Great Mormon Butterfly

The Great Mormon Butterfly (Papilio Memnon agenor) is a large insect in the Papilionidae family of swallowtail butterflies. 

The Great Mormon Butterfly male has blue-black upperparts. The female has brownish upperparts, streaked with greyish white. She has red patches on her wings near her body.  Both the male and female do not have a tail, even though it is a swallowtail. Its body is black with medium-sized black antennae. 

Continue reading “Great Mormon Butterfly”

The Saiga Antelope population is increasing in Kazakhstan

The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal. 

In 2015, there was a bacterial disease that killed many Saiga Antelopes. The population decreased by 60% making it a critically endangered species.

It is native to Russia and Kazakhstan. In winter, it migrates south to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It used to be native to a wider area across Eurasia. It prefers semi-deserts, steppes, and grasslands, and it does not like steep and mountainous regions. 

Continue reading “The Saiga Antelope population is increasing in Kazakhstan”

Spot Swordtail Butterfly

The Spot Swordtail Butterfly (Graphium nomius) is an insect in the Papilionidae family of swallowtail butterflies. 

The Spot Swordtail Butterfly has a line of distinct white spots along the margin of its wings. One of the hind (back) wings has black markings on the underside. On the upperside, it is black and yellowish-cream, with broad stripes on the edge of its front wings. It has both spots and stripes on its hind wings. It has distinct black swordtails. Its body is black with medium-sized black antennae. 

Continue reading “Spot Swordtail Butterfly”

Eurasian Running Crab Spider

The Eurasian Running Crab Spider (Philodromus dispar) is a small arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb weaver araneomorphic spiders. It is also known as the Philodromid Crab Spider. 

The male Eurasian Running Crab Spider is very different and more distinctive than the female. The male has a shiny, iridescent, black body with white edges and pale legs. The male has large palps – mouthparts. The female is pale greyish-white with pale mottled legs and a leaf-like mark on her abdomen. It is not a very hairy spider. It only has a few bristles, called setae. Of its eight legs, its second pair of legs is longer than its other legs.

Continue reading “Eurasian Running Crab Spider”

Why does the Jungle Nymph have spiky legs?

Why does the Jungle Nymph have spiky legs? 

The Jungle Nymph (Heteropteryx dilatata) is a large insect in the Heteropterygidae family of stick insects.

The female is bright green, much larger than the male, but with very small wings and she cannot fly. She looks life a green leaf. She arches her body backwards. The male is mottled brown, much smaller than the female, with large pinks wings and can fly. 

Continue reading “Why does the Jungle Nymph have spiky legs?”

Black Bean Aphid

The Black Bean Aphid (Aphis fabae) is a small insect in the Aphididae family of soft body aphids. It is also known as the Blackfly, the Bean Aphid, or the Beet Leaf Aphid.

The Black Bean Aphid has a soft, plump body with a small head and a bulbous abdomen. Its body is shiny black or dark-green. It has piercing and sucking mouthparts. Many adults do not have wings. This is called aptery. The winged ones, called alates, are longer and thinner. Near the rear of the abdomen is a pair of thin tubes called cornicles, which secrete waxy liquid. Its legs are pale yellow with black tips.

Continue reading “Black Bean Aphid”

German Wasp

The German Wasp (Vespula germanica) is an insect in the Vespidae family of social wasps. It is a vespid. It is also called the German Yellowjacket in America, although the Yellowjacket is in the Dolichovespula genus, whereas the German Wasp is in the Vespula genus. The German Wasp is related to the Common Wasp.

The German Wasp has a smooth black and yellow segmented body with smoky-coloured wings. The yellow stripes on its body have black marks that look like arrows. It has yellow spots on its thorax. Its legs, called tarsi, are yellow. Its antennae are long, thick, and black. Its head is black with a yellow-orange face. The female has a smooth barbless stinger that can repeatedly sting an animal.

Continue reading “German Wasp”

Common Darter Dragonfly

The Common Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum striolatum) is an insect in the Libellulidae family of dragonflies.

