banksia1

Invertebrates

longicorn borer beetle 

Longicorn Borers

Several species of Longicorn Beetles live in Banksia woodland.  The larvae of Longicorn Beetles bore through the stems, wood and flowers of plants, feeding on the sap and soft wood.  When they are ready to emerge as adult beetles, they bore out of the side of the plant, leaving characteristic holes.  

Longicorn Borers are important to the ecology of the forest.  The larvae are a rich source of protein and are eaten by Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos.  Holes made by borers are used by native bees for nest sites.

 
 Weevil - grasstree

Trinity - Spiny Weevil0002Spiny Weevil

Weevils are a common and variable group of beetles.  Several Spiny Weevils occur in the Perth area.  One species feeds at night on Grasstree leaves.  Another species prefers the leaves, pods and flowers of Grey Stinkwood.

 native bee

Native Bees

Native bees are important pollinators of native plants.  There are many different species, they are usually solitary and do not sting.  Some species of native bees use borer holes as nests.  They fill the hole with pieces of leaf, lay an egg and seal the hole to protect the developing larva.

 

 Mole Cricket

Mole Cricket

The shovel-shaped front legs of the Mole Cricket are adapted for its underground lifestyle.  Mole Crickets dig permanent burrows where they lay their eggs and store seeds, as well as tunnelling just under the surface of the soil to feed.  They may be heard calling from the entrance of their burrows, or wandering on the surface, particularly after heavy rain.

 

 Cicada

Cicada

The familiar sound of ‘tick-tocks’ is a distinctive signal of warm weather.  Cicadas spend most of their lives underground as nymphs, sometimes for several years.  When ready to become an adult, a nymph crawls up onto a branch or trunk of a tree.  The nymph splits its exoskeleton and emerges as an adult cicada, leaving behind a brown, papery, nymphal case.

 termites

Termites

Termites are vital to the woodland ecosystem.  They chew up and digest old wood, helping to break it down, recycling nutrients.  Their chewing creates hollows used by birds such as Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos, Galahs, Twenty-eights and other parrots, Pardalotes, Carpet Pythons, Numbats, Chuditch, bats and possums.  Rich in protein and fat, termites are also an important food source for many insectivorous birds, mammals, lizards and invertebrates.

 Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

This gangly, well camouflaged spider feeds on insects in the woodland.  It does not spin a web but hunts by stealth on tree branches and old wood. 

Wolf Spider

 

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spiders hunt for crawling insects on the ground in the Woodland.  Female Wolf Spiders are good mothers and carry their egg sacks with them.  When the baby spiders hatch, their mother will often carry them with her on her back.  Spiderlings sometimes disperse long distances using fine silk strands as sails to catch the wind.

 ORb Weaver - Josh Bamford

Orb Weaver

The female Orb Weaving Spider spins a spectacular, circular web to catch flying insects.  The tiny male Orb Weaver hides in a corner of the web to avoid being accidentally eaten by the female!