Saturday, 25 February 2017

Australian Pelicans and a Lizard Ambushing a Beetle

1. Australian Pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

The Australian Pelican  is found in Australia and New Guinea, They occasionally turn up as a vagrant in New Zealand and parts of Indonesia. They have the largest bill of any bird measuring from 40 cm - 50 cm. They have a wingspan of 2.3 m - 2.5 m. Their diet is primarily fish. In Tasmania they do not occur in large numbers as they do on the mainland. These ones were filmed at Scamander and St Helens on the east coast of Tasmania.

( Astralian Pelican  - Click the play button)

2.  Lizard Ambushes Beetle -White's Skink (Egernia whitii) - 
    
 The White's Skink (Egernia whitii) is generally an ambush hunter. The one in this video is quite a young and small lizard. As I was watching, it made several attempts to catch passing prey. It lunged at a large fly which got away. It leapt upwards at a passing bee. A piece of fluffy material blown by the wind was caught, but the lizard soon realised it was not food. (you can see this fluffy object in the video) Next a beetle (a weevil) came by and this time I had the camera set up. The beetle seems to have had a previous injury. I have no idea what the story is. It looked to me like it had been in a spiders web at some point. The skink soon noticed the passing beetle and you can see it creep out from it's tunnel and then charge at the beetle, bowling it over. It gets quite graphic after that. I take no pleasure at seeing the beetle being eaten but at the same time I am in awe at the  amazing world of wildlife that exists in our own backyards. Many people would not have even spotted this lizard let alone this encounter with the beetle. So, find a quiet spot, sit still, be patient, and you never know what amazing things you might see in your own backyard.


(Lizard Ambushes Beetle - Click the play button)




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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Tasmanian Devils and Honeybrown Beetles

1. Tasmanian Devils Relaxing and Lazing Around ( Sarcophilus harrisii )

A while back uploaded a video of Tasmanian Devils fighting and feeding.
 (Here's the link: https://youtu.be/VE0013H7A0Y )

This video shows them relaxing and lazing around. Many of my videos are filmed "in the wild" so I need to mention that these were filmed at a wildlife park. Wild Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal however they do occasional take in the sun in forest clearings just like these ones.

( Tasmaninan Devil  - Click the play button)

2.  Honeybrown Beetle (Ecnolagria grandis)
 
This is the Honeybrown Beetle (Ecnolagria grandis) The following notes are from an old blog post of mine back in 2008.
The majority of Tenebrionids feed on dead plant material and fungi and many books and web sites say that E. grandis is also such a scavenger. Personally I had always assumed they were leaf eaters as I usually find them on a variety of native plants, especially on Eucalypts. Confused, I searched for more information and I found the paper listed below. This clearly states that they feed on fresh leaves of a variety of plants including, Brachychiton, and Leptospermum. While beetles were found on Eucalyptus spp, no mention is made of Eucalyptus being part of their diet so I will have to observe more closely the Honeybrown Beetles in my backyard. At least it confirms that they do in fact feed on living leaves. The adults of this species are short lived. Most of their life is spent in the larval stage underground. Perhaps it is at this stage that they feed on leaf litter.



(Honeybrown Beetle - Click the play button)




Thank You!
Since September I've gone from about 12 subscribers on my YouTube channel to over 210. Thank you all very much for your support and encouragement. If you have not yet subscribed please consider doing so, as not all of my videos appear on this blog. If you are logged in with your google account you simply need to use the YouTube/Subscribe button below.

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References:
  • Hawkeswood T.J. & Turner J. R. (2003) Some notes on the biology, host plants and occurrence of the Australian lagrid beetle Ecnolagria grandis (Gyllenhal, 1817) (Coleoptera: Lagriidae). Spilopyra, 4: 1-3.