Tuesday 31 October 2023

1-11-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - PUG MOTH (Eupithecia oxycedrata)

Eupithecia oxycedrata is a species of moth in the family Geometridae. It is found in Spain, southern Portugal, the Balearic Islands, southern France, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Crete, western Romania and the Crimea. It is also found in North Africa, from Morocco to Tunisia, and in Turkey. The habitat consists of dry maquis, especially where junipers grow.

The wingspan is 16-19.5 mm. There are two generations per year, with adults on wing from early April to late June and again from early September to mid October.

The larvae feed on the needles and flowers of Juniperus oxycedrus.


Monday 30 October 2023

30-10-2023 ADOR CAMPO, VALENCIA - EPAULET SKIMMER (MALE) (Orthetrum chrysostigma)

Very widespread and occurs virtually throughout Africa, including North Africa. It also occurs in parts of Southern Europe and the Middle East. In South Africa it occurs virtually throughout, but is scarce in the dry central regions.

The Epaulet Skimmer is a southern European and African dragonfly. A little similar to the Keeled Skimmer of the UK, it has a narrow elongated body with central raised "keel". Above is the attractive pale blue male with turquoise eyes, but the "epaulet" marking on the thorax that gives it its name is not often clear and darkens with age.

30-10-2023 ADOR CAMPO, VALENCIA - EPAULET SKIMMER (MALE AND FEMALE) (Orthetrum chrysostigma)

Orthetrum chrysostigma, the epaulet skimmer, is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae. It is found in Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and possibly Burundi as well as Canary Islands, Israel, and Portugal. It was recorded in the Maltese Islands in 2010. One was also spotted in Tel Aviv, Israel in August 2022.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, rivers, intermittent rivers, shrub-dominated wetlands, swamps, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, and freshwater springs. The adults prey on various flying insects. The bodies of adult males are blue, and those of young and females are yellow and brown.

30-10-2023 ADOR CAMPO, VALENCIA - PLAIN TIGER BUTTERFLY (Danaus chrysippus)

Danaus chrysippus, also known as the plain tiger, African queen, or African monarch, is a medium-sized butterfly widespread in Asia, Australia and Africa. It belongs to the Danainae subfamily of the brush-footed butterfly family Nymphalidae. Danainae primarily consume plants in the genus Asclepias, more commonly called milkweed. Milkweed contains toxic compounds, cardenolides, which are often consumed and stored by many butterflies. Because of their emetic properties, the plain tiger is unpalatable to most predators. As a result, its coloration is widely mimicked by other species of butterflies. The plain tiger inhabits a wide variety of habitats, although it is less likely to thrive in jungle-like conditions and is most often found in drier, wide-open areas.

D. chrysippus encompasses three main subspecies: D. c. alcippus, D. c. chrysippus, and D. c. orientis. These subspecies are found concentrated in specific regions within the larger range of the entire species.

The plain tiger is believed to be one of the first butterflies depicted in art. A 3,500-year-old ancient Egyptian fresco in Luxor features the oldest known illustration of this species.


Larvae body length ranges from 40 to 45 mm. The larvae is usually hairless and varies in color. It has been noted that new born larvae has grayish or dark-green body color whereas the developed larvae has brownish or yellowish body color. Dark and light longitudinal bands along with two dark semi-circular spots on the back are noted characteristics of the larvae. The newly hatched larvae up to third-instar mainly feed on the lower side of the leaves but the later instar larvae feed on both sides. S. littoralis larvae in general are known to feed in the dark. It also has been observed that larvae up to their third and fourth-instar usually remain in their host plant but fifth and sixth-instar larvae leave the host plant during the day and climb back up at night.

The pupa is around 20 mm long and cylindrical in shape. Initially, the pupa is green colored with reddish abdomen but it turns reddish-brown within few hours. Pupation usually occurs 3–5 cm deep in the solid ground under soil. The duration of pupation is around 5–6 hours

30-10-2023 POTRIES, VALENCIA - GREY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea)

The grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) is a member of the wagtail family, Motacillidae, measuring around 18–19 cm overall length. The species looks somewhat similar to the yellow wagtail but has the yellow on its underside restricted to the throat and vent. Breeding males have a black throat. The species is widely distributed, with several populations breeding in Eurosiberia and migrating to tropical regions in Asia and Africa. The species is always associated with running water when breeding, although they may use man-made structures near streams for the nest. Outside the breeding season, they may also be seen around lakes, coasts and other watery habitats. Like other wagtails, they frequently wag their tail and fly low with undulations and they have a sharp call that is often given in flight.

