November Notes.

The best spring rainfall for many years has seen vegetation in the bush and garden take full advantage and put on luxuriant growth. With all the flowering one would have expected invertebrate life to be abundant, but so far the opposite seems to be the case. Normally the Leptospermum flowers in the garden would be attracting numerous flower wasps, but they have been completely absent. Native bees are also very scarce, and the only insects in numbers are hoverflies. Whether this state of affairs has been caused by cooler temperatures and persistent shower activity, or something more fundamental is unknown. Odonata are hard to find, the Black-faced Perchers that usually appear in the garden at this time are nowhere to be seen, a lone Tau Emerald has been seen occasionally, and there are a few Wandering Ringtail damselflies. Butterflies are few and far between, and so far Robber Flies are yet to make an appearance. To find subjects for the camera a visit was made to a country lane, where on a high point a few native plant species are clinging on. Sticky Everlasting, Xerochrysum viscosum has done well there this season, and was the focus for nectaring insects. Unfortunately the rain had damaged a lot of the flowers, but one Yellow-banded Dart, Ocybadistes walkeri allowed a few snaps.

One native bee was seen briefly and a female Wandering Ringtail posed for the camera.

After that less than exciting episode it was down to the river flats and the old road in Bellbird Corner Riverside Reserve. This is often quite productive, and on this occasion at least a few more shots were taken. A Tau Emerald eluded the camera, but one of several Common Flatwings, Austroargiolestes icteromelas cooperated.

Weedy species grow in abundance in the old road reserve, and wild mustard and dandelion flowers are a good food resource for insects. Several Yellow-banded Darts were busy,

and two White-banded Grass Darts, Taractrocera papyria were also spotted. Last season those observed persisted in keeping their wings folded showing the white band, but this time they kept them open displaying the upper surfaces.

Lasioglosum calophyllae is the native bee usually seen here, and a couple were located.

A small Clerid beetle, Eleale pulcher.

Then, back in the garden, a further check of the Leptospermums was rewarded with another native bee species, Lipotriches australica.

Jumping About.

From the garden, probably the largest Servaea incana so far observed, massive as far as jumping spiders go. Horizontal snaps in this post will enlarge.

Also a big specimen, this Helpis minitibunda challenging the camera.

One of the larger species, Sandalodes superbus, a male.

At the other end of the scale, a tiny 3 mm jewelled Simaethula species.

And about the same size, from the litter underneath stringybark trees on a north facing bush hillside that was alive with jumping spiders, Maratus plumosus.