Other Icelandic Animals

White-tailed bumblebee (Bombus locorum), seen a number of places in Iceland, finally digitally captured in the small garden behind the Parliament building.

Besides birds, Iceland doesn’t have a lot of other animals, including invertebrates. The number of bugs is growing, though, as the world warms. Moths were a common sight, in the long diurnal light. There were sky-darkening masses of midges at Myvatn, a place name which actually means “midge water”; we had to use our bug nets one morning to keep them from flying into our eyes. They don’t bite, thankfully. And they are the reason the lake is so popular with the thirteen species of ducks that breed there.

We did see an incredible black slug (I’d unaccountably left my camera in the van). Among mammals, the arctic fox is a native, the reindeer an import: unfortunately, we didn’t see the former, but we did see a herd of the latter near Egilsstadir in the east. Fantasias of antlers.
This spider was an unexpected find on the rim of Hverfell, the amazing, and largely barren, tephra crater near Myvatn.

6 Responses to “Other Icelandic Animals”


  1. 1 Joy K. August 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    That is a FABULOUS spider! Look at those legs!

    • 2 mthew August 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

      Remarkable creatures, the spiders. This one, to stress, was about a 1000 feet up a largely barren, very dusty ash cone. There seemed to be very little to eat up there, but then I’m no spider, so what do I know?

  2. 3 mikebezner August 7, 2010 at 1:25 am

    My wife and I went to Iceland about 12 years ago. I don’t remember the bugs and spiders, but we WERE lucky enough to see an arctic fox. Beautiful country.


  1. 1 What animals make good pets in a book? | Best Pets Books Trackback on July 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm
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