Sunday, 27 November 2016

My 5 Favorite Bulgarian Snakes

5.  Smooth snake - Coronella austriaca


Both males and females grow to an average length of 75 cm. The smooth snake is a non-venomous specie but will bite aggressively if felt threatened. It feeds on smaller animals than it's self, It's favorite things to eat are reptiles. It is also one of the rarest reptiles in the UK!      
 







4. Caspian Whip Snake - Coluber caspius

The Caspian Whip Snake is a non- venomous species,but is the most aggressive snake found in Europe!!! And it is also the largest snake in Europe, growing up to 200 cm long! It eats small mammals. lizards, birds and other snakes!    





3. Leopard snake - Zamenis situla


The European Rat Snake is a non venomous specie. Adults reach the length of 90-100 cm long. It usually lays 3 to 8 eggs per clutch, hatching between 50 and 73 days. It is native to: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Ukraine.  





2. Horned Nosed Viper - Vipera ammodytes



I have only seen this snake twice and I think it is one of the most calm and beautiful snakes in Bulgaria. It is a highly venomous snake, in fact it is the most venomous snake found in Europe, but
very rarely bites, as it is so calm. They are small snakes only growing up to 60-75 cm long. Adults feed on birds and small mammals, juveniles mainly eat lizards and other small reptiles.  




1. Four- lined snake - Elaphe quatuorlineata


The Four-Line Snake is a non-venomous snake, it is also one of the largest snakes in Europe growing up to 180 cm. They eat: Rabbits, mice, squirrels, birds, lizards and tortoise eggs. Females lay up to 18 eggs per clutch!!  












Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Five Rarest Animals In The UK

1.  Black Fox.




This animal is so rare, it has only been spotted 5 times in the last 6 years! It has black fur as opposed to red fur as it carries a rare genetic defect that means that the fox retains the black color it was born with.









2. Red squirrels.



There are only 140,000 Red squirrels left in the UK. There are at least 2.5 million Grey squirrels! It is also an endangered specie in Italy and Ireland.











3. Pine martens.



They are preyed by: Golden eagles, Red foxes, wolves and wildcats! But there biggest threat is humans. They became extinct in this country in the 20th century due to pouching and loss of habitat! They are trying to bring them back into the countrysides.







4. Sand Lizard.



It is one of the rarest reptiles in UK. In fact it is so rare that the British law makes it an offence if you kill, injure, capture or disturb them or their habitat! Due to loss of habitat you can only find it on a protected heathland site in Surrey.







5. Common Cuckoos.



It has become one of the most endangered birds in the UK. Cuckoo numbers have dropped by 65% since the 1980's and the worst thing is that know one know's why!! Some people think it is because of the decreased number of prey.


Monday, 14 November 2016

Organisms In Our Garden - White ermine

Location 

I was walking in my garden, getting footage of a spider when I came across this wonderful moth.



Video




What is it?

Spilosoma lubricipeda, the white ermine, is a moth of the family Arctiidae. It is found in the temperate belt of Eurasia from Europe through Kazakhstan and southern Serbia to Amur Region, China, Korea and Japan. They wingspan is 34-48 mm. The wing patterns are very variable, from entirely white wings to strongly covered with black dots. These moths are not eaten by birds because  they are poisonous!! It generally flies from May to June. The eggs are deposited in large groups in summer. They hatch quickly, the caterpillars eat a lot and grow very fast. 


  





What do you eat?

The caterpillars eat: Stinging nettles, Blue weed, Alfalfa and Common broom.
Adult moths do not feed!! 

White ermine caterpillar


What eats them?

I am sorry, but I couldn't find any information on what eats them. If you know then please tell me in the comments. Thank you!




Life cycle

There are 4 stages in a moths or caterpillars life cycle, these are them. First they lay the eggs on a item,then they will hatch to be caterpillars, then they will go in to a pupal stage, and finally they will turn in to a beautiful moth or caterpillar.  



Sunday, 13 November 2016

Organisms In Our Garden - Damselfly

Location 

I was watching a grass snake hunting for a frog in my pond, when I saw a Damselfly resting on a reed.




What is it?