30-10-2023 ADOR CAMPO, VALENCIA - HORSESHOE WHIP SNAKE (Hemorrhois hippocrepis)

The horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) is a species of snake in the family Colubridae . The species is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa.

Adults of H. hippocrepis may attain a total length (including tail) of 1.5 m (5 feet). Its body is slender, and its head is wider than its neck. The eye is large, with a round pupil, and with a row of small scales below it. The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 25-29 rows, and the ventrals number 220–258. Dorsally, it has a series of large spots which are either blackish or dark brown edged with black. There is a series of alternating smaller dark spots on each side. The lighter ground color between the spots may be yellowish, olive, or reddish.

The dark spots are closely spaced, giving the appearance of a dark snake with a light pattern resembling a chain or a series of X's. There is a light horseshoe-shaped mark on the neck and back of head.

H. hippocrepis is found in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in North Africa, and in southern and central Portugal, southern, eastern and central Spain, Gibraltar, southern Sardinia and Pantelleria Island in Europe. In the island locations, it may have been introduced. Since the early 2000s it has been reported from Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. It could have been introduced there by way of old olive trees imported from mainland Spain. The species is thriving there and becomes larger than on the mainland.

The natural habitats of H. hippocrepis are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, rocky shores, sandy shores, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and urban areas.

H. hippocrepis is oviparous.

Sunday 29 October 2023


The beautiful clouded yellow butterfly is a migratory large yellow butterfly species most often seen in the UK in late summer and autumn.

The clouded yellow butterfly (Colias croceus) is a migrant species in the UK. Unable to survive the winter here, each spring it flies north from its breeding areas near the Mediterranean. In some years large numbers reach our shores, in others it can be completely absent.

Being a long-distance migrant, the clouded yellow has a strong flight. This large yellow butterfly might get mistaken for one of our other yellow British butterfly species, such as the brimstone, or even a white. When the clouded yellow is in flight we get a glimpse of the orange-yellow upperwing with its broad black margin but at rest it invariably closes its wings so we can see only its underside. Underneath the clouded yellow is deep yellow with a pair of silvery spots in the centre of the hindwing and a dark spot in the centre of the forewing.

Although a migrant, the clouded yellow does breed in the UK during the summer. Early migrants arrive in May and June, their young combined with later migrants can boost numbers significantly during August and a further brood can be seen on the wing during September and October.


The Painted Lady butterfly and other insects are part of a class of invertebrates within the phylum Euarthropoda, including arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. Arthropods have an exoskeleton, segmented bodies, and jointed appendages. 

The Painted Lady butterflies are one of the brush-footed butterflies (family Nymphalidae), also called four-footed butterflies. They have a five to nine-centimeter wingspan and live for about two to four weeks.

Painted Lady butterflies are found on every continent in the world except Antarctica and Australia.

In the wild, the females lay about 500 eggs in their short 2-4-week lifespan. To put that in perspective, the best laying chicken breeds can only lay about 5-6 eggs per week. Ok, they’re fundamentally different species, but 500 butterfly eggs are still impressive for the lovely little lady.

During migration, the Painted Lady species travels a phenomenal 9,000-mile round trip from tropical Africa to the Arctic Circle! 1 Sorry North American Monarchs, that's almost double the distance of your significant migration.

We think of a cuticle as something on our fingers and toes, but that word refers to the skin (exoskeleton) on caterpillars. The exoskeleton is made of a biomaterial called chitin (fact #9 below explains the cool way chitin also affects butterfly wings). Chitin is one of the most important biopolymers in nature.2 It's the same biomaterial that lobsters, crabs, and other arthropods use in their hard exoskeletons. Strong hydrogen bonds between the chitin chains give chitin exceptional toughness, protecting the caterpillar’s soft insides until it goes through metamorphosis. Or in the case of the lobster, protecting its succulent flesh until it turns into our buttery, gourmet dinner!  Being that tough means that chitin doesn't stretch with growth, so caterpillars and other arthropods periodically shed their exoskeletons, i.e., they molt.

