Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jumrum wanderings

A few offerings from around Jumrum Creek.

Just hanging around; a male orb-weaver (Eriophora sp.) suspended by silken lines. Males often hang like this adjacent to the webs of females, however this guy appeared to be on his own. 

A Rainforest Grasshopper (Desmoptera truncatipennis). This species spends the day hidden within the leaf litter, then moves up the plants to feed at night.

There were numerous small native cockroaches our gleaning food off leaf surfaces. I think this is Carbrunneria sp.

A tiny but spectacular cockroach (Mediastinia sp). The outer margins of the pronotum and tegmina are perfectly transparent, almost invisible.

This is our first encounter with this spider, and I'm yet to identify it. It appears to be a Saprassid (huntsman) although very small. This is an adult male, but less than 10mm in body length. He is missing his left front leg, possibly from an encounter with a predator or with female of his own species. 

A water spider (Dolomedes species). This individual is hunting at the edge of a small isolated pool of water. It has four legs in contact with the water sensing for vibrations coming from its prey, hence the water is effectively its web.

A male water spider of the same species. 

These tadpoles were massing in a shallow pool which had become separated from the creek due to the dry spell we are having. I suspect they are Stony Creek Frog tadpoles (Litoria jungguy),  as this species has been the most active in recent weeks.

A Giant Water Spider (Megadolomedes australianus). These spiders have extremely long legs and grow to considerable size (about the span of a large huntsman). They prefer flowing water as opposed to Dolomedes which tend to prefer still water. This specimen is a sub-adult and was hunting in a reasonably fast flowing section of  Jumrum Creek.

A knobbly weevil sitting upon pandanus.

A very cryptic crab spider (Stephanopis sp.) on the bark of a tree. These spiders are ambush hunters and simply wait with legs outstretched when hunting. Prey is seized and bitten immediately, and sometimes consists of insects much larger than the spider.

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