Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Plethora of New Species Named

As it cools down and Autumn progresses, a few new things have popped out of the woodwork. Apart from the two damselflies, spider hunting wasp and Ichneumon wasp dealt with in other articles, the following other species have been found and named in Riddells Creek ...

As spiders go they don't get much prettier than this (above and below). There is some debate as to what to call this entity as there are apparently four species that look like this one that can only be reliably distinguished by their genitalia. They are generally referred to as Storena formosa but for now it is probably best to call it Storena spp.. It is probably an ant hunting spider.

While wandering down Narelle's creek bed this large 'Bee Fly' was noticed (very flighty so I couldn't get a great photo - ID to genus level by Ken Walker), Villa spp., 

I watched as this Red-headed Spider Ant (Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus) killed and carried off a Jumping Jack (Myrmecia pilosula),  (both are formally named for the first time in Riddells Creek collections):

This pretty wasp spent quite some time flying around the developing seeds of Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa. It is Williamsita spp. (ID by Ken Walker at the Museum),

This pretty beetle was on a Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata subsp. dealbata) in Sandy Creek Reserve. It is Calomela parilis (Calomela species are generically known as Acacia Leaf Beetles - ID by Chris Read, Australian Museum, via Ken Walker). Pics I can find on the web for similar species often show the beetles on Silver Wattle.

And below are a few weeds/introduced pests, formally named and recorded for the first time.

This one was probably planted at Rowallan Scout Camp in the 1960-70s and it is now spreading along Kent Road (Rowallan have recently been funded to help get rid of this plant from the area). It is Hakea salicifolia subsp. salicifolia (Willow-leaf Hakea),

Melaleuca armillaris subsp. armillaris (Giant Honey-myrtle) is actually rare in Victoria in its natural range (east of Orbost) but a weed (garden escapee) around Melbourne. I've seen it at a couple of locations locally,

Juncus acutus subsp. acutus (Spiny Rush) is a hideous weed of Volcanic Plains waterways. Again, Melbourne Water are funding works to get rid of this weed at this location,

Blattella germanica (German Cockroach) is, unfortunately, rife throughout Victoria. The two parallel black bars on the pronotum are usually characteristic,

And finally, the following aren't new species for Riddells Creek but they are two plant species not previously recorded for Conglomerate Gully Reserve. Tricoryne elatior (Yellow Rush-lily),

... and Hypoxis hygrometrica var. villosisepala (Golden Weather-glass),

The species count for Riddells Creek is now at 1180.


  1. Thanks for the ID for the Spider Ant. We have one of these running around the concrete steps outside our front door. We have to be careful not to tread on it. We have seen it there for over 6 months - I'm not sure if it's the same ant but we only see one at a time.
    David, Mt Macedon

    1. My experience is the same as yours David. We have solitary red-headed ants from time to time wandering around the concrete on our verandah and it is very difficult to avoid treading on them - there should be a name for the dance it makes us do in avoiding it. I would guess yours are likely to be the same species. This species seems quite distinct from other members of the genus.