Readers’ wildlife photos (and a video)

Please send in your good wildlife photos if you have some.

Reader Tony Eales from Australia continues his series of arthropods from his trip to Borneo. His notes are indented.

There aren’t too many insect orders left from my Borneo trip. Here we have Blattodea, Diptera and Hemiptera.

A lot of people think termites are ants, and a lot of stuff on the web still puts termites in their own order of Isoptera; but phylogenetic analysis shows them to be deeply nested within the Cockroach order Blattodea. They’re basically eusocial cockroaches. In Australia I am used to seeing them only if I lift a log or peel back some dead bark, but in the rainforest of Brunei they were out marching along a balcony rail like ants.

We saw more traditional cockroaches as well. A very large nymph or wingless female roach out on a ginger leaf on a night walk.

A medium sized roach with love hearts on its prothorax. Ignoring completely taxonomic accuracy, I’ve dubbed it the Love Bug.

And the smallest winged adult roach I’ve ever seen at about 3-4mm.

With my camera woes, flighty insects like flies were difficult to photograph and I missed, what may be, my only opportunity to photograph a stalk-eyed fly but I did get some other interesting dipterans. The first I have no idea of the family but the other two I am certain where Rhiniid Flies as we have similar species in Australia.

Rhiniids:

We also had many Hemipterans. The Flatid planthopper was almost identical to others I’ve seen in Australia. As was the Rice Bug Leptocorisa sp. (second photo). But both seemed like their colour was more “saturated” than the ones at home.

I also found an unidentified tiny nymph in a lovely shade of pink.

I also recorded the sounds of Cicadas calling at dusk. It’s an extraordinary call that sounds like a trumpet. They would call at the same time every day for about 15mins. Every time I listen it takes me back to the rainforest. The video is all hazy because my phone was in a ziplock bag to protect it from rain and humidity:

 

12 Comments

  1. CAS
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Nice photos! Love the way fly eyes diffract light!

  2. Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Great pictures, Tony! I had quite forgotten how termites are now embedded within roach-dom. This is one revision that has not surprised me at all. Still gobsmacked that insects are Crustaceans, though.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I’d never heard that insects were crustaceans so I Googled and what popped up as the third listing but a post from WEIT: https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/insects-are-crustaceans-2/.

      given that the post is nine years old I was even more surprised to find it so high on the list.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Must say I was totally unaware of this (insects being crustaceans), I still lived in the innocent bliss of the four main groups (trilobitoids, arachnoids, crustaceans and myriapods & insects) of arthropoda, but genetics doesn’t lie. And all of this was known for a decade!
        Makes me wonder what other misconceptions I cherish that have long been overhauled.

    • tjeales
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Gosh! I missed that decade-old news as well.

  3. rickflick
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Wonderful shots. The sound of Cicadas is really remarkable. You’d think you were listening to a large bird.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      We (in Auckland) get bursts (plagues? invasions? infestations? can’t think of the right word), typically lasting a few weeks in summer. Buzzing away madly, but it’s very hard to track the noise to its source. Big, green, brutal-looking insects, if there was an armored car of the insect world it would be them. They’re a menace for TV/movie crews ‘on location’ in orchards or woods, the sound man running around frantically whacking the trees with a microphone boom does no good at all, they know they’re going to have to ADR the whole scene.

      Twice, when travelling on the open-sided ‘viewing car’ of the Coastal Pacific through the swampy valley between Blenheim and Picton, we’ve travelled through swarms of them, the floor of the car has been littered with dazed cicadas. I usually try and pick up as many as possible and hurl them over the side before they get messily trodden on.

      cr

      • rickflick
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Automated Dialog Replacement? I had not heard the term. It can’t be all that automated though can it? The actors have to recover the timing.

        I rode that trolley myself. The only pests were kids on holiday. 😎

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Nice installment – the exotic and adventurous setting gives a certain captivating allure.

  5. Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I ♥️ cockroaches. Maybe not.

    • Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      As long as they stay in the Wildlife Photos.

  6. Glenda Palmer
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Appreciated the amazing photos and good notes.


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