Sunday, 26 September 2010

Peeking under stones

Every now and then I lift some stones in the garden and check what's living under them. It is not a great strategy to observe bug behaviour, as the stone-lovers tend to be light-haters and rush frantically trying to hide again. However, this month it has turned out to be a good strategy to spot species I haven't blogged about yet. A large male earwig, Forficula auricularia, with its formidable pincers. Then, I disturbed the underground nest of some garden ants, Lasius niger. Although eggs and larvae couldn't be seen - probably too superficial for that - a tiny inhabitant of ant nests could be seen, some albino springtails, Cyphoderus albinus. If you click on the photo you will probably be able to make it out towards the left of the centre of the photo, next to an ant's head. Although easy to spot due to their white colour and highly mobility, their small size - probably no more than a mm in length -  made them quite tricky to photograph.
Finally, a couple of rove beetles (or Devil's Coach Man) Ocypus nero, one of them pictured below.
In addition, I found stones literally carpeted on rough woodlice, some earthworms and plenty of slugs.

2 comments:

JAS said...

wow never seen anything like this in my life and hope I will not. I am so afraid of bugs. But this is a nice shot, i like your blog.

Blackbird said...

Thank you JAS! Macro is a great way of becoming unafraid of bugs. Keep on visiting!