This video is about a four-spotted chaser dragonfly.
Jan Gorel in the Netherlands made the video.
This video is about a four-spotted chaser dragonfly.
Jan Gorel in the Netherlands made the video.
This is a video about a whitethroat catching flies.
Gerrie van der Meulen in the Netherlands made the video.
This video says about itself:
The fossil of two froghopper insects in the act of mating has been uncovered by archaeologists in northeastern China after being buried for around 165 million years.
From World Science:
Bizarre parasite from Jurassic found
June 25, 2014
Courtesy of the University of Bonn and World Science staff
Researchers from the University of Bonn and from China have discovered a fossil fly larva with such a spectacular sucking apparatus, they have named it by the Chinese word for “bizarre.”
Around 165 million years ago, a spectacular parasite was at home in the freshwater lakes of present-day Inner Mongolia in China, researchers say. It was a juvenile fly with a thorax, or “chest,” formed entirely like a sucking plate.
With it, the animal could stick to salamanders and suck their blood with its mouthparts formed like a sting, according to scientists. To date no insect is known with a similar design. The international scientific team is now presenting its findings in the journal eLIFE.
The parasite, a long fly larva around two centimeters (a bit under an inch) long, had undergone extreme changes over the course of evolution, the researchers said. The head is tiny in comparison to the body, tube-shaped with piercer-like mouthparts at the front. The mid-body, or thorax, has been completely transformed underneath into a gigantic sucking plate; the hind-body, or abdomen, has caterpillar-like legs.
The research team believes that this unusual animal lived in a landscape with volcanoes and lakes what is now northeastern China around 165 million years ago. In this fresh water habitat, they say, the parasite crawled onto passing salamanders, attached itself with its sucking plate, and penetrated the thin skin of the amphibians in order to suck blood from them.
“The parasite lived the life of Reilly,” said paleontologist Jes Rust from the University of Bonn. This is because there were many salamanders in the lakes, as fossil finds at the same location near Ningcheng in Inner Mongolia (China) have shown. “There scientists had also found around 300,000 diverse and exceptionally preserved fossil insects,” said the Chinese scientist Bo Wang, a postdoctoral researcher in paleontology at the University of Bonn.
The larva, which has received the scientific name of Qiyia jurassica, however, was a quite unexpected find. “Qiyia” in Chinese means “bizarre”; “jurassica” refers to the Jurassic period to which the fossils belong. A fine-grained mudstone ensured the good state of preservation of the fossil.
This video is about an edible frog and lots of flies in the Netherlands.
Jos van Zijl made the video..
This video is about birds in Lauwersmeer national park in the Netherlands.
Both species are new for the Netherlands.
From Science, Space & Robots:
New Beetle Species Discovered in World’s Deepest Cave
A new species of beetle has been discovered in the Krubera cave in Russia’s Western Caucasus. The Krubera cave is the world’s deepest cave at 2,140 meters deep. It is the only cave in the world known to have a depth of over 2,000 meters. The beetle was discovered by researchers from two Spanish universities.
Vicente M. Ortuno, from the University of Alcala, says in the announcement, “The new species of cave beetle is called Duvalius abyssimus. We only have two specimens, a male and a female. Although they were captured in the world’s deepest cave, they were not found at the deepest point.”
July 2, 2014
See also here.
Newfound Wasp Literally Has Skeletons in Its Closet
By Megan Gannon, News Editor | July 02, 2014 02:58pm ET
A newly discovered wasp has been keeping a gruesome secret: It stuffs ant corpses into the walls of its home.
As far as scientists know, the behavior is unique in the animal kingdom. The new creature has been named Deuteragenia ossarium, or the “bone-house wasp,” after the historical ossuaries piled high with human skeletons found in monasteries or graveyards.
“It was a totally unexpected discovery,” said Michael Staab, a researcher at the University of Freiburg in Germany. [Zombie Animals: 5 Real-Life Cases of Body-Snatching]
Skeletons in the closet
Staab had been studying the homemaking habits of cavity-nesting wasps in eastern China, and he and his colleagues had set up trap nests in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, a subtropical evergreen forest in the Yangtze River Basin that’s home to steep cliffs and animals like clouded leopards and Asian black bears.
Cavity-nesting wasps may live in self-made holes or pre-existing tunnels in plants or pieces of wood. These cavities typically contain several brood cells — the wasp equivalent of a single hexagon in a beeswax comb — which are separated by thin walls made of bits of plant, resin or soil. Scientists have even found bits of insects in the mix.
