Tag Archives: Animals

Dunn’s Peacock Spider – Maratus pavonis: 1 – A Little Male a-Roving!

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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)

Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider
Male
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Subfamily: Euophryinae
Mount Barker, South Australia – Longleat Property – October 17th, 2014 – on a warm, sunny day in the flower garden

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz
Text: Michal Dutkiewicz & extra additions by Karin Dawson

When Karin Dawson invited me up to photograph Feather-legged Assassin Bugs (As featured on a David Attenborough documentary) and this Peacock Spider, I still couldn’t believe that we had one of these colourful Spiders here in South Australia! – There are a number of species of the Peacock Jumpies in Australia. They are members of the Jumping Spider family Salticidae, and this is, as far as Karin and I can ascertain, the only species that occurs here in South Australia.

Only the males are brightly-coloured. The species occurs from South Australia around the southern east coast of Australia, including Tasmania, and there is a slightly brighter variant with a slightly different abdomen from Western Australia that Jumpies fans from those parts might want to keep a look out for. I wish we could have gotten closer shots, but he was moving very quickly …

Karin observed the female to be about 8 mm long, and the male was only 4 mm long; a big discrepancy in size, but certainly not unusual in the the spider world.

http://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=2446
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maratus

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Nephila edulis: 2 – Tiny Satellite Male

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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male (just visible) dwarfed by the female

Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver
Male and Female
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Dulwich garden – April 24th, 2014 – sunny, pleasant conditions

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Photos & Test: Michal Dutkiewicz
Many species of spiders show sexual dimorphism of this degree. The male stays over the other side of the web, and only zips over quickly to mate – He stays nearby though, usually on that other side, near her rear end, often hiding in the clutter of hollowed-out body parts of various parts of insects – I accidentally took some shots featuring the male. I thought I was looking at a blurry shot of the female until I saw the male in the foreground, and I then rushed outside when I noticed I had captured a shot of the male and took more and better shots – Photographing the Nephila was something I would do about once or twice a week – The male and female don’t even look like the same species!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_edulis

Nephila edulis: 1 – Female and Nest

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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest

Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver
Female and nest
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Dulwich garden – April 24th, 2014 – sunny, pleasant conditions

Photos & Test: Michal Dutkiewicz

Usually, I would see this female Orb Weaver in the centre of her nest, but was surprised one afternoon to come out and see she wasn’t in that position. After a moment of concerned searching, I saw her on a nearby branch, above and to one side of the web, making final touches to a yellowish, matted nest of spider silk and various forms of organic litter. Since then, the web was interfered with by someone, and she disappeared, but I am hoping some of the young have survived.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_edulis

Brown Darkling Beetle

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Ecnolagria grandis aka Brown Darkling Beetle (?)

Ecnolagria grandis aka Brown Darkling Beetle (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Superfamily: Tenebrionoidea
Family: Tenebrionidae
Subfamily: Lagriinae
Tribe: Lagriini
Subtribe: Lagriina
Mylor Conservation Park, South Australia – January 4th, 2014 – warm, sunny conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Amber-coloured Beetles that feed on dead plant and fungal matter and live in a variety of habitats including forests, heaths and urban areas including gardens. The adults can fly but rarely move even when disturbed and then fly slowly. Their two eyes wrap around the base of each antennae. The larva are dark brown and hairy, with a pair of hooks on the rear end and they live in the ground and come out in numbers to feed at the surface by night on vegetable litter including fallen Eucalypt leaves which they leave skeletonized.

http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Ecnolagria+grandis
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_beetles/BrownDarkling.htm
http://www.zin.ru/animalia/coleoptera/eng/elaec428.htm

Eriophora transmarina – The Australian Orb Weaver Spider (?)

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Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider
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Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider
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Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider

Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
My Garden, Adelaide, South Australia –

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I found this spider in a Cullen australasicum, a native pea bush on the side of the road between the towns of Keyneton and Sedan in the Murraylands. I am not absolutely certain if this is another version of this species – There are so many! Each of us have many Australian Orb Weavers in our gardens – They are abundant! They have many different patterns and colours – As far as I know, these are not separate subspecies, but adaptations individuals make to camouflage themselves – I don’t know the mechanism by which this is achieved, but with each new moult, they can change their colour and pattern to blend in with their surroundings of the site they rest on during the day. Like other orb weavers, they industriously spin their new web every night and take up a position in its centre – They are not considered harmful to humans, but we all know the feeling of walking into one of these webs!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_garden_orb_weaver_spider

Eriophora pustulosa – Knobbled Orb Weaver Spider (?)

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Eriophora pustulosa aka Common Garden Orbweb Spider, Knobbled Orb Weaver Spider
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Eriophora pustulosa aka Common Garden Orbweb Spider, Knobbled Orb Weaver Spider

Eriophora pustulosa aka Common Garden Orbweb Spider, Knobbled Orb Weaver Spider
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Adelaide Botanic Garden – January 18th, 2014 – warm, pleasant conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Here’s a species I hadn’t seen before – It was pretending to be a dead bud – Adam Dutkiewicz spotted it in a bush with scented flowers that looked like over-sized jasmine, but the leaves were stumpier, waxier and thicker (I am sure the plant wasn’t an indigenous species) – It was resting only a few leaves away from a Pink Flower Spider with green legs that was devouring a Honey Bee. Adam said his eyes were so bad he had to ask me over to confirm his suspicions that it was indeed a spider – It was so well-comouflaged that I needed to see it through the macro lens to be sure it was more than a blot on the foliage. Adam estimated it was about 2 centimetres long. Eriophoras change their colour and pattern as they moult to better blend with the rest position they hide in during the day – Consequently, it comes in a wide range of colours and patterns. It looks a lot like the other Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Eriophora transmarina, except the Knobbled species has characteristic spiny lumps; a cluster near its tail on the back of the abdomen and two larger ones higher up nearer the front of the abdomen. By Evening and night, these Orb Weavers take up a position in the centre of their circular webs and catch prey. They are very common in Southern and Eastern Australia and now have occupied New Zealand.

http://www.findaspider.org.au/find/spiders/612.htm

http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/spiders/eriophora-pustulosa.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriophora_pustulosa

Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen

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Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen
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Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen
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Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen, Pukeko, African Purple Swamphen, Purple Moorhen, Purple Gallinule, Purple Coot
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
St Peters Billabong, South Australia – April, 2010

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I took these photos a few years ago, and I suspect the bluish colour on the body is a little off. I will do a new post on this species soon. Purple Swamphens occur across a large part of the world, and there are several subspecies. They occur in wet areas like swamps and lake edges and are good swimmers and flyers, despite their ungamely appearance. They eat eggs and young of other birds, as well as plant material. They are larger than Coots and Dusky Moorhens which are often seen nearby. Their larger red bill and red shield distinguish it easily, as well as the purple-blue front.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_swamphen