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Insects

Insects and descriptions for Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

With over fifteen hundred recorded species across Australia and S/E Asia and twenty thousand species worldwide these common beetles are scavengers and feed on both fresh and decaying vegetation. Major predators include birds, rodents, sunspiders and lizards making them an important link within the food chain.

I.D. courtesy of Fiona Brell Interpretive Officer. Australian Museum.

Further reference – http://australianmuseum.net.au/DarklingBeetle

Darkling Beetle

 

 

Belonging to the ground beetle family (Carabidae) with over two thousand five hundred species Australia wide these beetles are carnivorous and hunt on the ground or in trees. Their larvae feed on other insects. When threatened the Bombardier Beetle uses a special gland at its rear to mix together two chemicals, resulting in an explosion with a loud popping noise and an accompanying sizzle of spray and steam with temperatures over 100 degrees Celsius in the gland. Up to 80 explosions may be produced over a four minute period.

I.D. and reference courtesy of Martyn Robinson and Yvette Simpson. Australian Museum.

Further reading: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Bombardier-Beetle/

Bonmardier Beetle  Pheropsophus verticalis

A small Bee Fly with a wingspan around 15mm. It has a distinctive white spot on abdomen and has been suggested it may be parasitic of Antlion.

Anthrax Bee Fly IV Anthrax confluensis

The large but harmless Nectar-feeding March Fly (Scaptia aurflua) observed hovering near the ground probably looking for somewhere to lay it’s eggs. 

I.D. courtesy of Martyn Robinson  Naturalist  Australian Museum.Nectar-eating March Fly

Growing to 45mm with the upper side of the abdomen a bright yellow colour in flight.Giant Yellow Robber Fly

These wasps build their nests underground before dragging paralysed prey under and laying an egg. A new species for the Conservation Area.Yellow Sand Wasp


Water Scorpion grow to over 50mm long they can extend the tube on their backs out of  the water to breathe air like a snorkel while swimming. They can ambush fast swimming prey such as small fish catching them between their front legs and stabbing them with their pointed probiscus.  Known as Toe-biters able to inflict a nasty nip although this specimen played dead when disturbed. Water Scorpions are also capable fliers and inhabit waterholes over much of Australia.

” A beetle not a bug. It is certainly one of the diving beetles in the family Dytigcidae, but there are a few black and yellow genera and species. This beetle could be in the genera Megaporus or Sternopriscus.”  Found in the dam feeding on small aquatic organisms.

It is Sandracottus bakewellii (Clark, 1864), an endemic Dytiscidae of Australia, distributed in tropical northern Australia and along the east coast south to Brisbane.

Lars Hendrich, entomologist, Zoologische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany

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

 

These small bugs reside on Eucalyptus and Acacia species and are sap suckers. 

I.D. courtesy of Kellie Harris. Interpretive Officer, Australian Museum.

One of perhaps 3-4,ooo species of this family occuring in Australia. Its larvae feed as a parasite internally on other insects. On sunny days in summer the adults often rest on smooth Eucalyptus trunks and similar structures such as pipes and poles.

I.D. courtesy of Yvette Simpson. Interpretive Officer, Australian Museum.

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By Jeff Keyes

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