The end of the dragonfly season

I recently declared the end of the wet season and now I’m declaring the end of the dragonfly season – at least in my garden. (I know I can still find them if I walk down to the banks of Ross River, but that’s different.) I spent two hours in the garden yesterday and only saw one dragonfly, down from dozens at their peak.
That means I’m going to stop postponing the task of sorting all my dragonfly photos, because I won’t be adding to them as I go. Here is the first result of the sorting-out: the commonest species here for most of the wet season, which I have finally identified as the Australasian Slimwing, Lathrecista asiatica festa.

Australasian Slimwing dragonfly, male
Australasian Slimwing

Clicking here will take you to my Flickr photos where you will find a few more shots of the same species alongside this one.

The Common Crow

Common Crow butterfly
The Common Crow, or Australian Crow, Euploea core

We are lucky enough to have butterflies in our garden all year round but there are distinct seasonal changes. The Crow, for instance, is a regular dry-season visitor but much less common in the Wet. I took the photo above a couple of weeks ago, i.e., a couple of weeks after the last of our heavy rain, and the one below at a similar time last year.

Common Crow butterfly
Common Crow showing underside of wings

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.