Thursday, 16 October 2008

World's Longest Insect Revealed

Today Dr Phil Bragg (a member of the Phasmid Study Group) described a new species of stick insect (Phobaeticus chani)in the Journal Zootaxa that beats the previous record (Phobaeticus kirbyi) that has stood for over 100 years.

I hope to get some photographs for here really soon, but for those of you who can get there it is currently on display in the Creepy Crawlies gallery at the Natural History Museum, London. After this it will be returned to the main collections where it can be studied by scientists from around the world.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Cockroach Studies

I have been working on the next issue of the Blattodea Culture Group's journal, and now have all of the articles that will make up Issue 3. Editing, etc. should be completed in the next week.

Phasmid Study Group Newsletter

UK members should by now have received the latest Phasmid Study Group Newsletter (No.115 September 2008), if anybody hasn't then please get in touch! Members outside the UK should get it in the next few weeks.

A Grasshopper from Cypruss

Click to enlarge photo. Copyright John Randall.

This came to me via the Phasmid Study Group website, while it is not actually a phasmid (stick insect) it is a closely related insect, a grasshopper (Acridinae). The species was identified as Truxalis nasuta (Linnaeus) by Judith Marshall (NHM). The speciemn shown is from Cyprus, the species has a circum-Mediterranean distribution.

Chrysolina americana (Rosemary Beetle)

Photo Copyright Royal Horticultural Society

Despite the name Chrysolina americana this species is native to Southern Europe, and has been recently introduced into the UK, where it can be a minor pest of Lavender and Rosemary plants. The Royal Horticultural Society has a page about this beetle that has lots of useful information.

I have seen this beetle in the vicinity of Clapham South London Undergorund station , and outside of Darwin Centre phas 1, Natural History Museum, London.

Scaly Cricket in Devon, UK

The Scaly Cricket has been found on the Devon beach where the MSC Napoli was deliberately beached. It seems that they are attracted to traps baited with Cornish pasties.

See the BBC article here.

Friday, 3 October 2008

An advert.... of sorts

Go here and give some of your money to something very worthwhile!