Monarch butterflies’ ancestry, new research


This video is about monarch butterfly migration.

From Science News:

Monarch butterflies’ ancestors migrated

The insects originated in North America, genetics study finds

BY Kate Baggaley

5:06pm, October 1, 2014

The earliest monarch butterflies arose in North America and were migratory, contrary to what scientists believed. Over time, the butterflies evolved populations in other locations, some of which stay put year-round, scientists conclude October 1 in Nature.

Because many of the monarch’s closest butterfly relatives live in the tropics and do not migrate, “the thought was that the butterflies [came] from South and Central America and became migratory from resident populations,” says Tyler Flockhart, a conservation biologist who concentrates on monarchs at the University of Guelph in Canada. “But that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

Clouded yellow butterflies in the Netherlands


This is a video about a Common Clouded Yellow butterfly.

Translated from the Butterfly Foundation in the Netherlands:

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The next generation of the Common Clouded Yellow, a migratory butterfly, is currently flying again. In places where the species bred in August you can sometimes find ten to fifty butterflies together.

These reports of large numbers of Common Clouded Yellow butterflies come for example from the floodplains of the major rivers and from Zeeland, but the Maasvlakte has the biggest numbers. Here 100 Common Clouded Yellow butterflies can still be seen together on flowery fallow land.

Common Clouded Yellow butterflies come in the spring, in May and June, from the south to our country and reproduce here. The descendants of those immigrants appear in August and these reproduce again. The third generation is now flying, especially places where reproduction went well and where sufficient flowering plants are present are favourites. They will also migrate again and can then be seen everywhere in the country, but large numbers together you will find especially on the breeding sites.

Ichneumon wasp larvae leave caterpillar, video


This video says about itself (translated):

September 30 2014

An ichneumon wasp has deposited its eggs in this caterpillar. The larvae then eat their hosts from the inside. These larvae have just crawled out of the caterpillar of a garden white butterfly. Now they are spinning cocoons to transform into wasps. Filmed by Toon Gevers.

Hoverfly on flower, video


This is a video about a hoverfly on a flower.

Marjo Steffen made this video in Leeuwarden in the Netherlands.

Rare moth discovered in the Netherlands


Spotted clover moth

Translated from the Dutch Butterfly Foundation:

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Last week, a spotted clover moth was seen in Groningen. This very rare migratory moth had been found only seven times in our country, especially in the fifties of the last century.

The spotted clover is a migratory moth from southern Europe. After thirty years of absence (it was reported in 1958, 1955, 1954, 1953 and 1945) it was observed in Twello (Gelderland) in 1995 and now it has been seen again in Groningen. This is also the most northern discovery of this moth which is not able to survive the Dutch winter.

37 little grebes, one great crested grebe, wheatears


This is a little grebe video from Belarus.

On 21 September 2014, to Voorne island.

Between The Hague and Rotterdam, a grey heron on a lamppost. Not so unusual. However, on lampposts next to it: two white storks, more unusual.

A few kilometer more south: again, three white storks on lampposts.

Near Rotterdam, again a stork on a lamppost. As it is still rather early in the morning, are they waiting for higher temperatures, with better conditions for soaring, continuing their autumn migration to Africa?

On Voorne island, first to Strypsche wetering nature reserve.

This is a video about ruff mating season at Strypsche wetering on 2 May 2014.

We saw ruffs on 21 September there too. Not in mating season mood and plumage, but in autumn migration mood and plumage.

Other Strypsche wetering birds: redshanks, ruff relatives. Northern lapwings, more distant relatives. A big golden plover flock landed. Egyptian geese. Mallards. Snipe.

Four great cormorants flying overhead.

Again and again, flocks of scores of barnacle geese, maybe just arrived from the Arctic, fly, calling, to a field where hundreds congregate.

Shoveler ducks flying.

On the bank, yellow common fleabane flowers.

A barn swallow flies.

A buzzard sits on a fence.

We continue to another fence: a male and a female kestrel sitting next to each other.

We arrive at another part of the Strypsche wetering. Many Canada geese. Some of them look like being injured. Probably because of hunters who can’t shoot straight.

Ten gadwall ducks flying. Five grey lag geese flying.

We arrive at the sand dunes closest to the beach. A flock of common linnets. A blue tit.

On rock in the water, a great black-backed gull.

Closer to us, swimming, a big surprise: at least 37 little grebes, probably many more. Such a big flock is unusual for this species. Every now and then, some of the birds fly a short distance and land again. A great crested grebe swims along with them.

At nature reserve Hoekje Jans, a Cetti’s warbler sings. Also unusual at this time of the year.

A little egret flying.

A red admiral butterfly on a bush. Which species of bush? Elaeagnus multiflora, or Elaeagnus umbellata?

A smaller butterfly: a speckled wood.

A comma butterfly.

At the Slikken van Voorne nature reserve, flowers of yellow-wort and seaside centaury.

This is a video about the Slikken van Voorne.

A green-veined white butterfly.

Corn sow thistle.

Northern wheatears between the sparse sand dune vegetation.

A meadow pipit.

Oystercatchers on the mudflats.

Sea spurge.

A dead northern wheatear.

Finally, near the south coast of Voorne, pintail ducks.

Wasp species, new for the Netherlands, discovered


This is a video about a Leucospis dorsigera wasp at a solitary bee‘s nest.

Translated from the Dutch entomologists of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten:

Monday, September 22, 2014

On July 23, 2014 nature photographer Adrie van Heerden discovered a Leucospis dorsigera wasp in his garden in Pijnacker. This is the first ever discovery of this species in the Netherlands. This Leucospis dorsigera wasp was probably a parasite on the red mason bees which make their nests in the insect hotels in the garden.