Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Be a fly

Rescued a fly from the surface of the pool, one I have not seen before so worthy of a photo but only had my phone. However did manage a photo (not very good) but as soon as I came back with the camera, the fly had dried out and was not having another photo taken.

Tracked down the ID as a Black White-tipped Brown Bee Fly Comptosia apicalis one of the many species of this family. The white tips (the white near the body is light reflection not white marking) identify this one as a male as the females have brown wings.
They feed on pollen and nectar of flowers where as the larvae are parasites on other insect larvae.
Not much information on their range but sightings a shown down the east coast of Australia.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Making an appearance

Coming to the end of summer and we are seeing some of this year's new arrivals making an appearance. Today we had a young tree snake (likely to be the previous season's) make its way onto the deck then slide down  a post back into the garden. Later in the day looking out the office window I saw a very small tree snake exploring the bamboo palm, going up and down the stems.

This is the smallest (about 300mm length and less than a pencil thick) one I have seen of the Common Tree Snake Dendrelaphis punctulatus  which can grow to 2m but usually around 1 to 1.5m. 

The female lays around 4 or 5 elongated eggs so we may yet see some more young ones.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Catching the last rays

Doing some work on the PC and noticed just outside the office window a Dwarf Tree Frog Litoria fallax getting the last rays of sun as it lay along a stem of a bamboo palm. As the name suggests this is one of the smaller frogs only growing to about 25mm and is one of the tree frog species.
Their range is along the eastern coastal regions from north Queensland through NSW to south of Sydney. They are quite happy being out in the sun which makes them one of the most often seen frogs and we have quite a few on the vegetation around our pond.


Thursday, 1 February 2018


Attracted by the light a large beetle crashed into a window and then landed on the deck giving me a chance for photos.

The beetle is about 60mm in length and looking for the Identity I found that it is one of the Longicorn family CERAMBYCIDAE also called Long Horn Beetles a reference to the long antennas  (not so long on this species but often much longer than the body on others) with some 1200 species in Australia..
This one is Agrianome spinicollis with a common name of Poinciana Longicorn as the grubs are often found in the dead wood of Poinciana trees (as well as figs).
They are quite common in New South Wales and Queensland as well as Lord Howe Island.

This species has quite large mandibles (as you can see in the shadow) and can give a painful nip if handled.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Inside or out

We have one little spider species that is seen almost on a daily basis, mostly when they come out from behind a picture on the wall where they spend quite some time hiding, when not about hunting dinner.
I have found them difficult to photograph as they are constantly on the move when in the open. Today I found one outside and managed to get it to stay still long enough for a couple of photos.

 It is one of the SALTICDAE family known as jumping spiders and in Australia there are some 76 genera and some 252 described species, this one being Astia hariola with a couple of common names Golden Tailed Jumper or Gypsy Jumper.
They are quite tiny at around 10mm and are fierce hunters and run down their prey rather than building a web.
It is cone of the most common jumpers and is found in Queensland and New South Wales.