World Bee Day

On World Bee Day (20th May 2020) I can do no better than recommend the excellent novel, The Bees, by Laline Paull. The book tells the story from the point of view of a honeybee (Flora 717). It is a novel, rather than a biology book, but conjures up the life of a hive of…

Peek-a-bug: insects lurking in flowers!

The last 20 years have seen a remarkable revolution in photography (below). I often think how lucky I am have been to have lived, and taken photographs, throughout the transition from analogue to digital cameras. There should be a name for Baby boomers like myself who have straddled the digital divide! My first digital camera…

Order, order! Insect diversity.

If insects could talk – English preferably! – I would like to ask them what they think is the key to their great success! In particular, I would like to ask a member of each Order of insects, to describe the main innovations and adaptations which have led to the success of their particular group.…

Look into my ocelli! Simple eyes.

Ocelli (singular: ocellus) are simple eyes and are found on many different kinds of insects (such as bees, wasps, flies and dragonflies) and spiders. In adult insects, like the beautiful Jewel wasp shown below, photographed by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel, there are usually three dorsal ocelli located on the top of the head: two small lateral…

Who ate the dung beetles?

In September this year, I was walking along a forest ride in Galicia, NW Spain, looking out for insects and butterflies. I particularly like photographing these beautiful dung beetles (Trypocopris pyrenaeus var. coruscans) which are often associated with horse dung (below). The creatures responsible for depositing this lovely dung across the hills of Galicia, are…