Insect, tree, habitat, and moss of the year named

Various state bodies and nature organizations have named the rest of this year's nature heroes - the tree, habitat, moss, and insect of the year.

Insect of the year

The Latvian Entomologists' association named the praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) as the insect of the year 2017. It's a newcomer to Latvia, as it was first discovered here only in 2008.

The range of the fairly large carnivorous insect is not clearly established but it has been seen near the river Daugava in late summer and early autumn.

Tree of the year

The Latvian Dendrologists' Association has named the Riga pine (Pinus sylvestris) the tree of the year! 

Commonly called the Scots pine, the tree features on the association's logo and has had a place in Latvia's history.

The species - the Latvian specimen of which were at one time called Pinus rigensis Loudon and were exported as ship spars - grow in high marshes, dunes as well as on peat and elsewhere. 

The pine tree also features in one of the most popular Latvian-language poems, "Broken Pine Trees" by Jānis Rainis. 

Habitat of the year

A farmstead (Latvian: lauku sēta) has been named the habitat for the year.

Viesturs Lārmanis, a representative of the Latvian Fund for Nature, told LTV on January 11 that farmsteads, in addition to being part of the national identity, are also notable for their contribution to biodiversity. 

Farmsteads and the trees and grass around them can provide home for birds, bats, and various types of grass.

Moss of the year

Latvia loves all life equally, even its smallest forms.

So Climacium dendroides with the dull name of 'tree-moss' is Latvia's moss of the year 2017, nominated by the Latvian Botanists' Association.

Dendroides means 'tree-like', and its form indeed looks like a small tree. It can grow up to a height of 10 cm.

LSM previously reported about yellow being the color of choice as concerns birds and plants this, however the trend was short-lived. 

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