One of the pleasures of trying to photograph butterflies, is that you never know what you might find. One afternoon last November (2017) in northern Thailand, as the sun was setting … Continue Reading Tigers in the grass: milkweeds and mimicry
When I first came across this large spider, I wondered what it was doing with a piece of old leaf. Large Nephila spiders like this produce large asymmetric orb webs on … Continue Reading Leaf butterfly: caught in the net!
Last summer I made a number of visits to the Hotel Semáforo de Bares, an attractive location in NW Spain, with panoramic views over the sea and Cape Bares (Cabo … Continue Reading Swallowtails in Galicia: Subspecies and generations
Reduvid bugs (Reduvioidea) – of which there are more than 7,000 named species – have evolved a diverse range of structural and behavioral adaptations to enable them to capture prey (4), … Continue Reading Resin bugs: walking sticky traps
Although the Lulworth skipper (Thymelicus acteon) has a very restricted distribution in the UK – along the south coast of Dorset – it is widespread and abundant in Spain, where it … Continue Reading Frisky skippers: courtship of the Lulworth skipper.
Looking at this photograph of a bumblebee with a sprinkling of pollen grains on its head, made me wonder, how often do they groom themselves? Some bumblebees get absolutely covered … Continue Reading Bumblebee grooming
We rather take spiders for granted. We are all aware of them in our homes and gardens; some people like them, some people loathe them. But they really are amazing … Continue Reading Spiders, silk and packed lunches
Flip over one of these beautiful dung beetles – which are found in northern Spain – and more often than not you will see a bunch of tiny mites – … Continue Reading Beetle and mite team
The European sand flea or sand-hopper, Talitrus saltator (Montagu, 1808) is an amphipod crustacean (Family Talitridae; Order Amphipoda) which lives on sandy shores from Norway to the Mediterranean. Most people have … Continue Reading Sand-hoppers playing possum
Asian hornets (Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836) are an invasive species from China which have recently become very abundant in Galicia in Spain – as well as elsewhere in Europe – as I … Continue Reading Asian hornets fighting over an apple
It is not unusual to come across mating butterflies, although sometimes copulation takes place well away from where they normally feed or defend territories: for example, in the tree tops … Continue Reading Mating Gatekeepers
Last year (8th Sept 2016) I reported on sightings of large numbers of Asian hornets (Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836) feeding on flowering bell heather in late August, in Galicia in NW … Continue Reading Asian hornets in Galicia
The great Dutch biologist Niko Tinbergen, first described the highly stereotypic courtship behaviour of the Grayling, Hipparchia semele (Linnaeus 1758), a butterfly which was common on a dune area in the … Continue Reading Rock (and roll!) Grayling
There is a huge diversity of different courtship behaviour in butterflies, but one feature appears to be universal: female butterflies ‘almost never fly towards males to mate’ (Scott, 1973). In … Continue Reading Lang’s Short-tailed Blue: courtship behaviour
I was very happy to come across a huge bumblebee whilst walking on the heather-clad hills of Galicia in NW Spain. To be honest I have never seen such a … Continue Reading A huge bumblebee from Spain: Bombus magnus?
I have written about this beetle before (1), but it is so beautiful I thought that it would be worth posting a few more photographs which I took this summer. … Continue Reading An iridescent dung beetle from Spain