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Flora and Fauna

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PHILIPPINE FLORA AND FAUNA
Flora and fauna refer to plant and wildlife, respectively. The indigenous plant and wildlife of a geographical region is often referred to as that region’s flora and fauna. Both are collective terms, referring to groups of plant or wildlife specific to a region or a time period. For example, the flora and fauna of a warm region may consist of tropical to warm-temperate vegetation and exotic species of birds.
By definition, flora is a word of Latin origin referring to Flora, the goddess of flowers. Flora can refer to a group of plants, a disquisition of a group of plants, as well as to bacteria. Flora is the root of the word floral, which means pertaining to flowers. Fauna can refer to the animal life or classification of animals of a certain region, time period, or environment. Fauna is also of Latin origin. In Roman Mythology Fauna was the sister of Faunus, a good spirit of the forest and plains.
The flora and fauna of any given region is usually explained in biological terms to include the genus and species of plant and animal life, their preferred growing or breeding habits, and their connection to one another in the environment as well. In addition to geographical groupings, environment also helps further classifications of flora and fauna. For example, aquatic flora andfauna of a region refers to the plant and animal life found in the waters in or surrounding a geographic region.
FLORA
Garden Plants and Flowers By Johnamendall (see also Flowers in my garden )

Sometimes it seems that nothing is easier than growing plants in your Philippine garden. The copious amounts of rain and hot sunshine are tailor-made to give flowers just what they need to grow and mature and many will put on a show for you with the minimum of effort. Usual gardening rules apply, though - water when it is dry, feed the soil by using your organic waste to make a compost heap.

Here are some flowers we are growing: | | | You can grow roses here | Passion Vine | Ylang Ylang flowers carrying an almost overwhelming sweet scent | | | | | An unusually coloured hibiscus | Recently (Sept. 2010) we have had a young man coming around with exotic plants to sell, including this giant-bloomed hibiscus. | ... and some double blooms, which, I confess, I don't much like, though this one is fine. | ... but sometimes they look like crumpled paper. No denying the gorgeous colour though. |

There are many other plants that can be grown which may not be native to Philippines but will thrive in the hot moist environment. | | | Stapelia Gigantea, a native of the dry areas of southern Africa. Bears these large flowers hanging downwards. It carries a scent of rotting meat to attract flies which pollinate it. | Philodendron Erubescens, the red philodendron. A native of Columbia and most happy where it is. The underside of the huge glossy leaf is red, like the leaf stalk. | Indian Hemp (Hibiscus Cannabinus) established itself outside our front garden. Flower is like a hibiscus, foliage is like ...something else, hence the name. Indian Hemp has many industrial uses and many varieties. | | | | Quite clearly not a native, this Prickly Pear (Opuntia) cactus nevertheless thrives, probably because it grows under the eaves of the house so avoiding rain for the most part. | Called Rosal in Philippines because of the flower's resemblence to a rose, this is botanically Gardenia Jasminoides (not a Jasmin) or colloquially Cape Jasmin (not from the Cape either). It has been cultivated in China for many centuries and is most sweet-scented. | |

I had some trouble identifying this next one. Did all the counting of petals, sepals and anthers, leaf morphology and that stuff, then thought about the flower's main characteristic; the petals close up after just a few hours of sunshine, normally by 10 a.m.

I was eventually put right by someone who visited my Flicka page. This is the White Alder (Turnera subulata).

Glorious in the morning |

Going, going ... |

Gone. Shift over for the day. |

Left and centre are pictures of Duranta Repens, with the charming common name of Brazilian Skyflower. We purchased it in Valencia, just above Dumaguete, brought it home with us by plane (thank you Cebu Pacific) and it has thrived ever since. Grows rather untidily with branches flopping about all over but can easily be trained to the shape you want. Requires no special care. |
Is a great attractant for butterflies.
Several of the pictures in the butterflies and moths section were taken on this plant.

Variety in probably Geisha Girl. | |

The showy flower on the right is not, as asawa would have it, a Bird of Paradise plant, although it has been called False Bird of Paradise. A better name, I think, is Lobster Claw. Botanically it is Heliconia Pendulata and prefers some shade. | | | Clerodendrum Thomsoniae, the Bleeding Heart Vine. The common name makes more sense with white sepals unlike the pink ones which tend to proliferate here. | Close up of a flower of the Bleeding Heart Vine. Is a climber but needs to be trained through a trellis or some such. Blooms on current year growth so cut back old growth. | Odontonema Cuspidatum, common name Firespike. Native to central America but commonly seen here. Upright shrub producing crests which somewhat resemble brains. Drought resistant. |

Shade Lovers

Travelling around the countryside it is easy to come across plant nurseries beside the road. They often give the impression of being the indoor section of a European/US garden centre moved outdoors. From these places we have obtained many plants with brightly coloured foliage which thrive in shady conditions, just right for our narrow strip of ground between two tall buildings. Here are some of the plants we are growing there. I am not certain that all the names are correct, so if anyone knows better, please tell.

Alocasia species |

Caladium "White Christmas" |

Caladium "Florida Cardinal" |

Calathea Ornata | |
Orchids
Begun by Johnamendall |

Orchids are one of nature's crowning glories in my opinion and worth a page of their own, especially as they are well represented in Philippines. They are also the largest plant genus in terms of number of species. A great site to visit is Jay's Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia which has many hundreds of large clear photos of the blooms. Arranged in alphabetical order of species.

They can be divided into two basic kinds:

Terrestrial

These grow in the ground getting their sustenance from the earth as most plants do.

A common genus in Philippines is Spathoglottis of which we are growing a few varieties. Terrestrials are somewhat more reliable bloomers than epiphytes.

Spathoglottis plicata |

S. plicata showing growth habit |

Spathoglottis, white species |

S. plicata purple variety |

Epiphytic

Not extra-terrestrial, although you could be forgiven for thinking such weird and beautiful colours and shapes hail from another planet. Some misconceptions about epiphytic orchids are prevalent. They are sometimes considered to be parasites, especially as they are often seen growing on dead wood and it has been thought that they are responsible for killing the host. Not so. Epiphytic orchids only use other plants and trees as anchorage, somewhere to sit. They derive nourishment through roots which grow out into the air and absorb minerals from water droplets in their wet environment, and of course they photosynthesise.

One group has an endearing method of pollination. This is performed by the male of a particular insect species and the flowers bloom a few weeks before the female insects reach adult stage. The orchids' thick lower petal (the lip) resembles closely the female insect, close enough to fool the male, which attempts to mate with the flower! The insect does not get what it wants but the plant does, the disturbance causing pollen to be released from the insect and fertilise the orchid.

Vegetative description

I apologise for introducing some technical botanical terms but it does help in identifying and describing orchids. They exhibit two distinct modes of growth, monopodial and sympodial.

Monopodial orchids grow in the familiar way of most plants, an upright stem growing taller and pairs or groups of leaves growing out from it, which of course provide nourishment along with the roots.

Sympodial orchids have a rhizome, an elongated bulb-like structure, from which arise several pseudobulbs. These are like short swollen stems and on them are borne one or a few leaves and the blooms eventually. Here are a couple of examples of the two modes of growth:

A Vanda orchid depicting monopodial growth. Monopodial orchids do not require pseudobulbs. Flower buds can be seen in the top right of the picture, sprouting from the middle of the stem not the apex. |

Cattleya hybrid showing sympodial growth. The rhizome is not really visible but swollen pseudobulbs can be seen appearing out of the root mass. |

The pseudobulb of an Oncidium. |

The typical cane-like appearance of a Dendrobium pseudobulb. |

Many orchid leaves are referred to as strap-like, others are known as terete or semi-terete. The word means "like an arrow" and describes a long, thin cylindrical shape. A few orchids have semi-terete leaves, Vandas especially, and appear as if the cylindrical form is split down one side. Here are some pictures of both kinds:

Strap leaves |

Semi-terete leaves on a Vanda |

Aerial roots. The humidity means the plant can get water and dissolved minerals through these. |

Vanda roots |

Orchid families

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of orchid families but a few are commonly grown in Philippines. They include all the major families except one, Cymbidium, which is native to the higher parts of the Himalayas and therefore is able to bloom under cool conditions. This makes them ideal for growing in temperate climates but they do not thrive here.

