There are said to be about 460 species of dung beetles in Europe (Byk & Piętka, 2018), with about 60 of them occurring in the UK. They carry out the … Continue Reading The humble dumbledor: Trypocopris dung beetles
We mammals are quite fortunate in having bones! They reside inside us, and our skeleton grows as we grow. Insects on the other hand, have an external skeleton, or exoskeleton, … Continue Reading Insect cuticle
Black. We all know what it is. The absence of light; the opposite of white. But are there gradations of black? Are some blacks blacker than others? The answer is … Continue Reading Butterflies with black wings
Rock doves, or common pigeons (Columba livia), like those shown here have iridescent green and purple feathers around their necks. Both males and females show these iridescent colours, although females … Continue Reading Iridescent feathers of pigeons
Tibial spurs are an ancient feature, found on most insects, from bees to moths, although in some species they have been lost or modified over evolutionary time to suit the … Continue Reading Insect tibial spurs: a highly versatile tool!
The subject of reduced or modified forelegs in butterflies might strike some people as being rather obscure, but it is – as I hope to demonstrate – a fascinating tale … Continue Reading Forelegs and four legs in butterflies!
Some people may have seen the image of a fruit fly brain published last month (January 2020), by C. Shan Xu, and a large number of coworkers, and picked up … Continue Reading The tiny brain of a fly!
Coneheads (Conocephalinae) are not particularly common in the UK – there are three species in southern England – but head south, and they start to get much more abundant. In … Continue Reading Crunchy coneheads: edible insects
Dragonfly wings are thin and light and have a corrugated-like structure. There are lots of tiny cells between numerous veins and cross veins, which together form a stiff, yet relatively … Continue Reading Dragonfly wings: tried and tested over millennia!
The tropical Paris Peacock (Papilio paris) butterfly – not to be confused with the temperate or European Peacock ( (Inachis io) – is widely distributed throughout India and South East Asia. This … Continue Reading Paris Peacock butterfly scales