My Bananas Bring All The Boys To The Yard

One of the great things about having this blog is that you just never know who'll turn up that in turn I'll be lucky enough to get to write about. Last night we had a few interesting arrivals in the garden ... and ya don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why ...

Quick every one - free bananas!

In the last post I was saying about how the Friar birds (above), were knocking off the bananas we'd picked from the yard and had left on the table, well it seems word has spread.

This extremely handsome Fruit Piercing Moth fluttered in and quickly zeroed in on the fruit - it was quite something to watch. The moth used it's proboscis to stab at the fruit - literally. Making jabbing motions until the pulps consistency was to the moths liking before sucking it out. The ultimate banana thick-shake eh?

Eudocima salaminia

There are three widely occurring species of fruit piercing moth: Eudocima salaminia, E. fullonia, E. jordani and E. materna. The adult moths are large and stout-bodied, with a wingspan of 100 mm. The forewings can be mainly brown, cream or green.

Hind wings are yellow orange, with black patches and spots.

Larva feed on native vines for about three weeks, progressing through five or six stages, or instars, before forming a dark-brown pupa in a delicate silk cocoon between webbed leaves.

After 2½ weeks adults emerge from the pupa. Breeding occurs through most of the year in northern Queensland, although it is much reduced during the dry season.

In drier areas such as central Queensland, outbreaks are more common in wet years that are favourable to continuous growth of the larval-host vines. ^

I imagine that proboscis could be a nasty shock for the unwary

The pillaging of our fruit didn't end there though, we had another marauder - this time a marsupial. The irrepressible and highly comical Northern Brown Bandicoot ...

Isoodon macrourus

There are those who consider both the moth and incredibly the bandicoot as pests. I don't share that view (course, I don't own a golf course or a fruit plantation either I suppose ...). But for me, every native animal has it's place - even if it costs the odd banana.

Speaking of native animals, Australia's one and only species of Drongo seems to have become a regular feature in the garden ... and happily he's slowly getting used to me wanting to take his picture ...

Dicrurus bracteatus

He's even sneaking the odd drink from my home made bird table - watched over by Gregor - our carved coconut gargoyle :)

A sip then it's back to the hunt

And to end, here's another mystery moth who ventured inside last night and posed with such good grace that snapping a pic seemed mandatory ...


A quick word about moth identification: According to the good people at the CSIRO: Australian moths online

"There are about 22,000 species of Australian moths, of which only about half have been described so far.

Apart from original descriptions (often very old and insufficient) and scientific studies on selected groups, relatively little has been published on Australian moths

So I hope you'll forgive me not knowing what every critter I post is, the point really though, is that if you're into moths or insects in general and want to know a little more the above link is a fantastic resource that I'd encourage you to check out.

Till next time - Take Care

Paul :)

Dragonfly And Friends

It's been nice having time to wander about the place and just take things in - I make time for it otherwise, but just pure leisure - it's hard to beat eh?

Anyway, I got some more Dragonfly pics and I think this one's a doozy (yes, I know it's bad form to say that - but hey, if a bloke can't appreciate his own work once in a while, then what's the point eh?) ...

It'd settled on some pineapple plants, but with the wind gusting and no tripod I wasn't at all sure I'd get the pic. However, a little bit of fiddling with some camera settings (I won't bore you with the details) - and Le voilĂ ! ...

Common Glider Trapezostigma loewii

There was also this rather beautiful Dart - I'm not 100% sure of the species, but an uneducated guess would be Cephrenes trichopepla - see what you make of it ...

Yellow Palm Dart?

We also had an old friend pop in at the table to say hello - these inquisitive and vocal birds always make me think of the famous Berlin Archaeopteryx, with their leathered faces and improbable red eyes - fantastic creatures ...

Helmeted Friarbird  Philemon buceroides

As I am writing this post the cheeky wee bugger is back on the table helping himself to a banana!

The critters around here are really starting to get used to us ... half expect an Echidna to pop in to borrow a cup of sugar ...

The Katydid is still around - and yes, I featured him last time - but I think his sheer good looks and fastidious grooming deserve another look ...

Paracaedicia serrata

Now, for all you froggy fans out there - here's one who jumped up on the couch last night and watched a bit of tele with me - a Striped Rocket Frog.

Litoria nasuta

And finally - does anyone have any idea what this moth is? I certainly don't. I spied him this morning right next to the puter, disturbingly the poor little fellah expired moments after I took the pic. So literally hanging by a thread, or limb as the case may be ... But still beautiful - looks like its been dusted with polished copper.

Sorry, this is a bit of a dour note to end on ... ummm, have you seen the frog?


I hope you enjoyed the post - thanks to everyone who leaves a comment or shares my little blog, it's nice to be acknowledged.

Take Care

Paul :)

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