Bird Families

Cabbage whitefly


The southern part of the forest zone, forest-steppe and steppe zones of Eurasia from Poland to the lower reaches of the Amur, the nesting area consists of several areas (1). In the Moscow region, there are three permanent nesting settlements, where the species nests almost annually: Vinogradovskaya floodplain (left bank of the Faustovsky extension of the floodplain of the Moskva river, Voskresensky district), Spas-Klepikovsky (Meshchersky) lakes (Shatursky district) and the floodplain of the river. Oka in Lukhovitsky district (2).

In other places, nesting colonies appear irregularly and usually exist for 1-2 years. In the 1980s - mid 1990s. similar non-permanent settlements were noted on ponds of fish farms in Lotoshinsky, Klinsky and Odintsovsky districts, in the Oka floodplain in Serpukhovsky district and on peat quarries in Dmitrovsky district (3).

In 1997-2007. temporary nesting settlements were noted in Egoryevsky (4), Orekhovo-Zuevsky (5) and in the north of Sergiev Posad district (4, 6). Nesting is also possible in Dmitrovsky, Serebryano-Prudsky (7) districts and in peat quarries of Shatursky district (5).

The number and tendencies of its change

Significant fluctuations in the numbers in nesting settlements from year to year are characteristic, up to the complete absence of nesting. In particular, in the Vinogradovskaya floodplain in the 2000s. nested from 1-2 pairs (2002) to 1110-1370 pairs (2007) (8). In the 1980s. in the Moscow region in some years it was supposed to nest up to 350-400 pairs (9), in 2005-2007. from 240-340 to more than 1500 pairs nested here.

Features of biology and ecology

It settles in colonies ranging in size from several pairs to 100 pairs (most often, up to 20 pairs) in floodplain bogs, along swampy shores of floodplain lakes, along overgrown ponds of fish farms, less often in flooded peat quarries and milling fields of old peat extraction sites. The change in the location of the colonies over the years is characteristic. Monogamous species, one clutch per season, usually 2-3 eggs in a clutch. Nests are located among the water on sedge bumps, lodged aquatic plants, less often on heaps of plant debris. In settlements of other species of gulls, it can nest in separate pairs. Migratory species (1, 10).

Limiting factors

Degradation of nesting biotopes: drainage of floodplain lakes and bogs, cleaning fish-breeding ponds from near-water vegetation. Destruction of clutches by gray crows.

Security measures taken

The species is listed in the Red Data Books of the adjacent regions: Tver (2002), Kaluga (2006) (11) and Yaroslavl (2004), it is planned to be included in the Red Data Book of the Vladimir Region. The habitats of the species in the Moscow region are protected in the Moskvoretsky floodplain reserve and the reserve "Lake Zabolotskoye and its hollow".

Recommendations for preserving the species in natural conditions

Prohibition of drainage of floodplain oxbow lakes and marshes in places of nesting of the species. Preservation in the Moscow region of the system of fish farms with water bodies closed to the public.

Recommended and cited literature

Red Data Book of the Moscow Region 1. Zubakin, 1988a, 2. Zubakin, 2006, 3. Zubakin, 1998, 4. Birds of Moscow and Moscow Region-2001, 2003, 5. Data of the author of the essay, 6. Kurkamp, ​​2007b, 7. Birds of Moscow and Moscow Region-1999, 2000, 8. Data by A.L. Mishchenko, O. V. Sukhanova, S.P. Kharitonov and V.A. Zubakin, 9. Zubakin, 1998a, 10. Zubakin et al., 1988, 11. Prisyazhnyuk et al., 2004. Compiled by V.А. Zubakin.

Photo (Fig.): "ChlidoniasLeucopterus" by member of Ziegentom ( - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons - # / media / File: ChlidoniasLeucopterus.jpg

1.white-winged tern - Red Data Book of the Krasnoyarsk Territory

Aleyrodes proletella

Whitefly celandine, Aleyrodes brassicae, Cabbage snow fly

Cabbage whitefly (celandine) - a pest of cabbage, lives on celandine, milkweed and other herbaceous plants. The transformation is incomplete. Reproduction is bisexual. There are several overlapping generations per year. All stages go to winter, but puparia and adults overwinter.

