2015 Roundup.

The female St. Andrew’s Cross spider in the shadehouse is getting bigger, and nearby on strands of silk is her tiny husband, seemingly unperturbed at the loss of two of his back legs.

st andrew's cross


male

Continuing with the spider theme, out on the trunks of the eucalypts there are small spiders in the same family as the Redback. Known as Comb-footed Spiders, Cryptachaea veruculata, these are photos of two different individuals.

comb-footed spider


comb-footed spider

And roaming around the house, a jumper, Hypoblebum species.

hypoblebum

It’s been a good year for case moths, the first, unidentified, was walking along a stem of the Grevillea asplenifolia, and the second, Metura elongatus, Saunders’ case moth, was high up on the Grevillea Moonlight. This was the first Saunders I’d seen for a long time and was lucky to get it with its head showing. It will grow considerably bigger.

case moth


saunders' case moth

There are still some Blue Skimmers, Orthetrum caledonicum in the garden, although the male developing full colour has disappeared, possibly to the neighbouring dam.

blue skimmer


blue skimmer

A couple of damselfly species are about, Wandering Ringtail, Austrolestes leda, and Common Bluetail, Ischnura heterosticta, both females.

austrolestes leda


ischnura heterosticta

The Black-faced Perchers have mostly disappeared but there is still one hanging around.

percher

On a 40 degree day all sorts of insects came into the verandah for some shade and respite from the heat. Several of these fearsome, to other insects, robber flies were among the throng.

robber fly

Not in the garden, the lapwings seem to prefer more urban areas nowadays, but just down the road in the town, a group of four were under one of their favourite small shade trees sheltering from the summer sun. I guess most people interested in natural history have sights or sounds that are special to them, one of mine is the sound of Masked Lapwings calling on a moonlight night, it is something that seems to typify being wild and free.

lapwings

Tomorrow is another year, I wonder what natural history wonders will turn up, time will tell.

Click to enlarge.

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