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Archive for August, 2013

This morning I found a hairy snail for the first time.

I have read about them in a venerable identification book where it is still called Trichia hispida, but not seen one in the actual hairy shell. It lives everywhere that is not particularly dry, right the way across Europe. It is also a common species. I guess I just wasn’t looking before. Because it amused my Mum – I thought I would share it with you.

Photos are in the flickr set ‘Insects etc’

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Russell has sent me a link to a survey by the Lndon Assembly. It looks a great idea to put forward our views.

As an aside, here is a photo of the path next to Wilmer Place in the morning sun, which will be shaded at this time of day should the new building in Wilmer Place go ahead.

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A large, mainly black and white butterfly was around the chapel on Thursday,

The wing span was wider any British species I know of, and it had a slightly slower wingbeat than I am used to seeing. It was a male Hypolimnas misippus or Mimic Butterfly and I’m grateful to Tony Butler for his photograph.  The females have a red/orange area in their wings, with the black and white patches on the outer edges. They are native to much of Africa, Asia and Australia, but not the UK. They are reared in butterfly houses as an interesting exotic, and I guess this one escaped.

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So there I was, camera focused on a bee, happily thinking about focus and lighting and keeping it in shot,…. and suddenly a second bee turned up, grabbed the one I was watching by a back leg, wrestled for about 3 seconds and took off with it. I was left wondering what on earth had happened. I wasn’t sure of the species, and the aggressor looked quite differrent, so I thought it was an attack. But no, the expert on iSpot (an Open University site to help identify all things nature, send them a photo and they try for an ID ), said it was mating. From that I could work out the species. That didn’t look like fun though. that was rape! I clicked photos as fast as I could, and ended up with 3 indifferent shots. The full sequence is here, 6 snaps of the female bee feeding and the 3 action shots.

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