Anthracite Bee-fly

At first glance, it is not obvious that the anthracite Bee-fly (Anthrax anthrax) is related to the large bee fly. Not only because it is considerably larger, reaching a length of up to 13 millimetres. The larvae live as parasites in the nest tubes of wild bees. The flies can be seen from March to… Continue reading Anthracite Bee-fly

Asparagus beetle

The asparagus beetle or common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi) is a member of the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae) native to much of Europe. Adult beetles can be up to 6.5 millimeters long and can be seen from April to September. Both the zoological and common name suggest that the asparagus beetle feeds exclusively on asparagus… Continue reading Asparagus beetle

Bee-eating beetle

Bee-eating beetle mating on the inflorescence of a toothpick plant.

As adult beetle, Trichodes apiarius (bee-eating beetle) can be found from June to August. It can reach a length of up to 15 millimetres and differs from Trichodes alvearius by its black elytra. As can be seen in the pictures, the bee-eating beetle has a preference for umbelliferous plants. This plant family includes carrot and… Continue reading Bee-eating beetle

Mexican grass-carrying wasp

The adult form of the Mexican grass-carrying wasp (Isodontia mexicana) feeds on nectar and pollen. It can reach a length of up to 20 millimetres, the forebody is white-haired, the wings can have a bluish sheen. The insect, which belongs to the Sphecidae family, was originally native to North America and Central America. Meanwhile, it… Continue reading Mexican grass-carrying wasp

Lygus pratensis

Lygus pratensis does not seem to have an English name. In German-speaking countries, the species is known as the common meadow bug (“Gemeine Wiesenwanze”). Males grow up to 7.3 millimetres long and females up to 6.7 millimetres. Lygus pratensis is variable in colouration with males being more reddish-brown and females more greenish-brown. This bug can… Continue reading Lygus pratensis

Girdled snail

The shell of Hygromia cinctella can be up to 12 millimetres in diameter. It is variable in colouration, as is the animal. The colour spectrum ranges from brown to grey or yellow. The girdled snail can be easily recognised by the white to beige rim of the shell, which is missing in other snails of… Continue reading Girdled snail

Asian apple snail

Pila virescens is often sold in Europe under its old but invalid zoological name, as “Pila polita” and commonly called Asian apple snail here. It is said to be native to Indonesia (source), Vietnam (source) and other Southeast Asian countries (source). The shell of this apple snail can be yellow to brown in colour and… Continue reading Asian apple snail

Common earwig, European earwig

It may not seem obvious, but the earwig can fly. However, it seems to use this ability only rarely. Forficula auricularia is also known as the European earwig. It can grow from 10 to 17 millimeters long. Although native to Europe, Forficula auricularia is found almost all over the world. The common earwig lives in… Continue reading Common earwig, European earwig

Red-and-black Froghopper

The Red-and-black Froghopper or Black-and-red Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) is native to most European countries. It is easily recognised by its black and red warning colour. Adult froghoppers grow to a little more than one centimetre in length and can be seen from April to September. They live in meadows, pastures, banks, forest edges, parks and… Continue reading Red-and-black Froghopper

Bryony Ladybird

Mating Bryony Ladybirds

Where the White Bryony grows, you can also find the Bryony Ladybird (Henosepilachna argus). It lives on the poisonous climbing plants and feeds on their leaves. It is also said to colonise other cucurbits, but I have never seen it in the garden on zucchini or cucumber plants. The Bryony Ladybird likes it warm and… Continue reading Bryony Ladybird

Byturus ochraceus

Byturus ochraceus lays its eggs on Geum urbanum (Wood Avens, Herb Bennet). The larvae feed on this member of the rose family (Rosaceae). For this reason, it is known here in Germany as the Wood Avens Beetle (Nelkenwurzk√§fer). The adult beetles feed on pollen and nectar and are often found in the flowers of buttercups… Continue reading Byturus ochraceus

Common Earthworm

The Common Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) can grow to over 30 centimetres long and live for up to 8 years. It is native to Europe, but with human help it has spread to many other regions where it has become established. It is considered an invasive species in some parts of North America (source). Lumbricus terrestris… Continue reading Common Earthworm

Melanopsis magnifica

Melanopsis magnifica is a dioecious freshwater snail from the family Melanopsidae. It feeds on algae, originates from Morocco, and its shell can grow up to three centimeters long. Melanopsis magnifica does not have an English vernacular name. The species in the family Melanopsidae are commonly referred to as “Schwarzdeckelschnecken” in German, which translates to “black-lid… Continue reading Melanopsis magnifica

European Rabbit

European Rabbit in a front garden.

