About The insects of Eloura Bushland
Insects play an important role in our bushland.
98% of insects can be considered
One of the most important roles insects play in the natural world is
the pollination of flower plants. Over time, the evolution of
flower plants and the related insects proceeded in parallel. As a
result, various tools for collecting and transporting pollen have
been developed, such as ventral brushes, pollen-baskets on legs or
tufts of hair on other parts of the body. Some species, for
instance, have unusually long tongues which help them reach the
bottom of elongated flower tubes in search of nectar. Some insects
pollinate flowers blooming in the daytime while others prefer
flowers that open at twilight. The most important pollinators of
flower plants are hymenopterans, especially wild bees, as well as
lepidopterans, dipterans and coleopterans.
Another group of insects which plays a crucial role in different
types of forest environment is ants (Formicidae). Large mound ants
belonging to the Formica genus act as ”orderlies” by regulating the
number of other insects. In the case of the mass appearance of
Lepidoptera or Diptera caterpillars feeding on plants, ants switch
to these species thereby significantly reducing their number. By
building their nests, ants improve the quality of the soil. Numerous
chambers and corridors in the underground part of the nest have a
beneficial impact on the air and water regime in the soil.
Insects actively accelerate the circulation of the organic matter
in the environment. The larvae of many Diptera species (e.g.
bluebottle flies Caliphora and flesh-flies Sarcophaga) feed on dead
plants and animals as well as on animal dung. This significant
contribution leads to a faster decomposition. Carrion is a source of
nourishment for numerous beetle species (e.g. burying beetles (Necrophorus)
and carrion beetles Silpha). Because eggs are deposited in the
carrion, the larvae feed on the animal remains. The dor beetles (Geotrupes)
remove immense quantities of dung from the environment. They build
deep burrows ending with chambers under an accumulation of dung
where females deposit their eggs. The beetles then fill the chambers
with lumps of dung providing food reserves for the developing
This Bull ant was working hard to take this morsel home to his nest.
Here he is seen moving across a concrete pathway.
Meadow Argus Butterfly and a Blue Triangle Butterfly
A yet to be identified moth and a Blue Banded Bee (native to Australia).
A common honey bee works the Banksia and a Bull ant guards the nest.
A regular visitor to Sydney gardens is
the Common Blue-banded Bee.
stands out because of the blue
bands across its black abdomen
because of its darting,
hovering flight pattern. It was
thought that these bees only
visited blue and purple flowers.
This is not true, but they do seem to
like lavender and are attracted
blue objects, including clothing. The
Common Blue-banded Bee
builds a solitary nest, but often
close to one another. It prefers
soft sandstone to burrow in, and
areas of this type of rock can become
riddled with bee tunnels. It also
likes mud-brick houses
and often burrows into the mortar in old buildings.
Cells at the end of the tunnel contain an egg with a pollen/nectar