All damselfly's eat insects, including the nymphs. They nymphs are aquatic, living in all types of freshwater habitats including: Acid bogs, ponds,lakes and rivers. The males are often more brightly colored then females. When they mate, they form a 'heart' or a 'wheel' shape. Most species now are 7-8 cm, but a long time ago they were nearly a meter in length! The nymph will shed it's skin 8 to 16 times before turning in to an adult! There are about 2,600 species of damselfly's. They hunt for food in flight, looking for a tasty mosquito or spider. 

  



What do they eat?

Damselfly's will eat small, soft bodied insects such as: Aphids, mosquitoes, gnats and spiders. 
The nymphs will eat: Tadpoles and baby fish. I have seen this happen. The nymph had burrowed it's self in the sand, and was waiting for a small fish to come by. When it did, it grabbed it as fast as lighting, and pull it down it's burrow. It was incredible to watch.



What eats them?

Adult damselfly's have a lot of predators: Frogs, fish, bees, lizards, rodents, birds and even dragonfly's. 

I was watching a huge and beautiful dragonfly laying eggs, when a massive frog leaped out of some where and ate it. I was extremely angry at the frog!

The predators of nymphs are: Beetles, larger damselfly nymphs and fish.  
  




Life cycle

Female lay eggs in or near water, most likely on floating or underwater plants. Some species will go underwater completely to lay their eggs on a good surface! Out of the eggs a larvae called a nymph hatches. Most if it's life is underwater. This larvae stage may last from two months to three years! As it grows, it sheds it's skin. Then finally it will climb on a reed at night, the skin will split at a week spot behind the head and the adult damselfly crawls out. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Organisms In Our Garden - Dog

Location

I have had my wonderful dog for about nine years now. He has a lot or favorite spots to rest they are all around the garden. But his favorite spot is definitely on our outdoor sofa, which was intentionally put there for him! At night he is indoors as he goes around the village at night to eat all the left overs of peoples meals out of the bin!



Facts

The US has the highest dog population in the world, France has the second highest.

The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog.

Grey hounds are the fastest dogs on earth, they can do up to 45 miles per hour!

Humans have kept dogs as pets for about 12,500 years.

The worlds smartest dogs are: one - the border collie, two - the poodle, three - the golden  retriever.

A dogs smell is 100,000 times stronger then humans!!!

Dog's scene of hearing is ten times better than human.

It has been proven that dogs can get jealous if they see their owners displaying affection!

Dogs can see four colors - Blue, Yellow, Black and White

There is a dog that can understand more then 1,020 subs!




What does it eat?

Dogs eat a lot of different stuff. As they eat lots and lots of stuff I am going to tell you what they don't eat: Chocolate, onions, moldy cheese, garlic and grapes.




What eats them?

It has been known for huge snakes like pythons and anacondas to eat pet dogs. I am sorry I could not find any more information about what eats them. If you know then please tell me in the comments



Life cycle

The average city dog lives up to 15 years, and the village dogs up to 13. Dogs go through 4 stages of the cycle of life: puppy, adolescent, adult and senior.

Organisms In Our Garden - Weevil spp.


Location

I was looking for some interesting insects In garden when I came across a beautiful weevil, climbing up a plant. 





Video

The weevil I saw is included in this video








What is it?

They are usually very small insects, less 6 mm in length! They feed on plants, meaning they are herbivorous. There are over 60.000 species of true weevil. Most weevils are consider pests to gardeners as they can damage or kill a crops.  They are commonly found in dry foods, including nuts and seeds. Two years ago there were hundreds of them eating our beans and rice, It took us all day to get rid of them all!  Most weevils are found in fields, gardens or orchards. 


What do they eat?

Weevils feed on plants in stage larvae and as adults. Most species eat different things, for example: The Black Vine weevil, will feed on hemlocks and rhododendrons. The Bean weevil will eat beans. Some species eat grains and seeds. 




What eats them?

Most weevils are eaten by: Ants, other insects, birds, spiders and parasitic wasps.  



Life cycle

The life cycle depends greatly on the what species they are. Some of them lay there eggs on the ground near a plant they can eat in spring. When the eggs hatch the larvae burrow in the ground and feed on plant roots. Most larvae spend the winter under ground and emerge as adults the following spring. The adults that emerge in summer or autumn might invade homes for shelter!