Wingspan approx 35 mm. It can be identified by its patterned wings and sturdy beak. The scorpion-like tail is only seen in the male and is in fact its genitalia and doesn't sting. Panorpa species are very similar and require close examination with a microscope or good hand lens to distinguish them. In males this involves looking at the ventral surface of the genital capsule and in females the ovipositor.
Centaurea cyanus is an annual plant growing to 16-35 inches tall, with grey-green branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 1–4 cm long. The flowers are most commonly an intense blue colour, produced in flowerheads 1.5–3 cm diameter, with a ring of a few large, spreading ray florets surrounding a central cluster of disc florets. The blue pigment is protocyanin, which in roses is red. In the past it often grew as a weed in crop fields, but is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides, destroying its habitat. In the United Kingdom it has declined from 264 sites to just 3 sites in the last 50 years.
One of the most popular of old-fashioned garden plants, Bleedinghearts burst into flower in late spring. Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba' forms a bushy, upright mound of light green foliage, with a somewhat ferny appearance. Dangling white locket flowers are held on arching stems. The flowers strikingly resemble the conventional heart shape, with a droplet beneath - hence the common name. The pure white-flowered 'Alba', somewhat more robust than the species, is a popular cultivar. The plant sometimes behaves as a spring ephemeral, going dormant in summer.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.