A large paropsid leaf beetle (15mm length) which looked fully black to the eye but the flash has revealed a set of full length, deep red lines.
No dents were noticed on or around the pronotum.
I have always found these at night so suspect they hide in daytime maybe under bark.
This sooty moth had a wing span of about 40 mm. The upper side of the fore wings had large white patches. The undersides of wings were plain and similar in colour to the upper surfaces. The head and thorax had tufts of bright yellow setae. The banded abdomen had dense sooty, white and yellow setae giving it a furry appearance.
Antennae were slightly feathery.
This eucalyptus tree with slightly pendulous branches and small clusters of creamy white flowers had delicate young leaves with their tips curled into thick cups. These cups appeared to have a membranous pale or brown lid (pic 5). Some of these cups had ants clustering around them as in pic 4. On opening one of these lidded "cups', I found a 3 mm psyllid nymph with small red wide-set eyes, orange thorax and green abdomen. Wings buds were dark with a white substance stuck to them. The tree had several young leaves with these galls.
Spotted on a box gum ( ? Eucalyptus microcarpa) in a bushland reserve.
I am not sure of the relationship between the ants and this species of psyllid. The gall-forming behaviour seems similar to Trioza species of psyllid.
My thanks to Ken Walker for confirming that this is Trioza ( species not known).
This female adult felt scale looked like a 5 mm long and wide, slightly raised peach-coloured patch on a leaf. The leaf surface surrounding it was damaged. faint body segments could be seen on the upper surface which had wispy white waxy secretions. The underside (pic 1) showed three pairs of legs, a slight depression between the first pair of legs ( ? mouth) and well defined abdominal segments. A pair of antennae were visible when the scale was turned over.
Spotted on a eucalyptus tree in a reserve. Several leaves were affected by these scale but there was no more than one per leaf.
My thanks to Dr Lyn Cook who identified this as Lobimago sp. , a Lobe-margin Felt Scale. Family: Eriococcidae
Dr Cook writes " Was in genus Lachnodius but transferred to Lobimago by Hardy et al in 2011." . At present on ALA as Lachnodius.
A vermiform larva about 20 mm long with pointy ends. The tail end appeared bifid. The white body had deep blue patterns.
Spotted on dry soil in a garden. Did not appear to like sun light and actively dug through the dry dirt.
With contorted pale orange caps about 25 mm, these fruiting bodies were growing close to the ground. The cap margins were mealy and white.The fertile under-surface had densely packed spines or teeth instead of pores and these were slightly decurrent (pic 2). The whote stipe were otherwise smooth.
Spotted on sodden forest floor in a reserve.
This attractive dark brown butterfly had a wing span of about 50 mm. Both fore and hind wings had bright yellow patterns much like the common brown, except only the hind wing had a distinct eye spot (on the upper side). This butterfly showed a long style-like yellow marking on the fore wing ( pic 1), which is a sex-brand and seen only in males. The underside of the fore wings showed a dark patch on a background of pale gold with a small eye spot at the apex. The hind wing had beautiful patches of purple with two small eye spots, one near the costal margin and the other near the trailing margin.
Spotted on a grass verge in a nature reserve. It was flitting about landing one one clump of grass for a few seconds before going to another.
An attractive grey-brown geometrid moth with fine brown and black lines and a wing span of about 50 mm. The wings had narrow black bands contrasting with flashes of white. The undersides of the wings were pale with a black mark on each wing. The dark submarginal areas on each wing was broken by a pale patch.
Spotted in a suburban garden.
Looking like a 5 mm piece of bird-dropping, this little black and white capsule is a cocoon of an ichneumon wasp. It was attached to the leaves on this young tree and wrapped around it was the skin of its larval host - a lepidopteran. Mimicking bird-dropping and wrapping the skin of the larval host over and around is, apparently, one of the many strategies employed by ichneumonids to escape attacks from hyperparasitoids. Spotted on a young black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) in a nature reserve.
This observation features just one tree which accommodated every stage of the life-cycle of the common imperial blue or imperial hairstreak butterfly. Pic 1 shows a male butterfly resting beside a pupa. Pic 2 shows a cluster of pale blue-grey eggs with fascinating spikey outer coverings (see reference link in notes). The caterpillar in pic 3 had small horn-like tubercles along the dorsal aspect of the body. Pic 4 shows a cluster of glossy dark pupae and pic 5 shows the exuviae.
Pic 6 is that of an adult.
Every stage of this butterfly was attended by hoards of ants (Iridomyrmex ). They were running around all over the tree , clustering in large numbers around the pupae. There were ants around the eggs and caterpillar.
Another interesting feature was the fine webbing around the eggs and the pupae.
Spotted on a black wattle tree (Acacia mearnsii) near wetlands at a retarding basin.