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.
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
Sometimes when you take a photograph you only notice something unusual about it when you come to examine the image closely on the computer. I took this image of a … Continue Reading Bumbler bees and foxgloves
I came across this attractive ground beetle in Galicia, Spain. It was quite large, over an inch long (at c. 27 mm), with an attractive bronze sheen (1). Its taxonomic … Continue Reading Shiny bronze beetle
I came across this grasshopper at a site I have blogged about before, called Punta Corveira. This beautiful headland is located on the north coast of Galicia – between Cedeira and … Continue Reading Grasshopper legs
I was fascinated by the individual variation of this flower and took a series of photographs of different flower heads which I thought might make an interesting collage! But when … Continue Reading Green bug, yellow flower
A splendidly shiny beetle!.
This shiny, iridescent dung beetle is relatively common during the summer in the hills of Galicia, NW Spain. It is a type of dor beetle (Family: Geotrupidae) and appears to … Continue Reading A splendidly shiny beetle!
There were huge numbers of Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurina) butterflies flying about in Galicia (north-west Spain) when I visited the province in late April. Many of them were feeding on a … Continue Reading Feeding on hemlock!
Burnet moths look to me like they are wearing fancy red and black coats! But their sartorial elegance and vivid colouration spell out a clear warning to any would be … Continue Reading Yellow and black larvae; red and black adults; what am I?
I came across this little sand wasp digging its heart out in the sand dunes on Morouzos beach, Ria Ortigueira, Galicia, Spain (see previous blog, 1). The Hairy sand wasp … Continue Reading Little sand digger!
This beautiful little flower is found along the coastline of northern Spain. It is often associated with dune systems (1) but also occurs on headlands, rocky areas and outcrops. These … Continue Reading A decumbent toadflax and its weevil