Tag Archives: insects

A bee, awake too early

The first week in February, so I am amazed to see this dozy visitor. bee2 9-2-15A honeybee, at a guess it is the Western Honeybee, found worldwide. I don’t think he should have woken up. Night-time temperatures vary from 1°C to 6°C, daytime hovers around 10°C. Not weather for bees. bee1 9-2-15bee3 9-2-15bee4 9-2-15bee5 9-2-155 to remember
estoy asombrado/a – I am amazed
amodorrado/a – dozy
un/una visitante – a visitor
por todo el mundo – worldwide
por la noche – night-time

Black grasshopper

We don’t expect to see grasshoppers at this time of year, if that is in fact what he is. He was a little dozy, sitting on the bench beneath our kitchen window, soaking up the sun. I know the feeling, although the sun is warm the January breeze is chilly. black grasshopper2 28-1-15This is the only black grasshopper I’ve seen in Spain. Identifying a grasshopper is like looking for a needle in a haystack; there are literally thousands of them. black grasshopper3 28-1-15Has anyone else out there in Spain seen a grasshopper like this one? black grasshopper1 28-1-155 to remember
de hecho – in fact
amodorrado/a – dozy
el banco – the bench
una aguja – a needle
un almiar – a haystack

Two inches diameter

This is the biggest mud nest we’ve found in all our time in Spain, fully two inches in diameter. I wonder how many baby mud dauber wasps are inside? wasp1 9-8-14aTo learn more about mud dauber wasps, watch this film on You Tube.
To read about our past experiences with mud dauber wasps, click here.
5 to remember
un avispero – a wasp nest
completamente – fully
el diámetro – the diameter
una película – a film
una pulgada – an inch

Wounded soldier

This cicada sat on the cushion of our terrace sofa for a long time. Is his leg broken? He is certainly holding it at an odd angle. 

He sat without moving, which suggests shock or some sort of trauma. I sat for a while and watched him. When I turned away, he was gone.

5 to remember
herido/a – wounded
un soldado – a solidier
una cirgarra – a cicada
una pierna rota – a broken leg
alguna clase de – some sort of

Black and white mystery beetle

Looked what we fished out of the swimming pool this morning. Dead. 4cm long, a pretty black and white mottled pattern on his back. We’ve never seen his like before, both in terms of size and pattern. Beautiful. If he was alive, we would never have seen his design, he would have flown by with a buzz. beetle2 23-7-145 to remember
un escarabajo – a beetle
el misterio – the mystery
muerto/a – dead
manchado/a – mottled
el diseño – the pattern

Flying ant day

Last night was the one night each year when the ants hatch and fly away. For the birds, lizards and geckos it’s a feast. There is no warning: a black swirling patch of insects, like ants but with wings. I spotted the first batch by the outside tap.

They seem to bubble up from nowhere – mostly small but with the odd larger specimen – exactly where the eggs were laid last year, surviving the heat of summer and overwintering until mid-June. ‘Flying ant day’ is the day when the queen ant emerges from the nest to begin the nuptial flight. They are accompanied by smaller males. Each mature ant colony produces winged males and virgin queens, unfertilized eggs having developed into males. The flight occurs on a dry day, mating happens on the wing after which the males die. The queen lands, removes her wings, and founds a new colony.

At twilight, the sky was full of swirling ants, moving around the valley in eddies. The swallows, swifts and martins had a feast.

This morning, it is as if it never happened.

5 to remember
borbotear – to bubble up
sin aviso – no warning
un banquete – a feast
remolino/a – swirling
el crepúsculo – the twilight