Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
Echium aculeatum is a species of flowering plants of the Boraginaceae family. It is endemic to the Canary Islands, where it occurs on the islands El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife, its name in Spanish is ajinajo. It is a branched shrub with thorny leaves and white flowers
Coleophora pennella is a moth of the family Coleophoridae. It is found in most of Europe; the wingspan is 15–20 millimetres. Adults are on wing from June to July; the larvae feed on Anchusa officinalis, Cynoglossum officinale, Echium italicum, Echium vulgare, Lithospermum officinale, Nonea, Pentaglottis, Pulmonaria officinalis and Symphytum officinale. Young larva feed on the developing seeds and hibernate in their first case, made of the tip of a petal. After hibernation, they make a laterally composite leaf case. Fleck mines are made at the margin of the leaves; the mouth angle is about 70°. Full-grown larvae can be found from mid May to early June
Echium candicans known as pride of Madeira, is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to the island of Madeira. It is a large herbaceous Perennial subshrub. In the first year after germination the plant produces a broad rosette of leaves. In the second and subsequent years more or less woody flowering stalks are produced clothed in rough leaves; the flower head is large and covered with blue flowers having red stamens. It is much visited by butterflies for its nectar; the Latin specific epithet candicans means “shining white”, referring to one colour form of this species. Echium candicans is cultivated in the horticulture trade and available throughout the world as an ornamental plant for traditional and drought tolerant water conserving gardens, it is suitable for coastal planting, is a popular ornamental in coastal California. With a minimum temperature requirement of 5–7 °C, in frost-prone areas it needs some winter protection, it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
In California, it is an invasive species. It is removed from native plant communities as part of habitat restoration efforts in coastal parks such as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In New Zealand it is a common garden escape onto road-side verges and shingle banks throughout the drier parts of the two principal islands. In the state of Victoria, Australia, it is considered to be a high weed risk and an alert has been posted by the Department of Primary Industries
Echium italicum, the Italian viper's bugloss, Lady Campbell weed, or pale bugloss, is a species of plant from Boraginaceae family, that can be found in the Mediterranean Basin and, as an introduced species in the United States. It is found in North Africa, western Asia and Europe, it has naturalised in Australia
Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. About 180,000 species of the Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, 10 per cent of the total described species of living organisms, it is one of the most widespread and recognizable insect orders in the world. The Lepidoptera show many variations of the basic body structure that have evolved to gain advantages in lifestyle and distribution. Recent estimates suggest the order may have more species than earlier thought, is among the four most speciose orders, along with the Hymenoptera and Coleoptera. Lepidopteran species are characterized by more than three derived features; the most apparent is the presence of scales that cover the bodies, a proboscis. The scales are modified, flattened "hairs", give butterflies and moths their wide variety of colors and patterns. All species have some form of membranous wings, except for a few that have reduced wings or are wingless. Mating and the laying of eggs are carried out by adults near or on host plants for the larvae.
Like most other insects and moths are holometabolous, meaning they undergo complete metamorphosis. The larvae are called caterpillars, are different from their adult moth or butterfly forms, having a cylindrical body with a well-developed head, mandible mouth parts, three pairs of thoracic legs and from none up to five pairs of prolegs; as they grow, these larvae change in appearance, going through a series of stages called instars. Once matured, the larva develops into a pupa. A few butterflies and many moth species spin a silk case or cocoon prior to pupating, while others do not, instead going underground. A butterfly pupa, called a chrysalis, has a hard skin with no cocoon. Once the pupa has completed its metamorphosis, a sexually mature adult emerges; the Lepidoptera have, over millions of years, evolved a wide range of wing patterns and coloration ranging from drab moths akin to the related order Trichoptera, to the brightly colored and complex-patterned butterflies. Accordingly, this is the most recognized and popular of insect orders with many people involved in the observation, collection, rearing of, commerce in these insects.
A person who collects or studies this order is referred to as a lepidopterist. Butterflies and moths play an important role in the natural ecosystem as pollinators and as food in the food chain. In many species, the female may produce from 200 to 600 eggs, while in others, the number may approach 30,000 eggs in one day; the caterpillars hatching from these eggs can cause damage to large quantities of crops. Many moth and butterfly species are of economic interest by virtue of their role as pollinators, the silk they produce, or as pest species; the term was coined by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from Greek λεπίς, gen. λεπίδος and πτερόν. Sometimes, the term Rhopalocera is used for the clade of all butterfly species, derived from the Ancient Greek ῥόπαλον and κέρας meaning "club" and "horn" coming from the shape of the antennae of butterflies; the origins of the common names "butterfly" and "moth" are varied and obscure. The English word butterfly is with many variations in spelling. Other than that, the origin is unknown, although it could be derived from the pale yellow color of many species' wings suggesting the color of butter.
