Buggin with Bridgey – January  2021

Welcome to Buggin with Bridgey January 2021!  A definite change of season in the buggy world!  I’m keeping track of the animals I see, and it was a sudden shift from one week to another and I started seeing LOTS of crickets, especially one species in particular.  There was also the appearance of cicadas, snails, katydids as well as a big jump of weevil sightings.

In just one day from not seeing any all year, this Cricket (Cardiodactylus novaeguineae) species was EVERYWHERE!  Seeing sometimes 20 or more on one 2 hour walk.   I’m been watching them get bigger for the last few weeks and they numbers have remained really high!  Definitely the dominant species of the moment.  There has also been many sightings of a few other species of cricket as well.  On night walks we can hear their calls as the dominant sound in the rainforest.

cricket on a plant stem
Cricket (Cardiodactylus novaeguineae)

The annual arrival of cicadas on-mass as well!  Seeing a huge number of the shells stuck on the sides of trees.  Occasionally seeing a freshly emerged one. Still clinging to its shell, and some a few hours old, just hanging out at eye level.

Quite a few sightings of one species in particular but also generally more weevils.   I also saw an increase of my favourite local weevil the Black Clown weevil (Pantorhytes stanleyanus).  Once seeing 6 in their bush in Bug Alley.

Many dreary rainy days lead to our beautiful White Rainforest Snails (Noctepuna cerea) making many snail trails throughout the rainforest at body height, giving photographers plenty of opportunities to get some great snaps.   An interesting thing I have learnt through one of my tour participants, Kylie (thanks Kylie), is the interesting fact that this white snail has its eye on the main part of its head, whereas, most land snails will have them at the end of their top feelers.  This is because this dainty little snail has evolved from a water snail.  We also started to see some other snail species as well.

Katydids of all shapes and sizes were dominant as well.  Probably the most interesting was this juvenile Small Grassland Katydid (Polichne species).  What a fancy little bugger!  Somedays I wish I could be as colouful as that!

Recently Let’s Go Buggin had a special guest photographer join us.  Fresh out of the harsh Melbourne Covid-19 Lockdowns, Brendan from CygnusTech made the comment that “I could have been coming here instead of going to Asia!”  He was so impressed with the density of life here.

Accompanying Brendan on his trip was another Melbourne Photographer, Maurice Allen whom I was blown away at his knowledge of spider species!  His photos are pretty awesome too.   Check out Maurice’s Instagram!

It really was a great pleasure showing these macro photographers all the amazing critters at my best ‘go-to’ spots here in Cairns, and I have to admit they were able to see stuff that I haven’t seen before so it was a great learning experience.   Be sure to check out Brendan’s upcoming blog about his Cairns Adventures, coming Soon.  Or check out his previous Blog here.

group photo of photographers nature tour
From L to R: Top Buggers Kylie, Maurice, Harley, Brendan and Bridgette

Bridgette uses Olympus OMD EM1 ii, 60mm M.Zuiko lens and CygnusTech Diffuser.