Tiger Beetle  -  Calomera littoralis winkleri
Tiger Beetle  (Calomera littoralis winkleri)
This coastal species of Tiger Beetle can be found around rocky areas, sandy soil or salty marshland. It has a body-length of up to 17mm and is a diurnal hunter, feeding on small arthropods. They are very skittish and quick to take evasive action if disturbed. Some will run at great speed whilst others are quick to take to the wing and fly a few metres to safety. Large prominent eyes give these Tiger Beetles excellent vision and make them difficult to approach for photographs. This beetle can be seen active on hot sunny days in great numbers on sandy areas with little or no vegetation or on rocks on the seashore. Females lay eggs in sandy soil and the larvae are quick to dig burrows which serve as retreats when the temperatures drop. The larvae feed on small invertebrates they find on the sand.

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Female European Rhinoceros Beetle  -  Oryctes nasiconis
European Rhinoceros Beetle  -  (Oryctes nasiconis)


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American Cockroach  -  (Periplaneta americana)
American Cockroach  -  (Periplaneta americana)
The American Cockroach is the largest of the common cockroaches and adults grow from 35-55mm in length, with 42mm being the average size. Adults develop wings but rarely fly. They are fast runners and have been recorded running at speeds of 3.4 mph. While this might not sound very fast it is the equivalent of a human running at a ludicrous 210 mph! Despite their name the American Cockroach originated from Africa and didn't reach the USA until around 1625AD. They can now be found in most tropical regions with a preference to moist areas. They can also survive in very dry areas as long as they have access to water.

The American Cockroach is considered a pest. They are omnivorous and opportunist feeders and will feed on anything from dead animals, rotting plant matter, clothes, paper, and most food consumed by humans. They secrete an odorous substance that affects both the taste and smell of any food they come in contact with. They also carry bacteria and various diseases including salmonella. 

Cockroaches have a powerful bite but do not use it in defence if handled. However they will readily feed on human flesh whether the host is dead or alive. Apparently they are more likely to take a bite from fingernails, eyelashes, hands and feet! 


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A bright and colourful 40mm Marbled Rock Crab basking on the rocks in Paphos Harbour

Marbled Rock Crab  (Pachygrapsus marmoratus)
This small Sea Crab has a carapace growing to a maximum length of 45mm, but more usually 36mm. It is found inhabiting the intertidal areas of rocky shores and beaches. It feeds on algae and various small aquatic sea life including mussels and limpets.



Marbled Rock Crab with a leg-span of around 35mm

This Marbled Rock Crab sat motionless at the edge of a rockpool along the coast of Paphos. As I approached it for photos it wriggled and then pulled away backwards and released itself from its old shell. 




Freshly sloughed Marbled Rock Crab.

The newly emerged Marbled Rock Crab now basks in shallow water and waits whilst its new shell hardens in the sunlight. At this stage the crab is soft and very vulnerable to predators.







Hermit Crab  -  Paguridae Sp.
Hermit Crab  -  (Paguridae Sp.)
Paguridae is a family of Hermit Crabs containing 542 different species. These crabs do not have the typical hardened shell that regular crabs have for protection. Instead they use old shells of snails to live in. As the Hermit Crab grows it will outgrow its adopted shell and have to abandon it and go in search of a larger shell to live in. The tiny Hermit Crab pictured above had a shell of just 12mm in length.





A highly translucent Sea Shrimp
Sea Shrimp





15cm Bristle Worm  -  Possibly Bearded Fireworm (Hermodice carunculata)
Bearded Fireworm  -  (Hermodice carunculata)
The Bearded Fireworm is a venomous species of marine Bristle Worm. Usually growing to around 10-15cm but sometimes as large as 35cm. the sides of the Fireworm are covered in tiny bristles that when flaired up can penetrate human skin and inject a powerful neurotoxin causing severe pain lasting for several days and sometimes accompanied by reddening and swelling. During periods of sexual activity the Fireworm is strongly bioluminescent and glows brightly in the dark. Bearded Fireworms are considered common off the coast of Paphos, Cyprus. They can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean. 

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Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)
Painted Lady Butterfly  -  (Vanessa cardui)

A medium sized and widespread butterfly found across Cyprus throughout the year. Males have a wingspan of 58-70mm, and females 62-74mm. This highly migratory butterfly can been seen in huge numbers in some years as it travels from North Africa and passes through Israel, Cyprus and Turkey, then crosses the Mediterranean Sea and on to Central Europe and the UK. The larvae live in silk tents and feed primarily on thistles (Cirsium sp. and Carduus Sp.) but will also feed on Common Nettles (Urtica dioica).


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Crimson Speckled Moth (Utetheisa pulchella)
Crimson Speckled Moth -  (Utetheisa pulchella)

A medium sized moth wide a wingspan of 29-42mm. Found across Cyprus, the Mediteranean and North Africa and also found on occasion in most of Europe as a migrant species. They favour dry open spaces including meadows, scrubland and parks. Active both day and night with caterpillars feeding on a range of herbaceous plants. Also known as the Crimson Speckled Footman or Crimson Speckled Flunkey.





Mediterranean Slant-Faced / Cone-Headed / Slant-Nosed Grasshopper (Acrida ungarica)
A medium / large grasshopper usually found in dry, grassy areas, sand dunes and areas where vegetation is sparse at low levels. Colour can be varying shades of green or brown usually matching the colour of local vegetation. Found across Central and Southern Europe, but disappearing due to tourism and development in coastal areas. Their body-shape and colour gives great camouflage on the dry grass and vegetation which they usually reside on. There are also sub-species of this grasshopper. Adults usually grow to a length of around: Males 25-40mm, Females 41-73mm.   

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70mm Slant-Nosed Grasshopper (Acrida ungarica)








European Firebug - (Pyrrhocoris apterus)
European Firebug -  (Pyrrhocoris apterus)

A true bug usually growing to around 8.5-10mm and occasionally 12mm in length. These bugs can be seen all year round but are most noticeable around April and May when they congregate in large numbers to mate. They are often found around tree-mallow and lime trees where they will feed from the fruit and seeds. The striking red and black markings resemble an African mask and are similar to the unrelated Cinnamon Squash Bug (Corizus hyoscyami). Firebugs can release a foul-smelling liquid as a defense against would be predators. Although not poisonous the aposematic bright colours of this species serve as a warning of their very bitter and unpleasant taste should they be eaten and this is enough to deter most predators.

Early instars of Firebugs are orange in colour and appear redder and develop stronger black markings as they mature. Although not native to the UK they have formed colonies in the UK on occasion and they are native to the Channel Islands. They can be mistaken for the Cinnamon Bug, Corizus hyoscyami, which is similar in appearance and native to the UK.




Swallow chicks Hirundo rustica nested in the roof of a cafe in Cyprus.
Swallow  Hirundo rustica