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.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Unexpected glider

I had a very unexpected find when I opened the spare parts box that was in our sailing clubs trailer cabinet, a tiny critter with big eyes was staring up at me having been disturbed in its nest.

Not a mouse but the world's smallest glider (marsupial or mammal) a Feathertail Glider Acrobates pygmaeus about 65mm to 80mm in body length, the same in tail length and weighing about 10 to15g.
They are found in Eucalyptus forests down the east coast of Australia where they feed on insects, pollen, seeds and nectar in the tree tops. They are social animals and quite large aggregations of up to 40 individuals have been found feeding in profusely flowering trees.
They nest in tree hollows often with many sharing the same nest, but have also been found nesting on post boxes, plastic bags and as in our case a handy cabinet.
Their tail resembles a feather with stiff hairs horizontally on each side of the tail. 
The gliding membrane extends form the elbow to the knee and enables them to glide up to 25m from tree to tree.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Not so drab

A flash of yellow as a moth I disturbed in the garden flew past but I noted where it dived to the ground and found it in a small hollow between some rocks.
It was still there when I came back with the camera and was able to get a couple of photos.

It flew off very quickly when I tried to move it for a different perspective so only this for Id purposes.

It took a bit of searching and only the markings on the wings provided the identity as the colouring in resource photos were very different. It is from the NOCTUIDAE family , sub family CALPINAE species Ophiusa tirhoca, Common name, Green Drab.

As you can see this one is quite yellow (wingspan about 5cm) where as the photos were of green through to brown colouring.

The species can be found over many parts of the world from Europe, Africa and Asia as well as most northern areas of Australian States. 
 Quite a varied plant diet for the caterpillars but known to feed on Eucalyptus.