As the days warm and the bush bursts into bloom, a wave of invertebrate species have set forth to feed, breed and be eaten.
The Shiny Everlastings at our place at Strangways Xerochrysum viscosum are not only providing food for pollinators, but have been visited by aphids intent on sucking their sap. On close inspection, I found a Lacewing larva slowly creeping towards a bunch of aphids and sinking in its very sharp mandibles. I didn’t see the aphids running from their fate.
Lacewing larva tucking into aphids
On one Everlasting leaf was a pair of Bathurst Burr flies mating. These colourful flies were introduced to Australia to help control the weed. Thanks to bowerbird.org for identifying this one!
Bathurst Burr Fly (Euaresta sp)
Also on the Shiny Everlastings were some tiny insects less than 1mm long. The macro lens showed it to be what looked like a tiny leafhopper nymph. I’m happy to be corrected if this is not what it is.
Our Cypress Daisy bushes, local provenance acquired from Newstead Natives, are in heavy flower and attracting myriad small beetles and other insects. One Looping Caterpillar (Chlenias sp. perhaps?) was feasting on the flowers.
I was also pleased to find this handsome weevil enjoying the flowers.
Floating through the Everlastings and the grasses were numerous Crane Flies. I was surprised to see so many as they normally seem to flourish after good rains when the mosses host their hungry larvae. The adults just hang from vegetation with their long legs waiting for a mate.
Crane Fly profile
Crane Fly front on
Crane Fly up close