I saw one of these parasitic wasps in the garden… … which turns out to be Gasteruption jaculator. Nice, innit? Because it was long and thin with a light tip to the ovipositor, it looked sort of like a small, delicate blue-tailed damselfly when it was flying around the flowerbeds. » the photo is © […]
Posts tagged with ‘invertebrates’
Best Plant Provence in May was just a great place for flowers. I claimed on Twitter to have seen nine or ten species of orchid, although it’s entirely possibly I over-claimed, since there tend to be lots of very similar species, some of them are quite variable, and I didn’t have a book with me. […]
Best Plant There’s lots of choice here; I’ll just give a hat-tip to the big trees of Kew Gardens and Greenwich Park which I got over excited about in the autumn. But most of the possibilities were in Crete. Crete has more species of plant than the UK, and a bundle of them are endemics. […]
I’m still working on that long post; in the meantime, here are some crayfish in the market in Beijing. The Redtangle, originally uploaded by skypecaptain.
There’s a species of moth called a Lettuce Shark. That is all.
Well, I had a go at International Rock Flipping Day, flipping over various convenient rocks and bits of paving in the garden. I had a bit of a bad photography day—haven’t quite got the feel for my new camera, maybe—so the only picture worth sharing is this big fat leopard slug: I did also see […]
With National Moth Night and the Perseids, it should have been a good weekend for night-time stuff. I didn’t have a lot of luck on either front. Really of course you need a moth trap to count moths effectively. I had a go at treacling—spreading a mix of treacle, brown sugar and rum on tree […]
The moth in this picture isn’t particularly exciting, it’s just a rather scruffy Pyrausta aurata, sometimes called the mint moth. Mint is one of their foodplants, but so are its relatives like the oregano (or is that marjoram?) in the picture: I didn’t get a picture of my exciting moth, which was a Jersey Tiger. […]
Earlier in the season, most of the damselflies were blue ones; now they’re all blue-tailed: This bit of south London is, slightly unexpectedly, a stronghold for the increasingly rare stag beetle. At this time of year you tend to see them flying overhead in the evening; but the weather has been so miserable that I […]
There’s a peacock butterfly flying around outside the front of the house this morning in pretty much exactly the same place it was yesterday. Buterflies tend to be used as the epitome of aimless, carefree wandering, so it might come as a surprise to a lot of people to know that they are often highly […]
I was pruning back a rosemary bush to get rid of what I vaguely thought were frost damaged leaves left over from winter, so I’d have some less manky rosemary to cook with, and found these: Which I immediately recognised from a photo in the London Wildlife Trust newsletter, though I couldn’t remember what they […]
Just a heads-up for anyone who’s interested: the First Annual Blogger Bioblitz, ‘where bloggers from across the country will choose a wild or not-so-wild area and find how many of each different species – plant, animal, fungi and anything in between – live in a certain area within a certain time’ will be run from […]
Rob posting Burns’s To a Louse reminded me of this passage. It’s from a John Steinbeck letter, but I encountered it in John Carey’s brilliant anthology, The Faber Book of Science. The Morgan Library has a very fine 11th-century Launcelot in perfect condition. I was going over it one day and turned to the rubric […]
Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]
Having said that I recommend the Galapagos, I have to say that equatorial lowland rainforest may not be for everyone. With the temperature in the 30s and 80% humidity, it’s hard work just walking around. Particularly, once you do get hot, it takes for ever to cool down again because your basic thermal regulation system […]
I went to see Modigliani and his models at the Royal Academy today. In a sense, there was nothing very surprising about the exhibition since Amedeo Modigliani only really seems to have painted rather stylised portaits and very pink nudes, including this one of Joan Collins from 1917: It (she?) looked pinker in real life. […]
Flickr set of the week is Backyard Biodiversity: Bichos by Crfullmoon, which is “A species survey in progress of “little beasts” on my property in Massachusetts in North America.” Here’s just a couple of the 307 photos. Those are available under a by:nc:nd Creative Commons license, but most of the set seems to be fully […]
Sherry mentioned my wasp nest on her blog and via the comments was revealed this hand-made hornet’s nest by papermaker Gin Petty. You can read her full account of making it here. And browsing around Flickr I found these pictures by Andrew Dill of a wasp nest built on a window: Here’s something I learned […]
We finally had enough sun to make photography a bit easier. Here’s another wasp nest close-up. It’s striking how different the colours look on a sunnier day.
The plumbers found an old wasp nest in the attic. Wimbledon has had its usual effect on the weather, so the light isn’t great for photograpy, but during a break in the rain I tried taking a few pictures. The whole thing’s about 2 foot across. Here’s a close-up:
A little while back I was talking about the extraordinary number of insect species just within the UK, and I said: What I find staggering about these numbers is that it implies there are so many different evolutionary niches available for such apparently similar creatures. Even the 51 species of mayfly are slightly mind-boggling, but […]
Someone posted this photo of a scorpionfly to the Flickr group ID Please: Schorpioenvlieg, originally uploaded by Wue. Which reminded me of something I said a week or so ago. I take a casual interest in insects and other invertebrates, but one thing you quickly realise is that they’re really hard. I first really appreciated […]
I didn’t manage to get a shot which was as crisp as I’d like, but for the sake of completeness, here’s a Blue-tailed Damselfly: