Readers’ wildlife photos

October 15, 2019 • 7:45 am

Today we have some lovely arthropod photos by Tony Eales from Brisbane, whose notes are indented:

Things have been really dry where I am and so spring has not sprung as much as I’d hoped for by now. So I went up to the nearby subtropical rainforest area called Mt Mee to see what was around. I had a very fruitful afternoon peering under the leaves of Piccabeen Palms. Here’s some of what I found.

Apochrysa lutea is a lovely member of the Green Lacewing group Chrysopidae. I don’t know too much about these guys: the larvae are predatory wandering the leaves and branches hoping to bang into a prey item with their large jaws. Adults are more omnivorous, eating small arthropods but also pollen and nectar.

One of my all-time favourite insects is the group called the Thread-legged Assassin Bugs, Emesinae. I’ve never seen this small and delicate species before, but I love the contrasting silver white body and bright red eyes. It may be that it only looks so striking because it had just moulted.

I haven’t been able to get closer than the sub-family Hereodromiinae for this fly. It’s a subfamily in the Dance Fly family (Empididae), a group of small predatory flies with either raptorial hind legs or like in this species raptorial forelegs.

I found another species of the squid-looking Miagrammopes genus of the Venomless spider family Uloboridae. Those four eyes in two close pairs just look so goofy.

This next one was a real treat. Most of the Cellar Spiders (family Pholcidae in Australia, also known as Daddy Long-legs) I encounter are invaders that came to Australia along with Europeans. A lot of the native species are virtually indistinguishable from the invasive ones. This one Micromerys sp. is an Australo-Papuan species and in some ways quite different from other Cellar Spiders.

Lastly there’s a small Theridiidae spider, probably undescribed. Find-a-spider has a similar looking species that it tentatively identifies as a species of Theridion based on its similarity to the Hawaiian ‘Happy Face’ spider Theridion grallator. I have no idea but I’m starting to get a collection of images of these small green oddly shaped spiders from different habitats.

8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Beautiful, delicate and ephemeral. But I had to Google “raptorian” in this context, so I’ll add lethal too. Thanks for photos

  2. Such a treat to see such varied life forms.
    We used to drive from LA to San Jose and had to hose off loads of dead insects stuck on the windshield and grill. On recent drives, there were only a few ‘hits’.. must be pesticides.

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