Celebrating Bugs

Friday 22nd August 2014

I feel as if this blog has been quite downbeat over the last few months.  I have been drawing attention to the many problems that bugs face in society. Problems such as negative language, impacts of insecticides and challenges of raising funds, neglect of biodiversity in UK Overseas Territories, the shortcomings of Government pollinator policy, threats to ecosystems from GM technology, sizism, invasive species and flooding impacts

Of course it is essential that Buglife does raise these concerns on behalf of bugs, but I thought I would take a moment to celebrate bugs with some images that I find inspirational.

Shingle pin-palp ground beetle (Bembidion tibiale) © R.Key

Shingle pin-palp ground beetle (Bembidion tibiale) drinking

What a fantastic reminder that bugs are animals with needs and a life.  This tiny Shingle pin-palp ground beetle is crouched down, clinging to the slippery stone, supping life giving water from a miniscule pool.  It is reminiscent of a lion at a watering hole and is a fantastic contrast to many bug photos where the subject is presented in a dry and inanimate stance.

Sycamore moth caterpiller (Acronicta aceris) © Roger Key

Sycamore moth caterpillar (Acronicta aceris)

I just love the in-your-face, vibrant ebullience of the little Sycamore moth caterpillar.  Its warning colours must deter all but the boldest of cuckoos.

Ladybird spider(Eresus sandaliatus) © Stephen Dalton

Ladybird spider (Eresus sandaliatus)

Not only is the Ladybird spider, particularly the male, but also the big, black velvety female, a fantastic animal, it is also a conservation success story.  Thought extinct for 70 years, a tiny population was rediscovered, tended carefully and then reintroduced to a string of other reserves to give it a better chance of survival.  Bumblebee Hunt London Launch  © Greg Hitchcock

It is a testament to how when people come together they can save a species from extinction.  Efforts continue to get it onto 20 sites so that we can feel that it is secure.  Working to achieve this are Buglife, Natural England, the Forestry Commission, Dorset Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Dudley Zoo, the British Arachnological Society, the National Trust, the Ministry of Defence, Life-Forms and Perenco.  A special mention should go to Ian Hughes who works on contract to Buglife and has been the driving force being the conservation programme for many years. 

The passion of individuals and strength of partnerships can save species; of course many more bugs are similarly endangered and would benefit from more Ians and more partnerships.

Find out more here /campaigns-and-our-work/ladybird-spider

Bumblebee Hunt launch

It is always inspiring to see the enthusiasm of children for bugs and this image captures it perfectly.  Children playing in flowery meadows learning about wildlife and ecology, there should be so much more of this!