Courting brimstones: wing walking

Courtship in pierid butterflies, such as brimstones, is usually fairly brief, but can nevertheless, feature some interesting interactions. I happened across a short, unsuccessful courtship in this pair of common brimstones (Gonepteryx rhamni) in NW Spain (Galicia). There are relatively few accounts of courtship in this species; however, Adrian Hoskins – informative as ever –…

Carefree commas!

This month (July), we have seen the appearance of many bright orange comma butterflies; the so-called, hutchinsoni form of Polygonia c-album. These lovely orange-coloured butterflies are the first brood to emerge, and are much paler – no so dark – than those that appear later in the summer. Their colours and markings are bright and…

A big black, beautiful bumblebee!

I came across this very attractive bumblebee feeding on Fuchsia flowers in the gardens of the King chedi on Doi Inthanon, northern Thailand. It really is a lovely bumblebee; the beautiful, dark brownish black body is offset by hairy golden legs and honey-coloured wings. The scientific name for this bumblebee is ‘Bombus (Melanobombus) eximius formerly in subgenus Rufipedibombus‘! Known…

Tame me a Tegu!

I came across quite a few tegus – large lizards – when visiting Iguazu National Park in northern Argentina. As far as I can tell, they are all the Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator merianae), also called the Argentine giant tegu (1). They wander round quite happily, despite the presence of large numbers of people coming…

Bunches of butterflies

When visiting Doi Chiang Dao – a place I have written about before (1) – last November (2015), I came across some interesting aggregations of butterflies; composed mainly of Blues (lycaenids) and Yellows (pierids). I may have been a little bit late, as October is said to be the best month to see butterflies in…

Grasshopper legs

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 Valdoviño – in Galicia, Spain. In spring and summer it is covered with wild flowers, and one can see many interesting birds, including red-billed chough,…

Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs

Northern Gannets at Bempton cliffs. The great news about gannets – the northern gannet (Sula bassana) – is that their numbers are increasing (2). With all the horror stories about wildlife suffering depredations – mainly at the hands of Man – around the world today, its uplifting to find a species that is actually thriving. They…