A (drunk) butterfly that looked down on me.

A (drunk) butterfly that looked down on me.

Yes, it did.
However, I do not hold a grudge against that specimen of Vanessa atalanta. How could anyone?
I met this colourful fellow a few years ago. He enjoyed spending time with other insects (some butterflies, ants, flies) on a rotten apple and drinking ethanol from it!
Not only humans like the beverage!

Now few words about the species:
Vanessa atalanta, or red admiral, is widespread in Europe and in some regions of North America, also seen in Israel and Georgia.
What’s impressive about the butterfly is the height of its flight during migration – about 2000 m, which compared to small size (the width of wings ~ 6 cm) makes you respect that stunning soldier among butterflies.

A tiger, a zebra, a wasp and… a spider!

A tiger, a zebra, a wasp and... a spider!

The Germans call it ‘zebra-spider’, the Poles – ‘striped little tiger’, for the English-speaking it’s known as wasp spider. These various names describe the species’ characteristic fancy looks.
The wasp spider is present in central and north Europe, in the Azores archipelago, in north Africa and some parts of Asia. It’s most likely to be seen on a humid, well-lit meadow, also in garden or field. On his net of 30 cm diameter, you can notice a zigzag, so-called ‘stabilimentum’, that reflects the UV, attracting some insects. Stabilimentum may as well be used to strenghten the structure of the net or to prevent it from the accidental damage from birds.
Beautiful though, the male’s life ain’t easy. With the size of 5-7 mm, he’s times smaller than the female (20-30 mm). Furthermore, after the act of making love, he’s dispassionately eaten by his mate. Female then builds a cocoon, in which 300-400 eggs are laid. One month later, a new generation hatches. And finally, they look like this spider chick.
Cute, isn’t she?