Ladybird Spider - Eresus cinnaberinus ♂
Needless to say why these spiders are known as Ladybird Spiders. Eresus cinnaberinus (Araneae - Eresidae) is one of the most attractive species of its genus, and also one of the most rare.
They live in a vertical tube brownish silk that emerges from the ground, with a series of blue strands, anchored in the ground or nearby objects. The female, black, moves her eggs to the outside during the day and returns them to the nest at night, to maintain a constant temperature. These photos shows a wanderer male, probably looking for a female to mate.
The species occurs in Northern and Central Europe. However, it exhibits two disjunctly distributed color and phenological variants. So, Eresus cinnaberinus was split into two presumptive species: E. cinnaberinus and E. sandaliatus.
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Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus sp., Apinae, Apidae)
This genus of bees parasitises other bees’ nests, i.e. they don’t build their own nests but lay their eggs in the nests of other bee species.
Apart from their brilliant colours, they also adopt this strange roosting behaviour as evening approaches, tightly grasping the ends of twigs and grass tips with their jaws to rest.
by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China
See more Chinese Hymenopterans (wasps, hornets, bees, ants and sawflies) on my Flickr site HERE…..
Eucalyptus macrocarpa is a very distinctive species having a mallee-type habit of growth and spectacular red flowers. There are two recognised subspecies; subsp macrocarpa is the most common form and is a small mallee of up to 4 metres in height while subsp. elachantha has a restricted occurrence south east of Geraldton. The latter differs from the common form in having smaller leaves and lower stature.
The foliage of E.macrocarpa attracts almost as much attention as the flowers. The leaves are ovate-elliptical in shape, sessile, up to 12 cm long by 8 cm wide and silvery-grey in colour.
The large flowers may be 100 mm in diameter and are usually bright red but pink-red forms are known. Flowering occurs from early spring to mid summer. The “gumnuts” which follow the flowers are also an interesting feature of the tree. They are very large and have a powdery grey covering.
As a species native to relatively dry areas, E.macrocarpa is best suited to cultivation in climates which have a dry summer. It has been grown in sub tropical districts but cannot be regarded as reliable in those areas. It has been observed growing and flowering in western Sydney. The species develops a lignotuber and should respond to hard pruning to near ground level if rejuvenation is required.
photo from Rare Plants