Click on the photo to enlarge


Imago... Small (less than 2 mm) moth-like sucking insects. Two pairs of almost identical white wings with two dark spots at rest fold flat on the abdomen. The body of the imago is lemon yellow, with a dark pattern on the head, abdomen and chest. Antennae seven-segmented, the first two segments are spherical, the rest are long and thin, the latter terminates in a spiny hair. Rinaria are round, small, surrounded by a corolla of hairs located on the third, fifth, and seventh segments.

The eyes are complex, with a transverse constriction. The legs are long, thin, the tarsus is two-segmented. The second segment has two claws and an unpaired outgrowth (paronychium). The anal opening is located on the dorsal side, at the end of the abdomen, in a cup-shaped depression, covered with a special anal apparatus, consisting of a uvula and a lid. The spiracle is four pairs - two thoracic and two abdominal.

Sexual dimorphism

Male. The latter abdominal sternite with two outgrowths, between which the penis protrudes outward.

Female... There is an ovipositor consisting of three pairs of valves.

Egg with a stalk, openly attached to the substrate. Covered with a waxy bloom. The color of the integument is yellow, darkens over time.

Clusters of eggs look like tight rings.

Larva I age oval, flat, mobile. It has three pairs of legs, antennae, a pair of eye spots and hairs along the edge of the body.

Larvae II – IV age motionless, have rudimentary antennae and legs.

Puparium light yellow, opaque, glassy, ​​without tubercles, covered with a powdery waxy coating. Length - 1.2 mm, width - 0.7 mm. In autumn, part of the puparia becomes dark brown. Dorsal setae short. The lateral walls of the anus are thickened, smooth, without folds.


Imago... Several overlapping generations develop during the year. In summer, colonies with insects of various stages of development are found. In this case, colonies of eggs, young larvae and puparia are located on different leaves of the same plant. The adults live on the underside of the leaf, preferring moist, shaded areas. They feed on the juices of cabbage and various herbaceous plants. Form dense colonies.

Mating period... After hatching, females and males copulate. Females move to neighboring leaves of the same plant or fly to another plant, where after a while they lay eggs.

Egg... The embryo develops rapidly. Eggs can go for the winter, but they do not survive low temperatures.

Larva the first instar, having hatched from an egg, crawls along the plant for several hours, then sucks. II – IV larval stages are motionless.

Puparium (IV age of the larva)... At the fourth instar, the body of the larva becomes convex, tightly attached to the substrate, and wax formations appear on the dorsal side. This cover is called puparium. Under it, the larva stops feeding and transforms into an imago. Puparium overwinters among fallen leaves.

Imago... The imago is born several times during the year; under favorable conditions (warm climate) it can develop all year round, without diapause.

Morphologically related species

The structure of the puparium is the basis for the species diagnosis of the representatives of the family, since the signs of imago, such as venation of the wings or the structure of the legs, characterize only belonging to the family. On the territory of the post-Soviet space, there are 20 genera and 49 species of the whitefly family.

In terms of the structure of the puparium, the whitefly honeysuckle (Aleyrodes lonicerae). Puparia are white, transparent, greenish-yellow in autumn. Along the middle of the abdomen, a row of round tubercles, sometimes indistinct or brown in color, dorsal setae 4–7 pairs. The size of the setae varies greatly. The lateral walls of the anus are folded. Eggs are scattered randomly.

In greenhouse and greenhouse conditions, it is often found Trialeurodes vaporarium (Greenhouse or greenhouse whitefly), also similar in morphology of adults and structure of puparium to Cabbage whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella).

Geographic prevalence

Whitefly cabbage is ubiquitous in the European part of Russia and Western Europe. Found in the Far East and Primorye.


The cabbage whitefly feeds on cabbage juices and harms it in September. The vital activity of the insect causes yellowing of the leaves. Sooty fungi settle on the secretions, reducing the assimilation capacity of the leaves.

Owl, mayhem, extinguished candle and sixth sense

XVIII century. Warm Italian night. By the light of a candle he sits and reflects on the essence of nature Lazzaro Spallanzani. "The most outstanding experimenter ever born on earth" - this is how Louis Pasteur spoke of him.

We suspect that Pasteur fell in love with Spallanzani for his experience proving the impossibility of spontaneous generation of life in lamb broth.

An owl tore Spallanzani from the flight of scientific thought. She flew through the window, with a wave of her wing extinguished the candle, began to rush about the room and started a pogrom. A normal person would be angry at such an intrusion. And the scientist was surprised. Why an owl, seemingly a nocturnal predator, knocked down almost everything that could fall, and bats regularly and just as accidentally flying into the room behave neatly ...

