Monday, 12 August 2013

Jottings from the Tropics: 12 August 2013

There are phorids in the washing up caddy and I don't know why. Now there's the start of a country & western song, if ever there was one.

Let's see what else is happening.

A Torresian crow is pinching macadamia nuts from underneath the tree. No. That needs work. Hmmm. This music lark is more difficult than it looks.

— o O o —

I'm not sure what the neighbours think of me — or even if they have an opinion — so I don't know whether they were surprised when they drove past earlier today to see me standing at the door staring through binoculars at a spot of ground close to my feet.

I was watching a neon cuckoo bee (Thyreus nitidulus) as she searched for the nest of a blue-banded bee (Amegilla cingulata) to parasitise. The blue-banded bees are under pressure now that someone has set up honeybee hives nearby and large numbers of these cooperative competitors are plundering nectar. Those competitors are also pollinating weeds.

Neon cuckoo bees are startlingly blue. It is difficult to capture the intensity of the colour in sunlight, but the middle three images here are the closest. Like Ulysses butterflies (and morpho butterflies in the Neotropics), they have to be seen in action to be appreciated. (And, yes, neon is actually orange when a current passes through it, but enough.)

— o O o —

I've just noticed that it's been a month since I last posted. This is mostly because nothing much happens. Well, there was the Spitfire. But apart from that...


Susannah Anderson said...

"There are phorids in the washing up caddy and I don't know why."

I love the line! Years ago, Writer's Digest ran a contest where you had to start a story with the sentence, "The rats were in the kitchen cupboard again." You just reminded me of it. But I like your sentence better.


Snail said...

That's a better use for it than a C&W song!