Photo by a friend of mine, Bruce Griffin, in Warrensburg, Missouri. It’s not often I can ID a species from overseas, but a Saturniid this distinctive wasn’t TOO difficult. The colour and pattern is a surpisingly good match for a decomposing leaf
The diet of the caterpillars is unusually wide, including conifers like Norway Spruce, and deciduous trees and shrubs including oak, box elder, maples, sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and sassafras. The pini subspecies feeds only on conifers, and the adults don’t feed at all.
Various subspecies are found from Argentina to Canada, and unsurprisingly it’s E. imperialis pini that’s found up at the northern end.
One of the species that I posted to BowerBird for an ID, although Colin went on to get his own account there. Hopefully he’ll get his own observations ported to iNaturalist, since he’s a much better photographer than me.
Myrmecia chasei and Myrmecia ludlowi have the same coloration as Myrmecia elegans, but are more robust ants with hairy tibiae. The separation of the two species by is based purely on the colour of the mandibles (yellow in chasei, dark brown in ludlowi), but many specimens having intermediate light to medium brown mandibles. Both species (if indeed they are separable species) are found in the Darling Range, including the Perth area, and elsewhere in SW Western Australia. Colin took this photo way down in the SW.
Another bull-ant, but one of the smaller species. This time photographed by me, in Yellingup, down in the SW corner. Found in large parts of Southern Australia. The short-lived winged males are duped into pollinating the flowers of the Hare Orchid Leporella fimbriata, and may visit and try to mate with dozens of flowers until eventually dying of exhaustion.
One of the smaller cicadas we get in WA, with five species and outlying populations further north and over in coastal Victoria and South Australia. I found this one tangled in spiderweb, let him or her climb over my fingers while I got some photos, and the little fucker bit me. Which was quite surprising coming from an exclusively plant-sucking family.
A small cicada about 3cm long, found in Western Australia, but only in a narrow band along the coast from the Murchison River south to Augusta, in open heath growing on sandy soils . Adults emerge from October to March. A coarse, grating continuous call, typically made while sitting on the branches of small trees.
A rather spectacular orange and black cicada that I found at a petrol station near Secret Harbour,. One of two species in the genus, which exists along the coast here in the SW corner of Australia.
A genus of vividly marked short-palped craneflies, with hundreds of species. This one was out at the Dryandra Woodlands, SE of Perth.
Another Short-palped Cranefly (Limoniidae) - a Palearctic species found in a wide range of habitats and microhabitats: in earth rich in humus, in swamps and marshes, in leaf litter and in wet spots in woods. Native to temperate Eurasia and northern Africa, but reported from various widely separated parts of Australia as well.
I certainly seem to be seeing more of these than your classic Tipulid Craneflies, who hold their wings out at an angle when resting. Of course, there’s also a few other smaller families of cranefly, but I have no idea how to recognise one.
A genus of large, and sometimes bulky and colourful craneflies, with hundreds of species found worldwide. This particular individual I found on the side of the road 70km east of Perth.