Wednesday, 9 February 2011
This species is restricted to Australia and a number of Islands in Torres Strait and is quite common down the east coast. Many native plants in the Rutaceae family provided the original food source for the larvae but the widespread cultivation of citrus has enabled the growth in numbers of this butterfly. At present you will find a few of these in the orchard floating around looking for suitable leaves to lay eggs or looking for a mate.
Something a little more bizarre, although with striking colours is the Two-spined spider Poeclopachus australiae that was resting on a leaf.
Another predator in the insect world are the Robber Flies, but rather than wait for the prey to come to them they are active hunters, catching other insects on the wing. It is a large family of flies some being large specimens and one of those is the Robber Fly Asilidae-Asilinae which is a stout hairy fly with strong legs and with very large eyes to assist in the hunt for fast flying insects. The example I found (50mm long) in the orchard, had just captured a bee and then landed to devour its catch.