insects in the spring garden
Taking photos of insects without a macro lens has its advantages, I think. Although you can't see the critter in intricate and fascinating detail, you can better appreciate the scale of the insect in relation to its environment.
You can also see details of its environment. I'm especially interested to see which insects are attracted to the indigenous plants, some of which are flowering for the first time. The ladybird in the first photo was living on Acacia implexa, an indigenous acacia highly recommended for attracting wildlife.
The Hoverfly above was flying around the numerous small white flowers of the Sticky Boobialla, another indigenous plant. Actually, clouds of them have been flying around, but I haven't been able to capture any in their hover flight mode. (Hoverflies hover in the one spot, then suddenly move sideways or forward, then hover again).
I'm not sure if these bees are native or European honey bees. They are attracted to the non native Borage and Echium flowers. I hope they're native bees.
I have grown to love Slaters. These tiny multi-legged crustaceans bumble around the compost, feeding on decaying organic matter, but they are found all over the garden, seen most clearly when they're going for a walk along a path. They are like miniature dinosaurs!
I've seen clouds of small white butterflies that I haven't seen before. I haven't managed to photograph them and I haven't managed to identify them. I don't think they're Cabbage Whites because they're smaller and don't have black dots on their wings.
There have also been quite a few Australian Painted Lady Butterflies. They're not so difficult to photograph, but I haven't been in the right place at the right time with a camera.
Flies belong to the order Diptera. More than 7000 dipteran species have been described in Australia, and the Australian Museum believes there are probably still three times more to be discovered! Apparently there are more known fly species than fish, reptile, amphibian, bird and mammal species put together!
This is a Robber Fly, belonging to the suborder Brachycera, species undetermined, with what looks like another Robber Fly. Whether the second one is mate, prey, or both is uncertain.
I'm pretty pleased with the numbers and variety of insects in the garden. Biodiversity is the aim, and a sign of a healthy environment. Even aphids are welcome now, because hoverflies lay their eggs in aphid colonies and the aphids become food for the hoverfly larva, or maggots.
I caught sight of a visiting damsel or dragonfly today. I know they won't live in a garden without a pond, but I appreciate the visits.
There are also lots of tiny spiders and large webs and, when the light is right, I can see silken lines - spider highways - in the air.