Harvestmen, or harvest-spiders, are invertebrates in the order Opiliones. The very long-legged ones are sometimes called Daddy longlegs, but this common term is also used for crane flies, so its … Continue Reading Harvestmen – highly successful invertebrates with an ancient lineage
Marsh fritillaries, Euphydryas aurinia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), are one of my favourite butterflies. The beautiful tapestry of yellow, orange and black colours on their wings creates a stunningly attractive pattern, especially … Continue Reading Love is a carousel: courting Marsh fritillaries!
Ocelli (singular: ocellus) are simple eyes and are found on many different kinds of insects (such as bees, wasps, flies and dragonflies) and spiders. In adult insects, like the beautiful … Continue Reading Look into my ocelli! Simple eyes.
Finding a publisher This was my first book and I was very pleased to get offered a contract by CABI Publishing. I initially approached a well-known (Oxbridge!) University Press, but … Continue Reading Lessons learnt in writing a book (on Courtship and mating in butterflies)
Capturing animal behaviour in a photograph (or even a video) is never easy. The wonderful natural history programmes we see on television, have often taken the film-makers months, if not … Continue Reading Capturing butterfly behaviour in the field
Last year I came across these beautiful Indian purple emperors (Mimathyma ambica) at the, now famous site, for viewing mud puddling butterflies in northern Thailand. There is something about the … Continue Reading Iridescent emperor butterflies
We are all phenotypes! A phenotype is what is produced by the interaction of our genetic code (genotype) with the environment. That is, the environment in the fullest sense of … Continue Reading We are all phenotypes! butterflies included😂.
The Chocolate albatross (Appias lyncida) is a fairly common butterfly in Asia, which can be found from Sri Lanka to Borneo. There are a number of different subspecies across this … Continue Reading A lovely chocolate and yellow butterfly!
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
I was very pleased to come across a large group of Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) butterflies when I was in Thailand last October. They were very active, and although I … Continue Reading Lock up your ladies! The Tawny Coster butterfly.
On a recent trip to northern Thailand (Chiang Dao) I came across these strange tubes coming out of the bottom of a tree. I knew at once that they were … Continue Reading Stingless bees: fascinating little builders!
These delightfully coloured, red, yellow and black Delias species – such as the Red-spot Jezebel (Delias descombesi descombesi) (above) – are widely thought to be poisonous, or at least unpalatable, … Continue Reading Jezebels with gorgeous warning colours
I have come across these Argiope orb-web spiders, a number of times, with their characteristic woven crosses on their webs. These ones photographed in northern Thailand, are either the Multi-coloured … Continue Reading Argiope cross-weaving spiders; stabilmenta and tiny males
I was very pleased to come across this butterfly, the common birdwing, recently. Although it is fairly common, I had not had a chance to try and photograph it before. … Continue Reading Yellow peril! Aposematic colouration in Troides butterflies
When landlords turn the drunken beeOut of the foxglove’s door,When butterflies renounce their drams,I shall but drink the more! (Poem 51: ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’ quoted from The Selected … Continue Reading Drunken Admirals!
In September this year, I was walking along a forest ride in Galicia, NW Spain, looking out for insects and butterflies. I particularly like photographing these beautiful dung beetles (Trypocopris … Continue Reading Who ate the dung beetles?