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Insects Plus.

Continuing from the previous post, many small moths were disturbed from the vegetation but were hard to capture with the camera as they were hard to find when they landed. Patience was eventually rewarded after several pursuits.


Easier to find were the Taxeotis perlinearia, even though they blended in perfectly with dry eucalypt leaves.

A search for jumping spiders at two locations found Jotus auripes.

Prior to entering the bush some patches of Showy Parrot-pea, Dillwynia sericea had been noted beside the main road, and they needed to be checked out on the return journey for native bees. If you’ll excuse the pun they were a hive of activity with an unusual number of bees zipping around gathering pollen and nectar.

Pollen gathering.

Nectar gathering.

The last two images show a bee settling on top of a flower where for some time it bubbled the nectar in order to evaporate it and increase the viscosity. This activity can be seen in the last image if it is fully enlarged. The majority of the bees working were Lasioglossum calophyllae, but occasionally there was an Exoneura bicolor.

Back at base, after some days a check was made at the area of native grassland preserved at the local cemetery, where the flush of spring wildflowers is now getting under way. One Chocolate Lily, Dichopogon strictus had attracted three Lasioglossum lanarium.

Click images to enlarge.


Flowers of the Wild.

A routine trip to a favourite wildflower spot at Willung, where at least they have had some of the rain that has eluded us so far. A nagging breeze made flower photography difficult, but flash and a high shutter speed saved the day. The first flower spotted on the slope was one of many waxlip orchids, Glossodia major.

Soon after, a nice pale colour form was snapped.

The orchid known as Variable Fingers, Caladenia sp. aff. catenata is endemic to Victoria and is found in lowland forest between Willung and Yarram. Jeanes and Backhouse note that it may be a distinct taxon or hybrid swarms. Flowering in September and October it comes in a range of colours from white through to crimson with an orange labellum tip.

The after effects of the dry were apparent in the Correa reflexa plants which were struggling, but the occasional spectacular flower typical of the local form was found.

Plants of the Handsome Flat Pea, Platylobium formosum  made bright splashes of colour.

Tetratheca species like this T. pilosa are a delightful component of the spring flora.

Golden grevillea, G. chrysophaea was in flower, the flowers in this form being paler and much less hirsute compared to the Heyfield form.

The blue mist of Love Creeper, Comesperma volubile twining through shrubs is quite beautiful, but it was also finding the going hard.

Flowers of Creamy Candles, Stackhousia monogyna were just starting to open.

Day-flying moths were abundant, as were native bees at another spot, they and a jumping spider will feature in the next post.

Click to enlarge.

References and further reading, Wild Orchids of Victoria (Jeanes and Backhouse)


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