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Other / 11.06.2018

Last year, I filmed and photographed a cotton shrub growing in a front garden, starting with the flowers in January, then the pods and the first cotton boll in March and finally a cotton harlequin bug in early April, followed by a female tending her newly laid eggs two weeks later. I photographed the nymphs on the 3rd of June, within a day of their hatching. The female never left her eggs for an incredible six weeks. At most, I counted ten bugs scattered throughout the shrubs at any one time, plus eventually, the hatchlings.

Noticing bolls on the shrub in early May this year, I crossed the road to take a look and was greeted by swarms of nymphs in various stages of development and plenty of adults, on leaf after leaf and crawling on stems, which I avidly photographed and filmed, returning for more photographs on succeeding days. Today I took another look and photographed a late instar female. There were more bugs than ever. I knocked on the door and spoke to one of the owners who admitted that he had never seen so many in the five years since he planted the shrubs.

 

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Other / 08.06.2018

Today I received two emails requesting a species identification from mountain residents.More often than not, I refer the enquirer to the Queensland Museum. Today I identified both the creatures, a moth and a spider. Also, this evening, I was asked permission for an early piece of mine about an orange-eyed treefrog in the Tamborine Mountain News to be used in a summary about an excellent recent series of seminars on Resilience.

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Other / 20.05.2018

Jack Hasenpusch emailed me a pdf of a chapter on camouflage and natural history, he and Paul Brock wrote for the book Camouflage Cultures, Beyond the Art of Disappearance. This was in response to a number of questions I asked him about spiny leaf insects, also known as giant prickly stick insects, Extatosoma tiaratum. The females can take a leaf-mimicking or lichen-mimicking shape. I had heard that the lichen-mimicking insects were instars which lost their lichen pattern and reverted to an overall light colour as adults. The pdf confirmed that the lichen pattern can be retained by adult females on rare occasions. The shape of the leaf-mimicking form is so different from the lichen-mimicking form that it is hard to believe they are the same species. I have filmed brown and green leaf-mimicking adult females on the mountain as well as an adult male and late and early lichen-mimicking instars.

 

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Other / 08.05.2018

Today I renewed the domain name for this website for another two years until May 17 2020. The cost increased by over 200% which led me not to renew a matching domain name which I thought might have some commercial value. A Chinese company once contacted me wanting to use it, but without making an offer, so I didn’t reply.

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Other / 08.04.2018

I have completed writing up the 949 video frames and photographs for 2017 which will be added to my image library in the collection of the Queensland Museum. The next thing is to put the images and the descriptive lists onto a USB for delivery to the Museum.

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Other, Website / 30.03.2018

Steve and I uploaded another five videos to vimeo last Tuesday evening, bringing the total to 475, but the video harvesting function hast still not been restored to the website, which remains stuck on the 450th video which was uploaded a year ago. We only resumed uploading videos again six weeks ago.

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Other / 27.02.2018

Steve and I uploaded a further five videos to vimeo, to add to the five we uploaded on the 13th when we had to upgrade our presence to vimeo plus, because we had exceeded the permitted storage capacity for vimeo basic. These were the first new videos we have uploaded since May last year, having been otherwise engaged. There are a further twenty in the pipeline.

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Other, Website / 24.02.2018

Apologies to everyone who has been unable to access the website since we had to close it down in October last year because it became corrupted by malicious people. It has been very painful for me not to have a website all this time and to continue to share information, which is the site’s raison d’être. Thankfully, after an upgrade to the system, we are back online. Further work is required to fully restore the site and carry out hoped for improvements. Fingers crossed and watch this space.

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Other / 21.07.2017

An email arrived from the Queensland Museum entomologist who has identified numerous species over the years. He was unable to offer a firm verdict on any of the four images of insects I sent him three weeks ago. But he confirmed that the leg being pulled up a large rainforest tree at night by a lone ant we uploaded on vimeo 8 years ago, was not that of a cricket, but of a spider. I have corrected the video settings and the website.

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Film Diary, Other / 28.05.2017

Having just completed our 150th walk I thought it might be interesting to delve into the history of the walks and tally how many we did per season (broadly, October to May). In doing so I discovered I was one walk short in the total to this season’s end. We have actually completed 153. The 150th occurred a week earlier than the ‘official’ date. I didn’t start numbering the walks until a few seasons had passed. And then, I didn’t number every walk. The tally per season is:  ’07 –’08 = 5   ’08 – ’09 = 10   ’09 – ’10 = 13   ’10 –’11 = 26   ’11 – ’12 = 19   ’12 –’13 = 16   ’13 – ’14 = 13  ’14 –’15 = 16   ’15 – ’16 = 16   ’16 – ’17 = 19. You will notice that in the second season we doubled the number of walks of season one and in the fourth, we doubled the number of walks in season three.

I next tallied how many walks we had done in each of the national parks.  Joalah topped the list with 47, followed by The Knoll with 43, MacDonald with 31, Palm Grove 25, Witches… Read Complete Text