I thought I’d start a glossary to help me perhaps more than anyone else.


a species that gains its nutrition at some stage in its life-cycle by feeding on the food-stores of another.


Any perennial plant that bears its overwintering buds at soil level, where they are often partly covered by surface debris


Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.


A parasitoid is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and ultimately kills the host. Most insect parasitoids are found in the Order Hymenoptera and roughly 10% of all described insect species are parasitoids. In many species eggs are laid within the bodies of other organisms (most commonly other insects) the eggs hatch and feed on the internal organs of the host. Initially the parasitoid larvae feeds on non-essential organs thus feeding without killing the host. Eventually the larvae either feeds on the vital organs killing the host or pupates within the host and then emerges as an adult killing the host.

Parasitoids are commonly used in biological control.


Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals from year to year – such as flowering, emergence of insects and migration of birds – especially their timing and relationship with weather and climate.


The process of forming a pupa, the stage in an insect’s development when huge changes occur that reorganise the larval form into the adult form. In butterflies the pupa is also called a chrysalis.