Sunday, 24 October 2010

Outside the office

One of our regular visitors was happily grooming whilst sitting in the garden outside the office, when I went to check the emails this morning. Sitting on the tail is a common position for the Red-necked wallaby when grooming yet it is not one often seen in photos so thought I would pop this on the blog. When grooming was finished she had a nibble on one of the wallabies' favourite treats, our Wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana, which they keep trimmed to the level as far as they can reach.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Parasite beauty and ugly children

Doing some pruning in the garden and noticed a mistletoe in flower in amongst its host acacia and then noticed the caterpillars feeding on the mistletoe. The question should I kill the caterpillars or maybe the mistletoe? What is the result of my decision? If I kill the mistletoe the caterpillars will lose a food source; If I kill the caterpillars will the mistletoe eventually kill the acacia?  I will leave leave the caterpillars as I know they will soon turn into beautiful butterflies and will continue to keep the mistletoe under control in our backyard.

Dendrophthoe vitellina
I will remove the mistletoe after flowering and the caterpillars are gone, as I want to keep the acacia and we have lots more mistletoe on much larger trees that can resist the mistletoe attack.  
Delias nigrina larvae

Common Jezabel Delias nigrina