by Patrick Kavanagh
I was intrigued to find one of the few remaining Eucalypt Tip-wilter Bug Amorbus sp. nymphs having just gone through a moult to the next instar. I’ve seen so many of these this year and lots of their withered, vacated exoskeletons, but this is the first time I’d seen the soft-skinned occupant leave the old skin behind. I was struck by the utterly different colour of the fresh skin to either what had gone before and to what it would look like when set. The insect also seemed only able to hang down as its legs had no strength in compression. I was pleased to find another specimen nearby to show what the next instar would look like.
I also found one last Acacia Horned Treehopper and noted that it seems to have none of the white honeydew secretion that I’d seen on others of this species and as a result, no protective retinue of ants.
There still seem to be a few Myllocerus weevils about. When I’ve looked up information about this species, as well as many others, much is related to our local invertebrates being “pests in eucalypt plantations”. And here they are co-existing in our bush and in no way a pest, presumably because the diversity of our bush provides a balance of predators which the monocultures of plantations lack.