Local pollinators

At this time of the year our front grassy woodland-type garden is alive with butterflies, bees, hoverflies and pollinators of all descriptions. I was trying to get a shot of my favourite Australian bee, the Blue-banded Bee (Amegilla), but although I saw them I had no luck getting a photo. I did however get to see plenty of other insects and take lots of out of focus shots of insects feeding on our paper daisies and also our native pelargoniums.

The most commonly seen butterfly in our garden at this time of year is Vanessa kershawii, the Australian Painted Lady and if you look behind it, in the photo below, you can also spot another smaller butterfly, called a Grass Dart, probably Ocybadistes walkeri (or possibly O. flavovittata).

The large butterfly is Vanessa kershawii and the smaller one behind it is  a Grass Dart, probably Ocybadistes walkeri
The large butterfly is an Australian Painted Lady, Vanessa kershawii and the smaller one behind it is a Grass Dart, probably Ocybadistes walkeri

I have to thank  Len Watkin of the Australian Moths Online for pointing out to me that this small creature wasn’t a moth, rather it was a butterfly.  Martin Purvis who looks after the Australian Butterflies website confirmed my identification (from what he could see in the photos).

The Grass Dart taking a rest on a nearby Pelargonium leaf, 28 November 2014.
The Grass Dart taking a rest on a nearby Pelargonium leaf, 28 November 2014.

But it’s not just butterflies and moths that pollinate flowers in the garden. While I didn’t have any luck with capturing a photo of the Blue-banded Bee I did spot at least two others. One very small one looked like a Stingless bee, but I’m unclear whether they are found in the ACT. The other I think is a species of Leafcutter bee.

My clearest shot of what I think may be a Leafcutter Bee, 28 November 2014.
My clearest shot of what I think may be a Leafcutter Bee, 28 November 2014.

Talk about carrying a load of pollen.

A species of Leafcutter Bee?
A species of Leafcutter Bee? Look at the pollen on its legs.

I will keep trying to photograph a Blue-banded bee in my garden and who knows what else I will spot! If you are interested in identifying Australian Bees I suggest you check out the Aussie Bee website.

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