Sent to me from Moruya, on the NSW South Coast, via Troy Booth.
A very odd beetle larva, with pointed feet and a head that doesn’t even look like it belongs on this planet. Possibly Ceti Alpha V. I’d initially thought it was a firefly larva, and got very excited, but I was corrected on the ID, since the related Lycidae family have very similar larva and a more scorched appearance.
It’s not clear what Lycid larvae eat - some sources say they’s predators, and other says fungi or rotting wet wood. In at least some species the larvae will gather together en mass before they pupate, and pupate inside their last larval skin.
AKA bamboo mushrooms, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady.
Submitted to Amateur Entomology Australia by John Or at the Arnhem Nursery, Northern Territory. He actually wanted an ID for the Banana-stalk fly sitting on the mushroom.
The species is found in tropical areas worldwide, growing in rich soil and well-rotted woody material. It’s grown commercially for Asian cuisine, as well as being used in Chinese medicine since at least the 8th Century, and features in folk beliefs in many cultures - some based on the shape, and others on the smell it uses to attract flies to the greenish spore mass on the tip.
Found in his garden in Sydney, by Jay Tan. It turned up in one of his garden beds, while he was digging it up, and he noticed it didn’t look like his usual garden slugs. He was quite right.
Austalia has two families of native air-breathing slugs, but a wide varietyof introduced species, including these guys that I’ve never seen before. Testacella, the only genus in the Testacellidae, is distinguished from other slugs by the small ear-shaped shell down near the tip of the tail. The shape of the shell also gave the species T. haliotidea its name, for the same reason that the ear-shaped marine snails known as abalone are in the family Haliotidae. Australia also has Semi-slugs, but in that native family the shell is near the middle of the body and half covered in flaps of flesh.
Shelled slugs are native to the western Mediterranean, and up along the Atlantic coast, into Great Britain. It’s also found in other parts of Europe, and has been introduced to parts of New Zealand, Australia, and North America, but distribution data is uncertain because the slug spends nearly all its time underground, agily hunting and devouring earthworms.
Jay was quite glad he didn’t put it back in his garden bed.
AKA peewee, peewit, mudlark, blue and white crow, pied grackle, Murray magpie , pied grallina, pugwall, byoolkolyedi, dilabot, koolyibarak. birrarik or birrerik. A passerine native to Australia, Timor and New Guinea.
They used to be in the Corcoracidae with the Apostlebird and White-winged Chough, but now they’re classified in the family Monarchidae with the monarch flycatchers.
Carnivorous birds that hunts small animals in open ground, so mass land-clearing by humans has been quite useful for them, although they still need trees to build their mud nests in.
Pairs sing in duets to establish territory, and are keenly aware where neighbouring pairs should be. They also fearlessly attack larger birds, including eagles, that come near the nests.
Spotted by Tanisha Grant in Kanmantoo SA - happily, she found a male and a female, since they have completely different markings. The male is the speckled grey one.
Oenosandra boisduvalii is the only species the genus, and one of only 8 species in the family Oenosandridae, or Snub Moths. They used to be included in the Notodontidae. Found in most of southern Australia, where the caterpillars hide under bark and emerge to eat gum leaves.