After having a moderate winter season we head out to the
garden with Cassowary Sightings and in The Bug Files
we look at Birdwings in the Garden. A special feature
this issue is an extensive list of Food Plants for a Selection
of North East Queensland Butterflies and Moths - Part 1: Butterflies.
Plus the regular segments as well as a Book Review
of a 2001 Whitley Award Winner.
Corresponding with maximum abundance of fruit in the forest
at this time of year, Cassowary breeding season is underway.
Being territorial, one particular adult bird has been frequenting
the garden eating fallen Cassowary Plum and Quandong fruits.
Previously unrecorded on the property, this cassowary appeared
in good health except for a single tick upon its neck.
Over the years we have observed a number of Cassowaries and
at times adult males with young birds. My first encounter
with a Cassowary was indeed by surprise. Working in the office
one day, I looked up from the computer to be greeted by one
enormous eye peering in through the window. This initial encounter
led to eight months of study and documenting this single bird's
activity. For the purpose of my study and due to his mode
of introduction, I nicknamed this bird 'Cheeky'. A young bird
with his early mature colourings, he also had a tick on his
neck as well as a cataract on his left eye. Cheeky appeared
in the breeding season of 1996 but unfortunately has not been
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AROUND THE SCHOOLS
Attention: All Budding Entomologists!
If you're involved in a study group working on insect related
topics then we want to know about your activities!
Reports on insect observations or surveys; class activities;
even an environmental issue being addressed at your school
or completing a group project, as long as insects play a part
in the overall project we would like to hear from you. Only
one catch, you're group or project must be teacher/leader
The most interesting contributions will be posted on our
regular website update. All contributions will be acknowledged
and if accepted, contributors will receive notification as
to when their work will be posted.
Send your contributions via email email@example.com;
by mail to AIF, PO Box 26, Innisfail, Qld 4860; or fax on
07 40 633 860.
This issue we congratulate Hartley
Stevens from Trinity Grammar School, Kew who recently received
a B+ for his school project. Hartley was set a project topic
in Australia and after researching via the Internet, he chose
the Australian Insect Farm.
The Australian Insect
P.O. Box 26,
Innisfail Qld. 4860
Telephone 61 07 40 633 860
Fax: 61 07 40 633 860
There has been a common phobia
of insects and spiders as they were unknown, new and a pest
so people killed them, ran from them or captured them to stop
them from hurting people. Most of the insects are harmless
and won't hurt you, if you leave them alone. They are considered
by insect lovers as beautiful animals, not monsters, and insect
lovers are trying to stop pesticides that kill them. The education
of people about insects is widely ignored and people pay no
attention to the insects. The AIF (Australian Insect Farm)
is trying to teach people about insects and why we should
look after them. Here are some things that the AIF teach.
A. They are increasing awareness
of insects and their fauna.
B. To supply entomologists, professional
and amateur, and other researchers.
C. To supply information to schools
and other public organisations.
D. To promote insect habitats
and their conservation.
E. To establish working relations
with entomologists and the government.
F. To promote the economic value
of the project as land management.
The farm is right next to a river
that offers a great breeding place for water insects and flies.
is a flow chart of what the farm does with the insects. They
send some insects off to entomologists and other researchers.
A few insects go to pet shops to be sold. The rest of them
the farm does their own things with.
If the climate changes, then some of the insects could die
and it would be very hard to cope because if too many insects
die all would have to be moved to a new location and that
could kill them alone.
The farm would probably make a lot of money going round to
schools and public places to tell people about the farm and
insects in general. The government may have given a bit of
money to the farm.
The farm this year has gone to many schools and to public
areas to teach the community about the insects and what they
do. One of the bad things that happened this year was that
the farm closed to the public so the public can't go to the
farm, but the farm has been going to schools and other places.
The farm has a great opportunity of teaching people about
the wonders of insects, the life of insects and a whole variety
of things that it does. I would strongly advise getting more
information about the farm.
By Hartley Stevens
Native Bees of the Sydney Region - A Field Guide
By Anne Dollin, Michael Batley, Martyn Robinson & Brian
Faulkner. Australian Native Bee Research Centre Publication,
Winner of the Whitley Award 2001 Best Field Guide
Australia's first field guide to Native Bees, this book is
designed for the enthusiast interested in observing and supporting
Native Bees in their garden. Easy to read text and beautiful
colour photographs, this is a handy book for quick identification.
