Monday, November 23, 2015

My guilty internet secret

It's that time of year when we all spend time on the internet looking for gifts for our nearest and dearest for the forthcoming festive season. We're all at it.

Except, I have a guilty confession....

I always get tempted away from the job in hand by certain websites...

You know the kind.

One such late night online session last week, resulted in a parcel landing with a thud on my doorstep this morning.

I'm not referring to anything untoward here but it's the sites of the purveyors of natural history books that I'm drawn towards.

On opening the package I found the rather beautiful Suomen Luteet [Finnish Bugs]. It is a comprehensive guide to 521 species of Heteroptera known from Finland but has a good crossover with UK species. Obviously, the text is all in Finnish but the extensive photo spreads are great and will make a great first point of reference when dealing with specimens.

A wee bit of google translate does the job for most of the language and I'll go through and mark which the UK species are. Now that winter is properly here (ground frosts and everything) it's also a nice reminder of the year to come.

Ages ago I had an app that used the iPhone camera to auto translate text in real time. Can't for the life of me find or remember what it was now.

Bugger! If anyone can recommend one please do let me know.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Continental beauties

I've been spending some much needed time categorising and sorting out a whole load of images. I have 10s of 1000s of images on my computer and several hard drives. It's a slow process but should hopefully be worthwhile in the long run.

I occasionally find stuff that I'd completely forgotten about and that was the case with a folder from June 2008 entitled Beetles. The pictures were all taken of beetles that had turned up in my moth trap over a 2 week period whilst on holiday in the Cevennes region of France.

I remember being pretty blown away by them at the time but given my recent shift in interest toward coleoptera it was rather nice to be reminded of them.

Calasoma sychophanta

European Rhinoceros Beetle

Saperda scalaris

Female Stag Beetle

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


One of the ladies I work with popped over to my desk last week and asked if I'd seen the weird bug on the wall outside our office.

I popped my head out to see a new bug for me, but one that was immediately recognisable, Western Conifer Seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis.

Not an unexpected species but this alien invasive was rather smarter than I thought it would be.
Native to the USA and introduced into Europe in 1999, it has since spread rapidly