I will decribe and illustrate a few of the major families and attempt to show what distinguishes them from one another. This is not so straightforward as orchids hybridise very easily, having no morals whatsoever. Commercial growers are always interbreeding species in the search for more exciting blooms.

Cattleya

Originally from Latin America they adapt well to the temperature and humidity of Philippines but are also happiest in dappled shade. Many serious orchid growers here will build a structure of twigs running across the top of a wooden frame with the plants growing underneath to provide the shade. This is not necessary for all orchids but Cattleya do benefit from it. There are winter as well as summer bloomers among them and they are frequently hybridised, sometimes with two other species. | | |

Left picture is by kind permission of Manila Cockney. All 3 are Cattleya hybrids exhibiting the typical Cattleya frilled lip petal.

Dendrobium

This is a very large family originating in the far east from here in Philippines down as far south as Australia and New Zealand. There are two major groups, Nobile, which require a dry period during the year and Phalaenopsis, which do not. In Philippines you are most likely to encounter the latter type. As shown above they form distinctive pseudobulbs. Beyond that, it is difficult to generalise as it is such a large family with a great variety of colours and growing habits. Here are a few that we are growing: | | | |

Manila Cockney's dendrobium picture is second from the left.

More dendrobium varieties: | | |

Oncidium

This family originally hails from Central and northern South America. It has a large number of species and is very diverse, but most flowers are yellow and red predominantly. They require some shade in Philippines, where they have been long established, and the day and night temperatures here suit them well. They will also forgive you an occasional missed watering.

People here know them as "Dancing Ladies" although that properly refers to one species, oncidium altissimus, and they do resemble a grand dame dressed for a formal occasion in times past. | | A flower stalk of Oncidium "Dancing Lady". The blooms are heavy for the stalk and "dance" in the slightest breeze. | Individual bloom, dressed for dancing. |

Phalaenopsis | | | Phalaenopsis could be considered The Philippine Orchid. A great many varieties grow here and it is the centre of their range which covers the far east.
They are commonly called Moth or Butterfly Orchids because they supposedly resemble moths in flight.

This is one family that does require shady conditions. The bloom to the left is from the narrow side-alley of our garden, which receives little direct sunshine. They like warm temperatures day and night and constant high humidity.

These orchids do not make use of pseudobulbs, and have 2 or 3 thick strap-shaped leaves per stem. | | Above is Phalaenopsis Stuartiana, a native of Mindanao which a neighbour is growing. These are used extensively in hybridisation to get the spotted effect into this family. |

Renanthera

A small family of orchids but native to Philippines, they produce large inflorescences of numerous small blooms. These like it hot and prefer bright sunlight, so are easily dealt with here and will be often seen. They are the blooms from the "strap leaves" above, on this page. | | I believe my plant is Renanthera Philipinensis | Detail of the individual floret which is 1-2 cm in length. |

Vanda

This orchid family is not as large in number of species as some others but is found commonly around Philippines. The leaves, as alluded to above, are quite distinctive and the plant blooms easily. The reason for this is that it requires bright sunlight for part of the day unlike many of its fussy cousins. People just put them in their gardens and let them get on with it. They are native to this part of the world. This time Manila Cockney's beautiful spotted bloom is second from right. | | | | |
Fruit crops Coconuts

Coconuts must be about the most versatile crop imaginable. The link in the title goes to the Philippine Coconut Authority section dealing with coconut technologies. Coconut palms have many uses beyond food. The following pictures show some traditional ways of utilising different parts of the palm. | | | | Fruit ready to be picked.
A golden skinned variety but otherwise the same. | With skillful chopping using a bolo, the nut is revealed. | On the right is the "flower", which has a chewy, fibrous taste. | Grinding up the rind using a metal spike.The flakes can be soaked in water to produce coconut milk, used in a multitude of recipes. |

Shown below are stages in the making of a walis (broom) using the central midrib of the coconut palm. | | | | Each palm frond is stripped and the plant material cut from the midrib. | The midrib is then cut in half lengthways. | The strands are allowed to dry before being fashioned into a broom. | All the waste is gathered up, dried and used as fuel for the fire. |

Pineapple (Ananas comosus)

What is nicer than a slice of fresh pineapple? They originate from Brazil, were brought to Philippines by the Spanish and are now grown all over the tropics. They are one of the country's major exports and there are plantations here owned by some of the world's major canning companies.

I have to confess that before I ventured into tropical parts I thought pineapples grew hanging from the branches of pineapple trees, after all did they not have a cluster of leaves on top. For anyone under a similar missapprehension the following pictures show the pineapple's mode of growth. | | Pineapples are Bromeliads and grow like other members of that family. | They are considered to be compound flowers which have fused together to make one fruit. |

My embarassment was slightly modified when our helper said she thought potatoes grew hanging from a tree as well.

Here is a new way with the fruit I picked up off the net. Shake some soy sauce over a chunk of fresh ripe pineapple. Sounds disgusting but it actually tastes fine, seeming to bring out the true flavour of the soybean.

Propagate them by simply planting the crown of leaves, which you would have cut off the top of the fruit, into the soil. It will take time to see further leaves but they will germinate more often than not.

Papaya (Carica papaya)

I think papaya are truly nature's bounty. We have picked dozens of large fruit from one of our trees and there are plenty more. They are palms but with a very different leaf form from coconuts. | | | | Showing the whole plant. | Fruits are clustered around the stem. The plant may produce this quantity two or three times a year. | The female flower. Some plants contain only male flowers and these are useless (as our wives could tell us) for fruit development. | Fruits are best harvested when turning orange, not completely so, otherwise flies will have attacked them. |

These are another fruit originating from Latin America, this time Mexico, and are now cultivated all over the tropics. The orange flesh is eaten raw and, to my taste, is rather bland. I find the trick is to squeeze calamansi juice over it. It seems to elevate the taste completely, something I learned in east Africa where they use lemon, but I am not sure this practice is widespread here.

Green unripe papaya has a use in tenderising meat, as it contains an enzyme, papain, which breaks down protein. People here marinate the papaya pieces with meat chunks before cooking. It is said that the seeds inside can be crushed to make a pepper substitute and they supposedly have a use as contraceptives.

Atis (Annona squamosa)

The atis fruit tree is not a palm but a rather non-descript evergreen tree with lanceolate leaves. Philippine temperatures are just right for it, except that it might struggle through a Baguio winter. It should be well watered in dry periods. The tree is a native of the Caribbean but was introduced into Philippines in early Spanish times. Atis is the tagalog name. Its English name is sugar-apple. The hard black seed can be planted directly in the ground and stands a good chance of growing. | | | Showing how it grows on the tree. | The fruit is a good source of iron - and calories. | Eat the white fleshy pulp around the seeds but not the seeds. |

Mango (Mangifera Indica)

It's official, the world's sweetest fruit, as claimed by the Guinness Book of Records is the Philippine (Carabao) Mango. The other commonly encountered varieties here are the Indian and Apple mangoes. The fruit was originally cultivated in India and then spread to south-east asia and all over the world where frost is not encountered. Mango goes wherever man goes.

