Water for backyard wildlife. Echidnas?

By: Michael Fox

Water, Food and Shelter for wildlife are the key to bringing a bit of Australian bush to our city gardens.

Some suprising wildlife is still surviving in Brisbane suburbs. What wildlife is benefiting from your Pollinator Link garden?

Video: Victorian Natives (YouTube Channel)

Echindnas in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


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Nature’s pest control services are free

By: Michael Fox

Black and White Ichneumon Wasp - Anacis sp. - 14 Aug 2017

Black and White Ichneumon Wasp (male)

I recently found this striking Black and White Ichneumon Wasp Anacis sp. in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

Parasitic wasps are one of nature’s valuable pest controllers attacking caterpillars that eat your vegetables.

“Their larvae are either parasitic or hyperparasitic (living parasitically upon a parasite). Most caterpillars and pupas are targeted host. Some species attacked other insects and spiders. The female wasp usually locates the food plants of the host then searches with her antennae for a suitable host. The female usually has the long ovipositor which is used to insert eggs into the host body. Some species the ovipositor is longer than the female’s body. The length of the ovipositor allows the female to inject her eggs into hidden hosts such as leaf-rolling or stem-boring caterpillars.” Brisbane Insects

Plant local natives to provide food for local insects.

Plant local nativesIt may be counterintuitive, however, inviting more caterpillars into your garden will help to control your garden pests. And you will also have more butterflies and birds adding colour and song to your garden.

If you can tolerate some chewed leaves you will be providing year-round food to maintain a team of free specialist pest controllers. The Orange Caterpillar Parasite Wasp attacks caterpillars of the Helicoverpa moth species. These caterpillars are a serious pest in your vegetable garden, feeding on tomatoes, beans, lettuce and zucchini, and your geraniums.

Many of the small birds we love, like the Variegated Fairy Wren Malurus lamberti, love caterpillars for lunch, especially when feeding their chicks.



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Birds visiting your garden?

Try drawing or painting your visitors with tips from valwebb


While doing a little laptop housekeeping this morning, I found a link to a forgotten video. It’s a taped segment from a two-day live workshop, Essential Birds and Flowers in Watercolor, hosted a couple of years back at the Mobile Museum of Art. The video quality is rough in spots — it was mostly recorded as a form of digital note-taking. But there’s a good demo on painting a heron using watercolor brushstrokes. I thought you might like it:

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GroNative South East Queensland

By: Michael Fox GroNative App

What Pollinator Link® garden style do you want to create?

  • Tropical/Balinese
  • Cottage Garden
  • Native Rainforest
  • Birds and Butterflies
  • Kids Garden
  • Native Meadow

Download GroNative App (South East Queensland) to:

  • Explore Garden Styles – what do you want to create?
  • Restore biodiversity for your postcode
  • Choose plants by growth form: Herb, Small Shrub, Climber, Fern, Large Tree
  • Choose plants by biodiversity benefits: Seed-eating birds, Bees, Butterflies
  • Many other options

Create your “My Plants List”: choose trees, grasses, ferns, vines to suit the Pollinator Link® garden you want to create.





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Young life lost on motorway on-ramp

Mount Gravatt Environment Group

By: Michael Fox

Koala 2 - Nathan onramp - 3 July 2017 Healthy young male Koala

“Let me know if I can help lobbying for Koala fencing or wildlife bridges. It breaks my heart to see the good work we have been doing undone so quickly.” Matt

I had just collected a healthy young male Koala dead beside the Mains Road on-ramp to the Pacific Motorway. Fox Gully Bushcare neighbour Miranda had emailed to let me know she had seen a Koala beside to road as she drove to work.

Sadly this young Koala was dead when I arrived so all I could do was collect him and call the RSPCA  Animal Ambulance: 1300 ANIMAL

Map - Koala - young male hit by car 3 July 2017 Koala dead beside on-ramp

Matt’s frustration reflects the number of Koala that have been killed trying to cross the Motorway from Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Limited wildlife fencing around the Griffith Bus Station and no fence at all on one side of the Mains…

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Birds and Bees love Golden Penda

Stingless Bee on Golden Penda - 30 My 2017

Stinglees Bee on Golden Penda

By: Michael Fox

Golden Penda Xanthostemon chrysanthus grows naturally in coastal rainforest in north Queensland from Townsville to Cape York. However, it is also happy growing in Brisbane although the spectacular flowering we have had this year is usual. The birds and bees are making the best of this unusual seasonal flowering.


Honey Bee on Golden Penda - 30 May 2017

European Honey Bee

I noticed a cloud of native Stingless Bees Tetragonula sp. today, around the neighbour’s Golden Penda. These tiny bees are smaller than a house fly so if you watch carefully you can see them sneak right into the centre of a flower to collect nectar. You will also see the pollen collected and stored on their back legs.

European Honey Bees Apis mellifera also love Golden Penda however they have trouble getting right in where the Stingless Bees go for nectar.

Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus were making a racket while they also feasted on the nectar.

Rainbow Lorikeet on Golden Penda - 30 May 2017

Rainbow Lorikeet feeding on nectar

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The Blue Banded Bee – The Farmer’s Friend

My Wild Australia

I was really excited to discover some of these attractive looking bees on a cassia shrub near the house recently. I walked past it one day and I could hear an intermittent buzzing sound. On closer inspection, I found these incredible blue banded bees among the blooms.

It’s a very striking looking insect, you’d definitely notice it, with its iridescent blue stripes across its black abdomen and being 12mm in size.

Since I had never seen one of these bees before (except for other people’s photos), I did some research on the internet and came up with some interesting information about them.

The blue banded bee, amegilla cingulata, is a native bee to Australia. It is found everywhere in the country with the exception of Northern Territory and Tasmania.

The blue banded bee is a solitary bee, and they are not aggressive although they can sting.

It’s also easy…

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