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Creepy Crawly Creatures: Menorca's Thriving Insect Ecosystem by Laura Jeeves

Creepy Crawly Creatures: Menorca's Thriving Insect Ecosystem by
Article Posted: 02/05/2019
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Creepy Crawly Creatures: Menorca's Thriving Insect Ecosystem

Travel & Tourism
Despite the lack of the swamp-like conditions usually associated with thriving insect populations, the Balearic island of Menorca has a large number of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies. If you’re spending summer in Menorca and have a personal (or professional) interest in entomology, you may want to try to see some of the species below. Be aware that insects are notoriously difficult to photograph, so if your goal is to snap a photo of one of these creatures, consider spending a little time practising before your holiday.

Emperor Dragonfly

Renowned for its striking blue colour, the Emperor Dragonfly is often spotted in Menorca. Usually seen close to water, they are often found diving towards the surface in order to prey on tadpoles, or soaring high to catch butterflies and other flying insects. The Emperor Dragonfly is reasonably large (and very photogenic), so keep an eye out for it by visiting areas close to water.

Hawker Dragonflies

These two species are listed together because they are virtually impossible to tell apart without close inspection. The Blue-eyed Hawker and Migrant Hawker are both small, beautifully patterned dragonflies. The males are electric blue in colour, while females are olive green, and both have intricately patterned abdomens. These dragonflies are often found on dry land, and are only usually only spotted near water when mating and laying eggs – check trees and bushes if you want to catch an up-close and personal sighting.

Willow Emerald Damselfly

This damselfly is, as the name suggests, a lovely shade of emerald green, and is a very common sight during summer in Menorca. Look amongst shrubs and smaller trees (it need not be near water), as the males find a particular tree and defend it from any rivals. If you're lucky, you may be able to observe damselflies mating, during which time they bend their abdomens into a delicate wheel shape.

Two-Tailed Pasha Butterfly

This magnificent butterfly is the only member of its genus to be found in Europe. The upper sides of the wings are dark brown with orange branding and pale blue markings towards the twin tails, while the undersides are beautifully patterned with blood red, pale blue, fiery orange and dark brown. You stand the best chance of seeing these butterflies in late summer in Menorca, when they like to feed on ripe fruit.

Small Heath Butterfly

Slightly older enthusiasts may remember when these butterflies were commonplace across the country. The small Heath Butterfly is now exceedingly rare in England, but is more common in Menorca. For those who have yet to spot one, look for a small, furry-looking butterfly, of a soft brown colour with a warm orange tint to the top halves of its wings.

Wood White Butterfly

Another species that was once common in the UK and Ireland, the Wood White Butterfly’s numbers have nose-dived much like those of the Small Heath. This now-rare butterfly is also possible to spot in Menorca, however: look for elegant, white translucent wings, with visible, delicate veining. This species can be found visiting flowering plants, some of which it uses as a home for its eggs.

There are many more species of butterflies and other insects that can be spotted during summer in Menorca, so take the time to explore different parts of the island and remember to keep your camera handy.

Author Plate

Brenda Jaaback is the Managing Director of Bartle Holidays. They can provide you with a wide selection of villas for a holiday in summer in Menorca. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.

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