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Discussion in 'Nature' started by MarkB1, Oct 14, 2015.
Parasitic wasp lays an egg in the orange tail resin bee's nest.
Lovely shot of a horrible looking subject
I've been trying to get some of some Gasteruptiid wasps that have set up in our bottlebrush lately - only problem is they set up to roost about 8-9 feet up it! Very annoying to try and get anything and they're an even bigger pain to find when they're awake.
How are you finding this spring for bugs? I have to say so far winter was actually better with a higher hit rate of more interesting bugs. I come out of a lot of searches of the yard having found like, a cane toad, a grey moth, some flies and a hoverfly lately. It has rained once right over us here since the start of september which I think has a lot to do with it.
Oh, I don't Know. It's a beauty in its own right.
Those wasps and can be found doing the same, parasitising some other creature's nest. They come in waves here, attacking the bees nests I have under the veranda.
I found the winter a bit dry but always something to shoot. Spring was slow to start but the garden has taken off, with daily watering and fertilising, and especially the butterfly bushes are starting to flower and attracting all sorts. The water makes all the difference, but there has to be established and varied habitat for the small creatures.
Oh man the garden :/ - the butterfly bush thing reminds me - our lawnmower dude changed and last week he ran over 5 different plants - seriously not aware that things growing in a big pile of cane mulch are probably not weeds. Including the largest butterfly bush (which was like 10cm across) we had been growing from tubestock, it is now a single brown twig
I got into seeds the last month or so - after the marigolds we got finally finished after like 5 dead headings I sprinkled the last seeds around and got hundreds out of them, growing around the place, saved some more of those and now have about a dozen old tubestock things bursting with them. Kind of lightbulb moment of - bloody hell this is probably easier than it looks Put in two orders for stuff on ebay from a couple of $1/100 seed sellers, got several hundred various flower and companion herb seeds, put them in some aluminium roasting trays from the supermarket, whole bunch of that is coming up now. Been saving all the hovea/persoonia/leptospermum seeds that have come out too and I've re-started doing some cuttings after the last lot failed (who knew: a lot of australian natives really hate typical cover-and-mist advice ).
For water I've been using some old paint roller trays with a bit of soil and mulch and rocks in and around them - just trying to aim for 1-2mm or so of actual loose water available in it at the edge to stop mosquitos from taking it over and the rest is just damp/humid. Get a lot more bees and skinks and things hanging around those but they typically only show up to them when they're really warm and fast. Only real thing of note I've come across lately was a massive swarm of orange tail bees in a park a while ago - was stoked for this until it turned out to be really hard to shoot a constantly pulsing and moving mass of semi grumpy bees
That's one of the smallest calmest gatherings.
Mozzies are going to thrive wherever there is water and shade, seems to me.
I've been getting some nice stuff off (or on) the butterfly bushes - first sig link takes you to the latest, about six with three flowering now with the promise of months of it to come. Wonderful scents from the different coloured flowers.
They look like Orange Tail Resin Bees. Mine haven't even started yet, from the hotels under the veranda.
Ahh I can't wait for the butterfly bushes to come out now. We have about 4 of them left, unfortunately none were as far along as the one that got mowed down (advice was: grow them in part shade because they're an understory plant - and of course the one that was in the harshest possible full sun was doing the best of all of them before it died, haha). Are those captures on the Fz50 or the G6? Great stuff as usual anyway
I put the rest of the bee pics up here and here - and yep, seems to be megachile nigrovittata bees (alternatively seems to be placed under leafcutter or resin bees or both). Had initially found that first off but none of the samples I saw had the weird variations of yellow through orange through almost red tails I found and everything listed them as solitary - had never seen solitary bees get that close to each other before - roost near each other sure, but literally interlocking with each other and swarming together for days, not so much
edit - correction came in from flickr, apparently they are m. rhodura
Actually on looking at the pics again it occurs to me I should mention I'm talking about this butterfly bush -
not the other one
Those were with the G6 and Oly 60mm with +8 dioptre achromat on. AF is good as long you know your working distances.
This is the Butterfly bush I'm talking about https://www.google.com.au/search?q=...TCL_6y9mj2MgCFYn3cgodnnIAEw&biw=1920&bih=1063 I may have to put some shade up for them in summer.
Excellent, glad the 60mm is working out
We actually wanted the Buddleia/Buddleja version of it when we started doing the garden - but there was that, and (this) 'mock orange', that the people at the volunteer nursery completely flipped their lid at people for mentioning. It apparently does a bit too well once it gets out of people's gardens. Can't say I've seen the buddleja going nuts and taking over in the bush around here, but the mock orange I'd certainly believe as an out of control weed.
Yes, but I'm still not getting them as sharp OOC as I expected. But maybe IS has something to do with that too and I should try an Oly cam body, one with an articulating LCD - any ideas?
Some people are almost religious about what should and shouldn't be planted, and not all belief is grounded in good sense. My thinking is plant what works, and what works for me is anything that produces fruit or food of some kind for everything that needs it - bugs, birds, people - as long as it doesn't form impenetrable barriers and obliterate other forms of plant. Imagine the heavenly scent from a field of buddleja, and the host of insects it would feed.