Dragonflies beside Rollingstone Creek

Rollingstone Creek
Rollingstone Creek, still in dry-season mode

Three months ago I visited Rollingstone Creek with a Wildlife Queensland group, and I liked the place so  much that I went back there a few days ago. The creek and its park weren’t much changed (Rollingstone, 50 km to our North, has had more rain than Townsville so it hasn’t continued to dry out as we have) but the star attractions this time were the insects, not the birds. Of the insects, one dragonfly was outstanding.

Rhyothemis resplendens
Jewel Flutterer

This gorgeously coloured dragonfly was new to me Continue reading “Dragonflies beside Rollingstone Creek”

Mangrove Ants adapt to nesting underwater

mangrove ants
One nest entrance is circled, and another was just behind me as I took this shot

When I was wandering along the bank of Ross River near the Bowen Road bridge a few months ago, I looked down, saw a perfectly ordinary looking ants’ nest and a moment later thought, “Hey! That’s odd! That would be under water at high tide!”

The ants were perfectly at home, however, running in and out of their nest entrance. Odd indeed. Continue reading “Mangrove Ants adapt to nesting underwater”

Walking in the Paluma rainforest

Paluma Dam track
The walking track

A recent trip to Paluma Dam with the good people of Wildlife Queensland was enjoyable for the wildlife and just being in the rainforest but was far from strenuous. We walked across the dam wall and along a vehicular track to the west of the dam, took a side track to down to the dam shore, and returned the same way Continue reading “Walking in the Paluma rainforest”

Ringlets on grassy hillsides

Brown Ringlet
Brown Ringlet at Paluma Dam

Ringlets (Hypocysta spp.) are smallish, brownish butterflies showing attractive flashes of orange in flight but camouflaged at rest unless they spread their wings to bask. Their wingspan is about 30mm, very much the same size as the common Grass-yellows (Eurema spp.) but noticeably smaller than Migrants, Crows and Tigers and larger than the Blues.

All six Australian species are found on the East coast and we have three of them in the Townsville region, the Orange, Northern and Brown Ringlets (H. adiante, H. irius and H. metirius) although the last of these is not common close to Townsville. In fact, we rarely see any of them except on the rocky grassy slopes of Castle Hill, Mt Stuart and the Many Peaks Range. Why not? Continue reading “Ringlets on grassy hillsides”

Bookshelf entomology 2

This is little more than a footnote to my January 2016 post about the insect life to be found in bookshelves in the tropics: I noticed a can of insect spray tucked discreetly in the corner of a bookshelf and moved it to reveal …

The nest-builder is one of our common mud-dauber wasps (potter wasps), probably a Sceliphron like this one.