Cambodia’s Black Tarantula

The large, hairy and venomous tarantula spider is found throughout the world in as many as 900 species. Here in south-east Asia the most common of them is the Haplopelma genus. Its habitat ranges from Myanmar to Vietnam and as far south as Borneo where it is found burrowing deep in the soil of humid rainforests. The tarantula comes to the surface to hunt for insects, such as crickets and cockroaches, but it is also known to be able to capture larger prey, including lizards and mice. Some species are extremely aggressive and won’t hesitate to attack and bite a… Continue reading

Red Ring Skirt Feeding on Fig

The Red Ring Skirt (Hestina assimilis) is a species of butterfly in the family nymphalidae, commonly found in Asia (from northern Vietnam to southern and eastern China as well as the Korean peninsula, Taiwan and southern Japan). Fairly large, with its wing span of 60 – 80 millimetres, it is an attractive insect that often feeds on the ground, looking for fallen decomposing fruit or a source of moisture. The larvae are commonly found on top of the leaves of the Chinese hackberry tree (Celtis sinensis), taking about three weeks to mature. The adult butterfly… Continue reading

Asian Long-horned Beetle

Asian Long-horned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) is a spectacular insect, at least in terms of appearance. Its enormous antennae in alternating black and white colours are perhaps the most fascinating – without them it would look fairly ordinary. This is only the second time I spotted this insect in the garden; luckily this time it gave me enough time to get the camera and take some photos before it climbed up the tree and disappeared. The reason for it being so rare is the fact that, although it takes it two years to mature, its adult life then… Continue reading