Dutch city wildlife, video

This 12 August 2014 video is about wildlife in and around the Zuidsingel canal in Leiden city in the Netherlands. Including views from a transparent boat, and divers diving.

Young squid swims, video

This video shows a young squid swimming.

Diver Harry Brummelhuis made this video in the Grevelingen lake near Scharendijke village in the Netherlands.

Giant worms discovery on Scottish island

This video from Scotland says about itself:

Giant worms the size of SNAKES are discovered by scientists on abandoned Scottish island

18 January 2016

Researchers says the creatures are three to four times bigger than the average worm and ‘slightly spooky’.

From Wildlife Extra:

Giant worms discovered on remote Scottish island

It sounds like the stuff of nightmares – giant earthworms that, if left alone, keep growing and growing to the size of a baby snake. But this is no bad dream – scientists working on the Isle of Rum, off the coast of Scotland, have found the biggest specimens ever seen in the UK, more than three times the length and weight of a normal worm.

The exceptionally large invertebrates measure up 40 cm (1.3 ft) long, having blossomed due to rich soil and a lack of predators. They’re similar in size to a newly-hatched adder.

In an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Dr Kevin Butt, lead researcher on the earthworm study, carried out by the University of Central Lancashire, said: “These things weigh about twelve and a half grams – but the normal size for these things is about four to five grams.”

The worms, Latin name Lumbricus terrestris, were found at Papadil, an abandoned settlement on Rum, which is home to a tiny population of around 30 people.

“When these things came out of their burrows they were like small snakes,” he said.

However, far from being the stuff of nightmares, Dr Butt told the Telegraph the existence of the worms was “a delight” to discover as they are crucial to the ecosystem, and help lessen the risk of flooding.

“Without their activities we’d be a lot worse off. They’re just as important as bees are in pollinating plants. They help aerate the soil and drain away water and stop surface erosion,” he explained.

Dr Butt believes the Rum worms are bigger than average due to their remote, undisturbed location, with good quality soil. Rum also lacks predators such as badgers, moles, hedgehogs and foxes which would usually gobble the worms before they had chance to grow into monsters. Unlike most animals, which stop growing once they reach an adult size, earthworms keep on growing if left alone.

“These things have just have been left and have grown bigger and bigger,” explained Dr Butt, who has been studying earthworms for around 30 years.

Asked if an enthusiastic schoolboy might be able to achieve a similarly giant specimen by looking after it at home, he confirmed this is possible.

“In the laboratory we can keep them and feed them well and in a matter of a couple of years you can grow them to 15, even 20 grams,” he said.

However, those spooked by the idea of giant worms have little to fear if they visit Rum.

“If they feel footsteps they will just go down deeper into the earth. They’re not going to jump out and grab people,” he said.

News of the Papadil worms is contained in a paper recently published in The Glasgow Naturalist journal.

Snails in the rain, video

This video shows snails in the rain.

Eric Wander from the Netherlands made this video.

Comma butterfly’s unusual hibernation

This video is called Comma (Polygonia c-album) butterfly.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Jan 19, 2016 – There are four butterfly species that traditionally spend the winter in the Netherlands as butterflies. They curl up in sheltered spots and wait for the first spring days to become active and to reproduce. Peacock and small tortoiseshell often go to sheds, attics and old military bunkers for this. Comma butterfly and brimstone winter in bushes and fagots.

But while checking bunkers on the presence of hibernating bats Kees Mostert found on the border of Germany and Poland a comma entirely at rest. This is very unusual, and as far as known, this has not been seen before in the Netherlands. For many years, the bat counters also have been looking out for other animals they encounter in the bunkers. They often see peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies and also moths like the herald moth and buttoned snout are regularly reported, but so far no comma.

Rare spider named after singer David Bowie

This video is about a Heteropoda davidbowie spider feeding.

From The Star in Malaysia:

Monday, 11 January 2016 | MYT 11:58 PM

Rare Malaysian spider named after late rock star David Bowie

PETALING JAYA: You may not know this, but a rare yellow-coloured spider that is only found in parts of Malaysia was named after the late rock star David Bowie.

The spider, discovered seven years ago by an individual named Peter Jager, is called Heteropoda davidbowie, according to a 2009 report by British newspaper The Telegraph.

The spider is distinguished by its large size and yellow hair.

Bowie was selected for the honour because of his musical contribution to [the ] arachnid world – the 1972 concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Jager said that naming spiders after celebrities drew attention to the near extinct species whose habitats are being destroyed due to human activity.

Bowie, who churned out era-defining hits like “Space Oddity“, “Young Americans” and “Let’s Dance”, died at the age of 69 Monday after battling with cancer.

This music video is called David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust, taken from ‘Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)’.

Mysterious booklice in the Netherlands

This 2013 video says about itself:

Female Badonnelia titei feeding on a dead, dried maggot in a laboratory culture.

Translated from the Dutch entomologists of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten:

18 January 2016 – Booklice are very little studied due to their small size (smaller than 5 millimeters). In recent years, the attention for these fascinating insects has increased, but it is not yet clear exactly which species occur in our country. For example, recently it was announced that Badonnelia titei lives in various places in our country. …

Badonnelia titei is an exotic species that most likely originates from South America, where they may originally have lived in caves. Oddly enough, the species has never been observed in the wild. It is found in Europe and the USA where it has been imported, in buildings, such as archives, museums and laboratories.