Friday, 30 March 2012

Negative on the ladybird (plus a couple of other things)

Most of the ladybirds I see around here are yellow to red, with a variable number of black spots on them.  It was thus interesting to find one today with the opposite situation: black with orange spots.
 It appears to match the images of Parapriasus australasiae shown on Brisbane insects.

In an earlier post I showed a strange looking larval insect which Denis Wilson identified as a ladybird larva.  A very similar mini-beast was also present this morning and in this case I will take a punt that it is the offspring of the adult lower down the twig..
Here is a closeup of the larva.
The text on Brisbane insects notes that these ladybirds predate scale insects. Thus they are a Good Thing. If only they predated Cherry Slugs (sawfly larvae)!

I haven't said much about our frogmouths recently.  They are back, and I am finding them more frequently this year than in the past.  Today I didn't find them initially but went looking for some noisy Scarlet Robins.  It emerged the Robins were harassing the Froggies in a previously unknown roost (about 15m from one of their current favourites)
An interesting point was that later in the day the female had moved up a bit so was level with, but still on a different branch to, the male.  It is quite unusual for this pair to shift branches during a day.  By 31 March I had found them on 80% of days in that month: in contrast in March last year I could only find them on 50% of days.  I suspect that this reflects them fairly frequently using a roost I only discovered later in 2011.

A bit later we were shifting some stuff around and found this unusual looking spider in the middle of a pile.
Not only was it an unusual shape (for an arachnid) but the white palps were extremely obvious when seen in the flesh(?).  I will say it is a jumping spider (family Salticidae) but at this stage go no further.



Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Nice Ladybird (negative).
The last shot looks like something is pupating. Not sure - Ladybirds do go through complete metamorphosis - so it is possible.

Flabmeister said...


Thanks. I will keep an eye on the spot. It did seem very slothful.