Hairy Wasps And A Snake In Chains

The other day we had an invasion of wasps - I'm not sure what the trigger was - a flowering plant?, mating cue?, free pizza with coupon? ... I have no idea. But there they were, at least a dozen Yellow Hairy Flower Wasps ...

Campsomeris tasmaniensis

Like their bee cousins, they are valuable pollinators

Not to be outdone - a couple of Mud-Dauber Wasps cruised inside, with one deciding the bread bin was the perfect place to constuct a nest for her precious egg ...

Sceliphron sp

A well deserved break

She never completed it. For whatever reason, the wasp didn't return. Presumably she either took on a spider that bested her or she herself was predated by another animal ... we'll never know.

And still there were more, some I missed but I managed to snap this little lady - unsure of the species, and while I have gotten this wrong on so many occasions it's embarrassing, I'll go out on a limb and say it too is a wasp ... maybe ... lol.


The food that Sceliphron paralyse and stuff into the nest with it's single egg are pretty well represented round the joint at the moment ... the spiders.

Oxyopidae sp

Mopsus mormon (F)

But these aren't the only potentially bitey little mates we have hidden in the grass ... today Jo was out annoying the garden (pulling weeds and generally making a nuisance of herself), when she went to move an old coil of chain ...

Paulie! ... Snake!

Funnily enough, I had asked her to be mindful of snakes as she was getting ready to wage weed war (we are surrounded by sugar cane and the nights are cooling - chances are high that some will be seeking better cover and our place has plenty of that). But Jo is a mightily observant person ... I needn't have worried.

Still, you can see how this heavily pre-slough snake blended amazingly with the length of chain in which it was ensconced. I took some pics, but it was all a bit rushed and frenetic, so excuse the quality ...

I am almost 100% sure that it's harmless, but almost is never good enough and while I was looking for a suitable twig to aid me in wrangling the snake for identification, it pulled that most extraordinary of snake tricks, and simply disappeared (I don't free handle juv snakes I can't I.D - both for my safety and the snakes)

The blue 'eyes' are actually a sign that the snake is ready to shed it's skin

At the end of the day - a snake encounter with the best results. We got to observe an incredibly interesting animal and were reminded that due care should be observed when out and about, but hysteria is unwarranted.

A great moment as snakes are by far, my greatest fascination - I just dig 'em the most.

On with the post ...

An interesting array of Butterflies and Grasshoppers continue to make the garden home - the butterflies, as counter-intuitive as this sounds, can be quite pugilistic ... even taking on Dragonflies (yes, I know - but I'm telling you, they see them off quite successfully too).


Juv Orthoptera exact species unknown

Orthopterans are the only insects considered kosher in Judaism. The list of dietary laws in the book of Leviticus forbids all flying insects that walk, but makes an exception for the locust.

Strangely, the dragonfly and cranefly are not kosher, but they are helpless when unable to fly. The Torah states the only kosher flying insects with four walking legs have knees that extend above their feet so that they hop. This suggests that non-jumping orthoptera such as mole crickets are not kosher ^

Religions; they'd be awesome if less people got all nasty gun grabby over them eh?

Every so often, I like to show our guests in a new light this is, T.loewii  a regular but by no means 'common'

Last night we also did a bit of a Cane Toad cull. I took the camera round with me and got a couple of pics of some critters that I'd like to share with you.

Hexacentrus sp (F)

A female Predatory Katydid, unusually for insects this female seemed much less robust than her male counter-part. Perhaps this is to stop the female from immediately eating prospective suitors?

And a lovely little red frog - no doubt a little concerned about the sheer number of large non-discriminatory, ingurgitating frogs she is surrounded by around here ...


Cheers for stopping by - I hope you endured, enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed taking the pics and putting it together ...

... be good, but don't be so good you feel like you're missing out ;)

Take Care

Paul :)