Six on Saturday – W6/2021 – No slaying of dragons here!

This morning at breakfast Mr S noticed a juvenile water dragon sunbaking on a stem of the Rose of Sharon plant outside. Surely this is a good omen, a good start to the day, and good start for this week’s Six on Saturday?

Juvenile water dragon on the stem of a Rose of Sharon shrub
Juvenile water dragon

Staying with the dragon theme, my Dragon Ginger (Globba species) plant I bought at the Ginger Factory Ginger Festival last year is flowering. It is an ornamental ginger and lives in a pot in a shaded area under the now flowering Tibouchina tree (pictures to follow, possibly in next week’s Six).

This morning we noticed these larvae of the Papilio (swallowtail) species of butterfly on the lemonade tree. (It looks very dragon-like, doesn’t it?)

Staying with bugs for number four for this week, we also found these interesting nymph exoskeletons of the Cicada bugs under the leaves of the lemonade tree. Cicadas spend most of their life underground as nymphs and feed off sap from trees. The periodical cicadas emerge after 13 years, while the annual cicadas emerge every year. You can clearly see the split down the middle of the back of the exoskeleton on the right where the cicada emerged. The cicada sounds have been rather deafening this season!

Cicada nymph exoskeletons

The leaves of the young bottlebrush shrubs in the garden are being eaten again. The sawfly larvae are responsible for this! Last year two of my young Callistemon shrubs were rendered leafless by these little monsters, and it took them a few months to re-foliate!

Finally, there are a couple of wasps that use the groove between the bricks in the exterior walls of the house to build their nests. The one I’m featuring this week is known as the Resin Mason Wasp,  Epsilon chartergiforme, and it uses plant resin and plant material to create these little structures to lay its eggs in. The wasp is not aggressive.

Resin Mason Wasp

That is all from me for this week. I will be heading over to The Propagator to see what other gardeners are doing in their gardens. Links are found in the comment’s section of The Propagator’s blog.

Wishing everyone a Happy Gardening Week!

15 comments

  1. That juvenile water dragon is too cute and you are right, the swallowtail caterpillar is very dragon-like. It is lovely that you post about the critters as well as the plants in your garden. What a coincidence that we both featured cicadas in the same week!

    • I still can not get over that coincidence! I suppose it’s just that time of year in the Southern Hemisphere when the cicadas are out and about! Being fairly close to a National Park is an advantage as we tend to see more wildlife in our garden than other gardeners would.

      • Even though it is summer – it is still a coincidence 🙂 I hope others in the neighbourhood appreciate the visiting wildlife as much as you do!

        • Most people at least seem to respect the pythons, thank goodness. They don’t seem to notice the finer details but that’s what keeps the little creatures safe!

          • Good that the pythons are respected, and I know what you mean about the overlooked little creatures being safer that way!

  2. The cicadas emerge from the skeleton? Oh gosh…. Wow!
    That’s a not for the faint-hearted article, what with dragons and dragon lookalikes. Hope you had a great gardening week. Cold, wet & miserable here.

    • It has cooled down here (Sunday), thankfully! The cicadas are very interesting little creatures. Yesterday’s post gives a link to another blogger who gives a better insight into them. You’ll soon be seeing some signs of spring approaching, which will bolster your spirits!

  3. I appreciate you sharing your fascinating wildlife sightings. The water dragon is a lovely little visitor. So exciting that you have butterflies, cicadas, and wasps sharing part of their life cycle with you! You have clearly created an inviting home for them.

  4. I love the sound cicadas make, but never knew they came out out those exoskeletons. The Water dragon is lovely, isn’t it wonderful to welcome wildlife to the garden?

    • I love seeing the little dragons; actually, even the adult dragons look amazing! I was really thrilled to see the three flowers on the ginger. The plant is only about a foot and a half high.

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