Sunday, 7 January 2018

A few invertebrates

As a couple of spiders have got in on the act I have generalised the title of the post.
After failing to find any insects on flowers yesterday (ie 6 January), on 7 January at 40oC I looked on the windows, with much more success.  I shall probably update this a few times.  I will point out that I am far from expert at identifying invertebrates so any comments welcome.

What fascinates me about insects is the number of different shapes that they come in: how can things that small be so variable?

The first photo is of a Midge (Order Diptera - flies; Family Chironomidae, possibly Chironomus sp.)  These are closely related to mosquitoes but don't bite.
 This is a true bug (order Hemiptera, family Miridae).
 This is a fly (Order Diptera, Family Tachinidae, possibly Rutilia sp.).  These large flies are rated as beneficial as they parasitise other insects, notably scarab beetles and thus keep them under control.  They are also quite spiffy in a metallic way.
 Although flying by day this s a moth, rather than a butterfly.  It is Phalaenoides glycinae, the Vine Moth: as well as grape vines (of which we no longer have any) they feed on native vines.
It is now the 8th and somewhat cooler (28oC).  In contrast to recent times the Bursaria spinosa (Blackthorn) was well endowed with invertebrates.  This shrub is well known for attracting insects - it is probably no coincidence that it is very sweetly scented.

Here are pictures: in most cases identification will take a little longer!  It is noteworthy that I took the next few photos on my iPhone.  My suspicion is that 15 years ago one would need a DSLR to get photos like this!


 These are Pintail beetles (Family Mordellidae)
This is another species of Pintail Beetle.  I suspect it is Mordella leucosticta.

I suspect this one is a member of the family Cleridae.
 Some small ants (Order Hymenoptera, Family Formicidae)
Finally one I know! Spotted flower chafer Polystigma punctata.
Of course, just when you want some privacy to continue the species along comes some dork with a camera (and the rest of these are taken with my biggest tool)....
Some don't even try to hide.  Given the number of insectivorous birds around when I took this, I'd rate them as a bit bold!
 Just because ladybirds are common they shouldn't be ignored.  This is Coccinella transversalis
Now the threatened/promised spiders.  This first one was inside the house, and is the first white spider we had seen.
 A Flower Spider (family Thomisidae):
Finally, I was surprised to find that our huge Eucalyptus meliodora is heavily in flower.  Judging by the number of birds up there (Honeyeaters, Cuckoo-shrikes, White-wnged Triller, Leaden Flcatchers) there are also a few insects!

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