Category Archives: Insects

Australian Insects

Central Coast Walk

The clouds rolled in late in the afternoon trapping a bit of warmth yesterdays sun, making for what seemed to be a good night out bushwalking. A few hours of trundling with head torch light, yielded a variety of frogs, spiders and other inverts. Not seen, but heard were also the distant thump of 2 swamp wallabies, and the squeeks of a bandicoot.

A quick overview of the bulk of the highlights from that walk, captions are brief because its 3am and I should probably get some sleep.

striped-marshfrog
Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii
dragonfly_emerging
Dragonfly Emerging, transitioning from aquatic nymph about to get its wings.
frog_uperoleia-sp
Frog, Uperolei sp
spider_feeding
Spider, feeding on insect caught in web
huntsman
Huntsman
huntsman_underside
Huntsman, sporting patches of blue and red beneath
spittle-bug
Spittle bug beneath a defensive layer of bubbles
mantis_grooming
Mantis grooming
mantis-head
Mantis – head detail feat pseudo pupils
frog3_uperoleia-sp
Frog, Uperoleia sp
huntsman2
Huntsman
leaf-curling-spider
Leaf-curling Spider, Araneus dimidiata
perons-tree-frog_litoria-pe
Peron’s Tree Frog, Litoria peronii
dwarf-tree-frog_litoria-fal
Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog , Litoria fallax – Calling
huntsman3
Huntsman
wolf-spider
Wolf Spider
frog4
Frog
roach-with-ootheca
Roach carrying egg case
spider4
Enjoyed the finer detail of this orb weaver
spider4_crop
more detail
sundew1
Sundew with flower
sundew1b
Sundew leaf detail – sticky globules for ensnaring prey, small insects
sundew1c
Sundew – flower detail
water-scorpions
Water Scorpions, mating?
phasmid
Phasmid!
phasmids
Phasmids!
weevil
A tiny Weevil
ants-tending-lerps
Ants tending scale insects farming them for honeydew
caterpillar
Caterpillar
caterpillar-b
A closer look at their spikey defences
huntsman4
Huntsman – feeding, loved the iridescence of their mandibles
marbled-scorpion
An actual scorpion, Marbled Scorpion
spider2
Metallic Spider, with prey
fishing-spider
Fishing Spider

Kariong Eco Garden

Nice walk around this morning up at Kariong Eco Garden catching up with Lisa there.

Been a while since seeing a Fence Skink, they used to seem more common ..though that’s probably observer bias.

fence-skink_cryptoblepharus

The Cryptoblepharus skinks were revised in recent years by Paul Horner, often using smaller less visible to the naked eye from a distance characteristics to distinguish them, for some ID’s, requiring a hand lens to compare scale textures on their feet – without doing that. i’ll assume its C. pulcher – because its apparently the local species.

I was happy to appreciate this skink doing its thing without wrestling it, and it would probably of been too quick anyway, ..it was very lively. Should brush up on their distinguishing characteristics, it may mean I get to tick another species off without having to travel far.

Also saw a Caper white butterfly, Belenois java flitting about, the wind was pretty turbulent so some butterflies did not stay for long – also saw Cabbage White, Orchard Swallowtail, Common Crow and Australian Painted Lady butterflies but were too quick to be photographed today.

caper-white_belenois-java

Today was a nice chaser to last nights walk, a good mix of species becoming more active.

An Evening Walk on the Central Coast (Jan 2014

This adult Lace Wing was an encouraging find, in their immature form, lacewings are predators of other insects, some speceis form mounds to trap ants that slip in - sometimes assisted by flicks of sand launched their direction. Other lacewing larvae may be free roaming and wait in ambush with their jaws. Either way, they indicate that insect prey is present! This species lays their eggs in a horse shoe pattern on little stalks.
This adult Lace Wing was an encouraging find, in their immature form, lacewings are predators of other insects, some speceis form mounds to trap ants that slip in – sometimes assisted by flicks of sand launched their direction. Other lacewing larvae may be free roaming and wait in ambush with their jaws. Either way, they indicate that insect prey is present! This species lays their eggs in a horse shoe pattern on little stalks.
After dusk, we found this Golden Crowned Snake, Cacophis squamulosus, they are nocturnal, and have a pinkish peach coloured belly which can sometimes have them falsely identified as another local snake, the Red-Bellied Black Snake.
After dusk, we found this Golden Crowned Snake, Cacophis squamulosus, they are nocturnal, and have a pinkish peach coloured belly which can sometimes have them falsely identified as another local snake, the Red-Bellied Black Snake.
A close up of the head detail which gives them their namesake common name:
A close up of the head detail which gives them their namesake common name:

Under some breaking down plant material, we found a Three-toed Skink

Under some breaking down plant material, we found a Three-toed Skink

A Garden Orb Weaving Spider, with a small specoes of Longicorn Beetle ensnared in the web. Seems there is more invertebrate prey available to fuel lizards, we should head back again during the day to search for large skinks and dragons.
A Garden Orb Weaving Spider, with a small specoes of Longicorn Beetle ensnared in the web. Seems there is more invertebrate prey available to fuel lizards, we should head back again during the day to search for large skinks and dragons.

Another invert, a juicy Cicada emerging having drunk sap from the roots of the surrounding trees.

Another invert, a juicy Cicada emerging having drunk sap from the roots of the surrounding trees.

On the walk back, we found evidence of other species in the area, a freshly Dead On Road (DOR) Blackish Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops nigrescens

On the walk back, we found evidence of other species in the area, a freshly Dead On Road (DOR) Blackish Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops nigrescens

Both of snakes these appeared to have been in good condition leading up to their abrupt deaths.

And a long-DOR Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
And a long-DOR Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Bomb’s away..

This Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis was found beneath discarded plastic by the waters edge of an old quarry. This ground beetle possesses a chemical defence – chemicals are fired from the tip of it’s abdomen and combine in a chemical reaction that releases a burst of intense heat,  smoke, an odd smell and if handling without gloves they will stain your fingers yellow for about a week. Anything looking to snack on this beauty would be left with a singed tongue and a mouthfull of horrible tasting smoke!

Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis
Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis