Golden Wattle – mini wonderland

by Patrick Kavanagh

Our Golden Wattles Acacia pycnantha are playing host to some very interesting bugs Hemiptera at present. Yesterday, a little clutch of nymphs caught my eye. Using the very helpful website, I think they are Crusader Bug nymphs, Genus Micti and from their size, about 10mm long, they are probably second instars. There was also what I think is an Acacia Horned Treehopper Genus Sextius. It was being attended by ants, which apparently glean honeydew excreted by the Treehopper. Both the Crusader Bugs and Treehoppers feed on the sap of the wattle. I wondered as there were many intriguingly shaped extrusions of resin nearby whether these bugs were the cause.

Checking out another Golden Wattle today, I found numerous mating groups of Horned Treehoppers and still attended by hungry ants in the midst of their amorous entanglements. The “pair” in the bottom part of the picture is actually a menage a trois with the second male obscured by the female in this photo.”

3 responses to “Golden Wattle – mini wonderland

  1. Wonderful photos, Patrick! I loved the crusader nymphs – I have seen a couple of adults so great to see what they look like when young.

    • Thanks, Tanya. I’ve been thinking about your seasons a lot as I’m taking macro photos – over the last month, the pollinating insects in the shrub layers have dropped off dramatically and the sap suckers are now the main insects that I see.

  2. That’s lovely! “my” seasons! : ) you may be interested to know that I was speaking to Steve Williams ( moths and Axe Creek landcare ) and he said that the insects that usually emerge in February emerged in November this year! It seems we went straight from Early Spring to Late summer – missing True Spring and Early Summer. NUTS!

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