Sunday, 10 April 2016

Mainly Butterflies

As well as insects we will have a look at an amphibian and conclude with a tale about a mammal.  To the insects to begin with!

The first image is of a former Orchard Butterfly which I found on the lawn.  It is now part of Frances collection of things to draw!
While they are beautiful to look at as they flip around the house they have some Bad Habits!  The worst of these is dumping eggs on France's fuchsias.  The eggs are OK but they hatch into munching caterpillars.
I went to the deck on 12 April to photograph a wasp (see below after the butterfly section) and brushed against a plant and noticed a lot of (technical term coming up) yellow yucky stuff on my arm.  Looking at the plant it appeared the grunge had come from an Orchard Swallowtail that was hanging on to the plant.  It didn't seem well, but that just meant it was still enough to photograph.

The main action out in the garden at the moment is Meadow Argus.  Presumably the name is to do with the 'eyes', relating back to a giant in Greek mythology who allegedly had 100 eyes.  Here are a couple of photos of them feeding on Buddleiea also know as Butterfly Bush since it is a very popular food source.

 Also popular with Common Grass-blues.
 I have been keeping records of the butterflies seen in the area as a contribution to a research project.  I was invited into this after spotting some unusual species last year.  Unfortunately the Eucalyptus macrorhyncha (Red Stringybark) on which the hordes fed last year is being rather slack in the matter of flowering this year.  However I have scored 13 species so far, with totals over recording periods as shown below.
The periods (roughly 10 days each) in February and March with 0 species are an indicator of Observer Slackness rather than lack of Lepidoptera.

Before leaving the "6-legs good" part of the web of life here is the wasp I referred to above.
From looking at Brisbane Insects I think this is a Paper wasp Polistes variabilis.  It didn't seem unduly frisky.

"8-legs better"?  As is common at this time of the year Huntsman spiders have paid us a visit.  Here is the underside of  one of them seen through a glass blurrily.
The observer picked up a water butt on Sunday and found a couple of Spotted Burrowing Frogs (Neobachtrus sudelli) lurking underneath.  There also seemed to be a few invertebrates of an edible (by frogs) nature.
The next day I was wielding a fork in the vegetable garden and unearthed a much larger frog.  Knowing the being touched by humans can lead to bad outcomes for frogs I captured this chap in my blue cap and took it off for a photo-op.
 I returned it promptly to the garden bed where I had found it.  The eyes caused me a little concern re ID since they looked somewhat like the cross shaped pupil of a Peron's Tree Frog, but it didn't have the toe pads of a tree frog and the lifestyle wasn't right.  Dug up in a garden and big usually indicates Pobblebonk or Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii) and the orange patch on the flanks evident in the next image confirms that.
I tried burying it to keep predators away but it wasn't interested in a chthonic existence of that nature at that time.  Instead it hopped under a Chrysanthemum bush where I reckoned it was fairly well hidden and left it to let nature take its course.
Early in the morning of Sunday I noticed a shadow fall on my computer.  Looking up I saw a bat doing aerial laps of my study.  Unfortunately it vanished from view before I could capture it.  At about 6pm it zoomed past Frances in the middle of the lounge.  It clung to various bits of woodwork where I tried to net it using a home made contraption based on bird netting.  I could trap it satisfactorily, but not retain control to relocate it.  Eventually I gave up and used my butterfly net, which worked brilliantly, and Uncle Bat was placed where bats should be, such as enjoying the outside air!

No comments: