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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cardinal beetle - countryside near Leiden, The Netherlands

This beetle left me puzzled for a while. I am still quote ignorant considering my knowledge of insects. A friend of mine told me it was a "vuurhaantje" in Dutch. But googling for vuurhaantje gave me just a few entries. Mainly for the bird with that name. And the insect entries just mentioned vuurhaantje, not a genus, family or species name.

A few weeks later I went to a big bookstore and had to check an insect guide. And found it. The insect was named Roodkopvuurkever in Dutch. Vuurhaantje is probably an unofficial name used at some places in The Netherlands. It's a Cardinal beetle. Scientific name Pyrochroa serraticornis. In English not to be confused with the other beetle that is named Cardinal beetle. Pyrochroa coccinea has a black head and is a bit more common than the red headed version I observed.
There was a whole bunch of these beetles where I was strolling through the countryside near Leiden in The Netherlands. This is the season or month to spot Cardinal beetles!
Cardinal beetle - countryside near Leiden, The Netherlands

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A second in the life of a parasitic wasp - Kleinste insect maakt filmdebuut

Great movie about a 1mm parasitic wasp, 900 slower than tv, so you can see each wing flap of the 350 pet second.