It’s the time of year when Garden Orb Weavers have got their webs strung from every suitable anchor, trees, shrubs, buildings, the rotary clothes hoist etc. etc. A torch is essential for a night time ramble, to watch them building their wonderful constructions and to avoid blundering through them. They generally consume the webs in the morning and hide in their daytime retreat, which may be a secluded spot, or in this case a shelter made by silking two leaves together. The spider is in typical daytime pose in the second image.

retreat


orb weaver

We’ve watched this one with white markings on the body grow to a good size with web to match. She was photographed while putting the finishing touches to her web.

orb weaver

All sorts of creatures come to the moth light as I’ve said many times, and the last outing was no exception. Two specimens of this large antlion lacewing, Heoclisis fundata came in.

lacewing

Crane flies too, featured many times but still good for a showing, the second image is possibly a crane fly in the long-palped group, but I haven’t been able to confirm it.

crane fly


crane fly

Longicorn beetles are regulars with their spectacular antennae.

longicorn beetle

Flies of many kinds come in, this was one I hadn’t seen before. The vestigial second wings called halteres are clearly visible in the first image and can also be seen in the first crane fly.

fly


fly

Back to spiders, it’s also the time for huntsmen to roam the walls of the house, here’s a close up of a friendly big one on the brickwork.

huntsman

And going to the other extreme, while reading a book outside I felt something on my arm, it was a tiny jumping spider, and its photo was duly taken after transferring it to the brick wall. It is close to Holoplatys planissima.

holoplatys

Working in the greenhouse I noticed a colourful tiny spider on a potted Correa reflexa, the resulting photos showed it to be a lynx spider, Oxyopes species, probably either amoenus or molarius. My thanks as usual to Robert Whyte for identifications.

oxyopes


oxyopes

And returning to where this post started, I happened to go outside the other morning and saw an orb weaver on a thread between a callistemon and a cumquat three metres apart. While I watched, it gathered up all the previous night’s web, plus a catch, and moved along the thread into its daytime retreat in the cumquat.
Fascinating to watch.

orb weaver

Click to enlarge.

A Rarity.

It’s not often nowadays that I have bird photos to post, but that suddenly changed. Looking idly out into the paddock we noticed a corella, and I thought what the heck, I’ll get the camera and take its picture, thinking it was only a common Little Corella. as I got closer I could see that it was digging enthusiastically, and on viewing the first shots on the camera monitor I could see that we had a Long-billed Corella, the first we’d seen in this part of the state. Littles are now here in flocks of hundreds, it will be interesting to see if the Long-billed species follows suit over the next few years or if this individual was just a one off sighting. They are very partial to onion grass corms, (Romulea rosea) and later on in the day a party of Galahs were in the same area, also digging for their supper. Those corms must be tasty, I was able to walk to within four metres of the Galahs without them paying any attention to me.

long-billed corella


long-billed corella


long-billed corella

Click to enlarge.

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