These beautiful dung beetles are relatively common in NW Spain, and can often be seen flying purposefully through the pine forests, like tiny green helicopters, on a mission to find … Continue Reading Beetles taking off!
The Marsh Fritillary butterfly, Euphydryas aurinia, is distributed right across the Palaearctic region – from Ireland to Russia. It is a species complex, divided into mostly distinct taxa or subspecies, with slightly different appearances, … Continue Reading Marsh Fritillaries, moos and meadows in Galicia, Spain
A drab brown butterfly rests on a tree trunk, its jagged outline providing a perfect camouflage against the moss, twigs and broken branches of the tree. The underside of this … Continue Reading What a beauty! Different wings for different duties.
If like me, you like wandering around sand dunes – perhaps whilst you are on holiday by the seaside – keep an eye out for sand wasps. In particular, digger … Continue Reading Little diggers – Bembix sand wasps
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
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.
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
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
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
These nine images, which appear here in temporal sequence (from top to bottom), show a male Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) butterfly flying around a female. I am not sure exactly … Continue Reading Iberian Marbled White – courtship sequence
If you go to college (I studied Zoology) you learn a lot of exciting new words and phrases – things like parapatric speciation – very useful for impressing your friends at the … Continue Reading The Bath White: a parapatric species or a peripatetic pierid?
Finding a mate is one of the biggest challenges facing any animal which relies on sexual reproduction. For butterflies, the process of finding, recognising and attracting a mate usually rests … Continue Reading Butterfly body language