The Creepy Crawlies of Newton Ferrers.

I was a little bored on night-shift the other night, so to while away the hours I took a few photos of the local nocturnal bug life.  I even made a movie of a snail, Helix Aspersa, an ugly little bugger up close, reminiscent of the beast from the movie Predator.  Though maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, enjoy…

A Common Shiny Woodlouse

The Common Shiny Woodlouse, or Oniscus asellus.   I knew them as ‘slaters’ as I was growing up.  Horrible things, I have never liked them.  It’s body armour is called ‘epimera’.   At the rear there are two pointy bits called ‘uropods’.  You can tell it apart from other woodlice by these, and by the antennae, or ‘flagellum’, which is in three segments.  The eyes are a group of shiny black bumps knows as ‘ocelli’.   These little beauties are found all over the UK.

A Leopard Slug I think…

This, I suspect, is a Leopard Slug, known as The Great Grey Slug, or Limax Maximus.  It may be a rather young one.  Slugs are hermaphrodites, so it is no good telling them to ‘go f*ck themselves’, as they would.  It is said on the interwebs that slugs can travel at speeds of up to 0.00726mph.  Certainly they travel at a pace that allows for a high degree of accuracy in measurement!  And did you know that some slugs have over 25,000 teeth?  Well you do now.  Sweet dreams.

Helix Aspersa, Common Garden Snail

This snail spent the entirety of my night-shift climbing the stairs towards the office and then back down to where it started from.  It took about 6 or 7 hours, a round journey of about 3 metres.  For nothing.  And I thought sheep were stupid.  A snail’s eyes are in the tip of it’s tentacles.  These beasties too are hermaphrodites, having both male and female sex organs.  Yet, apparently they prefer to mate with one another.  There is a lot of love in the world of l’escargot.

At the foot of the stairs…

Where am I going?

And last came the spider…

Possible Orb Web Spider

I am not sure about this wee beauty, but I think it may be an Orb Web Spider ( Araneus Diadematus), but I am not 100% sure.  Nevertheless, it’s a pretty little thing.  If anyone knows what kind of spider it is, I’d be obliged if you’d let me know.  Thanks.

Oh, and before I forget, here is a wee video of a snail.  It is my first venture into wildlife documentary filmaking, so please be kind.


Blame It On The Sun, Sunshine

Woke up at one minute to twelve today, relieved to find that swine flu had not killed me in the night.  I have been suffering with this blasted bug for several days now, but at least it has given me a few days off from a much despised job.

Had a cup of tea – milk, two sugars – took a shower and meandered along to the Co-op for a newspaper and some ciggies.   Buying a copy of the Independent always reminds me how uncommon I am. Most shops only get in one or two copies a day.   It never ceases to amaze me that there is a pile of Sun newspapers 4 ft high.   It regularly irritates me that much of the flock are being kept informed of national and international affairs by a semi-pornographic scandal sheet.  If I had my way those relying on the Sun for their knowledge of the world would be barred from voting in elections.

And some still wonder why the country is going to the dogs?