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…

Hyperparasite: Acroclisoides sp.

Acroclisoides wasps are tiny insects that parasitise wasps that parasitise bugs. That’s right. Somehow, these wasps find a clutch of bug eggs (which are really small to start with) that have already been parasitised by a wasp and manage to get their little babies into those wasp larvae. See more wasp photos at www.aussiebugs.com.au/Hymenoptera/Wasps/

We Love Wasps

Wasps have a bad reputation but play an important role in controlling populations of other insects. Wasps feed on things like caterpillars or spiders while others may only take nectar from flowers which also makes them important pollinators. Most wasps are parasites of plants, animals or other insects (even other wasps) and some are so…

Aussie Bugs Blog Begins

I wanted to produce a book. An interactive iBook to be precise but I realised a few things after I started….