Unidentified species of Pond Skater or Water Strider, order Gerridae. Sorry, not a good picture - he was on the pond, I was on dry land... Need a bigger lens.
"Gerrids... are known to communicate by detecting and generating ripples in the water's surface. Both sexes use the ripples created by insects trapped in the surface tension to locate their prey." http://www.earthlife.net/insects/gerromorpha.html
There are three main frequencies found in ripple communication: 25 Hz as a repel signal, 10 Hz as a threat signal, and 3 Hz as a courtship signal. An approaching gerrid will first give out a repel signal to let the other water strider know they are in its area. If the other gerrid does not return the repel signal, then the bug knows it is a female and will switch to the courtship signal.
Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus), a male rubbing his legs against his wingcases to produce his song. You can hear Meadow Grasshopper stridulation - "buzzing with a rapid irregular pulse" - at www.orthoptera.org.uk
Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum). Red eyes. Red legs. Red wing spots. "Prefers shallow, relatively warm acidic waters, occurring mainly at pools, seepages and small streams." Britain's Dragonflies - Dave Smallshire & Andy Swash.
Erynnis tages, basking on the grassy ramparts of an Iron Age hillfort in Dorset. The caterpillars feed on Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa). Preferred habitat: rough-grazed grassland where the ground has been disturbed by cattle. Once a very common species in the UK.
"Unfortunately, numerous colonies have been lost in recent years, making this one of our most rapidly declining butterflies. The principal cause has been the 'improvement' of most ancient grassland for agriculture, which eliminates the butterfly's foodplants." The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland - Jeremy Thomas & Richard Lewington.
Found this as part of an interesting blog post about social behaviour in spiders. It's one of Otto Jurgen's videos about Peacock Spiders, although this species is more cryptic than most. It also has dance-offs against rival males :)
They're especially adorable waking up from their little sleeping bags in the morning :)
A nest of the large wood-chewing Camponotus ants, in a dead Banksia log. The large heavy jaws are ideal for the job of opening galleries in soft old logs. They can damage houses, but generally only parts that have already been damaged by moisture. They don’t eat wood, however, preferring honeydew and dead insects.
Hammond Park, Perth
#838 - Camponotus sp. - Carpenter Ant Queen
As you can see, Carpenter Ants can be quite large.
A Carpenter Ant nest may have more than one fertile queen, but even though they’ll co-operate on brood care, they remain somewhat aggressive towards each other, especially if the other queen trespasses on her side of the room.
The brightly coloured and probably noxious fourth instar nymph of a Eucalyptus Tip Wilter. I’ve covered the adults before, which are a large by dull brown insects.
#804 - Fam. Aleyrodidae - Whitefly Pupa
The transparent object at right, with the eyes and cross bar, is the pupa of a whitefly, and similar to the pupa of the Citrus WhiteflyDialeurodes citri, a major pest. You can tell it’s a pupa because the adult eyes are starting to show - nymphs are similar, and similarly fastened to their host leaf, but don’t have obvious eyespots yet. Adults are fully winged and look very different.
Because they can spread plant diseases, the 1550 species of whitefly do hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated damage to crops. Bemisia argentifolii alone is a vector for almost 60 other viral plant diseases
On top of sucking sap from the host plant and injecting viruses, further damage is done by the mold that grows on their honeydew.
Chemical control of whitefly infestations is extensive, but there are alternatives, at least on the small scale. According to Wikipedia:
Washing the plant, especially the undersides of leaves, may help reduce the number of the pests on the plants and make their management by other methods more effective. Whiteflies are also attracted by the color yellow, so yellow sticky paper can serve as traps to monitor infestations.Dead leaves or leaves that have been mostly eaten by whiteflies can be removed and burned or carefully placed in closed bins to avoid reinfestation and spreading of the disease.Early detection in combination with hosing or vacuuming of diseased portions as well as removal of any section that is heavily infested.
(the black object at left is a scale insect that I'll be covering at a later date)
#805 - Fam. Clastopteridae - Large Tube Spittlebug Refuges
Enormous refuges built by certain froghoppers. These are huge compared to the usual white chalky varieties I see around here. I don’t recognise the plant, unfortunately, but given it was only a few blocks from here I should go back and see if they’re still there, and whether I can find the insects responsible.
#806 - Fam. Aradidae - Flat Bugs
A family of very flattened bugs, distantly related to stink bugs, and of little economic import. Only a few have been studied, but they’re thought to feed on fungi and can be attracted with bark beetle pheromones.
In milder climates, Aradids are most often found under bark, as were the half-dozen I found here. In the tropics, they may live in leaf litter, or be found on fallen branches. Tropical species are often apterous.