Exotic Habitat Delivers.

In the neighbouring garden there are some clumps of agapanthus, and they have shown to be popular habitat for jumping spiders, with several species being observed and photographed. The bases of the clumps contain lots of dry litter, good cover, and the smooth strap-like leaves provide ideal conditions for the spiders to stalk and leap on insect prey that like to land and perch there in the sun. Photographs of one species were sent to Robert Whyte, co-author of the excellent Field Guide To Spiders Of Australia, who identified it as Jotus frosti. This spider has only fairly recently been rediscovered, photos of two males were taken on Kangaroo Island by Jurgen Otto, so this record establishes the species existence in Central Gippsland. Distinguishing features include the bands of white across the pedipalps, and long black setae above, and white below each femur, visible in the photographs.

Close by the males and in some cases on the same leaf were female Jotus, in all probability females of the species, in fact on one occasion a male was watched displaying.

In the following picture an Opisthoncus necator has webbed two agapanthus leaves together to fashion a snug retreat, click picture to enlarge.


Native bees love flowering Disphyma crassifolium, so a drive around the Clydebank Morass to check out the situation was in order. As it turned out there was little in flower, just a few small patches, however that had the effect of concentrating the numbers of foraging bees. On many occasions there were several bees working in a single flower, visible in the left hand bloom. Click to enlarge.

Two species were active, Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) sp. and another unidentified.
Many shots were taken, here are some that show the frenetic activity.