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
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
This is the caterpillar of the Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata). Sporting some spider netting pants, he appears quite relaxed.
Philoscia muscorum has a dark stripe along the centre of its back. One of the ‘famous 5’ very common British species of woodlouse most likely to be seen. Seen all year round, it forages for dead organic matter on which it feeds during the cover of night, hiding under stones, bark or logs during the day.… Read More Common Striped Woodlouse
Rabbit Hutch Spider (Steatoda bipunctata) – The first image has a kind of creepy smiley doll face. Commonly found near or in human habitation such as outbuildings or sheds, and probably rabbit hutches.
Odiellus spinosus – Its been a good year for harvestmen, and I have seen quite a few different species around, but I haven’t seen this one in the garden for some years now. This one has 3 distinct horns of similar length which, together, is called a ‘trident’, and has a dark oulined ‘saddle’ on… Read More Autumn Is A Time For Harvestmen
Lithobius (Lithobius) variegatus – This is a fairly large centipede growing up to 30 mm (1 1/4 in) long. It hides during the day under bark, stones, rotting logs or decaying vegetation, emerging at night to hunt other invertebrates by injecting them with venom. Found mainly in rural areas in woodland and moorland.
Common Harvestman Paroligolophus agrestis – This was quite something to see, a tiny springtail, Deuterosminthurus pallipes, hitching a ride on the back of a harvestman.
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
I caught this one on my back decking peering in through my patio window before it decided to jump on top of the fence.
Daddy Long-legs Spider Pholcus phalangioides I always have these in the sheds, and garage, and they will also appear in the house. I leave them be in the sheds beacause they are not hurting anyone there or causing any bother, but in the house they have to go outside. If you do see one of… Read More Something Alien
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I found this one hiding under a rock near the garden pond. It was smaller than my little fingernail. As you can see it still has its tail, but its limbs are developing, and it can hop a short distance, although a little clumsily. Early days yet.
Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica) – Strolling along the canal, the light ever changing as slate grey clouds block the sun, threatening rain again, and seeing me with my camera, a friendly fisherman calls out, “There’s a frog being eaten by a snake over there!” I pass under a nearby canal bridge built during the Industrial… Read More Snake Drama
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) – On a stroll along the local canal I spotted the nest first and the bird second on the opposite side of the bank. I was taken by the construction of woven stems which form this nest, and how it was built on a section of submerged tree. There are jokes about ‘birdbrain’… Read More Amazing Builders
Blackbird (Turdus merula) – This beautiful young blackbird visited my pond this afternoon as I was watering the garden, and was so bold it stayed a while and allowed me to get quite close. Good job, too, because I only had my macro lens fitted. The last day of May and the last photos of May… Read More A Bold Young Blackbird
It is coming up to 4 years this June that I have been blogging on WordPress. I have done a species tally of the ‘life’ featured on this site, and it is around 874 species, featuring all forms of flora and fauna I have been most fortunate enough to encounter on my life’s journey so… Read More 874 And Counting
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – Life in the garden pond can be quite a challenge. As featured in a previous post, I watched damselflies hunting flies, snatching them out of the air. Now, as newly emerging damselfies are leaving the water where they have been as larvae for the past year or so, I have… Read More Hunting & Hunted
Daddy Long-legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) – These have been regular tenants in my sheds and garage (they are evicted from the house on sight) for as long as I remember. I think they are one of the strangest of spiders around. If you disturb them in their web they go crazy and shake and wobble… Read More Hanging In The Shed
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I can’t believe what a frenzy of activity is going on in the garden pond at the moment. It is teeming with tadpoles and all of them are scraping algae from the rocks, so much so some of them are virtually picked clean. They have grown so much bigger, too.… Read More Growing Bigger
Trochosa terricola – This male with his darkened front legs was attracted to the light of my moth trap. It is a species I have not seen in the garden before. If you want to learn more about this spider please click on the link below. Double-click images to enlarge. Ground Wolf Spider page » ©… Read More Ground Wolf Spider
Pirata piraticus – This is a small juvenile, and an exciting new find for me. They live on the water’s edge, and can walk and hunt on the water with water repellent legs. If you want to learn more about this spider please click on the link below. Double-click images to enlarge. Pirate Wolf Spider page… Read More Pirate Wolf Spider
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
Wolf Spider (Pardosa sp.) – This is a male sunning on a fallen branch on the riverbank. A peek into their world. Double-click to enlarge images. © Peter Hillman ♦ 10th April 2020 ♦ Local riverbank, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Peacock (Inachis io) – Probably my favourite of all the butterflies I have seen here, and another fond reminder of my childhood, of long, hot and lazy summer days. Double-click to enlarge image, © Peter Hillman ♦ 16th April 2020 ♦ Local woodland margin, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Aglais urticae – There are a few of these butterflies around at the moment but they are always on the move. I got lucky with this one. One of my favourite butterflies. Double-click on image to enlarge. © Peter Hillman ♦ 14th April 2020 ♦ Local field, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
It’s an odd thing to say, perhaps, but I feel a stillness and a calm with this simple image of a snail nestled in the fold of a nettle leaf. Maybe it is because there is so much going on in the world right now, so much has happened and is still happening, peoples minds… Read More Calm
White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) juvenile – A new generation of snails are appearing in the garden, ready to munch their way through it. This little one has such a delicate and elegant looking shell. Double-click to enlarge image. © Peter Hillman ♦ 12th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Pararge aegeria – A few of these around at the moment in the woods. Always a joy to see. The delightfully named Speckled Wood is a butterfly very well adapted to dappled woodland glades, and it can tolerate shade better than most other butterflies. © Peter Hillman ♦ 11th April 2020 ♦ Local wood, Staffordshire… Read More Speckled Wood
The tadpoles are growing fast feeding on the algae in the garden pond. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 8th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus) – This one like to chill in the morning sun. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 24th March 2020 ♦ Back garden, 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
Warning: serious tongue twister here. Despite the very long name, it is a very small springtail which owns it. In this microcosmos even the fine leaf hairs can be an obstacle for it to negotiate. Less than 1mm long (3/64in) long, barely seen by the naked eye, but so very cute … in my eyes,… Read More Deuterosminthurus pallipes forma repandus
Alcis repandata – This was the one that nearly got away, but thankfully landed and rested on the side of the garden shed at the time. Quite an attractive moth beauty this, which can be extremely variable. A regular visitor to light sources. © Peter Hillman ♦14th June 2017 ♦ Back garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon… Read More Mottled Beauty
Palomena prasina – As soon as the sun appears these shieldbugs crawl out of their hidey-holes and bask in its warming rays. This one is still sporting its autumn camouflage suit, although I have noticed others are gradually changing back to green to blend in with the new spring growth. Double-click on image to enlarge.… Read More Green Shieldbug