libutron
libutron:

Bee Beetle - Trichius gallicus 
This hairy beetle resembling a bee is an European species of the Scarabaeidae Family, scientifically named Trichius gallicus [Synonym: Trichius rosaceus], and commonly referred to as Bee Beetle due to its coloration pattern and because it buzzes like a bee when it flies.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©linanjohn | Locality: Ciron, Brenne, France (2010)

libutron:

Bee Beetle - Trichius gallicus 

This hairy beetle resembling a bee is an European species of the Scarabaeidae Family, scientifically named Trichius gallicus [Synonym: Trichius rosaceus], and commonly referred to as Bee Beetle due to its coloration pattern and because it buzzes like a bee when it flies.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©linanjohn | Locality: Ciron, Brenne, France (2010)

Beetle ID - BC, Canada:
Possible ID, please? :) Found in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.
Paxon:
Yes absolutely. This is a Knapweed Root Weevil (Cyphocleonus achates), family Curculionidae. They are native to Europe, and were introduced into North America to help control invasive Knapweed.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/226667
http://www.invasive.org/browse/subthumb.cfm?sub=3127
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyphocleonus_achates

Beetle ID - BC, Canada:

Possible ID, please? :) Found in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

Paxon:

Yes absolutely. This is a Knapweed Root Weevil (Cyphocleonus achates), family Curculionidae. They are native to Europe, and were introduced into North America to help control invasive Knapweed.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/226667

http://www.invasive.org/browse/subthumb.cfm?sub=3127

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyphocleonus_achates

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Libelloides macaronius

…is a species of Ascalaphine (Split-eyed) owlfly which occurs throughout parts of Europe and Asia. Like other owlflies L. macaronius is an insectivore and will feed on a variety of flying insects. L. macaronius larvae, on the other hand, are antlion-like ambush predators. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Ascalaphidae-Libelloides-L. macaronius

Images: Sebaho and Srđan Mitić

The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae which breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia and winters in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. The species predominantly feeds on insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.
Photo: Pierre Dalous                                                          via: Wikipedia

The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae which breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia and winters in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. The species predominantly feeds on insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.

Photo: Pierre Dalous                                                          via: Wikipedia

bbsrc

bbsrc:

Counter-shading may keep caterpillars out of trouble

Scientists from the Universities of St Andrews and Bristol are studying caterpillars to see how counter-shading, where an animal’s upper body is darker than its lower, provides camouflage.

Because light comes mostly from above, more light usually reaches the top of a body. If an animal is uniformly coloured it therefore appears lighter on top and darker below. Counter-shading is thought to cancel out this effect, making the animal appear more uniform and hence harder to see.

But because these caterpillars spend most of their time hanging upside down beneath a twig, their top half is lighter than their bottom. 

The top image shows an upside-down Tau Emperor (Aglia Tau) moth caterpillar appearing to have roughly uniform colouration, but the bottom image shows that it is actually lighter on top. 

These scientists are measuring if light-colour interactions do cancel out so that the caterpillar appears uniform. They are using mathematical modelling and behavioural experiments to determine how much harder caterpillars are to spot when their orientation does, or does not match their counter-shading.

Images copyright under CC licence Olivier Penacchio

Read more: http://julieharrislab.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/photonstoform/

For more BBSRC camouflage related news go to: http://bit.ly/1fA9gPV

A century on, we’re still paying the price.

If you find human behavior discouraging today, consider what happened a century ago. A Martian might have gazed down upon Europe in 1914 and seen a peaceful, prosperous continent with a shared culture. Pretty much everyone had enough to eat. The English listened to Wagner, Germans savored Shakespeare, Russian aristocrats mimicked the French, Mozart and Italian opera were loved by all. Then, Europe imploded…

cool-critters

cool-critters:

Scorpionfly (Panorpa communis)

Panorpa communis, the common scorpionfly, is a species of scorpionfly native to Western Europe.

The common scorpionfly has a black and yellow body, with a reddish head and tail. The male has a pair of claspers at the end of its tail (for holding the female during mating), giving it a scorpion-like appearance, although it is not a stinger.

