Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #1 – The Ruby-tailed wasp (Chrysis sp. or family Chrysididae)

As if you didn’t know it’d be a wasp! But look at it. It’s the wasp I show people to use as a crowbar to talk about wasp diversity. The first thing people who don’t know wasps say when you show them this little beauty, or any of their family, the chrysididae, is “Is thatContinue reading “Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #1 – The Ruby-tailed wasp (Chrysis sp. or family Chrysididae)”

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Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #2 – The Thick-Legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis)

I’ma give ya some behind the scenes! Curating lists like this can be difficult. Because if I’d just picked my favourites you would have had four wasps and a beetle, each article would have been 100 words and as many images long and even fewer people would have cared. If I’d picked your favourites youContinue reading “Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #2 – The Thick-Legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis)”

Top 5 Insects I’ve Seen – #3 – The Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)

I hadn’t actually seen one of these until only a couple of months ago. Not their adult, flying form anyway. But when you see this beautiful vamp spread its wings it truly is something to behold. Seeing it Unfold its seemingly blood-stained black cape to reveal a bold red lining beneath. This moth is fashionContinue reading “Top 5 Insects I’ve Seen – #3 – The Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)”

Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #4 – The Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata)

I was initially going to write a list of top five most striking UK insects but alas when I actually put grey matter to the task I realised the list would be mostly, if not exclusively, beetles. Beetles, the order coleoptera, are a huge group. Of all the species described in the world somewhere aroundContinue reading “Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #4 – The Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata)”

Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #5 – The Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva)

The Andrena genus of bees is astounding! These are the bees you are most likely to see around May-early June before the honeybees really kick off their hives. If you’ve ever been out on a warm, sunny day in April and seen lots of bees in the air, the bulk of them will be Andrenids.Continue reading “Top Five Insects I’ve Seen – #5 – The Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva)”

My Top 5 Favourite UK Insects I’ve Seen: Introduction

Happy Insect Week! If you’ve been following for a while you’ll know my history with insects, but if not here’s the story. I was, at one point, before an autistic burnout turned my dreams to ashes, an aspiring biologist. It is safe to say that biology, ecology and wildlife were my first true academic love.Continue reading “My Top 5 Favourite UK Insects I’ve Seen: Introduction”

The Barred Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica)

A look at the barred grass snake (natrix helvetica), evolution, classification of species and the human relationship with snakes.

Human Bias and Animal Myth in Conservation

When I was studying biology human-animal relationships (…no giggling at the back!) was something I really wished I’d had an opportunity to learn more about. A recent paper, ‘Understanding nuanced preferences for carnivore conservation: to know them is not always to love them’ by Macdonald et al. reminded me of quite why I found ourContinue reading “Human Bias and Animal Myth in Conservation”

The Adder (Or European viper) – Vipera berus

Oh, be still my beating heart! What a day. Adders are gorgeous snakes. Unbelievably pretty and exotic looking for what is the most northerly distributed member of the viper family. They are a short, stout snake, maximum length here in the UK is around 80cm (slow worms can be longer!) with a weight of upContinue reading “The Adder (Or European viper) – Vipera berus”

Caturday Special: The Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocola)

A look at the little known, beautiful and elusive South American small cat, the Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocola). Particularly a discussion on taxonomy and evidence for evolution and speciation in action.