Journal archives for November 2018

22 November, 2018

Primary Tassie Objective Achieved

The main reason for visiting Tasmania at this time of year (early) was in the hope of photographing a rare endemic Archipetalia auriculata (Tasmanian Redspot). With only about ten public records available I thought it was never going to be easy. I thought they might like cascading waterfalls, like their closest relatives Austropetalia tonyana from Victoria. However a recent sighting in the south of the state by Elaine McDonald changed my mind as she found them near montane trickles in the Hartz Mountains. With this in mind my plan was to explore Cradle Mountain near some historic records and then the buttongrass plains near Savage River where I had found the uncommon Synthemiopsis gomphomacromioides (Tasmanian Spotwing) in February 2017. And I only had two days as the weather was going to turn Tasmanian.

Day One in Cradle Mountain provided fine weather but very few insects (and no dragonflies at all). Day Two still had fine weather but it was very windy (i.e. average for Tasmania's north-west). I started checking some of the swampy areas where I had found Synthemiopsis gomphomacromioides but without success until I visited a trickle flowing from a boggy flat. That's where I found Archipetalia auriculata! At first I thought I had even photographed a female (there are no in situ photos of females) but it turns out their anal appendages are not very significant — doesn't seem to bother them though. :) At this first site there were two males and then a little down the road I photographed another male. I'm thinking perhaps it was too late already for the females (the family all emerge early in the season, typically during October).

So now I will search some more for females when the weather gets better but its unlikely I will even get to the Hartz Mountains (I no longer need to) as there won't be enough fine days left during this trip.

Posted on 22 November, 2018 04:14 by reiner reiner | 2 observations | 3 comments | Leave a comment