Although fully winged, the adults rarely fly very far and spend much of their time crawling on vegetation in damp, shaded places near water and along hedgerows.

Study Finds That Seals Feed at Offshore Windfarms
Some seals prefer to forage for food at offshore wind farms, a study suggests.
by Michelle Warwicker
Researchers found a proportion of GPS tagged harbour seals repeatedly visited wind turbines in the North Sea. They deduced the mammals were attracted to these structures - which may act as artificial reefs - to hunt for prey.
"As far as we know this is the first study that’s shown marine mammals feeding at wind farms," said research team member Dr Deborah Russell from the University of St Andrews, UK.
The team’s findings are detailed in a correspondence article published in the journal Current Biology.
Dr Russell and colleagues tracked dozens of harbour or common seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) living around the British and Dutch coasts of the North Sea. They observed 11 harbour seals visiting wind farms - Sheringham Shoal in the UK and Alpha Ventus in Germany…
(read more: BBC Nature)
photograph by Christine Hall

Study Finds That Seals Feed at Offshore Windfarms

Some seals prefer to forage for food at offshore wind farms, a study suggests.

by Michelle Warwicker

Researchers found a proportion of GPS tagged harbour seals repeatedly visited wind turbines in the North Sea. They deduced the mammals were attracted to these structures - which may act as artificial reefs - to hunt for prey.

"As far as we know this is the first study that’s shown marine mammals feeding at wind farms," said research team member Dr Deborah Russell from the University of St Andrews, UK.

The team’s findings are detailed in a correspondence article published in the journal Current Biology.

Dr Russell and colleagues tracked dozens of harbour or common seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) living around the British and Dutch coasts of the North Sea. They observed 11 harbour seals visiting wind farms - Sheringham Shoal in the UK and Alpha Ventus in Germany…

(read more: BBC Nature)

photograph by Christine Hall

This giant duck could provide solar and hydro power to Copenhagen

by Gabriella Munoz

Once built, this floating sculpture covered with solar cells will produce clean energy for Denmark’s capital city.

Inspired by Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck sculpture, which graced Australian waters back in 2013, a team of UK designers have developed Energy Duck, an energy generator.

Hundreds of photovoltaic panels will cover this 12-storey high floating solar farm, which also has hydro turbines to produce energy at night. According to Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network, Energy Duck is also a reminder of “how climate change has adversely impacted the breeding habitats of the common elder duck, a large sea duck found in the northern coasts of Europe and North America.”…

(read more: Science Alert)

images: Land Art Generator Initiative

libutron
libutron:

Common Stump Brittlestem 
Psathyrella piluliformis (Psathyrellaceae), the Common Stump Brittlestem, is a quite common wood-rotting fungus in broadleaf woodlands, where it is found on and around the stumps of dead deciduous trees. 
Psathyrella piluliformis can be found in Britain, mainland Europe and North America.
Reference: [1]
Photo: ©Stu’s Images
Locality: unknown

libutron:

Common Stump Brittlestem 

Psathyrella piluliformis (Psathyrellaceae), the Common Stump Brittlestemis a quite common wood-rotting fungus in broadleaf woodlands, where it is found on and around the stumps of dead deciduous trees. 

Psathyrella piluliformis can be found in Britain, mainland Europe and North America.

Reference: [1]

Photo: ©Stu’s Images

Locality: unknown

Orthopteran ID - Upstate New York

Hi Paxon,

We found this lady on a lawn in upstate NY after we cut down a branch of a tree - she may have been in the tree, or she may have simply been on the ground where it fell. Any idea what species she is? The orthopteran field guides I currently possess aren’t shedding any light. 

Paxon:

Don’t feel too bad,. Orthopterans are commonly given short shrift in field guides, and are therefore not easy to ID.

This is a female (see the ovipositor on the end of the abdomen) Drumming Katydid, Meconema thalassinum. It was introduced into the Eastern United States from Western Europe.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/8022/bgimage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meconema_thalassinum