The larval stage of the Painted Lady butterfly is about 5 to 10 days. The caterpillars will eat and eat and eat; after all, how else are they going to turn into gorge-ous butterflies? Caterpillars can consume 200X their birth weight in less than two weeks. They will increase their body mass by as much as 1,000 times or more during this stage.  Imagine a seven-pound newborn child consuming 1400 pounds of formula in two weeks.3 As the caterpillar grows, its skin gets too tight, triggering a hormone (ecdysone) that regulates the molting process.  A caterpillar changes its skin about four times before it's fully grown and ready to go into the chrysalis stage. And, no surprise, the voracious caterpillar doesn't just shed that skin; it digests and reabsorbs most of it. What an appetite!

Like spiders, caterpillars produce silk through a "spinneret." This tube-like structure is located on the lower side of the caterpillar's mouth. The caterpillar excretes liquid silk from its salivary glands then through the spinneret. When the liquid hits the air, it turns into a solid silk strand. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers – it's said that pound for pound, silk is stronger than steel. Although, the spider's silk is stronger than not just steel, but also Kevlar! 4 If you have a butterfly habitat, you can observe them attach to the roof before forming a chrysalis. The caterpillar uses silk from its spinneret to secure itself and build its chrysalis.

Butterflies use complex structures called photonic crystals to scatter light and create that distinctive iridescent look.5 Scientists used powerful X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne to get a unique look at the structure of the tiny crystals that make up butterflies' wings. The results show us how the wings get their iridescent, brilliant colors. "We also found tiny crystal irregularities that may enhance light-scattering properties, making the butterfly wings appear brighter." These "defects" grow as a result of the chirality —the left or right-handedness—of the chitin molecules from which butterfly wings are formed," said co-author Ian McNulty, an X-ray physicist with the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne. 

29-10-2023 PEGO MARJAL, ALICANTE - EUROPEAN STONECHAT (MALE) (Saxicola rubicola)

The European stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a subspecies of the common stonechat. Long considered a member of the thrush family, Turdidae, genetic evidence has placed it and its relatives in the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae.

The stonechat is 11.5–13 cm long and weighs 13–17 g, slightly smaller than the European robin. Both sexes have distinctively short wings, shorter than those of the more migratory whinchat and Siberian stonechat. The summer male has black upperparts, a black head, an orange throat and breast, and a white belly and vent. It also has a white half-collar on the sides of its neck, a small white scapular patch on the wings, and a very small white patch on the rump often streaked with black. The female has brown upperparts and head, and no white neck patches, rump or belly, these areas being streaked dark brown on paler brown, the only white being the scapular patch on the wings and even this often being buffy-white. 

29-10-2023 CANAL LES FONTS OLIVA, VALENCIA - LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)

The little egret (Egretta garzetta) is a species of small heron in the family Ardeidae. The genus name comes from the Provençal French Aigrette, "egret", a diminutive of Aigron," heron". The species epithet garzetta is from the Italian name for this bird, garzetta or sgarzetta.

It is a white bird with a slender black beak, long black legs and, in the western race, yellow feet. As an aquatic bird, it feeds in shallow water and on land, consuming a variety of small creatures. It breeds colonially, often with other species of water birds, making a platform nest of sticks in a tree, bush or reed bed. A clutch of three to five bluish-green eggs is laid and incubated by both parents for about three weeks. The young fledge at about six weeks of age.

Its breeding distribution is in wetlands in warm temperate to tropical parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. A successful colonist, its range has gradually expanded north, with stable and self-sustaining populations now present in the United Kingdom.

In warmer locations, most birds are permanent residents; northern populations, including many European birds, migrate to Africa and southern Asia to over-winter there. The birds may also wander north in late summer after the breeding season, and their tendency to disperse may have assisted in the recent expansion of the bird's range. At one time common in Western Europe, it was hunted extensively in the 19th century to provide plumes for the decoration of hats and became locally extinct in northwestern Europe and scarce in the south. Around 1950, conservation laws were introduced in southern Europe to protect the species and their numbers began to increase. By the beginning of the 21st century the bird was breeding again in France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Britain. Its range is continuing to expand westward, and the species has begun to colonise the New World; it was first seen in Barbados in 1954 and first bred there in 1994. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the bird's global conservation status as being of "least concern". 

Saturday 28 October 2023


Anacridium aegyptium var. rubrispinum Bei-Bienko, 1948 - Anacridium rubrispinum Bei-Bienko, 1948

This quite common species is present in most of Europe, the Afrotropical realm, eastern Palearctic realm, the Near East, and North Africa, and recently seen in Cape Town, South Africa.

