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pauluspaolo

Bug Photos

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Just back from another week in the Algarve...not many bugs this time...too hot, but the Cicadas loved the heat and sang loudly every day. They are very well camouflaged against the tree trunks and stop singing as soon as they hear/see you approach. However a bit of patient searching eventually found a few specimens to photograph. I have tried an experiment by recording a video to try and capture the sound...and uploading it to Photobucket (It's the last pic). If you click on the pic, it should link you the vid..where you can view it as normal. It's not a cinematic masterpiece...it's just so you can hear the sound. Turn the volume up! Hope it works!

Hard to spot!...

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Quite a large insect...

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Video clip (Click on pic)

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Hard to spot!...

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Truly brilliant pics - especially ^^^

Hard to spot, you're not kidding.

Over the years, I've heard them many times, never seen one, always assumed they were on the ground [presumably that accounts for never spotting one!].

Edited by langtoftlad

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Remember this chap who paid me a visit at work few weeks ago....?

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Well...a couple more popped in today...a big brown one, and a small red one...so a few more pics had to be taken...

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Wing veining detail...

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Small red...

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some cracking photos roger, esp like the preying mantis as i used to keep/breed different varieties of them yrs ago , being almost white it must have not long moulted , facinating insects to watch /keep (and vicious little buggers) .

Edited by pugster

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Nice Bumble bee, Matt....snapped this lovely undamaged small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Buddleja today....

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It's only when you study these pics closely, that you start to notice things you never saw before....those blue scallops around the wing edges are awesome.....sorry...I'm raving a bit...

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Caught this caterpillar on the roses this evening, there were two.... Very colourful ....

Any ideas what it is ?

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It's a Vapourer moth caterpillar, Jason....newly changed into it's final skin...that's why it's so bright. In a couple of days, the colours will have darkened, like this one that I shot back at the beginning of this thread...also on a rose bush.

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This is an unusual moth in that only the males have wings...the females have no wings and can't fly. They emerge from their cocoon, attract a male with pheromone scent, mate, lay their eggs on the empty cocoon case and die. See here for more details.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Roger the Dodger

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To our antipodean members, this won't seem much of a worry. :D To us in the UK though, this little madam of the genus Steatoda Nobilis is our most venomous spider that has become well ensconced in our gardens and homes after moving in from the Canary Islands and unfortunately I am one of the few people known to have been bitten by one of them in this country and believe me it hurts ! It also makes you pretty ill as I found out soon after.

This particular photo is of one I found in the house and sent to the Natural History Museum to get confirmation as to the identity and as you can see, the classic skull on the back of the carapace is a big give-away. ... Now, if you see one of these around, and it's quite likely you will, especially in the South of England, be scared ... be very, very scared ! :shocking:

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Found an example of the largest beetle we have in the UK today...the male Stag Beetle. The female is smaller and has much shorter, but more powerful jaws.

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some fantastic photos with great detail , you wouldnt want to upset that stag beetle :) , i ve never seen one in the wild as paul said you are very lucky to have one as a guest.

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You're lucky to have one of those Roger....lovely beetle and not often seen these days. :(

some fantastic photos with great detail , you wouldnt want to upset that stag beetle :) , i ve never seen one in the wild as paul said you are very lucky to have one as a guest.

Funnily enough, we get them quite a lot here in the countryside (Berkshire). I remember one warm summers evening at a parents meeting at my son's school...we were waiting to go in and the air was filled with them flying around...I don't know if there had been a mass emergence, but there were hundreds of them, and the droning noise their wings made was awesome. The ladies weren't too keen though! :D. We once had a pair of little owls nesting on the estate where I work, and the stag beetles were obviously a staple of their diet in the summer months, because it was not uncommon to find up to 20 or 30 beetle bodies discarded on the ground in their favourite feeding place. The owls would just eat the soft underside of the body, leaving the rest intact. Thanks for the comments!

Edited by Roger the Dodger

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Found two more today, and took a couple of shots to show how the sizes can differ. The one on the right is about the same size as the one in the last thread I posted, and is fairly small...the one on the left is more typical and a bit bigger. Notice that the bigger one has an extra point to his mandibles below the forked tips.....but if you compare all three, you'll see that they are all different in one way or another. Still haven't found a female yet...when I do, I'll post a pic or two so you can see the difference between the sexes.

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Edited by Roger the Dodger

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Love the stag beetles Roger.

Was doing some strimming in the garden this morning. Most of our lawns are infested with moss and we've finally got round to treating it, purchasing a scarifier etc but at the edge of one lawn where it is more moss than grass, the strimmer disturbed a small nest of bubble bees and exposed their eggs. The bees were not aggressive and immediately started gathering moss to cover the nest, so by the time I got my camera, it was already mostly covered. I hope I haven't disturbed them too much

Having Googled them, we think they are Bombus pascuorum, but maybe you could confirm Roger. My wife is very protective of bees in general, so I have strict instructions not to strimmer in this area until further notice.

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Edited by Silver Hawk

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Good to see bubble bees doing so well. We had used the same site as your link to identify our species of bubble bee, so nice to know we came to the same conclusion! Overnight, they have built a very nice "mossy dome cap" over their nest, so maybe all is well.

Our pond is full of life this year. Yesterday evening, we saw a newt with a small dead fish / fry in its mouth! Never seen that before...I had always assumed they were vegetarian. There is no way a newt could catch a live fish or tadpole, so I assume it was just scavenging for dead meat.

Here is a better photo of one of our bees.

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hehe you could use one of those stag beetles as a guard dog - most ppl wouldnt go near one , fantastic photos as usual folks, keep them coming.

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Remember these chaps....

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...well here's the object of their desire...the female of the species. Equipped with much shorter mandibles, these are, however much more powerful than the male's, due to fact that she can apply a lot more leverage to them. The male might give a painful pinch if you put you finger between his jaws, but if you were stupid enough to do the same with a female, her jaws will meet through your skin!

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What I'm going to post next is probably one of the best examples of insect camouflage there is. Like the Eyed Hawk moths a few pages back, this started as a long term project last year when I found a caterpillar of the Buff Tip moth. These are usually gregarious, and feed on willow and sallow. They are quite large, and a distinctive yellow and black in colour.

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This caterpillar was allowed to pupate, and kept overwinter.

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Today, it emerged from the pupal case, to display its true mastery in the art of camouflage. The effect is so perfect that you really do believe that it is a piece of broken silver birch twig. At rest, the moth tucks its head under its thorax, producing the illusion of a snapped twig, while the silvery mottled wings are folded into a tube shape to complete the effect. It's absolutely stunning!

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...more pics to follow...

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This one nearly landed in someone's Accutron this afternoon! And I need to clean my windows... :wallbash:

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Nice example of a Wasp Beetle.....named for obvious reasons, and perfectly harmless. Here.

Edited by Roger the Dodger

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great pics as always folks, keep them coming, the above insect looks like some sort of assasin bug with those mouthparts , if it is the little buggers can give you a pretty nasty bite.

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