Thursday, 9 May 2013

Species IDed in Riddells Creek passes 1200.

Many new species for Riddells Creek have been identified in the past couple of weeks, mainly as I went through sorting some old files, and many thanks to Ken Walker at the Museum for IDs (or confirmations) of bees, wasps, ants and others. Some IDs have been of common species that most of us know already but just haven't been formally named on our lists, but many others are not so well known. Here are a few of the highlights (click on the links to get more photos or details of the specific NatureShare observation).

The best dressed bug, with bow tie and buttoned up brightly coloured shirt (a small bit of anthropomorphising there I suspect!) is a nymph of the Harlequin Bug (Dindymus versicolor) - the 'bow tie' is the developing wings (thanks to Martin Lagerway for ID):
... and here is the Harlequin Bug in its better known stage, fully grown up:

Here are a few new native bees. This one I've always called the 'red-bottomed bee', Megachile ferox (in the group of leafcutter or resin bees).
and here is a different looking pic of Megachile ferox in the native garden of RCL members Pam & Jim Brooks:

This bee I came across when digging up the garden, Lasioglossum sulthicum (a Halictid or 'sweat' bee):

Callomelitta picta, a beautifully coloured bee of the Colletidae family (Short-tongued Bees or sometimes called plasterer bees or polyester bees, due to the method of smoothing the walls of their nest cells):

... and another Colletid Bee, Leioproctus amabilis:

Then a few wasps ... this one (and possibly another like it) is quite common on my windows at night, a Neteleia species (Netelia species are well known for being attracted to lights - it is also a friend of farmers because it is a parasitiser of some moth caterpillars that are farm pests, specifically Helicoverpa and armyworm caterpillars). The horrible-looking 'stinger-like' spine at its rear is in fact just an egg-laying tool (an ovipositor) which is a signature feature of parasitic Ichneumonid wasps.

For the wasp below, Certonotus nitidulus, Ken Walker added "I have never seen one of these alive so this is a thrill for me to see it!". Here it is on Olearia lirata (Snowy Daisy-bush). The very long ovipositor (egg-laying tool) is again a signature of the parasitic Ichneumonid wasps.

The Gasteruption species below is a wasp of Gasteruptidae family that lay eggs in the nests of solitary bees and wasps, where their larvae prey upon the host larvae:

Now to a more conventional looking wasp, below is Williamsita bivittata of the Sphecidae family (eg. mud-daubers that provision their nests with food like spiders or caterpillars before laying eggs):

Below is a wasp from the family Vespidae (same as the European Wasp), it is a Paralastor species (a Potter Wasp):

Below is called the 'Blue Ant' but it is in fact a wasp, the female of which is most often seen wandering on the ground. It is Diamma bicolor (Blue Ant), a parasitic wasp. Females are wingless and often seen wandering on the ground looking for mole crickets. They lay an egg on the paralysed cricket, with the cricket then being used as food for the developing wasp larva. Males are quite a bit smaller, have wings and feed only on nectar from flowers (they are regarded as important pollinators of native plants). They are in the family Tiphiidae (flower wasps). Unlike all the above, this species has a very painful sting - from Wikipedia "The sting can cause a severe burning sensation and swelling in humans; in rare cases, it can cause a life-threatening reaction (such as anaphylaxis)."

Often thought of as a wasp, but it is actually a fly, below is the Common Hover Fly, Melangyna viridiceps.

Bees, wasps and ants are all together in the same Order of insects (Hymenoptera). Here is a new ant species for Riddells Creek, a Camponotus species: 

A couple of beetles (IDs by Martin Lagerway) ... first, below, is the nicely coloured Lemodes coccinea:

... and the Brown Darkling Beetle (Ecnolagria grandis):

A native millipede that is apparently common in this area (ID by Bob Mesibov), Pogonosternum nigrovirgatum:

... and a non-native that has now been IDed to species level, Scutigera coleoptrata (European House Centipede) - this species can give a sting that can causing swelling:

And finally, an amazing native cockroach, Laxta granicollis, below is a male:
 and below is a female of the same species (left is its front end!):

We live in an amazing place! 

At the time of writing this article, the Riddells Creek collections on NatureShare contain 1221 species.

1 comment:

  1. You have been busy!!! I recognized a few of the species and noted the names. Some of these I've seen around the upper Coliban Reservoir area. Amazing what's out there!!!