Southern Hawker or Blue Darner

Aeshna cyanea

preview hoet 00001 aeshna cyanea blaugruene mosaikjungferThe spread wings - typical for all dragonflies - indicate a very fine veined structure in highly transparent skin surfaces, in which only one black area is noticeable, the Pterostigma. Typical for this species are two broad, egg-shaped and apple-green spots on the chest as well as the blue-green spotted abdomen, with almost completely blue colored segments at its end. – Attention: That does only apply to male animals, the female do not show any blue color.

The Southern Hawker is not rare. It is found in a wide range of waters, from small garden ponds to lakes. Contrary to all other dragonflies you can find it even on shady forest aisles, without any pools and ponds. But only the females, the males ones prefer sunny places.

Northern Dune Tiger Beetle

Cicindela hybrida

preview hoet 00025 cicindela hybrida sandlaufkaeferThe most remarkable of the Northern Dune Tiger Beetle is, that it can disappear in no time. The beetle seems to be tremendously weary. Obviously it doesn’t even tolerate observation. In this case it stretches its wings and disappears rapidly – just like a well trained fly.

The early summer is its best ime. Then it likes to stay on sunny and warm sandy areas. You can detect it by its coppery gloss. But one should approach to this unusually speedy beetle only extremely carefully.

A species of ghost insect

Phasmatodea (order of insects)

Phasmatodea GespenstschreckeThe fact that even today new species of ghost insects are constantly dicovered, shows their excellent ability to camouflage themselves: as green or brown leaf („Leaf Insect“), as thorny extension at a tree or inconspicuous, dry piece of branch („Walking Stick“ or „Stickbug“) as shown here. The distribution area of these animals is in tropic and subtropic countries. In Europe only a small number of species can be found in  very warm regions. However, several species of ghost insects are now held in captivity. From there some animals occasionally escape.

Many species show a remarkable skill: They are able to remain in a motionless state for a long period. They resemble plant structures such as sticks and leaves so effectively that they are no longer perceived by predators.

Labyrinth Spider

Agelena labyrinthica

preview hoet 00003 agelena labyrinthica labyrinthspinneThis spider is grey-brown and has a body length of up to 14 mm (0.71 in). It belongs to a family of funnel-web spiders and is widespread in Europe. It’s funnel-shaped retreats is similar to a labyrinth. They are often found in dry areas with low grass like roadsides and fallows.

The spider waits usually behind its network in a slip angle for a prey. If a small animal gets caught in the network, it will be bound with tied up immediately in spider silk and immobilized by a poisoneous bite, in order to be pulled into the hiding-place of the spider and to be consumed.


Large Marsh Grasshopper

Stetophyma grossum

preview hoet 00054 stetophyma grossum sumpfschreckeThe Large Marsh Grasshopper loves damp meadows and ditches, marshy soils, brook banks and similarly moist areas. In the Alps one can find it sometimes even beyond 2 000 metres (about 6 500 ft). The adult animals (Imagines) are active from June to the end of October and particularly frequently found at the borders of cultivated meadows and fallows. Obviously small-scale structures and a mosaic agricultural use are very important to this insect.

The Large Marsh Grasshoppers belongs to the group of the bandwings or bandwinged grasshoppers. The animal becomes particularly attractive due to its sometimes bright wine-red colouring, which stays in a remarkable contrast to the green yellow longitudinal strip at the front edge of the forward wings.