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Dordogne bugs

We've got to know some colourful and charismatic bugs at or near our base at Castang in the Dordogne over several years, and here's a selection.

New pics from 2013: First, some bugs seen on the holiday in May 2013.

longhorn beetle Cerambyx scopoliidagger fly

These longhorn beetles Cerambyx scopolii (left) were on a flowering shrub outside's Castang's back door. On the right, I went to take a close-up of fly honeysuckle at Berbiguières and found this rather scary looking dagger fly (or dance fly) Empis livida (we think).

Ascalaphids quarter meadows, rather in the style of a dragonfly, which makes sense as they are a predator. Taxonomically close to lacewings and ant-lions, the French name papillon libellule is apt: the dragonfly butterfly.

bloody-nose beetlerose chafers

God has "an inordinate fondness for beetles" (biologist J B S Haldane, Wikiquotes). Space precludes analysing his theological or anti-theological angle on this, but the rich variety of beetles is illustrated by those on this page. The bloody-nosed beetle produces a red liquid when touched on the nose. The clumsy flight of rose chafers, here on dogwood, is more than offset by their intense, iridescent green colour. More beetles on the right and in the red-and-black strip.

Fire bug nymphs Pyrrhocoris apterusSoldier beetle Trichodes alveariusFroghopper Cercopis vulnerata

Left to right: Fire bug nymphs Pyrrhocoris apterus, soldier beetle Trichodes alvearius, froghopper Cercopis vulnerata. More red and black bugs here.

field cricket

Field crickets are the noisiest invertebrate around Castang. Though mostly out of sight in vegetation, sometimes like this female (note the ovipositor) they wander across roads.

paper wasps

Right: squash bugs

Left: looking up and into the larval chambers of a paper wasp nest. This was in the dry under a sign above Le Bugue.

micro-moth Adela spcream-spot tigerbanded demoiselle

Micro-moths can be tricky to name, and on the left is Adela sp,, a longhorn moth, perhaps Adela reaumurella. Middle: underside of cream-spot tiger moth. Right: banded demoiselle, a female, lacking the dark patch on the wing.

And finally, three photos by Herbert Schirmer, a German photographer keen on entomology; he was at Castang and sent his pics to Keith & Cathy. Left: mating banded demoiselles. Middle: scarlet darter. Right: ladybird spider.

Chris Durdin, January 2012

Dordogne orchids . . . . . . Dordogne butterflies . . . . . . Back to nature notes

What's a bug? It's shorthand for invertebrate, and widely adopted by serious conservationists, such as Buglife, to help encourage interest in the little creatures that help to run the world. Timarcha goettingensis

Small bloody-nosed beetle Timarcha goettingensis (May 2013). According to this beetle website, its host plants are bedstraws Galium, which this one is on.

Ascalaphid Libelloides coccajus

Ascalaphid Libelloides coccajus. The adult insects are often just emerging in May, an ideal time for a photo.

leopard slug

Leopard slug, photographed after dark while we were looking for midwife toads.

Oxythyrea funesta

This pollen beetle, or flower chafer, Oxythyrea funesta is found in much of southern Europe.

Another chafer, Tropinota hirta, on an ox-eye daisy.

pill millipede

At first sight this looks like a pillbug - a woodlouse. But it's a pill millipede.

narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth

Narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth, above, and small elephant hawkmoth, below.

small elephant hawk-moth

A few more moths, left, and on the Dordogne butterflies page.

bug orchid

Bug orchid - creeping onto this page due to its name, and an excuse to link to the Dordogne orchids page.


Apart from the bottom row of three, photos on this web page by Chris Durdin, all photographed in the Dordogne on Honeyguide holidays.

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