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Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by yakman, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. yakman

    yakman Arachnopeon


    Recently had the opportunity to live in Spain for over 12 months. The property we lived in was in the south. a few miles from Malaga. Attached to the villa was a large lemon grove and within walking distance several different habitats, ruined buildings, meadow, river, golf course and scrubby hills. The variety of insects that we turned up during our stay was amazing. Here follows a small selection:

    Any corrections or observations on my ID's would be well received!

    Spanish Festoon. Fairly common throughout the year.

    Red Admiral.

    Painted Lady



    Harnessed Tiger Moth.

    Cream Spot Tiger Moth.

    PineProcessionary Caterpillars on the move.


    Hang in there, spider photos are included in this post!

    European Mantis (Mantis religiosa), threat posture.

    Empusa egena, mantis in hiding. Spain. Didn't find too many of these amazing little mantids. I think they are known as Crown Mantis.


    Grasshopper (Acrida turrita).


    Not sure of this one.

    Red striped Oil Beetle (Berberomeloe majalis). We found many of these in the undergrowth during the Spring.

    Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes nasicornis).

    Scorpion (Buthus occitanus), fairly numerous under ground cover, especially around the golf course. I like the way the shadow falls in this photo, almost like I planned it.



    Green Spider (Micrommata ligurina).

    Banded Argiope (Argiope trifasciata)

    Wolf Spider (Lycosa tarantula).

    Andalusian Funnel-web Spider (Macrothele calpeiana). Found quite a few of these, this one was the biggest. Unfortunately the act of turning the large stone this spider was hiding under actually tore open its web. As you can see she wasn't very happy.




    This small insect appeared one evening on the wall near the front door. I thought it was a species of bee and only took a couple of rather poor shots. I have since found out this is in fact a species of velvet ant and quite unusual. It was the only one we saw in the whole year.

    And finally, probably my favourite shot. This small dragonfly landed on the tip of a leaf of a plant at the edge of the swimming pool. I crept round and took the shot with the water in the background. Im happy with the way it turned out.

    Thanks for viewing.
  2. Tarantula_Hawk

    Tarantula_Hawk Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Great shots, i personally love the Mediterranean fauna.
    Just a few corrections:
    -the green mantis you id'ed as Mantis religiosa is most probably Iris oratoria as it lacks the typical black and white marks at the base of the raptorial legs. Also, another easy way to distinguish the two is by the lenght of the wings, which are shorter than the abdomen in I. oratoria (i cant tell if this is the case from the picture).
    - the Lycosidae id'ed as Lycosa tarantula is instead Hogna radiata (or anyways Hogna sp., as Spain has several species).

    Again, congrats for the shots, and keep 'em coming if you have more. :D
  3. Androctonus_bic

    Androctonus_bic Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I like you like the animals that live in the mediterranean coast!

    Nice pictures!
  4. Miss Bianca

    Miss Bianca Arachnoprince

    These are great, thank you for sharing these.
    You were lucky to come across some of these sp. Very good shots.
  5. tarcan

    tarcan Arachnoking Old Timer

    gorgeous shot and lighting, thank you for sharing!

    ---------- Post added at 03:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:59 PM ----------

    I particularly like the green spider and the Macrothele spider. Is the small insect that you pictured last some kind of wasp, a velvet ant (Mutilidae sp.)?

    Your lighting on the last one is really good, it is a gorgeous picture, although (please do not take this the wrong way) I find the composition to be off, I would have the DF looking into the frame and not be at the end of it. If this is the original framing, you could crop it to arrange composition and it would be awesome.

    The third shot of the mantis is amazing!

    Take care

  6. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Great assortment of creatures! The mantid with the "hat" looks very similar to Phyllovates chlorophaea in the south US(although I know it's not). The Mutillidae has very similar markings to small velvets I've found in Florida & Costa Rica. I hope those Macrothele's make it across the pond someday. That oil beetle is fantastic! We don't get to see too many Mediterranean beasties 'round here. I too would love to see more :)
  7. Very great pictures. I really enjoyed viewing them. Some beautiful fauna.
  8. yakman

    yakman Arachnopeon

    Thanks for your comments.

    Tarantula_Hawk.) Thanks for the help with the ID's.

    tarcan.) I tried several different crops on the dragonfly photo and finally settled on the one in the post. I liked the way the leaf it was resting on lead in to the subject. But thanks for your comments, always good to get another view.

    Re. Velvet Ant, you are correct, they are actually a type of wasp.

    zonbonzovi) I have just posted some photos from Corfu to satisfy your request for "...would love to see more ."
  9. There is a reason that the Mediterranean is a biodiversity hotspot. Love the Macrothele calpeiana! Lucky find, as they are rare, I heard.
  10. Wadew

    Wadew Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Very njce! some good photography there, a pleasure to view.

  11. Yakman,

    Those are wonderful shots. I really enjoyed the butterflies photos. You indicated that the Spanish Festoon was common throughout the year. Did you see many species in the autumn? My wife and I will spend a few weeks in Italy in September/October next year. Most of our time will be in the south. I am hoping that there will still be a few insects to pursue.

  12. I was still finding scorpions at the end of September in the North. You are going to have a great trip. Enjoy. ;)
  13. Thanks for the info, Maarten. I hope to take invert shots and will post photos of these.
  14. yakman

    yakman Arachnopeon

    Hi Moloch,

    I think you will find some interesting stuff in Autumn, including plenty of butterflies. It may depend on the temperatures during your stay.

    During our Spanish year we were there during the 'hottest August in 100 years'. Subsequently, not only was it uncomfortably hot to go out searching for reptiles and insects but there was also precious little moving around. The weather eased in September and suddenly things began liven up. Hatchling lizards and snakes were numerous and butterflies, moths and insects were again in evidence. Lots of Gatekeepers, southern and Spanish also painted ladies.

    Nightime searching did still turn up some finds but of little use for butterflies.

    Scorpions were found under ground cover consistently throughout the year.

    I agree with Maarten, you will have a great trip.
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