Category Archives: Insects

Honey Bees ‘whoop’ when they collide

Fascinating inside into the life of honey bees 🙂

Scientists have just decoded another bit of honey bee speech, and the newfound “word” the bees are buzzing is “whoop.”In a study published in the journal PLOS One, researchers with Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have learned that a particular honey bee vibration signal long presumed to be a warning about danger outside the hive might also be a kind of startle response, issued when the tiny fliers bump into each other in the hive.

Read more in the article: 

http://bit.ly/2kCR6qE
Image below via Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/

Turn Spider Fear into Fascination

​Here is a wonderful text about spiders which are sadly demonised by the media for no sane reason other than manipulation in order to put fear into people’s heads about this elusive animal and to get views on their article. I agree with the writer Tone Killick who has discovered his passion about spiders not so long ago and who has become indeed an expert in the arachnology world. Please visit his Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/TurnFear2Fascination
Remember that spiders are a very important part of any ecosystem and love to visit human homes because they will find food in there.If you cannot bear to have them indoors until you have mastered your phobia or accepted spiders as house guards against unwanted insects which can us even make sick use a glass and a postcard to gently catch them or one of the spider hoovers which are available online and which won’t kill the animal and place them gently outside. But only if it’s not in the wintertime and you happen to live in a cold country because their little body will freeze in no time and the life of one of the most useful insects on this planet has been wasted.

Put them in a shed,loft or garage in the wintertime and if you have neither, how about a trip with the glass covered up to the next church? 

All photos are copyright to Tone Killick: 

https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick
‘In the several years of studying spiders, I’ve been bitten once, as an inquisitive 10 yr old, mishandling a garden spider. I’m a fair bit older now and have held many thousands of these diverse 8 legged marvels and remained bite free. You see, all spider bites are accidental, a case of us pushing certain parts of our body against a spider, forcing the spider to bite out in defence. For example, a Steatoda grossa has decided to make its home in one of my wellington boots and I slip the boot on and my big toe starts to bear down on this spider… I mean in all honesty, I can’t blame the spider for biting me as I’m squashing the life out it with my big toe. This would be a last resort action by the spider and I certainly wouldn’t hold a grudge, but the media would have you believe something completely different with outlandish stories of potently venomous spiders invading our homes and intentionally biting us. These are non stories that sell newspapers and play on the public’s fears that ultimately result in more so called spider bites being reported to the newspapers and the vicious circle continues. So, don’t believe everything in the media and take a little time out to learn about these amazing and diverse creatures and turn Fear into Fascination’

Scytodes thoracia male

Phiddipus regius male

Phidipus regius male

Holoplatys so. Female

Hogna lenta

Heliphanus cupreus Female

Hogna lenta

Dysdera crocata Female

Agelena labrinthica Female

Steatoda grossa Female

Steatoda nobilis Male

Ero tuberculata Male

Hogna lenta

Zoropsis Spinimana,Mediterranean Spiny Wolf Spider

​False wolf spider,Mediterranean spiny false wolf spider.
The British arachnophiles throwing their doors open to welcome this eight legged newcomer to British shores. Zoropsis spinimana has been around London since 2012 and has slowly, very slowly been making its way to places like Richmond and East Grinstead.. As usual and a bit late in the game, the UK Main Stream media are trying to demonise this non obtrusive and stunning spider, with headlines like “Med spider with 8 inch fangs and 15 kids coming to live in Britain on Benefits” You know the score, usual non story that sells papers and gets shared over social media untold times and which scares the ones who are have not a deeper knowledge about spiders or naturs. The reality is, Zoropsis spinimana is a large, docile and stunning spider, that is welcome into my house, unreservedly….

Please do not panic when you see it,but enjoy the beauty of this species,her usefulness in catching insects and welcome her…If you don’t want her in your home catch her gently with a glass and a postcard and let her out into the garden where she will catch insects (some of which will damage your garden plants) or were she becomes food for someone else.

It is distributed in the Mediterranean, but reaches into Russia, and was introduced to the United States, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area.

