What’s around – mid July 2012

 

Hover-fly on cream flower
Hover-fly (Syrphidae) on a Rosella flower, with ants on foliage if you look for them hard enough

We seem to be just easing out of a period of unseasonably cool, damp weather as I write and the invertebrates haven’t liked it any more than our tourists. It’s supposed to be dry and sunny here at this time of year, for goodness’ sake! We still have a reasonable variety of insects and spiders but numbers of each species are low and their activity is also low: they are cold-blooded (cold-ichored??) and, like reptiles, lethargic in cooler weather.

That said, we do have …

  • Butterflies: Junonia hedonia and Eurema, as usual; occasional Hesperidae, Migrants and Evening Browns; and not much else.
  • Moths: The usual grass moths; one or two others incuding Geometridae attracted to house lights at night.
  • Flies (Diptera): little green Dolichopodidae and hairy bluebottles as always, a few Hover-flies and Stilt-flies.
  • Mosquitoes (also Diptera): just enough to be annoying. We have had a few cases of Dengue Fever in Townsville recently, courtesy of the unseasonably wet weather permitting mozzies to breed and spread it from person to person.
  • Spiders: jumping spiders are still around but the small orb-weavers (Silver orb-weaver, Jewel spiders and St Andrew’s Cross spiders) predominate.
  • Ants (Hymenoptera): tiny ones when you look for them.
  • Wasps and bees (also Hymenoptera), ‘true bugs’ (Hemiptera), and dragonflies (Odonata): very few indeed. Mantises: even fewer.

A month ago and a year ago

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