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Animals

Aphid

There are over 500 aphid species in the UK, and several are common garden pests. Typically they have pear-shaped bodies and range in colour from black to pink, though most are green or brown. More...

Aphid

Badger

Badgers are stocky, with short legs and silvery-grey fur. They have very distinctive black and white markings on their faces. More...

Badger

Black garden ant

Ants are social insects; they live in colonies that consist mainly of workers – sterile, wingless females. More...

Black garden ant

Bumblebee

These large, hairy bees are generally black with varying degrees of yellow banding. Look closely at flowering plants and you’ll probably spot several species. More...

Bumblebee

Cinnabar moth

Cinnabar moths can be found throughout Britain, except northern Scotland, and can be easily spotted because of its bright red and black colouration. More...

Cinnabar moth

Click beetle

When threatened, attacked or overturned, these beetles can flick themselves into the air emitting an audible click – hence their name. More...

Click beetle

Cockchafer

This familiar beetle has a black thorax, rusty brown elytra (wing cases) and brown legs. It has characteristic antennae that fan out, and are often seen on May evenings buzzing around the garden. More...

Cockchafer

Common blue butterfly

Male common blues have pale violet-blue upper wings with grey-beige undersides. However, females vary from those with predominantly brown upper wings and orange crescents, usually more common in the south, to those with more blue, found farther north and west. More...

Common blue butterfly

Common blue damselfly

Common blue damselflies are common throughout Britain. The male has a blue abdomen with black spots; the female, a yellow or bluish abdomen with variable dark markings. More...

Common blue damselfly

Common frog

Common frogs are widespread in mainland Britain. They have smooth skin that varies in colour from grey, olive green and yellow to brown, which they are able to lighten or darken to match their surroundings. More...

Common frog

Common newt

Common newts are olive green or pale brown with a bright orange, black spotted underside. In the breeding season males develop a wavy crest from their heads to their tails, and entice females by wafting a glandular secretion. More...

Common newt

Common toad

Common toads have broad, squat bodies and warty skin, and tend to walk rather than hop. These toads are widespread and common in mainland Britain. More...

Common toad

Cranefly

Also known as a daddy longlegs, this slender, long-legged fly is grey-brown with dark brown leading edges to its wings. More...

Cranefly

Devil's coach horse

The Devil’s coach horse is a long, black beetle with short elytra (wing cases), which at first glance you could mistake for an earwig. More...

Devil's coach horse

Earthworm

Earthworms are made up of many ridged segments. They are covered in minute hairs, which allow them to grip the soil and move. They are vital in maintaining soil structure and fertility as they aerate the soil. More...

Earthworm

Earwig

Earwigs can be most easily recognised by the characteristic pincers at the hind end of their bodies. More...

Earwig

Fox

The fox has reddish-brown fur, a white chest and a bushy, white-tipped tail, called a brush. Foxes are widespread and quite common throughout Britain, and a surprising number live in towns. More...

Fox

Froghopper (cuckoo spit)

Froghoppers are small, brown insects that can jump great distances if threatened. Their larvae are more commonly seen coated in a mass of froth – or cuckoo spit – on plant stems. More...

Froghopper (cuckoo spit)

Garden snail

Widespread and common throughout the UK, garden snails have pale grey, moist skin and a large, brown or yellowish shell with paler flecking and darker, spiraling bands. More...

Garden snail

Garden spider

Although varying in colour from pale yellowy-brown to very dark brown, garden spiders all have a characteristic white cross-shaped group of spots on their abdomen, and spin orb webs to catch their prey. More...

Garden spider

Garden tiger moth

The garden tiger is a widespread species and can be found throughout the UK, however numbers have decreased in recent years. It is a stout and hairy moth with chocolatey-brown forewings, and hindwings that are orangey-red with black spots. More...

Garden tiger moth

Green shield bug

This flat, shield-shaped bug is bright green and stippled with tiny black dots in spring and summer, but changes to greeny-bronze in autumn. Green shield bugs are common throughout England and Wales, but less so in Scotland. More...

Green shield bug

Grey squirrel

Originally from North America, grey squirrels were released in the UK by 19th century landowners, and are now very common and widespread. They can often be seen sitting upright with their large bushy tails arched over their backs. More...

Grey squirrel

Harvestman

Harvestmen are closely related to spiders. But, unlike the spiders, it has no silk glands so is not able to spin a web, does not have fangs nor does it produce venom. More...

Harvestman

Hedgehog

Hedgehogs have a rather rounded body covered in short, dark, yellow-tipped spines, and a short tail. They come out at night and can be heard snuffling and grunting as they forage for food. More...

Hedgehog

Holly blue butterfly

Male holly blues have sky-blue upper wings with narrow, black borders, whereas females have broad, dull black borders. In both sexes the under wings are palest blue, almost white, with black spots. More...

