What is the difference between the German Wasp (Vespula germanica) and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly (Milesia virginieusis)?
The German Wasp is a wasp and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly is not a wasp – it is related to the Drone Fly. Both are insects.
The German Wasp is a vespid and the Yellowjacket Hoverfly is a syrphid.
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What is the difference between the European Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)?
The European Wasp, also called the Common Wasp, and the European Paper Wasp are both vespid insects.
The European Wasp and the European Paper Wasp are both social wasps living in colonies with a queen wasp and worker wasps.
The European Wasp and the European Paper Wasp both have black and yellow bodies with yellowish-orange legs.
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The Violet Valga Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa valga) is an insect in the bee family. It is not a Bumblebee, because a Bumblebee has a hairy body. Xylocopa violaceaand Xylocopa valgaare two species of the Violet Carpenter Bee.
The Violet Valga Carpenter Bee is glossy black all over with sparse black hairs. The opaque wings are dark brown with a blue-coloured sheen. It has six legs, two pairs of wings, and three body parts: (1) head, (2) thorax, and (3) abdomen. Its wings are dark (not translucent like other bees). Its antennae are medium-sized, and the male has slightly bent antennae. The male has a yellow patch on the top of its thorax, whereas the female does not (she has a black thorax). The male does not have a stinger. The female has a stinger on her abdomen, but she is not aggressive.
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What is the difference between a Swallow and a Swift?
Both Swallows and Swifts have long pointed wings.
Both Swallows and Swifts have short legs.
Both Swallows and Swifts have wide beaks to catch insects.
Both Swallows and Swifts are highly aerial when flying.
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The Large Banded Grasshopper (Arcyptera fusca) is a medium-sized invertebrate insect in the Acrididae family of short horned grasshoppers.
The Large Banded Grasshopper is a yellow-green or brownish-green colour with dark markings. It has long, strong hind (back) legs that enable it to jump long distances. Its hind legs are red, with black and white banded knees. The male has wings and can fly, whereas the female has only basic wings and cannot fly.
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If a bird has a broken or damaged wing, how is it mended?
A veterinarian looks after the health of animals.
A veterinarian (vet) may use a bandaging tape, that does not stick to the bird’s feathers, to hold an injured wing in place. This is to prevent the wing moving and becoming more damaged.
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The New Caledonia Flying Fox (Pteropus vetulus) is a bat, and a mammal, in the Pteropodidae family. Ptero means winged. It is not a fox.
The New Caledonian Flying Fox has long, silky brownish-red fur. It does not have a tail. Its head looks like the head of a small fox. It has long pointed ears, large eyes, and a small grey nose. It has long, black, clawed fingers, and large black wings.
Its wings are flexible and look like a human’s hand, except that the digits (fingers) are longer and bats have a thin membrane of skin, called the patagium, between the fingers. These features enable the bat to move in the air and to change direction quickly.
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The Milarias Tortoise Beetle (Capnodis miliaris) is an insect in the Buprestidae family of tortoise beetles.
The Miliaris Tortoise Beetle is matt black with scattered large spots on its abdomen. It has black wing cases, called elytra. Each wing case (elytron) is covered with white wax and a number of small nodules or lumps. Its antennae are short.
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The Orange Ladybird Beetle (Halyzia sedecimguttata) is an insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybirds. It is also known as the Orange Ladybug or the Orange Lady Beetle.
The Orange Ladybird Beetle has an oval and dome-shaped body. It is a striking orange colour with 16 (or less) large, creamy-white spots on its elytra (wing cases). It has 8 spots on each elytron. It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown, quite long, and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield usually covers the head and shows orange colored spots.
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The Sunburst Diving Beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus) is a small, soft-bodied, aquatic, freshwater insect. It is also known as the Spotted Diving Beetle.
The Sunburst Diving Beetle is black with bright yellow spots. The bright spots act as a defence mechanism to warn away predators. It has a black shell, called a carapace. It has wings that are protected by the carapace. The male has a suction cap on each foreleg (front leg).
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How does a bird take off for flight?
It takes a lot of energy for a bird to go from standing to flying as it takes off for flight.
A small bird does a simple jump and flaps its wings.
A large bird needs more than a jump. A large bird takes a run up, just like a plane does when it taxies on the airport runway.
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The wings of dragonflies are generally clear, apart from the dark veins and the pterostigmata – the small black marks at the top of the wings.
A dragonfly has two pairs of wings attached to its thorax. The wings are long, veined, and membranous, narrower at the tip and wider at the base. Females have shorter and broader wings than males.
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What is an elytron? What are elytra?
Elytra are the wing cases of beetles. Wing cases are also called sheaths or shards.
One wing sheath is called an elytron. The plural is elytra.
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The Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insect (Extatosoma tiaratum) is a phasmid insect, related to the Praying Mantis. It is also known as the Giant Prickly Stick Insect and the Spiny Leaf Insect.
The Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insect can be brown, white, cream, green, reddish, or yellowish and is camouflaged in plants. It has a long, rounded body. Both the male and the female have wings, but the wings of the female are too small for flying. The male has spikes on his face, and the female has spikes on her body and face.
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The Bull’s Horn Cockroach (Archimandrita tessellata) is a large insect. It is also called the Giant Peppered Cockroach.
The Bull’s Horn Cockroach is beige to orange-brown with black flecks that look like pepper. It has an oval shape with a hard exoskeleton. Males and females have wings, but they are too heavy to fly.
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What is the difference between the Asian Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos daphanea), the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), and the Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)?
The Asian Golden Eagle, the Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Steppe Eagle are all large birds of prey, raptors, and accipiters from the Northern Hemisphere.
The Asian Golden Eagle, the Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Steppe Eagle all have a dark-grey or black-tipped sharply down-turned beak with a yellow cere (the hard substance at the top of the beak).
The difference between them is mainly due to size, colour, and flight.
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What do the wings of a bat look like?
A bat has flexible wings, that are more flexible than a bird’s wings.
A bat’s wings have a similar structure to a human’s hand, except that the digits (fingers) are longer and bats have a thin membrane of skin, called the patagium, between the fingers.
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The Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis) is also called the Rodrigues Flying Fox. It is not a fox; it is a bat. It is a mammal.
The Rodrigues Fruit Bat has grey-brown fur, with a chestnut-red neck and chest. It has small ears and a small grey nose. It has long, black, clawed fingers, and large black wings.
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The Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) is an insect in the Papilionidae family of butterflies. It is also called the Sail Swallowtail or the Pear-Tree Swallowtail. It is not scarce. It is quite common and widespread across Europe, except northern Europe. However, it is a protected species in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia.
The Scarce Swallowtail is creamy-white to pale-yellow. On its front wings, there are 6 dark-coloured tiger stripes and wedge-shaped markings. On the outer edges of its hind wings (back wings), there are blue crescent markings with an oblong orange spot at the back corner of its long tail.
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The Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa caffra) is an African insect in the bee family. It is not a Bumblebee, because a Bumblebee has a hairy body.
The Carpenter Bee has six legs, two pairs of wings, and three body parts: (1) head, (2) thorax, and (3) abdomen. It has a shiny black body with two yellow bands or orange-red bands. It has black wings. Its two antennae are medium-sized. The male does not have a stinger. The female has a stinger on its tail, but it is not aggressive.
The Carpenter Bee grows to about 4-5 centimetres (2 inches) long.
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