Gerrids bearing water mites

If anyone is looking for a new hobby, I can thoroughly recommend gerrid-watching! It might not be as popular as bird or butterfly watching, but observing the movements and behaviour of Gerridae – commonly known as pond skaters or water striders – is a fascinating and rewarding pastime! These amazing bugs – yes they are…

Courting brimstones: wing walking

Courtship in pierid butterflies, such as brimstones, is usually fairly brief, but can nevertheless, feature some interesting interactions. I happened across a short, unsuccessful courtship in this pair of common brimstones (Gonepteryx rhamni) in NW Spain (Galicia). There are relatively few accounts of courtship in this species; however, Adrian Hoskins – informative as ever –…

Asian hornet in Galicia

At the end of last month (on 28th August) I sat on a hillside in Galicia, Spain, next to a beautiful bush of flowering bell heather, photographing the wasps which were gorging themselves on the pollen and nectar. They were covered in pollen (below). They were very calm and non-aggressive and I sat right next…

Autumn Crocus

I came across these little blue belles whilst walking along the Rio Sor in Galicia earlier this month.  There were not present in any sort of profusion, but they had a delicate blue colour which made them stand out amongst the green grass.  There are it seems three subspecies of this autumn flowering species, Crocus…

A beautiful damsel in a lovely spot!

The Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo meridionalis)  is a European damselfy which likes small, fast flowing streams and rivers.  The female has a metallic greenish-bronze body and brown or russet coloured wings.  The male is even more striking with a metallic blueish-green body and blue wings.  The males were much more flighty than the females when I…