by the Scarborough museums trust. … Continue Reading Beautiful insects
This beautiful insect looks like a beetle, but it is in fact a bug – a true bug as entomologists call hemipterans. It is a member of the family Scutelleridae and … Continue Reading Beetle-like bug
Take a photograph of a flower, examine it closely – or enlarge it on a computer screen – and you will invariably find an insect lurking somewhere in the picture. … Continue Reading Flowers and insects: an ancient alliance
The Butterfly Pavilion in Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo is one of the best butterfly houses I have seen. There are a wide range of butterfly species flying around in the large … Continue Reading Butterfly Pavilion at Artis Zoo