Munching the greens

As usual at this time of the year the monsoonal weather gives quite a boost to our insect population.   I have finally protected some of our edible greens with mosquito net as the combination of caterpillar and grasshopper attack was not leaving us enough for a feed.  Now I can enjoy the insects!  

tettigoniidaeside-view

These long-horned grasshoppers are likely to be the same species, members of the family Tettigoniidae. Dr Roger Farrow, to whom I sent the photos, thinks they are probably in the Genus Polichne and he says that P. parvicauda is the most common species.

Polichne

 

 

 

And just for a little colour; here is Acanthus ilicifolius or Holly Mangrove.  Although it grows along the banks of the Daintree River in the tidal zone it is happy sprawling on the edge of our fresh water ponds and survives the dry season quite happily now that it is well established.  

acanthus-ilicifolius

 

The macro view has somewhat exaggerated the size of the flower which isn’t actually very large  but the blue is a welcome distraction amongst the many green hues of the vegetation along the pond edge.   Although the plant looks wonderful in large thickets the irregular spiny teeth on the leaves and the spiny stems on this plant don’t make it a ‘gardener friendly’ plant.

5 responses to “Munching the greens

  1. Hi Swamptyhings

    I see we are posting on similar long thin insects. Must be the season for them.
    .
    I didn’t know we had any native Acanthus plants in Oz. Interesting.
    The garden varieties come from the Mediterranean area, and like hot dry summers and cool winters – the opposite of your area.
    Cheers
    Denis

  2. Hi Denis, I am familiar with Acanthus mollis from earlier years I spent in Victoria, gardening and working in horticulture. I grew these Acanthus ilicifolius from seed and have been fascinated to find out how adaptable they are.
    Cheers
    Barbara

  3. Hi Barbara
    When I saw that you had grown them from seed, I thought perhaps after all, it was a “Garden Plant” (i.e., introduced), but then I found this site:
    http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/reflib/fg-mangroves/pages/fgm-2223.html
    So it is a genuine Aussie plant, although obviously from other links it is a common SE Asian plant.
    One lives and (hopefully) learns.
    Thanks
    Denis

  4. The grasshoppers are sometime night visitors to the yellow-lit facilities at the van park, but never more than one or two. And seldom about the place by day.

  5. Hi Denis, your suspicion is understandable but as we are now a Nature Refuge we have a responsibility to ensure that exotic species do not spread beyond the confines of the HHZ (human habitation zone). When I first started planting here in 1985 I was not quite so careful and I am now doing penance. Just off to do some weeding!

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