These grasshoppers inhabit trees and shrubs, scrub land, maquis, and orchards in warm and bright environments, at an elevation from sea level to 1,500 m.

Anacridium aegyptium is one of the largest European grasshoppers. The adult males grow up to 30–56 mm (1.2–2.2 in) long, while females reach 46–70 mm (1.8–2.8 in) in length. Their bodies are usually gray, brown, or olive-coloured, and their antennae are relatively short and robust. The tibiae of the hind legs are blue, while the femora are orange. The hind femora have characteristic dark marks. They are easily identifiable also by the characteristic eyes with vertical black and white stripes. Their pronota show a dorsal orange stripe and several white small spots. The wings are clear with dark marks.

Thursday 26 October 2023


Pezotettix giornae is a species of 'short-horned grasshoppers' belonging to the subfamily Pezotettiginae (similar to and previously placed in the Catantopinae.

This very little grasshopper is present in Southern Europe (and parts of Central Europe), North Africa and in the Near East.

Pezotettix giornae, mating couple

This species inhabits meadows of lowlands, forest edges, xerotherm areas of plains and southern slopes of stony mountains.

The adult males grow up to 11–14 millimetres (0.43–0.55 in) long, while the females reach 12–18 millimetres (0.47–0.71 in) of length. The basic coloration of the body varies from light brown to greyish. The eyes are relatively large and the sides of thorax sometimes show a white or darker longitudinal stripe. The wings are scaly, oval, very short, reaching only the middle of the second rear segment, so they are unable to fly and resemble nymphs (brachyptery). Nymphs are usually green in the early stages.

This immature stages of this species develop in summer, passing through six instars. Adults can be encountered from June through November in the Mediterranean. They mate in autumn and in winter and often overwinter as adults. In this case they can be found by March.



Vanessa atalanta, the red admiral or, previously, the red admirable, is a well-characterized, medium-sized butterfly with black wings, red bands, and white spots. It has a wingspan of about 2 inches (5 cm). It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. The red admiral is widely distributed across temperate regions of North Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. It resides in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring and sometimes again in autumn. Typically found in moist woodlands, the red admiral caterpillar's primary host plant is the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica); it can also be found on the false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica). The adult butterfly drinks from flowering plants like Buddleia and overripe fruit. Red admirals are territorial; females will only mate with males that hold territory. Males with superior flight abilities are more likely to successfully court females. It is known as an unusually calm butterfly, often allowing observation at a very close distance before flying away, also landing on and using humans as perches.

The red admiral is found in temperate regions of North Africa, North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and island regions of Hawaii, and the Caribbean.

The forewing of this butterfly bears on a black ground an oblique vermilion band and a group of white subapical spots. On the hindwing the larger portion of the distal margin is red, with a row of small black spots and at the anal angle an elongate blue spot. The underside is partly variegated with blue; the forewing is on the whole similar in markings to the upper, while the hindwing is brightly variegated and clouded, bearing black markings, of which those in the cell resemble a figure (on the left wing 18 or 98, on the right 81 or 89); in the middle of the costal area there is a pale patch and in the distal marginal area a row of ocellus-like spots. Sometimes, especially in the female, the red band of the forewing bears a small white spot in the middle.

In northern Europe, it is one of the last butterflies to be seen before winter sets in, often feeding on the flowers of ivy on sunny days. The red admiral is also known to hibernate, re-emerging individuals showing prominently darker colors than the first brood. The butterfly also flies on sunny winter days, especially in southern Europe.

In North America, the red admiral generally has two broods from March through October. Most of North America must be recolonized each spring by southern migrants, but the species overwinters in south Texas.

 Mating usually occurs in late autumn or early winter following collective migration to southern regions with a warmer climate. The red admiral's main host plant, stinging nettle, is most abundant during this migration. Larval development proceeds through winter and adults are first sighted in early spring. The new generation of adults migrates north before mating, because food is usually diminished by late spring. In Europe, the cyclic nature of this migration has been confirmed by analysing stable isotopes of wing samples. In spring, individuals arriving at northern Europe (Kaliningrad) were of a southern origin, while in autumn the isotope analyses revealed that samples came from the surrounding area or northern latitudes. During migration, the red admiral flies at high altitudes where high-speed winds carry the butterfly, reducing energy expenditure.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

27-3-2017 VILLA LAPAS, COSTA RICA - BANANA (Musa balbisiana)

Musa balbisiana, also known simply as plantain, is a wild-type species of banana. It is one of the ancestors of modern cultivated bananas, along with Musa acuminata.

