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pauluspaolo

Bug Photos

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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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That's a coincidence Paul! Yesterday I just took some pics of a bird box in my garden that has a bumble bees nest in it...only got a couple of pics, because they were very busy and it was a bit scary with them all buzzing round my head! Great pics BTW ...and I think you're right in your identification... Bombus pascuorum is a ground nesting species...have a look here. The pale yellow waxy 'balls' that you can see in your shots are the brood cells of new workers, and they are also used to store honey...the actual eggs are minute, and are laid inside the 'pots'. The ones in my bird box are the more common Bombus pratorum, or the Early bumble bee...see the same link for a description...these ones like old tit boxes like mine. In these two pics you can some workers sitting around the entrance hole, fanning the air with their wings as it was a hot day yesterday.

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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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Is this classed as a bug ?

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Can I be a bit nasty? Those used to be my 15m rifle targets when I was a lad and loved to shoot stuff up. :bag:

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They eat them in France...but then they eat frogs legs and horses as well! :lol: Cool pic though...tomorrow, get one and let it crawl on a pane of glass, then come back here and tell us how you could see the waves of contraction moving up its 'foot' as it glided over the glass. Fascinating! :yes:

Edited by Roger the Dodger

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They eat them in France...

Portugal as well... but the white ones variation. Not everywhere in Portugal, we don't eat that stuff here up north. Is more of a thing on Coimbra region and Lisbon. I've tried them once... pretty disgusting stuff as you would have guessed...

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They eat them in France...

Portugal as well... but the white ones variation. Not everywhere in Portugal, we don't eat that stuff here up north. Is more of a thing on Coimbra region and Lisbon. I've tried them once... pretty disgusting stuff as you would have guessed...

Disgusting? Worse than McDonalds? :wink:

Later,

William

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Disgusting? Worse than McDonalds? :wink:

Later,

William

Come on... that's not a fair question and you know it! Does it taste better than McDonnalds? No, not even close! But at least it's natural stuff and you know what you're eating :lol:

EDIT: BTW, and in case you're wondering, it doesn't taste like chicken.

Edited by Kutusov

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very few things are worse than mickey d's and I have been around and eaten most things ! snails I found pretty bland - the meals made good (or not) by the sauces served in or with... but not to be honest up there with any of my all time favourites.

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snails I found pretty bland - the meals made good (or not) by the sauces served in or with...

Yeah, that's it. And the French make them much better, here I think they are simply boiled on water with salt.

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snails I found pretty bland - the meals made good (or not) by the sauces served in or with...

Yeah, that's it. And the French make them much better, here I think they are simply boiled on water with salt.

:skull:

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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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