The first smaller section provides information on garden plants
for native bees, nesting habits as well as designs for artificial
nests. Most of the book is devoted to species identification
in which both common and scientific names are used. It also
features a useful guide to the pronunciation and meaning of
As this book explains, native bee species deserve more recognition
for their important role as pollinators of native plant species
as well as commercial crops. With around 200 native bee species
known in the Sydney region, 31 of the most easily recognised
species are clearly detailed in this book. While it is a regional
guide many of the species covered are also common in other
states. I highly recommend this book for any persons with
an interest in native bees.
For book enquiries or more information on The Australian
Native Bee Research Centre visit their web site: www.zeta.org.au/~anbrc/
IN THE LAB
The feeding of beetle larvae has now mostly finished as many
species have started pupating and a few tanks now showing
pupae. After resting in their pupal cells since winter, the
first of the adult Stag beetles has freshly emerged. As cockroach-breeding
season is approaching, females have been housed in preparation
for the delivery of their young. The Lepidoptera shelves are
full with larva of all stages of development. Mantid nymphs
have started to emerge from their oothecas. The first of the
female Centipedes has produced a clutch of eggs. Lastly, stick
insect ova are hatching at a steady rate with freshly emerged
nymphs being transferred daily to the stick insect house and
other suitable housing.
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New Species - Buprestidae
Stanwatkinsius rhodopus sp. nov.
Described by Dr. S. Baker & Dr. C. L. Bellamy
Holotype: female, Marsupial Creek E Croydon, NQld.
1996 J & P Hasenpusch.
Female: Size: 8 x 3 mm (1)
Colour: Head roseate. Pronotum black medial band, roseate
laterally. Scutellum mainly black. Elytra dark blue along
suture and at apex, green-blue laterally. Ventral surface
and legs cupreous purple.
Distribution: This species is know from a single locality
in N Qld.
Remarks: This species occurs further north than any
other known species. Because of its unique colouration it
cannot be confused with any other species.
Etymology: The species is named for its rose coloured
head and pronotum from rhodopus, Gk rosy.
Stanwatkinsius is a new genus of Australian jewel
beetles. Seven species of jewel beetles previously placed
in the genus Cisseis are recognised as different and
a new genus Stanwatkinsius is proposed to accommodate
them, their synonyms and nine new species.
*summary from - Stanwatkinsius, A New Genus Of
Australian Jewel Beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae: Agrillinae)
With A Key To Known Species. By S. Baker and C. L. Bellamy.
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 2001
New Distribution - Buprestidae
Dr S. Baker, University of Adelaide, South Australia described
this species in 1996, which at that stage had been recorded
from a single locality. Extending its distribution, Jack has
since collected a few specimens from a further two areas in
Castiarina paulhasenpuschi sp. nov.
Holotype: male, Marsupial Ck near Croydon, Qld. 1995,
Allotype: female, same data as holotype.
Paratypes: same data as holotype
Colour: Head, bronze. Antennae bronze with green reflections.
Pronotum bronze, laterally with green reflections. Scutellum
green. Elytra yellow with black markings with blue reflections.
Ventral surface and legs green. Hairs silver.
Size: Males, 13.2 mm. Females, 13.5mm.
Remarks: The distinct colour and pattern of this species
distinguish it from all other species, as does the structure
of the last visible abdominal segment in females, in which
the claws are unique. The specimens examined were all caught
by use of a colour lure in an area where no plants were flowering.
Etymology: the species name honours Master Paul Hasenpusch
* summary from - Seventeen New Species Of CASTIARINA
(Coleoptera: Buprestidae) by S. Baker. Transactions
of the Royal Society of South Australia 1996.
Two New Areas of Distribution: The known distribution
of this species has been extended to include Georgetown, Qld;
Bang Bang (100km south of Normanton) Qld.
THE BUG FILES -
BIRDWINGS IN THE GARDEN
Butterflies are very host plant specific with individual
species relying upon their selected host plant. Females are
attracted to their host plants for depositing ova as well
as providing a food source for the emerging larva. Without
the correct food plant available butterflies simply cannot
survive. Two main factors need to be supplied to successfully
have butterflies frequenting the garden. The first is a food
source for the adult butterflies such as nectar producing
flowers. Adults will be enticed to visit and feed upon the
nectar. Second and just as important is the food plant necessary
for the females to deposit their eggs upon. Without the correct
food plant available female butterflies will not lay their
eggs to produce the next generation of butterflies.
This is the tale of a tree in our garden that supports
the growth of a single food plant for the Cairns Birdwing
Butterfly - Ornithoptera priamus.