It grows lush leaves in clumps with a more upright habit than most cultivated bananas. Flowers grow in inflorescences coloured red to maroon. The fruit are between blue and green. They are considered inedible because of the seeds they contain.

It was first scientifically described in 1820 by the Italian botanist Luigi Aloysius Colla.

It is native to eastern South Asia, the eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent, northern Southeast Asia, and southern China. Introduced populations exist in the wild, far outside its native range.

It is assumed that wild bananas were cooked and eaten, as farmers would not have developed the cultivated banana otherwise. Seeded Musa balbisiana fruit are called butuhan ('with seeds') in the Philippines, and kluai tani (กล้วยตานี) in Thailand, where its leaves are used for packaging and crafts. Natural parthenocarpic clones occur through polyploidy and produce edible bananas, examples of which are wild saba bananas.

27-3-2017 VILLA LAPAS, COSTA RICA - SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)

The social flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis) is a passerine bird from the Americas, a member of the large tyrant flycatcher family (Tyrannidae).

It is sometimes split into two species with the social flycatcher, Myiozetetes texensis, from Costa Rica northwards to Mexico and the vermilion-crowned flycatcher, M. similis proper, from southwest Costa Rica across South America.


 Baltimore orioles live in the Nearctic in summer, including the Canadian Prairies and eastern Montana in the northwest eastward through southern Ontario, southern Quebec and New Brunswick and south through the eastern United States to central Mississippi and Alabama and northern Georgia. They migrate to winter in the Neotropics as far north as Mexico and sometimes the southern coast of the United States, but predominantly in Central America and northern South America. Some areas of the southern United States may retain orioles all winter if they have feeders that appeal to them. The range of this bird overlaps with that of the similar Bullock's oriole in the Midwest, and the two species were once considered to be conspecific under the name northern oriole because they form fertile hybrids. The Baltimore oriole is a rare vagrant to Western Europe.

Juvenile in Maryland, United States
Baltimore orioles are often found high up in large, leafy deciduous trees, but do not generally reside in deep forests. The species has been found in summer and migration in open woodland, forest edge, and partially wooded wetlands or stands of trees along rivers. They are very adaptable and can breed in a variety of secondary habitats. In recent times, they are often found in orchards, farmland, urban parks and suburban landscapes as long as they retain woodlots. In Mexico, they winter in flowering canopy trees, often over shade coffee plantations.

From 1966 to 2015, the Baltimore oriole experienced a greater than 1.5% annual population decrease throughout the northern and eastern parts of its breeding range. Among other causes Dutch elm disease destroyed a meaningful amount of their favorite nesting locations: elm trees.


 Zelotes is a genus of ground spiders that was first described by J. Gistel in 1848.

25-10-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - ROVE BEETLE (Ocypus ophthalmicus)

Ocypus ophthalmicus is a species of rove beetle belonging to the family Staphylinidae, subfamily Staphylininae.

These beetles are present in most of Europe, in the eastern Palearctic realm, in North Africa, and in the Near East.

Its head, pronotum, and elytra have metallic blue reflections, with a shiny surface of pronotum.

The adults grow up to 17–22 mm (0.67–0.87 in) long. O. ophthalmicus is a eurytopic species and can be encountered both in deciduous forests (Quercus spp., Fagus spp.) and in xeric habitats. Generally, they are found in detritus, under stones, and on dung. They are nocturnal predators (especially of worms, snails, larvae, etc.).

They are known for their habit of raising their long abdomens and opening their jaws, like a threatened scorpion. In this defense posture, they secrete an irritating substance, with a very unpleasant smell.


25-10-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - MOORISH GECKO (Tarentola mauritanica)

Tarentola mauritanica, known as the common wall gecko, is a species of gecko (Gekkota) native to the western Mediterranean area of North Africa and Europe. It has been introduced to Madeira and Balearic Islands, and the Americas (in Montevideo, Buenos Aires and California). A nocturnal animal with a predominantly insectivorous diet, it is commonly observed on walls in urban environments in warm coastal areas; it can be found further inland, especially in Spain where it has a tradition of cohabitation with humans as an insect hunter. A robust species, up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, its tubercules are enlarged and give the species a spiny armoured appearance.

