Category Archives: insects

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s set of beetle photos comes from a regular, Jacques Hausser, who lives in Switzerland. His notes are indented. A “cockchafer” is not a woolen undergarment, but a species of brown beetle found in Europe that used to be a pest on grass and crops, especially during its periodic outbreaks. When I was a schoolboy […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some photos from New Zealand sent by reader Keith Cook, whose comments and IDs are indented. These attachments are a collection of pics from around my home and the local beach. I include some landscapes a la Stephen Bernard, seeing and raising his with a South Pacific sunrise or two… and a moon rise […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we hear from Tony Eales in Oz, who, on a trip to Borneo with other “citizen scientists”, produced a paper that you can read about here.  We benefit, too, by getting these pictures of mantises and phasmids (stick insects) from the same area. Tony’s notes are indented. Continuing the arthropods I encountered in Borneo. This […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have another batch of lovely photos from Mark Sturtevant, which of course means insects and other arthropods. His notes are indented: Here is the last batch of photos taken in 2017. The first two pictures are of insects that were attracted to apples in my back yard that had been preyed upon by […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Remember to send in your good wildlife photos. The tank doesn’t fill itself! We have two contributors today, the first being Tim Anderson from Oz, who sent us both an astronomy photo and an animal photo. First the critters, one of the rare moth species that migrate. A pair of migrating bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Be sure to send in your good wildlife photos, for I’m getting a bit nervous as the level in the tank drops. Reader Mark Sturtevant has some more insects for us today; his notes are indented. Here are more pictures of arthropods from a couple summers ago. First up is a fairly large robber fly (Efferia, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Joshua Lincoln sent some gorgeous photos of dragonflies. His notes and IDs are indented: Anisopterans (Dragonflies). Anisoptera from Greek anisos (unequal) and pteron (wing). In dragonflies the hindwing tends to be shaped differently (generally broader) from the forewing. Damselflies (Zygoptera) tend to have both fore- and hind wingssimilar, zugós (even). Interestingly, common (English) names did not exist for Odonates […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a batch of lovely insect photos from reader Mark Sturtevant. His captions and links are indented: Here are more pictures of insects that were taken over the summer 2017. A sign that summer is on the wane are the wandering fuzzy caterpillars looking for a place to make a cocoon. The first picture […]

Asiatic honeybees make “The Wave” to deter predators

Reader Mehul called my attention to a phenomenon of which I was unaware. It’s amazing too: a “wave” of honeybees in a colony, created to divert or scare away predators. One honey-sipping moth makes it through the bee cloud, but that’s because of another evolutionary trick. Have a look at this stunning Attenborough segment.

At last: a fruit host of wild Drosophila melanogaster

We’ve probably learned more about genetics from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster than from any other organism, and now we’re using the species to learn about development and gene expression.  I used the species, and several of its relatives in its 9-species subgroup, to study speciation, for the generation time is short (about 12 days at […]