Jamella australiae: Big drama on a tiny scale

All through the natural world life and death dramas are happening, even in the world of the very tiny. On pandanus palms along Australia’s east coast a life and death struggle is played out every day between the Pandanus leafhopper, Jamella australiae, and a tiny predatory wasp, Aphanomerus pusillus. The adult female leafhopper, pictured above, creates an egg raft on the surface of the pandanus...
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Giant water spider: expert fish catcher

The Giant water spider, Megadolomedes australianus, can each an impressive size of 180mm, equal to the span of a large human hand. Megadolomedes is a nocturnal hunter in ponds or the calmer edges of creeks and rivers. It is frequently seen as pictured here with two front legs either resting on the water surface for just below the surface. It has been theorised that Megadolomedes might choose...
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Fiery skimmer dragonfly: A flash of fire

The bright red abdomen of the male Fiery skimmer dragonfly, Orthetrum villosovittatum, is a familiar sight around streams and ponds in south east Queensland.   The male will find a spot it likes, usually overlooking a good breeding site, then vigorously defend its territory. Having driven off any potential competition the successful male will stay in its chosen territory to wait for a...
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Blue Riverdamsel: A slender blue sprite

The Blue Riverdamsel, Pseudagrion microcephalum, also known as the Blue Sprite Damselfly, is common in south east Queensland. Growing up to 38mm in length the striking blue male can be seen hovering over still or running water. After mating the female will cut an opening in a plant just below the surface of the water, in which she will deposit her eggs. The aquatic nymphs of both the damselflies...
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Spike-topped apple snail, Pomacea diffusa

A native of Brazil, the Spike-topped apple snail (Pomacea diffusa) has found its way to Australia through the aquarium trade. As a result of being dumped in waterways, wild populations have become established around the world in areas where temperatures average between 18-28ºC. The apple snail differs from most other aquatic snail genera in that they leave the water to lay their eggs on emergent...
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