Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking Closer...

One of the things I've learned since owning this expanse of woodland is to look closely at all kinds of things, whether they be on the ground, in the air, on a tree... whatever. Of course, not being a scientist, I tend to see things that I can only guess at. The bug above would not be an insect since I was taught at school that they have six legs! Is it some kind of millipede?

And these were sitting on the gravel next to the car, getting very cosy with each other. I've seen the stripy caterpillars (larvae) in Melbourne that people say spit at you, but these were about 1.5 cm long and hanging around in this small group.
Any guidance as to what either of these are would be appreciated!

On the other hand, after watching some birds out the front of the house and making close observations through binoculars, I was able to later find my bird book and identify them as white-winged choughs. And I was right - they did behave just like my chooks did in the back yard as they scratched and dug and pecked.
Their curved beaks and red eyes make them easily identified as not crows! Now all I need to do is keep an eye out for their mud nests.


Denis Wilson said...

I can help with the first one - the weird looking Leggy thing.
It is in a group known as "house centipedes"
See http://bugguide.net/node/view/22/bgpage
They are in the Order Scutigeromorpha.

Not sure about the mass of white wiggly ones.
They do not look quite right for "Spitfires" which is the group you referred to. But maybe they are related to the normal big dark back ones which eat Gum Leaves.
That class of insects are the "Saw Fly" larvae.
Different species of Saw Flies use different plants. Typically they defend themselves by waving their bottoms in the air to produce that nasty oily stuff.
Do a Google image Search for that group, on the off-chance.

Hope it helps.

Sherryl said...

Thanks, Denis. I did the Google image search, as you suggested, and they do look like some kind of sawfly larvae indeed.
None of the pictures I found were as light-coloured as these ones, but pretty close!
House centipede ... a bit different from the four inch ones we used to get in NZ!

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