Many homopteran species, including aphids, have evolved mutualistic relationships with ants. Such symbiotic relationships are beneficial to both species and will endure as long as the costs do not outweigh … Continue Reading Ant-attended aphids
Source: A trick of the tail!
When we look at an organism, we see a host of different adaptations which have evolved to improve or enhance the fitness and survival of that species. One such trait … Continue Reading A trick of the tail!
The Black-rimmed snout hoverfly, Rhingia campestris Meigen, 1822 (Diptera: Syrphidae) is a common and widespread fly which is often seen visiting flowers or resting on nearby vegetation. The larvae live … Continue Reading Black-rimmed snout hoverfly: the Heineken Fly!
The leaves have only just started to open on this oak tree, a Sessile oak I think, yet it is already covered by many galls. These rounded disfigurations – called … Continue Reading Oak apple galls
Source: Stabilmenta: spider’s web decorations
Stabilmenta are conspicuous patterns or decorations made by spiders – particularly orb-web spiders – in their webs. Google ‘stabilmenta’ (singular: stabilmentum) and you will see many wonderful examples of these … Continue Reading Stabilmenta: spider’s web decorations
Males butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, the so-called Blues, typically have brightly coloured, iridescent colours on the upper (dorsal) surfaces of their wings. Vivid blue iridescence such as this on the … Continue Reading Bright iridescent patches are honest signals!
Migrant Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta (L.), usually arrive in the UK during May and June each year. Like the closely related butterfly, The Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui (L.), these migrations of Red admirals originate from … Continue Reading Red Admirals – European migrants
I always enjoy seeing bombyliids (bee-flies). They sound like little helicopters, hovering and buzzing about, and their furry appearance gives them a certain cuteness. They are flies pretending to be … Continue Reading Bee-flies: the dipteran narwhals
I came across these termites moving along a water pipe on the Gully Trail at Wat Tham Pha Plong, Doi Chiang Dao, northern Thailand. The pipes provide water for the … Continue Reading Termites on a trail
The peculiar shape of this nest entrance caught my eye. Bees were moving in and out of the trumpet-shaped nest which was located below a large dipterocarp tree, at the … Continue Reading Stingless bees and resin bugs
I came across this magnificent spider wasp (Pompilidae) feeding on nectar from these flowers beside the steps leading up to Wat Tham Pha Plong, Chiang Dao, Thailand. I have come across … Continue Reading Pompilid spider killer
I was surprised to learn that the Common house gecko, Hemidactylys frenatus, has expanded its native SE Asian range to include some Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa, the southern USA … Continue Reading Far flung gecko
There are thought to be about 200,000 sperm whales in the world, but there is considerable uncertainty about the figure, which may be anywhere between 200,000-1,500,000 according to one site … Continue Reading Sperm whales
One hotel I stayed at recently in Bali (the Ramada Bintang Bali Resort) had attractive gardens with a number of water fountains. These were a magnet for birds, specifically munias: small, gregarious seed … Continue Reading Munia mayhem