Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Inverebrates of January

It being warm there are quite a lot of invertebrates around.  Here are some images.  (I'm sure more will be added as the month progresses.)

I was struck by the comment (see below) from Ian Fraser who is being characteristically humble.  To put the knowledge required for invertebrates into perspective a friend who is a very well regarded academic entomologist - no names, no pack drill - commented to me one day:
I stopped being embarrassed about my specialisation when I realised that the family I study contains as many described species as there are birds.  And the geographic distribution is similar.  No-one objects to people studying birds!
I have stressed the word family: my mates area of interest is part of an Order containing 130 families worldwide with some 150,000 species.  Storey and Zborowski give an estimate of over 1 million insect species world wide.  How anyone can keep that lot sorted out - beyond a conceptual level - is a matter for considerable thought (before concluding its impossible).

We have a major plague of Soldier Beetles (Chaulognathus lugubris)
It is interesting that after a couple of days, very hot days, they seem to have taken to hiding under the daisy flowers.  Here is one of them accompanied by a pair of nectar scarabs (family Melolonthinae) which appear to be endeavoring to ensure the continuation of whatever species they may be.
There have been a few flower scarabs (Polystigma punctata) around.
The strange green shape behind it is a soldier beetle!

Other than taking a punt on this being a true bug (Suborder Heteroptera) I'll pass on this one!  But it is attractive.
The next image is a small grasshopper.  I am unsure whether it is a small species or an early instar of one of the regular sized ones of which we have a lot at the moment.
A somewhat larger grasshopper.
Common Grass Blue.
 Imperial Hairstreak (Jalmenus evagoras)
 Meadow argus (Junonia villida)
I also saw some very worn Common Browns, one Australian Painted Lady, a Cabbage White and a Spotted Jezabel.

Continuing my campaign against leg-ism (or possibly octophobia) here is an attractive spider.
Looking through my spider reference it most resembles a Lynx Spider but I couldn't get a clear look at the head so will settle for "spider".


sue catmint said...

love this post. I've started taking photos of insects I see too. Look forward to seeing more from your garden.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Sue. I'm basically fascinated by the range of shapes invertebrates adopt, so my ionterest is sort of artistic as well as naturalistic.

I generally use Brisbane Insects to try to ID things so as not to pester ento friends too much! Also sundry books!


Ian Fraser said...

Agreed; I too am consciously taking more invert pics and loving it, though frustrated by the profundity of my ignorance. However there is a surprising amount of help on line (and on my shelves) if I make enough effort.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Ian. I have responded to your overly modest comment by adding a couple of additional paragraphs to the start of the post.


sandra h said...

I think you've started something with your insect pics - I too am wandering around the garden regularly with the camera, but IDing all the little beasties is almost impossible
Sandra h

Ian Fraser said...

Thanks Martin, but any modesty I display is rooted firmly in the knowledge that I have much to be modest about...