Camponotus piliventris having a bad day.  Insects Title


Introduction

Since this web site began in January 2001, we have been fortunate in gathering quite a lot of information about the invertebrates of Scott Creek Conservation Park.

There have been separate surveys of Water Beetles, Butterflies and Ants. Both the Water Beetle and Ant surveys started in 1999, while the Butterfly survey began in 2001.

Just over forty species of ants from twenty seven genera have been collected in the park. Collection is mainly done on an opportunistic basis when we are working in the field; however, formal surveys and collections have been conducted too. Whilst the butterflies of Scott Creek Con Park have been well surveyed, there are major gaps in our knowledge of most of the invertebrate life of the park, despite them being the foundation of most terrestrial ecosystems. It is noteworthy that in the State Governments 2006 No Species Loss Strategy for South Australia, no data was available as to the total number of invertebrates described in South Australia. Again no figures were available regarding the conservation status, ie Endangered, Threatened etc, for any invertebrates at all. The current decline of over fifty species of woodland birds in the Mt Lofty Ranges may also be linked to a decline in invertebrate numbers. Invertebrates have suffered exactly the same fate as the birds, habitat loss and fragmentation usually followed by degradation through exotic plant invasion and the “edge effect”. Widespread and ongoing herbicide and pesticide use can only contribute to these cumulative impacts.


To ensure the success of recovery plans, adequate resources need to be channelled into researching how many of these declines may be linked. Comprehensive data on invertebrates is essential if recovery plans are to be effective on a “whole of ecosystem” based recovery. As DEH has initiated “asset protection burns” in many of our parks, there is a clear need for baseline and ongoing surveys of flora, fauna and invertebrates to be conducted and built on over time. Both the beneficial and negative impacts of these fires on our park’s biodiversity can then be clearly demonstrated and appropriate management actions can follow. 

 

Ants -general information

Ants have three parts to their body - the head, thorax and abdomen, or gaster. The thorax has three segments, each bearing a set of legs and a breathing spiracle on each side. All adult ants subsist on sweet carbohydrates and can't use protein. The young larvae require protein to develop. Their life goes through the normal insect cycle of egg,larva, pupa and adult.

 

Another Camponotus species
Podomyrma species - close up of head


Ants are social insects, with the new adult life spanning more than one generation. This means that mature adults are able to show new adults the best food sources. Ants have a caste system of queens, males, and various workers. There is a symbiotic relationship between some ants and butterflies. Ants tend the butterfly larvae, which climb trees and feed on mistletoe. During the day, the larvae descend to ground level and reside in the ants nest. The larvae benefit by protection from predator, whilst the ants obtain a sugary exudate from the larvae. Specific ant species tend specific butterflies, which are also dependent on specific mistletoe species.

 


Primitive ants have a posterior sting. In advanced species this is replaced by an excretory gland. Both are defence mechanisms. The metapleural gland, which is near the end of the thorax, produces an antibacterial substance which is strong enough to kill golden staph.

Many ants are associated with particular genera or plants. Some rare plants may have rare ants species associated with them.

 

The same species of Podomyrma as above, side view

 

A list of Ants of Scott Creek Conservation Park

Collected by Tom Hands, Identifications by Archie McArthur, S.A. Museum.

 GENUS                                                SPECIES

Anonychomyma

sp

Aphaenogaster

sp

Bothroponera

sp

Camponotus

capito

        ::

cericeipes

        ::

chalcous

        ::

claripes

        ::

consobrinus

        ::

gasseri

        ::

gibbinotus

        ::

minimus

        ::

piliventris

        ::                                   

scotti – (named 2003) after Scott Ck Pk)

        ::

subnitibus  group

        ::

terebrans

Crematogaster

sp

Dolichoderus

sp

Hypoponera

sp

Iridomyrmex

purpureus  (Meat ant)

Iridomyrmex

sp

Melophorus

sp

Meranoplus

sp

Monomorium

sp

Myrmecia

spp – at least 3 sp-including the “Inch” ants,the “Jumpers” and the golden gastered M.mandibularis   

Notoncus

sp

Ochetellus

sp

Pachycondyla

sp

Papyrius

sp

Paratrechina

sp

Pheidole

sp

Podomyrma

sp

Polyrhachis

spp At least 2 species

Prolasius

sp

Rhytidoponera

sp

Sphinctomyrmex

sp

Stigmacros

sp

Tapinoma

sp

Tetramorium

sp

 

  Camponotus scotti Photo : Archie Mc Arthur

Camponotus scotti

 

Butterflies and Moths

A handsome moth, with the rather interesting name of Gastrophora henricaria
Members of the Butterfly Conservation Group conducted a survey of the park and found the Philgalia skipper butterfly, which has a vulnerable rating and had not previously been recorded as far south as the park.

Roger Grund sent us the results of the butterfly survey which includes links to his web site. For those interested in butterflies, an excellent and up to date website can be found at www.adelaide.net.au/~reid/

The site also has photographs of Jewel Beetles found in the park.

  Cicada hatching The beginning of a new life for a Cicada

Arachnids of Scott Creek CP

Collections by Tom Hands, determinations by David Hirst, SA Museum
 *denotes collection lodged at SA Museum,  # denotes observed only

ARANEAE - SPIDERS


FAMILY

GENUS

SPECIES

Actinopodidae

Missulena

insignis#

Araneidae

Austracantha

minax

Clubionidae

Cheirocanthium

sp

Corinnidae

Supunna

albomaculata*

Gnaphosidae

2 genera

3 spp*       

Hersiliidae

Tamopsis

reevesbyana*

Lycosidae

Lycosa

sp*

Mimetidae

Australomimetus

sp*

Nemesiidae

Stanwellia

nebulosa*

Salticidae

Servaea

sp*

Salticidae

Paraplatoides

hirsti?*

Salticidae

Simaetha

sp

Salticidae

Breda

jovialis#

Sparassidae

Delena

cancerides*

Sparassidae

Isopeda

sp#

Tetragnathidae

Nephila

sp#

Tetragnathidae

Phonognatha

graeffei*

Theridiidae

Latrodectus

hasselti#

Theridiidae

Achaearanea

veruculata*

Zodariidae

Habronestes

bradleyi*

Zoridae

2 genera*

 

Jewel Spider

Photo : Tom Hands

 

SCORPIONS

Buthidae

Lychus

marmoreus*

 

ACARINA- MITES


Anystidae

 

 

Erythraeidae

Erythrites (Gerites)

2 sp*

Erythraeidae

Rainbowia

sp*

 

 

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