Tasmania – Miscellaneous around the house

2014 February 8

While rummaging around the house, we found[1] a number of other tiny creatures. This first one was a little green caterpillar crawling on one of the apples in the kitchen fruit bowl. Which is pretty good evidence that my parents don’t use pesticides. This was a pretty small caterpillar, less than an inch long.

This little moth was also on the fruit bowl. It looks like some kind of tortricid moth. It is possible (although probably not likely) that it is the same species as the green caterpillar, because the lack of a hard-freezing winter means that lots of insect species will have larvae and adults all present at the same time.

There was also this tiny beetle, which I photographed on a newspaper. You can tell how tiny it was from the print, and also from the fact that you can see the fibers in the newspaper.

I thought it might be some kind of flea beetle at first, but it doesn’t have big jumping legs. Overall, it actually looks quite a bit like a Mealybug Destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri , which are beneficial predatory beetles that specialize in eating mealybugs off of plants.

There was also this little cobweb spider. This particular pattern is actually surprisingly good camouflage for inside a house. It breaks up the leg outline into individual spots that look disconnected, and so your brain registers it as a bit of dust rather than as a spider.

At the right angle, the eyes reflected my flash pretty brightly.

And that long tendril on the right side of the picture above leads us into the last subject – a jet-black cricket nymph that my dad caught for me. Here it is along with the spider, for a size comparison. The cricket nymph’s body was only about a quarter-inch long.

I think it’s a nymph because it has no wings at all, and it looks a lot like the nymphs of the field crickets that we have here in Michigan. But then, again, given that it is thousands of miles away, it could easily be an adult of a wingless species.

So, that’s the sort of thing that was in the house. Next time – things in the leaf litter!

[1] I am convinced that, given a few minutes, I could probably find at least a couple of arthropod species in pretty much anybody’s house. Or, for that matter, in practically any building. You just have to look in the right places, and note small things.

One Response
  1. February 9, 2014

    Because of you and this blog, I note the insects I find in my house before I gently move them outside.


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