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Nature: - Bulbs and Orchids - Trees and Bushes - Other Flowers
Amphibians and Reptiles - Butterflies and Moths - The Dragonfly
- Birds

Creepy Crawlies that have appeared at Vale Grifo

From time to time various creatures are found, briefly captured, identified and then returned to the wild.

Insects rarely keep still long enough for the photographer to find them in the viewing frame, but these have been crawling around at the time they were captured on disc.

mole cricket.JPG (28857 bytes) Mole Cricket
This revolting looking insect is adapted for burrowing, with much enlarged front legs. It is slightly furry, with short front wings and fully developed hind wings. They fly on warm evenings.
The nymphs hibernate and the adults are dormant during the winter.
Their U-shaped burrows are found in moist meadows and river valleys. On the surface these appear as pairs of holes about 2cms across, the entrance and exit to each home, as they can't turn round.
Their song is a long period of churring, usually produced at the mouth of the burrows in the evening. It is a pleasant sound, but with hundreds of them at it at once, quite loud!

sick insect.JPG (15769 bytes)

stick rosemary.JPG (27359 bytes)

Stick Insect - A leaf eating insect that is effectively camouflaged by it's appearance.

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pale mantis.JPG (13663 bytes)
small mantis.JPG (8706 bytes)

Praying Mantis
Preying on other insects, these sit in wait for their victims with their front legs folded in front of their face, in an attitude of prayer. The very mobile head turns to face any movement, and when the prey comes within reach, the front legs shoot out to impale it. Both sexes fly well, and are often attracted to the house lights on a warm summer evening. The egg cases, laid as a frothy 'soufflé', harden into horny cases containing several hundred eggs.
This is the most common species around.



The Ameles, in which the females are flightless, have been seen.

Egyptian Grasshopper
Mistaken for a locust, this large grasshopper is distinguished by its striped eyes and the knobbly bit on the segment behind the head.
Much relished by the cat population, it is probably considered as a 'land lobster'!
cricket.jpg (30204 bytes) Field Cricket
This insect chirps around 3 to 4
times a second. They are active
both day and night. The male sits
singing at the entrance to the
burrow in the grassland

Although not experts, we always try and identify the flowers, birds, reptiles, insects and mammals that we see around, using a small collection of reference books. Can anyone recommend a Good reptiles and snakes reference book or a book on spiders?

Nature: - Bulbs and Orchids - Trees and Bushes - Other Flowers
Amphibians and Reptiles - Butterflies and Moths - The Dragonfly  - Birds

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Copyright © 1999 Vale Grifo
Last modified: June 04, 2007