June/July 2016

Western Alps : Part 6

Non-Lepidopteran Invertebrates

female Aelurillus v-insignitus (Salticidae) eating an insect

This cute little jumping spider was busy eating a mirid bug when I found it. It is a widespread species and is highly active when the sun is shining.

female Aelurillus v-insignitus (Salticidae) eating an insect

Bush-crickets (Katydids) and grasshoppers are often abundant in the alpine meadows.

male bush-cricket sp. (Tettigoniidae)

The click-beetle shown below was getting ready to take to the wing and flew off a couple of seconds later.

Click Beetle sp. (Elateridae)

Chrysolina fastuosa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

At one location in Mercantour National Park, I found a colony of a gorgeous, multicoloured leaf beetle Chrysolina fastuosa. As you can see from the photographs, they have quite variable colours and markings on their elytra.

Chrysolina fastuosa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Green Tiger Beetles are highly active, sun-loving creatures and even when otherwise occupied with copulation are extremely difficult to approach.

copulating Green Tiger Beetles (Cicindela campestris)

Biting insects are not much of a problem in the Alps as I was usually at too high an altitude to be bothered by mosquitoes. The only insects that occasionally made a nuisance of themselves were the horse-flies. These can be abundant in places, especially if there is grazing livestock in the area, but most are not particularly anthropophilic species so they mostly left me alone and didn't attempt to bite me very often.

female Hybomitra bimaculata (Diptera: Tabanidae) biting my leg through the cloth of my trousers

male Horse Fly sp. (Diptera: Tabanidae)

June/July 2016 (W Alps pt.5) 2016 Index June/July 2016 (W Alps pt.7)