Posts categorized as Bugs, insects and spiders

Creating a buzz

Flies, possibly including Helophilus and Calliphora, swarming on the flowers of Aupouri coastal five-finger. (c) Leon Perrie

I was recently surprised to find my plant of Aupouri coastal five-finger (Pseudopanax lessonii) swarming with flies. The flies were attracted to the flowers presumably by a feed of nectar on what was a hot, summer day. I could see at least three fly species, plus a bumblebee. Pollination is not a role we often… Read more »

Picture Library news – Spiders

  • Laetesia pseudamoena
  • Haplinis fulvolineata
  • Haplinis anomala
  • Parafroneta pilosa

Te Papa’s Natural Environment team have recently been putting a lot of effort into photographing their collection of spiders and putting the images up on Collections Online for you to view. I thought it was time to showcase some of this fantastic imagery. Phil Sirvid, Collection Manager Entomology, said the primary objective for this photography… Read more »

Collections Online update: Mapping

Collections Online mapping

Mapping the collections This week we added a new feature to Collections Online, our first efforts to map our collection objects, specimens and other resources.  As you browse the collection, the Related Places section at the right of the page will generate a map of the places related to the collection item or resource – just click… Read more »

Collections Online update: Taxonomy browser

Aptenodytes forsteri

Since we released the new version of Collections Online  in July last year we’ve made the odd fix, or a new feature here and there. You probably don’t notice them but hopefully they’ve made your browsing experience a bit easier.  However recently we’ve done a couple of things we thought were worth pointing out. First up,… Read more »

NZ nature on screen

nzonscreen1

Last week on NZ On Screen we celebrated our unique natural heritage with the launch of a Nature collection. Aotearoa’s landforms and its magnificent menagerie of natural oddities – birds, insects, and trees like nowhere else on the planet – are showcased in 15 award-winning NHNZ productions – all full length and free to view…. Read more »

Lethiferous Latrodectus – part 1

Katipo spider

One of my previous posts discussed a recent study on New Zealand’s only endemic spider regarded as dangerous to people, the katipo. I thought readers might be interested to learn a little more about what’s behind the bad reputation of katipo and its’ close relatives. As I said then, katipo belongs to the genus Latrodectus,… Read more »

Latrodectus Love Bites

Latrodectus valentini (Valentine's widow spider)

  In honour of Valentine’s Day this post will look at the wonderful world of courtship in the spider genus Latrodectus, more commonly known as the widow spiders. Readers of my previous post will recall this genus includes species such as the American black widow (Latrodectus mactans), the Australian redback (L. hasseltii) and the New… Read more »

Valentines day: roses are what?

Image copyright Anton van Helden

  In Europe during the 1300s February 14th was thought to be the day when birds paired off to mate. This date was originally an ancient Greco-Roman pagan festival, and was later called St Valentines Day Feast by the Church. Since the 1300s, on February 14th each year, roses (and flowers in general),  have been widely accepted as gifts and… Read more »

Skin Deep Differences Don’t Matter In Katipo

katipo_350

Skin Deep Differences Don’t Matter in Katipo Having spent my last two postings dealing with butterflies and moths, it’s time to move on to the animals I love the most – spiders! The subject of this posting is the katipo spider (Latrodectus katipo), New Zealand’s only endemic spider known to be dangerous to humans. Katipo… Read more »

A Tiger with Crimson Wings

Cinnabar moth from Te Papa’s  ‘Blood Earth Fire’ exhibition (©Te Papa).

A Tiger with Crimson Wings  This post is inspired by Smiv’s reminiscences about cinnabar moth caterpillars when commenting on my previous blog entry: http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2009/01/26/a-menu-for-monarchs/#comments Also, as adult cinnabar moths are on the wing this time of year in New Zealand summer and sightings always generate a number of calls to Te Papa’s entomology department, I… Read more »