The French Tamarisk (Tamarix gallica) is a deciduous shrub, or small tree, which originates from Saudi Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula and is now very common around the Mediterranean region and … Continue Reading Tamarisk: the manna tree
The Great Ouse flows north-east for about 140 miles through the counties of Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, eventually flowing into the Wash near King’s Lynn. It flows in a meandering … Continue Reading Riverside bugs in Beds
Our native oak trees (Quercus robur, Q. petraea) support the largest number of insect species of any tree species in Britain (1). Oak leaves emerge pristine and tender, but (like most of … Continue Reading Oak leaves in Spring
Visitors to Chiang Mai usually head up the mountain to visit Wat Doi Sutep. Beautiful and impressive though this temple is, it can get quite crowded on weekends and holidays. … Continue Reading Forest walk
A recent paper published in the journal Science presents a reconstruction of the insect phylogeny (their ‘tree of life’ as it were) based on a gargantuan analysis of their DNA (1). The huge … Continue Reading The ancient lineage of insects
Whilst photographing this striking butterfly – The Common Tit (Hypolycaena erylus himavantus) in Thailand – I noticed that it was moving the tails at the end of its wings. The … Continue Reading Pushmi-pullyu butterfly
If skippers were dogs, I think they would be pugs! Skippers are stocky little butterflies with hooked antennae, large eyes and a rapid, bobbing or darting flight. There are about 3,500 … Continue Reading Skippers
Whilst taking pictures of water lilies in Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens (Chiang Mai, Thailand) I noticed that there were bees feeding on the flowers. Honey bees are generalists and visit … Continue Reading Bees love lilies
Most bee flies (Family Bombyliidae) are parasites. They feed externally on the larvae of bees and wasps, consuming the host when it is in a ‘quiescent stage such as the mature … Continue Reading A Thai bee fly
The Dusky Diadem [Ethope himachala (Moore, 1857)] is a fairly common species in upland regions of northeastern India, for example in provinces such as Arunachul Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland (1). … Continue Reading Old blue eyes!
The Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo meridionalis) is a European damselfy which likes small, fast flowing streams and rivers. The female has a metallic greenish-bronze body and brown or russet coloured wings. … Continue Reading A beautiful damsel in a lovely spot!
An antlion ate my ice cream!.
Well not really, but it’s a catchy title! Antlions live in sandy places like beaches, and eat ants and other insects which have the misfortune to slip and fall into … Continue Reading An antlion ate my ice cream!
The blue-winged grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens) is not found in the UK, as far as I know, but has a wide distribution in Europe and Asia. It is a cryptic species, … Continue Reading Variable grasshopper
This little butterfly is a member of the family Pieridae, and has a wide distribution which covers Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. I took this photograph in northern Thailand. … Continue Reading A wandering snowflake
It must be galling to be covered in these! Sorry for the schoolboy pun but they do not look very attractive do they?! These so-called nail galls are caused … Continue Reading A galling mite!