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

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Small kiwi cicada

This friendly cicada paid a visit to my garden this morning. More than 40 cicada species are found across New Zealand and I have therefore given up the challenge of identifying Continue reading

A fuzzy bumblebee

Despite their stout, clumsy look, bumblebees can fly at an impressive speed of up to 54 km/h. These friendly insects are however often assaulted by parasitic mites, which are to them what ticks are to us. By attaching to the bees’ fuzzy bodies, they soon overload them to the point that they cannot fly anymore and eventually kill them.

If you come across a bumblebee covered in mites, you can help: check out this interesting article which explains a simple way to ridden bumblebees of these nasty arthropods.

Location: Paris, France