Sunday, 14 January 2018

From this to that

Found another caterpillar nibbling away on one of our plants, Grevillea "Honey Gem", but it is one that I know but haven't posted previously. It is the caterpillar of the Pink Bellied Moth Oenochroma vinaria one of the GEOMETROIDEA family.

Posted 31/3/2016
The species is found throughout most of Australia and the caterpillars feed on members of the PROTEACEAE family such as Grevilleas, Hakeas and Banksias

Friday, 12 January 2018

Look at me

Camouflage is not part of this caterpillar's defense, rather if you've got it flaunt it. 

I couldn't help seeing this one as I was doing some tidying up around our banana plants that have a bit of a tangle of Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea vines around them.
This plant seems to be an attractive food plant for a number of moth species (previously posted) but this was a first for me and again tracking the id took some time as the photos I referenced were  not as dramatic in colouring. The colour and patterning  does change quite a bit as the caterpillar develops. The moth (which I haven't seen) is the Impatiens Hawk Moth Theretra oldenlandiae  and as the common name suggests Impatiens are subject to attack as well as Fuchsias so not particularly in favour with gardeners.
The are found throughout most of SE Asia from India to all states of Australia. 
(photo taken with phone and the caterpillar had disappeared by the time I got the camera)

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Not a twig

A chance finding of a pair of caterpillars trying to be twigs as they were feeding on the leaves of our peppercorn tree, Schinus molle.

If identifying moths can be difficult it was even more so for these caterpillars, however I think they are the larvae of the guava moth, Ophiusa disjungens, of NOCTIIDAE CALPINAE family. 
As the common name suggests they are regarded as a pest by guava growers and their range is through many of the countries of SE Asia as well as Northern Territory, Queensland and NSW in Australia.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Cicada Feast

This is a very big summer for Cicadas and we have continuous Cicada singing from dawn to dusk. A number of species can be heard from the almost continuous hissing calls to pulsing drumming. It so prevalent that it just becomes a white background sound almost like the noise of traffic at a busy intersection. In the video You can hear various calls in the background of the song of the cicada on the tree.
I have posted a couple of cicada species previously but today have another to add to our list, the Floury Baker (so called due to their floury appearance when the emerge from their nymph skin) Aleeta curvicosta.


 Another cicada photographed today was a female Cherrynose Macrotristvia angularis, (I have previously posted a photo of a male)

I noted that one of our trees Angophora floribunda  seemed to be a magnet for cicadas with large number on the branches and a real ear splitting noise coming from the location.
A movement high in the branches gave away the location of another who had noticed the abundance of cicadas and was busy consuming any that came in reach.

As you can see this character has been gorging on cicadas, but was still going for more, making the most of this glut of food.
There was a smaller Lace Monitor on another part of the tree but did not seem to be as proficient in getting cicadas as this very large one.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Crimson on show

I found this moth last week, but have been away so this is first chance to post the photo.
What is interesting is the variation in markings, as was noted when I previously posted a photo of this species (August 2016), with no crimson showing and the markings on the upper fore wing were very pronounced.

 The stronger markings appear to be more representative of the species if the selection of images on the web are any guide.
I was pleased to be able to get a showing of the crimson body and a glimpse of the rear wings.