Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Tony Eales from Queensland sendt some lovely photos; his notes are indented.  The first one is, I think, one of the finest insect photos that’s ever appeared here:

A few more insects from down under.

First is a Botany Bay Diamond WeevilChrysolopus spectabilis:


Next is a Sand Wasp genus Bembix, probably Bembix variabilis:


Then a Stilt Legged Fly—I think genus Metopochetus. I found in the local sub-tropical rainforest. It appeared to be going around on a fallen log depositing eggs in small holes and crevices it found.


Lastly one of my favourite rainforest ants, the Red Spider AntLeptomyrmex rufipes [JAC: one site says that they cock their abdomens up in the air when disturbed, and this one seems to be doing that]:




  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 4, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Another interesting RWP! Thanks Tony!

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted January 4, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Click on an image to enlarge it, then click again and then once more.

      Mr. Eales, you have admirable skills.

  2. Pete Moulton
    Posted January 4, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Great images, Tony! That weevil is especially nice.

    • Dominic
      Posted January 4, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      …yet christians go on about the problem of weevil…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 4, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Whovians too.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted January 4, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Yeah, they have a thing against Curculionids. In Matthew for example: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the weevil one.”

  3. Dominic
    Posted January 4, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    The stilt legged fly looks a bit like the ant – not a mimic is it?

    • Tony Eales
      Posted January 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Could be. It was in the same place as the spider ants and looks somewhat similar but smaller. I always mistake stilt legged flies for wasps initially until I see their “gas mask” faces.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 4, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Most excellent! It is always a trip to see how species are similar & yet different on opposite sides of the globe. That sand wasp could have been on a prairie in Iowa, as far as I can tell. That too is a good picture of a challenging insect, btw. They hover, but move suddenly. Land at their hole & vanish into it.

    • Tony Eales
      Posted January 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      They’re a pain for me as I have developed some sort of arthritis over the last year and can’t get down on the ground to photograph these guys, I have to stand back a it and use a small telephoto lens. On the habits the ones around here spend a lot of time clearing the entrance to their burrows so they’re not as challenging to shoot as it sounds like your versions are.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted January 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Nice insects. What’s the weevil standing on? Looks like the dimpled surface of a basketball.

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted January 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I like the way the weevil’s dimpled surface echos the substrate. It appears to be something flat like a tile or plexiglass, but the corded stitching in the foreground baffles me.

      • Tony Eales
        Posted January 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        It’s the tonneau cover on the back of my ute. The large weevils here have a habit of just letting go of branches and dropping to the ground at the slightest disturbance so I popped him up on the back of the car for a better shot then put him back in the bush where I found him.

        • Pete Moulton
          Posted January 4, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          Maybe they’ve been watching the Drop Bears…

          • Tony Eales
            Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:27 am | Permalink

            some of the weevils are super frustrating, they curl up into an unphotogenic ball and stay that way for about as long as you’re willing to wait. At least these guys spread out their legs again when you let them rest somewhere.

  6. Mark Joseph
    Posted January 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Superb pix!

    How large is that weevil?

    • Tony Eales
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      About 15mm there was a female nearby which was more of a yellowish colour and larger approx 20mm

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink


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