Working hard and lots of smiles.

By: Michael Fox

Clairvaux MacKillop Year 10 students have been working with us since stepping up in 2018 to help with preparation of the National Tree Day site.

The students are amazing when it comes to finding insects for me to photograph. A double bonus … weeds cleared and more species to add to our Flora and Fauna research.

The target weed for the event was Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberos which is currently covered in fruit.

The vine is a vigorous invasive weed with seeds spread by fruit eating birds. Ironically Corky Passion Vine has become our new target weed as it is thriving in now that the other weeds have been cleared. It is important to remove the roots to ensure that we don’t have to do our work all over again.

True to form a sharp eyed student found a new insect for me to research.

So far no confirmed identification it looks very similar to a Shield Bug/Stink Bug. However, this bug is closer to the Horned Coreid Bugs. Both are True Bugs and both are sap sucking insects.

I have submitted my tentative identification Noliphus erythrocephalus Colourful Board-headed Bug to iNaturalist for id confirmation before I add this species to our Flora and Fauna database. Part of my identification process was to check the iNaturalist map of sightings.

Another tentative identification is a female Three-eyed Leaf-rolling Cricket Xiphogryllacris orthoxipha.

I have found this species before however this time I noticed a tail like appendage curved over the abdomen. This oviposter identified the cricket as female and is used to deposits eggs deep into soil.

The two short appendages are cerci which are sensitive to puffs of air and low-frequency vibrations.

I love having our student Bushcarers finding me insects to research. I learn something after every event.