Beautiful Dragonfly photo by Cate.
The insects are starting to come out now the wet is nearing.
Our neighbour on the hill behind us brought down this strange coloured beetle that he’d found. He’s been here for 20 odd years and has never seen one this colour before.
If anyone knows what this beetle is let us know. We think it’s a Christmas Beetle (Scarabaeidae Rutelinae) but can’t find these colours anywhere in our fieldguides or on the net.
We have now found out the beetle is Dilocrosis balteata. We’re trying to get more info on it.
Jack Hasenpusch from the Australian Insect Farm has very kindly, sent us this:
“Your beetle is Dilocrosis balteata and belongs in the Family Cetoniidae – these are flower beetles and your beetle also likes to eat fruit. I collected some in my garden the other day. I breed them up and supply them to schools for children to rear and breed and learn about insects in the classroom.
D.balteata occurs in Papua New Guinea all the way down the coast to approx Paluma (near Townsville). They like to breed in humus usually in hollow trees .
They are quite common actually but rarely seen , you can find them on blossom of Euodia trees, Eucalypts, Syzigiums etc usually quite high up.
We are doing a revision of this Genus of beetles at the moment but it all takes time.
The Cetoniidae is a large family within Australia and there are some beautiful species you can see on blossom generally in Spring and Summer , some are plain black or brown and others are of the most fluorescent and metallic greens and reds you have ever seen.”
Jack has written, with co-author Paul D Brock, “The Complete Field Guide to Stick And Leaf Insects Of Australia“. It’s available on the Australian Insect Farm website.
You can Fly into Cape York and spend some time exploring. There is heaps to see in just one area. Explore the Iron Range National Park, Chili Beach and Lockhart River area from Portland Roads.
To encourage people to visit Portland Roads Beach Shack during the wet season, we have negotiated deals with Skytrans and Lockhart River Car Hire so that our customers can get discounts when booking through us.
I’m not sure that we actually have spring here, but the plants and trees are bursting with new life. And we are seeing more and more different animals and insects each day. Of course the humidity keeps rising too. But the winds are lessening and the sea is calming and becoming glass-like in the mornings. There is burning off happening and this gives us some incredible sunrises where the air is smoky and the morning sun is a red as a sunset.
One dark night we heard a strange hissing noise. This is a worry when you live in the tropics in a house that is open to wildlife. On investigation the hiss was regular and occurred whenever we walked past this particlur post on our deck. Once we worked out that it couldn’t be a snake we got close enough to find this feisty little Rhinoceros Beetle. One of the largest kinds of beetle.
We have often seen them since. Boomer is particularly fascinated. He so wants to play with them.