This is the scientific legend. Be that as it may, Spallanzani turned his intellectual energy to the study of bats, not owls. True, he did it not in the most humane way: he burned out the retina with them, removed the eyeballs - and set them free. Then he again caught the animals, blinded and healthy, and compared the contents of their stomachs.

It turned out that animals "from both groups" had approximately the same prey both in volume and composition - all the same insects. The lack of vision did not affect the diet in any way. It turned out that bats have some other sense that allows them to navigate and hunt.

Then Spallanzani switched to bats' ears - he began to fill them with wax. After such torture, they began to behave like pogrom owls. The animals were unable not only to hunt, but even to fly out of the experimenter's hands normally. "Without ears, they can't see!" - concluded the scientist.

Around the same time, the Geneva surgeon Louis Jurin tried to reproduce the experiments of Spallanzani. Only more sophisticated: the hands of an experienced surgeon are able not only to fill the ears with wax, but also to deafen with the help of medical equipment. So Jurin did. The result was the same. He also described that healthy bats constantly turn their ears in flight. But how they "see" by them remained unclear.

Scientists at the end of the 18th century were convinced that these animals were endowed with a certain feeling that humans do not have. And what exactly, it became clear only when locators appeared in the arsenal of physics, capable of capturing high-frequency acoustic signals inaccessible to our ears.

Not mice united

Echolocation was discovered in the 20th century. At the turn of the century, Harvard physics professor G.W. Pierce invented a piezoelectric transducer that converts ultrasonic waves into an audible frequency range. In the 1930s, a student of the same Harvard, Donald Griffin, contacted the professor, and together they first "heard" the ultrasound emitted by bats during flight.

Later, in 1938, Pierce and Griffin described the phenomenon of echolocation. The animal emits a signal that spreads around and is reflected from physical obstacles. The signal returns to the animal with a delay, it is "caught" by the auditory receptors, and then the brain calculates the distance to the object from which the signal was reflected from the time difference. The bat emits several hundred of these signals per second, and as a result, a 3D model of the surrounding space is built in its head.

But bats are not the only ones using echolocation. In the 1950s, this ability was discovered in toothed whales (these include, for example, dolphins), fish that toothed whales prey on, many nocturnal mammals, and more recently in humans. Experiments have shown that if you put an object absorbing sound in front of a blind person in an empty room, then, making clicks with their tongue and listening to their feelings, the subjects quickly find this object.

Still, bats are the best suited for navigating ultrasound. Their vocal apparatus can emit signals of different frequencies and durations: some are better for hunting, others for navigation. The oral cavity of these animals is arranged like a parabolic mirror. By changing its curvature, they can emit a narrowly directed ultrasound beam (again, convenient for hunting) or a widely scattered signal (more convenient for navigation). And bats also have large ears with developed muscles to quickly turn them around and pick up reflected signals from different directions.

The signal loudness in some bats at a distance of 10 cm from the body is 130 decibels, which is an absolute record among animals. Special "flaps" in the ears, which can close and open about 500 times per second, help them not to become deaf from their own squeaks.

In humans, noise of 130 dB already causes pain, and above 140 dB - contusion.

"Echolocation" of the brain

People learned to use ultrasonic radiation later than X-ray. In 1941, Austrian neurologist Karl Dussik, using "hyperphonography" (as he called his method), discovered a brain tumor in a patient. A few years later, it turned out that he took the reflection of ultrasound from the bones of the skull for a tumor, but the method was already popular.

In the 1950s, the USA and the USSR were actively developing the use of ultrasound in various fields, and the first mass devices, very similar to modern ones, appeared in the States already in the 1960s. In the Soviet Union, ultrasound machines were widely used in the 1980s.

For medical purposes, ultrasound is usually used in the frequency range from 1 to 10 MHz: such waves can penetrate into the thickness of the body's tissues. Animals, on the other hand, "work" at lower frequencies. The upper limit of hearing in a healthy person is 20 kHz. Bats use sounds in the 20-100 kHz range for echolocation (and some people hear the lowest frequency of their signals). Dolphins can be considered champions of hearing: they hear sounds with a frequency of up to 150 kHz.

Not ultra

The ability to hear ultrasound can be called a superpower. The whiskered bat Pteronotus parnellii uses it to distinguish insects that flap their wings quickly from those that flap slowly. Based on this information, she can conclude which of the victims is larger, and not waste energy on a small fry.

