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Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees are a group of around 500 bees that are named as such because they burrow into wood, bamboo, and other hard plant materials rather than build their hives. This of course includes the gorgeous Blue Carpenter Bees from Southeast Asia, India and Southern China. They are easy to confuse with Bumble Bees. The main way to tell the difference is the shiny abdomen of the Carpenter Bees while Bumbles are fully coated in hair. These lovely little pollinators are both solitary and social bees depending on the species. Male bees are incapable of stinging as they have no stinger, but females do although they are generally docile and do not sting unless provoked.

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The Atlas Moth

The Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) is one of the largest species of moth and is endemic to the forests of Asia. It has a wingspan that can measure up to 9.4" with the females being larger than the males. The only moths that are bigger than the Altas are the White Witch, Attacus Ceaser and Hercules moths. These moths are born without mouths with the sole purpose to mate. They will live off stored fat while they search for a mate, mainly by females releasing pheromones into the air to attract the males, so they only live for one to two weeks. Their silk can be used but is not as great as other insects, so it is not used in...

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The Madagascan Sunset Moth

The Madagascan Sunset Moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus) is a day-flying moth with some of the most gorgeous and shining colours you can find on an insect. It can be found throughout the year on the island of Madagascar and is most plentiful between March and August.  This moth closely resembles swallowtail butterflies, which can trick some into thinking it is not a moth. There was even some confusion when it was first discovered. This colourful beauty has a wingspan of 7-11cm depending on the region it is found.  The colour of the Madagascan Sunset Moth does not come from pigment. It actually comes from optical interference and inter-scale reflection from the curved scales and cuticle layers that make up the wings. The bright...

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The Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of the most iconic species of butterflies and almost everyone knows what these beautiful pollinators look like. It is also known as  milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black veined brown depending on the region. They have an average wingspan of 8.9-10.2cm. Males are slightly bigger and have two little dots on each hindwing. The orange, black, and white insects are famous in North America or their annual great migration. This takes place in the fall and begins in southern Canada and the northern USA. They follow a path south to Florida and Mexico where they spend the winter and then return north.   The name "Monarch" is thought to be in honour of King William III of England whose second...

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