The delicious carabao mango when ripe, is a uniform yellow colour. I am sure everyone has eaten one as they are easily obtainable in colder countries but it is worth knowing the correct way to slice one avoiding the large flat seed. Hold the knife about half an inch to one side of the centre line along the long axis and cut down, then do the same on the other side. | | | Wife showing how to do the slicing. | The centre slice contains the seed but still has plenty of edible fruit pulp. | Unripe Indian mango, smaller and with a slightly different shape. Can be cut into small pieces and eaten with salted shrimp paste (bagoong). |

The mango tree is large and bears its blossom in spring (March to May). Leaves are lanceolate and a glossy dark green. | | | A large, mature tree. | The mango flowers. | Showing leaves and new fruit. | | Two different kinds of mango. The upper fruit in the picture is the familiar carabao mango. A local farmer came by our gate and sold us the lower variety, darker in colour, more fibrous and with a more pronounced scent. I do not know what these are and would be glad if someone can tell me. They are deceptive in being ripe and ready to eat while the skin is still green. | |

Food crops By Johnamendall

Here, I want to outline the stages in cultivation and production of various food crops and vegetables grown in the country and suggest some ways in which they are, or could be, prepared for the table.

RICE

Where else to start? Rice is the staple food of Philippines. For too many Filipinos, meals consist of rice and whatever else they can get. This is often bagoong or salted shrimp paste.

I am fortunate in living in an area known as "the rice granary of the Philippines", the province of Isabela, so I have plenty of opportunity to observe all stages of rice growing. We also used to have a small field where we grew our own crop and that is the source of the following pictures.

For a vital, staple crop rice cultivation is not so straightforward. The seedlings need to be planted in water a couple of inches deep which requires some form of irrigation. This is a job I would not wish on anyone; standing, bent-backed in ankle deep dirty stagnant water with the ever-present possibility of encountering snakes or rats and a hot sun beating down on your neck. Having said that, there is no shortage of hands during planting season. Rice farmers offer slightly above average wages for the planting season and we have often lost a helper for a couple of weeks as she takes advantage of the seasonal employment, then returns requesting her old job back. If only they would warn us in advance.

As the rice grows, the water is allowed to evaporate and I think there are few more attractive farming landscapes than freshly sown rice fields with the blue sky reflecting off the water interspersed with the young green shoots. | | | Strips of plastic, I think to scare away the white herons (cattle egrets) | An irrigation canal. A gap in the wall is simply scooped out allowing the water to flow into your field, then dammed shut when there is sufficient water. Because of our proximity to a dam, canals serving different areas can be filled and emptied. | Our little rice field, about 1,500 square metres. We have found a different use for this now. It's too small to make much sense growing rice on it. |

After three months or so, the green shoots form ears, just like wheat and the grain swells in them. They then turn straw coloured and this signals harvest time, another labour intensive activity. | | | The grain ready for harvesting. | Cutting the ripe stalks with a bolo. | Make a pile of the rice stalks for the thresher. |

The thresher is a magic machine which accepts ripe rice stalks fed in one side and expels a stream of grains from a pipe at one end. The waste straw is shot out several feet into the air from the other side. The machine can be hired for a minimum of half a day and that was plenty of time for the harvesting of our field. | | | Pushing the stalks in and leaving the fingers out. | Here comes the rice, complete with husk at this stage. | And here is the expelled rice straw. Note the net spread in the central foreground. |

The waste straw actually still contains a fair amount of rice grain. Practiced locals can gather this and winnow it in the traditional way. By tradition this is free to whoever collects it. | | | Experience taught her how to winnow and also to cover up against the extreme itchiness of rice husks. | Swift work needed to empty the cans into sacks and replace them. | All bagged up and ready to go. |

At this stage we have brown or wholegrain rice, palay. Some of us think it is healthier eaten at this stage but I am not about to argue with people have had rice for every meal almost since birth.

The grain is also quite moist and needs drying out. We are fortunate in having our field near the barangay (village) hall. There is a large concrete space at the front which doubles as a basketball court, party ground and palay drying area. Locals can dry their grain here for the princely sum of 1 peso per sack. For those who do not have access to a drying area, the grain is simply spread out across the Maharlika, or main highway. It will cover one lane and reduce the two lane major artery to a single file during harvest times. Try not to think about all those petrol and diesel fumes. | | | Drying the rice on concrete. | Palay | |

In the Cagayan Valley area where we live, fields with access to irrigation grow rice, those that do not raise corn (mais), which is used as animal feed. |
Non-food crops
Kapok

The kapok tree produces a light, fluffy cellulose fibre from its seed pods, which was used for stuffing pillows, life-jackets etc. This has largely been superceded by man-made fibres but is making a comeback. The tree is native to Latin America but widely grown in the Far East. It is said to rise above the rain forest canopy reaching more than 200 feet tall. | | | Most of the year, the kapok sprouts leaves. This specimen has some growing to do before it reaches 200 feet. | With the approach of winter, leaves are shed and replaced by seed pods, ... | ... which open to show the fibrous, cellulose and lignin material. |

A sad mushroom | This mushroom was originally nearly two feet in diameter and very colourful. The centre stem had bright red seeds on it. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me when I first saw it and this photo was taken several days later after heavy rain. |
FAUNA
Animals
Carabao (Water Buffalo)

I have used the Filipino name for once, because that is how it is universally termed. Everyone who lives here knows the carabao (bubalus bubalis carabensis) and I suspect almost every visitor has seen one. They are the beast of burden in this country, pulling ploughs and bullock carts and any other human contrivance attached to them. | | | Ploughing the rice field | Resting | On the main road oblivious to traffic |

They have the most wonderful, docile temperament, just as well considering their bulk and those impressive horns, but must be able to immerse themselves in water or at least wet mud to keep cool, as their skin does not permit sweating.

As well as the beast of burden, carabao can be used for food. I have tried the milk, which is perfectly acceptable. A town in Cagayan province (Alcala) specialises in carabao confectionery made from their milk and this is also quite tasty. Carabao meat can be obtained in markets but I have never tried it.

A close relative of the carabao, though a distinct species is the Tamaraw. This much smaller animal is not domesticated and can only be found on Mindoro. It is another critically endangered species in Philippines although seems to have turned the corner according to latest conservation reports.

Tarsier

Now from the bulky, unlovely and commonplace to the rare, beautiful and petite. This comment applies not only to western males and their Filipina wives or girlfriends but also to the transition between carabao and tarsier.

The tarsier is tiny (fits in a man's hand) but with enormous eyes. They are not quite monkeys and not quite lemurs and have been given a sub-order of their own. Found in Samar, Bohol, Leyte and north eastern Mindanao as well as a few other non-Philippine islands round about, they are rare but not on the conservationists "most endangered" lists. This may be because not a great deal is known about their range and numbers. Such large eyes indicate a nocturnal habit and the practice of keeping them as pets, and therefore bringing them out in daylight, is detrimental. In any case they do not do well in captivity.

The name is from their greatly elongated ankle bone or tarsal. Here are some pictures complete with plenty of "Aah" factor: | | |

Whilst visiting an isolated beach called Puerta Azul in Cavite South Luzon, we spotted these guys in the trees. Hard to see one as their color makes them blend into the jungle. I think they are a possibly Long Tail Macaques but stand to be corrected: (Uzi) | |

Birds By Johnamendall

Living in rural Philippines and with a plethora of plants and trees I confess to some disappointment with the lack of variety in the bird life. This impression was confirmed by a niece who went to UK and was surprised by the amount of bird species there. I think this is partially explained by the needs of a large and not always well-nourished human population with very little taboo on what they eat, and perhaps a lack of awareness of conservation, although the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines are doing their best to raise such awareness.

The best photographer of birds of the Philippines would appear to be Romy Ocon and his blog and galleries are well worth visiting if you are interested.

