Spotlight on The Grey Dagger Acronicta psi 

There are two very similar ‘dagger’ species in Britain, the Grey Dagger (Acronicta psi) and the Dark Dagger (Acronicta tridens). The adults cannot be accurately identified visually without genital dissection and microscopic scrutiny – but I don’t like to harm them so this adult would be recorded as an aggregate species Acronicta psi/tridens. The adult is readily… Read More Spotlight on The Grey Dagger Acronicta psi 

Friday Frog

Kind of a take on Steve Gringold’s excellent Nature Photography Blog, and his wonderful ‘Frog Friday’ series. I came across this one today, a Friday, in the back garden. This is quite a large and well-marked one.

The Dangers of Courtship For The Male Garden Spider Araneus diadematus

x7 images. Double click to enlarge. It’s amazing what you see sometimes as you travel through your own backyard. I spied this female Araneus diadematus some days ago. She is really quite a big individual and had made a large orbweb stretched between a plant pot and some shrubbery. Here she has a good meal… Read More The Dangers of Courtship For The Male Garden Spider Araneus diadematus

A Moth That Mimics A Leaf.

x2 images. Double click to enlarge. This is Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa), and its is quite an extraordinary looking moth. Very distinctively shaped and patterned which make it resemble a withered leaf. It rests with its wings folded in an unusual fashion. It is often seen during the day resting on walls, fences and foliage.

The 600

x3 images. Double click to enlarge. This is the 600th insect species I have uploaded on Nature Journeys, and what a bright and beautiful one it is, too. It is a fly, a hoverfly called Epistrophe grossulariae. It prefers woodland edges, meadows and wetalnd areas where it will feed on the nectar from flowers. The… Read More The 600

Face On

1x photo. Double click to enlarge. At 1 mm (3/64 in) or less in length these small mites called Euzetes globulus are hard enough to focus on and photograph, but you add in that they are always on the move it multiplies the challenge. Thankfully these are slow movers compared to other mites, which give… Read More Face On

Face Fly

x2 photos. Double click to enlarge. Species Musca autumnalis. A sexually dimorphic species where the males have bright orange and black patterned abdomens and the females are light grey and black. These are obviously all males. This species gets its common name from its habit of landing on the faces of cattle or horses where they… Read More Face Fly

Fabulous Fly

x1 image. Double click to enlarge. This attractive fly is called the Broad Centurian (Chloromyia formosa). It is a sexually dimorphic species where both male and female have a shiny green thorax but the female has a blue-green abdomen, sometimes with a violet sheen, and the male has a bronze abdomen. This is a female. Look… Read More Fabulous Fly

Delicately Beautiful

x1 image. Double click to enlarge. Another one of the Hemiptera – true bugs – but a small but delicately beautiful member of the Tingidae family commonly known as lace bugs. this one is called the Hawthorn Lacebug (Physatocheila dumetorum). A small bug at around 3 mm (1/8th inch) long.

Stalking Prey

x1 image. Double click to enlarge Lacewing larva wearing its debris overcoat. They often cover themselves in all kinds of natural debris, even the bodies of victims, to help disguise itself. These will eat up the aphids in most gardens.

Mighty Mite

x3 images. Double click to enlarge fully. A close relation to the spiders and harvestmen, this mite is one of the Anystis sp. – known as the whirlygig mites. One of the slightly larger mites I have come across, it moves very rapidly across surfaces, hunting invertebrate prey. Notice how far back the eyes are.

Turned to Gold

x4 images. Double click to enlarge in full. I don’t tend to post many slugs on this blog, although I have photographed quite a few, because I realise they are probably not everyones favourite animal. Yet I think this particular one with its gold speckling which are chromatophores (pigment cells) catches the eye and stand… Read More Turned to Gold

Emergence

x2 images. Double click to enlarge. This year seems to have been a good year for the emergence of the Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) from the garden pond. I observed quite a few in the garden, and this one was resting on my garage wall.

Making Rainbow Colours

x1 image. Double click to enlarge. This is one of the fine and delicate green lacewings Chrysoperla sp. I watched it flutter lazily through the air and alight on a rose. A combination of the angle of natural light and flash gave it rainbow wings.

Medusa

x2 images. Double click to enlarge. Not quite the mythical Gorgon that would turn you to stone with one glance, but that fungi gall again, Gymnosporangium sp, but now more developed and in the throughs of spreading itself around. I believe these are the telial horns, the spore tubes, and they are opening up and… Read More Medusa

All Green

x1 image. Double click to enlarge. This tiny Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers) nymph was found on willow. There are several similar species and identification can be difficult, especially at this early stage. With some help I manged to get it down to Kybos sp.

Kingdom of The Ants

x2 images. Double click to enlarge. Ths is the Small Black Ant Lasius niger milking the Small Willow Aphid (Aphis farinosa) for its poop, which is pure honey to them – honeydew. Even waste doesn’t go to waste.