Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga

More Insects
June 21, 2010, 3:43 pm
Filed under: General, Observations | Tags: , , , ,

This earlier post listed a few of the insect species found in the area. The present post is a continuation of that one.

A common and widespread mantid, Orthodera ministralis is often found (as its common name suggests) in suburban gardens. This individual was photographed on the South American potato vine Solanum jasminoides.

Breeding pairs of the Tricolor Soldier Beetle were commonly seen in late summer and early autumn. Other species of soldier beetle, C. lugubris and C. pulchellus, routinely form enormous breeding colonies, and so are often called Plague Soldier Beetles. See the Brisbane Insects website for more information.

This breeding pair was photographed on Willans Hill.

The Circulionidae (true weevils) is among the largest and most diverse of the insect families. It is often very difficult to identify particular species. This particular individual bears a very strong resemblance to the Elephant Weevil Orthorhinus cylindrirostris and may belong to the same subfamily (the Molytinae).

This individual was photographed on a Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus), which seems to be a favourite foodsource of a couple of weevil species.

This is another weevil species, this time photographed in a suburban garden. The relatively short, broad rostrum (snout) suggests that this individual belongs to the subfamily Entiminae (broad-nosed weevils).

This species of leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) is common in vegetable gardens, particularly as a pest of cucurbits (in this case zucchini). They can be extremely destructive. This article from the Department of Primary Industries (now Industry & Investment and formerly NSW Agriculture) has some information on pests of cucurbits, including this species.

Chrysodeixis spp. are quite conspicuous – at least as caterpillars. The adults are not nearly as noticeable. As a leaf-eater with a taste for cultivated vegetables (this one was photographed on a bean plant) they can be quite destructive.

The Banded (or Purple-banded) Concealer Moth belongs to the family Oecophoridae (concealer moths), which is particularly well-represented around Wagga. Several other species are known from the area – some entirely white, some entirely yellow, some yellow with brownish or purplish markings. They are often found clinging to the underside of plant stems and leaves.

This individual was photographed on Willans Hill.

These are the nymphs of the Two-lined Gum Treehopper. The adults can be seen at the Brisbane Insects website. The young are attended by ants (in this case probably a species of Golden-tailed Sugar Ant Camponotus sp.) who collect from them a sugar secretion called honeydew. The ants essentially ‘farm’ the nymphs.

These individuals were photographed on Willans Hill.

Another species of hopper, also in the family Cicadellidae, though belonging to a different subfamily (Tartessinae, not Eurymelinae). Leafhoppers are plant-feeders, using their piercing mouthparts to extract sap from trees. These individuals were seen on a young eucalypt (possibly the River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis) near Lake Albert.

* * *

That’s all for now. In bird-related news, the Black-chinned Honeyeater (a vulnerable species) was recorded at Mates Gully Rd. TSR and has been added to the lists for Mates Gully and for Wagga Wagga. Also added to the Wagga list was the Swift Parrot, an endangered species, which was recorded (by call only) at Red Hill Reserve, near Pomingalarna. It is also known to overwinter in Mates Gully Rd. and Kyeamba TSRs.

In less encouraging news, the Scarlet Robin has recently been declared a vulnerable species (see here). Its numbers are apparently in decline. In the Wagga area it is known from Livingstone National Park and Mates Gully Rd. TSR.


2 Comments so far
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You have always nice things to post.

Comment by home business

The ‘weevil (Entiminae)’ is Eurymetopus birabeni, an exotic species accidentally introduced from South America, probably Argentina.

Comment by Kimberi Pullen

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