The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. It is also known as moorish gecko, crocodile gecko, European common gecko, and, regionally, as osga (in Portuguese), salamanquesa (in Spanish) and dragó (in Catalan).

Adults can measure up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in), tail included. Robust body and flat head. Back, legs and tail with prominent conic tubercles. Its regenerated tail is smoother and doesn't have tubercles. Obtuse mouth, big eyes with no eyelids and vertical pupil. Fingers with big lateral growths and adherent division less laminae in the bottom face. Only the third and fourth fingers end in union. Brownish grey or brown coloration with darker or lighter spots. These colours change in intensity according to the light. When they are active by day their colour is darker than during the night. It can be found on many construction sites, ruins, rock fields, tree trunks, etc.

24-10-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - BLUE WINGED GRASSHOPPER (Oedipoda caerulescens)

The blue-winged grasshopper, Oedipoda caerulescens, is a grasshopper in the genus Oedipoda.

This species occurs in Europe, North Africa and Asia. It was recently rediscovered in the Maltese islands.

Oedipoda caerulescens is a medium-sized grasshopper, between 15 and 21 mm for males and between 22 and 28 mm for females. The body coloration varies greatly depending on the substrate on which the animals have developed: reddish brown, gray, yellowish, or even completely dark or bright. The forewings are crossed most often by two or three pale bands, but the most striking characteristic, very visible when the insect flies away, is the bright coloration of the hind wings, a beautiful turquoise highlighted with a black marginal stripe. Furthermore, the posterior femora have a notch on their upper surface. At rest, confusion is possible with other Oedipoda species such as O. germanica.

Tuesday 24 October 2023


Small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male's colors to those on the coat-of-arms of 17-th century Lord Baltimore. Observations of interbreeding between the Baltimore oriole and the western Bullock's oriole Icterus bullockii, led to both being classified as a single species, called the northern oriole, from 1973 to 1995. Research by James Rising, a professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, and others showed that the two birds actually did not interbreed significantly.

The Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. It is also the namesake and mascot for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

24-10-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - JASMINE MOTH (Palpita vitrealis)

Palpita vitrealis, common name jasmine moth or white pearl, is a species of moth of the family Crambidae.

This species occurs worldwide, including Africa (Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa), [2]Asia, Australia and Europe. In Europe, it is mainly found in southern Europe, but may be found further north. 

The wingspan of Palpita vitrealis can reach 27–31 mm. The body and the wings are translucent with a slight sheen. Eyes are large and reddish-brown. On the upper edge of the forewings is present a rather broad orange or brown border. The forewings also show two black spots in the middle. Legs are white and brown ringed.

24-10-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - OLEANDER SEED BUG (Caenocoris nerii)

The species name nerii refers to the main host plant Nerium oleander.

This species is present in part of Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy and Spain), in the Afrotropical realm and in the Indomalayan realm.

Caenocoris nerii can reach a length of about 7.5–9.5 millimetres (0.30–0.37 in).[5] The female is larger than the male. Bodies are elongated. The basic color of the body is black, with red markings. Two red quadrangular patches are present on the head. Two red markings appear on the shoulders of pronotum and at the inner margins of the hemielytra, which only partially cover the membranous blackish wings. Scutellum and abdomen are completely red.

Caenocoris nerii, common name oleander seedbug, is a species of ground bugs in the insect family Lygaeidae.

 The species name nerii refers to the main host plant Nerium oleander.

This species is present in part of Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy and Spain), in the Afrotropical realm and in the Indomalayan realm.

Caenocoris nerii can reach a length of about 7.5–9.5 millimetres (0.30–0.37 in).[5] The female is larger than the male. Bodies are elongated. The basic color of the body is black, with red markings. Two red quadrangular patches are present on the head. Two red markings appear on the shoulders of pronotum and at the inner margins of the hemielytra, which only partially cover the membranous blackish wings. Scutellum and abdomen are completely red.

Females usually lay eggs on the leaves of Nerium oleander (hence the common name of the species). All stages of nymphs suck almost exclusively the milky juice of the main host plant (Nerium oleander), but they may also feed on Asclepiadaceae species. Nynphs overwinter. Adults normally feed on the Oleander's fruits and seed. These aposematic bugs are usually rejected by predators because of their toxins derived from the host plant.

Monday 23 October 2023


Lasiommata megera, the wall or wall brown, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae (subfamily Satyrinae). It is widespread in the Palearctic realm with a large variety of habitats and number of generations a year.