The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is not only the wild form of the domestic rabbit, it is also commonly found in urban areas. For example, in parks and gardens. Since it digs deep burrows with long tunnels, it is not loved everywhere. Moreover, it can multiply en masse, especially if it is fed. But nature… Continue reading European Rabbit

Miniature Awlsnail

The Miniature Awlsnail or Thumbnail Awlsnail is in Germany called Brasilian Trumpet Snail. It belongs to the Achatinidae family, but does not get as big as its African relatives, for example the Giant African Snail (Achatina achatina). Its shell reaches a maximum length of two centimeters, and it can live up to 4 years. Subulina… Continue reading Miniature Awlsnail

Acronicta rumicis (caterpillar)

Knot Grass Moth Thanks to its orange and white spots and long protruding hairs, the caterpillar of the knot grass moth (Acronicta rumicis) is hard to overlook. This is also because, unlike the adult moth, it is diurnal. The colouration of the caterpillar is variable. The ground colour can be orange, dark brown to black.… Continue reading Acronicta rumicis (caterpillar)

Southern Green Shield Bug

Nezara viridula Although the Southern Green Shield Bug lives in my garden for many years, I have not yet succeeded in photographing adult animals. Which are called imagos in zoological terminology. The insect, also known as Southern Green Stink Bug or Green Vegetable Bug, is present worldwide in temperate to tropical regions. Its actual origin… Continue reading Southern Green Shield Bug

Animal roadkill

Our mobility has its price, it depletes landscape, destroys habitats, pollutes the air and can be deadly for humans and even more often for animals. I would like to present some of these animal road victims in this article. I, too, am very mobile, by the way. How many animals have died from my bicycle… Continue reading Animal roadkill

Domestic pigeon

Domestic pigeon breeding on a balcony.

Columba livia domestica The domestic pigeon is often called the rat of the air. But it behaves in a very human way. Anyone who has ever been to a highway rest area will be able to confirm that we also like to shit everything. Moreover, pigeon couples often stay together for life. But they can… Continue reading Domestic pigeon

Zebrina detrita

Zebrina detrita is adapted to warm and dry habitats. It can be found in gardens, industrial wastelands, on railway embankments and in dry meadows. Its area of distribution is Central Europe, Southern Europe and the Near East. All the photos in this article were taken in my allotment garden, where the snails are allowed to… Continue reading Zebrina detrita

Garden Snail

Cornu aspersum The Garden Snail or Common Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) is only found in mild regions. It does not survive harsh winters with permafrost. It lives in parks and gardens and can also be found outside cities in forests, meadows or dunes. Like the Burgundy Snail (Helix pomatia), the Garden Snail is cultivated and… Continue reading Garden Snail

Hairy Rose Beetle

Tropinota hirta The Hairy Rose Beetle (Tropinota hirta) is much smaller than its golden-rose relative, but can also be found in parks and gardens. The beetles fly from April to June and grow between 8 and 11 millimetres long. As can easily be seen in the photos, the Hairy Rose Beetle likes to visit yellow… Continue reading Hairy Rose Beetle

Asian Ladybeetle, Harlequin

Harmonia axyridis When I hear a soft ding-dong or pling-plong in my flat during a warm summer night, it is usually an Asian ladybeetle flying against the ceiling. I rarely get a visit from European ladybirds. Harmonia axyridis, as the Asian Ladybeetle, Harlequin or Multicoloured Asian Ladybeetle is zoologically called, was introduced to Europe. For… Continue reading Asian Ladybeetle, Harlequin

Firebug

Pyrrhocoris apterus The Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) heralds the arrival of spring. It sounds trite, but it’s true. It appears with the first warming rays of sunshine and can be seen sunbathing as early as January. Pyrrhocoris apterus is probably one of the most common Central European bugs. It inhabits gardens, parks, cemeteries, embankments, dams and… Continue reading Firebug

Green Rose Chafer

Cetonia aurata The Green Rose Chafer or simply Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata) is a beetle from the family of scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae) that is often found in parks and gardens. Incidentally, the cockchafers also belong to this family. The beetles fly from April to November. They feed on nectar and plant juices and are often… Continue reading Green Rose Chafer