Previously, Chris Jarvis showed us how to draw a mighty Minotaur Beetle (Typhaeus typhoeus) complete with its own ball of dung! In this video Chris returns to add some finishing touches to this picture. He shows us how to convey the size of the beetle, and how to use colour to great effect.
We’d love to see any pictures you draw of insects, whether it is an ant, bee, caterpillar or your very own Minotaur beetle. Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see a big jet-black bumblebee with a red tail in Britain, its probably the Red-tailed Bumblebee, Bombuslapidarius. If it has a scruffy white collar, then its a male.
The Red-tailed Bubmblebee has extended its range northwards in recent years and is now common throughout Britain. It can often be seen in parks and gardens. The workers have short tongues and forage on flowers like daisies and thistles which have a big area for them to land on and are made up of small florets, each with a little nectar. Leaving dandelions to grow in the spring helps provide food for these and other insects early on in the growing season.
The Queens nest under stones and so are sometimes disturbed when these are moved. If you find one like this, have a look without disturbing it then just put the stone back. They may also enter our homes through open windows in search of nesting sites.
The Red-shanked carder bee, Bombus ruderarius, can look similar but is much scarcer in the UK. While the Queens of B. ruderarius are smaller. the workers of the two species can be a similar size. You can tell the difference by looking at the back legs. B ruderarius has red pollen baskets on its otherwise black legs, whereas the leg hairs of B. lapidarius are all black.
Lincoln Kwong was one of the participants at our Summer school in August. He was so inspired by the HOPE collections team at the museum that he decided to start his own insect collection. One of his first specimens was a dead red-tailed bumblebee that he found in his garden. He preserved and pinned this and recorded the data following advice from James.
Let us know if you have your own collection. You can get in touch using the CONTACT US page. We’d also love to see any pictures any would be happy to feature them in our PHOTO GALLERY!
Happy New Year! We hope 2022 is full of exciting times and awesome insect discoveries. We are SO excited because this year, we are inviting you to join us for FREE Crunchy on the Outside events here at the museum. Come and take part in some fabulous activities specially designed for young people, aged 10 – 14, interested in natural history and insects in particular. Keep an eye on this blog for news of forthcoming events.
Read on to find out more about the first event happening in February half term and how to book!
Insects under the Lens – Wednesday 23rd February 2022, 1 – 3pm
Intrigued by insects? Join us to take a closer look at some of the museum’s 5 million insect specimens under a variety of different lenses. We will be using microscopes and digital photography to reveal beautiful details of insect anatomy not visible to the naked eye. This workshop promises to unlock some of the secrets of the insect world and develop your powers of observation!
FREE workshop – Insects under the Lens
Wednesday 23rd February 2022 , 1pm to 3pm
Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW
To round off an eventful year here at Crunchy on the Outside, we have put together a quiz for you combining our two favourite things: Insects and Christmas!
There are ten questions in the video. Each of the answers is formed by smashing together the two clues. One clue is about insects, the other about Christmas. We’ve included a couple of examples at the start to help you get the hang of it. Don’t worry if a question seems tricky, it’s just for fun and we’ve included some clues below.
The scientific name of this insect is Colletes hederae.
Louis is a Collections Assistant, for the HOPE for the Future Project, at Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History. Here he is telling us about his role and how he first became interested in insects.
Louis mentions that through his job he gets to see rare and extinct insects that you normally might not get the chance to see. Can you tell us about any rare or extinct insects that you know about? Let us know in the comments below, or through the contact us page.