Wild at heart: the Giant honey bee

The Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) is a large (17–20 mm long) bee, which occurs in India and S E Asia. (1) There are four subspecies; the one shown here from Thailand is Apis dorsata dorsata Fabricius. The colour is somewhat similar to the European honey bee, with golden, black and pale bands on the abdomen. Like A.…

Ant-attended aphids

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 the benefits. The basic parameters of this mutualism are that the aphids provide the ants with a source of food – their honeydew secretions –…

Forest walk

Visitors to Chiang Mai usually head up the mountain to visit Wat Doi Sutep. Beautiful and impressive though this temple is, it can get quite crowded on weekends and holidays. But just beyond the temple, and hardly visited at all, is a lovely peaceful national park (Doi Sutep-Pui NP) where it is possible to walk…

The Common Earl, a butterfly with green eyes!

The Common Earl (Tanaecia julii), as the name suggests, is a relatively common butterfly with a wide distribution, including India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, China, West Malaysia and Sumatra.  It is a butterfly I see regularly whilst walking in Doi Suthep–Pui National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and all of these photographs were taken there, at different times.…