Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yellow striped flutterer dragonfly

Finally a day without rain -  so far anyway.  Another 45mm of rain yesterday. Brisbane has had the wettest December in 150 years with over 400mm of rain - our average annual rainfall is about 1200mm, so it has been very wet.  I have noticed a few small trees have turned up their "toes" having been inundated for so long,  maybe they will recover, if not they will be replaced with something more suitable.

Whilst having breakfast we noticed this  Yellow striped flutterer dragonfly
(Rhyothemis phyllis) sitting on a spirea plant :

link for the dragonfly :

There seems to be a large variety of dragonflies around Brisbane

Also on the lawn were a couple of Pacific Black ducks (Anas superciliosa)

We see this species around frequently although maybe not as much as the Wood duck  (Chenonetta jubata)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

brush tail possum

Still very wet here - day after day of rain or showers, including overcast and light intermittent rain today, so very little happening in the garden.

This morning whilst checking the vegetable garden we noticed the door into the bush house pushed open and a possum (deceased) stuck underneath.
Poor thing - it must have got into the vegetable garden somehow and got stuck trying to get back out:

Also some yellow fungal growths on a log and a Common crow butterfly that was hanging around  the verandah yesterday:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Common Eggfly butterfly

No activity in the yard for days as it has been raining nearly every day.

Spotted this Common Eggfly butterfly ( Hypolimna bolina) this morning sitting in a Frangipani tree -  it is a female. The males do not have the red spots.

identification from the usual website :

This is one I haven't noticed before but may well have been present and dismissed as  the Australian crow  ( Euploea core).  They are similar with the white markings.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ring tailed Possum

Severe thunderstorm here this afternoon - about 20mm of rain and strong winds. One of our medium sized Queensland Kauri trees has fallen over due to the sodden ground and winds. When I went to check further I noticed a possum nest in the lower branches  and the occupant looking a bit dazed by his home falling over :

The ring on the end of the tail is visible giving this species it's common name. Somewhat amusingly to the family, whilst taking these photos he leaped onto my left hand and gave me some nice scratches.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blue tongue lizard and fruit fly netting

Whilst the 50mm rural b polypipe/star picket hoop system works well in that it is adjustable, I thought I would build a permanent frame for the feijoas and keep them trimmed to fit inside.  
Using 90mm pvc storm water pipe,  elbows and T fittings, I constructed ends like this :

After the glue had set well (overnight) the ends were stood up at each end of the feijoas ( we have two - two are needed for cross pollination) and the horizontal pieces were inserted.  These I have only screwed, in case I decide to move a frame in the future.  It now looks like this :

I set the width at 3m as storm water pipe comes in 6m lengths. Height is 2.7m- plenty high enough to be trying to pick fruit.  This type of pipe (pvc)  is really easy to handle - you can make female ends easily using a hot air gun so there is minimal waste.  I have tried to make elbows, as well, but find that not so easy.  I am not sure how well it will function in terms of sag on the horizontal pieces. Time will tell on that and I can always reiforce it on the inside with a length of timber.

Whilst placing the fruitfly netting, I found this Blue tongue lizard  had taken up residence in it, when it had been lying around nearby, prior to being used:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Botany Bay Diamond Weevil

Some more garden wildlife around at present

1 Chrysolopus spectabilis     or  Botany Bay Diamond weevil

This species was the first scientifically described Australian insect. A specimen was collected by Joseph Banks in 1770 and taken back to England. This one was found in the vegetable garden feeding on a rhubarb leaf.

2.Leptotes plinius   or Zebra blue or Plumago Blue butterfly

There were quite a few of this small butterfly hanging around 2 Plumago bushes down the front of the property today.

3. Carpet snake or Reticulated python- about 1.8m long. This was causing the ducks some consternation last night but they are probably too large for it anyway.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas beetle

Noticed a Christmas beetle yesterday in amongst some leaf litter
under one of our large fig trees. There are other varieties around from time to time as well.

It is  an Anoplognathus sp  and belongs to the scarab family. The adults feed on eucalyptus leaves whilst the larvae feed on grass roots.  They have spectacular iridescent colours.

We had a period of very heavy rain yesterday - total for the 24hrs was 90mm. It is very sodden in  the yard again.  Here is a photo of one of the overflowing downpipes :

Friday, December 10, 2010

Common Anthelid moth

The caterpillar from 8/11/10 has hatched.  Metamorphosis is an amazing process how a caterpillar reorganises it's tissues to form a flying insect but understandable when you realise it is simply normal development suspended for awhile. As the egg develops instead of proceeding straight to a flying insect, it hatches and the larvae feeds and grows, before going back into the development process.  In evolutionary terms, this actually makes sense as it reduces food competition between the young and mature of the species.

It looks like it was a common anthelid moth  or  Anthela acuta. 
Whilst it is plain it is still a thing of beauty

Also some of our Christmas decorations including "Woody" - our reindeer.

I'm still busy preparing a presentation on the Paleolithic diet and also I
have another more medical presentation to prepare that requires quite a lot of reading and study.   Thus less blogging for awhile.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Collected another 40+ toads again tonight - gave up when it started to rain and there was still lots more around to be caught and despatched another time.

Saw 4 frog species as well  -apart from a Pobblebonk seen again tonight,
these three were also observed and photographed:

Green tree frog Litoria caerula

Spotted Marsh frog : Limnodynastes tasmaniensis

Dainty tree frog : Litoria gracilenta

The ID of the last two are via this web site and I hope they are correct:

Rain - 85mm yesterday,   30+ so far today -  the ground is very sodden with surface water everywhere. - no wonder it is frog central at present. I am quite pleased to have lots of frogs around on our property. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010


Whilst having a bush walk on Mt Petrie in the koala reserve noticed several glasswing butterflies in one spot in a cleared area under the power lines:

Scientific  name :  Acraea andromacha
Common name : Glasswing or Little greasy

link for more details :

It looks like the host plant is various passiflora species - I'll need to be a bit more selective in removing that from the property as  well.  The butterfly above was quietly resting on a grass stalk and was easily photographed.

Also found in the yard a few days ago was a Common Brown Ringlet butterfly -  this is quite a small species compared with some that are around.

Scientific name is : Hypocysta metirius

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Lots of frogs calling and lots of frog spawn in the frog pond and pond for the mine shute at present with more rain around. Whilst collecting yet more toads again tonight (another 12 for dispatch) picked up this delightful frog:

It is quite a large frog with bulging eyes. As far as I can determine it is a Northern Banjo Frog or Northern Pobblebonk. 

The proper name is:   Limnodynastes terrareginae

The call is like a bonk sound, and I certainly have heard this call at night so maybe this and his mates are the culprits.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Scribbly Gum

The gum trees on the property are all shedding their bark -  a uniquely Australian tree occurrence as far as I know.  Some of them look amazing with large strips of bark hanging off at various angles and  piles of bark litter on the ground underneath.

This gum is obviously the Scribbly  - Eucalyptus  racemosa . It grows to about 20m high on sandy loam such as we have here. The trunk is the feature however with multiple tracks of the pupae of the moth Ogmograptis scribula.  On the internet there is only one photo of this moth from the Australian National Botanic Gardens website:

The moth is unremarkable from the photo, but the pupae certainly adds some "colour" to the trunk of this species of gum tree.

35mm of rain yesterday - looks like more showers today as well.
Less posting for the next few months as I have some academic work to prepare.