P. megera L. [— xiphie Boisd. pt (45d). Above reddish yellow, with a black mark which traverses the distal band from the cell of the forewing to the abdominal margin of the hindwing, short black stripes crossing the disc and the cell of the forewing.

The species lives in North Africa, Europe, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Middle East, western Siberia, northern Tian Shan, Dzungarian Alatau, Kazakhstan and Dzungaria.

Habitats include forest edges and clearings, shrubby areas in ravines and river valleys and sparse woodlands. It is also found in mountain habitats up to 0–3,000 metres (0–9,843 ft) above sea level.

The imago flies from April to October in two or three generations depending on locality and altitude. The larva feeds on grasses in the genera Festuca, Bromus, Deschampsia, Poa, Dactylis and Brachypodium.

"The egg is pale green when first laid, and in shape it is almost spherical, but rather higher than broad; it is finely ribbed and reticulated, but unless examined through a lens it appears to be quite smooth. The caterpillar when full grown is whitish-green, dotted with white. From the larger of these dots on the back arise greyish bristles; the three lines on the back (dorsal and sub-dorsal) are whitish, edged with dark green; the line on the sides (spiracular) is white, fringed with greyish hairs; anal points green, hairy, extreme tips white. Head larger than the first ring (first thoracic segment), green dotted with white and hairy, jaws marked with brownish. The chrysalis is green, with yellow-tinted white markings on the edge of the wing covers and ridges; the spots on the body are yellowish, or sometimes white. Occasionally the chrysalids are blackish, with white or yellow points on the body". (South 1906).



The average wingspan of both males and females is 5.1 cm (2 in), although males tend to be slightly smaller than females. Furthermore, males possess a row of grayish-brown scent scales on their forewings that is absent in the females. Females have brighter and more distinct markings than males. The subspecies P. a. tircis is brown with pale yellow or cream spots and darker upperwing eyespots. The subspecies P. a. aegeria has a more orange background and the hindwing underside eyespots are reddish brown rather than black or dark gray. The two forms gradually intergrade into each other. Subspecies P. a. oblita is a darker brown, often approaching black with white rather than cream spots. The underside of its hindwings has a marginal pale purple band and a row of conspicuous white spots. The spots of subspecies P. a. insula are a tawny orange rather than a cream color. The underside of the forewings has patches of pale orange, and the underside of the hindwing has a purple-tinged band. Although there is considerable variation with each subspecies, identification of the different subspecies is manageable.


Colias croceus is one of the most widespread species in Europe. The common clouded yellow's breeding range is North Africa and southern Europe and eastwards through Turkey into the Middle East, but it occurs throughout much of Europe as a summer migrant, in good years individuals reaching Scandinavia. In Asia, its range extends into central Siberia in the north and barely into India in the south; it is not found in Central Asia.

The European mantis (Mantis religiosa) is a large hemimetabolic insect in the family of the Mantidae ('mantids'), which is the largest family of the order Mantodea (mantises). Their common name praying mantis is derived from the distinctive posture of the first pair of legs that can be observed in animals in repose. It resembles a praying attitude. Both males and females have elongated bodies with two pairs of wings. The most striking features that all Mantodea share are a very mobile, triangular head with large compound eyes and their first pair of legs (the 'raptorial legs'), which is highly modified for the efficient capture and restraint of fast-moving or flying prey.

In Germany, M. religiosa is listed as Gefährdet [endangered] on the German Red List on the basis of an assessment from 1998. It is not supposed to be caught or held as a pet. At a global level, it is assessed by the IUCN as least concern.



This species is primarily an immigrant to the UK, originating from southern Europe and northern Africa. In the UK they can be seen on the south coast almost every year in varying numbers, and regularly breed there. Occurrence in the rest of the UK varies considerably from year to year, but they are increasingly observed as far north as Dumfries and Galloway. It has also been recorded in Ireland from the Raven, Co. Wexford, to Belfast, Co. Down.

A truly migratory European butterfly, this species is famous for occasional mass migrations and subsequent breeding, which are often referred to in the United Kingdom as "clouded yellow years". Notable clouded yellow years include 1877, 1947, 1983, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 2000.


The southeastern Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica), or the Spanish ibex, is an ibex that is endemic to Spain and is the only wild caprine native to Spain. It is a subspecies of the Iberian ibex.