In the acoustic range, bats also hear confidently. You can't do without it. Yes, echolocation is indispensable when hunting for flying insects at night, but if the victim is swarming in the forest floor or hiding on the underside of a leaf, then the ultrasound simply reflects off the obstacle and does not give any information about the object. Standard feelings come to the rescue here.

Needless to say, ear locators and advanced sound analyzers make the hearing of mice much more sensitive than that of humans. True, as scientists from Panama have found out, bats hardly use ordinary hearing in cities with their noise pollution, which is why their hunting behavior also changes.

It turned out during an unusual experiment, the results of which were published by one of the leading scientific journals - Science. Fringed-lipped leaf beetles, which usually hunt frogs, were offered a choice of three models. The first played a frog song and puffed out its throat, the second statically croaked, and the third puffed out its throat without raising a voice. At the same time, scientists measured the time before the start of the hunt and from its beginning to the discovery of the victim, recorded attempts to use ultrasound and took into account which model the subjects would choose.One series of experiments was carried out in silence, the other in noise.

In the silence, the leaf-noses took less time to start hunting, and the process itself lasted as long as in noisy conditions. At the same time, in silence, mice used echolocation less and twice as often chose a static model that emits sounds. Based on this, the scientists concluded that in silence, fringed-lipped leaf-noses are more guided by ordinary hearing, and with noise - by echolocation.

And they also have big hands

Remember the experimenter Spallanzani and his Geneva surgeon colleague? From their work to the discovery of echolocation, it seemed, it was half a step. To connect more specialists from different fields to work - and ultrasound, perhaps, would have appeared a century earlier!

The study of the "sixth sense" has stalled because of the respected paleobiologist Georges Cuvier, a contemporary of Spallanzani and Jurin. Their experiments seem cruel and even somewhat wild not only now, in the 18th century Cuvier drew attention to this. He also hypothesized that bats are guided with the help of their hands.

Allegedly, they intensively flap their wings and thin skin stretched between the fingers, which forms the wing, catch the reflections of air vibrations from obstacles. (By the way, fish actually have a similar mechanism and work: they feel water disturbances with their entire body using the lateral line.) And this erroneous theory dominated science for the next century and a half.

Although not so wrong. The sense of touch in bats is indeed much better developed than in humans. In addition to the classic tactile bodies, their arsenal includes vibrissae and sensitive hairs, which are dotted with flying membranes and large auricles. And during flight, the sense of touch plays a significant role in bats. Scientists tried to launch the blinded animals into special experimental rooms, where thin and strong threads were stretched. And what? Even in these difficult conditions, the mice successfully corrected their flight along the strings, almost without getting tangled in them and without touching the surrounding objects.

Where the blood pulsates

Huge ears and "leather wings" look unattractive. In addition, their owners are active exclusively at night, and during the day they sleep upside down, wrapped in those same eerie wings - it's no wonder that many traditional cultures have developed a far from positive image of a bat. In fact, they are, of course, no evil spirits who lure tired travelers into the swamps in order to suck out the remnants of their vitality. And not the henchmen of Count Dracula. But the strong association with vampires did not arise out of nowhere.

Of the 1,300 species of bats, only 3 actually feed on blood: the common vampire, the white-winged vampire, and the fur-legged vampire. These three species make up the vampire subfamily in the leaf-nosed bats family. You can meet them only in the tropics and subtropics of the New World (well, or if someone brings them from there).

Researchers consider the words "vampire" and "ghoul" to be etymologically related, rooted in Slavic languages. They were used in mythology to refer to the half-dead or the dead, leading a nocturnal lifestyle and sometimes taking the form of a bat.

In Western European languages, the word "vampire" appeared in written sources only in 1732. And the word "ghoul" in the same meaning was first used by AS Pushkin in 1836 in the poem of the same name. Then it was a neologism, which later became firmly entrenched in the language.

The difference in the way of feeding is primarily reflected in the arsenal of "devices" with which evolution has equipped the animals. Vampires resemble carrier-based fighters equipped with sensitive infrared detectors.

Let us explain. In vampires, special infrared receptors are located at the tip of the nose, which looks more like a patch. Even the Hulk and Captain America do not have such, what can we say about ordinary people! With the help of the hearing organs, the sensitivity of which is shifted to the region of low-frequency sounds, vampires find a sleeping warm-blooded victim. Next, infrared receptors determine the area on the body surface by temperature, where the pulsating vessel is located close to the skin.

