We had our first cyclone of the season last week but it was only a little one (Dylan, category 2 at its biggest) and Townsville was on the northern edge of its path so its main effect on us in Mundingburra was about 60mm of very welcome rain over two days. (Some suburbs did suffer more, I know, particularly from the storm surge on the Thursday morning. I don’t mean to be dismissive of their losses but I’m writing about my own little part of the city.)
The plants responded enthusiastically to the rain, none more so than the pink and white bottlebrush (Callistemon; I think it’s a hybrid cultivar) in front of the house. The insects, in turn, responded enthusiastically to the flowering plants and I have had fun seeing just how many different kinds I could spot on this one tree:
The Metallic Mosquito is a very large species but does not, thankfully, attack humans. In fact it makes itself useful to us by preying on other mosquitoes. (One expert in Thailand counted some 420 species of mosquito of which a mere couple of dozen ever fed on people. Mosquitoes are victims of their bad press just as much as spiders are.)
There were perhaps a dozen of these bees around the tree at any one time, making them the most numerous of the insects enjoying the flowers (which included, incidentally, some tiny black beetles which were too small and dull to photograph successfully).
Taking advantage of all of them, or trying to, were some predatory spiders – Lynxes – lying in wait amongst the flowers. I saw two different species. Both these spiders are very small, about the size of a house fly.