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Monthly Archives: April 2010

“The undersides of the wings of both sexes are usually black with a diagonal white band and a curved arc of white spots on each wing. Found throughout the Pacific to Madagascar. Wingspan of 8cm.”  An uncommon visitor to the wildlife refuge as much of their favoured foods are absent.

I.D. and reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans.

Further reading; http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/nymp/bolina.html.

Image taken of  20mm caterpillar feeding on Acacia leiocalyx. “The female moths are flightless, however are found over most of Australia. Newly hatched caterpillars have a special way of dispersing by spinning threads of silk which are caught in the wind. This species has recently (1999) been recorded in New Zealand”.

I.D. and reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans.

Further reading;  http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/lyma/anart.html

There are many types of  native Masked Bees. They have a distinctive yellow spot on the thorax. The bee in the image is gathering from a Banksia flower at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They have a body length of 15mm. This species also displays two yellow patches on the top of the head which it uses to “face-mimic” and ward-off competition.

“Found over most of Australia and Oceania, however a first time sighting on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. Adult moth is black except for a broad fragmented white band across each forewing, and a large white patch near the front margin of each hindwing. The body is alternate black and yellow bands. The caterpillar feeds on Senecio species (Fireweed) and Groundsel. These plants contain pyrrolizidine alkoloids which is retained  making it poisonous to birds”.

I.D. and Reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans.

Further reading; http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/arct/amica.html

A tiny 5mm long native bee photographed on Banksia flower in the Bird Sanctuary. Tentatively identified as a Reed Bee which nest in hollow stems, sometimes Lantana species.

Scroll image to enlarge and magnify.

Three year growth of  natural seeding on the wildlife refuge. The competitive nature of  Black Sheoak, Red Ash and young Swamp Turpentine out-competing rampant Blady grass at the rear of image. Evidenced by  new grasses and perennials taking hold in the enriched podsolic  profile. Over time the dominance of the Black Sheoak will be replaced by a more balanced open forest profile. The faster growing (and dying) Black Sheoak will eventually break down to provide soil stability in the sandy terrain and assist against soil erosion.

Scroll image to enlarge and magnify.

One of the 260 species of  Orb-weavers in Australia. “This species is extremely variable in colour and pattern. They feed on a wide range of  flying insects at night and often after eating the web at dawn, retreat to foliage at the edge of the web. Bites are rare, causing only temporary symptoms and mild pain”. They are not an aggressive spider and found in many varieties from the open woodlands to creek surrounds on the wildlife refuge.

I.D. courtesy of  Martyn Robinson.  Naturalist,  Australian Museum.

Further reading; http://www.findaspider.org.au/find/spiders/105.htm

“Aerial hunters that catch their prey in flight using strong legs. Their mouth parts are a triangular probiscus which they insert into prey and suck the juice”. A common insect across the wildlife refuge. They are also known as Assassin Fly.

Further reading; www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_robbers/Robbers.htm

It is a relative of the cucumber and melon and is a native to Southern Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Considered a weed in Australia, it is only occasionally naturalized so isn’t considered a major pest. A trailing herb with stems to 3 metre. Yellow fruit, ellipsoid to ovoid  40-60mm long, densely covered with soft bristles. The non-bitter fruits are eaten raw or pickled. The bitter fruits are used as a (drastic) purgative. There are some commercial prospects for this plant however, as it is resistant to powdery mildew and shares several properties with cucumber. Found growing in several places near Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge.


I.D. courtesy of Dr. Greg Clancy.

An exploration into...
By Jeff Keyes

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