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
I have now recorded 999 species on this website, from plants to animals, fungi and even a cyanobacterium. I have stopped short of making this post ‘1000’ as the 999th species convinced me to use it as a marker milestone. Not surprising it happens to be an invertebrate, an arthropod, and an insect at that.… Read More 999 Species
Chrysolina americana This attractive beetle is from a family called Chrysomelidae the leaf beetles. It is a fairly recent newomer to Britain, introduced in the 1990s and now established in most of England and Wales, and still expanding its range. It is considered a pest of Rosemary, Lavender, Sage, Thyme and similar plants, both the… Read More Rosemary Beetle
Rhyzobius chrysomeloides – Yes, believe it or not, not al ladybirds are brightly coloured and have spots, some can be quite inconspicuous like this one. It is small, very small, at 2.5-3.5 mm (about 1/8 in) long. It is a fairly recent discovery, first found in Britain as recently as 1996, on a pine tree… Read More Round-keeled Ladybird
Ceutorhynchus obstrictus – This has to be one of the smallest weevils I have ever seen at around 3 mm (1/8 in) long. Double-click on image to enlarge. © Peter Hillman ♦ 17th May 2020 ♦ Rear garden, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Agapanthia villosoviridescens – This rather attractive beetle has a long vernacular and scientific name, but they both describe the beetle well. Walking along a favoured local field margin, I always pause every now and then and just focus on an area to see what may be around. I spied some Creeping Buttercup and bent for… Read More Golden-bloomed Longhorn
Athous haemorrhoidalis – When these beetles feel threatened they sound a distinct audible ‘click’ when they jump away. Double-‘click’ image to enlarge. © Peter Hillman ♦ 19th May 2020 ♦ Local woodland/field margin, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Melolontha melolontha – Another beetle visitor, a large one, found resting on my garage wall, attracted to the light. These can be quite docile when they are not whizzing around the tree canopies, and they love to grip your finger or thumb like a big superglue hug. You have to be gentle with them when… Read More Common Cockchafer
Oedemera nobilis – I don’t know what it is about my shed door today, but the beetles are making it into a chillout zone. If I get another two visits I might start a band 🙂 Double-click image to … you know … get closer. © Peter Hillman ♦ 8th May 2020 ♦ rear garden,… Read More Swollen- thighed Beetle
Clytus arietis – Well, here was go again. It looks like a wasp, but does not sting … for it is really a beetle! Usually seen in hedgerows and well wooded areas. The larva feeds on decaying wood. I found this one on my shed door. Double-click image to zoooooooom in closer. © Peter Hillman… Read More Wasp Beetle
Carabus problematicus – These photos are from my archives of 2006 and taken with my very first digital camera purchase, a Sony Cybershot DSC-W1, so some finesse is lacking. Yet seeing them after all this time, in fact forgetting I even had them, made me feel like a little kid again, filled with awe and… Read More Like A Kid Again
Xantholinus sp. – This is another case of ‘nature sometimes comes to you’. I found this tiny rove beetle … yes it is a beetle … in my bathroom sink just seconds from going down the plughole. I found a nice piece of moss for it outside, and as it was doing a run for… Read More On The Run
Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) – I found this little beetle on my bedroom windowsill. They are around 2-3mm (1/8in) long. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 16th March 2020 ♦ Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) – I have seen quite a few of these around the garden, and no doubt the sunshine and elevated temperatures have enticed them out of hibernation. Good news for the garden. This one was in the hollow of a curved leaf. Double-click image to enlarge. © Peter Hillman ♦ 24th March… Read More Spring Has Sprung
Harmonia axyridis forma spectabilis – Double-click for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 15th July 2019 ♦ Back garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Malachius bipustulatus – I occasionally spot these on my local summer walks. They are only a small beetle at around 5-8mm (3/16-5/16in) long, but the bright red spots give them away. Kind of reminds me of that final scene in Jurassic Park. Double-click to enter the staring contest. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken:… Read More Common Malachite Beetle
This is one small and pretty beetle at 4.5-5.5mm (1/8-1/4in) long and is difficult to find in the field. This one was attracted to my moth trap. Double-click for a closer look. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 29th June 2019Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire
x3 images. I found this little critter lounging on the edge of a plant pot. Double click if you wanna get closer… Rear garden. October 2019 © Pete Hillman.
