Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Hare & the Tortoise!

Here's the Hare:

These photos of a Green Tiger Beetle were taken at Cooper’s Hill Nature Reserve late this afternoon. I found it really difficult to get a decent shot, not least because of the frenzied nature of these beasts (plus the fact that I’m a bad photographer, of course!).

Look at those purple legs and eyes, which really contrast with the creamy yellow wing case spots and the fiercesome jaws!

This voracious predator sprints after prey, overpowering the likes of grasshoppers, flies & caterpillars before slicing them apart with its mandibles. In fact, ‘tiger’ seems a very apt name!

And this is the Tortoise:

A snail. But not any old snail. This is a snail with a fast-growing reputation. This morning, it went first class via the Post Office to Peter Topley, our local Mollusc Recorder, for confirmation but we think it’s the Girdled Snail (Hygromia cinctella) which is making its way across the UK…..slowly!....after first being spotted in Devon in 1950. It’s a Mediterranean species and probably arrived via imported garden plants.

The interesting story behind this specimen is that I found it in my back garden on Wednesday, the day after Peter had told those present at the Bedfordshire Natural History Society’s AGM to be on the lookout for it, having found one himself!


  1. What`s that saying, Steve ? "speak of the devil & he`s bound to turn up".

  2. It certainly looks like that in this case....I found it in the middle of some dry leaves by the kitchen drain! :-)