Saturday, 13 December 2014

By The Wind Sailors.

Rather bored as its the middle of winter.  I'm spending Saturday afternoon wading through a store box full of staphylinidae (rove beetles) trying to put a name to them. Most are OK and straightforward to I'D but there are some really tricky species that can only be readily identified by extracting their genitalia.  The idea of taking the genital parts out of beetles makes a few of my non entomological friends (which is most of them bar one) chuckle at the thought.  If you did similar things with other animals I'm quite certain that you would be locked up, but somehow its perfectly normal when dealing with insects. I've also no new photographs to share but thought of a photograph taken this summer of a rather strange organism Veiella veiella, commonly known as the By The Wind Sailor.  A free floating Hydrozoan similar to the better known Portuguese man o' war.  There were plenty of these on a north Atlantic beach this August washed up in their thousands.  I didn't photograph them on the beach as it was rather windy and photographic equipment and sand don't mix very well.   A strange organism about 50 mm in length.  The photographed specimen, like most on the beach were a little past their best and a little desiccated.  

By The Wind Sailor - Benone, County Derry Northern Ireland. August 2014 

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