Yesterday, I went to Ocean Grove Nature Reserve with my nephew. My parents wanted to check out a market nearby and, naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to visit here. A previous trip had involved getting attacked by dozens of mosquitoes and I was keen to revisit and take my time.
Seth and I spent an hour exploring the Currawong track. It’s only meant to take 30 minutes, but can easily take up at least 3x that time if you are stopping and photographing everything. I’d have loved to have explored other tracks but had to stick to our time limit.
There was a decent amount of mosquitoes, although not as bad as the previous time. Alas, there also weren’t many wildflowers. Here are the highlights.
I love grasshoppers. Part of me wants to make it my mission to contribute as much as I can to research and identification in the field. Then I realize that I have no income, a multitude of obsessions that I’m trying to turn into profitable websites and a mental health condition that needs managing.
Regardless, I do want to improve my identification skills and contribute observations in my local area. I put all of the observations on Bowerbird, knowing that nymphs and some grasshoppers can be tricky.
This was identified as being a 4th instar nymph belonging to the austroicetes genus. The person identifying it also said “This genus is in the sub-family Acridinae, which do not have a spur on the throat.”
According to Grasshopper Country, by David Rentz,
Austroicetes is a genus of grasshoppers the species of which are rather difficult to determine. It contains nine species and an abundance of synonyms due to the extraordinary variation in colour and pattern. The colour of the hind tibia, its pattern and the shape of the head, including its sculpturing, and the structure of the fastigium are characters useful in identification.
A. Frater is often associated with the are surrounds of eucalypts and sparse, short grass.
A. Vulgaris has relatively high moisture requirements and can be found in pastures with dense, short grass.
Doing some googling, I found that that subfamily Acridinae includes Slant-faced and Band-winged Grasshoppers, Locust. And then I get confused. Part of me wants to guess that it is A. Frater based on the location but really, I’m making a guess based on an old book.
I did owe Seth 6 bucks for finding it. I don’t mind paying to help with finding these guys 😉 May be worth returning later?
This: Austroicetes cruciata description for adult and nymph may be helpful.
Described as “From the small size it is a male. There are several species like this, which need careful examination in the hand to distinguish.” We couldn’t get this one as it hopped too quickly.
I’ve tentatively identified these as Phaulacridium vittatum, based on looking similar to previous ones I’ve seen. Again, I’m in over my head.
Thinking plague locust. These were around Drysdale, where we visited for a classic car show. There was SO many of these. Mcleods Waterhole seemed to be lacking with birdlife, though.
This was identified as Wandering Percher, Diplacodes bipunctata. The same sounded familiar so I looked through my Flickr feed. I had seen one before! Only it was red.
According to Esperance Fauna:
The males are a striking orange/red and have s,mall black triangles spaced down their abdomen, whereas the females are yellow, also with similar black abdominal markings, plus a thin black mid-dorsel line.
Blue Skimmer. Brisbane Insects covers how the colour can vary.
I’m assuming the above is another Wandering Percher. I don’t like asking for too many ID’s. I have the dragonfly book but the images are poor quality and man, it isn’t intuitive at all.
So many of them around and such beautiful photographic subjects. I could have spent all day just trying to get different shots of these.
Haven’t sought ID, just thought it was noteworthy.
Goodenia. Thinking bent?
As I was with Seth, this was kept for a minimal. 😉 “Moss is boring. I want to look for skinks.”
The above is just a common garden skink, which is disappointing. There are many other skinks reported here. Will be trying to add more reptiles to both of our list in the coming year.