At the base of a Canthium odoratum tree, a single
Aristolochia vine grows. A four year old vine, at present
resembling only a mere shadow if it's former self. During
the summer months a large healthy vine grew, weaving its way
through the branches, reaching the very top of the tree where
its lush tips reached out beyond the trees foliage. The food
plant for the Cairns Birdwing butterfly, many females visited
the vine over the summer season, each depositing just a couple
of eggs before flying off in search of other vines.
Those females that did visit deposited a total of 38 eggs
from which 27 fat little grubs emerged. After initially feeding
on the lush tips of the vine, they moved out to the older
leaf growth on the vine. With such a large number of grubs
being supported by one food plant, at times up to five and
six larva feeding on a single leaf, in due course leaves disappeared.
When this eventuated the grubs quickly turned to eating the
stalk of the vine, completely severing it in several places.
But all was not lost for the vine, fortunately at this stage
of the larva's development, they were ready to pupate.
Within days all larvae were wandering aimlessly around the
tree. Some larva travelled down the trunk and left the tree
all together. For the ones that remained on the Canthium tree,
they individually selected their site for pupation. Eventually,
larvae spun their silken girdles and hung in their pre-pupa
stage after which they soon changed to pupa. A total of 18
large golden pupae hung scattered amongst the tree foliage.
After supporting so many larvae the vine had taken a considerable
battering and had been reduced to only a four inch chewed
off stalk. But like other Aristolochia vines in the garden
which had also been devastated in this manor, the first tiny
new shoots appeared within days.
Some weeks passed by in which time the vine had started
to speedily inch its way back up the tree.
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FOODPLANTS FOR A SELECTION OF NORTH
EAST QUEENSLAND BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS -
The Wet Tropics and Cape York regions have Australia's largest,
brightest and the greatest variety of butterflies and moths.
In the Wet Tropics alone there are well over 60 % of all the
continent's butterfly species. Below are species of plants
which are caterpillar food hosts of the widest range and most
impressive of moths and butterflies in North East Queensland
(Cooktown to Townsville and westerly tablelands). Common names
are used for all butterflies, whereas the majority of moths
are identified by their Latin names. The caterpillars of many
species accept the foliage of more than one host plant species
as food. Of more than 20,000 Australian species, less than
1 % of moths and butterflies are listed below. There are about
fifty times more kinds of moths than butterflies in Australia!
As this list is quite extensive, it is presented in two parts.
Part 1 - BUTTERFLIES
* Largest and most colourful species of butterflies.
v vines which need support (trellises, trees, fences, etc.)
t large to medium sized tree
s shrub or small tree
h herbaceous plant and small plants generally
|Host Plant Species
||Butterflies which feed on Host Plants
|Acacias (wattles) A. flavescens, A. holosericea,
A. melanoxylon and species with composite true leaves
(not phyllodes) are best. t
||* Several Jewel Butterflies, * Tailed
Emperor, Damels Blue.
|Acronychia spp. (esp. trifoliate species) Aspen
/ Acid Berry t
||Occasionally * Ulysses and * Orchard.
|Adenia heterophylla Lacewing Vine v
||* Cruiser,* Red Lacewing, Glasswing
|Alocasia brisbanensis (syn. A.
macrorrhiza) Cunjevoi / Native Elephant Ear h
|Alphitonia excelsa Red Ash (other Alphitonias
host a subset of listed species) t
||Blue Jewel, * Fiery Jewel, * Copper Jewel,
* Large Green Banded Blue, Small Green Banded Blue,
Indigo Flash, Diggles Blue.
|Alpinia caerulea Native Blue Fruited Ginger
|Aristolochia tagala Native Dutchman's
||Cairns Birdwing, * Red Bodied Swallowtail,
* Big Greasy.
|Aristolochia thozetii Native Dutchman's Pipe
||* Big Greasy, * Red Bodied Swallowtail.
|Austrostenisia spp. Blood Vines v
||* Orange Aeroplane.
|Brachychiton acerifolius Flame Tree
||Common Aeroplane, * Tailed Emperor,
Helenita Blue, Pencilled Blue.
||Grass Yellow, Parallelia solomonensis and P.
|Coffee Bush s/t
||latizona and possibly* Australian Rustic.
|Canthium coprosmoides Coast Canthium s/t
||Cephanodes hylas, Cephanodes kingii, Gnathothlibus
|Canthium odoratum Sweet Suzy s/t
||Cephanodes hylas, C. kingii and possibly Dudgeonea
|Capparis mitchelli Bumble Tree t
C. canescens and C. arborea Equally good
||Chalk White, Caper White, Australian Gull,
Narrow Winged Pearl White.
