Boxing Day specials

by Patrick Kavanagh

Rain on Boxing Day meant that the Shiny Everlastings in our front yard have shut up shop until they dry out. Large numbers of Big-eyed Bugs Geocoridae have been feasting amongst the flowers now wait for the grand re-opening. Their patient waiting seemed a profound contrast to the manic scenes of shoppers in Melbourne on Boxing Day whose frantic grasping some law seems to dictate will be shown on the TV news. According to what I have found on the web about these bugs, they are pretty serious predators of small invertebrates, impaling them with their feeding tube and extracting the very life from their prey. They do also feed on nectar. Perhaps they are after the many small life forms in the Everlastings, like these that I photographed in November 2015.

On one flower, a thin black tail was protruding, its owner clearly having jammed all six feet in the door before it shut. By the time I’d got the camera onto it, the intruder had emerged. It was a very aptly named White-spotted Pintail Beetle Hoshihananomia leucosticta. Apparently, Pintail beetles are also known as Tumbling Flower Beetles due to the complex series of rapid jumps they use to escape from predators. This particular individual seemed quite relaxed about me twirling the flower around and poking a camera and ring flash within a few centimetres.

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Big-eyed Bugs on Shiney Everlasting, Strangways, 26th December 2016

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Big-eyed Bug close up

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Life on an everlasting

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White-spotted Pintail-beetle

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II

5 responses to “Boxing Day specials

  1. Wow! That’s a great pic Geoff. Thankyou.

  2. Dear Geoff – I know you do birds and they are wonderful, your blog is wonderful. However, this post by Patrick Kavanagh relating to insects is a beauty. It would be nice to see the occasional insect post and to have a category link on the sidebar so that one could easily access all insect related posts. Please note: I am an old-aged learner about birds, insects and other environmental matters.

    • Hi there – there is a category dropdown box in the sidebar where can select for invertebrates and various sub categories. Hope that helps
      Cheers, geoff

  3. Thanks for the brilliant photos plus the naturals history – wonderful. carlo

    On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 7:04 AM, Natural Newstead wrote:

    > pkavanagh posted: “by Patrick Kavanagh Rain on Boxing Day meant that the > Shiny Everlastings in our front yard have shut up shop until they dry out. > Large numbers of Big-eyed Bugs Geocoridae have been feasting amongst the > flowers now wait for the grand re-opening. Their p” >

  4. What a Christmas feast!

    Marvellous photographs,

    Ken

    On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 7:04 AM, Natural Newstead wrote:

    > pkavanagh posted: “by Patrick Kavanagh Rain on Boxing Day meant that the > Shiny Everlastings in our front yard have shut up shop until they dry out. > Large numbers of Big-eyed Bugs Geocoridae have been feasting amongst the > flowers now wait for the grand re-opening. Their p” >

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