Readers’ wildlife photos

December 11, 2021 • 8:00 am

Send in your photos, please; the holidays will soon be on, and nobody will be reading or sending. Thanks!

Today’s photos, a great batch, come from regular Tony Eales from Queensland. His notes are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

A grab bag of rainforest finds.  I’ve been getting seriously addicted to doing night walks in the local rainforest. There’s a lot of different species out compared with the day, and different activities are going on.
Like cicadas emerging from their pupal shells, this one is a Green Grocer (Cyclochila australasiae). One of the favourite photos I’ve ever taken.

I encountered this mantidfly (Ditaxis biseriata) wandering about on a huge tree fallen limb. The ones I’ve found in the rainforest in the day have flown off quickly but this one seemed very interested in my lights.

A lot of sex seems to happen at night as well. Who would have thought that cockroach sex would be so weirdly beautiful? These are in the family Ectobiidae, but more than that I do not know.

There’s a few species I only ever see at night, like this huntsman (Heteropoda hillerae):

And these harvestmen, probably an undescribed Neopantopsalis species:

. . . and these weird crickets in the ‘Cave Weta’ family Macropathinae:

During the day these spiders (Genus Namandia in the family Desidae) stay deep in their messy cobweb retreats in the hollows and forks of trees. But at night they run out and grab anything walking around on the trunk of the trees. This hairy caterpillar’s spines were apparently no defence.

The lower trunks of the trees are full of these prehistoric looking pygmy grasshoppers (Tetrigidae). They are both armoured and camouflaged and difficult to photograph well, but worth the effort. This one is  Vingselina crassa. [JAC: Look at those hoppers!]

Not just invertebrates come out at night but also vertebrates and normally shy frogs are rather easy to approach and photograph at night time. This one is the Dainty Tree Frog, Ranoidea gracilenta, a fairly common frog but one I never tire of photographing.

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. I had a serious aversion to spiders a few years ago. Then I had a friend who was extremely interested in them and every time I seemed to turn around I was being “educated” in spiders. They are not my favorite critter but I no longer get undone by them. Now I find pictures of spiders, especially from far away places I can view them with some interest. Sometimes more than others.
      This is a wonderful opportunity to view without contact.

  1. The Dainty tree frog has an expression I can relate to; one of melancholia resulting from contemplating the state of the world these days.

  2. Absolutely spectacular set of photos! The one of Cyclochila australasiae moulting out from its nymphal form is sensational. Thank you for posting them.

  3. Terrific as always, Tony! For the cockroaches, what may be going on here is that the female (on top) is taking a nuptial gift from the male in the form of a protein rich secretion from a gland on his back. I know there are crickets that do exactly the same thing.

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