Cuckoo wasp

picture of cuckoo wasp caught in spider web
Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae) caught in spider web

Sad pic, happy ending for the subject but not the photographer …
This is a very pretty wasp which I have seen only occasionally at home and never got a photo of, until today when I saw one fly into a spider web under the house. I grabbed the camera, took a couple of quick pics, grabbed a twig and carried it outdoors by the web.
So far so good.
I hooked it onto a convenient plant, lifted the camera to get a better shot … and the ungrateful little so-and-so wriggled free of the web and flew off!!
Sigh.

Golden Orb-weaver males

Yesterday I found a fairly large (but not full-grown) female in a web between the red-neck palm and the chilli bush. More pleasingly still, she had two males waiting their chance to mate – boxing gloves at the ready. I took some pics, of course, though some with the spiders against the sky didn’t show as much detail as I would have liked.

I went out to look again this morning: the web was damaged and the female had gone but the males were still there and were duly re-photographed.

One of the males

Afterword, Tuesday 22.2.11: By Monday the web hadn’t been repaired, the female hadn’t returned and the males had left. I’m assuming that a bird got the female.

Two Golden Orb-weavers

I was pleased to find a well-grown Golden Orb-weaver in her web between a banana tree and the side fence a few days ago. Then I found another, much smaller (about the body size of a full-grown St Andrew’s Cross spider), near the top rear corner of the yard, low down between a cycad and an ixora. She was happy then, but by the time I came back with my camera she was having problems with a fallen leaf and was running around cutting it out of her web. A few minutes later I fluked a nice shot of her trying to pull the sundered halves back together:

Golden orb-weaver repairing web

But last night we had a terrific thunderstorm just after midnight (70 mm of rain, half of it in half an hour) and this morning both of them were gone – along with lots of smaller spiders, of course.

• This is the first-published post on Green Path proper. 

Western Queensland

• This is one of a few articles which I published elsewhere long before Green Path was conceived or begun but is still relevant enough to deserve a place on the blog. The date-stamp will say 2005, the date of first publication, although the article was only added to GP in 2016. 

If Australia is little known to the rest of the world, North Queensland is little known to the rest of Australia – and Western Queensland is little known even to most North Queenslanders. Most of the NQ population lives in the provincial cities along the coast (Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Bowen, Rockhampton) and most of the rest live in the roughly 50 km wide strip between the coast and the Great Dividing Range. These pictures introduce some of the country on the inland side of the mountains. Continue reading “Western Queensland”