It seems to be a time of beetles at present, with most of my forays into the bush at our place turning up beetles. Well, as cooperative sitters, anyway. There also seem to be plenty of flies, including quite a few Robber Flies, but they are very coy and I don’t have any worthwhile photos from this season.
One sweet little species is about 10 mm long and golden coloured with a few black dots and a bright yellow spot at the base of the wing covers. Trawling through the internet, I found out that it is a type of case leaf beetle, a Cylinder Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle, Cadmus excrementarius.
Cylinder Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle
I am impressed by the way insect eyes are so deftly formed to make space for their antennae.
Apparently these beetles lay their eggs within their faeces, dropping the protective faecal pellet and eggs into the leaf litter where the larvae feed on fallen Eucalypt leaves. Most leaf beetle larvae feed on living leaves on trees, so here the case beetles are different to other leaf beetles.
Mum uses her hind legs to help the large faecal/egg packet out
A very intimate view of a pooing beetle.
Soldier Beetles are quite common at the moment and mostly working on establishing the next generation like this pair. One species – and I’m not sure if it’s this one as there are two that look similar, does not eat in adult form, relying entirely on reserves from their larval stage.
Also with an eye to posterity were these tiny Jewel Beetles (I think), all of about 3mm long. Like the Soldier Beetles, they weren’t going to let a fool with a camera distract them from the task at hand.
This one that I found by night on a Flax-lily looks the same as the female in the previous photo.
A Jewel of the night.
I also found this little cutie at night, wedged in the stems of an old Wallaby Grass flower stem. Appropriately, this one is called a Red and Blue Beetle – Dicranolaius is the genus name. Who knows what the beetle calls itself though.
Red and Blue Beetle
I’ve also found a few weevils with large projections on their heads and striking, black mouth parts. So far I haven’t been able to pin down a genus for these.
They look a bit like a sinister alien from the front.