Nature Stuff

The Latest Pics Archive — page 5

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Photo 14

Freshwater Turtle

This freshwater turtle gave me a good opportunity to take some close-up portrait photos after I rescued it from a dog. There are lots of different types of freshwater turtles in Australia, with 26 species identified and named by scientists. We used to call them tortoises, but now the word tortoise is normally reserved for the land-dwelling ‘true’ tortoises of other regions.

Photo 13

Tree frog

Another tree frog this week. I’m not great at identifying frogs but my guess is this was a Peron’s Tree Frog (Litoria peronii). You’ve got to admire the camouflage in a creature like this. Even the eyes are covered in a pattern that allows it to blend unnoticed into its background. Peron’s Tree Frog is one type of frog that is able to quickly change colour.

Photo 12

Jumping spiders in a retreat

A pair of jumping spiders, probably Opisthoncus species, peers out from a silky retreat. The males and females of many kinds of spiders can look so different as to be easily confused for being different species.

Photo 11

Stages in the life of an Assassin Bug

Looking like something from a science fiction movie, a tiny Assassin Bug hatches out of its egg. Once the bug has fully emerged, its exoskeleton will harden and go black and the bug will look like the ant-sized creature in the top-right inset. Middle-right shows the bug half-grown, and lower-right shows the adult bug. Assassin Bugs feed on other invertebrates by piercing them with a long, sharp mouthpart, and then sucking the creature’s juices out.

Photo 10

Wolf Spider with young

Last week I showed a picture of a Wolf Spider carrying her egg sac on her spinnerets. This week it’s another Wolf Spider, except this time it’s after the young have emerged. Those little guys will spend their first days clinging to their mum’s abdomen like that while she gets on with her life hunting and feeding.

Photo 9

Wolf spider with egg sac

How does an active mum take care of a whole nursery full of kids? She takes it with her. This Wolf Spider carries her egg sac by attaching it to her spinnerets. When the young hatch, they will spend the first days of their lives hitching a ride on her abdomen.

Photo 8

Bulldog ant

The formidable mandibles on a Bulldog Ant are just one part of the weaponry in this insect. At the other end there is an even more formidable sting capable of repeatedly injecting venom. Bulldog Ants are large, primitive and known for their aggresssion. Some types reach lengths of well over an inch and almost all are indigenous to Australia.

Photo 7

Stinkhorn fungus

Looking like a cross between an octopus and a bird cage, this fungus, possibly a Latticed Stinkhorn, sits on a bed of damp mulch in south-east Queensland. Stinkhorns smell like either rotting meat or dung. While this might not endear them to people it sure makes them attractive to flies. Those flies then pass the spores on to other stinkhorns.

Photo 6

Beetle mouthparts

The bits that bite: the impressive multiple mouthparts seen in this underneath view of a large beetle reveal how it would make quick work of its likely diet of worms. This beetle measured almost 3 inches long and didn’t seem too happy while I took this photo.

Photo 5

Tree Frog

Tree frog photographed in south-east Queensland.

Photo 4

Tree Frog

An Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog, Litoria fallax, less than an inch long, sits hunched up on a leaf in south-east Queensland.

Photo 3

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider’s view of a Wolf Spider

Photo 2

Jumping Spider

With colouring that would make a parrot proud, this Northern Green Jumping Spider, Mopsus mormon, gives a good idea why jumping spiders have earned their reputation as some of the world’s most beautiful arachnids. This one was photographed in south-east Queensland. Northern Green Jumping Spiders are the largest jumping spiders in Australia and are unusual among jumping spiders because they are capable of delivering a painful bite.

Photo 1

Masked Lapwings

A Masked Lapwing chick finds shelter, warmth — and a mighty good hiding place — in its parent’s feathers as it prepares for a night on a suburban lawn.

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