In The Foothills.

A warm April day saw the camera searching for subjects in the dry foothills where fungi were the least expected, however on the side of the track…

It’s that time of year when the Sunshine Wattle, Acacia terminalis brightens the bush. In this area the flowers generally are white or pale cream, whereas further east in Gippsland they can be bright yellow. The only insects observed on the flowers were honey bees.

A search for jumping spiders in sunlit areas of leaf litter was successful with this Hypoblemum species,

And another with bright pedipalps and a raised fringe of white hairs.

Also hunting in the warmth of the sun and living up to their name were Swift Spiders, Nyssus albopunctatus. Eventually one paused briefly for a photo opportunity.

Two more denizens of the leaf litter were a Red-headed Spider Ant, Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus, click following images to enlarge,

And a Gumleaf Grasshopper, confident in its camouflage and easy to photograph.

Small skinks were active, this is probably the Dark-flecked Sun Skink, Lampropholis delicata.

This one was hard to catch up with, after a previous experience it had obviously learnt to be wary.

The final stop was at a hillside slope that three years ago used to be good for the Peacock Jumping Spiders Maratus volans and Maratus plumosus, however despite a careful search none were found. Since that time there has been a “fuel reduction burn”, and despite there again being a good cover of leaf litter, the only invertebrates seen were ants and flying insects.