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Late Winter.

A warmer day seemed a good time for a walk with the camera to seek signs of spring in the box/ironbark bush, where the Golden Wattle is coming into full flower.

Winter has been cold and very dry, perhaps the reason for little in the way of other plants coming into flower, with only the odd Stypandra glauca and an Acacia brownii showing any movement.

Invertebrate life was also hard to come by, a small Oecophorid sheltering from the breeze was one of just two moths disturbed.

Philobota erebodes

Peacock jumping spiders are always a possibility in the area, and despite the early date three were spotted. Two on a bulldog ant nest mound jumped away into the leaves and eluded the camera, but further along the track another settled quietly on the end of a fallen twig.

Maratus plumosus, immature male.

At the end of the walk what appeared to be a scrap of dried leaf dropped into the leaf litter, past experience dictated a closer look with this result.

Gumleaf Grasshopper nymph, Goniaea australasiae.

Click images to enlarge.

Tamopsis.

The Two-tailed Spider, or Tamopsis species is one of the most interesting spiders to be found in the garden, and with the weather starting to warm up a little, a few can again be found on their favourite trees. Those trees are the White Brittle Gum, E. mannifera, and the Angophora costata, both smooth-barked, with dimples that the spiders often call home. They are very fast hunting spiders that don’t use web as a means of capturing prey, if you disturb one it can be on the opposite side of the trunk in the blink of an eye. Masters of camouflage, they position themselves where they blend in with the bark, and also appear to have the ability to change colour to match their surroundings. The “tails” referred to in the common name are elongated spinnerets, and at present there are forty eight Australian species known.

Female close up showing spinnerets.

Female showing pedipalps.

Male showing pedipalps.

The female fashions a suspended egg sac.

The next two images are of female and male spiders on angophora bark.

Male and female blending in with markings on brittle gum bark.

And finally, new season male and female just photographed.

Click to enlarge.

Reference and further reading.

A Field Guide to Australian Spiders,
Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson.

 

 

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