Some Insects of the Grampians

30 December 2013

Interesting things I saw today included this damselfly holding its wings apart, which is unusual (or even unknown) for an Austrolestes species. Initially thinking it was injured I approached it and took photos but it flew off as any other damsel and landed a few metres away, all quite normal. This happened a couple more times so it had no trouble detecting my presence nor in flying. This aspect is well known for the damsels in the sister subfamily Lestinae, of which there are none in Victoria) but I don't know if its been recorded amongst Sympecmatinae (which includes Austrolestes).

Also sighted (initially on my foot!) was a mantidfly with amazingly colorful eyes (enhanced by flash photography). These insects share obvious similarities with the well known mantids (Praying Mantis) but are in a different family in a different order altogether. This is a good example of convergent evolution (since they are in a different order it would not be parallel evolution).

Late in the day I headed up the Chimney Pots and to my favourite spot fro observing the Grampians Darner Austroaeschna ingrid. I saw more than I had before, which surprised me as the area had been destroyed by wildfire the previous summer. For the first time I got decent photos of a male specimen (which coincidentally landed in the same spot the female in the other photo was at 10 minutes earlier). This included a closeup of the abdomen, which you can use to compare with a Austroaeschna multipunctata. The primary difference is the secondary appendage is considerably longer in A. ingrid.

image/jpegbird nest Rhipidura albiscapa Grampians131230-0394.jpg i30-Dec-2013 07:52  58.7 KB 640×480
image/jpegdamselfly Austrolestes io ♂ Grampians131230-0466.jpg i30-Dec-2013 09:53  63.7 KB 1360×800
image/jpegdamselfly Austrolestes io ♂ Grampians131230-0486.jpg i30-Dec-2013 10:07  80.7 KB 1360×1024
image/jpegdamselfly Austrolestes leda ♀ Grampians131230-0419.jpg i30-Dec-2013 08:59 111 KB 1536×960
image/jpegdamselfly Austrolestes leda ♂ Grampians131230-0572.jpg i30-Dec-2013 12:28  76 KB 1280×960
image/jpegdamselfly Austrolestes leda ♂ Grampians131230-0574.jpg i30-Dec-2013 12:30  42 KB 800×600
image/jpegdragonfly Austroaeschna ingrid ♀ Grampians131230-0714.jpg i30-Dec-2013 18:19 126 KB 1200×960
image/jpegdragonfly Austroaeschna ingrid ♀ Grampians131230-0724.jpg i30-Dec-2013 18:25 114 KB 1088×800
image/jpegdragonfly Austroaeschna ingrid ♀ Grampians131230-0727.jpg i30-Dec-2013 18:27  75.4 KB 720×640
image/jpegdragonfly Austroaeschna ingrid ♂ Grampians131230-0742.jpg i30-Dec-2013 18:35  91.5 KB 1024×720
image/jpegdragonfly Austroaeschna ingrid ♂ Grampians131230-0755.jpg i30-Dec-2013 19:35 215 KB 960×720
image/jpegdragonfly Austroaeschna ingrid ♂ Grampians131230-0758.jpg i30-Dec-2013 19:36 121 KB 960×1760
image/jpegdragonfly Diplacodes bipunctata ♂ Grampians131230-0642.jpg i30-Dec-2013 15:40  47.2 KB 960×640
image/jpegdragonfly Eusynthemis guttata ♂ Grampians131230-0734.jpg i30-Dec-2013 18:31  85 KB 960×768
image/jpegdragonfly Eusynthemis guttata ♂ Grampians131230-0748.jpg i30-Dec-2013 19:10 198 KB 1024×768
image/jpegdragonfly Hemicordulia tau ♀ Grampians131230-0541.jpg i30-Dec-2013 11:35 103 KB 1024×720
image/jpegfly (Odontomyia) Grampians131230-0457.jpg i30-Dec-2013 09:46  34.4 KB 768×576
image/jpegmantidfly Mantispidae sp Grampians131230-0668.jpg i30-Dec-2013 16:35  83 KB 1024×768
image/jpegmantidfly Mantispidae sp Grampians131230-0675.jpg i30-Dec-2013 16:43 132 KB 1024×720
image/jpegmantidfly Mantispidae sp Grampians131230-0689.jpg i30-Dec-2013 16:54  53.9 KB 960×720
image/jpegmantidfly Mantispidae sp Grampians131230-0694.jpg i30-Dec-2013 16:56  92.3 KB 1024×768
image/jpegorchid Paracaleana minor Grampians131230-0506.jpg i30-Dec-2013 10:57  39.3 KB 768×640
image/jpegscene morning Grampians131230-0385.jpg i30-Dec-2013 07:05  52.7 KB 984×512

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