Holly blue butterfly

Honey bee

Honey bees make honey from pollen and nectar collected from flowers. They live in large colonies with one queen, many sterile females workers and some male drones. In the wild honey bees nest in hollow trees. More...

Honey bee

Hornet

The largest of the British social wasps hornets appear very similar to common wasps, but are larger and coloured chestnut-brown (rather than black) and yellow. More...

Hornet

House mouse

Apart from humans, this tiny rodent with greyish fur, large ears, a pointed snout and a long, scaly tail is probably the commonest mammal in the UK. More...

House mouse

Hoverflies

Although these brightly-coloured insects look like bees or wasps, hoverflies are in fact true flies and do not sting. More...

Hoverflies

Hummingbird hawk moth

The hummingbird hawk moth is hairy with a dark, white-spotted abdomen, mousey-grey forewings and golden-orange hindwings. Easily mistaken for a hummingbird as it hovers, probing flowers for nectar, it is in fact smaller than any hummingbird. More...

Hummingbird hawk moth

Lacewing

This carnivorous, aphid juice-sucking insect gets it name from its two semi-transparent pairs of wings, covered in a network of veins. More...

Lacewing

Ladybird

Named after the Virgin Mary, this brightly-coloured beetle is well known as the 'gardeners' friend', as it feasts on aphids. More...

Ladybird

Large red damselfly

The large red is the first damselfly to be seen in spring, and can be found on almost any habitat near water. More...

Large red damselfly

Large white butterfly

Common throughout Britain, large white butterflies have white wings with broad black tips on the forewings. Females also have two black spots and a black streak on each wing. Males have no spots on the upperside, but two black spots on the underside. More...

Large white butterfly

Magpie moth

This very pretty moth has variable black and white patterned wings with a yellowy-orange stripe in the middle of its forewings and near its head. More...

Magpie moth

Mole

With a rounded body, velvety, grey-black fur, spade-like front claws, a short, furry tail, tiny eyes and a pink, pointed snout moles are very distinctive. More...

Mole

Orange-tip butterfly

Orange-tips are common throughout lowland England and Wales, but are rarer in Scotland. The orange tips warn predators that this butterfly is highly distasteful. More...

Orange-tip butterfly

Painted lady butterfly

Painted lady butterflies have a pale buffy-orange background colour to the upper wings. They do not hibernate in Britain; instead they migrate to and from northern Africa arriving in late May and June. More...

Painted lady butterfly

Peacock butterfly

The peacock butterfly has brownish-red wings, each with a single, large peacock-feather-like eyespot – used to scare predators. More...

Peacock butterfly

Pipistrelle bat

Pipistrelles are tiny bats with reddish-brown coats and blackish-brown ears, nose and wing membranes. More...

Pipistrelle bat

Pond skater

Pond skaters have thin, brownish-grey bodies and small heads with large eyes. Using a rowing action the middle pair of legs propel them forwards, often at great speed, across a pond’s surface. More...

Pond skater

Rabbit

Rabbits are not native to Britain; the Normans brought them here in the 12th century for their, then much-prized, fur and meat. Today, they are among our commonest and most widespread mammals. More...

Rabbit

Red admiral butterfly

Red admirals have dark black-brown wings, each with an orange-red band. The forewing tips are black with white spots; the underside is orange, blue and white, while the hindwings are camouflaged dark brown. More...

Red admiral butterfly

Silver y moth

Silver y moths vary in colour from purple-grey to almost black, but they all have the characteristic ‘y’ mark on each forewing. More...

Silver y moth

Slow worm

These legless lizards with long, smooth, shiny, grey or brown bodies, look very similar to tiny snakes. More...

Slow worm

Slug

Slugs are similar to snails, but they have no shell. Instead they have a horny plate concealed under the mantle or saddle. More...

Slug

Small tortoiseshell butterfly

The small tortoiseshell is bright orange and black with a row of blue crescents around the wing edges. Adults emerge from hibernation on the first warm spring days and look for mates. More...

Small tortoiseshell butterfly

Speckled wood butterfly

Speckled woods have brown wings with creamy-yellow spots; there is one black and white eyespot on the forewing and three on the hind. The undersides are patterned orange, yellow and brown. More...

Speckled wood butterfly

Violet ground beetle

This large, shiny, black beetle has violet edges to its smooth, oval elytra (wing cases) and thorax. Although they do not fly, they are fast runners! More...

Violet ground beetle

Wasp

Wasps are sociable insects, living in colonies of up to 10,000 workers. They build their paper nests in disused animal burrows or in cavities in trees or buildings. More...

Wasp

Water boatman

This brown bug spends most of its time at the bottom of weedy ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers, coming to the surface only to renew its air supply. More...

Water boatman