Russian Flora and Fauna

We were in Russia from the 20th May to the 19th September 2003

The main wildlife we saw in Siberia seemed to be biting insects:

But there was hope in the form of spiders:

And not all the insect life was quite so bad, there were some interesting ladybirds. The first is an "eyed" ladybird, the remainder are simply called by the number of spots.

The only shield-bugs I've seen with stripes, it is a Graphosoma Italicum:

And other innocuous beetles, the right hand one is a groundbeetle C. nemoralis:

We saw a lot of these hairy caterpillars with red spots:

And this caterpillar which flipped itself frantically back-and-forth in an attempt to escape:

This grasshopper was 5cm long:

And the swamps provided some beautiful dragonflies (the one on Ju's hand we found stunned by the roadside. It is probably some kind of Emperor Dragonfly):

On the way to Altai we saw many of these five spot burnet moths:

Near Gorno Altaisk we saw this beautiful large copper butterfly:

And these less spectacular ones, an apollo and a ringlet:

The backs of this White Admiral's wings were prettier than the fronts:

Swallowtail butterflies seen by the roadside:

Delicately coloured underwings on this butterfly, it is a Common Blue:

I think this is a tiger moth?

The Republics of Altai and Tuva were... ...well, hopping!

Sedakov's katydid (Gampsocleis sedakovii)

Merechamus cartor beetle with colossal 'horns' that flew up to us by a river and landed on my neck. Later we saw dozens of them, mating and fighting, there are more photos here.

This nuthatch came close to the tent to be photographed:

We saw lots of these daurian pikas:

Yaks (or often yak - cow crosses) were common on the high pastures of Altai and Tuva:

And these are a male and female fritillary.

Big grubs!

This guy was scary! He is a puss moth caterpillar.

And we liked this one for its brilliant green colour. It is a privet hawk moth caterpillar.

This luckless grasshopper stood no chance of escape:

Camberwell Beauty, sadly we found it injured by the roadside:

Really scary wasp. Its ovipositor pierced our heavy duty proofed nylon panniers! It is a spider hunter.

In an area near Lake Baikal we saw literally hundreds of these moths.

These are the biggest insects I have ever seen, we saw a few on the road south of Ulan Ude. They are "desert fat crickets", or in Russian, "stepnoi tolstun". The latin name is "Deracantha onos pall."

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