Thursday, 7 March 2013

A Phurther Phairly Phutile Fasmidid Phoray by the Phamous Phive

The Phive in question being myself, Roger, Christine, Ros and John.  We gathered at about 2 pm and spent most of the next two hours searching, in vain, for these mysterious Stick insects.  However we did see some other interesting things which is why the expedition is only rated "Phairly Phutile".

As the saying goes in fairy stories "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet a Prince."  So with Phasmids: you begin by having to look at a lot of sticks!  We obviously didn't look at enough, since Roger is sure that there is a good population of the phasmids in the area. (Three were found on the ANPS visit, which indicates a lot more that weren't seen.)

This Crane Fly (Family Tipulidae) was very obliging.
Hopes were raised that these might have been Phasmid eggs but apparently they are moth eggs.  I am not sure why two of the eggs have dark bits in them:

  • are they embryos and the rest infertile; or 
  • are they corpses and rest empty due to hatching?

Orb spiders were everywhere.  This one was having a nice lunch.
These two were queued up waiting for lunch to fly by.
As I neared the car leaving a very large spider mit web ended up on my face.  I thought back to my orienteering days when one always ran with one's mouth closed in Autumn.

An ant was busy farming some scale insects.  I am not sure what the tiny eggs are at the bottom of the image.
Ros found two clumps of greenhoods.  From the colour of the labellum I believe this to be Diplodium reflexum.

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