The very popular shrub

Black wasp on flowering shrub
Black wasp on the very popular shrub

I was walking down the roadway to the old car-ferry terminal (people who know Maggie Island will know where I mean, but it isn’t really important) and stopped at this bush because it was alive with a huge variety of insects. I stood there, snapping away as fast as I could aim the camera, and got pictures of:
Wasps: this one, another black-winged one with a yellow head, one with orange wings and legs and a black abdomen, one with orange wings and black-and-orange abdomen, and at least two black wasps with clear wings.
Butterflies: Common Eggfly, Eastern Brown Crow (Euploea tulliolus), a Pierid (yellow) I haven’t identified, and Australian Rustic (Cupha prosope)
Others: Carpenter bee, a large hairy grey fly, and a hover-fly with unusual black-banded wings.
I’m sure there were others I missed, and I was only there for a short time anyway. What makes the bush so special? Sure, it’s flowering – but the flowers are insignificant little yellowy-white things. My ignorance of botany is encylopedic, so I would be grateful to anyone who can tell me what the shrub is.
Some more of the insects I mentioned – click on the thumbnails for larger pics:

Common Eggfly male on flowering shrub
Common Eggfly male
Black wasp on flowering shrub
Black wasp
Orange wasp on flowering shrub
Orange wasp
Black and orange wasp on flowering shrub
Black and orange wasp
Hover-fly on flowering shrub
Hover-fly

Glasswing butterflies

Glasswing butterfly feeding on yellow flower
Glasswing butterfly, Acraea andromacha

Another Magnetic Island resident, the Glasswing is a butterfly I have seen in bushland an hour’s drive inland from Townsville but not in the city itself. The translucent wings are unusual (I only know one similar butterfly, the Clearwing Swallowtail) and attractive.
More pics on Flickr, here and nearby.

A spectacular grasshopper

Blue and yellow grasshopper
Queensland Spotted Pyrgomorph, Greyacris profundesulcata

I have never seen these on the mainland but there were obviously quite a lot of them on Magnetic Island. This one (with a lot of friends and relations) was near the old car ferry terminal at Arcadia, and I saw another at Picnic Bay.

I have seen photos of some beautifully coloured grasshoppers from the far north and west of Australia (e.g. Orange grasshopper and Litchfield’s Grasshopper, Kakadu) but I never realised that we had anything comparable here.

I would say this guy made my day, except that it was already a great day – sunshine, beaches and a long weekend ahead of us … when life is this good we should notice and remember it.

Blue and yellow spotted grasshopper
Another view

Magnetic Island interlude

Lizard on sign
Still and not-so-still life

We took advantage of the Easter break to visit Magnetic Island, just half an hour by ferry from Townsville – close enough that quite a few people live on the Island and work in town. Most of the island is National Park, with just a few mini-suburbs (Picnic Bay, Arcadia, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay) around the southern and eastern coast.
This skink was visiting the sign outside our cabin, possibly in search of ants. Looking at the photo afterwards I noticed some tiny eggs glued to the sign. I have no idea what they are. (As usual, clicking on the photos will get you a better view.)

Skink and eggs
Skink and unidentified eggs

We were only on the island for 24 hours and it was dark, of course, for half of that time, but I managed to return home with a couple of hundred photographs; I will post the best of them here as I get them sorted out.

Launching Bugblog

Green Path, aka Bugblog while in development, has been more than a year in gestation, from the first vague idea that it would be good for me to keep some sort of visual diary of my insect photography and observations, through to installing WordPress and setting up the site.

Part of my process was to write posts for the blog-to-be. It seemed a shame to waste them all so I have copied some of them across to the new blog. For the same reason I have added relevant items I have shared with friends and relations during the development phase. Bugblog therefore has entries going back several months although today is its official launch.

As I crack an imaginary bottle of champagne across its metaphorical bows I wish us all the best of luck on our voyage into the future.