New fly species discovery in the Netherlands


Schistosoma truncatum

Waarneming.nl in the Netherlands reports by e-mail that a fly species, new for the Netherlands, was discovered in the sand dunes of Meijendel nature reserve. Schistostoma truncatum was found on 20 April 2015 by Arie Benschop.

Beautiful new crayfish species discovery in Indonesia


Cherax pulcher, newly discovered crayfish

From Laughing Squid:

Cherax (Astaconephrops) pulcher’, A Newly Described Species of Brightly Colored Crayfish Found in Indonesia

by Glen Tickle at 12:43 pm on May 21, 2015

Cherax (Astaconephrops) pulcher is a newly described species of brightly colored crayfish found in Indonesia. The paper describing the species was published by Christian Lukhaup in the journal ZooKeys on May 4, 2015, but Lukhaup had seen the animal ten years ago in a photograph, and it has been sold in pet shops in Japan and Europe.

The bright blue, pink, and purple colors seen particularly in the males of the species along with spots on the animals’ shells make them look not unlike images of distant galaxies and gas clouds captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, or as Elahe Izadi of The Washington Post described them, “a Lisa Frank creation.”

Black woodpeckers catch ants for their chicks


This video is about a black woodpecker couple, breaking an anthill open.

They want to feed the ants to the hungry chicks in their nest.

Hans Wolters in the Netherlands made this video.

Snail passes tree frog, video


Ab Wisselink from the Netherlands, the maker of this video, writes about it (translated):

On May 13 [2015], I photographed a tree frog sitting sunbathing on a blackberry bush in a new nature reserve of the State Forestry in Halle-Heide (Achterhoek region).

From the right underside a snail entered the picture, crawling, and passed the tree frog, neatly according to the traffic rules on the left side. The frog moved aside a bit, but otherwise let it happen quietly, and the snail seemed to have no trouble finding its way with between the sharp blackberry thorns. Wonderful to experience!

Skylark, stonechat, and oak eggar caterpillar


This video is about a yellowhammer singing.

After 5 May 2015, 6 May in and around Dwingelderveld national park in Drenthe.

Early in the morning, a red squirrel outside.

In the Dwingelose heide heathland, a yellowhammer sings.

A curlew calls.

Moss, 6 May 2015

Not just heather grows here: eg, moss as well.

Many skylarks fly up and down, singing.

Skylark, 6 May 2015

One skylark, a bit atypically, sits down on a bush.

A kestrel flies overhead.

Oak eggar caterpillar, 6 May 2015

On the sandy path along the bicycle track, oak eggar caterpillars. These hairy caterpillars, common in Dwingelderveld at this time of the year, may irritate people’s skins. Some birds don’t like to feed on hairy caterpillars like these; but, eg, cuckoos don’t mind.

Near a lakelet, a northern lapwing couple flying and calling. And a redshank.

From the hide, again two black-necked grebes. And tufted ducks.

On the bank of Holtveenslenk lake, a spoonbill. While a grey heron flies away.

A long-tailed tit in a tree.

Stonechat male, on 6 April 2015

Then, a male stonechat.

Honey buzzards returning from Africa


This video shows a honey buzzard, digging at a wasps’ nest.

Translated from the Dutch Sovon ornithologists:

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

On May 5, the first bird of the transmitter project ‘Honey Buzzards of the Kempenbroek‘ returned to our country. In the third week of April the birds left their wintering grounds in West Africa. The birds needed more time than usually for the journey due to bad weather over the Sahara and Europe. The coming period we will be able to see if and when the other birds will arrive with us. The Honey Buzzard, along with species such as Turtle Dove, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Reed Warbler, Golden Oriole, and Red-backed Shrike is among the last species to return to us from Africa.

Meanwhile, more honey buzzards have arrived.