Thursday, August 5, 2010

Odds and ends

Not much time on the laptop on my part has meant a lack of recent blog updates, and for this I do apologize profusely. In the meantime, I have been working on a couple of research papers, two of which which have been submitted and accepted, and some others which are still a long way from being final.

Meanwhile the summery world outside is buzzing with activity, as can be exemplified by the beautiful Xylocopa violacea (L., 1758) below.

This bee is also known as the carpenter bee due to the fact that its eggs are laid inside purposely-bored wood or stems. During my observations I have noticed that the Arundo donax reed is a favoured home for this species.

While the invertebrate world is teeming with insects, however, molluscan representatives are few and far in between, owing to the terrible heat of the Mediterranean summer. The non-marine gastropods that never need worry about this are, of course, those who call freshwater their home, like this Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) from Chadwick Lakes:

Many natural freshwater bodies boast sizable populations of this snail. Other species are much rarer, such as these minute (3mm) Mercuria cf. similis (Draparnaud, 1805) from a Gozitan population:

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