Friday, 9 August 2013

Now That's an Ovipositor!

A few more new species for Riddells Creek have been identified in the past couple of months. Many thanks to Ken Walker at the Museum for IDs (or confirmations) of insects and the scorpion, and to Ken Harris for the lacewing ID (click on the links to get more photos or details of the specific NatureShare observation).

Megalyra shuckardi. Now that's an ovipositor! Many wasps have a long, sinister-looking rear appendage that looks like a stinger but it isn't. It is an ovipositor or egg-laying device. It is not dangerous to humans but it is often used for laying eggs in other insects. Apparently this species is the largest megalyrid wasp in the world. Body length is about 2cm, ovipositor length about 8cm! ID by Ken Walker, who added "these wasps mainly parasitise wood-boring beetles."

Mictis profana (Crusader Bug). Thought to be 2nd or 3rd instar maybe. Flanged legs are a key feature.

Cillibus incisus. A type of Pie-dish Beetle.

Stenosmylus spp.. A nice-looking Lacewing. ID by Ken Harris who is currently researching a book on Victorian Lacewings.
Below is Cercophonius squama (Forest Scorpion or Wood Scorpion). This scorpion species hides under bark and in cracks in the wood and goes walkabout during the evening. In Melbourne and surrounds they are often moved into the house via firewood. It is the first scorpion species recorded for Riddells Creek on NatureShare.

We live in an amazing place! 
At the time of writing this article, the Riddells Creek collections on NatureShare contain 1239 species.

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