Sunday, 8 January 2012
Common Names: Meadow Argus Butterfly, Albin's Hampstead Eye
Species: Junonia villidaFamily: NYMPHALIDAE
The Meadow Argus Butterfly (Junonia villida) is a medium sized butterfly that is surprisingly fussy about its resting position. If the sun is bright it rests with its wings in a somewhat horizontal position to absorb the rays and relax. If a predator approaches while it's sunny it will flatten its wings further to fully show the predator its warning eye spots. Alternativly if the sun is behind the clouds the butterfly will keep its wings closed. If a predator then approaches when there is no sun the butterfly will show off only the eyespots on only its forewings. This particular individual has a female colour pattern which is more drab and slightly different in arrangement to the colouration of the male Medaw Argus Butterfly.
Common Names: Harlequin Bugs, Cotton Harlequin Bugs, Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs
Species: Tectocoris diophthalmusFamily: SCUTELLERIDAE
Nymphs of the Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs (Tectocoris diophthalmus) until adulthood often hang around in clusters sucking fluids from the leaves of Malvaceae family members. They also sometimes have a taste for Brachychitons, Grevilleas and young Bottlebrushes. True bugs in the family Scutelleridae superficially resemble beetles, this is because they are often colourfull and their forewings are fused into a hard shell, and although the forewings of beetles are separate, both give an armoured appearance. These nymphs are chowing down on Hibiscus heterophyllus, a species of native Hibiscus. They have not yet developed the fused-forewing cover (scutellum) for which this family gets its name.
Common Names: Vegetable Grasshopper, Northern Grass Pyrgomorph, Green Grass Pyrgomorph
Species: Atractomorpha similisFamily: PYRGOMORPHIDAE
Anyone who lives in South-East Queensland where I do would have seen one of these little guys, they are Atractomorpha similis, commonly called Vegetable Grasshoppers as well as a host of other names that children come up with for them. I think I always used to call them long-nosed grasshoppers as a kid. This one is likely an adult female due to it's size and fully developed wings. Apparently there's another very similar species called Atractomorpha australis, which can only be found in its adult stage from Feburary to April while Atractomorpha similis can be founds in its adult stage all year round. This photo wasn't taken in Feburary, March or April so I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume it's Atractomorpha similis, studiers of Pyrgomorphs please don't crucify me. This one looks to be hanging around on a geranium leaf, perhaps it's just had a feed. It sadens me to think how many of these poor critters get sacrified to lawn mower blades everytime the grass is mown. I much prefer these to the larger Giant Grasshoppers that also hang around my garden, mostly because they're smaller, eat less and are less likely to startle me when I don't see them while gardening.