Tag Archives: Insect

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

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Trichophthalma – A Tangle-veined Fly

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Tricholophthalma sp – a Tangle-veined Fly
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Tricholophthalma sp – a Tangle-veined Fly
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Tricholophthalma sp – a Tangle-veined Fly
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Tricholophthalma sp – a Tangle-veined Fly

Tricholophthalma sp – a Tangle-veined Fly
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Brachycera
Infraorder: Asilomorpha
Superfamily: Nemestrinoidea (sometimes placed in Tabanoidea)
Family: Nemestrinidae
Hawthorndene – December 30th, 2014 – on Eucalypt leaves near Hawthorndene Oval – cloudy, mild conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Tangle-veined Flies feed on nectar and flowers, using their long proboscis – They are from the family Nemestrinidae and have relatives in the Tabanidae etcetera, such as March Flies and Horse Flies, that feed on blood. They can hover, and sometimes are mistaken for the BeeFlies of the family Bombylidae, but Nemestrinidae have shorter wings and their abdomens are longer and pointy. Their larvae are parasitic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemestrinidae
http://esperancewildlife.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/tangle-veined-fly-trichophthalma-sp.html

Long-nosed Weevil – A Very Endearing Leaf-muncher!

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Rhinotia hemistictus aka Long-nosed Weevil
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Rhinotia hemistictus aka Long-nosed Weevil
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Rhinotia hemistictus aka Long-nosed Weevil
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Rhinotia hemistictus aka Long-nosed Weevil

Rhinotia hemistictus aka Long-nosed Weevil
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Curculionoidea
Family: Belidae
Montacute Conservation Park – November 15th, 2014 – mild to warm, overcast conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

These were found on what I believe were Acacia pycnantha trees, at least 200 yards apart on different tracks, and I think they were feeding, although in my excitement, I didn’t take much notice – All I could think was “Get the shot!”: – I had wanted to photograph a species like this for years – macro photography has finally given me the opportunity to explore the realm of the mini-marvels that reside all around us. I haven’t been able to find out much about this species yet.

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

http://anic.ento.csiro.au/insectfamilies/biota_details.aspx?OrderID=25407&BiotaID=44456&PageID=families

Red Bull Ant – Scariest Ant I have Ever Seen!

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Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe
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Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe

Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – August 16th, 2014 – moving over sand and leaf litter carrying a larva (species unknown) in its jaws

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Respect this creature’s territory! – Its bite usually causes pain that lasts for two days, but it can be fatal, causing anaphylactic shock. It has good eyesight, and will eyeball intruders and come after them. It is regarded as a primitive Ant, and solitary individuals are usually seen wandering the ground or up tree trunks, but they live in colonies – They are one of the largest Ants in the World. The adults do not eat solid food, but feed their larvae such fare – It was interesting seeing this fierce-looking individual making its way over the sand amongst the leaf litter, not producing the usual hostile display, even though I was quite close – It was carrying the larva in its mandibles, but I am not sure if this was food for the not-so-little ones or was a young one being relocated. They don’t sense chemicals like most ants, apparently, but rely on their eyesight – Once more – Beware!

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

http://home.iprimus.com.au/foo7/jumperant.html

Plume Moth On Mount Barker Summit – Strangeia By Name…

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Strangeia xerodes aka Plume Moth (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Infraorder: Apoditrysia
Superfamily: Pterophoroidea
Family: Pterophoridae
Mount Barker Summit – October 6th, 2014 – warm, sunny day, on grass stem

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

When I first saw this, I thought it was one of the strangest insects I had ever seen – After our trip, Karin and I had some looks at books to try to figure out what we were looking at – Eventually, I described it to Mike Gemmell over the phone and when I said the wings looked like two feathers on each side sticking out, he said “Oh hang on, I reckon that’s a Plume Moth!” – Even after that, I was still trying to figure out what was Moth-like about it, but since then, I have seen many Moths that have some of these characteristics. The legs are also strange – Once you “see” members of this Family, you can’t “unsee” them – They are very small, bizarre, but pretty common. The way they roll their forewings up is what really throws you – Strangeia by name, and strange by nature!

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

Tussock Moth Caterpillar – Acyphas semiochrea

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Acyphas semiochrea aka Tussock Moth (Caterpillar on Acacia pycnantha leaf)
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Acyphas semiochrea aka Tussock Moth (Caterpillar on Acacia pycnantha leaf)

Acyphas semiochrea
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lymantriidae
Morialta Conservation Park – October, 2013 – mild conditions on Acacia pycnantha leaf

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I suspect this caterpillar was ready to make a coccoon – I had never seen this species before, and I thought it was quite spectacular. Do not touch the hairs, they can be very painful! –  I have seen others since and they have always been much smaller – It is a pest on many species of trees and schrubs. – The moths are a rather plain, white.

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

Tau Emerald Dragonfly: 1

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Hemicordulia tau aka Tau Emerald Dragonfly
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Corduliidae
Kyeema Conservation Park, South Australia – January 4th, 2014 – sunny, warm conditions

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

Kyeema Conservation Park has little in the way of open water that we could see, and yet here was a Dragonfly happily resting on a tree leaf. Dragonfly young are called nymphs. They are aquatic predators and look very different to the adults – According to Wikipedia; “Dragonflies possess six legs (like any other insect), but most of them cannot walk well. Dragonflies are among the fastest flying insects in the world. Dragonflies can fly backwards, change direction in mid-air and hover for up to a minute”