The bird kingdom is divided into a number of orders for classification and by far the largest of these, in terms of species numbers, is Perching birds (Passeriformes)

Perching Birds (Passerine birds)
The first three would probably be regarded as the most commonly encountered species of birds in Philippines. It would vary, though, depending on where you are, for example if you are by the sea you will come across gulls, terns and the like. | | Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)The Tree Sparrow is probably the commonest bird in Southeast Asia, whereas the House Sparrow is the one found all across Europe. North America has its own Tree Sparrow, which is a different species. | Yellow-Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavierVery common in gardens, this bulbul has a varied diet of plant and animal material. Is song is a repeated double-note sound and its mating display consists of quick vertical movements of the tail accompanied by a lot of noise. | | | The Pied Fantail (Rhipidura Javanica) is a common but endearing bird with a variety of songs from a croak to a sweet trill. They are often seen in gardens where their acrobatic flights and tendency to display their black and white patterned tail can be observed. | Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)Formerly the national bird of the Philippines (that is now the Philippine Eagle), this member of the finch family is found in grassland and rice fields. The large powerful beak is used for crushing seeds on which it feeds. It is usually seen in groups. | | | Olive-Backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)

These little beauties are the commonest species in the sunbird family. They are about half the size of a sparrow and the long, downward-curving beak is used for sipping nectar from flowers. The picture above shows a male in breeding livery. Uzi's little bird to the right is the female. |

Hope John doesn't mind me adding this to his page.This one made a refueling stop at our house in Cebu. A long way from John in northern Luzon. - Uzi. | | | Brown shrike (Lanius cristatus).The brown shrike is common in the winter months and very easy to spot, perching on an exposed branch to search for its prey, various insects, small lizards and the like. Their call is a distinctive crak-crak and they have less fear of humans then many other birds, allowing you to get quite close. | This is a Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) with the characteristic overhanging upper beak for tearing. It feeds on lizards and insects and, unlike the brown shrike, does not normally venture into gardens. | | | Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)Grey Wagtails breed further north in Japan and Korea but winter in Philippines. They feed on small creatures in ponds and streams so are found close to water. | Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)Swallows are considered Passerine Birds, though curiously, swifts are not. The Barn Swallow has a worldwide distribution but visits Philippines in the cooler winter months only. They catch insects on the wing and roost together along telegraph wires or bare branches. | | | Philippine Glossy Starling )Aplonis panayensis)The red eye you can just about see is real, not an artifact. These starlings are seen in numbers on and around tree tops. They feed on soft fruit like papaya and mango so are not a welcome sight in orchards. A relative of the Mynah Bird, they also mimic other bird calls. | Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris)Common and conspicuous in rice fields and grasslands, this is a member of the warbler family and has that family's clear, piercing song. They forage for insects among the grasses. The species is widely distributed, from India to Australia. | | | Golden-bellied Flyeater (Gerygone sulphurea)This little bird lives high up in the tree canopy searching for insects in leaves and branches. It has a loud, staccato song which is not unpleasant. Another species widely distributed throughout the far east. | | | |

Ciconiiformes (Birds of Prey, Long-legged waders and others) | | While I don't have the camera or John's ability to take good photos, I do want to add one to his page. Yesterday while at a beach called Puerta Azul in Cavite, South Luzon, there were a number of (I was told) Fishing Eagles there This was one I managed to catch as it flew overhead. Uzi. | | | | Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)These large, white heron-like birds are usually found in close proximity to domesticated animals like cattle or carabao. They are an example of commensalism i.e. the egrets benefit from insect provision stirred up by cattle grazing and the cattle receives neither benefit nor harm. They have been implicated in the spread of cattle diseases from one herd to another. | |

Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae)
Several species of dove are endemic to Philippines and some of them are brightly coloured. The commoner ones, though, are found throughout the region. | | Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis)Gets its name from a triangular spotted area on its neck. This pigeon was introduced into Philippines and is originally from the Indian subcontinent. It feeds mainly on seeds and grains and is rather shy. | Red-Collared Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)
So called because of its black collar. This dove keeps mainly to tree tops and prefers forest edges. | | | Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)
This member of the pigeon family is usually seen foraging on the ground, where it is well camouflaged. In parts of the far east they are kept as pets. Its Filipino name is kurokutok, describing its call. | |

Kingfishers and related birds (Coraciiformes) | | Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Another example of a bird breeding on the east Asian mainland and migrating to Philippines to escape the harsh winters. Kingfishers nest in holes along the canal or river bank and eat fish and other aquatic creatures. Their presence is an indication of unpolluted water. | White Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)This small kingfisher is native to Philippines and widespread. The back colour is any shade from blue to green. Their habit is similar to the Common Kingfisher but their favored diet item is small crabs. | | | Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)Found in grasslands and ricefileds, normally close to a body of water, as its diet includes dragonflies as well as bees and wasps.It perches conspicuously on wires and branches catching its prey while in flight. Is also gregarious. | |

I hope you don't mind me adding again John but stumbled over this curiosity & wanted to share it - Uzi From Wikipedia

The Philippine Frogmouth Batrachostomus septimus is anocturnal bird that is found throughout the Philippine archipelago. It is common in lowland forests and maturing second growth. Little information is known about the bird since it is active only at night and does not make any calls or songs. It feeds on grasshoppers,cicadas, crickets and beetles.

The nest is built from a horizontal branch that is placed two to five meters above ground. It is made from the parent's own downy feathers which is held in place using spider silk, moss and lichens. The female lays one egg per season. The male incubates the egg during the day and the female at night. | |

The photo is from cebu blackshama's photostream which has some amazing photos. |
Snakes
SNAKES
(Contributed by David Shaw)

Briefly, the snakes in the Philippines can be divided into 3 main family groups.

The Constrictor, here known as the Python ,

a non poisonous snake but whose bite is painful and may cause severe infection from it's dirty mouth, teeth etc. It tends to lie supinely in the undergrowth waiting for prey. You may, as I have done, step over one unintentionally, however the man about 8 paces behind me, stood on it and it reared up and wrapped itself around him. The first reaction is to go for the head....wrong! With a Python go for the tail, as it uses the tail wrapped around a tree to enforce it's pull. Cut the tail and then you can start to unravel it. In this case it was the victim's elder brother who saved his life. Good eating.

The Viperidae family

is, as the name suggests, the viper family. The snakes tend to rely on camouflage/colouring to evade people etc. However it can curl up into an S shape and throw itself at it's target. Thus a 3 ft viper is able to strike out to 6+ ft. It has concave fangs which are forward in the mouth but are brittle and may fall off if the strike is on loose clothing. It is highly toxic. They are dangerous because of their ambush/evasion tactic of lying still until the target nears, either intentionally or not. They are usually found in trees but not always. I am always careful when near bamboo or clearing my hedge here. They have a triangular head and can be brightly coloured, eg the Coral snake.

The Elipidae family

is the Cobra family and is quite common here. They are front fanged with short tubular fangs. They can only strike 1/3 of their own height and cannot throw themselves forward, just a plain strike downwards. As they can grow to 19 ft that means they can rise 6ft and strike within that arc. They tend to avoid humans and will move out of the way if given time and space. Except for the Hamadryad! this beast is a King Cobra and is naturally aggressive, I have been attacked by one late at night whilst sitting in a Land Rover. We disturbed it sleeping on a small country lane and it promptly started striking the passenger side window, closed at the time with me watching the poison dribbling down the plastic screen. To be avoided whenever possible.They are vivaporous meaning that they are one of the very few types of snake born alive and not from eggs. Born at 22ins and toxic from birth.

Sea snakes ( Hydrophiidae family)

are very common here and are very toxic, however being backfanged and with very small mouths they are not a great danger unless you happen to pull up a fishing net with splayed fingers thus enabling the snake to bite between the fingers. Very colourful and curious.Snakes are cold blooded and will seek out heat, warm roads at night etc. They dislike rain so will seek shelter. when walking through long grass, bush etc shuffle along making a noise. Look up when moving amongst trees (Surprisingly difficult as most of us look down towards our feet, check next time you are in the forest). If you see a snake stand still and let it move out of the way, do not harass it or it will strike. Not all snakes are toxic to man, far more are frog eaters, rat eaters etc. Basically leave them be. Wear long loose trousers if going for a walk in the forest here.

