Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A tropical pie dish

Pie-dish beetles are members of the family Tenebrionidae, the darkling beetles. They are widespread in Australia but are mostly associated with arid habitats. Some can be as large as an Australian 20 cent coin.

In the rainforest there is a pie-dish beetle that is appropriately coloured. It seems to wander about on tree trunks where it looks like a bit of lichen.

More on Red-heads

A few blogs ago I noted the mimicry complex that seems to involve the Love Bugs, Plecia amplipennis. Well here is another candidate. It is a mosquito. This one is probably a species that feeds on plants nectar and not blood. Note the similarity in colour and pattern of the two flies.
The Love bug is really a fly, Plecia amplipennis.

This is a mosquito, Culicidae. Note the reddish thorax. My friend Graeme Cocks thinks it is probably the Golden Mosquito, Coquillettia xanthogaster. It looks a bit like the fly above. Does this imply some mimicry? Is there some form or protection for one or the other?

This is a lagriid beetle, a member of the tenebrionid clade of beetles. Many of these beetles produce very irritating fluids that are considered protective to the beetle. Some can even squirt highly acid juices at potential predators. Could this beetle be part of the Red-head mimicry complex?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Good Poo

Recent wet weather has prompted trees ands shrubs to flower and fruit. The seeds of many of these plants appear in Cassowary poo. This poo appears "more healthy" than some we have seen in recent years. This bodes well for the success of this year's chicks.The colur of the poo is from the reddish fruit the bird has been eating.
Many different fruits have been eaten by this bird. The outer coatings have been digested leaving the seeds themselves. These seeds will serve as food for other animals such as native rats and birds. Musky Rat Kangaroos will bury many of them for future use but a number of those seeds will germinate into more plants.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Cassowary Calendar 2010

Finally after a long wait, Mr Cassowary appeared with this year's hatchlings. There are three in all. Last year there were four but it ended in a disaster when they must have met with a catastrophe because within a week they were gone. A dog may have been the culprit.


Who says female Cassowaries are antagonistic towards the chicks. Our female appears regularly with them and shows little annoyance with their presence.