Category Archives: Animals on land

A snowball in warm weather

Friend Christa sent me a photo of this colourful beastie – it’s a mealybug, in this case a snowball mealybug, Monophlebulus species. It was about the length of a thumbnail and found in disturbed earth in a garden. The body … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Insects | Tagged | 4 Comments

Beetling about

This little one was wandering about in full daylight, and by chance I was able to get the species name from the October 2021 edition of ANICdotes from the Australian National Insect Collection. ANIC’s beetle was from Lamington National Park, … Continue reading

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A study in contrast

The weather has warmed up and snakes are on the move. Here on Bundjalung Country, late July and August are called ‘Coming Out Season‘: Getting dryer and can be strong winds, first hint of northerly winds. Birds starting to sing … Continue reading

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The introduced Mexican beetle

This pretty little beetle was in the backyard last week. I couldn’t find it in my reference books or on the ‘net so I asked the ever-helpful Queensland Museum, who identified it as the parthenium or Mexican beetle, Zygogramma bicolorata. … Continue reading

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The reptile and the monotreme

I heard the first boobook of the season the other night, and the first cicada. The mulberry tree’s leaves are growing back, and the whipbirds are going nuts with their call-and-response mating calls. Some frogs are even calling, and soon … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, echidnas, Lizards | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The swamp rat

Sometimes it is educational to see a dead body, and sometimes it is just sad. I found this native swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) at the front of my house. The body was very fresh and just the head had been … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Uncategorized | Tagged | 7 Comments

Not your average Christmas reindeer

Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) are endemic to Svalbard and are the smallest subspecies of reindeer – about half the weight of other reindeers. They sure do look small with their short legs and pot bellies. We saw several small … Continue reading

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Walruses suck!

They really do! Let me explain. I’d only seen walruses (Odobenus rosmarus, ‘odobenus’ from the Greek meaning ‘tooth-walker’; they sometimes haul themselves out of the water using their tusks) in TV documentaries, a la David Attenborough. I think Taronga Zoo … Continue reading

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Polar paws

There are two types of polar paws on Svalbard: those of the arctic fox and the polar bear. I find bears interesting, possibly because we don’t have any in Australia (no, a koala is not a bear),  so I can’t … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Travels | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Koala aloha

The local male koala has been creating quite a din over the last few nights, and we finally got a shot of him at twilight, high up a gum tree. You can hear a recording of the call here. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Koalas | Tagged | 6 Comments