Since I can remember, I have been fascinated by nature, and in particular by insects. At the age of 10 I already had a room full of bugs with bugs, magnifying glasses and my first books about animals. He dreamed of being a naturalist, like Konrad Lorenz, Gerald Durrell or Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente.
Kike Murria – Entomólogo y amante de la naturaleza
Why explore the garden
I began to visit the landscapes of Aragon, my native land, as an amateur entomologist, in search of the rarest insects. I have traveled mountains and steppes moved by scientific interest and a certain adventurous spirit, which made me, and makes me feel, like an explorer of miniature worlds, hidden among beautiful and rugged landscapes. So I discovered that you don’t have to go very far to find fascinating things. An abandoned garden, the margins of an orchard or the flora of the ditches of a rural road treasure an enormous amount of biodiversity, of hidden beauty.
I like to share the enjoyment of this natural wealth. And I want it to be known to preserve it. That is why I invite you to discover with me the miniature universe that inhabits Lasaosa and its surroundings, in a simple walk suitable for all ages and physical conditions. Only good footwear, adequate clothing and a desire to enjoy are required, without haste and with your eyes wide open.
We will walk very slowly. Attentive to the flora and fauna of insects that fly around you, or that hides among the plants with incredible costumes. And we will also see other small animals that will get in our way or fly over us, as we walk through an unpopulated environment rich in fauna. While we watch, I will make you an interpretation of the landscape so that you get to know the area a little better.
And if you dare, at night you can discover in the patio of Casa Dorondón all the incredible cast of night butterflies that live in this area of the Pyrenees, attracted by a light trap and other devices that I install right there, so you can see them comfortably . I have all the necessary permits for these activities, which are always carried out without harming any insect. And I provide materials that will make it easier for you to identify and photograph the nocturnal species that live in the area. I am sure they will leave you fascinated by its variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
The experience of discovering the garden of Casa Dorondón
Each activity lasts 2.30 hours. The first half hour is dedicated to a small talk with audiovisuals, where we will also see terrariums with live species and didactic material from my scientific collection. The next two hours we will go for a walk to the surroundings of Lasaosa to observe and identify butterflies and other insects, and to learn something about them in a circular walk, easy to navigate, that crosses different representative habitats of the valley.
The activity can also be done at night, after the talk at Casa Dorondón after dinner, we will see the night species attracted by the light trap and other means that entomologists use to inventory, such as pheromones or bait traps. An unforgettable starlight experience in a valley without light pollution. A paradise for night butterflies.
You can bring a flashlight, short-range binoculars and a camera to extract all the juice from the activities. Here I will provide field guides and magnifying glasses to see in more detail the different species. And I will reveal some of the best kept secrets of our smallest fauna.
I wait for you in Lasasosa!
Some insects that we can observe
The harlequin butterfly (Zerynthia rumina), one of the most interesting spring species to observe during the walk. (Photo E. Murria)
Harlequin butterfly (Zerynthia rumina)
Elizabethan (Actias isabelae) is probably the most beautiful insect in the Pyrenees. It will be seen and photographed during the nights of May and June in Lasaosa, along with many other species that populate the valley. (Photo E. Murria)
Elizabethan Butterfly (Actias isabelae)
On summer afternoons we can see the spectacular flying deer (Lucanus cervus), a protected beetle and one of the largest in European fauna. This inhabitant of the quejigar will fascinate young and old. The ritual fights between males are quite a show !!
Flying Deer (Lucanus cervus)
How do we sign up?
Simply contact Juancho (+34 652955238) or if you have a reservation at the house let us know what day you would like to do the activity. You also have to tell us if you want it to be day or night and how many people would come.
If you are staying at the house the price is € 11 per person (children under 3 years free) and € 13 per person if it is at night.
In case of not staying the price is € 15 per person (children under 3 years free) and € 20 per person if it is at night.
The minimum group is five people and the maximum is fifteen.
For 25 years I have been professionally dedicated to entomology. My specialty is lepidoptera, the well-known butterflies. My activity is mainly focused on the inventory of the Pyrenean fauna, the taxonomy of endemic species, the biology of forest pests and the conservation of threatened species. I usually work as a researcher for the Biodiversity Service of the Government of Aragon, and I collaborate with the Forest Health Unit and CITA. I also carry out inventory and monitoring work in different Aragonese protected natural areas, such as the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, or the Sierra y Cañones de Guara and San Juan de la Peña-Oroel natural parks. I have also participated or participate in research projects and Summer Courses at the University of Zaragoza, the College of Biologists of Aragon and in publications from scientific institutions and official organizations, such as the CSIC, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment or the Aragonese Entomological Society, of which I am a founding partner.
But at the same time I am interested in disclosure. For this reason, for many years now, I have combined research with participatory activities, courses and informative publications on insects, especially on Aragonese butterflies. I have lived in the Huesca Pyrenees for more than 20 years, in Aineto, very close to Lasasosa. Here I have my study objects on my doorstep, and I know the fauna of the valley well.