With the country in the grips of a crisis, here's a list of 10 wacky but wonderful wildlife that shows nature’s little secrets are continuing to amaze.

From micro bears to super heroes – our woodlands are home to some weird and wacky wonders. There are shrews that communicate with each other by bouncing sounds off trees, micro bears, spiders that look like fruit and a fly with a superhero name.

1. Brown tree ant (Lasius brunneus)

Tree ants live deep in the crevices of mostly ancient oaks. They're rare and forage in trees or rotting wood.

2. Water bears (tardigrades)

Perhaps little known but remarkable creatures with long, plumped up bodies and scrunched up heads. Also known as moss piglets, They are eight-legged creatures that are among the most resilient animals known, even surviving exposure to outer space! They are prevalent in mosses and lichens and feed on small insects.

3. Batman hoverfly (Myathropa florea)

A real super hero of our woods! This creature has a distinctive batman symbol on its body. It breeds in rot holes in trees or other hollows with wet rotting vegetable matter.

4. Cobweb beetle (Ctesias serra)

The larvae of this beetle lives under flaky bark and on old trees. For food, it steals the dried up left overs from spider's webs.

5. Rustwort (Nowelia curvifolia)

Like a piece of modern art, this liverwort covers fallen logs in humid woods, turning them into an abstract pattern of reds, oranges and green.

6. Common shrew (Sorex araneus)

These echo-locating shrews are also thought to shrink their skeletons in winter. They explore their surroundings using a series of high frequency twitters and clicks that bounce off trees and plants.

7. Ghost slug (Selenochlamys ysbryda)

This ghostly-white species is thought to be blind. It was originally native to the Ukraine but the slugs have crept into the British countryside. They are a bit pesky - burrowing to depths of a metre to pursue earthworms with their rows of tiny, rasp like teeth.

8. Ruby-tailed wasp (Chrysis ignita)

Seen up close the ruby-tailed wasp is perhaps one of the UK’s most beautiful insects. Its head is a shiny blue green colour and the abdomen is a deep ruby red. It's also known as a cuckoo wasp because females lay their eggs in the nests of mason bees. When the eggs hatch the wasp larvae eat the mason bee larvae!

9. Strawberry spider (Araneus alsine)

A rare and remarkable orb-weaver spider that looks like fruit and is named of course because of its red-orange body, flecked with yellow dots.

10. Rhododendron leafhopper (Graphocephala fennahi)

These are minute, striking insects that pack a big punch. They sap suck from plants by piercing the leaves. They are bright green, often with red stripes. Introduced from North America, it's thought that they contribute to the spread of a rhododendron fungus through Europe.

How we're looking out for woodland wildlife

We want to see a UK rich in woods and trees for the wildlife that depends on it. And we're making that a reality.

We create new woods and campaign to protect woodland that's threatened by needless destruction all over the UK. And we restore damaged ancient woodland - our most precious habitat that supports over 200 of our rarest and most fragile species.

Field vole with acorns

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