This wasp was about 20 mm long with yellow markings on thorax and head. Scutellum was yellow as were parts of the legs. The abdomen was an amber colour and slightly dorso-ventrally flattened. Wings were clear.
My thanks to Tony D for identifying the genus and for the following information "Beautiful wasp! Features of note for Labium are the large hind claws, ovipositor just barely projecting in females (as seen here), antennae more or less semi-clavate, and head longish below eyes (shown in third pic)."
A small black beetle about 5 mm long with glossy black elytra with pale patches at the base. The elytra appeared to stop short of the last few abdominal segments. The scape of antennae were a pale brown and appeared to have a short spine.
Thanks to Chris Lindorff for helping with identifying the beetle.
A small ( about 10 mm long) but attractive moth with pale yellow wings and a broad dark brown marking covering part of the thorax and extending down the inner margins of the fore wings. This moth also had a short brown streak extending down from the tornus suggesting that it was male.
Antennae were thin and swept back. labial palps were brushy, yellow and bare recurved tips.
Spotted resting on a leaf of an Agapanthus plant - local garden.
A heavily sclerotised Hide Beetle with ridged and sculptured elytra and thorax. It was a dusty brown and about 12 mm in length. The head was deflexed and it was difficult to see any details except briefly. Short segmented antennae ended in a three segmented club.
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).
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.
The flowers in this species were smaller and not as robust as in C. valida which has purplish flowers. The flowers had just a slight tinge of purple and the leaves, that were paired were all green and small. Flower buds (pic 3) were a pale green.
A small plant about 10 cm high with lance-shaped leaves. The flowers were attractive with the central sepal (green) and lateral petals (brown) fused to form a hood, rising up and over the labellum. The lateral sepals were fused at the base and rose up on either side to erect points. The inside of the hood showed broad white stripes (pic 5). The same colouring could be seen on the outer side of the flower (pic 3).
Small ( 6mm wide) flat pale discs with tapering bases seen on herbivore dung pellet ( possibly Kangaroo) The pale surfaces had minute evenly spaced holes (ostioles) - some of them showed puckering around the edges. The discs had irregular margins.
Spotted in a national park which is a free range for kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and rabbits. ( Churchill National Park)
( This is Poronia erici but there is no listing on ALA. Ref : Fuhrer 2005. Could this be added, please Thanks)
Hardly visible on a bed of moss were these thin sculptured stalks with smooth club-shaped tips. The whole fruiting body was about 30 mm tall including the 15 mm club-shaped fertile tips.
Spotted on moss beds along walking track - Churchill National Park . There were several of these in a moist patch of moss.
The fruiting bodies of this very tough woody fungus looked like large rusty nails arising from the ground. The flattened caps ( upto 50 mm across) had concentric rings and were slightly puckered. The underside showed dark reddish brown pores - no white "bloom" as the cap were old. The stems were firm and slightly velvety in dry specimens. Some of the caps had incorporated grass blades ( pic 3).
Spotted on a damp forest floor - mixed natives but mostly young mountain ash ( Eucalyptus regnens)
Attractive clump of toffee coloured caps with slight convexity, a small discrete umbo and rolled in margins. Gills were a pale brown. these must have been covered by a thin cortina which could be seen tearing-off some of the younger caps (pic 3). The remnants of a brown spore-stained cortina could be seen as a wispy annulus around the stipe. The stipe below the annulus was a dark brown with white fibrils.
Spotted groiwng as a clump on dead wood in a forest with mixed native trees.
These were large earthstars, about 45 mm across. They were fully open with split pale rays of areolated outer skins (exoperidia). In the centre was a smooth rounded spore sac with a central pore through which the spores are released. These earthstars were sessile .
Spotted on moist ground under pine trees.
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.
A clump of contorted brackets forming a 360 mm wide mass that emerged from the trunk of a large living gum tree. The upper surface of the fruiting body was velvety and tan colour. The pale underside had minute pores (pic 3) which had a creamy covering. Some brackets showed a peeling layer (pic 4) which exposed the pore surface.
Caps were a bluish yellow with fine cracks with young ones rising out of the ground like pale purplish puff balls. Mature caps were about 55 mm wide with a central depression. Gills and stipe were cream coloured. The stocky fruiting body was quite close to the ground. The spore print was a pale cream (photo not good enough to post).
Spotted in damp soil a eucalyptus forest.
This large gum tree had a beautiful trunk and several hollows. A galah flew to one of the hollows ( pics 1 &2), entered it and came out again after a few minutes and had a good look around. It then flew to perch on a nearby branch (pic 4). Soon after a second bird came out for a few minutes and the two sat outside for awhile (pic 6) before flying away together.
Spotted in a reserve near a creek.
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.
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.
These are scale insect galls seen on the adaxial side of the leaf . The broad-based conical outgrowths are female galls. There were two of these, one at the base of the leaf base and another along the main vein. the gall was purplish and had a ring near the base. One of the galls showed two openings and the other a single smooth circular orifice. Also on the leaf surface were many upright tubular structures with apical openings with crenulated margins. These were male galls and they were tinged red.
Spotted on a eucalyptus tree - ? species. Nature reserve.
My thanks to Dr L.Cook for confirming genus and identifying the species.
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.