New ladybug atlas for the Netherlands


This video says about itself:

14 November 2011

This is a video I created about the life cycle of a ladybug, specifically the seven-spotted ladybug.

Translated from Dutch entomologists Jan Cuppen, Vincent Kalkman and Gerrian Tacoma:

2 July 2015

In 2015 and 2016 we are going to map the distribution of the Dutch ladybugs, with the goal of publication of an atlas in 2017.

In the Netherlands there are more than sixty ladybug species.

Besides forty fairly large, colourful and easily recognizable ladybug species, in the Netherlands there are also more than twenty species of the Scymninae subfamily. These are often small, hairy and difficult to name.

Below is information about all Dutch ladybugs.

Ants transporting dead beetle, video


This video is about ants transporting a dead beetle on a sidewalk in the Netherlands, while meeting obstacles.

Everdien van der Bijl made this video.

Orchids, long-tailed tits and beautiful beetles


Orchid, 28 June 2015

This photo, made with a macro lens like the other ones in this blog post, shows a southern marsh orchid in the Heempark on 28 June 2015.

As we entered the park, a robin singing.

In a ditch, mallards, and a coot couple with a nest.

A flock of long-tailed tits in a tree.

A juvenile robin cleaning its feathers on a branch.

Field horsetails.

Chaffinch and blackcap singing.

A lesser black-backed gull flying overhead.

A chiffchaff sings.

Southern marsh orchid, 28 June 2015

Quite some southern marsh orchid flowers.

Greater yellow-rattle, 28 June 2015

Greater yellow rattle flowers.

Field bindweed, 28 June 2015

While field bindweed intertwines with other plants.

Ring-necked parakeets call.

A common carder bee. Honeybees. Hoverflies.

Orchid flowering, 28 June 2015

Another orchid. Also a southern marsh orchid; but of the rare variety Dactylorhiza majalis subsp. praetermissa var. junialis.

Bladder campion, 28 June 2015

Bladder campion flowering; with field horsetail in the background of this photo.

Field horsetail, 28 June 2015

On this photo, field horsetails are the main subject.

A blackbird sings.

A Muscovy duck walks past.

Wild strawberries, 28 June 2015

Wild strawberry fruits along the footpath.

Milk-parsley, 28 June 2015

Milk-parsley: partially still flowering, in other plants the flowers are already gone.

Green dock leaf beetle, 28 June 2015

Near the milk-parsley plants many small beautiful beetles: green dock leaf beetles.

English greater horseshoe bats threatened


This video from Britain says about itself:

24 February 2011

A short piece about Greater Horseshoe Bats that appeared on The One Show (23/02/2011).

Land near the roost is now being grazed organically by Ruby Red Cattle, hopefully leading to an increased population of dung beetles an important food source for some species of bat.

From Wildlife Extra:

Devon bats future to be decided at High Court

If the High Court allows the building of 230 houses the future of a population of one of northern Europe’s most threatened bats, the greater horseshoe bat, will be in jeopardy, says the Devon Wildlife Trust.

The Trust is bringing the Judicial Review against a planning decision made by Teignbridge District Council to grant permission for up to 230 houses to be built on land which lies just 170 metres from an internationally important site where female greater horseshoe bats congregate to give birth and raise their young. Devon Wildlife Trust has taken this unusual step in the court because the Rocklands development on the edge of Chudleigh, in South Devon, will pose a serious threat to the future of these rare bats.

Chudleigh’s population of greater horseshoe bats is one of the largest left in the UK but overall the species is in serious decline. The Devon bats use a site close to the Chudleigh town centre as a place to hibernate in winter and as a summer maternity roost in which to raise their young. The caves have protection from disturbance and development, and form part of the South Hams Special Area of Conservation. However, this same protection does not extend to the surrounding green fields and hedgerows which act as vital feeding grounds and flightpaths for the bats. It is the decision of Teignbridge District Council to permit a development of 230 houses in this bat-friendly landscape that Devon Wildlife Trust is taking court action to try to overturn.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Chief Executive Harry Barton said:

‘These bats are some of the rarest UK mammals and Devon’s rural landscapes offer one of the last places which they have left. The importance of the decision by the High Court on Friday cannot be overstated. We believe that the needs of the species haven’t been properly taken into consideration in the decision to give the go ahead for 230 houses to be built so close by.’