The suspense is over, the action begins. With the help of sharp fangs, the vampire pierces the skin and begins to actively lick the blood flowing from the wound. At this time, he is as focused as possible and makes sure that the victim does not feel anything and continues to sleep peacefully.

Blood is rich in proteins, but poor in the main sources of energy - carbohydrates. Therefore, blood should be drunk as much as possible. To do this, you need, firstly, that it flows out of the wound as long as possible, and secondly, to have a capacious collection container.

The first task is helped by a cocktail of enzymes that vampires inject into the wound during a bite. These enzymes prevent blood from clotting (like heparin from the salivary glands of leeches), which makes the wound bleed longer. Scientists gave one of the enzymes the self-explanatory name Draculin, and on the basis of the other they created the drug desmoteplase, which helps, for example, in the treatment of stroke.

In solving the second question, evolution also helped - it provided vampires with an elastic stomach capable of increasing several times. After 30-60 minutes of feeding, a 30-gram vampire can eat up to 70 grams.

A well-fed vampire resembles a swollen mosquito - and then there may be problems with takeoff. The advantage, after all, to gain speed, taking off from the surface, will not be easy. But even then, evolution did not abandon it in trouble - it gave it with springy legs, pushing off with which the animal almost instantly picks up speed up to 2 m / s. Just like a fighter that was launched from an aircraft carrier using a catapult. These catapult legs are used by the animals if the victim suddenly wakes up and decides not to share his blood with just anyone.

At least in some ways not cooler than people

Developed echolocation, catapult legs, sensitive hearing and touch, we can only envy. But the bats paid for these superpowers and devices with their eyesight and smell. Their evolutionary price is clearly visible when comparing bats to their cousins ​​in the order of bats - the bats. Those are predominantly herbivorous and rely more on sight and smell for life. Whereas bats prefer meat, and mainly use hearing (including echolocation) and touch. This difference is reflected in the genome as well.

Chinese scientists have sequenced the genomes of two of the most advanced bats in echolocation: the Himalayan bats (Hipposideros armiger) and the Chinese horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus sinicus). It turned out that many of their vision-related genes had become pseudogenes unable to express themselves. A similar situation is with the genes responsible for the sense of smell.

Moreover, these evolutionary transformations began in the common ancestor of all bats. And the genes associated with hearing were constantly positive selection. In the evolutionary past of fruit bats, there weren't even such trends.

Why did you have to pay for echolocation with sight and smell, why not leave everything? Evolutionary scientists suggest that the causes are energetic. Maintenance of neurons and receptors is costly. And resources are allocated strictly to those areas where they are most in demand.

The universe can be thought of as an RPG game with a limitless open world. At least one of its locations - planet Earth - is inhabited by diverse creatures. These creatures perceive the physical world through sensations and use the same physics to communicate with each other. Depending on the habitat, different creatures are pumped different sets of skills and qualities. Some need to hear ultrasound in order to accurately determine the position of a victim flying past in the dark, while others need a sense of smell and a feeling of disgust so as not to eat other people's feces and not become infected with cholera. And in this game, the now unpopular rule works - to each according to his needs.

Magnetic radar. Birds. And also bacteria, many invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. For some, the "magnetic sense" helps to choose a habitable environment, for others to remember the coordinates of the "house", for others to find a place for breeding, and for the fourth - for transcontinental migrations.

Mountaineering gloves. Geckos. There are up to 14,000 nanofibers per 1 mm 2 of a gecko's fingertip, each of which is split into 400-1000 fibers at the tip. Such "gloves" allow reptiles to climb on any, even absolutely smooth surfaces in any position. At least upside down.

UV vision. Some insects. Serves the specific needs of pollinating insects - allows you to see the "markings" of flowers. In the picture of the world of bees and daytime butterflies, everything red looks black, and smooth looks striped. So you can see the "tips" of the plant, how to sit in its flower in order to get to the nectar. And along the way get smeared with pollen.

Vibrating gyroscope. Insects of the Diptera order. All insects have two pairs of wings, but in Diptera (these include horseflies, gadflies, mosquitoes, flies, fruit flies, midges, etc.), the second pair has turned into halteres. From a physical point of view, these are vibration gyroscopes, which are needed to stabilize the flight. Similar devices are equipped with stabilizers for digital cameras, smartphones and quadcopters.