The species of Heterocera are called moths. The origins of the English word moth are more clear, deriving from the Old English moððe" from Common Germanic, its origins are related to Old English maða meaning "maggot" or from the root of "midge", which until the 16th century was used to indicate the larva in reference to devouring clothes. The etymological origins of the word "caterpillar", the larval form of butterflies and moths, are from the early 16th century, from Middle English catirpel, catirpeller an alteration of Old North French catepelose: cate, cat + pelose, hairy; the Lepidoptera are among the most successful groups of insects. They are found on all continents, except Antarctica, inhabit all terrestrial habitats ranging from desert to rainforest, from lowland grasslands to mountain plateaus, but always associated with higher plants angiosperms. Among the most northern dwelling species of butterflies and moths is the Arctic Apollo, found in the Arctic Circle in northeastern Yakutia, at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level.
In the Himalayas, various Apollo species such as Parnassius epaphus have been recorded to occur up to an altitude of 6,000 m above sea level. Some lepidopteran species exhibit symbiotic, phoretic, or parasitic lifestyles, inhabiting the bodies of organisms rather than the environment. Coprophagous pyralid moth species, called sloth moths, such as Bradipodicola hahneli and Cryptoses choloepi, are unusual in that they are found inhabiting the fur of sloths, mammals found in Central and South America. Two species of Tinea moths have been recorded as feeding on horny tissue and have been bred from the horns of cattle; the larva of Zenodochium coccivorella is an internal parasite of the coccid Kermes species. Many species have been recorded as breeding in natural materials or refuse such as owl pellets, bat caves, honeycombs or diseased fruit; as of 2007, there was 174,250 lepi
Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, is a fatty acid found in vegetable oils. When acting on GLA, Arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase produces no leukotrienes and the conversion by the enzyme of arachidonic acid to leukotrienes is inhibited. GLA is categorized as an n−6 fatty acid, meaning that the first double bond on the methyl end is the sixth bond. In physiological literature, GLA is designated as 18:3. GLA is a carboxylic acid with three cis double bonds, it is an isomer of α-linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated n−3 fatty acid, found in rapeseed canola oil, walnuts, flax seed, perilla and hemp seed. GLA was first isolated from the seed oil of evening primrose; this herbal plant was grown by Native Americans to treat swelling in the body. In the 17th century, it was introduced to Europe and became a popular folk remedy, earning the name king's cure-all. In 1919, Heiduschka and Lüft extracted the oil from evening primrose seeds and described an unusual linolenic acid, which they name γ-; the exact chemical structure was characterized by Riley.
Although there are α- and γ- forms of linolenic acid, there is no β- form. One was once identified. GLA is obtained from vegetable oils such as evening primrose oil, blackcurrant seed oil, borage seed oil, hemp seed oil. GLA is found in varying amounts in edible hemp seeds, oats and spirulina. Normal safflower oil does not contain GLA, but a genetically modified GLA safflower oil available in commercial quantities since 2011 contains 40% GLA. Borage oil contains 20% GLA, evening primrose oil ranges from 8% to 10% GLA, black-currant oil contains 15-20%, it comprises 12.23% of the fats from the fruit of the durian species Durio graveolens. The human body produces GLA from linoleic acid; this reaction is catalyzed by Δ6-desaturase, an enzyme that allows the creation of a double bond on the sixth carbon counting from the carboxyl terminus. LA is consumed sufficiently in most diets, from such abundant sources as cooking meats. However, a lack of GLA can occur when there is a reduction of the efficiency of the D6D conversion or in disease states wherein there is excessive consumption of GLA metabolites.
From GLA, the body forms dihomo-γ-linolenic acid. This is one of the body's three sources of eicosanoids DGLA is the precursor of the prostaglandin PGH1, which in turn forms PGE1 and the thromboxane TXA1. Both PGE11 and TXA1 are anti-inflammatory. PGE1 is used as the medicine alprostadil. Unlike AA and EPA, DGLA cannot yield leukotrienes. However, it can inhibit the formation of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes from AA. Although GLA is an n−6 fatty acid, a type of acid that is, in general, pro-inflammatory, it has anti-inflammatory properties. GLA has been promoted as medication for a variety of ailments including breast pain and eczema, in particular by David Horrobin, whose marketing of evening primrose oil was described by The BMJ as ethically dubious – the substance was to be remembered as "a remedy for which there is no disease". In 2002 the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency withdrew marketing authorisations for evening primrose oil as an eczema remedy. However, more topical application of borage seed oil has been shown to reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial