Archive for the ‘General’ category

Garden Spider

February 25th, 2013

The other day while sitting in the front room I noticed something on the window… As it is in the beginning of February and therefore mid winter and we had just came out of a very cold snap, where we had temperatures of -10c, I was not expecting to see a Garden Spider Garden Spider

I don’t ever remember seeing one until the spring.  This one of our most common large spiders that are found around our gardens.

One of the methods to identify this spider is the white cross on it abdomen.

UK Spiders

February 12th, 2012
Small Green Spider

Small Green Spider

Everybody will have some experiences with spiders, that is because they are so numerous.

There are over 600 species of  UK spiders alone!

Unfortunately there are loads of people that have a big fear of them.  And this is most probably related to a bad experience with a large and fast hairy type.  We can all remember siting there in our front room just watching the TV, and then all of a sudden out of the corner of our eye we see something moving….   There are however plenty of small and very pretty species of UK spiders….

One of the most common species of UK spider, that is big and hairy is the common house spider.  It is the spider that you may find in your bath of sink from time to time. They don’t actually come up the plug hole, but usually fall from the ceiling and then get trapped.  I sure a few horror films will add to the fear related to this.

You may be surprised that House spiders do not do very well in our modern homes… This is because our heating systems tend to dry the air out, and this can eventually kill them.  They fair a lot better in garden shed’s where it is damp.

Most UK spiders are completly harmless, but there are a few that can give you quite a bite, this however is a pretty rare occurrence.  See False Widows

What I find amazing is the sheer variety of different UK spiders and their really interesting behaviors.

Each species has it own unique way of hunting for pray.

While we all know about the spider web, there are some species of spider than dont use a web to catch pray. See Zebra Spider.  However they will usually still use some web for other reasons….

Have you ever took the time to sit down an watch a spider create its Web?  Is it in my option a work of art.

One of our most common and large spiders is the Garden Spider

Interesting fact

While a lot of species of spider do build the more traditional web, the web they build actually uses more than one type of thread.

One is for the main structure of the web and is none stick and strong.  The other is sticky and is the used for the more intricate content of the web.

What I find quite amusing is even the spider could get stuck in it own web, but it knows to step over the sticky parts.

All this amazing behavior usually goes on right under our noses, and we don’t normally realize.

 

Some UK spiders can fly

Do you know that some species of spiders can fly?  Well they can, but not in the usual sense of using wings.

What they actually do to take to the air, is let a thread of there web stream out into the wind, and eventually the wind will catch this thread and pull the spider though the air.

It is a way they can use to move to another area to populate.  How did this behavior come about?

 

I will soon be adding some further information in UK spiders, so watch this space….


Insect Hunters Kit

February 8th, 2012

What if you are about to go on an expedition you will need to have your special kit at the ready to capture and then identify your catch.

While most insects in the UK are totally harmless, some will give you a bite or a sting, it all depends on how you handle them and how careful you are.

So what will you need? Now if does depend on the type of hunting that you are going to do.  But here is a general list of things that will equip you to catch and then help you identify your spoils if you really go on a long rambling trip, outside your own garden!

insect hunters kit list

  1. A small book on insects or some identification charts.
  2. A note pad, with some pens / pencils, if you want to sketch an insect in its natural location. Or write down what you have found.
  3. A magnifying glass or portable microscope.
  4. A pair of tweezers to pick an insect up.
  5.  A couple of small containers so you either observe your catch or take it home to look after. Like in the case of caterpillars.
  6. A camera if you want to take pictures.
  7. A butterfly net  or a fishing net for water insects.
  8. A pair of Good walking shoe’s. Sometimes you will be doing a lot of walking around.
  9. Some sun glasses.
  10. Plenty of patience.

Bug Hunters Kits

Whats Your Favorite Insect?

February 6th, 2012

We all have had a Favorite insect, while we were growing up.

My top 20 are these:-

  1. Puss moth caterpillar
  2. Ants of all types
  3. Frog hopper / Leaf hoppers
  4. Zebra spider
  5. Humming Bird Hawk Moth
  6. Ladybirds of all types
  7. Grasshoppers / Crickets
  8. Dragonfly’s / damselfly’s
  9. Bumble bee’s
  10. Caterpillars of all types
  11. Stag Beetle
  12. Red spider mite
  13. Stick insects
  14. Shield bugs
  15. Woodlice
  16. Snails
  17. pond skaters
  18. Whirligig beetles
  19. water boatman
  20. Centipedes

What is your favorite insect?  We all had a childhood favorite, do you still have one?

Please enter your favorite insect in the text box, this will help us to determine the insects that people are most interested in.  Thanks.

The Butterfly Effect

February 5th, 2012

What is the buttery effect?  Is it actually based on any reality?  Well if we talk about the natural world

butterfly effect

The Butterfly Effect

I think we can say this effect exists.

We are now in a new era of discovery….Thanks to the latest research and new technical advances we can now start to see the inter dependencies that our world has.

While each organism looks to be a separate entity, it is in actuality unable to function or live separately…

While a spider may look to be solitary in its web, it requires a whole host of things to keep it alive, some are very apparent others are much less palpable, simply because we cannot see them with the our naked eye’s….

So if you think you are living alone, then please think again….

See article – Half human half bacteria

The truth is there is so much that we cant see, that goes on all around us, so it is quite possible that  simply standing on a beetle on one side of the world could create something on the other.  What that other may be I just dont know.

At the moment I dont think we have the combined computation power to simulate the whole world, so until then, I will attempt to shed some light on what we are starting to find out and its astonishing.  I will achieve this though the medium of a website.

You are not alone………………

Starter Microscopes for sale here