Macro Monday: Scarlet Lily Leaf Beetle

The Scarlet or red lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii) I must confess that when I first discovered this beetle on one of our martagon lilies in 2015 it gave me a smile and added enough spring to my step that I could have managed the clicking-of-the-heels. This leaf beetle --with its scarlet and black colouration--has... Continue Reading →

Macro Monday: Assassin fly

This is a Laphria sp.  of robber or assassin fly, showing a fine mystax, the bristly hairs on the face which are believed to help protect it from injury when it tackles its prey. They are sit-and-wait predators that attack and capture other flying insects--including bees and wasps--while in flight. They then use their dagger-like hypopharynx to penetrate into... Continue Reading →

Why I am not a Christian.

In the summer of 2006, I had the fortune to visit the home of Charles Darwin, thanks to the thoughtfulness of my sister and brother-in-law who we were visiting in London for our holidays. Down House, tucked away in the Kentish countryside, has changed little since Darwin's time. The main floor has been restored to... Continue Reading →

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