Backyard Buddies

Factsheets for Bugs

Butterflies

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Photo credit: David Cook

Butterflies

Butterflies are a welcome addition to any garden and like many native buddies, need all the help they can get to make sure they remain regular backyard guests. Attracting and keeping butterflies around your yard is a cinch. Butterflies go through a number of different lifecycle changes but they always need food, shelter from the wind and a drink of water. Butterflies depend on two types of plants to survive. Flowering plants produce n..

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Earthworms

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Photo credit: Schizoform

Earthworms

Worms have both male and female organs, but they still need another worm in order to reproduce. They lay eggs which hatch after about three weeks. Earthworms don’t have lungs, and instead breathe through their skin! Worms are made up almost entirely of water, and so they love to be in damp soil during the day where it is cool and moist, so that they don’t dry out or become too hot. Worms don’t have eyes but they do have light-sensiti..

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Hairy Flower Wasp

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Photo credit: John Tann

Hairy Flower Wasp

Hairy Flower Wasps are members of the Scoliidae wasp family, which has 300 species. Other names for the Hairy Flower Wasp include the Black Flower Wasp and the Blue Flower Wasp. Male wasps are more slender than females and have slightly longer antennae. Female wasps have long, spiny legs intended especially for digging in soil to find beetles to lay eggs in. The Hairy Flower Wasp does not kill the host beetle instantly, but instead p..

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Huntsman Spider

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Photo credit: Bill & Mark Bell

Huntsman Spider

Some Huntsman species live quite socially in groups of up to 300. They will help raise children together and even share food. In 2006 a new type of Huntsman was discovered. It's called the Tiger Huntsman and is bright orange. It's also one of the largest Huntsman and so far it's only been found in a small area of far north Queensland. There are 100 known species of Huntsman in Australia but it's believed there are plenty more yet to ..

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Ladybirds

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Photo credit: Emily

Ladybirds

Let ladybirds control your garden pests. Ladybirds, also known as ladybeetles and ladybugs, are natural controllers of aphids, scale insects and mites which otherwise damage plants. You can be sure that if your garden has regular ladybird visitors it will receive a helping hand keeping healthy. This is probably why nearly all cultures believe that ladybirds are lucky. Killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune. The nursery rh..

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Native Bees

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Photo credit: Arthur Chapman

Native Bees

Commercial honey bees came to Australia from Europe in the early 1800s. Unlike those bees, native bees have spent millennia evolving with Australian wildflowers, so they’ve adapted to each other. Native bees come in a great range of colours and sizes, from a tiny 2mm to 24mm. Some have furry overcoats while others are smooth and shiny like a stainless steel kettle. Some are yellow and striped, and others are black and blue. During war..

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Stick Insects

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Photo credit: CSIRO

Stick Insects

In the stick insect world, dads aren’t always needed. The female stick insect can reproduce year-round and can reproduce without fertilisation. This means that she can deposit her eggs and have them grow into normal, healthy nymphs without ever needing to find a mate. However, in order to keep up their genetic diversity, and because unfertilised eggs will all be female clones of the mother, she will still need to mate with males sometimes..

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Sugar Ants

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Photo credit: CSIRO

Sugar Ants

Sugar ant soldiers have some impressive looking pincers on their face. Up close they can look a little menacing but it is all for show. The ants can bite but they can't sting so you may feel them pricking you with their pincers but it won't hurt much and they are completely harmless. The soldier ants need to look threatening to protect their friends and family. The worker ants need their pincers to move sand to make their nests and to..

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