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Beetles and Bugs

Beetles and Bugs with descriptions found at Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

Found on a Forest Red Gum the Eight-spotted Leaf Beetle. They have a body length of 12mm.

Often found feeding on the introduced Wild Tobacco Plant (Solanum mauritianum) sparsely found across the wildlife refuge.

This cicada image is currently an unidentified species? These cicadas are some of the largest  and loudest in Australia and are found in tall Open Eucalypt forests. The nymphs live underground for several years and suck on the roots of trees for survival. They emerge enmasse, and demonstrate “predator satiation” with so many  out at once the species is sure of survival from predators.

These True Crickets are identified by their long antennae. They are ground dwelling and usually active at night when males construct complex love songs. Crickets have their ears on their front legs and are omnivorous scavengers, feeding on decaying plant matter, fungi and emergent plants. These important beneficial insects are in turn  prey for lizards and birds and are considered a delicacy in some countries and a good luck charm in others.

These beetles appear in vast numbers around Christmas in Australia. After pupating in the soil they commence feeding on eucalyptus trees, often causing extensive damage in urban environments.

Both nymph and adult bugs are sap suckers. They are creamy white with pink wing edges , this one had a bluish tinge and around 15mm long. These planthoppers usually walk very slowly to avoid detection, they are also strong jumpers which is used as a defensive mechanism.  “Planthoppers are often vectors for plant diseases, especially phytopasmas which live in the phloem of plants and can be transmitted by planthoppers when feeding” A new species for the wildlife refuge.

Reference courtesy of Wikipedia.

Image from the riparian zone of  an unusual nectar and pollen feeding specialist and a member of the Katydid family. Known as the Balsam Beast this species is endemic to Australia and all species are nocturnal. They inhabit coastal rainforest from Batemans Bay in the south to Far North Queensland.

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

Further reading:

Also known as the Long-horned Beetle and usually found on Acacia species across the wildlife refuge. They are a large beetle up to 40mm. Their larvae eat wood and can be an agricultural pest in numbers.

Found in riparian zone at Sportsman Creek. Note the much smaller male mating with female. These beetles are known to produce toxic secretions and some species display,” Lycid mimicry complex”. Their colours are used as a warning to predators, however all are not distasteful and gain a benefit by deception”.

Further reading;

———————-Image of  larvae on Acacia leiocalyx.. ———————————-

I.D. courtesy of Ella Minton.  Interpretive Officer, Australian Museum.

Further reference;

An exploration into...
By Jeff Keyes