Rare fly discovered on Ameland island


Delia quadripila, photo Joke van Erkelens

Translated from the Leeuwarder Courant in the Netherlands:

25 April 2016

On the salt marsh on the east side of Ameland an insect has been found that had not previously been found in the Netherlands. It’s Delia quadripila, a fly from the Anthomyiidea family which had not yet been identified in the Benelux countries before. The larvae feed on the chlorophyll of sea sandwort, a rare marsh plant. The specimen was found by Theo Kiewiet on March 13 as a pupa and then hatched in Meppel by amateur entomologist Joke van Erkelens. At the Vennootkwelder salt marsh sandwiched between the Oerd and Kooikersduinen areas approximately 120 insect species have been observed.

Strong ant, video


This 26 April 2016 shows an ant, strong enough to transport a big prey.

MarijkeS from the Netherlands made this video.

Dutch bees had good winter


This Dutch video says about itself (translated):

April 24, 2016

AMEN – Bees had their best winter for years. The number of hives where bees this winter have died is extremely low.

Beekeepers lost 6.5 percent of their hives, while the previous year that was still 10 percent. In 2011 even 20 percent of the bee colonies did not survive winter.

See also here.

Dung beetles and dung, new research


This video says about itself:

African Dung Beetle

15 October 2007

Sacred to ancient Egyptians, these beetles recycle – of all things – dung.

From Ecological Entomology:

Herbivore dung as food for dung beetles: elementary coprology for entomologists

PETER HOLTER

Article first published online: 22 APRIL 2016

1. How do dung beetles and their larvae manage to subsist on herbivore dung consisting of plant remains that are at least partly indigestible, mixed with various metabolic waste products? To clarify what is known and not known about this basic aspect of dung beetle biology, the present review summarises information on dung composition and discusses the feeding of beetles (food: fresh dung) and larvae (food: older dung) in relation to this information.

2. There is 70–85% water in typical fresh dung, and undigested lignocellulose or ‘fibre’ constitutes about 70% of the organic matter which also contains 1.5–3% N. About 75% of this is ‘metabolic faecal nitrogen’, mostly associated with dead and alive microbial biomass. As all essential amino acids and cholesterol are probably present, additional synthesis by microbial symbionts may not be needed by the beetles.

3. Beetles minimise the intake of lignocellulose by filtering fibre particles out of their food which is probably microbial biomass/debris with much smaller particle size. Excess fluid may be squeezed out of this material by the mandibles before ingestion.

4. All larvae are bulk feeders and unable to filtrate, but little is known about the composition of their food, i.e. older dung in pats or underground brood masses. Larvae in dung pats may depend on easily digestible dung components, probably microbial biomass, whereas the nutritional ecology of larvae in brood masses is still not understood. Unravelling the composition of their food might answer some of the so far unanswered questions.

Deep-sea crab swarm off Panama, video


This New Scientist video says about itself:

Mysterious swarm of crabs filmed off the coast of Panama

12 April 2016

Video captured off the coast of Panama shows a surprising underwater swarm of red crabs, spotted further south than ever before. Where are they headed?

Full story here.

Good to have some better news from Panama than about the Mossack Fonseca tax dodger enablers.

How marine animals live together, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Symbiosis In The Sea (HD)

15 April 2016

In this webisode Jonathan explores different types of symbiosis in the ocean, including mutualism, commensalism and parasitism, and how animals use it for survival.

Wolf spider video


This video is about the Hygrolycosa rubrofasciata wolf spider. Males of this species drum with their bodies on old fallen leaves to attract females.

Erik Korsten in the Netherlands made this video.