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red-butterfly

Bugs and Bees

Here you can find out some interesting facts about some of our native insects. If you look closely while in your garden or out on a walk during Lochdown, you might spot them too!

Bumblebee photo Michelle Larkin

Bumblebee

Bumblebees…

  • have five eyes and can see ultraviolet light
  • don’t have ears
  • make their homes in holes underground
  • beat their wings up to 240 beats per second
  • have very smelly feet! – they leave a scent mark like a smelly footprint on the flowers they have visited to let other bumble bees know they have already visited the flower
  • have hair on their body to keep them warm
Large Red Damselfly (Latin, Pyrrhosoma nymphuls) image by Rob Trevis-Smith

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselflies…

  • are common and widespread and found on most wetland habitats
  • can live happily in garden ponds and large lochs
  • are often the first damselfly to emerge in spring
  • spend most of their lives underwater as larvae (2 years)
  • look very pretty and delicate, but they are fierce predators
  • have large compound eyes which gives them the optical acuity to catch prey in mid-air
  • fold their wings up and hold them across their backs when at rest
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Latin Aglais urticae) Photo by Rob Trevis-Smith

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies…

  • Small Tortoiseshell butterflies hibernate over winter and feed on nectar
  • their black and bristly caterpillars feed on nettles
  • they live communally on nettles until it’s time to pupate

Did you know…

  • the UK has 59 species of butterflies
  • they are highly sensitive indicators of the health of the environment
  • as well as being excellent pollinators of plants
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