Common visitors to our gardens

Use the search and filtering features in the table below to find animals of interest and then click on an animal’s Image or Title to view animal details.

ImageScientific NameCommon NameSummary
Badge Huntsman
Badge Huntsman SpiderBadge Huntsman Spider

Badge Huntsman Spiders (Neosparassus sp.) are large, long-legged spiders. The female’s body is 20 millimetres long whilst the male’s is 16 millimetres. This differs from many spiders where the male is much smaller than the female.

Blue-tongued Lizard
Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides)Blue-tongued Lizard

Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides) is a large reptile with a total length of 45 centimetres. The species is also known as the Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard and occurs from south-eastern South Australia through Victoria, eastern New South Wales most of Queensland to the Northern Territory and north-western Western Australia.

Blue Flower Wasp
Blue Flower WaspsBlue Flower Wasps

The large range of native plants in our cold climate garden attracts many insects. We find that, because of the size of the garden, insects cause very little damage to our plants. In fact, we feel that the majority of native insects are either useful or benign.

Botany Bay Weevil
Botany Bay Diamond Weevil (Chrysolophus spectabilis)Botany Bay Diamond Weevil

Weevils (Curculionidae) form the largest family of beetles (or Coleoptera). Conservatively there are 4000 species recorded from Australia.
Weevils are insects of variable form but linked by an elongate rostrum or proboscis. This has led to their common name of “Elephant Beetles”. Their antennae are on the rostrum in front of the eyes. Their larvae are thick, legless grubs that feed on various forms of vegetable matter.

Common Imperial Blue, image Warren Sheather
Common Imperial Blue Butterfly (Jalmenus evagoras)Common Imperial Blue Butterfly

We are constantly amazed and delighted by the range of arthropods (insects, spiders etc) that both live in and visit our cold climate garden.
One rare visitor is the Common Imperial Blue Butterfly (Jalmenus evagoras).

Eastern Spinebill, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)Eastern Spinebill

The Eastern Spinebill is about 150 millimetres long including the long, narrow beak.
The head is glossy black. Chin and throat are white with rufous centre. There is a black crescent over the shoulder whilst the underparts are cinnamon-brown. The females are said to have duller plumage but we are hard pressed to tell the difference amongst the many “Spinebills” that live in our cold climate garden.

Blue-banded Bee
Blue-banded BeeBlue-banded Bee

One of our reasons for establishing a native garden is to establish a haven for wildlife. This includes birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. Unfortunately, many gardeners have been conditioned to reach for poisons as soon as they see something with six legs and wings.

Fiddler Beetle, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Fiddler Beetle (Eupoecila australasiae)Fiddler Beetle

The large range of native plants in our cold climate garden attract a wide range of insects. 
We find that, because of the size of the garden, insects cause very little damage to our plants. In fact we feel that the majority of native insects are either useful or benign.

Magnificent Spider eggs sacs, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Magnificent Spider (Ordgarius sp.)Magnificent Spider

We share our cold climate garden with macropods, echidnas, birds and many arthropods including insects, spiders etc.
One wildlife observation had us scratching our heads. Hanging from an Acacia baileyana, about one metre above the ground, were six papery sacs.

Peron’s Tree Frog (Litoria peronii)
Peron’s Tree Frog (Litoria peronii)Peron’s Tree Frog

Peron’s Tree Frog (Litoria peronii) is also known as the Emerald Spotted Tree Frog, Laughing Tree Frog and Maniacal Cackle Frog. The last two names refer to its distinctive call.

Preying Mantis, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Praying MantisPraying Mantis

Praying Mantis is a member of the Mantidae family. Australia is home to about 80 species. We will not attempt to identify the species illustrated but it is reasonably common in our cold climate garden.

Processional caterpillars
Processional Caterpillars (Ochrogaster lunifer)Processional Caterpillars

A few years ago we came across what we thought was a metre long, hairy snake. Closer inspection revealed that the snake was in fact a line of caterpillars. We also found two more processions. Each procession was about 50 centimetres long.

Spotted Flower Chafer, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Spotted Flower Chafer Beetle, Polystigma punctataSpotted Flower Chafer Beetle

The large range of native plants in our cold climate garden attract a wide range of insects.
We find that, because of the size of the garden, insects cause very little damage to our plants. In fact, we feel that the majority of native insects are either useful or benign.

Stony Creek Frog, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Stony Creek Frog, Litoria wilcoxiLitoria wilcoxi

Frogs world wide are having a tough time. A Chytrid fungus has been linked to the decline and disappearance of many frog species. We are providing frog habitat in our cold climate garden with a number of ponds. So far we have five species using our aquatic environments.

Neola semiaurata, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Wattle Moth (Neola semiaurata)Wattle Moth

When we first observed this insect we thought that a double-headed caterpillar had been discovered. On closer examination, we realised that the structure at the lower end of the caterpillar was a “pseudo-head” that came complete with eye-spots to confuse predators.

King Parrots, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
King Parrots, Alisterus scapularisKing Parrots

King Parrots (Alisterus scapularis) are large birds 41 to 44 centimetres long. Males and females are dramatically different in colour.
Males have bright scarlet heads and bodies. Wings are dark green with a pale green band. There are also flecks of light green on the wing margins. The tail is blue-black. Females are mostly dark green with red underside.