Insects, frogs, and fungi

This video is called Damselfly larva preying on a fish.

This is also from the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog:

Date: 10/16/05 at 2:20PM

Mood: Looking Playing: Smoke on the waters, by Deep Purple

Today, the natural history museum paid special attention to insects and other small invertebrate animals.

First, we went to a ditch close to the museum and caught animals with nets there.

They included damselfly larvae.

Also Arrenurus water-mite; Notonecta glauca, water boatman; a Baetis mayfly larva.

Also the crustaceans Asellus aquaticus and Gammarus pulex.

And worms: tubifex and Hirudo medicinalis.

And water snails: Heliosoma; and Lymnaea.

Then, we went to a nearby hospital ground and woodland to look for small land animals.

We found millipedes, and centipedes, including Lithobius forficatus brown centipede, and Geophilus.

And scabby sow bug.

Also seven spotted ladybird.

And somewhat bigger, vertebrate, animals: common frogs.

Also, various snail species: Discus rotundatus Rounded snail; Cepaea nemoralis, Brown lipped snail; and Arianta arbustorum, Copse snail.

A small slug: Deroceras reticulatum, Netted slug.

In the botanical gardens, if you also look closely between leaves in autumn, you can find 43 species of slugs and snails.

We saw fungi as well: Meripilus giganteus. And Hypholoma fasciculare or Sulphur tuft on a tree.

And a circle of Pholiota formosa.

Ladybugs at Magritte exhibition: here.

Harlequin ladybirds: here.

‘Hippodamia convergens’ ladybugs in the USA: here.

Ladybirds — wolves in sheep’s clothing: here.

Backswimmers: here.

Water boatman is the world’s loudest animal: here.

1 thought on “Insects, frogs, and fungi

  1. Ladybugs blanket South Coast

    October 20, 2007 6:00 AM


    SouthCoast residents were inundated with Asian ladybird beetles this week as the black-spotted, orange insects began seeking shelter from impending cold weather.

    Officially called Harmonia axyridis, the ladybird beetle, or ladybug, is considered a beneficial insect, feeding on plant-damaging aphids and scale insects. As their food source dwindles at summer’s end, ladybird beetles head indoors to find a warm place to hibernate. The insects will likely continue to congregate on homes until the first hard frost.

    “They are one of three or four insects we call the insect house invaders of autumn,” said Deborah Swanson, a horticulturist for the Plymouth County UMass Extension. “People get upset sometimes because they don’t like to see bugs in the house. But they just want to winter in the house.”

    Harmless as they may be, the Asian ladybird beetle is an unwelcome guest for many people, particularly when the insects travel in swarms.

    “The best thing to do is not to panic,” Ms. Swanson said. “It would be different if it were wasps or hornets.”

    Getting rid of the ladybugs can be tricky, particularly for homeowners who rely on exterminators to handle their pest control needs.

    “Our phones were ringing off the hook yesterday,” Tony DeJesus of New England Pest Control said Friday.

    “This is not the traditional ladybug that we think of,” Mr. DeJesus said. “As an experiment, this (insect) was brought into the country to try to control aphids.”

    New England Pest Control operators, who fielded two or three times the number of calls they received last year at this time, explained to customer after customer that there is nothing they can do about it.

    “As a professional pest control company, our hands are tied because they are considered beneficial insects,” Mr. DeJesus said. “When you have 200 or 300 of them on the outside of your house, the benefit becomes a pain in the neck.”

    Terminix International received 50 or 60 calls about the beetles Thursday, according to Taunton branch manager, Sean Crowley.

    “People are being inundated by the hundreds,” Mr. Crowley said. “They are trying to get into the house to hide in attics and wallboards.”

    The ladybugs are attracted to lighter colored houses, particularly those with cedar shingles, and they typically congregate on the sunniest side of the house, according to Mr. Crowley.

    Pesticides are not recommended for controlling ladybird beetles, and experts recommend more benevolent methods of keeping them out of the house.

    “We have a responsibility in the environment,” Mr. Crowley said. “We can’t just go out there and kill insects that are beneficial.”

    Instead, homeowners can discourage them from overtaking the exterior of the house by hosing them down or vacuuming and releasing them. Residents should take care not to crush the beetles, as they will release an orange fluid that will stain surfaces and emit a foul odor.


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