Remember all snakes are good eating. Once killed cut it's head off about 6-10 ins behind the mouth, run your hand down the body until you feel no more spine just loose skin (tail) back an inch or two and cut off the last inch plus the tail, slit open in running water, clear out the stomach etc, skin it, cut up into pieces, boil, add chopped green leaves, wild chili and you are set for a great meal!

Please understand that these are just general comments not a detailed guide to the snake world!

Fish, reptiles and amphibians
Philippine Crocodile (crocodylus mindorensis)
(initial contribution by Johnamendall)

This species of crocodile is on the "critically endangered species" list. It had been considered extinct in north luzon for many years, existing only in memories of the old folk who recall large shapes in the local rivers and occasional noisy splashings. Such musings were considered understandable exaggerations and fantasies of age and liberal intake of alcohol.

That was until one day in 1999 when a fisherman near the town of San Mariano brought one up in his nets. She became known as Margie and this sparked an energetic conservation effort which continues. In fact several individuals have been reared and cared for in the town and returned to their appropriate habitat.

San Mariano is the gateway to the Sierra Madre National Park. It has one road in and out and east of the town is miles of park wilderness before the coast is reached. We visited in 2007 looking for quality wooden furniture and noticed depictions of Margie the crocodile everywhere. The town had certainly taken her to their hearts, perhaps the best guarantor of success conservationists could hope for. Read the story of the discovery of Margie and the conservation effort here.

Monitor Lizard (Bayawak)

Sis-in-law Baby, who lives next door, was startled to discover this beastie in her dirty kitchen. A daring local lad went in with a pole and bashed it to extinction. Made good adobo apparently. I am calling it a Monitor because of the claws and speckled markings. It was about a foot (30 cm) long without the tail. We thought it came from the large grounds of the school next to us.

| The common sun skink (Mabuya multifasciata) is a small lizard that frequents canals and streams. They are plentiful but difficult to photograph, spending most of their time under cover. |

Cane Toad (bufo marinus)

Cane Toads are an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. They are native to southern USA, Central America and northern South America but have been introduced into Australia, Hawaii and Philippines with the intention of reducing the extent of infestation of the sugar cane crop by the sugar cane beetle. In Australia, this policy has been disastrous. The toads are very unfussy eaters and if the beetles are too difficult to come by, they will happily gorge on the contents of pets' dishes, and with a typical adult weight of 4 pounds, they eat a lot. These problems have not really crossed into Philippines but they are common enough and if you see a large toad, 4 -5 inches in length, it is probably a Cane Toad. | | An adult Cane Toad. We have certainly had them finishing the rice in our dog plates. They are also poisonous, deadly to smaller animals. We have lost a dog who tried to eat one of these | An immature toad superbly camouflaged against the earth. Can you see it? |

Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) | | About the size of a man's fist these are common in and around rice fields. | They lay their clusters of shocking pink coloured eggs above the water line on plant stems, the only snail family which does this. |

Life in an irrigation canal | |

Tilapia are found in numbers in the canal, probably getting there from local fish ponds. They are of huge economic importance in Philippines, providing cheap, quick growing protein and there are fish farms full of tilapia everywhere. | The centre fish here is a type of catfish as seen from the close set, upward looking eyes and flattened appearance. They are also valuable for their ability to survive in polluted water. |

An insignificant little crab

On the left is a small freshwater crab seen in our local irrigation canal. This one has escaped the waterway onto the gravelled path after the canal had been emptied. My identification search suggested this is a specimen of Sundathelphusa cagayana, a species which has only been described for science since April 2010. Indeed I have contacted the scientist who first described this crab and he is as sure as he can be from a photograph that this is the species he was describing.

He was pleased by my discovery because it extends the range of this organism from Cagayan province, where he had been studying it, to southern Isabela.

Freshwater crabs in Philippines tend to be unique to the river system where they are found. Now, I have been requested to preserve a few and send them to University of Philippines, Diliman.

All of which leads me to two conclusions; when someone "discovers" a new species it really means they are the first to describe itscientifically. These crabs have been known, and eaten, by the locals since time immemorial. The second conclusion is that there is stillreal, useful biology that can be done by amateurs here. Philippines has great biodiversity and not so many professional scientists working in the field.

SNAKES
Butterflies
The best butterfly website I have come across is this one. It covers only Singapore but I have been able to identify most of the common Philippine butterflies from it. Each species has several excellent photos from different angles as well as pictures of the immature stages in the butterfly's life cycle. There is also further information on how to identify the specimen you see and details of its host plant i.e. the plant its immature stages feed on.

Papilionidae

Also called Swallowtail butterflies because of the two small projections on the hind wings close to the body which occur in many but not all species in this family, these are the largest and most colourful of all butterflies and well represented in Philippines. | | | Top view of a male Great Mormon (Papilio memnon), wingspan about 5 inches. Not uncommon but beautiful. Right is the same specimen showing the scarlet markings on the underside of the wings. Found throughout the far east and down to Australia. | A female Great Mormon. This one is mimicking a Crimson Mormon but the markings are not the right shade of red. | When I first saw this on a leaf of my Pomelo tree I thought, "Yuck, bird droppings". Then I looked more closely. This superb camouflage is typical of the caterpillars of the Papilionidae or Swallowtail butterflies. |

| |

It is worth thinking about whether we should destroy all caterpillars we find as pests. Some will grow into beautiful butterflies like those on this page, particularly if seen on citrus fruit trees. | | | Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) female | Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) male, showing the very different colouration. | Another mormon, this time Scarlet Mormon (Papilio rumanzovia), the female. |

| | | Tailed Jay (graphium agamemnon) | Common Jay (Graphium doson) | |

| | | The Lime Butterfly (Papilio Demoleus), common from the Middle East to all points further east. I was lucky with this pose, adults newly emerged from pupae bask in the sunshine until they dry off before flying away. This can take several hours. | The same butterfly with wings open. Called the Lime Butterfly because its larvae feed on lime trees or, in Philippines, calamansi. | |

|

|
Pieridae

This family include the whites and sulphurs, the latter being various shades of yellow with a variety of wing markings. They are medium sized and during the winter period here are the only butterflies regularly encountered other than the tiny ones.

The family is further divided into subfamilies:

Coliadinae (Yellows) | | | The Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) | Mottled Emigrant (Catopsilia pyranthe). I am sure of this ID because it was visiting blooms of a plant called Seven Golden Candlesticks which is its host plant. | Orange Emigrant (Catopsilia scylla) |

Pierinae (Whites) | | | This is he Cabbage White (Pieris canidia) which thrives here despite a dearth of cabbages. It flies low over the ground occasionally gliding. | This is known as the Psyche (Leptosia nina) also common. | The Striped Albatross (Appias libythea) is a strong flyer and was common this year (2011) around April-May. |

| | | Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete) spends most of its time flying at tree top level so I was fortunate to capture this one descending to feed. | A number of brightly-coloured butterflies go under the common name "Jezebel". This is Red Base Jezebel (Delias pasithoe). Usually fast and high flyers, this individual needed frequent rests because of his frayed wings. | |

Nymphalidae

Also known as the brush footed butterflies as the first pair of legs are shortened and hair covered.

