x6 images. Double click to enlarge. They say when you are out in the wilds and need to drink water from the land you should boil it first … and you can see why. The above image is a mosquito larva from the genus Culex. The larva lives submerged in water and feeds on particles… Read More In Still Waters
x3 images. Double click to enlarge. This is the Rosemary Beetle (Chrysolina americana) which I found on my Lavender. It looks like it has been crafted from soft metals and has been purposefully engraved with rows of tiny circular indents. As beautiful as it may look, it is considered a pest of Rosemary, Lavender, Sage,… Read More Beautiful Beetle
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.
x6 images. Double click to enlarge. It is end of season for the tomato plant my neighbour had kindly given me in a hanging basket. It had been bountiful in fruit, but it was it now in its last days as autumn approaches, and I had the thought to look more closely at it before… Read More Life In A Dying Tomato Plant
x3 images. Double click to enlarge. Introducing the Ant Woodlouse Platyarthrus hoffmannseggii. Growing up to a length of 5 mm (1/4 in), it is blind and spends all of its life underground. It is always nearly found in association with ants within their nests where they have a good relationship. The woodlouse is tolerated and… Read More A Good Relationship
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
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
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
x2 images. Double click to enlarge. These are actually called ‘Moth Flies’, or ‘Owl Flies’ or even ‘Drain Flies’. This one is Psychoda surcoufi. This is very small with a wingspan of 2 mm (5/64 in). They belong to a family of flies called Psychodidae. You can see why they are called ‘Moth Flies’, for… Read More Not a Moth or Even An Owl
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
x2 images. Double click to enlarge. This afternoon I noticed quite a congregation on the back patio. Small Black Ant (Lasius niger) emerging into daylight for the first time in their lives for their nuptial flight. Unfortunately not long after the heavens opened and put a proper dampner on things as the rain fell by the… Read More Emerging Into A New World
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.
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.
x8 photos. Double click to enlarge. There are almost 70 species of Hemiptera (True Bugs) on this site, yet there are almost 2,000 species in Great Britain. Turn over a leaf or having a look amongst them will turn up all kinds of true bugs, adult and nymph stages. They are a very diverse group… Read More Under Leaves, Over Leaves
x8 images. Double click to enlarge. Here are a selection of ‘freshwater’ shells found near the edge of a local canal. The Asian Clam is a rapidly spreading invasive species which was unknown in Britain before October 1998. Originated in China, Korea, south-eastern Russia, and the Ussuri Basin. The first time it has been recorded… Read More No Seashells Here
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
x2 images. Double click to enlarge fully. I found this very bristly and brightly coloured moth caterpillar on my green recyling bin. It is called the Vapourer (Orgyia antiqua), and it feeds on various broadleaved trees and bushes.
Buff-tip Phalera bucephala, a moth mimicking a broken twig.
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.
x1 image. x2 focus stacked. Double click to enlarge. This is the Cucumber Green Spider Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato.
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.
x5 images. Double click to enlarge. This extraordinary insect was discovered in the house, of all places. It is called the Small Snakefly Xanthostigma xanthostigma. This is a female with her long needle-like ovipositor. There are only 4 species of snakefly in Great Britain under the insect order called Raphidioptera, and in 1 family Raphidiidae.… Read More Nature Pays A Visit
Last year Paul D. Brock emailed me via my WordPress contact page to ask if he could use an image of a male wasp I had photographed back in the sumemr of 2019 called Ichneumon xanthorius. Of course I agreed, and they sent me a complimentary copy of the book. Note they flipped my original… Read More From Digital To Print
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.
x1 image. Double click to enlarge. 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata, having an afternoon siesta.
x1 image. Double click to enlarge. These are Collembola (Springtails), and are 1 mm (3/64 in) long or less, and I observed them scurrying about on this plant leaf in the back garden until they came together for this moment. Despite the colour differences, they are both the same species, Deuterosminthurus pallipes, the purple is… Read More A Brief Kiss … And We Part Forever …
x3 images. Double click to enlarge. Here we have the Small Black Ant (Lasius niger) again. But what is he up to this time, you may wonder? I found him on my Fatsia Japonica with these strange yellow ‘bumps’ which are in fact another species of scale insect called Viburnum Cushion Scale (Lichtensia viburni). And… Read More More Ant Antics
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.
x4 images. Double click to enlarge. I have a Hawthorn bush growing in the back garden, and I discovered these strange things stuck to the branches. They are around 5-7 mm (1/4 inch) long. As you can see they are brown and wrinkly with what looks like a cotton wool ball tucked at the back… Read More Something Strange In The Bushes
This strange, tiny mite is around 1 mm long and goes by the name of Euzetes globulus. I spotted this one feeding on the underside of a piece of loose bark. It appears to be wearing a crash helmet with a fancy pale trim. I experimented by reversing a Nikon 18-55 mm to get this… Read More Mites Wearing Crash Helmets
No it’s not my new pet, and it is not a new rug, either … it is a moth which looks like it has a bull’s head. It is called the Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda, and they are very much attracted to light sources. The adults are sexually dimorphic, with the females being generally larger and… Read More Something To Cuddle … Well Almost
This is Dicyrtomina saundersi, a springtail, and boy do they jump if they feel threatened. This is an uncropped image. I have experimented with extension tubes for the first time ever this morning, and have found using the 36 mm tube in combination with my Raynox 250 they work pretty well. Normally I would have… Read More Getting Even Closer
You may be wondering what an earth this blog title means? Well, coincidently for me, this is another of those species which has yet to be given a proper name! This is a globular springtail of around 1.5-2 mm (around 5/64 in). It has to be the prettiest and perhaps the cutest I have seen,… Read More Katiannidae genus nov.1. sp. nov.2
Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) showing its autumn colours. It will go darker, turning to a deep bronze as winter takes hold and then will hibernate during the coldest period. In spring it will gradually turn back to full green.
This is the Common Shiny Woodlouse (Oniscus asellus), caught in the act of moulting, leaving behind ghostly exuviae. As I observed, it was like watching a car slowly backing out of a garage as it withdrew from the phantom casting.
This species of millipede looks rather similar to a woodlouse, and this can often lead to some confusion in identification. Its common name refers to its habit of rolling into a tight ball to protect itself from predation and to prevent itself from drying out. It is greyish-brown to blackish in colour, with about 11… Read More Pill Millipede Glomeris marginata
This is another new species for the garden, and they all appear to like my shed wall for some reason. This is a lovely female. A long-legged harvestman with an indistinct and variable light gray or brown body pattern. The saddle has one or two restrictions along its length giving it a waisted, or double-waisted… Read More Phalangium opilio
Quite a large dark millipede with a length of up to 60 mm (about 2/34 in). They take 2 to 3 years to mature, and can live for several years after first mating. It can be seen all year round, and is found in gardens, woodlands and anywhere with rocks or rotting trees under which… Read More White-legged Snake Millipede Tachypodoiulus niger
This caused some excitement the other day in the Harvestmen group I am a part of. Note that the ‘A’ at the end in the title is not a typo, but is there because scientists have yet to name it! It was first discovered in Europe in the Netherlands back in 2004, and then in… Read More Leiobunum sp. A
Dicyrtomina saundersi is its name, and not an insect (although previously considered to be) but a springtail. There is a kind of ‘spaceman’ like figure in the pattern towards the head, and a distinct dark barred patch towards the rear of the abdomen which helps separate it from similar species. It looked directly up at… Read More Cuter Than Cute – For A Bug