So docile 🙂
These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

A very artistic shot of this beauty.😍

These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

Look at this beauty 😮

These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

Seriously? Very laid back through the expression in the eyes only 😉

These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

Wonderful details…

These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

Just stunning !
These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

What a arachnid! ❤
These wonderful ID shot’s have been taken by Tone Killick:  https://m.facebook.com/tone.killick

Scarlet Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Here is the caterpillar of the scarlet Tiger Moth. .

So let’s recollect…

You keep the herbal plant Green Alkanet (considered by many as weed as it is a opportunity plant who loves damp places).

You will find plenty of caterpillars there who will feed on their leaves as they contain more juices than other plants.In fact it will keep snails and Slugs also away from your other plants as they will preferably eat these. And if you have a healthy garden (and no cats) you will have plenty of birds, frogs, toads, lizards, rodents and hedgehogs etc.. visiting and keeping the insect, snail and slug population down.Yes they also eat some of the caterpillars but wild animals are not as stupid as human beings and would never eradicate a species from a area.Same as they eat a few pollinators, but not many, as they prefer unwanted insects.Unless it’s a particular bird species-but they then live usually in parts of the planet which has natively plenty of wild bees.In that case and of course as long as humans don’t mess up the cycle, they act as population regulators. Less insects, less birds or other insect feeding animals.More insects more birds or other insect feeding animals as they breed in regards if there is enough food around or not. Nature has her own balance.Humans are the only species who over breeds and acts against and not with nature.

Once the caterpillar raid is over the Alkanet will recover and the pollinator raid begins.The scarlet Tiger Moth caterpillar has now exchanged the outfit of a caterpillar with that of a beautiful moth and many will hang around to feed on the Alkanet. After the pollinators are gone you will have slugs and snails continuing to eat the leafs.A truly healthy circle where everything has its purpose and nothing ever gets too many of a kind or extinct as long as we humans keep our fingers out because our selfishness and egoic voice in our head is telling us how things should look like while we miss out to recognize and to enjoy the true beauty of nature..

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Scarlet Tiger Moth
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Here are some images of the Scarlet Tiger Moth Caterpillar and his work as a natural weed controller :)..
Note the different stages of the Green Alkanet.
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After they had raided these plants I transferred them to the other side (above)..
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Scarlet Tiger Moth

One of the most beautiful pollinators, a Scarlet Tiger Moth:

For these is also worth to keep the green Alkanet as their caterpillar loves to feed on them as they contain a lot of juice.In fact there is hardly any pollinator who doesn’t love the green Alkanet. Let them grow and you will see that it will be very busy around these flowers and that towards the end of summer, parts of this plant will die off which seems to come from ‘overuse’ of pollinators as I have found that alkanet’s in locations with less or no visitors seem to keep on thriving stronger and longer. I usually remove dead parts every now and then (if I have the time) or pull them out when all pollinators are gone.They will grow back in full strength the following year.In fact I have never found this plant to be a big problem if they are being pulled out once a years.And have even seen park rangers controlling them this way once a years when they take care of their wildflower sections…

PicsArt_1409128292876

 

Old trees or tree trunks and undergrowth

Tree cavities can provide crucial habitat for wildlife including insects.

Birds seek these cavities out in all seasons for many reasons like as a shelter, nesting place or as a food source as insects will hide in there.

If you have a living or dead tree or snag in your yard with cavities, consider letting it remain standing (if it does not pose a risk to people or buildings). For more information on the importance of snags and tree cavities in your yard and community, explore YardMap: http://content.yardmap.org/learn/habitat-types/snags/

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Researchers from Ohio State and Cornell University collaborated on a project to measure the effects of increased woody habitat and rates of predation on nesting birds. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204614002643). Their findings should put bird-lovers at ease who fear that increased trees, shrubs, and brush piles lead to increased predation. This was their original prediction too, but there was no significant data to support this claim. So, if you resist brush piles for this reason, reconsider, and visit YardMap to learn more.

The thicker the better as predators such as cats can’t get through.Plant bramble for example.

http://content.yardmap.org/learn/habitat-types/brushpiles/

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