The Common Darter Dragonfly has a long, cylindrical body, two pairs of wings with black tips, and a head with large eyes. Its legs are black with a cream or yellow stripe. The male turns red as it ages. The female looks different from the male, because she has a light-yellow thorax and abdomen, which turns dark-brown with age.

Continue reading “Common Darter Dragonfly”

Cambodia Land Snail

The Cambodia Land Snail (Amphidromus atricallosus classiarius) is a tropical, air-breathing invertebrate gastropod mollusc in the Camaenidae family of arboreal (tree-living) pulmonate land snails. An invertebrate does not have a backbone and gastropod means stomach-footed. 

The Cambodia Land Snail can be varied in colour, often quite colourful but a few species can be dark, with a smooth shell that can be thin and fragile or heavy and solid. Different species have different colours, and can have varied number of whorls, and the direction of the way its shell spirals. It can be dextral shell-coiling (right-handed) or sinistral shell-coiling (left-coiling). The photographed snail is sinistral with a heavy shell. It has 6-8 pale-coloured whorls. It has a large aperture. Its ‘foot’ (soft body) is brown.

Continue reading “Cambodia Land Snail”

Emerald Damselfly

The Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) is an insect in the Lestidae family of slender damselflies. It is also known as the Common Spreadwing. It is similar to the dragonfly.

The Emerald Damselfly has a metallic green colour. Its body is long and cyclindrical. The adult male has a powder blue colour on the prothorax and near its tail. The adult male also has large blue eyes. The female lacks the blue colour. 

Continue reading “Emerald Damselfly”

Bukharan Markhor Goat head butting

The Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) is a large species of wild goat. It is also known as the Tadjik Markhor, the Turkmenian Markhor, or the Screw Horn Goat. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal. 

The female Bukharan Markhor is pregnant for about 150 days (5 months), before giving birth to 1-2 live young, called kids. The photographed kids were born born 23-28 May 2020, so they are now two-and-a-half months old.

Both the male and the female have curled, corkscrew horns in a V-shape, but the male horns are much larger. 

Continue reading “Bukharan Markhor Goat head butting”

RESEARCH: Tracking Red Pandas in Nepal

Research scientists are satellite tracking the movements of Red Pandas in the mountains of Nepal. 

Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are endangered and there are only a few thousand individuals in their native environment in the eastern Himalayas and in southwestern China. The population numbers are declining due to habitat loss, poaching (illegal hunting), and inbreeding. 

In Nepal, Red Pandas are a protected species. The conservation scientists have put Global Positioning System (GPS) collars on 10 Red Pandas to remotely monitor their range of movements in the forests near Mount Kangchenjunga. 

Continue reading “RESEARCH: Tracking Red Pandas in Nepal”

Common Buzzard

The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a medium-sized bird of prey, and a raptor, in the Accipitridae family of accipiters. It is related to the Balkans Long-Legged Buzzard and the Steppe Buzzard. 

The Common Buzzard can be varied in colour from light to dark, although it usually has orange-tinted feathers with dark lines, a red or orange tail, a pale head and white underwings. It has a rounded hear with a sharp, thin, hooked beak and large eyes. It has short legs and sharp claws, called talons. 

Continue reading “Common Buzzard”

Turkmenian Fox

The Turkmenian Fox (Vulpes vulpes flavescens) is a vulpine mammal. It is a sub-species of the Red Fox.

The Turkmenian Fox has greyish fur with reddish-yellow tints. Its winter fur is dense, long, soft, and silky. It sides are lighter than its back and its chin, lower lips, throat and front of the chest are white. The tip of its fluffy tail is white. It has a long body, long narrow head, and short legs. Its front paws have five toes and its back paws have four toes. Each toe has a strong claw. It has orange-brown, oval-shaped pupils with excellent vision.

Continue reading “Turkmenian Fox”

Desert Monitor Lizard

The Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanus griseus) is a large reptile in the Squamata order of monitor lizards.

The Desert Monitor Lizard can be a variety of colours from light-brown to yellowish to grey, with spots and 5-8 dark-brown bands. It also has dark-brown bands on its long, tapered tail. It has a large mouth. Its nostrils are close to its small, brown eyes. Its feet have toes with long, sharp claws. 

Continue reading “Desert Monitor Lizard”