A couple of years ago I had a series of interesting insects cross my path and I wrote articles on them for this newsletter.
Last week I had two more.
The first was a black-and-white something, a bit like a moth, on my house wall under the verandah. When I took some photos and looked at them, the head area looked more like a lacewing, but I had never heard of any with less than transparent wings. It didn’t take long to find on Google images of a Pied lacewing, Porismus strigatus.
Then, checking the Atlas of Living Australia I found that there have been 108 sightings across south-eastern Australia, but only one from the Surf Coast, and that was last year at Lorne. The larvae normally live under the broken bark of trees, resting by day, and hunting by night. They are carnivorous, eating other insects, like caterpillars and aphids.
The second sighting was a large beetle, already dead. Three points on its head made me think of Rhinoceros beetle, but pictures on the www were inconclusive— some were similar, but some of the same species—had much more elaborate protuberances. I queried it at Museum Victoria and they identified it as a Dynastine beetle, Dasygnathus trituberculatus.
There are 160 records of this, with a similar distribution, but the only other Surf Coast record was at Loutit Bay. Lorne has not been called Loutit Bay since the 1800s. Males & females are different. They sometimes are attracted to lights on summer nights.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.