Bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, cicadas and other insects

Corfu is full of bugs, beautiful bugs! If you take the time to stop and look at flowers and bushes while you are walking on Corfu, you will discover a whole world full of colourful insects. There are insects active throughout the year, but the spring is of course their favourite season!

Starting in February, the first butterflies start filling the air with colour, to match the carpet of wild flowers. The almond and mimosa trees are one of the first to blossom and gather all kinds of flying insects. During the spring, from March through April and May, the island is full of wild flowers, blossoming trees and blooming bushes, each and every one of them hosting a variety of bugs of all shapes and colours. Beetles, grasshoppers, more than a hundred different kinds of butterflies, every field is bustling with crawling and humming life.

Of course there are bees and bumblebees, happily jumping from flower to flower, ensuring that every one of them is properly pollinated and can survive to next year… Many of the bees are kept by locals making a unique kind of honey.

In the summer the sound of cicadas in the olive groves is almost deafening, yet strangely soothing.

A lot of people wonder what these noisemakers (in Greek “tzitzikia”, due to the sound they make) look like. They are quite difficult to spot, as they are naturally camouflaged and tend to sit high in the trees. In spring the larvae come out of the ground and climb up a tree to undergo the transformation to cicada. The first hour of their life after they get out of their cocoon they are green with a little electric blue. When they are ready to fly they have acquired their normal black and brown colour! Here are some stunning pictures of a cicada coming out of its cocoon:

Another interesting insect is the mantis.

In Corfu you can find both the white mantis and the green mantis. The mantis has a very frightening way of making sex. It seems that the male mantis cannot ejaculate as long as it still has its head on. So the female has to cut it off to complete the act! Well it sounds like a horror story, but to tell you the truth, I can think of worse ways to die…!

Grasshoppers also have great camouflage, but once you spot them you will be amazed by their beautiful colours.

And now for the real beauties: Butterflies and dragonflies!

Think of a colour, ANY colour, and I can prove to you you can find it on a dragonfly or a butterfly on Corfu! Enjoy some beautiful pictures, kindly provided to us by Stamatis Ghinis. Stamatis is a biologist, naturalist and nature-lover worthily continuing in the steps of Gerald Durrell and you can find more great photos on his page on Facebook!

And finally, a video of a very pretty and fast moving caterpillar, with the appropriate music: