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. Continue reading “The very popular shrub”

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.

The dry season begins

Two weeks ago we had a deluge – 150 mm or thereabouts in 24 hours – to cap off the wettest March on record. It seems to have been the last of the Wet (fingers crossed!), because we haven’t had any rain since then. Days are mostly sunny and getting up to 29C or so, while nights drop to low 20s.

The garden is full of butterflies and dragonflies – dozens of Chocolate Soldiers (Junonia hedonia), lots of Migrants and Euremas, and a good sprinkling of Orchard Swallowtail, Clearwing Swallowtail, Pale Triangle, Cairns Birdwing (lovely female feeding on Ixora this morning), Common Crow. Blue-banded Eggfly, though, aren’t around, and the Common Eggfly are rare, not common, at the moment.

Dragonfly species have changed relative numbers. The orange-and-yellow ones which dominated the population are still present but have been overtaken by Neurothemis stigmatizans and another which is similar but has dark wingtips:

Dragonfly - gold body, dark wingtips
As for the spiders, we still have lots of St Andrews Cross, Astracantha and Silver Orb-weavers but the brown-and-gold Common Orb-weaver are back for the first time in months.