Friday, 14 January 2022

 A Week in our Garden January 3rd - 9th 2022

It is amazing what is in our gardens if you start looking. We decided to document everything we saw in our 2.5ha garden for a week and photograph it if possible. The most obvious is the ever present birdlife. Over the years we have recorded 158 species, this week we recorded 52 species (List at end of blog). Of note were White-headed Pigeon, Pale-vented Bush-hen, Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher and Noisy Pitta.

White-headed Pigeon

Pale-vented Bush-hen

Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher

Noisy Pitta
Dragon and Damselflies
The most numerous insect species was the dragonflies with at least 19 challenging species.

Australasian Slimwing (F)

Australasian Slimwing (M)

Australasian Emperor

Black Knight

Common Glider

Fiery Skimmer (F)

Fiery Skimmer (M)

Graphic Flutterer

Sapphire Flutterer

Green Skimmer

Blue Skimmer

Painted Grasshawk

Pale Hunter

Chalky Percher

Rainforest Elf

Rainforest Elf (M & F)

Red Swampdragon (M)

Red Swampdragon (F)

Red-tipped Shadefly

Common Bluetail (M)

Eastern Billabongfly (M & F)

Yellow-striped Flutterer


There were a few spiders showing, mainly at night.

Jumping Spider
Size 5-8mm

Net Casting Spider
Catches prey by expanding the net and lunging forward to engulf it.

Northern Green Jumping Spider
Found in rainforests and garden. This is a big (15mm), obvious spider, inquisitive and fearless. It readily bites but not seriously harmful, causing only mild to sharp pain and swelling.

Slow Moving Spitting Spider
Catches prey by spitting a fluid which congeals on contact into a venomous sticky mass, effectively a toxic silk.

Painted St. Andrews Cross Spider
Diagnostic cross shaped web.

Giant Golden Orb-weaver Nephila pillipes - juvenile
One of the largest spiders in the world, females up to 50mm, males are tiny 7mm.

Northern Fishing Spider
Hunts across the surface of the water on our dam. Usually wait on the waters edge with 4-6 legs resting on the water to detect the vibrations of prey.

Thanks to Greg Anderson for ID help in the field and for co-writing "A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia" with Robert Whyte a most useful guide with excellent photos.

Aquatic Bugs

Water Measurer
Also known as Marsh Treaders, Water Treaders or Pond-skaters. Their head is 3 times as long as it is wide. Their name come about from the fact they resemble a yardstick for measuring the water surface.

Water Strider
Water striders walk on top of the water by using the surface tension. They feed on fallen insects that get trapped in the waters surface tension by detecting the ripples in the water.


Dainty Green Tree Frog
Also known as Graceful Tree Frog or Dainty Tree Frog.

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog
Also known as Eastern Sedge Frog.

Tawny Rocket Frog
Also known as Bridle Frog.

White-lipped Tree Frog
Also known as Giant Tree Frog.

Roth's Tree Frog
Also known as Northern Laughing Tree Frog or Red-eyed Tree Frog.

Other Critters

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter Ant
These Carpenter Ants decided to burrow their way into our kitchen, un-welcome visitors! Mean looking, about 25mm long

Cicada Sp.

Cicada Sp.
A couple of Cicada, the lower one looks like it has just emerged from it's nymph case.

Nymph of the Giant or Hedge Grasshopper Valanga irregularis
The giant grasshopper is the largest of the short horned (antennae) grasshoppers in Australia, with adults growing up to 90 mm long. This is it's very small nymph stage. (Thanks to David Rentz for ID).

Green Vegetable Shield Bug
The Green Vegetable Shield Bug is a major pest of soybeans, especially in coastal areas. It attacks other bean crops such as mung beans, navy beans and azuki beans, as well as cotton. First found in Australia in 1916.

 Last instar Nymph of Conocephalus semivittatus.

This katydid is a last instar (the developmental stage of an arthropod between moults) nymph of Conocephalus semivittatus. (Thanks to David Rentz for ID).

Rhinoceros or Elephant Beetle
Has sharp claws and strong legs but not dangerous, size 60mm. Despite the fearsome look it is incapable of defending itself against a determined predator.

Moth Cleora repetita
Cleora repetita is a species of moth of the family Geometridae first described by Arthur Gardiner Butler in 1882. This one is quite worn. (Thanks to Dominic Funnell for ID).

Orange Bushbrown
The orange bushbrown, is a species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in Indonesia (Irian Jaya, Maluku), New Guinea and Queensland where it is common.

Robber Fly?

Robber Fly

Wuelfing's Stick Insect Acrophylla wuelfingi  
Stick insects are very difficult to identify and photograph  This one is known as the Giant Northern Stick Insect or Wuelfing's Stick Insect. (Thanks to Alan Henderson for ID).

Termite sp.
Hot, humid weather encouraged these termites to emerge from their nest mound.

Termite sp.
This termite was investigating a paperbark tree.

Honey Bee
One of our neighbours honey bees attending grevillea "Golden Lyre" , a hybrid between G. formosa (widespread in the Kakadu area of the Northern Territory) and G. ‘Honey Gem’ (a Queensland hybrid, common in cultivation).


Pademelon - male
Red-legged pademelons are the only ground dwelling wallaby that lives in the Wet Tropics rainforests and are common in our garden. They are mainly active at night.

So there you have it, a week in our Julatten garden. It is truly amazing what you can find in your garden if you are prepared to take the time and look around. This is only some of the critters we have recorded in our garden over the last seven years.

Bird Species List
Pacific Black Duck 
Australian Brushturkey 
Orange-footed Scrubfowl 
White-headed Pigeon 
Brown Cuckoo-Dove 
Peaceful Dove 
Bar-shouldered Dove 
Wompoo Fruit-Dove 
Superb Fruit-Dove 
Pheasant Coucal 
Little Bronze-Cuckoo 
Brush Cuckoo 
Pacific Swift 
Pale-vented Bush-hen 
Masked Lapwing 
Laughing Kookaburra 
Forest Kingfisher 
Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher 
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 
Double-eyed Fig-Parrot 
Rainbow Lorikeet 
Noisy Pitta 
Spotted Catbird
Great Bowerbird
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater 
Cryptic Honeyeater
Dusky Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater
Macleay's Honeyeater
Helmeted Friarbird
Large-billed Scrubwren
Fairy Gerygone
Large-billed Gerygone
Barred Cuckooshrike
Varied Triller
Common Cicadabird
Rufous Shrikethrush
Grey Whistler
Rufous Whistler
Olive-backed Oriole
Australasian Figbird
Black Butcherbird
Spangled Drongo
Black-faced Monarch
Spectacled Monarch
Leaden Flycatcher
Golden-headed Cisticola
Olive-backed Sunbird
Red-browed Finch
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin