For the last few months I’ve been saying in these seasonal change updates that nothing much has happened because we’re waiting for the Wet to arrive. In spite of Oswald, that’s still basically true, because Townsville got far less rain out of the ex-cyclone than the coast from Bowen to Northern NSW, and hasn’t had much since; we had a bit under 250mm in three days, three weeks ago, and have had less than 10mm since then. Humidity has stayed high, however, and the showers are only a few days apart, so life is stirring. The lawn is growing, the mango tree has put out a new suit of leaves and the Cape York Lily has flowered.
Butterflies: Migrants and Pale Triangles seem to be the most frequent visitors, with Blue-banded Eggfly and Crows also around occasionally. Of the residents, the little Zebra Blues have been with us all along but our normally-reliable Chocolate Soldier, Junonia hedonia, has been missing for over a month and our Eurema for even longer.
Wasps and bees: Mud-daubers (Delta, Sceliphron and a small black one) and resin bees have been active.
Spiders: Quite a lot of jumping spiders (an unusual one is here) and other small prowling hunters (e.g. Lynx) and a few orb-weavers – Gasteracantha, Leucauge, a Golden Orb-weaver male, and so on. The last of these had me quite confused for a while – he was a juvenile, a teenager in human terms, and he was bigger than the adult males of his species and patterned very much differently from them.
Flies and mosquitoes: The rain brings mozzies but there hasn’t been enough of it to make them unendurable. Flies of any family haven’t been particularly numerous and hover-flies have been almost totally absent.
Others: Grasshopper nymphs, green lacewings, shield bugs, the occasional mantis, elephant beetle and cicada … not much, really.
The latest long-term weather forecast was that the monsoon trough will be here mid-February but it is obviously running a little late.