After a cool wet spring and delayed start to summer heat, it is perhaps time to have a look at the state of play in the garden invertebrate world. Whether climatic conditions are to blame, or it is another sign of general decline in numbers, many of the usual garden inhabitants at this time have been absent or in extremely small numbers. Native bee numbers have been way down, and there has been no sign of the Blue-banded Bee. With Odonata, Wandering Ringtail damselflies are reasonably numerous at the moment, but there has been no sign of the Black-faced Percher dragonflies that have been regulars for many years. A Tau Emerald is on the wing, but nothing else. With wasps, it has been the same story, no sign of usually abundant flower wasps, and sand wasps have been very low in numbers. Other species are also very scarce. The story continues with jumping spiders, despite daily searches of their favourite habitat it has been hard to find one, usually only the most common, Servaea incana, on one of the Red Gums. Common Brown butterflies are numerous, but even Cabbage Whites are few. The very occasional Admiral and Painted Lady have been seen. Robber Flies are yet to be seen, normally several species are present in the garden environment. Enough of the gloom for now, photographs have been taken, so here are a few with a wish for better things in 2022.
Native Drone Flies, Eristalinus punctulatus have been about, one perched, and one feeding on a self sown Xerochrysum insect magnet.
Also on the everlasting, a very small nose fly species in the genus Stomorhina.
And a rather worn Common Brown, Heteronympha merope.
The Angophora costata is in full flower and attracting the odd native bee after pollen.
The Tau Emerald, Hemicordulia tau mentioned above that kindly flew in and perched calmly in front of the camera.
And, a wasp, in the Subtribe Mesostenina caught while checking out the Omeo Gum.