Tropical invertebrates

Sometimes it’s possible to add new species to the species list without even leaving the house. On this occasion it wasn’t a new moth discovered in the bathroom or a spider in the kitchen sink (although both have led to new additions to the list in the past!). This time it was a case of lots of rain making me stay at home and deciding to do a bit of research into some photos in the archives that I’d yet to find satisfactory identifications for. In the UK we are very fortunate when it comes to resources on natural history from which to identify our findings. There are countless books and websites on all kinds of taxa. Moving to the tropics though, things suddenly get a lot more difficult. Not only is there significantly more stuff to be found and identified, but there seems to be significantly less stuff with which to identify it with! Sometimes it just isn’t possible to identify from some photos, but it’s usually at least possible to work out a family or genus eventually. Anyway, thanks to the rain today, I have managed to add seven new entries to the species list. They are a Graphium species of butterfly found in Sri Lanka, and an Erotylid Beetle, Tropical Orbweaver, a Dragonlet (pictured) in the Erythrodiplax genus, a Pansy Daggerwing and an Antlion species, all from Costa Rica.

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Fritillaries and Wood Whites

Whilst I've spent almost every night of the last 3 weeks working with the European Nightjars which have recently arrived and are in the process of selecting territories and finding partners, I've spent some of my daylight hours in pursuit of butterflies. Firstly was the Wood White, a butterfly I ... Read more

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Katydids and Walking Sticks

I'm always particularly interested in creatures that employ camouflage as their primary means of defence against predation. Leaf-mimic Katydids and Stick Insects are masters of camouflage. Katydid nymphs often look like smaller versions of the adults, but in some species, the nymphs look nothing at all like the adult and ... Read more