Here are the main subfamilies represented in Philippines:

Danainae | | | Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea) | | |

Heliconiinae | | | Vidula dejone erotella aka Cruiser, this large butterfly shows pronounced sexual dimorphism i.e. the male and female look quite different. This is a female, the male having an all over chestnut brown colouring. | Common Leopard (Phalanta phalantha) | |

Nymphalinae

There are several subfamilies within this family. The first group are known as the eggflies as they exhibit more caring parental behaviour than is usual. The female can be seen minutely going over the shrub where she has chosen to lay her eggs, making sure it is free of ants, which would devour them. | | | Greater Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina) | A male Greater Eggfly with a glimpse of the iridescent bluemarkings on the upper wings. | Malayan Eggfly (Hypolimnas anomala) |

Another group are the buckeyes with distinctive false eyes (ocelli on their wings) | | | The Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana). Those wing markings that look like eyes are known as ocelli. | Chocolate Pansy (Junonia Hedonia) | Another of the pansy family, this one is the Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites). |

| | | Athyma Pereus, the Common Sargeant, comes from a family where all species have military common names, no doubt due to the horizontal striping they all have in common. | Another from the Aglipay Caves area this is the Common Mapwing (Cyrestis Maenalis rizali) | |

| | | | Common Evening Brown (Melanitis Leda) appears around dusk and has an uncertain, irregular flight, mimicking a falling leaf. | Dingy Bush Brown (Mycalesis Perseus) |

| | | | | |

Lycaenidae

Butterflies of this family are attractive in colour and marking but very small, being 1 - 2 cm across. They are normally noticed as just a blur of pale blue or white and fly close to the ground in the vicinity of their food plants. | | | | |

Lesser Grass Blue (Zizinia Otis) | Pea Blue (Lampides Boeticus) | |

Hesperiidae (Skippers)

Skippers are rather different from all other butterfly families. Their bodies are large in relation to their wings and their eyes are abnormally large as well. They tend to rest with forewings spread flat but hindwings held vertically. They are also smaller than most butterflies. | | | Large Dart (Potanthus Serina) is attracted to our White Alder plants. | Conjoined Swift (Pelopidas conjunctus) | Chinese Dart (Potanthus confucius), no more than 2 cm wingspan |

Pyrginae

A family of butterflies which rest with wings spread just like moths. | | | Large Snow Flat (Tagiades Gana) | | |

Moths
By Johnamendall

To a visitor from northern Europe in particular, Philippine butterflies and moths seem impossibly large and brightly coloured, wending their unhurried way through the garden like small birds. Their caterpillars are proportionately sized as well and have appetites to match. In parts of the country the herald of an unusual butterfly is taken as the spirit of a recently deceased person.

What, then, is the difference between a butterfly and a moth? It is not that butterflies are brightly coloured while moths are drab, nor is it that moths are active at night while butterflies fly during daylight. The accepted difference is that when a butterfly alights on a surface, its wings remain folded like a blade. A moth spreads its wings out fully, "like a bridal train" as one biologist overdramatised it.

Moths | Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) one of the largest species there is. This specimen had a wingspan of about 8 inches.
They are of the Silkmoth family and do, in fact, produce silken strands but are not commercially exploited. Atlas Moths are found from India throughout the far east to southern China. Considering their size, they are not uncommon. We see a couple of specimens every year. The caterpillars feed on citrus plants, pomelo and rambutan trees among others. |

| | | A sphingid (hawkshead) moth caterpillar devouring a Desert Rose bloom. | Hawkshead Moth caterpillar. The horn on the tail gives that away, apparently | Lyssa Zampa or Tropical Swallowtail Moth, a day flyer came into our garage. |

| | | | Theretra latreilli (Pale Brown Hawk Moth). This moth thought our tablecloth was a good camouflage. | This nicely marked moth, Asota Heliconia, is found throughout the far east and into Australia. | This tiny (less than 1") moth is called a wasp moth. It is trying to pretend it is a wasp, for obvious reasons. The wings are transparent. | This moth, erebus ephesperis, is common in Japan, Korea and from here to Guam. Also called Owl Moth but so are many other species. Wingspan at least 4 inches. |

| | | | A moth of the genus Ourapteryx, the Swallowtail Moth | A moth of the genus Milionia, I think. Brings up the point that sometimes Philippines versions of species can be a little different than those found elsewhere. | | |

Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata)
Dragonflies and damselflies together make up the subsection of insects known as Odonata. Philippines contains a large number of colourful and interesting species of each.

Odonata lay their eggs in or just above fresh water so they can be seen congregating in large numbers over rice fields at certain times. I am lucky enough to live close to an irrigation canal where many species can easily be photographed.

Odonata are hunters, feeding on smaller or similar sized insects as adults, while the larva, which live in bodies of fresh water, consume quantities of aquatic insects, including the larvae of mosquitoes. So they are useful as well as decorative.

Dragonflies (Anisoptera)
Dragonflies are considered the best fliers in the animal kingdom, attaining speeds up to 100 bodylengths per second and 3 bodylengths per second flying backwards. They can also hover for up to a minute. Unlike damselflies they rest with their wings outstretched whereas the latter hold them upright like a blade (compare moths and butterflies).

There are 3 superfamilies of dragonflies, the one with the most common tropical species is Libelluloidea and here are some examples. I have emphasised the scientific rather than common name on this page because I don't think people use common names for dragonflies to anything like the extent they do for butterflies or birds.

| | | Orthetrum Sabina. A common species right across Asia and seems perfectly well suited to rice fields and their surrounds with its green and black markings making for superb camouflage. | No suggestion of camouflage for this bright red species, Crocothemis servilia, also found throughout Asia. It is August and there has been an explosion in their numbers recently. | I think this is Orthetrum Pruinosum but not sure. It was found against the wall of our house. Females do stray away from the vicinity of water but males not so much. |

| | | It is not often you can see a dragonfly clothed in fetching pink but Trithemis Aurora is. Prefers slow running or still water and is found across Asia. | Neurothemis Ramburii male. Quite startling the first time I saw a dragonfly with coloured wings like this. Had never seen such in Europe. | This powdery blue specimen is Diplacodes trivialis, common name Ground Skimmer, and that is useful since it describes this species behaviour. Picture shows a male, the female being a golden yellow colour, which brings me to ... |

Sexual dimorphism in Odonata
That phrase simply means that the male and female of a species are different in form. With odonata, this shows up as differences in body colour,which can be dramatic as the following examples show. As if that were not enough confusion immature adults can be a different colour again and this is often a yellow or gold in many species. | | This is Potamarcha Congener, a common species found around ricefields and ponds with the intensely blue male at far left and the yellow-brown female near left.The stance taken up by the female is known as the obelisk position | | | Again, male on far left and this is Tholymis Tillarga, with the distinctive white patches which can look blue in some types of light. The patches are lacking in females. Males exhibit different behaviour in coming out to patrol their area about one hour before sunset.

Very widespread distribution from west Africa to east Asia. |

Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata)
Dragonflies and damselflies together make up the subsection of insects known as Odonata. Philippines contains a large number of colourful and interesting species of each.

Odonata lay their eggs in or just above fresh water so they can be seen congregating in large numbers over rice fields at certain times. I am lucky enough to live close to an irrigation canal where many species can easily be photographed.

Odonata are hunters, feeding on smaller or similar sized insects as adults, while the larva, which live in bodies of fresh water, consume quantities of aquatic insects, including the larvae of mosquitoes. So they are useful as well as decorative.

Dragonflies (Anisoptera)
Dragonflies are considered the best fliers in the animal kingdom, attaining speeds up to 100 bodylengths per second and 3 bodylengths per second flying backwards. They can also hover for up to a minute. Unlike damselflies they rest with their wings outstretched whereas the latter hold them upright like a blade (compare moths and butterflies).