|Cassia retusa Climbing Cassia v
||Orange Migrant, Yellow Migrant.
|Cassia tomentella Velvet Bean t/s
||Lemon Migrant, Pale Ciliate Blue, Small Grass Yellow,
possible Tailed Emperor, Thalaina angulosa.
|Celtis paniculata Silky Celtis Tree t
||*Australian Beak, * Tailed Emperor, Common
|Celtis philippensis Common Celtis
||* Tailed Emperor, Common Aeroplane,
* Australian Beak.
|Cissus spp. Native Grape / Watervine v
|| Cruria donowani.
|Clausena brevistyla Clausena t
||* Ambrax,* Capaneus, * Orchard.
|Commersonia bartramia Brown Kurrajong t
||* Peacock Jewel.
|Connarus conchocarpus Shell Vine v
||* Large Green Banded Blue.
|Cryptocarya hypospodia Northern Laurel (C.
mackinnoniana and c. triplinerva also good)
||* Macleays Swallowtail, * Blue Triangle,
* Common Oak Blue, Helenita Blue, rarely Eastern
Flat and Purple Moonbeam 9 on C. mackinnoniana).
|Cupaniopsis anarcardiodes Tuckeroo t
||*Common Oak Blue, * Fiery Jewel, Pale
Ciliate Blue, Dark Ciliate Blue, Margarita Blue, Six Lineblue,
Glistening Blue, Hairy Lineblue, Common Tit.
|Cynachum carnosum (syn. Ischnostemma carnosum)
||Black and White Tiger, Lesser Wanderer, * Blue
Tiger, Common Crow.
|Derris trifoliata and D. heterophylla Climbing
||* Orange Aeroplane, Broad-Banded Awl.
|Desmodium heterocarpon Pea Shrub h
|Dipteracanthus austrasicus Northern Blue Bush h
||* Blue Argus, Grass Blue, * Common Eggfly.
|Dipteracanthus bracteatus (mostly from Cape York) h
||*Lurcher, * Common Eggfly.
|Discorea transversa Native Yam v
||Black and White Flat.
|Doryphora aromatica Sassafras t
||* Macleays Swallowtail, * Blue Triangle.
|Drypetes lasiogyna Yellow Tulipwood t
||Common Albatross, Grey Albatross.
|Elaeocarpus spp. Quandongs t
||* Fiery Jewel, Parallelia constricta, Eastern
|Endospermum medullosum (syn. E.
myrmecophilum) Toywood Tree t
|Entada phaseoloides Matchbox Bean v
||* tailed Green Banded Blue.
|Eucalyptus spp. Eucalypts t
||Very few butterflies * Meluminas australasiae,
* Euproctis spp., Miskins Blue, Cyane Jewel,
|Euodia bonwickii Yellow Euodia t
|Euodiella muelleri Little Euodia s/t
||* Ulysses butterfly.
|Exocarpos cupressiformis Cherry Ballart s/t
||* Fiery Jewel, * Wood White, Euproctis
spp., Acyphas leucomelas, Crow Butterflies, Genduara
|Excarpos latifolius Native Cherry s
||Genduara subnotata, * Fiery Jewel, Acyphas
|Faradaya splendida October Glory Vine v
||* Common Oak Blue, Common Tit, Pale Ciliate Blue,
|Ficus spp. Esp F. racemosa, F. opposita, F.
benjamina Figs t
||Crow Butterflies, Common Moonbeam, Lymantria
spp. And Glyphodes spp.
|Gahnia sieberana Swordgrass Sedge h
||Helena Brown, Large dingy Skipper, Spotted Skipper.
|Glochidion spp. esp. G. sumatranum, G. Phillipicum
Buttonwood / Cheese Tree t
||* Common Oak Blue, Blue Moonbeam, Helenita Blue.
|Gymnanthera oblonga v
||Crow Butterflies (two species).
|Hemigraphis spp. (esp. H. royenii) h/s
||* Australian Lurcher, Brown Soldier.
|Hibiscus tiliaceus Coast Cottonwood t
||* Common Oak Blue.
|Hollrungia spp. Native Passionfruit v
||* Red Lacewing, * Cruiser.
|Litsea leefeana Brown bollywood (L. australis,
L. breviumbellata are good) t
||* Purple Brown - Eye, * Blue Triangle
and possibly Eastern Flat.
|Lomandra longifolia L. filiformis Mat Rush h
||Symmomus Skipper, Eliena Skipper, White - Spot Skipper,
Orange White - Spot Skipper, Iacchus Skipper.
