What's in the garden?


Hoverfly

As per their name, you can find these creatures hovering around flowers. Due to their markings they can be mistaken for bees or wasps, but they are harmless. This mimicry actually deters predators.

The following photos are of a hoverfly I observed busying itself around the flowers in the garden. I believe it is a yellow-shouldered stout hoverfly, or Simosyrphus grandicornis.

A photograph of a hoverfly on a flower A photograph of a hoverfly on a flower A photograph of a hoverfly in flight A photograph of a hoverfly on a flower

Dome-web Spider

The dome-web spider, or Cyrtophora moluccensis, is part of the orb-weaver family and has quite elaborate markings on its body. It builds a horizontal web with a dome shape and they often build their webs in groups.

The following photos show one individual among a large group in the garden.

A photograph of a dome-web spider A photograph of a dome-web spider A photograph of a dome-web spider

Dragonfly

Dragonflies are fascinating to watch and are true masters of the skies. They can fly in all directions - even backwards. They have superb vision, being able to see 200 images per second in 360 degrees.

The following photos show a male fiery skimmer, or Orthetrum villosovittatum, resting on a reed in a pond.

A photograph of a dragonfly on a reed A photograph of a dragonfly on a reed A photograph of a dragonfly on a reed

Grey wall jumping spider

The grey wall jumping spider can be found on walls, where it waits for small insects, such as flies, to land. It then stalks these insects and pounces when the time is right. The name of this species is Menemerus bivittatus. The photo on the left depicts a male, identified by the dark stripe running down its body. In contrast, females have back stripes running along each side of their abdomen. This can be seen in the photo on the right, where a female is eating a fly.

A photograph of a male grey wall jumping spider on a wall A photograph of a female grey wall jumping spider on a wall

Tussock caterpillar

Given the distinct tufts of hair this might be a tussock caterpillar. If so, this caterpillar belongs to the subfamily of moths called Lymantriinae.

A photograph of a tussock caterpillar on a leaf

Ladybird

The ladybird beetle is a little creature that most will be familiar with. Not only are they a pleasant sight to see but they help protect plants by preying on plant-eating insects, such as aphids.

This particular ladybird, shown below, is a variable ladybird, or Coelophora inaequalis.

A photograph of a ladybird on a leaf A photograph of a ladybird on a leaf A photograph of a ladybird on a leaf

Green jumping spider

I accidentally found this green jumping spider under a leaf and managed to get a few photographs. It is apparently one of the largest jumping spiders in Australia and can be difficult to spot, given how well it blends in with green foliage. The binomial name of this spider is Mopsus mormon.

A photograph of a green jumping spider on a plant A photograph of a green jumping spider on a plant A photograph of a green jumping spider on a plant