The Spanish ibex inhabits the Sierra Nevada, Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Sierra de Cazorla, Sierra de Grazalema, Montes de Málaga, in Andalucia. It also occurs in the Sierra Morena. Outside Andalucia, it can be found in the Montes de Toledo and in the mountains all along the Spanish Mediterranean, with populations as far north as southern Catalonia.


Saturday 21 October 2023


 Zelotes is a genus of ground spiders that was first described by J. Gistel in 1848.


The Sickle-bearing Leaf Katydid is widely distributed throughout Africa, the Mid-East, southern Europe and nearby oceanic islands. In South Africa, it can be found in all provinces.

This species is most often found in tree canopies but in open areas such as the Succulent or Nama Karoo, they inhabit low bushes or dense vegetation along rivers.

Friday 20 October 2023


 Apocynaceae (/əˌpɑːsəˈneɪsiˌaɪ, -siːˌiː/, from Apocynum, Greek for "dog-away") is a family of flowering plants that includes trees, shrubs, herbs, stem succulents, and vines, commonly known as the dogbane family, because some taxa were used as dog poison. Members of the family are native to the European, Asian, African, Australian, and American tropics or subtropics, with some temperate members. The former family Asclepiadaceae (now known as Asclepiadoideae) is considered a subfamily of Apocynaceae and contains 348 genera. A list of Apocynaceae genera may be found here.

Many species are tall trees found in tropical forests, but some grow in tropical dry (xeric) environments. Also perennial herbs from temperate zones occur. Many of these plants have milky latex, and many species are poisonous if ingested, the family being rich in genera containing alkaloids and cardiac glycosides, those containing the latter often finding use as arrow poisons. Some genera of Apocynaceae, such as Adenium, bleed clear sap without latex when damaged, and others, such as Pachypodium, have milky latex apart from their sap.

Thursday 19 October 2023

25-6-2020 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - WAVE MOTH (Idaea mediaria)

Idaea mediaria is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found in south-western Europe, Corsica, Sardinia, Tuscany and North Africa. The preferred habitat consists of dry and hot areas at elevations from 1,300–1,900 metres (4,300–6,200 ft) above sea level.

The wingspan is 14–19 millimetres (0.55–0.75 in). The adults fly from July to September. 

The larvae feed on various herbaceous plants.

18-11-2016 MAGWE, MYANMAR - ASIAN GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis)

The Asian green bee-eater (Merops orientalis), also known as little green bee-eater, and green bee-eater in Sri Lanka, is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident but prone to seasonal movements and is found widely distributed across Asia from coastal southern Iran east through the Indian subcontinent to Vietnam. Populations in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula that were formerly assigned to this species (under the name green bee-eater) are now considered distinct species: the African green bee-eater and the Arabian green bee-eater. They are mainly insect eaters and they are found in grassland, thin scrub and forest often quite far from water. Several regional plumage variations are known and several subspecies have been named.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

18-10-2023 CREU DE LONGA, VALENCIA - GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea)

Grey herons occur in most parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Over much of their range, these birds are resident, but populations from the more northerly parts of Europe migrate southwards; some remain in Central and Southern Europe, and others travel on to Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Grey herons can be found anywhere with suitable watery habitats that can supply their food. Although most common in the lowlands, they also occur in mountain tarns, lakes, reservoirs, large and small rivers, marshes, ponds, ditches, flooded areas, coastal lagoons, estuaries, and seashore. They sometimes forage away from water in the pasture, and can even be found in desert areas, hunting for beetles and lizards.


The lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) is a large gull that breeds on the Atlantic coasts of Europe. It is migratory, wintering from the British Isles south to West Africa. It has increased dramatically in North America, most common along the east coast. Formerly just a winter visitor, many birds are now spotted year-round. Some winters they occur in large numbers. Even on the west coast, this species has become an annual winter visitor in California with birds reported around most of the state each winter. They've even been seen in numbers at the Salton Sea. There is now serious concern about declines in many parts of the species range. The species is now on the RSPB Amber List because the UK is home to 40 per cent of the European population and more than half of these are found at fewer than ten sites.

This species breeds colonially on coasts and lakes, making a lined nest on the ground or a cliff. Normally, three eggs are laid. In some cities, the species nests within the urban environment, often in association with herring gulls.

They are omnivores like most Larus gulls, and they eat fish, insects, crustaceans, worms, starfish, molluscs, seeds, berries, small mammals, eggs, small birds, chicks, scraps, offal, and carrion.