Life in a bag

Have you ever heard of bag moths? They are not literally moths in a bag, rather caterpillars in a bag, or a case. Until I stumbled on a specimen at Dunedin Botanic Gardens the other morning, I had never heard of them, let alone seen one. What at first looked like a twig was rustling on a shrub beside me. As I looked closely, the head of a fat caterpillar popped up from it.

The larva was simultaneously hanging on to a leaf and hooked onto its twig-like bag from the inside thanks to its tiny prolegs— Continue reading

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Fifth instar Monarch larvae

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are famous for the epic annual fall migration they undertake to Mexico and Southern California. What is little known is that their range extends beyond North America to the Pacific, as far south as New Zealand. North American and New Zealand monarchs are the same species, so biologists believe that Continue reading

Pumpkin orange ladybird

My first-time encounter with an orange ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata). These small insects count either eight or six large creamy spots on each side of their body and habitually feed on fungus (mildews, i.e. those infecting plant leaves) and aphids. The last couple of days have been quite warm in Paris and its suburbs where the shots were taken and this adventurous little beetle was enjoying the late November sun.

Location: Paris, France

Out of a fairy world

Built in the woods, these impressive, fairy-like moth nests contain hundreds of caterpillars in pupation. I could not identify which butterfly or moth species creates such sophisticated constructions, so suggestions are very welcome!

Location: Aichig, Germany

Elegant Sparkly Beetle

Elegant sparkly beetle encountered near the shore of a small pond in the Bavarian countryside. I was unfortunately unable to identify this friendly and beautiful insect, so suggestions are very welcome!

Location: Bayreuth, Germany