Auckland – West                          Mainly West of Queen Street – seen through my lens

May 5, 2016

A Gathering

Filed under: Hillsborough,Insects — paul @ 12:24 pm
Gathering

Gathering

I don’t know what kind of bugs they are, nor do I know what they were up to. (Some similarity to cockroaches, but different.) On Swan Plant, Hillsborough Cemetery.

Edit: thanks to NatureWatch, I now know that these are “common small milkweed bugs” (Arocatus rusticus).

April 22, 2016

Wasps

Filed under: Cornwallis,Insects — paul @ 1:27 pm
Wasps

Waps

They were buzzing along this wooden fence, sitting down occasionally, joining up briefly, then following the fence line into the bush. An unending supply of them. Paper wasps (Polistes sp), Cornwallis Peninsula.

February 23, 2016

Moth

Filed under: Insects — paul @ 8:10 am
Moth

Moth

This beauty got disturbed when I opened the window and flew right into the handbasin. (No idea of ID.)

November 29, 2015

Curly

Filed under: Insects,Plants — paul @ 7:08 am
Blechnum Fern

Blechnum Fern

Next to our front door we have a blechnum fern. Always enjoy seeing the unfurling fronds.

You might notice the bits of ‘fluff’ here: the nymphs (“fluffybums”) of the passion vine hopper are already out and about. I am puzzled how these teeny critters can appear in force on totally new vegetation (i.e. a long distance away from where eggs might have been deposited at the end of the previous season).

Scolypopa Australis

Scolypopa Australis

November 12, 2015

From My Car

Filed under: Insects — paul @ 7:04 am
Crane Fly

Crane Fly

I had just closed the door of my car, ready to take off, when this crane fly sat down on the window, right next to me (on the outside). With a bit of contortion, I managed to get a shot with decent background.

October 9, 2015

Nursery

Filed under: Insects — paul @ 8:42 am
Nursery

Nursery

The intricately woven web of a nursery web spider offers protection to the egg sac and, after hatching, the young spiderlings. The spider guards over it from a safe hiding place.

August 9, 2015

Winter Butterfly

Filed under: Avondale,Insects — paul @ 8:27 am
Yellow Admiral (Kahukowhai)

Yellow Admiral (Kahukowhai)

A few days ago I was wandering through Chalmers Reserve, Avondale, when I came across this Yellow Admiral (kahukowhai) – only the second time ever that I saw one of them in the wild. About 5cm wingspan, this one was feeding on a hebe (koromiko), just long enough for me to grab a shot. These butterflies are native to New Zealand (and Australia and pacific islands), requiring nettles as food plant for their larvae.

June 10, 2015

Moth

Filed under: Insects,macro — paul @ 7:03 am
Inside Out

Inside Out

A moth had chosen to spend the day on a window to our deck. The morning was cold, so there was no danger of it flying away. Taken from the inside out and from the outside in. Flew away later in the day. (A black towel for background.)

Any suggestions of ID?

Outside In

Outside In

May 16, 2015

Firewood

Filed under: Black and White,Insects,Patterns — paul @ 7:03 am
Firewood

Firewood

The other day I took delivery of a load of firewood (not a moment too soon as it turned out, since our heat pump died shortly after). This was one of the pieces: the bark had come off, and the work of the larvae of bark beetles was showing clearly.

This is how I think it works: A bark beetle carves out a ‘brood gallery’ through the bark (two of them visible here), laying eggs along the way. Eggs hatch, larvae eat, forming these food galleries, and when they have matured, they pupate in those cosy nests at the end of their corridor. When the time comes they find their way out through the bark and the cycle repeats.

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

April 15, 2015

It’s a Girl!

Filed under: Insects,Uncategorized — paul @ 7:00 am
Female Monarch Butterfly

Female Monarch Butterfly

Yesterday was by far the coldest day for months – and it so happened that the chrysalis that I had brought home on a twig of milkweed (swan plant) was ready to turn into a butterfly. Sadly, just at the crucial moment, I was not around, but still, it was fun reliving an episode of the past when we produced monarchs big time.

A sequence of shots of an emerging monarch butterfly can be found here.

Still a bit crumpled.

Still a bit crumpled.

The Chrysalis, a few hours before the event

The Chrysalis, a few hours before the event

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