Our Wet has been pretty half-hearted so far. We have had showers and storms but nothing like the widespread soaking rain that we expect.
If I had to summarise what’s happening now in our little world of insects, the key word would be ‘green.’ There has been enough rain to encourage all the plants to grow, and the plant-eaters – especially grasshoppers and hawkmoth caterpillars – are taking advantage of the abundant food. Not only that, most of them want to stay camouflaged and so they are as green as what they eat.
- Grasshoppers: lots of young ones, plus some young Katydids (mentioned here because Orthoptera covers Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids).
- Butterflies: Pale Triangles (some yellow form now as well as the blue variety); Common Eggfly and Blue-banded Eggfly, but all of them males; Migrants and Crows; passing Ulysses, always special; occasional Orchard Swallowtails and what looks like a caterpillar; a fair number of Hesperidae; still no Eurema or Junonia.
- Moths: Lots of little grass moths; a few adult hawk moth sightings, and lots of their caterpillars munching their way through our Pentas.
- Mantis: still a few Neomantis nymphs on the weed I found them on, but they seem to leave home as soon as they can fly.
- Dragonflies: a few in the garden, lots more closer to permanent water.
- Flies: lots of red-eyed blue blowflies (Calliphoridae), some Soldier Flies, Stilt Flies and little, long-legged, green flies (Dolichopodidae) but hardly any Hover-flies (Syrphidae). Mosquitoes are Diptera (flies) too, and they are making up for the shortfall in the numbers of their relatives.
- Wasps and bees: a few active mud-daubers and paper wasps; not as many Ichneumonidae as there were a month ago; a few Resin bees and Blue-banded Amegilla bees.
- Spiders: some Lynx and Jumping Spiders, and quite a lot of Silver Orb-weavers. A few adult St Andrew’s Cross spiders, and a lot more to come because I have seen hatchlings. Still no little spiky Austracantha; and still no big Golden Orb-weavers although last year we had them from December through to June.