by Patrick Kavanagh
Shiny Everlastings are a gift that keeps giving over spring and summer, both for invertebrates and macrophotographers. I was very pleased to find a very unusual fly on the substantial Everlasting crop in our front yard at Strangways. Eventually I tracked it down through the excellent site brisbaneinsects.com – it turned out to be a Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus possibly). These are a relatives of the Hoverflies and are in the same family Syrphidae. They also hover and take their name from the droning sound they make whilst so doing. Brown Paper Wasps are also visiting the flowers in good numbers. A few Common Grass-blue Butterflies Zizina labradus have been hanging around. But the big winners for sheer numbers at present are the Painted Lady butterflies Vanessa kershawi. I have never seen such numbers. It is such a treat to walk along the path and have hundreds of these beautiful animals rise from the flowers around me and then settle again as I pass.
Scarlet Mint Bushes have also been flowering for a long period this spring and delighting honeyeaters in particular. I was pleased when this Tau Emerald Dragonfly perched on one and stayed put in spite of the camera being shoved in her face. They usually are a bit timid and hard to get good close shots of her.
I was also very pleased to find a few examples of a small creature that puzzled me greatly when I first photographed one a few years ago. The good folk at bowerbird.org.au cleared the mystery up for me. Do you know what this last one is?