Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Moth up close

A moth found a pair of jeans on the clothes line a convenient resting place and allowed its photo to be taken.

Then decided on a closer look at the camera flew off to settle on the lens the only problem for me was the macro wouldn't focus quite that close, however you do get the underside view and the sight of the unusual spikes on the rear legs. As yet I haven't been able to work out the identity.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Check before swimming

This mornings check of the swimming pool to remove leaves showed another reason to have a close look before jumping in the pool.

Looking very much like a Funnel Web but not as aggressive, this is a male White Backed Mouse Spider Missulena bradleyi. It was one of three that I scooped out of the pool and although looking like they were dead after a very short while they recovered, although still quite slow. They are reportedly as venomous as Funnel Webs but a number of people have been bitten without any serious effects, however, I wouldn't put it to the test.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A flash of blue

A wet cold change has brought the first taste of winter weather and I noticed that some of the insects are a little sluggish, not flitting about as usual. A case in point was a wasp that was crawling across the table on the verandah which was not at all interested in flying away, just looking to find a spot out of the cold.

It is one of the spider wasps, Ferreola handschini Orange-collared Spider Wasp, that are usually very busy looking for spiders to take back to the nest. The heavy overcast sky was not showing the iridescent wings and I had to revert to a flash photo but this does not show the true brilliance of the blue.

Friday, 19 April 2013

A bug's bad hair day

Di found quite a few bugs on branches of a eucalyptus and thought they were quite unusual, not your average caterpillar.
 This turns out to be right as they are large "Mealybugs" of the Margarodioae family which in turn is part of the Coccoidea super family if my research is correct. One of the soft scale species of sap suckers but at 20mm long quite a bit larger than most scale or mealybugs. Ladybirds are one of the main predators attacking mealybugs but I think this would be too big a meal, so it will be interesting to see if anything is going to eat these characters.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Making of a Monarch

At this time of year Monarchs (or Wanderers if you prefer) Danaus plexippus are quite prevalent and have been busy depositing eggs on one of the favourite food plants for their caterpillars, milkweed or cotton bush a couple of the many common names for an introduced weed Gomphocarpus fructicosa.
I found a few of the caterpillars busy devouring leaves on a small bush that I have let grow as a food source for these beautiful caterpillars.