Speckled, but inclined to vary!

Speckled Wood butterflies, Pararge aegeria, come in a variety of shapes and colours.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this species, is that it varies along a huge gradient (called a cline) from north to south, in Europe.  In northern Europe (including parts of the UK), there is a darker subspecies (called P. a. tircis) whilst in southern…

The Southern Monarch butterfly.

The Southern Monarch butterfly, Danaus erippus (= Danaus plexippus erippus), is found in tropical and subtropical latitudes of South America, including Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru.  The larvae feed on a variety of species, including milkweeds such as Asclepias curassavica.  I took this photograph in Buenos Aires in the Spring (March 2012) and did not know…

A two tone wasp

This large wasp came flying around the corner like a helicopter and landed on the bank beside me.  It was large and beautifully coloured, with toffee-brown legs and antennae and a black head and body. It was remarkably purposeful as it moved through the leaf litter searching for something.  What, I only found out later,…