Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strangely strange....

Some blog posts will suit certain folks...and others not. I would suggest that if you have a fear of spiders,or even, photos of spiders, then this one may be a 'not' for you! You have been warned.....

Having said all that, these,to my mind anyhow,are the cuties of the spider world and one of my favourite species...I speak of the Jumping Spiders.

I was lucky enough to find a pair of what I think may be Evarcha species? (don't hold me to that) and the........mating... was quite......energetic...

Well,that's something you won't see everyday...and here's another...

This is the 'birth' of tiny hoverfly larvae...

Click on any photo for a larger image

The eggs that these emerged from are only a couple of millimetres in length and so you can see how small the larvae themselves are.

I also came across another larva, this one was green...

And then, a couple of firsts for 2013 to follow. My first Common Blue Butterfly and also a Tortoise Bug...

And so to the 'stranger than strange' section for this update...

I love seeking out the odd or unusual in the natural world and here are a couple of offerings that illustrate this beautifully?

I think this one pictured above is the larva of the cereal leaf beetle. I have found these before and although this one differs a tad in colour/pattern, I reckon it must be the same species.

Second one, more of a mystery at this stage. The only thing I can say at this stage is that, I have found something very similar before and although I was unable to come up with an identity, somebody was kind enough to offer a possible i.d. but...I can no longer find either the photo, or the identity...

More? Okay then...try this minute.....thing!

This one was just about 2mm I guess. May even be a connection to the one above? So many questions, and so little time... I began with spiders I think it's only fair to make sure that my arachnid warning was worthwhile and so I'll add this crab spider as well.

This was a bit of an experiment-one of those days when I left the macro lens at home in favour of an old 35mm film lens that I used with extension tubes. I was quite impressed with the detail and given it was just natural light, a reasonable result?

As for the condition of my little pinky? What can I say? The horrors of macro photography...if you look really closely you can see the top edge of my finger is missing a slice! That happened when I removed it whilst attempting to cut hardboard with a Stanley knife! It was a long time ago...I'm better now!

Eeeeek! This is all getting a little weird...I'll wind things up for this entry with something a bit nicer...

This colourful caterpillar is the larva of a micro moth-Depressaria daucella I think? If it isn't...then I am not to blame as I pinched the identity from somewhere else as I originally thought it was a sawfly larva....anyhow, that's it for now, toodle-pip!

Addition: 27/06/13

I don't normally so this but I'm adding a photo to clarify a point about the mystery bug....This is the one that was moving Maria...might help?


  1. Another fabulous blog JJ and I have to say that I am SO GREEN at your Tortoise bug find!!! I so hoped to find one in Brittany, but wasn't lucky.....! One day!! :-)

    After having watched a hoverfly ovipositing yesterday, and then looking at the eggs, I can really appreciate your images of the larva birth! Wow!! Incredible!!

    As for the mysteries. The first one looks like an 'exuviae' to me.... would guess that it's one of the aphids. There are a few species that create this woolly protection. The leaves look like Salix? That might narrow down to which species.

    Your finger... OUCH!!! Lovely spider though!

    Now....! Without getting 'graphic'.....!!! ;-)
    Are you sure those jumpers are mating?? I ask, as normally the male would be facing the same way as the female?? Wouldn't he? Lol!! ;-)

    Best wishes


  2. Hi Maria...Thanks as always for your comments/thoughts...

    Erm...the spiders then? Ahem! Well.....yes, conventionally :-) Maybe they were...experimenting! Seriously though, this brings up something I have been wondering about for a while now. I have noticed this with other species and in fact in Oxford, photo's some nursery web spiders doing the same thing.

    I assumed it was mating but maybe that's wrong? I also wondered about the jumpers...whether the female...disposes of the male after mating? I need to study my photos more closely for further clues I think.

    The other strange thing(s) Don't think one is exuvia...well, I Know it wasn't...unless exuvia can crawl around LOL! Not salix by the way but alder I think. may be right about aphid but I don't recall that as being the identity given to my shot a few years ago...thank-you for all of your thoughts/suggestions anyhow.

    The tortoise bug...I was so lucky with that, I went out looking for them and for once...actually found what I was after, only the one though. I loved all your shots from France by the way...especially the light in some shots :-)

  3. Lol JJ! Certainly looks 'empty' to me anyway. Would be funny if it was still crawling!!

    Right, jumping spiders; just taken this from wiki: "If the female remains receptive, the male will climb on the female's back and inseminate her with his palps".
    Now, as the palps are at the front, that makes sense as regards positioning! ;-)
    Not sure whether males are then eaten.... doesn't mention so!

    Thanks for your compliments on my photos too! :-)


  4. Actually, thinking about this Maria..I am not sure that is the photo of the moving little bug that I uploaded? I KNOW one was moving around and I photographed several...just not sure it was this one having thought about it....BTW...I meant photo'd and not 'photos' in Oxford :-)

  5. Great! Thanks for taking time to do this Maria..I should maybe look at Wiki more often :-)

  6. Wow JJ! A plethora of awesome and interesting finds.....O, that larva of Cereal leaf beetle is STUNNING....that background compliments reminds me of a Buffalo too in a beautifully strange way! Crab spider and hairy thing are too cool are your writing and explantions...Thanks! Stella

  7. Thanks Stella...yes that larva is very buffalo like isn't it.


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