CREATURE FEATURE: Barred Catfish

The Barred Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum) is a large freshwater fish in the Pimelodidae family of long-whiskered catfish. It is also called the Barred Sorubim. It is related to the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish. 

The Barred Catfish is dark-grey with black loop-like stripes and spots. Its head is depressed with a wide mouth and long whiskers, called barbels. Its eyes and teeth are small. 

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Barred Catfish”

RESEARCH: Insect numbers are decreasing

German researchers wanted to determine the effects of urbanisation on insect numbers. They found that insects are disappearing more quickly than they expected.

The researchers collected more than one million insects across 300 sites in Germany in 2008. They did the same exercise in the same sites 10 years later in 2018. They wrote about their experiment results in the Nature journal in 2019.

Continue reading “RESEARCH: Insect numbers are decreasing”

Longhorn Cowfish

The Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornuta) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Ostraciidae family of boxfish. It is also known as the Horned Boxfish. 

The Longhorn Cowfish is yellow with white or bluish spots, and two long horns that protrude from the front of its head. When the horns are damaged, they can grow back within a few months. The horns are mostly hollow. It has large dark eyes. It has hexagonal scales that form a solid, triangular box-like shell called a carapace. The male and the female look similar. 

Continue reading “Longhorn Cowfish”

Western Marsh Harrier

The Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) is a large bird of prey, a raptor and an accipiter in the Accipitridae family of hawks.

The Western Marsh Harrier has reddish-brown feathers with light coloured streaks. Its head and shoulders are pale yellowish-grey. Its legs and feet are yellow. It has orange-brown eyes with a bright yellow eye-ring. Its beak is grey-black. The female is darker, and almost chocolate brown. 

Continue reading “Western Marsh Harrier”

Himalayan Griffon

The Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) is a large bird of prey, a raptor, and an accipiter. It is a vulture. It is also known as the Himalayan Griffon Vulture. It is related to the Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus). 

The Himalayan Griffon has a long, spiky, pale-brown ruff around its neck with white streaks. Its head has pale blue skin, covered with soft, yellowish down feathers. Its underside and underwings are pale-brown or buff-coloured. Its legs are feathered, and its feet can be greenish-grey to white. Its upperbody is pale and unstreaked with contrasting dark-brown wings. It has a grey, hooked beak, and small, orange-brown eyes. 

Continue reading “Himalayan Griffon”

Pink Wing Stick Insect

The Pink Wing Stick Insect (Sipyloidea sipylus) is a phasmid insect in the Sipyloidea family of stick insects.  It is also known as the Madagascan Stick Insect. It is related to the Praying Mantis. 

The Pink Wing Stick Insect is long, thin and stick-like. It has a light-brown body that is camouflaged to look like dry straw, or dry grass. Both the male and the female have wings, but the wings of the female are too small for flying. 

Continue reading “Pink Wing Stick Insect”

Golden Jackal

The Golden Jackal (Canis aureus aureus) is a canid wolf-like mammal in the Canidae family. It is also called the Persian Jackal. It is related to the Coyote (Canis latrans) and the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus). 

The Golden Jackal can vary in colour from pale-yellow to dark-beige. Its underbelly is pale brown to pale grey. It has large pointed ears and a pointed snout (nose). It has pale legs.

Continue reading “Golden Jackal”

East African Keeled Land Slug

The East African Keeled Land Slug (Limacidae sp.)is an air-breathing terrestrial mollusc in the Gastropoda order and Limacoidea superfamily of keel-backed (ridgeback) slugs. It is a land snail without a shell. 

The East African Keeled Land Slug has a long white body with a mantle, a keeled (ridged) back and two pairs of retractable feelers on its head. The upper pair of feelers has eyespots at the tips. The lower pair of feelers contains sense organs. The mantle is a saddle-looking structure behind the head. On one side of the mantle is a respiratory opening, called a pneumostome. The body is also called the tail, which is behind the mantle. It has a ridge down the middle of the back of the tail. Its foot is the flat under-side of the slug. It secretes mucous that it travels on. 

Continue reading “East African Keeled Land Slug”

Salmon-Crested Cockatoo

The Salmon-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) is a large bird in the parrot family. It is also known as the Moluccan Cockatoo.

The Salmon-Crested Cockatoo has white-pink feathers with a peach tint, a slight yellow colour underwing and yellowish underneath its tail feathers. It has a large bright orange-red crest. It has a large grey hooked beak. The male has a dark-brown or black eyes. The female has brown to red eyes. 

Continue reading “Salmon-Crested Cockatoo”