Christmas Roundup #2.

The Masked Bees, Hylaeus nubilosus have arrived at the bee house three weeks  later and in smaller numbers this season, possibly due to different climatic conditions compared with last year.

A tiny and very quick species is also checking out the accommodation, it may possibly be a Euryglossine species, but is yet to be positively identified.

While sitting behind the camera waiting for shots, one hit a spider web. The leaf-curler pounced and it was game over.

Two small wasp species are also using the house, one prefers the holes in the mortar block, while this one likes the red gum apartments. It is extremely quick entering and leaving and this shot was the only success from many attempts.

Click to enlarge.

Christmas Roundup #1

The small birds seem to have have completely deserted us, there is probably plenty of food in the bush with the red gums in full flower at the moment. On the other hand it’s been a bumper season in the garden for invertebrates, starting with the hover flies and the long-legged green flies. They have diminished greatly, but other species are in numbers not seen before, eg. sand wasps, Bembix species, and drone flies, Eristalinus species. Wherever we look on the bare ground the sand wasps are excavating nursery burrows.

Opening the burrow to do further tunnelling,

After disappearing for a time and shovelling sand out, she conceals the entrance.

Drone fly, many more than we’ve seen previously.

With hot weather upon us the cicadas are of course making their presence felt with their shrilling.
This is a small species not much more than an inch long.

Also clinging to the brick wall, a magnificent robber fly.

A night walk with the camera was productive, this Eurymela species on the Brittle Gum trunk was being attended by sugar ants.

The homes of case moth caterpillars come in many shapes, sizes, and appearances, this one was living on the Grevillea asplenifolia.

And of course night time is ideal to photograph spiders, like this very striking Eriophora pustulosa.

A very large wolf spider has made her home in the prostrate Pultenaea pedunculata. She can’t be seen during daylight hours, but was snapped at her burrow entrance at night.

Male and female Helpis species were recently photographed on the meter box door, this is the feisty little female challenging the photographer.

Getting away from invertebrates, the Red Wattlebirds have been efficiently pollinating the Grevillea Moonlight.

And down near the river the flying foxes are well settled in for Christmas. A chance photo caught a mother and baby side by side with an expectant mother.

Click pictures to enlarge.