But when Staab’s team collected the trap nests, they found something unusual: In 73 of the nests, the researchers discovered an outer cell packed with the whole bodies of dead ants. The species behind the corpse houses was a spider-hunting wasp previously unknown to science. The findings were detailed today (July 2) in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
A smelly shield
Staab said he was puzzled by the discovery until he considered the location of the carcass-filled cells. The dead ants were always found in an outer vestibular cell, a chamber built by a female wasp to close the nest after she lays eggs.
Wasp architects may favor dead ants as a building material because of the way their carcasses smell, Staab and his team suspect. Scents on the ants’ bodies, even in death, might offer camouflage or protection from predators — a red flag to stay away — as many ants are fierce defenders of their nests, the researchers wrote. The ant most commonly found in walls of wasp homes was Pachycondyla astuta, an aggressive ant species with a mean sting that’s abundant in the region.
Because the brood cells are where the wasps’ larvae live, this strategy may help ensure the survival of their young.
Staab said he and his colleagues never directly observed the wasps building one of their bone houses, nor did they see the wasps kill ants to turn them into “bricks.”
“However, due to the very good condition of all ant specimens in the ant chambers, we assume that the wasp must actively hunt the ants and not collect dead ants from the refuse piles of ant colonies,” Staab told Live Science in an email.
Other wasps — especially parasitic ones — resort to similarly grisly measures to protect their offspring. The parasitic wasp Dinocampus coccinellae, for example, hijacks ladybug bodies, turning its victims into zombie slaves that keep predators away from its larvae. And elsewhere in the animal world, other creatures — even snakes — have taken advantage of the bad reputation of ants to survive. A 2009 study in the journal Insectes Sociaux described how banded cat-eyed snakes lay their eggs in the fungus-filled chambers of aggressive leaf-cutter ants to keep their reptilian babies safe before they hatch.
This video from Britain says about itself:
Pesticides (neonicotinoids) and Bee Behaviour
3 August 2013
From Wildlife Extra:
For the first time scientists say they are able to provide conclusive evidence that the systemic pesticides neonicotinoids and fipronil (neonics) have caused significant damage to a wide range of invertebrates, including bees.
The IUCN Task Force Systemic Pesticides (a group of global, independent scientists) analysed 800 peer-reviewed reports.
They found that there is clear evidence of a serious risk to honeybees and other pollinators such as butterflies and to a wide range of other invertebrates such as earthworms and vertebrates including birds.
“The evidence is very clear. We are witnessing a threat to the productivity of our natural and farmed environment equivalent to that posed by organophosphates or DDT,” said lead author Dr Jean-Marc Bonmatin of The National Centre for Scientific Research in France.
The most affected groups appeared to be terrestrial invertebrates such as earthworms which are exposed at high levels in soil and plants.
The next most affected group is insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies which are exposed to high contamination through air and plants and medium exposure levels through water.
Bird populations are also at risk from eating crop seeds treated with systemic insecticides, and reptile numbers have declined due to depletion of their insect prey.
“The findings of the WIA are gravely worrying,” said Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, Chair of the Task Force.
“We can now clearly see that neonics and fipronil pose a risk to ecosystem functioning and services which go far beyond concerns around one species and which really must warrant government and regulatory attention.”
6:05 in the morning: a blue-grey tanager. They are building a nest here.
A great kiskadee in a tree.
This is a great kiskadee video.
Vaux’ swifts fly overhead.
A male Baltimore oriole in a tree.
A white-tailed kite flying.
A variegated squirrel jumps from one tree to another tree.
A blue-crowned motmot in a tree.
This is a video about a blue-crowned motmot; recorded in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Soon, two blue-crowned motmots in the tree.
Then, only one again.
An Inca dove on a roof.
A female summer tanager.
A male and a female orchard oriole.
The male sings.
A rufous-crowned sparrow sings from the top of a bronze stork sculpture.
8:52. It is a bit warmer now, which means better conditions for soaring birds. A black vulture circles overhead.
9:40. An orchid bee flying.
9:58. A zebra longwing butterfly.
11:02. A blue-crowned motmot again. It lands on a lawn, then flies back into a bush.
16:10. Dozens of Finsch’s parakeets, flying and calling.
White-eared ground sparrows. This is a rare and skulking species. In Costa Rica, it is endemic to the Central Valley.
17:30, half an hour before sunset: red-billed pigeons in a tree.