Food For All.

Sannantha pluriflora, previously known as Baeckea virgata, is an East GippslandĀ  shrub in the Myrtaceae that makes a good garden subject. It flowers mainly in the summer and the profuse small white flowers are a great food source for a range of insects. The shrub in these photos is forty odd years old, has been cut back to the lignotuber several times, and is in full flower at the moment with washing and pintail beetles, wasps, and flies tucking in. Washing beetles, Phyllotocus rufipennis, are attracted to anything white, and get the common name from their habit of settling on washing on the clothes line. They have been in large numbers on the Angophora costata flowers, and now those are finished they are on the Sannantha.

Pintail Beetle, Hoshihananomia multiguttata.

Flies of many kinds are on the flowers, including a number of drones.

A variety of wasps are feeding, the native bee parasite, Genus Gasteruption.


Yellow Sand Wasp, Bembix species.

And a new record, a wasp in the family Leucospidae.

At The Bee Hotel.

It is interesting to observe the effect weather conditions have on insect activity, temperature especially. Movement as in the previous post had been rather subdued, but a partly overcast warmer day saw things change dramatically, with two species of native bee and three species of wasp working busily. One Megachile species, a member of the leafcutter, mortar and resin bees, spent the day sealing its nest chamber, bringing tiny pieces of leaf tip, possibly from Grevillea Peaches and Cream, to be chewed up and plastered into the opening. The first image was taken at a quarter past eleven, the next three at approximately two o’clock, andĀ  lastly, next day, showing the chamber completely sealed.

Getting started.

Hard at work.

Getting there.

Next day, job done.

Hylaeus nubilosus normally nests in the bamboos, but this time, possibly because of increased competition for sites, and general wariness of the waspish neighbours, they have been checking out holes in the red gum and clay blocks.

The next post will feature Pison wasps.