A collection of odds and ends taken recently. Summer is robberfly time, there are many species, large and small, and I’ve photographed many that looked much the same until down at the river I found one quite different, dark with a pale-banded body, quite a handsome beast.

robberfly

While out looking for flowering bursaria I found two Hyacinth Orchids, Dipodium roseum, growing close together. They weren’t the best specimens I’ve found, but were very interesting. One was being visited by pollinating reed bees, and the other was more advanced with lots of seed heads. They had done their work well.

hyacinth orchid


pollinating bee

Mothing has been on hold for a while, but I found a very nice specimen of Destolmia lineata on the brick wall. This is a variable moth that probably needs more study. Notodontidae.

destolmia

In the garden there is a large Lemon-scented Tea-tree, Leptospermum petersonii. It has been in full flower and surrounded by a whirling of innumerable Yellow Flower-wasps, I may have just coined a new collective noun. They were not easy to photograph, but I persisted and eventually got two keepers, a male, and another with wingless female attached in a mating embrace.

flower wasp


flower wasps

A hot day, and the tiny Yellow-banded Dart was keeping its wings closed tightly to keep as cool as possible. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

yellow-banded dart

And on the trunk of the Eucalyptus punctata, a spectacular small wasp of a different kind. It is an ichneumon, Gotra species, common name Banded Pupa Parasite Wasp, the larvae are parasites of moth pupae. My information from the Brisbane Insects site.

pupa wasp

It’s difficult to walk around the garden at night without blundering into garden orb-weaver webs. These striking large spiders have their big webs, some over half a metre diameter strung from trees, the clothes line, fences, buildings, etc. It’s fascinating to go out just after dark and watch them rebuilding their webs that they usually (but not always) take down by morning, leaving just the guy ropes ready for the next build. The spiders come in a variety of size, colour, and pattern, here is one of five that I photographed the other night, it’s poised expectantly like an angler waiting for a bite on a hand line. Fantastic animals, love ‘em.

orb-weaver

Click to enlarge.

A trip out to the Avon River, perhaps some flowering bursaria to be found, and some odes on the river. Well, the bursaria was duly found and investigated but was something of a disappointment with honey bees, pintail beetles, and grass blues the main inhabitants of the flower city. A Yellow-banded Dart and a brown of some description were briefly sighted but flitted off and away. Never mind, on to the river to see what odes were about, and the first sighted were two or three brilliant blue male Diphlebia nymphoides flying low over the water. A couple of females too, but although they landed occasionally they were off and away as soon as I started to approach, I was comprehensively defeated by those beautiful large damselflies. No such problem with the abundant Southern Vicetails, they were quite happy to let me get close, set up the tripod in the water and snap away.

vicetail

The Common Grass Blue is just that, common, but when one perched on the flowering polygonum it made a nice picture.

grass blue

Small frogs were constantly jumping out of the way as I paddled about in the shallows, then in amongst the boulders one posed for a photo. It is Litoria lesueuri, one of the common names being the Rocky River Frog, very appropriate in this situation. The skin on the back of this species can be either smooth or granulated, the latter applies here.

litoria lesueuri

The Red-browed Finches must have had a successful breeding season, a small flock with many immatures dropped in on the far side of a pool, way too far for the 200 micro but I took a shot anyway, two are keeping watch on me while one bathes.

red-browed finches

Then a Rufous Whistler decided it was bath-time too, but it didn’t like the look of me and after thinking it over decided to go to the other side of the callistemons for its dip. The 200 coped well at the distance.

rufous whistler

On then to the manna gums where summer campers were still in residence, and keeping them company was one of those opportunistic scoff anything vaguely edible characters, a big goanna. I couldn’t get far enough back to get it all in frame.

goanna

A one hundred metre paddle upstream yielded nothing new in the way of odes, but certainly of interest was an Incense Plant, Calomeria amaranthoides growing up from a tangle of flood rubbish, and in full flower.

incense plant

This plant thrives after a bush fire, it can appear in huge numbers and I’ll point you to a 2008 blog post by Gouldiae that illustrates this fact.

Click pictures to enlarge.

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