Winter in Brisbane is a wonderful time. Warm and sunny then occasionally we have a cold day like yesterday, 13° centigrade at 10am.

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

Even the Kookaburras thought it was cold yesterday. This one looked so cute perched on our fence and all fluffed up against the cold. Click on the photo to see it full size.

Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx

Winter also means displays of yellow Wattle flower like the Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx with its distinctive long cynctrical flowers. My sister calls this Lamb Tail Wattle because of the flower shape.

Red coloured triangular stem

Leiocalyx can be identified by the red colour and distinct triangular shape of the stems.

Leiocalyz is also a caterpillar food plant for a number of different butterflies:

Wattle Notodontid Moth Neola semiaurata

Imperial Hairstreak, Small Purple and Short-tailed Line Blue as well as caterpillars of Granny’s Cloak Moth and  Wattle Notodontid Moth.

Wattle Notodontid Moth or Monster – click if you dare

I was inspecting the bushcare site with BCC contractor Jo when she pointed to a Brisbane Fringed Wattle “What is that?”

What Jo had spotted was either an amazing example of nature’s creativity or…

… the stuff of nightmares. A chocolate brown Wattle Notodontid Moth decorated with spots, wiskers and false eyes.

Imagine coming face to face with this creature on as you go trick or treating on a dark Halloween night.

Personally I love to discover these fascinating creatures and wonder why it has grown whiskers all over its body. Note the skin fold on the bottom left. apparently if startled these caterpillars open this fold to expose big blue and black eyes like the one in the photo.

As the name suggests these caterpillars depend on Acacias as their food plants.

Mike

Southside Community News – October 2010

The first of my regular bushcare articles this month’s Southside Community News explores the unlikely relationship between the beautiful Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras and native Small Meat Ants. Click on article to enlarge.

Two strong populations of Hairstreaks are tangible evidence of effectiveness of our bushcare work. Walking through our plantings and finding clusters of these beautiful butterflies in areas we have planted is a real thrill.  Watch the of video – Imperial Hairstreaks.

It was also pleasing to read Councillor Krista Adams’s interest and support for sustainable tourism in our unique reserve.

Want to meet some of our amazing wildlife upclose?

Come any Wednesday afternoon (2pm to 5pm) to our Fox Gully bushcare group. For information email foxcoaching@optusnet.com.au

Mike