|Lophostemon conferta Brush Box t
||* Common Red - Eye, * Rare Red - Eye,
* Fiery Jewel, Eastern Flat.
|Melaleuca spp. esp. M. quinquinerva, M. viridiflora,
and M. leucandendra t
||* Dull Oak Blue, Common Oak Blue, Cyane Jewel.
|Melicope elleryana, M. vitiflora Pink
and Yellow Flowering Evodia t
||* Ulysses Butterfly
|Melodorum spp. esp. M. uhrii v
||* Green Spotted Triangle, * Four Bar Swordtail,
* Pale Green Triangle.
|Microcitrus spp. Native Limes t/s
||Dingy Swallowtail, * Orchard, * Ambrax,
* Chequered Swallowtail, * Capaneus.
|Micromelum minutum Lime Berry h/s
||* Orchard, * Ambrax, w Capaneus.
|Miliusa spp. (esp. M. brahei) s/t
||* Five Bar Swordtail, * Green Spotted
|Mistletoes esp. Ameyma spp. Dendrophthoe
spp. (Melicope elleryana, Eucalypts, Callistemons
& Melaleucas are excellent Misteltoe hosts) h/s
||* Northern Jezebel, w Union Jack, * Common
Jezebel, Nysa Jezebel, * Genoveva Azure, Purple
Azure, Olane Azure, Dodds Azure, Cooktown Azure, Silky
Azure, Amaryllis Azure, * Narcissus Jewel, *
Wood White, Diggles Blue, various * Oak Blues.
|Mucuna gigantea Burny Bean v
||* Green Awl, Common Aeroplane,
|Myrmecodia beccarii Ant Plant
||* Apollo Jewel.
|Neolitsea dealbata Bolly Gum / White Bollywood
||* Blue Triangle, * Purple Brown - Eye,
Eastern Flat, common Red - Eye.
|Pararistolochia deltantha and P. sparusifolia
Mountain Dutchman's Pipe & Mt Lewis Dutchman's Pipe
||* Cairns Birdwing, * Red Bodied Swallowtail.
|Parsonsia velutina Silkpod Vine v
||Common Crow, Cairns Hamadryad, possibly w Blue Tiger.
|Passiflora aurantia and P. herbertiana Native
||Glasswing, * Cruiser.
|Pipturus argenteus White Mulberry
||* White Nymph, Speckled Lineblue.
|Planchonia careya Cocky Apple s/t
||* Copper Jewel, * Fiery Jewel, Common
|Polyalthia nitidissima Canary Beech t
||* Green Spotted Triangle, * Pale Green
Triangle, Five Bar Swordtail.
|Polyscias elegans Celerywood t
||Large Pencilled Blue.
|Pseuderanthemum variabile Pastel Flower or Love
||* Leafwing, Danaid Eggfly, * Blue Banded
Eggfly, * Blue Argus and * Common Eggfly.
|Rauwenhoffia leichardtii (syn. Melodorum leichardtii)
Zig Zag Vine v
||* Four Bar Swordtail, * Pale Green Triangle,
* Green Spotted Triangle.
|Rhyssopteris timorensis v
||Peacock Awl, Pale Ciliate Blue, Peacock
|Salacia chinensis, S. disepela Lolly Berry (fruits)
||* Australian Plane, Cornelian.
|Scolopia braunii Brown Birch s/t
||Australian Rustic, Eastern Flat.
|Secamone elliptica Corky Milk Vine v
||* Blue Tiger, Crow Butterfly.
|Senna surratensis Native Singapore Shower s/t
||Orange Migrant, Yellow Migrant, Grass Yellow.
|Tetrasynandra longipes and T. laxiflora Small
Tetra Beech s
||* Regent Skipper.
|Terminalia spp. Damson / Almond t
||* Common Oak Blue, * Narcissus Jewel,
* Copper Jewel, Brown Awl, * Dull Oak Blue,
|Urtica incisa Native Nettle h
||* Australian Admiral.
|Uvaria membranacea v
||* Pale Green Triangle, * Green Spotted
|Wilkiea spp. s
||* Regent Skipper.
|Zanthoxylum nitidum and v Z. veneticum
||* Orchard Butterfly, * Ambrax,
Part 2 - Moths, next newsletter.
WEB SITE UPDATE
Images for this newsletter
In the Lab
The Bug Files
Next newsletter will feature Part 2 of the Foodplants list
Sue Hasenpusch Editor
Copyright 2001 Australian Insect Farm.
All Right Reserved.
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Australian Insect Farm
PO Box 26 Innisfail
Ph/Fax: 07 40 633 860