Animals in our garden

Slaters

  If you check the soil in our beds you will see them scuttling around: grey, 7 body segments and 14 legs, up to 2 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, curling up into a ball when disturbed: in Australia they are called slaters, they are also known as woodlice, roly-polies, pill bugs and by …

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Curl grub

If you dig the soil in a garden bed, you will probably have discovered curl grubs. They are up to 4 cm long, have 6 legs, are white to cream in colour and have a brown head and a grey end. They curl up to a C shape. Curl grubs are the larvae of a …

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Blue triangle

Blue triangles, also called common bluebottles, are swallowtail butterflies¬†native to eastern Australia and southeastern Asia. They are very quick and skillful fliers and reach a wingspan of 8 cm. The butterfly itself feeds on nectar, its caterpillar specialises on the leaves of Australian native trees and doesn’t affect any of the crops in our garden. …

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Black soldier fly

Black soldier flies are slender flies about 18 mm long and 5 wide with a dark black body and transparent wings, usually folded together on their backs. The flies are fairly slow moving, often not even trying to escape. They mimic the appearance of wasps to scare off predators but can’t sting or bite. The …

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Transverse ladybird

If we think of beetles the picture of a ladybird is very often the first thing that comes into our mind. The funny little red or orange beetles with black dots are frequent visitors to our gardens and usually people don’t mind them and find them rather cute. Some people find they bring luck. Some …

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Ladybird larva

Just shy of 1 cm long and a couple of millimeters wide this little hunter certainly looks like a little alien. Don’t worry, it doesn’t do any harm to humans, neither does it harm any plant. It does mean business though when it comes to its favorite food: aphids, scale insects and mealybugs. Ladybird larvae …

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Green plant hopper

About 15 mm small and shaped like a bright green triangle green plant hoppers are very well disguised as a leaf. Most often you will only realise they are around when they hop long distances to escape after being disturbed. A member of the bug family they are a pest sucking on the plant’s sap. …

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Dealing with citrus stink bugs

When inspecting plants look out for tell-tale signs: the actual animals, often sucking at the most tender leaves. Black adult or orange immature bugs limp and wilting leaves leaves that show brown, burnt areas intense, repugnant citrus smell Preventive measures: Not many predators go for stink bugs because of their caustic defence tactics. Make sure …

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