There are 3 superfamilies of dragonflies, the one with the most common tropical species is Libelluloidea and here are some examples. I have emphasised the scientific rather than common name on this page because I don't think people use common names for dragonflies to anything like the extent they do for butterflies or birds.

| | | Orthetrum Sabina. A common species right across Asia and seems perfectly well suited to rice fields and their surrounds with its green and black markings making for superb camouflage. | No suggestion of camouflage for this bright red species, Crocothemis servilia, also found throughout Asia. It is August and there has been an explosion in their numbers recently. | I think this is Orthetrum Pruinosum but not sure. It was found against the wall of our house. Females do stray away from the vicinity of water but males not so much. |

| | | It is not often you can see a dragonfly clothed in fetching pink but Trithemis Aurora is. Prefers slow running or still water and is found across Asia. | Neurothemis Ramburii male. Quite startling the first time I saw a dragonfly with coloured wings like this. Had never seen such in Europe. | This powdery blue specimen is Diplacodes trivialis, common name Ground Skimmer, and that is useful since it describes this species behaviour. Picture shows a male, the female being a golden yellow colour, which brings me to ... |

Sexual dimorphism in Odonata
That phrase simply means that the male and female of a species are different in form. With odonata, this shows up as differences in body colour,which can be dramatic as the following examples show. As if that were not enough confusion immature adults can be a different colour again and this is often a yellow or gold in many species. | | This is Potamarcha Congener, a common species found around ricefields and ponds with the intensely blue male at far left and the yellow-brown female near left.The stance taken up by the female is known as the obelisk position | | | Again, male on far left and this is Tholymis Tillarga, with the distinctive white patches which can look blue in some types of light. The patches are lacking in females. Males exhibit different behaviour in coming out to patrol their area about one hour before sunset.

Very widespread distribution from west Africa to east Asia. |

Other invertebrates
On this page I want to put all invertebrates (animals without backbone) other than butterflies and moths. | | | Contribution by Uzi - This 6 inch long Mantis in residence amongst the leaves of our champagne at the front of the house. Now that's a BIG insect. | Superbly camouflaged, this green mantis only came to my notice when I saw the butterfly it had captured flapping about. | A dragonfly which perched on our window frame. I think it is some kind of Darter but am not certain yet. |

Lest anyone thinks I go around with knowledge of lots of species names of insects in my head I would like to recommend BugGuide.Netas a starting point for insect identification if you do not find crawlies too creepy. | | This spider is from the family Argiope and the markings on its back shine almost metallically. Also called rice spider and about 2" in size. | Another Argiope spider, one of the original web designers, showing the extra embroidery characteristic of this family. |

| | Coconut rhinocerus beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) resting during the day. Filipinos kill these when they discover them as they are a major pest of coconut palms, boring into the crown of the plant. | I say Ladybird, you say Ladybug, let's call the whole thing off! This example is neoharmonia venusta. Ladybirds/bugs are actually beetles of the family cochinella. |

Mud dauber wasps

Also known as solitary wasps these have an almost universal distribution but are commoner in the tropics. They are called mud daubers because of their fascinating method of nest building. Once a suitable site has been selected they collect mud, combine it with their spittle and proceed to make cells, each one housing a single egg. Suitable sites are smooth, dry places and include the insides of sheds and undersides of rooves. The following pictures were taken from one who built her nest on a window pane allowing me to observe and photograph the mother's behaviour closely. | | | The tiny central section of the wasp's body can be seen, hence the term "wasp-waisted". | The nest. Just a few eggs are laid, one per cell. The hole in the top cell was covered later and more mud added to give the nest a tube-like appearance. | Not content with building a cell for her young, the mother supplies them with food, often spiders, which have been paralysed but not killed.On hatching, the larva has a supply of fresh food, sufficient to take it through larval and pupa stages in the cell. It breaks out as a small adult. |

I have not yet discovered the particullar species of this wasp but will edit the section when I have done so. Unfortunately, I will not be able to picture the young emerging as our helper destroyed the nest, deciding that was enough waspish nonsense.

Damselflies and dragonflies have their own page here.

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...Experiment #3 Mark A. Bruder 07. T.A. Michael Hall Alkanes: Chlorination Introduction: The purpose of this experiment is to determine the reactivity of hydrogen atoms on a carbon chain using free radical chlorination. In this experiment 1-chlorobutane will be chlorinated with the combination of sulfuryl chloride and ABCN as an initiator to produce the chlorine radicals. The combination of 1-chlorobutane and sulfur chloride will produce four dichlorobutane isomers. The isomers produced and their reactivity will be analyzed by the amounts of isomers produced in the product and by gas chromatography. Procedure: 1) Assemble the apparatus in the hood using a Thermowell Heater 2) Use a 25-mL round bottom flask fitted with a reflux condenser which will be connected through a vacuum adapter to a 500-mL filter flask. a. close vacuum adapter w/ cork and make sure the inlet tube does not reach the surface of the water in the filter flask b. make sure any water from the trap does not get sucked back into the reaction flask c. glass tube must not dip below the surface of the water in the trap 3) Note the differences on pg.77 of G&M fig. 2.65(b) a. it does not use a water aspirator or house vacuum b. Fit #7 one-hole rubber stoppers w/ a length of glass tubing about 15cm long. c. Tubing needs to be fire-polished on both ends and lubricate hole......

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Biome

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Wildlife Trade Legislation in Singapore and Vietnam

... Introduction Wildlife trade refers to any sale or exchange of wild animal and plant resources by people (TRAFFIC, n.d.). While it has been exploited and consumed for thousands of years as food, medicine, pets, trophy, a source of income, and private collections, the trade has been increasing at an unprecedented rate in the recent years. There is greater demand for wildlife with economic development, as well as greater supply due to the improvement in traffic infrastructure which increases access to the previous remote forest areas and markets, the development of and increasing access to hunting equipment, and a more developed wildlife trade system (Nyugen & Thach, 2014; Vuong, 2014). If the trade is not properly regulated, wild flora and fauna will be overexploited, which can be disastrous to the survival of species. In addition, local residents, especially the poor living in isolated areas, might be negatively affected by the depletion of protein sources, invasive species might threaten native species if certain exotic pets are released into the wild, and germs and pathogens on exotic species may also pose potential health risk to the local communities, crops, and wildlife (Nyugen & Thach, 2014). As a result of these negative consequences, it is essential to monitor and control wildlife trade, and to encourage conservation, or the sustainable use of natural resources. It should also be noted that a complete ban on wildlife trade is almost impossible and impractical.......

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Flora Faune South Africa

...3.1 Flora South Africa has a wide range of climatic conditions and many variations in topography. In combination, climate and topography give rise to broad vegetation zones. Therefore South Africa owns a huge diversity of plants and animals, whereas other countries can just dream about. The flora is one of the species-richest on earth. 10 percent of the existent plants can be found just in this country, speaking of 24.000 species. Those are more that you can find in whole Europe. Specially famous among botanists is the Cape Floral Kingdom as one of the only six floral kingdoms in the world .9,600 recorded plant species are just found there and 70 percent of them are found nowhere else on the planet. Typical plants that you can find all over South Africa are the sclerophyllous plants and the Protea , Nationalflower of South Africa. While South Africa has a great wealth of flowering plants, only 1 % of its country is forest. Unfortunately this immense natural wealth is under extreme pressure resulting from economic development, agriculture and urbanization. 3.2 Fauna Although since the beginning of the 20 century a lot of species were highly decimated South Africa still owns an extraordinary richness of animals with 299 species of mammals and 858 species of birds. Specially the big five is a must see when you plan to make a trip to the land of good hope. The big five include elefant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino It also domiciles the biggest (elephants), fastest (......

