French Flora and Fauna

We were in France from the 3rd September to 17th October 2002

Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) fly spotted by the Nantes - Brest canal.

Speckled Wood butterfly also spotted by the Nantes - Brest canal.

This massive fungus (about 40cm across) was growing below a beech tree by the Nantes - Brest canal.

This amazing mohican caterpillar was found on Bergonias outside a Super U supermarche in Brittany! It is a Sycamore Moth caterpillar (Acronita aceris).

And this preying mantis was found in a urinal by the St Nazaire bridge over the Loire:

And rescued and released to do some hunting:

We later found a brown one trying to cross a road:

This splendid spider (Arigope bruennichi) spent a whole night constructing the massive egg nest in the apex of our tent (under the flysheet, outside of the inner thankfully!). Ju put them both in another dry place when we had to take the tent down.

And we found this rather special spider about 1400m up the Col de Peyrol in the Massif Central:

This fine bush cricket was waiting for us to pitch our tent by a river near Mende:

And we found this lovely fat grasshopper near there too. It is a wart biter (Decticus verrucivorous):

And this gorgeous Fire Salamander brightened up an otherwise miserably wet day:

And a snake, this is a sub adult Aesculapian Snake Elaphe longissima with the juvenile colour pattern just still visible, seen in the Ardeche Gorge.

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