Reflecting on a summer

by Patrick Kavanagh

As summer has drawn towards its end, the number of invertebrates in our bush at Strangways has been dwindling. But there are still some willing sitters for the macrophotographer’s lens. After reaching considerable numbers early in February, there are now only a few Eucalypt Tip-wilter Bugs Amorbus sp. around, including this nymph, which was not far from adult size. The bush has many webs of Jewel Spiders Austracantha minax and some of these might not be happy about it, but have offered a pretty detailed view of their spinnerets, palps and fangs. The gaudy caterpillar of a Tussock Moth Acyphas sp. does not give hints of the more subdued presentation of the adult moth to come. The tussocks of hair from which it takes its name are clear though, as are the two glands at the back that exude a secretion to protect from ants.

Reliable to find at this time are the Muscle Man Tree Ants Podomyrma adelaidae, so named as they live in trees and have well-developed leg muscles for all the vertical work they do. This crew lives in a branch of Long-leafed Box and there always seem a couple on guard duty at the entrance of the nest. To me they are sweet-looking ants and the creamy dots on either side of their abdomens complement their brown skins beautifully.


Eucalypt Tip-wilter bug, Strangways, 25th February 2017


Tussock Moth caterpillar, Strangways, 26th February 2017


Jewell Spider






Muscleman Tree-Ant







5 responses to “Reflecting on a summer

  1. Helen Schofield

    Wow – what fascinating subjects and lovely photos!

  2. Ian McConchie

    A hidden world being exposed. Great photos to illustrate your comments. Like to read more of your observations.

  3. Richard Sullivan

    Such evocative names Patrick. Terrific photos. Richard Sent from my iPhone Richard


  4. Always good to see your images Patrick

  5. Great Pictures. excellent Job done. Wish i could learn Macro Photography like this. Appreciate your hard work, patience and work.

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