After some spring rains, we have the joy of seeing Red-anther Wallaby Grasses (Rytidosperma pallidum) at our place flowering. To the unaided eye, their dangling red anthers are tiny bright bits of colour in the bush. With high-power macro lenses, their remarkable beauty and delicacy is more easily appreciated.
With a variety of plants flowering, numerous flies, bees and butterflies are out in full force. Introduced Cabbage White Butterflies have been very busy on the Shiny Everlasting flowers.
Numerous tiny Ant Flies (Parapaleosepsis sp.) about 3mm long have gathered in numbers on a Hardenbergia vine. I was intrigued to see them waving their wings back and forth, which apparently is quite a feature of this genus. The adults of most species apparently like to feed on mammal dung, but may also enjoy rotting vegetation.
Stiletto flies (Genus Neodialineura) are also out and about. This one was sleeping on a Golden Wattle leaf. The adults feed on pollen and nectar whilst the larvae feed on other insects in the leaf litter.
Beetles are also around in good numbers. I’ve found quite a few Belid Weevils this season, recognisable by their long cylindrical bodies and weevil snout.
They are referred to as “primitive” weevils due to their straight antennae and were common across the Gondwana lands 100-160 million years ago. “True” weevils have elbowed antennae. Adult Belid weevils usually feed on pollen and their larvae eat damaged or diseased wood. I find the adults to be very cooperative sitters for close-up portraiture.
Leaf Beetles are also around, like this Paropsisterna fastidiosa feeding on a Grey Box leaf. I wonder if their fussy eaters or particularly tidy to get such a species name.
Not to be confused with beetles, which have chewing mouth parts, are bugs which have tube mouths for sucking – either the juices of plants or of hapless insects. Today’s featured bugs are both vegetarians.
Wingless Coreid Bugs (Agriopocoris sp.) spend their daylight hours in the leaf litter and climb into plants to suck sap by night. I’ve mostly found them on Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) at our place. As the name implies, they differ from other coreid bugs by remaining wingless into adulthood.
Shield Bugs are also suckers of plant sap. I’ve noted quite a few more Common Gum Tree Shield Bugs (Poecilometis patruelis) this season.