Thrips Shop for Wasps

OK Kids, listen up. What you’re looking at here are a couple of tiny thrips which were parasitised by tiny wasps. WHAAAAAAT? That’s right, these thrips were injected with wasp eggs and it’s turned them into little puparium for wasps. The one on the right is fully developed and about to hatch, the one on…

Psyllid Puparium

I’ve posted about Lerps and Psyllids before but this time I’ve gone the extra mile, dear reader. When I found this fantastic basket lerp in the shape of a shell, I could hardly contain my excitement but I soon noticed the nymph inside seemed to be a bit odd. Turns out it had been the…

Hey Spider! What are you doing?

Well human, I’ve made a lunchbox out of ants and bum rope and I’m taking it somewhere. I’m a really tiny spider you’ve named Europys and I specialise in preying on ants! I ambush them and wrap them in silk and take them somewhere to eat or use for food for my babies. Don’t worry, there are enough…

Inside a Rattle Ant Nest

Rattle Ants (Polyrhachis sp.) are big black and shiny tree ants. They look like your best pair of highly polished patent leather shoes. Only ant shaped and a lot smaller and not really shoe-like at all and a bit more shiny. They build messy nests made up of mushed up bark and leaves and silk. The…

Ants: Rhytidiponera

According to antweb.org there are over 100 species of Rhytidiponera ants in Australia but the most well known is the Green-headed Ant – Rhytidiponera metallica. These ants have terrorised children across the country, surely for as long as there have been people here, and adults are not immune to their painful stings. But they are more than…

Lantana Leafminer Beetle

Lantana is a mighty huge pest in this country thanks to the efforts of early gardeners who wanted a pretty shrub in their gardens. One of the control methods adopted by the people in charge of such things was to introduce these fantastically photogenic beetles. Lucky me! They do wreak havoc on the lucky lantana leaf…

Peeping Up Your Petiole

On a lap around the farm last christmas I came across some odd lumps on the petioles (leaf stems) of a cottonwood tree. I suspected straight away they were galls but had no idea the contents. When I came back with the camera I started to promptly and rudely split some galls to photograph what…

Scallop Shell Lerps

So far in the wild world of Lerps, I’ve encountered about four different structures created by these little baby psyllids. Enjoy some scallop shell shapes I encountered in a suburban park while I was waiting for the car to be serviced. What else would you do? Find some more lovely lerps here: aussiebugs.com.au/Hemiptera/Lerps-Psyllids

White-footed Ants: Technomyrmex

These ants are extremely common and have colonised most of the world using uncommon habits. Unlike most other ants, up to half of the colony will be fertile females called Intercastes. An established colony will produce winged males and females once a year in spring but after a new colony is established, the queen will…

Psyllids & Lerps

AKA Jumping Plant Lice, these particular psyllids are tiny builders that extract sap from leaves (they have sucking mouthparts like all true bugs) and instead of feeding the resulting waste product to ants in return for protection, they build little coverings called Lerps to hide in until they develop wings. Maybe they just don’t like ants….

Wasps & Galls

Galls are fascinating for me and I see quite a lot of them on Acacia trees. They never disappoint and usually have something interesting to see on them – even if it’s only a colony of Technomyrmex ants using a dead gall as a camp site. Most times though I can find beautiful little wasps like…

Abispa Mud Wasp

Abispa sp. mud wasps can look scary (this one is quite large at 25-30mm) but all she wants to do is collect caterpillars to provide food for her offspring. Here she has flown around a tree infested with leaf-rolling caterpillars until she spots a suitable candidate for extraction. She cuts a hole in its leaf, extracts…