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Rosalie des Alpes     Rosalia

Rare et protégé, ce spécimen est sorti en 2018 de derrière ma fontaine.  Habitat habituel: bois mort dans la forêt.  Le larve prend 2 ans pour éclore.

This spectacular beetle crawled out from behind the fountain one summer.  It is a rare protected species.  The eggs are usually laid in dead wood in the forest.  The adult takes 2 years to hatch!

Cetonia aurata                                             Green rose chafer

Fam. Scarabaedae

Détesté par la plupart des jardiniers, ce coleoptère n'est pas chassé de mon jardin.

Any sane rose grower hates these beetles, but I let them lead their own lives in Le Maurier garden.  Their favourite roses here are "Peace" and "Schoolgirl" both of which they devour greedily from the inside out leaving just a bare calyx.  I love the way they glisten in the sun and, when it gets too hot, carefully fold a petal over themselves to form a sunshade !

Brassica shield bug 

(To identify)

Pentatoma rufipes    Forest Bug

Normally seen on deciduous wood as the name implies but here (April 2021) was resting on a woollen rug in the veranda!

Punaise nébuleuse                       Mottled Shield Bug

Rhaphigaster nebulosa  

July 2021

Forest bug (to identify)

Another very handsome creature who took shelter in the veranda Nov 2021.

Punaise verte                                  Common Green Shield Bug

Palomena prasina

Fam. Pentatomidae

Se trouve partout en France.  Se nourit d'arbres et d'arbustes à feuilles caduques, y compris les fruitiers.  En automne

Widespread in France.  Feeds on deciduous trees and shrubs including fruit trees without causing serious harm.  Changes to brown before overwintering in sheltered places including houses.

Lygaeus        Firebug

Very common in the spring and early summer, in groups or clusters, often paired tail-to-tail.  Actual size 10 mm.  Feeds on seeds and other insects.

Punaise équyère                                                  Lygaeus equestris

Souvent sur les ombelles, mais aime se gaver d'une variété de fleurs et de graines.  Ici, sur une centaurée en graines.

Typically feeds on flowers, fruits and seeds.  Here it is eating the seeds of a knapweed.

Clairon des ruches                                    Trichodes alvearius

Likes to nibble pollen (as here) but feeds mainly on other insects.  The larvae live parasitically in the nests of both social and solitary bees.

Central and Southern Europe (not Britain)

Lepture tachetée                                                   Leptura maculata

Se charactérise par ses antennes et pattes annulées noires et jaunes.

Lives mostly on flowers (here, on wild carrot, 2020).  Nibbles pollen but feeds mainly on other insects.  Size 8-15 mm.  May - July

Picromerus nigridens

A type of shield bug.  Size 10 mm.  Several of them inhabit my rhubarb plants.  Feeds on caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects.

P. nigridens is found in S. Europe; P. bidens elsewhere in Europe

Coreus marginatus

This jazzy chap is not a shield bug (has 4 segments on the antennae, not 5).  Look closely to see 2 tiny horns between the antennae.  Likes dense vegetation; here it is sitting on a rhubarb leaf.  Feeds on fruits and seeds.

Schizatus pectinicornis                                    Cardinal beetle

Characterised by the black spot on the pronotum and black rather than red elytra.  Feeds on nectar and honeydew.  The larvae are predatory and live under the bark of dead trees.

                               Soldier beetle

In 2022 these were very numerous feeding on the seeds of the pink legume in the top meadow.

Cardinal Beetle

(to identify)

(to identify)

Rhagonycha fulva            Soldier beetle  

A perfectly harmless beetle sometimes called Bloodsucker because of its colour.  Feeds on other small insects.

Shield bug

(to identify)

Early June 2022 in the grasses on the top lawn.

Graphosoma italicum                                                            Shield bug

Se trouve souvent nombreux sur la carotte sauvage.  Ici, sur la lavande.

Here on lavender but usually on wild carrot; can be very numerous.  The colours advertise to birds that it is not nice to eat!

The underside of the bug is spotted!

Graphosoma italicum  ​on Wild Carrot

The bugs congregate in numbers on the same group of plants and mate on the seedheads.

Coccinella 7-punctata                               Seven-spot Ladybird

A voracious aphid-hunter.  Emits a strong smell as a defence against predators.

Fly disguised as a Ladybird

Un habitat idéal                                                                         Ideal home

Ladies' Bedstraw covers the garden in perfumed lace in June and provides an ideal habitat for numerous insects: here, 2 seven-spot ladybirds and a graphosoma.

 Ver luisant                                   Glow worm

Lampyris noctiluca

À trouver dans le Jardin Botanique en juillet/août.

En haut : il fait le phare pour un escargot !

En bas : en pleine journée, il descend le mur du jardin.

Can be found on summer nights (end July/beg. August) near the fountain or the downpipe from the barn roof.

Top picture : hitching a ride on a snail !

Bottom picture: in full daylight, scaling the garden wall.  It is the green spot in the tail that glows at night.

Mante religieuse   Green knife-and-fork insect !  Praying mantis


Mantises are an order of insects that contains over 2,400 species in about 460 genera in 33 families. The largest family is the Mantidae. Mantises are distributed worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. They have triangular heads with bulging eyes supported on flexible necks. Wikipedia

Scientific name: Mantodea

Higher classification: Dictyoptera

Order: Mantodea; Burmeister, 1838

Class: Insecta

Eats: Insects, Beetles, Crickets, Lepidoptera, Blattodea

Améles  décolorée                                             Praying mantis (2)

La plus petite des mantes vivant dans les Alpes du Sud.

They come in all sizes and in brown as well as green.  This one, , sitting daintily on the tip of my finger, is the smallest of the species found in our region..

Oothèque de la mante religieuse                           Egg nest of the Praying mantis

 March 2021  

These are three different examples in the same location, on the barn door, well exposed to the sun

En septembre ou octobre la femelle dépose un genre de mousse qu'elle travaille à l'aide de ses valves génitales.  Elle y pond 200-300 oeufs.  L'oothèque durcit au contact de l'air.  Les cellules internes sont garnis ; les cellules externes restent vides et servent d'isolation.  Les oeufs éclorent en mai/juin.  Les larves subissent 6 métamorphoses avant d'accéder à la taille adulte.

Eggs are laid in the autumn in a kind of foam that sets hard and protects the eggs during incubation.  The larvae hatch in May/June and undergo 6 metamorphoses before reaching the adult stage.


Eaten (by a lizard?) apart from the head

Part eaten but it looks as if the creature is about to emerge.

Nemobius sylvestris    Wood cricket

A flightless ground dweller.  Feeds mainly on dead leaves and their associated fungi.  Usually agile but this one was found tired (April 2021) in the veranda.  Makes a soft purring "song".  Size 7-11 mm.

Ephippigère des vignes  (femelle)      Saddle-backed bush cricket

Ephippiger diurnus Dufour

La seule des 4 espèces trouvées en France qui existe dans notre zone des Alpes du Sud.

The wings of this species are atrophied and only used to make sounds (stridulation)

Six-spot Burnet

Cicadella viridis                                    Small green Leafhopper

Feeds on grasses and is preyed on by spiders

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