This is a new species for me in the garden. It is the Pine Ladybird (Exochomus quadripustulatus). It is quite small between 3 to 4mm long. It has a distinct rim around the base of the wingcases. Although it is mainly found where Pine grows, it also likes Hawthorn which I happen to have in… Read More A Little Red On Black
I initially found this gloriously decorated beetle called the Common Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides) on my kitchen windowcill. You may notice it has a couple of passengers hitching a ride on its pronotum. These are Poecilochirus mites which don’t actually harm the beetle, but grab a ride to the next burial site. These beetles have… Read More Burying The Dead
There were lots of these out in the fields. It is also called the ‘bloodsucker’ because of its distinct appearance. Note the dark tips on the wing cases. They feed on aphids and other insects, also pollen and nectar, and can be quite beneficial when they pay a visit to your garden. The adults live… Read More Playing At Soldiers
This one has quite a long name. Don’t try saying it backwards … you might bump into something. Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer. July 2019, local field margin, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
I discovered this little brightly coloured ladybird on my garden hose pipe. It is about 3–4mm long. This is one of three species of yellow ladybird in the UK, and it has the brightest yellow of the three. It feeds on mildews as opposed to greenfly. Feel free to click to enlarge and click again… Read More Yellow On Yellow
Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer … There appears to be quite a few of these around this year in the garden. June 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer … Swollen- thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis), June 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis larva, June 2019, local woodland margin, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis f succinea) June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
I always enjoy coming across these flower beetles either in the garden or out on my walks. It is called the Swollen- thighed Beetle Oedemera nobilis, and you can definately see why. It is the male who has the large bulging thighs. It is those metallic shiny greens I really like. Click and click again… Read More Polished Green
I found a number of these by their egg cases not long having hatched on my crabapple tree at the bottom of the garden. They are ladybird larvae, first instar. They will go through four stages of moulting before pupating to become the brightly coloured adult beetle we all know. June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire,… Read More New Generation
That title is quite a mouthful, I know! Try saying it backwards, but watch you don’t bump into anything as you do 😉 Stopping along a field margin where grassland meets woodland, pausing and just looking, I saw this brightly coloured individual basking in the sunshine. It was quite spectacular when a pair of wings… Read More Black And Yellow Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata
Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Swollen- thighed Beetle Oedemera nobilis, June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
For a small beetle it is quite rather beautiful with its shiny green head, pronotum and scutellum, and polished chestnut elytra. Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
This little rove beetle called Oxyporus rufus was on my kitchen windowsill this afternoon. It is only very small, but rather colourful, and it can fly pretty well. If you zoom in on the third and final image you can see how well packed and neatly folded its wings are behind their casings, and how… Read More A Colourful Visitor To My Kitchen
This is a Leaf Beetle that just loves Reed Sweet-grass. The beetle really shines bronze when the sun catches it just right. I couldn’t get any closer to take photos or I would have fell in the pond! May 2018, pond edge, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England. © Pete Hillman Sigma 18-300mm.
Double click on images to enlarge. Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis f. conspicua, September 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.
Double click on images to enlarge. August 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.
Double click to get that bit closer. Elaphrus riparius, August 2017, on the bank of a local pond, Staffordshire, England.
Click on images to enlarge, click once more to get a little closer. August 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.
I had three of these large and lumbering dung beetles visit my garden the other night. They make quite the low droning sound when they fly, so you know something big is coming your way. They can grow up to 25mm (1 inch) long, and have a shiny metallic blue or green underside. They are… Read More Dor beetle Geotrupes stercorarius
7-spot Ladybird Local field, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.