Steve’s Nature Quiz #17


Is Turkey Tangle Frogfruit effective against

a) suppurating sores

b) stones

c) the common cold

According to Sanskrit literature Turkey Tangle Frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) is/was considered by the Hindus to be efficacious against all three. Phytochemical analysis by the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology at Loyola College in Chennai, India in 2015 showed that “All the extracts from Phyla nodiflora had inhibitory effects in both bacteria and fungi. The results of this study clearly proved that (the) plant is a potential source of natural antimicrobial agents.” Good for suppurating sores then and possibly against the common cold if it is bacterial and not viral in origin but not necessarily against stones.

More fascinating facts and photos in this week’s #CreteNature blog: Ferma’s Covert Coves

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Steve’s Nature Quiz #15


In the UK there were an estimated 3,000 breeding pairs of Collared Doves in 1964. How many breeding pairs were recorded in 2008?

a) 300

b) 30,000

c) 300,000

collared dove 260208 White River

In the USA less than fifty escaped from captivity in the Bahamas in 1974. They can now be found in virtually every U.S. State as well as Mexico. Such is the phenomenal spread and increase in the population of the Collared Dove that the answer is c) 300,000 breeding pairs were recorded in the UK in 2008, a one hundred fold increase.

Taken from this week’s Crete Nature Blog: In The Quietest Moments

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Steve’s Nature Quiz #10


What is the simplest way to recognize a beetle?

a) from its head

b) from its wings

c) from its legs

3 Cryptocephalinae180517 Lower GullyAlthough the head and legs can tell you a lot about an insect, the simplest way to tell a beetle from other insects is from its wings. The forewings of a beetle (called elytra) are hard and cover the back. So when you see an insect with a line down the center where the two elytra meet you can be sure that you are looking at a beetle.

Taken from this week’s #CreteNature Blog: A Bush Full of Beetles

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Steve’s Nature Quiz #9


Bees, Wasps and Ants form the insect order Hymenoptera but which two are most closely related?

a) Bees and Wasps

b) Wasps and Ants

c) Bees and Ants


It wasn’t until 2013 that a group of scientists in California answered this long running puzzle. They collected the DNA from hundreds of specimens and sequenced the genomes. The result was unexpected. They discovered that the wasps diverged from a common ancestor at an early stage. The ants and bees continued to evolve together for some time before separating so the answer is, somewhat surprisingly, c) Bees and Ants are most closely related.

Taken from this week’s #CreteNature Blog: Old School Spiders and Killer Spuds

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Steve’s Nature Quiz #8


These beetles are found in coniferous forests, but in Asia where else may you find them?

a) in a restaurant

b) in a toy shop

c) in a dress shop

Jewel Beetle

This is Julodis pubescens a member of the Buprestidae or Jewel Beetle family. In Asia the wings of some members of this family were used as adornments to clothing and paintings as well as in the jewelry trade so the answer is c) in a dress shop.

Taken from this week’s #CreteNature Blog: Jumpers, Jewels and Jurassic Shells

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Steve’s Nature Quiz #7


Is this insect

a) a stick insect?

b) a grasshopper?

c) a katydid?Acrida turrita 250417 Ferma Bay Hotel (2)

The first clue here is in those back legs; they are huge in comparison with the front and middle legs. This tells us that the insect in  question is a member of the Orthoptera which includes all grasshoppers, crickets and katydids. The legs of a stick insect are more uniform in size. The second clue is in the antennae sticking out of the front of his head; katydids have long, whip-like antennae (often longer than their body) whereas grasshoppers have much shorter and thicker antennae. So, long back legs + short, thick antennae = answer b) a grasshopper.

Find more interesting nature facts in the latest Crete Nature post: Welcome To The Wildlife Hotel

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