Sunday, 31 March 2013

Blue on the water

A splash of purple on the surface of the bird bath caught my attention and closer examination showed a butterfly spread out and in need of rescue. However the opportunity for a photo was the price , so a quick snap and then the rescue.
I was reasonably confident of the identification but a check confirmed it to be a male Pencilled Blue Candalides absimilis, which has very different colouring and markings compared to the female (see sept 08 2011). A relatively small butterfly with a wingspan of around 3cm which range from north Queensland to Eastern Victoria.

Following the rescue it rested contentedly on the paving, until dry and warm before taking to the wing.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

On a saltire

Named after the white cross that is constructed in the web the St Andrew's Cross Spider seemed an appropriate symbol to find today. This one has constructed its web between the fronds of a Cycas in the garden just outside the office and I noticed it as I looked out this morning. Saint Andrew reportedly was crucified on this shaped cross and the design has been adopted a symbol for many nations in their flags and from Australia's point of view notably Scotland and incorporated in the Union Jack which is also part of the Australian Flag.
But the St Andrew's Cross Spider Argiope keyserlingi is likely to have a practical reason for the design, such as making it appear much larger as a deterrent to predators.

  The female as well as making a beautiful web, is also one of our most colourful spiders with striking patterns. The other distinctive feature as shown in the photo, is appearing to have four legs as two legs each follow the line of the cross. Found in coastal regions from north Queensland to southern New South Wales.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Point of view

A Pied Butcher Bird flew in to join us at breakfast but it was more interested in using the verandah railing as a viewing platform to spy its meal, rather than what we were having.
A few swoops after insects and then off to another site to look for a meal.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bringing the family meal

Caught sight of a wasp hard at work dragging the families' meal along the verandah on the way to its final resting place in the nest.
A Zebra Spider Wasp one of the tumeromyia species in the Pompilidae family of Spider Wasps with a young Huntsman Spider alive but paralysed and ready to be the firsts meal for her babies when they hatch

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Start of an evening out.

We have had a Diamond Python the past few weeks on an off spending its day rest period in a little hollow alongside on of the verandah posts. It was there again today and just as it was about to move out for the evening's hunting I grabbed a photo. The flash accentuates the black and gold but the greenish colour tones seen during the day are almost non existent.
An hour or so after the photo it was on the move and I could get a good idea of the length, around 2m.