Caterpillars Scouting About
Love them or hate them, caterpillars are an important part of the Australian environment. They can bring joy in the form of the promise of a beautiful butterfly, despair as they devour tender young broccoli plants, or itching and pain as a spitfire caterpillar brushes against your bare skin.
Around August, moths and butterflies are busily searching for a safe place to lay their eggs. Some have already produced eggs, so it’s a good time to find out what’s a caterpillar and what’s not.
Earthworms are the Slimy, Slippery Superheroes of your Soil
There are over 300 species of native worms in Australia and many introduced species that are beneficial as well. You have much to thank your humble garden worm for.
Earthworms return nutrients to the soil from organic matter such as fallen leaves, vegetable peelings, fruit scraps, hair clippings, and even old paper. These nutrients are important for you to grow happy, hardy plants.
Lusty Leopard Slugs Hooking Up
In February you can witness a spectacular event in your backyard.
Mating Leopard Slugs must be one of the most bizarre and fascinating displays of animal behaviour you can ever observe.
Millipedes are myriapods, meaning ‘many pairs of legs’. They survive over much of the country and evolved from ancestors that were the first creatures to make the move from water to land millions of years ago.
They are now all terrestrial but most common in areas with a milder climate and plenty of moisture. They are common under rocks and logs, in leaf litter and soil and under the bark of trees.
Roley Poley Landlubbers
Have you ever lifted a pot plant or scraped back some mulch and found some curious little 'Roley Poley' bugs underneath? These are slaters, also known as Roley Poleys, Pill Bugs, or Wood Lice. Just like worms, slaters are great for your garden as they eat organic matter and return nutrients to the soil. Having a few slaters around will keep your plants happy and healthy, as the soil will have more nutrients in it.
Slaters need moisture and mostly come out at night when the risk of drying out is low. You'll find them under logs, rocks, leaf matter, compost, pot plants and amongst mulched areas of your garden.
Slowly Sliding and Slinking Through the Garden
The leaf litter in your garden is perfect for snails who need a moist atmosphere to live in.
Snails can be infuriating when they graze on your newly planted veggie patch. But they also like to feed on dead plant and animal material and fungi.