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Hanging the washing out to dry

October 11, 2016
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1-dscn1534The recent heavy rains and subsequent flooding have been a boon to observers of insects. Insects too slow to avoid the rising waters are found helplessly floating on the surface searching for a piece of vegetation or a passing snail to cling to. Plucking them out of the water and carrying them to a leaf or blade of grass affords a good opportunity to observe them up close as they recover and dry out.

A case in point is this recently rescued rove beetle (pictured left). Rove beetles eat almost anything but are voracious predators of insects and other invertebrates. Like other beetles they have outer hard wing casings (elytra) that protect the more fragile flying wings underneath.  In most beetles this outer casing covers the entire abdomen. However one of the characteristics of the rove beetle is the very short elytra (brown coloured in this species).

1-dscn1540As this critter was drying off it unfolded its large flying wings to dry them in the sun (pictured right). After a few minutes it quickly folded them up and packed them under the tiny elytra.

We need some of that know-how to help us repack the portable marquee the Strath Creek Landcare Group has just purchased.

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