New springtail species discoveries in the Netherlands

This 2010 video is about springtails, taken from the BBC’s Life in the Undergrowth documentary series.

Translated from the Dutch entomologists of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten:

Monday, August 24th, 2015

During an inventory of the Drents-Friese Wold no fewer than five species of springtails, new for our country, were found. Also 19 species that had not been previously reported for Friesland province and 15 species that had not been reported for the province of Drenthe. With this finding, the number of species of springtails occurring in the Netherlands is 249! Members of the Dutch Entomological Society, where insects lovers meet each other, identified last summer 1329 species of insects and other invertebrates in different areas of the Drents-Friese Wold. Recently an article was published about the insects of the Drents-Friese Wold near Appelscha in Entomologische Berichten.

The five species, new for the Netherlands, are: Ceratophysella scotica, Isotomurus unifasciatus, Pachyotoma crassicauda, Isotoma caerulea and Proisotoma subminuta.

‘Extinct’ insect rediscovered in Edinburgh, Scotland

An illustration from British Entomology by John Curtis, the Bordered Brown Lacewing, Megalomus hirtus (Linn.)

From Wildlife Extra:

Insect thought extinct found in Edinburgh

The Bordered Brown Lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) has been rediscovered on Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh after having not been seen for over 30 years, and feared to be extinct in the UK.

The last record was from Edinburgh in 1982. The new specimen was found by Mike Smith, an intern with Buglife as part of a project supported by the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).

Mike Smith, Buglife intern says: “Finding the lacewing has been a really exciting start to my project and now we know that it’s not extinct, we can start learning more about it.

“We think it might live on Wood Sage but we’re not sure and so we need to investigate further to make sure that this rare Scottish insect has everything it needs to survive.”

Colin Plant, the national recorder for lacewings, who confirmed the identification, says: “The rediscovery of the Bordered Brown Lacewing in Edinburgh is really good news for biodiversity.

“The discovery gives hope that other rare invertebrates might still be hanging on in areas where their micro-habitats still remain.

“The ongoing campaign by Buglife to preserve habitats remains key to the long term survival of a huge range of invertebrates.”

Further work will now be done to work out how healthy the population at Arthur’s Seat is, as well as searching other old sites where the lacewing had been found previously.

Nida Al-Fulaij, Grants Manager at PTES, which has been supporting the internship, says: “It’s really important to support and nurture the next generation of conservation scientists and biologists here in the UK.

“Mike Smith, who discovered the specimen as part of his intern project, has shown what can be achieved by an enthusiastic and dedicated young researcher when given the backing and guidance they need.”

Extinct mayflies back in the Netherlands

This video shows Ephoron virgo, burrowing mayflies, in the Blauwe Kamer nature reserve, near Opheusden in the Netherlands; 5 August 2015.

According to the Dutch entomologists of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten & andere ongewervelden today, this species had disappeared from Dutch river banks 79 ago because of pollution. In 1936, the last mayfly was seen where once there had been millions of them.

After the river water had become cleaner, in 1991 the first mayfly larva was found again in the Netherlands. Now, they are getting more numerous in some places along Dutch rivers. The adults are seen only in August.

How butterflies avoid inbreeding

This video says about itself:

2 October 2010

Bicyclus anynana male and female butterflies performing courtship behavior.

From Ethology:

Kin Recognition and Inbreeding Avoidance in a Butterfly


Owing to the risk of inbreeding depression, the evolution of inbreeding avoidance by means of kin recognition is expected for many biological systems. Nevertheless, an ability to distinguish among relatives and non-relatives has been only rarely demonstrated, especially so in non-social organisms.

We here show that, in the non-social tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, females discriminate against relatives by preferentially mating with non-relatives. Inbreeding avoidance was more pronounced in inbred as compared with outbred butterflies, suggesting that it is partly condition dependent. We argue that, in our system, the evolution of inbreeding avoidance is related to carrying a high genetic load and thus to being particularly sensitive to inbreeding depression.

Ladybugs mating, video

This video shows a ladybug couple mating on a compost container in the Netherlands.

Pieter Vonk made this video.

Giant stick insects and Victoria amazonica flower

Victoria amazonica bud, 1 August 2015

On 1 August 2015, after the earlier flowers and bees of the botanical garden then, to the Victoria amazonica hothouse. This giant water lily species did not have a flower yet, but it did have a bud, as this photo shows.

Giant prickly stick insect, adult, 1 August 2015

Then, the next hothouse. On a smallish Eucalyptus tree in a pot in there, an adult giant prickly stick insect from Australia.

Giant prickly stick insect, juvenile, 1 August 2015

But there were not only adults. This species reproduces here, so there were young ones on that tree as well, like this one.

Giant prickly stick insect, small juvenile, 1 August 2015

This photo shows the smallest one of the new generation of giant prickly stick insects, while feeding.

Rare green snaketail dragonfly news

This is a 2009 video, showing a green snaketail dragonfly along the Roer river in Limburg province in the Netherlands.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Friday, July 31, 2015

It’s a good year for the green snaketail dragonfly. This rare species has been absent for decades in the Netherlands, but since 1996 it’s back in Limburg [province]. Three years ago, the green snaketail dragonfly was seen along the Dommel [river in North Brabant province] and it has been seen there once again.