This beautiful toothed coral fungus was seen in two clumps, a large one about 170 mm across and a smaller one within the tree hollow. The small clump was fresh, white and highly branched with multiple soft spines. The larger clump was slightly old, drier with stiffer spines.
Spotted on a damp tree stump - Beech
Three clouded footman males were seen fluttering around for awhile before settling on a door frame. On closer inspection I could see one of them was successful in finding and mating with a wingless female seen here as a furry white ovoid shape with thin black bands and pale orange spots along the sides. The males were of two sizes and had distinctly pectinated antennae. The mating male can be seen head pointing downwards. Beside the female was a hairy cocoon and an empty pupal case probably recently vacated by the female. Within the hairy cage was also small wrinkled piece of skin shed by the caterpillar before pupating. Pic 3 was taken 6 days later when two of the moths had flown away and the other was clear-off the female. The female had started laying eggs seen here as minute glistening orbs. The female had the same colours as seen on the caterpillar. Will wait to see what happens next.....
This Chrysalis was seen about 12 days after the small early instar of this butterfly was seen. It was hard to differentiate between the pupa and plant stem as it looked very much in colour & form like a stem gall induced by a citrus gall wasp. One end of the 3 cm pupa was bifurcated.
This moth had a wing span of about 20 mm. Wings were greyish green with thin black wriggly lines and dark brown patches. each fore wing showed a small patch of white.
Spotted under bright lights near a suburban garden.
My thanks to Cathy Powers for the ID.
This dusty blue beetle was about 13 mm long. The dorso-ventrally flattened body had a flange around both the thorax and elytra.
Spotted under bright lights in a suburban garden on a very warm night.
This could be P.peltatus but needs confirmation.
A small butterfly with fawn coloured wings with iridescent blue tones near the wing bases. The wings which looked fragile could have had a span of about 15 mm.
Spotted flying close to the ground over open grass land. Also present were other blues like Zizina labradus.
( I believe this is Zizula hylax. Could someone confirm please. Thanks)
This attractive Cossid moth would have been about 40 to 45 mm long. Has the distinct black upside down "V" pattern on the thorax seen in Endoxyla genus.
Spotted unfurling its wings. I would greatly appreciate any assistance with an ID. Thanks.
This green seaweed (Caulerpa cactoides) appeared in two forms, one as a cluster and the other as an elongated string of vesicles attached to flattened median segments. This variation in appearance is apparently due to wave action in different parts of the bay.
Pic 2 shows some brown (root-like) rhizoids at the base of the seaweed.
Spotted washed ashore at Westernport Bay -at low tide. Native to Australia.
This cute little jumping spider was about 5 mm long. The black cephalothorax had white and orange stripes in the anterior part and just white stripes in the posterior section. The abdomen had beautiful orange blue and green colours with iridescence. legs were covered with setae and the palps were fluffy with white setae.
Spotted near a creek in dappled shade (Cardinia Reservoir Park)
A small female tube spittlebug resting on the tube created perhaps by its nymphs. The tube looked like a concrete horn with dried-up spittle along the tree branch at the opening of the tube. The female spittlebug has a green head and thorax with dark tinted wings.
Spotted on a young eucalyptus tree in a botanical garden ( Cranbourne Gardens)
Poking out of the ground to about 90 mm were a number of these black club-shaped fruiting bodies. Structurally they were differentiated into black clubs above and pale greenish yellow stems below. The older thicker clubs had white fluffy material on the dark clubs.
Spotted under a mature Acacia tree. There were about 20 and all well separated.
The white material on the fruiting bodies are thread-like spores. They break up into 3 -5 mm long part spores which penetrate the ground and infect caterpillars of moths which could be well below the surface, even up to 40 cms. The fungus consumes the soft tissue of the host and grows up wards to the ground surface were black fruiting bodies appear and thicken to maturity. Moth larvae of the genus Oxycanus ( Hepialidae) are said to be the common hosts to this fungus.
This 20 mm long beetle looked very different to other ground beetles because of its flattened body and a thorax that is notched both anteriorly and posteriorly. Elytra showed fine parallel ridges and had a metallic sheen which reflected purple and teal colours. Legs were long had short spines.