‘We recognise that there is an acute housing shortage in the country. However, this case is about ensuring we have the right scale of development in the right place. Chudleigh has grown by 67 percent since 1950 and is scheduled to expand by a further 435 homes. During the same period the extent of hedgerows, which the bats use to navigate to their favourite foraging grounds, have halved. Cramming development into the remaining green fields around the town threatens the future of this special landscape and the bats and other wildlife which it supports.’

Greater horseshoe bats have suffered a catastrophic decline in the past 100 years. This large bat, with a wingspan of almost 40cm, was once common across southern England, but changes in land-use such as urban development and a move away from cattle grazed pastures and hay meadows has seen its numbers tumble by more than 90% since the early 1900s. This has left greater horseshoe bats clinging on in just a few areas.

Devon remains one place where the bats can still be seen and supports the largest population in the whole of northern Europe. With just 6,500 greater horseshoe bats left in the UK, a third of these survive in the county. Devon’s greater horseshoe bats are now restricted to just 11 key roosts. But now with the Chudleigh roost threatened by a housing development, Devon Wildlife Trust is concerned that the endangered species will be dealt a devastating blow.

Harry Barton, Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust said:

‘We have opposed this housing development from its beginnings in 2013; we opposed it at its initial application stage and at a public hearing, all without success. We are very concerned that this may be the last chance we have to make a difference to the greater horseshoe bats of Chudleigh and this is why we had no option but to take Teignbridge District Council to the High Court.’

‘We are also holding authorities to account which have to adhere to the most important wildlife legislation in the Country, the European Habitat Regulations. This critical legislation is there to support our most endangered habitats and species populations and is currently under threat by moves to reduce its powers. We hope that our case will set a clear precedent that will help give endangered species populations across Europe a brighter future.’

The Judicial Review is being heard on Friday 12 June at the High Court in Bristol.

Ladybirds’ colours, new study


This video from Britain is called BBC Wildlife on One (1987) – Ladybird, Ladybird.

From Wildlife Extra:

A ladybird‘s colour reveal its level of toxicity

The brighter the ladybird the more toxic it is to predators, new research from the Universities of Exeter and Cambridge show.

Although red ladybirds with black spots are most familiar, ladybirds are a diverse group of species and come in many different colours and patterns, from yellow and orange to even camouflaged browns. The bright colouration of different ladybird species acts as a warning signal, telling potential predators to beware of the foul smelling, poisonous chemicals they use for defence.

The study which is published in the journal Scientific Reports, also found that the more conspicuous and colourful the ladybird species, the less likely it is to be attacked by birds.

Lina María Arenas, a PhD student at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter and from the University of Cambridge said: “Ladybird beetles are one of the most cherished and charismatic insects, being both beautifully coloured and a friend to every gardener. Our study shows that not only does ladybird colour reveal how toxic they are to predators, but also that birds understand the signals that the ladybirds are giving. Birds are less likely to attack more conspicuous ladybirds.”

The researchers measured toxicity using a biological assay, by counting the number of dead Daphnia — tiny crustaceans — in water containing the different ladybird toxins. The results show that five common ladybird species each have different levels of toxic defence. Those species with the most colourful and conspicuous colours against the natural vegetation where they live are also the most toxic.

Dr Martin Stevens from the University of Exeter said: “Our results tell us that the ladybirds present ‘honest’ signals to predators, because their colour reveals how well defended they are.

“Relatively inconspicuous species, such as the larch ladybird, have low levels of defence and place more emphasis on avoiding being seen, whereas, more conspicuous and colourful species, such as the 2-spot ladybird, openly flaunt their strong defences to predators like birds.”

Dung beetle transporting dung, video


This is a video about a dung beetle transporting dung; while a slug watches.

Michael de Vries in the Netherlands made this video.