Thursday, 27 August 2009

What is It?

I noticed a blob on a leaf surface and then looked a bit closer. It moved. On touch it raised the curly structures. Under the microscope it became obvious that is was an insect resembling an imperfection in the leaf or a bird dropping.

The curly structures are actually waxy filaments. They can raise or lower them depending on the situation. Both Murray Fletcher and Lois O'Brien think it's a ricaniid--a fulgoroid sucking bug. Murray suggests it may be Aprivesa exuta.

Disturbed, the filaments are raised and the creature sits motionless.
The filaments are raised and positioned forward when the creature is disturbed, otherwise the are held flat between the hind filaments.
Note the hind filaments, seemingly paired on each side.
Examination of the head region reveals it is a fulgoroid, probably Aprivesa exuta. See some related bugs, the Flatidae represented earlier on this blog.

Sleeping Eggfly

The Varied Eggfly, Hypolimnas bolina, resting for weeks on the same branch, night and day.

If you have been reading this blog you may recall that in 2007 I noted a butterfly posed in the same position on a shrub over a period of weeks. Well it’s happened again this year with the same species, the Varied Eggfly, Hypolimnas bolina. This time it was not far from the 2007 observation. The Eggfly was first noticed on 15 July 2009 and was photographed during the day a week or so later. On 25 August the Eggfly was still there. It’s interesting because cold weather does not seem to be governing this behaviour. We have had several nights at 16C and daytime temps over 20C. The caterpillar is quite spectacular. I’ll keep you posted on the Eggfly's activities.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Cassowary delights; Cassowary calendar 2009 #2

Cassowary delights

What a thrill to se Mr Cassowary show up for the first time of the season with 4 youngsters. They are a little larger than the young he first showed up with last year indicating they are a bit older. He seemed unperturbed by my presence and allowed photos and admiration. Then, a quick as they appeared, they vanished into the undergrowth. Now let's hope the dogs, pigs and cars show a little respect.

13 Aug. 2009