'Minimal Wildlife' - quiz

A Woodland Bird
Jay (Garrulus glandarius)

When doing my blog post on camouflage I was messing about with a couple of moth designs in photoshop. I found that I could simplify the design a lot and it would still suggest the moth.

So I thought what's the minimum amount of information, that's needed to suggest a certain species? I've tried to use just geometric shapes. I've also tried to get as far away as possible from any kind of representation of the species and still have it be in some way recognisable.

I also quite like these as wildlife art - I'm going to hang them on my wall!

What do you think these are? They could be birds, mammals, insects, flowers or fungi

A common butterfly
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

A tree climbing mammal
Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

A common small bird
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

A non-stinging insect
Hoverfly, 'The footballer' - Helophilus

A farmland bird
Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

A common butterfly
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

A toadstool
Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)

A flower which imitates an insect
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

A common moth - B_ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _
Buff Arches (Habrosyne pyritoides)

I was asked by a local RSPB group to do these additional images - as fun / educational resources for Children

A common garden bird
Great Tit (Parus major)

A common garden bird
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Associated with Christmas
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

A bird name after its colour
Blackbird (Turdus merula)

The largest flying bird
Mute swan (Cygnus olor)

A burrowing mammal
Badger (Meles meles)

A stinging insect
Bumblebee (Bombus)

Small Tortoiseshell
Red Squirrel
Hoverfly - Helophilus pendulus
Barn Owl
Red Admiral
Fly Agaric
Bee Orchid
Buff Arches
Great tit
Blue tit
Mute swan

Get this


  1. I tried something similar a while back but I am not a graphic artist and my rough attempts were pathetic compared to these!

    1. Thanks Peter, do you still have any of these It'd be nice to see them

    2. by the way - how many did you get?

  2. Replies
    1. Great- without or without the clues?

    2. Without. Got 9 this time round .. forgot I had done it before haha

  3. I think these are brilliant images and a great idea.Rubbish at guessing names though.

  4. Haha brilliant! Nicely done - a great idea and good fun. I guessed 4 without clues, 4 more with clues (really should have known fly agaric without needing a clue, and I thought the red squirrel was going to be a stoat/weasel!). I'm afraid the penny didn't drop with the Barn Owl and I clearly don't know my Buff Arches as well as I should!!! :)

    1. Thanks! Yes the Barn Owl really is minimal, maybe too minimal. I'm guessing Jay, Goldfinch, Red Admiral, small Tortoiseshell are the ones you got first off.

    2. Yes you got it! I think with the Barn owl, maybe because I'm lucky to see them very closely I don't register them as a solid beigey colour. Perhaps if you'd said nocturnal farmland bird the old brain cell would have fired into life! :)

    3. may I should have said nocturnal farmland bird that ends in 'owl' and starts with 'Barn' :)

  5. a technical point - when I hover over the clue and answer links, they pop up the right text, but if i click on them, I get a 404 error.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out - it's fixed

  6. Got 6 without clues,,,haven't a clue why I didn't look at the clues. Must be clueless... ;-)

    1. You got 6 without clues?...you are Inspector Clouseau


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