This is a short post mainly because it’s taken me longer to get the final Manic Episodes posts written, and also because a picture says thousand words, apparently, so these guys – these guys…
These guys are examples of the more unusual kinds of creatures that visit our back yard in suburban Wellington. They’re all native, quite big, and very beautiful.
I DO like big bugs, and one of my more notable voluntary jobs as a young Simian was assisting the natural history curator at the Otago Museum in Dunedin. As a keen entomologist, he had a brilliant collection of arthropods, and it was my job for two or three days to replace the camphor blocks in his seeming hundreds of drawers of specimens. Over those days and a pretty dull job otherwise I marvelled at beautiful jewelled butterflies and moths, curious beetles and bugs, some forlorn-looking spiders and more small flies than any sane angler could want to employ, each transfixed on their own individual pin for eternal scientific scrutiny. Carefully I’d scale his stepladder and slide out each drawer, open it slightly to place a new, pungent blue-white camphor block in to deter any living insect out for a free lunch, and each drawer would be a new discovery. They were a quiet bunch, mostly, save for one box which clattered like loose kindling as I lowered it off its high shelf; rolling around inside was a collection of what looked like stumpy branches and twigs, the longest maybe twenty centimetres long – the remains of what once may have been a more intact and proud giant stick insect.
But these guys were fortunately all alive and well when Mrs Simian took their photos!
|Giant Bush Dragonfly (Uropetala carovei)|
|Wellington Tree Weta (Hemideina cressidens)|
|Wellington Tree Weta (Hemideina cressidens) and pen-friend|
|A local Stick Insect (Ponderus greytownii)|
And this just in for Guanolad: we had a katydid in the back garden just this evening :)