These ground beetles are said to feed on caterpillars. They are strongly attracted to U-V emitting lights and can congregate in large numbers but do not stay in one place for long. They stay hidden during the day but are very active at night.
Pic 1 shows the 5th instar and Pic 2, the 3rd instar of the Crusader Bug. The younger nymph had yellow bands on his legs and a small yellow band on the antennal tips. The 5th instar shows a better developed pronotum and smart bolero-like yellow wing buds. The antennal tip were completely yellow and legs completely brown by this stage. Both were seen on the same young wattle plant.
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.
About 12 mm long this black beetle had broadly convex body with ridged elytra and a thin marginal flange. The pronotum showed broader flanges and thick lateral margins. Head and eyes were small. Antennae had beaded segments.
Spotted on grass in a park.
These small dry star-bursts of psyllid galls looked like rusted metal flowers stuck to the upper surfaces of gum leaves. These eruptions looked a lot "neater" than some of the galls induced by these little hemipterans.
Spotted on what looked like Silver-leaf Stringy Bark ( E.cinerea) in a reserve.
These attractive beeflies were seen mating amongst leaf litter. There is clear distinction between the female and the male with the female having well separated eyes(Pic 3) and the male with large eyes together with only a thin line of separation (Pic 2). The male beefly has a single bright white spot at the base of each wing as seen in pic 2. The female has no such spots and (which is on the left-hand side) has brighter white abdominal bands and a pair of lateral tufts of white setae.
Spotted in a nature reserve.
About 20 mm long this moth had pale yellow wings with hints of copper. Wings were tented, giving the body a wedge shape. The head and anterior thorax were almost white and the paleness continued along the costa. Thoracic setae had dark tips. Feathery antennae stretched out and were almost two-thirds the body length.
A 20 mm black wasp with striking thin white markings on thorax and abdomen. Head and legs showed diffuse white patches. Legs showed short spikes and appeared unusually long and were held spread out around the body like a spider.
Spotted making a burrow in soil beside a walking track.
Described as the largest and most robust of its species, this very dark male jumping spider was about 13 mm long. Fangs were large and above dark eyes was a furry brow. Palps were dark and long. Front legs were long and had faint white banding like the other legs. The abdomen had a thin white line along the anterior margin and a flattened "x" pattern in white. two pairs of white specks were seen in front of and posterior to the X mark.
Spotted trying to catch a small fly in a local garden.
A beautiful brown moth with thin zig- zag lines on the fore wings and a wing span of 40mm. the trailing wing margins appear serrated.
Spotted under bright lights near a national park ( Dandenong Ranges).
A medium-sized bee-fly with slender narrow wings that were mostly clear. The leading edges of the wings were dark with the inner margins being thrown into waves. The abdomen was longer than in most other bee-flies.
A net-casting spider with its blue rectangular net which was loosely slung from the front legs. The spider was prepared to get its meal at this stage.
Pics 2 & 3 are of the spider at day time - it was magical to see the blue net which she would have made in the evening for some supper that night. Hoping I'd be able to get an action shot next time and a shot of those enormous eyes !
This dark attractive skipper had a wing span of 30 mm. The upper side of the fore wings had small rectangular patches of cream. The trailing margins also showed a narrow margin of broken cream patches. The upper side of each hind wing ( just visible) had a bright orange patch. As with most skippers, the thorax was covered with dense olive green setae. White spots were seen on a dark head.
A fast moving attractive Swift Spider with black cephalothorax and abdomen, black and white banded hind legs and orange front legs. The body had white patterns along the sides, a median white line on the cephalothorax and broken white pattern along the midline of the abdomen.
Its behaviour and erratic movements are a mimicry of the pompilid wasp - the orange legs move up and down like the orange antennae of the wasps.
A delicate-looking predacious bug from the Reduviidae family. The long legs were covered with fuzzy setae. The mid and hind legs were resting on the web silk while the front pair of legs were held up folded in front of the head. The antennae looked much like another pair of legs.