Sunday, 21 September 2008

The Entomologist's Garden

We should celebrate chewed leaves ...

This week's edition of Gardening Australia featured the garden of Brisbane entomologist Sybil Curtis.
Sybil likes to encourage all members of the food chain to her garden ... She is particularly fond of caterpillars, that "turn really indigestible leaves into bite size parcels of fat and protein and they’re just gobbled up by everything – certainly all your lizards and frogs and those things that are living on the ground eating insects and other invertebrates."

The video (5:15) is available here. It includes a nice close up of a legless lizard (which belongs to an Australo-Papuan endemic family) and a handy tip on thwarting the leaf-raking behaviour of brush turkeys.

It also has a shot of some native snails ... but they look very much like Hadra bipartita, which is found quite a long way further north. The common big camaenid in Brisbane gardens is Sphaerospira fraseri. Still, it's not often you see camaenids on telly, so I'm taking what I can get.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't it a gorgeous feature? I too got very excited by the snail, and thought the whole thing was total eye candy.

But I was intensely irritated by the constant reference to it "not being manicured" - OK, they may be trying to pacify/impress the suburban outdoor scullery maids (of either gender) but it's time to work from these shows to abolish the whole myth that immaculation=gardening.

(amegilla, forgetting password)

Snail said...

There should be more of this type of story, I reckon. I did like the bit about pegging down palm fronds to frustrate the turkeys. It's about time someone took them on.

Anonymous said...

Hello old friends and thanks for this heads up.