Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos, including a plant and many arthropods, come from regular contributor Tony Eales, who lives in Queensland. His notes are indented:

I’m sending a grab bag of some interesting things I’ve photographed lately.

When I was in Western Australia recently I found this beautiful sundew known as the Red-ink SundewDrosera erythrorhiza. I’m a big fan of carnivorous plants and this was a real beauty.

Another personal favourite is the spiders in the genus Arkys. I hope one day to photograph all of the known Australian species in this genus (around 18 in all) and back in March I got my sixth species, Arkys furcatus.

Another personal goal is to photograph at least one member of each insect order. This weekend I upped my count by two with a member of the Webspinner order Embioptera and a member of the Jumping Bristletail order Archaeognatha. [JAC: first and second photographs, respectively.]

On the weekend I also photographed my first Australian Funnel Web, a juvenile Hadronyche sp. While not the famous and deadly Sydney Funnel-web, I still wouldn’t want to be bitten: there’s very little info on the toxicity of other Funnelwebs and I don’t want to be the guinea pig.

Speaking of deadly arthropods I finally got a picture of Australia’s killer ant species, the infamous Jack Jumper AntMyrmecia pilosula. This is a large ant species (although they are middling for Myrmecia) at around 13mm for most workers. They are ferocious defenders of their nests with a very painful wasp-like sting and the ability to jump several inches. Before modern therapies, deaths from these ants occurred roughly once every four years, all due to anaphylactic shock.

I also recently found a member of the smallest species of Myrmecia in Australia, M. urens, a dainty little ant only about 8mm long.

Finally a weird case of mimicry. This is a Derbid planthopper in the genus Rhotana, known for having an image of a jumping spider on their wings.

 

15 Comments

  1. Charles Sawicki
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Great closeups! Lovely sundew, much more decorative than our local species.

  2. Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Fantastic diverse set of photos!

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      +1

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Never heard of a sundew – elegant!

  4. Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

    • tjeales
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Cool

  5. Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    love it!! https://noelliesplace.com/2019/06/11/a-bugs-life/

  6. Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    All terrific! I have a ‘thing’ for Derbids, with several very odd species around where I live. I can certainly believe that this one is mimicking the eyes of a Salticid spider.

    • tjeales
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Yeah Derbids are great. I want to find more Rhotana, there’s great photos of them with their wings up and the spider mimicry is really obvious. The eye spots are on the underwing and the leg mimicry is prefect with the wings fanned out.

  7. phar84
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks Tony, keep them coming.

  8. rickflick
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Nice set from Down Under. The Arkys spider looks a bit comical, looking up through his spines with tiny eyes.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    These are all terrific. Death by ant? What a horrible way to go. More proof that Australia is filled with dangerous critters.

  10. grasshopper
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I love the pics of ants. Jack jumper ants, and bull-ants in general, freak me out when they cock their head to bet a better look at you. The buggers hunt you by sight.

    • tjeales
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Yeah they have terrific eyesight and are always very aware of you but I’ve found that they’re like any other animal, there are ways of acting around them so as to not trigger their aggressive response. The biggest danger is when you don’t know they’re there and you blunder into them.

  11. Posted June 12, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I almost think the last insect is mimicking a goldfish – or at least the front part is!


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