Category Archives: Insects

Spangle leaf-manglers: Neuroterus spp.

If you’ve spent any time admiring the variety of oaks (Quercus spp.) on campus, you may have noticed strange growths on various parts of the trees. During last week’s Vegetation Survey and Assessment session, I came across a badly affected … Continue reading

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Leaf-mining moths going conkers…

While strolling around the campus grounds, have you been wondering what’s happening to our horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L., Sapindaceae) trees? Are those brown leaves really showing signs of an early autumn? These leaves are actually changing colour for a … Continue reading

Posted in Birds, Insects, Lepidoptera, Plants, Sapindaceae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

UoRPMN pond surveys

Part of the UoRPMN‘s (University of Reading Phenological Monitoring Network) aim is to record as many phenological events as possible that occur on the campus. One area which has sparked great interest among project students over the last year has been the … Continue reading

Posted in Amphibians, Insects, Newts, Odonata, Phenology, Surveys | Leave a comment

The Stags are Back in Town!

The Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) is the largest beetle found in the UK and can be up to 75 mm long, with the ones I have observed in Reading being approximately 55mm, but still an impressive sight! (Figure 1) Reading at … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Beetles, Insects | 4 Comments

Small and successful

Long-jawed orb weavers: Pachygnatha degeeri The name “orb weaver” has a poetic ring to it and the craftsmanship surrounding the design of an orb web is certainly deserving of such a title. The long-jawed orb weavers are known as the … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Insects, Plants, Spiders | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The bite-or-flight response

Spiders are not everyone’s brownie in a mug, more often they are deemed hairy, scary and relegated to a life beneath a glass on your bathroom floor. The media are not particularly supportive of these fascinating animals either. Cases of … Continue reading

Posted in Bees, Spiders | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Who needs Nettles?

The Common stinging nettle Urtica dioica, is the most well-known and prosperous example of the Family Urticaceace in Britain. Infamous for its painful sting caused by chemical injection via trichome hairs, this dioecious plant is easily recognised by its opposite, … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Butterflies, Flowering Plants, Insects, Lepidoptera, Plants, Urticaceae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Splash of Shade, for a Speckled Butterfly

As we steadily edge into Autumn, the main butterfly you are likely to see on Whiteknights Campus is the Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). Its third peak of emergence is approximately now, around the last week of August and the first two weeks of September. The … Continue reading

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Harris Garden Moth Trap Session

Hi all Last night I carried out a quick moth trap in the Harris Gardens using a mercury vapour lap and white sheet, conditions were not ideal, due to clear skies and rapidly dropping temperatures, but I did get and … Continue reading

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Buried by invertebrates!

Hello budding entomologists this blog is about the pitfalls (no pun intended) of invertebrates trapping and surveying. More specifically, I am talking about the phylum Arthropoda and not other phyla, such as Mollusca and Annelida. I am secondly avoiding the subject of Mollusca, as after a weekend of … Continue reading

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