Having not seen any Slender Bee Flies since the height of summer, there seem to be quite a few about the place again. Perching in late afternoon sunlight on the tips of a Melaleuca decussata in our yard, they provide an admirable subject for the macro lens and seem fairly comfortable with the intrusion on their afternoon contemplations.
Slender Bee Fly (Geron sp.)
As night fell, I was pleased to find this large and imposing lady prowling around the yard. As forbidding as the pincers on this Myrmecia pyriformis appear, she was quite sedate, but I kept my fingers at a safe distance as I held the twig she was on.
Bullant – Myrmecia pyriformis
The information on this species on Antwiki says that they forage at night, heading off singly on Eucalyptus trees. The nest may or may not have a queen and workers are able to reproduce if there is no queen.
Quite abundant at present are the adult forms of Painted Cup Moths. I hope that this does not portend another heavy infestation of their colourful and stinging caterpillars which wreak such havoc on the Eucalyptus canopy. I have to say, the canopy at our place has recovered amazingly well from some of the past Cup Moth events and it is important to note that the species is native to the area.
Painted Cup Moth resting on a Grey Box leaf
I assume the “Painted” moniker applies to the colourful larvae.
Cup Moth larva – July 2014
The Cup part relates to the cup shaped cocoon, seen in the beak of a Grey Shrike-thrush in this post of Geoff’s from a while back. The larvae feed on the leaves of eucalypts, then drop to the ground, crawl up a stem and build their cup-shaped cocoon in which they transform into the adult moth.
At our place, the larvae seem to be a favourite food for ravens, with great flocks working through the canopy and then the leaf litter as the larvae drop from the trees.