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Roger Riordan:Miscellaneous photos 1964

In spring and summer the bush teams with insects of every type. The gum emperor moth is relatively large, and has the impressive caterpillar shown below. The little tufts all over it are armed with poisoned hairs, so the caterpillars should never be handled.

The case is moth is unusual, in that although the male develops into a normal moth, the female spends all her life as a caterpillar. The male fertilises her in her case, and then she lays her eggs in the case, and dies. When the eggs hatch the caterpillars soon spin themselves little cases and the cycle repeats.

There are a large number of cicadas in Australia, and they can all make a loud noise by rubbing their legs on resonators in their body. When I was at High School the exams were held in a tin shed with nail holes in the roof. It was usually hot at exam time, and the heat and the deafening screeching of the cicadas outside made the exams even more of a trial. The nail holes in the roof caused spots of sunlight to move slowly across our desks, and when we ran out of inspiration we could watch their progress.

The Christmas beetles also mature just before Christmas, and used to lumber noisily around the playground while we tried to catch them.

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2018