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Should Unilever Sell Flora

...Shoud Unilever sell its underperforming Flora margarines business and buy more personal care companies? Jiayin Lyu, University College Dublin Executive Summary Flora is a famous brand of margarine. Sold in most places over the world. It is produced by Unilever and sold in other parts of the world under the brand name of Becel. However, people start to doubt about the safety of margarine. And in this essay, it will be analyzed that why Unilever should sell the Flora margarines business but purchase personal care brands especially high-end personal care companies. Health The initial problem of Flora margarines was called health crisis. Initially, Unilever claimed that Flora is absolutely healthy. Even its slogan said “Flora love your heart”. However, is that really means Flora, which is man made butter good for people’s health? Expert hold different opinion. In Dr. John Briffa’s essay The facts about why margarine is worse for us than butter. Margarine is made from chemically processed vegetables oils which have generally been bleached, coloured, deodorised and flavoured to make them ‘edible’. That means it is not a very proper food for people have it in daily life. The recent Food and Chemical Toxicology study seems to be nothing more than the usual pro-margarine propaganda. (John, 2006) So the advice of John is do not eat any Flora Margarine. Initially, even though the Food and Chemical Toxicology study found margarine had lower cholesterol levels. But that does......

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Biodiersity in Bangladesh

... “Biological Diversity” means the (a) variability among living organisms from all sources including, among others, terrestrial, sea and other fresh water ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part; it includes diversity within species between species, and of ecosystems. Literal meaning of biodiversity is the (b) diversity of all life forms on earth. This includes the various races and species of all micro-organisms, plants, and animals that live on earth, including their genetic differences. Bangladesh is a (c ) transitional zone of flora and fauna, because of its geographical settings and climatic characteristics. There are many rivers and streams existing in the country covering a length of 22,155 km. In addition to the regular inland waters, seasonally a large part of the country remains (d) submerged for 3-4 months during monsoon. This country is rich in fish and aquatic (e) resources, and other biodiversity. Bangladesh’s inland water bodies are known to be the (f) habitat of 266 species of indigenous fish, 13 exotic fish, 56 prawns, about 26 freshwater molluscs, and 150 birds. The marine water bodies (200 nautical miles along the seashore) are also (g) remarkable for being habitat of 442 species of fish. There are at least 36 species of marine shrimps. About 336 species of molluscs, covering 151 genera have been identified from the Bay of Bengal. In addition, several species of crabs, and 31 species of turtles and tortoises, of which 24 live in......

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Flora Assignment

...Flora; “Love Your Heart” Unilever is a multi-national corporation formed of Anglo-Dutch parentage in the 1930’s, that owns many f the world’s consumer brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. One such product is Flora margarine. Flora was developed in the 1960’s in direct response to the Dutch medical community request for aheart-0health alternative to products like butter and lard. (Unilever, 2011) According to Unilever’s Mission statement; “Our mission is to add vitality to life. We meet every day needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life.” (Unilever, 2011)This statement thus identifies with the Flora brand. The flora brand is the biggest seller in the butter and margarine category and also the leader in the health category. In this essay, a critical analysis of Flora’s marketing strategy, how effective it is in terms of segmentation, competition, positioning and targeting will be made, including the strengths and weaknesses of this campaign. The Flora brand has managed to position itself in the mind of consumers as a pioneer for health in the butter and margarine category and, in so doing, has become a true heavyweight in its respective market segment. Unilever by introducing Flora has played a leading role in helping consumers choose foods that are good for their hearts. They do these through their partnership with the World Health Federation and thus......

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Tourism

...destination can also lead to damaging repercussions for its environment. To profit from the tourist industry local people may betray their native surroundings. They may bring visitors to areas that are extremely delicate without any regard for the damage to flora and fauna that may be induced. Many ecotourists strive to visit areas that are very remote and untouched by the outside world. Their mere presence has proved to be harmful to some animals and ecosystems. “Transmission of diseases to wildlife health through disturbance of daily routines or increased stress levels, while not apparent to the casual observer, may translate to lowered survival and breeding” (Sneddon 2004). Visitors wandering off designated tracks into protected areas can unknowingly have disastrous affects. Mathieson and Wall (1982) tell us that resource usage is one of the primary harmful consequences of ecotourism. The arrival of ecotourism to an area creates extra demand for resources such as clean water and lan Some topics in this essay: Mathieson Wall, Environment Tourism, , negative impacts, mathieson wall, human activity, mathieson wall 1982, damage flora fauna, amount planning, flora fauna, impacts environment, wall 1982, damage flora, impacts ecotourism, 707 3 PROFESSIONAL ESSAYS:...

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The Effect of European Colonisation on Australia

...Since the European invasion of Australia in 1788, there have been many severe and devastating impacts on Indigenous people. First came the arrival of strangers who carried new diseases and involvement in violent conflict, which resulted in the death of a vast number of Aboriginal people. This colonisation also brought a lot of destruction to the native flora and fauna as they were building new houses and settlements on the sacred land of the aboriginal people, as well as many new introduced species to the australian environment. The impact of the white settlers changed the indigenous communities and the lives of the future generations forever. When settlers arrived in Australia they brought with them a number of European diseases so when contact was made with the aboriginals their immune system was unfamiliar to these diseases so their population decreased rapidly. The major cause of many of these diseases was when the convicts and settlers were ship transported this making it spread easily and due to the lack of education and knowledge of how the diseases are treated the aborigines had no way to cure their symptoms this then leading to death among tribes. when the europeans came to australia the main objective of the colonisation was to clear the lands of Aboriginal people to enable development of the land. Poisoned flour was distributed to Aboriginal people, and introduced diseases such as measles, chickenpox and influenza which had dramatic effects on people who did......

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Ecology

...INTRODUCTION This study “Biodiversity of Terrestrial and Aquatic Flora and Fauna” is an attempt to determine and analyze the Diversity Indices and identify the Flora and Fauna present in the island. Furthermore, the study also attempts to reveal the Human Threats in the marine environment which leads to thousands species being killed every year. Biodiversity refers to the number, abundance, and composition of the genotypes, populations, species, functional types, communities, and landscape units in a given system. Biodiversity is both a response variable that is affected by changes in climate, resource availability, and disturbance and a factor with the potential to influence the rate, magnitude, and direction of ecosystem processes.(Daily 1997; MA 2003). Biodiversity affects numerous ecosystem services, both indirectly and directly. Some ecosystem processes confer direct benefits on humanity, but many of them confer benefits primarily via indirect interactions. Gaston and Spicer (1998) proposed a three-fold definition of ‘‘biodiversity’’— ecological diversity, genetic diversity, and organismal diversity—while others conjoined the genetic and organismal components, leaving genetic diversity and ecological diversity as the principal components. These latter two elements can be linked to the two major ‘‘practical’’ value systems of direct use/genetics and indirect use/ecological described by Gaston and Spicer (1998). The term biodiversity describes a broad field......

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Geography

...rise as high as 42°C in the summer in the central part of the country, while it falls to the negative range in the winter in the Himalayas.  India has a wide variety of flora and fauna like the diverse cultures and religions in India. The Indian subcontinent’s flora and fauna is an eyecandy for its nature lovers. Around 23.68% of India is covered by forest. Flora and Fauna is the mirror of a country. The richness of flora & fauna is reflected in the mélange of India's climate and topography. The Flora (Vegetation or forests) provides home to many rare and unique species (Fauna or animals). These vast patches of forests vary from region to region and each have some unique feature, be it its flora, fauna, avi-fauna or aqua-fauna. Flora All species of plant Kingdom that are found in a particular region, period, or special environment is altogether termed as ‘Flora’ deriving the term from the Roman goddess. None of country in the world grows such a rich variety of vegetation as it is found in India due to the wide range of climatic conditions in India. The Indian vegetation has around 15,000 species of plants. India lies in tropical zone hence it is mainly covered with deciduous forests. Fauna All of the living beings that fall in animal kingdom of any particular region or time is known as ‘Fauna’ of the country. Around 400 varieties of mammals, 1250 species of birds and 10,000 types of insects and 2546 variety of fish, 197 species of amphibians and 408 reptile......

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