Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map.


Film Diary / 18.06.2018

That is how emails from Chris Burwell of the Queensland Museum, who has long been my mainstay on insect identification, are now titled. Chris doesn’t just provide an attribution when possible, he adds snippets of fascinating information. Today’s arrival was a gem. Without Lumart’s sophisticated uv torch, we would never have seen the shield bug on the forest floor, one night in April this year. I filmed it under the spotlight as well as under uv. It was a female Peltocopta crassiventris which is unique in transporting her hatchlings under the concave underside of her abdomen. This feat qualifies the species for inclusion in a CSIRO list of five of Australia’s most amazing examples of animal behaviour.


Other / 11.06.2018

Last year, I filmed and photographed a cotton shrub growing in a front garden, starting with the flowers in January, then the pods and the first cotton boll in March and finally a cotton harlequin bug in early April, followed by a female tending her newly laid eggs two weeks later. I photographed the nymphs on the 3rd of June, within a day of their hatching. The female never left her eggs for an incredible six weeks. At most, I counted ten bugs scattered throughout the shrubs at any one time, plus eventually, the hatchlings.

Noticing bolls on the shrub in early May this year, I crossed the road to take a look and was greeted by swarms of nymphs in various stages of development and plenty of adults, on leaf after leaf and crawling on stems, which I avidly photographed and filmed, returning for more photographs on succeeding days. Today I took another look and photographed a late instar female. There were more bugs than ever. I knocked on the door and spoke to one of the owners who admitted that he had never seen so many in the five years since he planted the shrubs.



Other / 08.06.2018

Today I received two emails requesting a species identification from mountain residents.More often than not, I refer the enquirer to the Queensland Museum. Today I identified both the creatures, a moth and a spider. Also, this evening, I was asked permission for an early piece of mine about an orange-eyed treefrog in the Tamborine Mountain News to be used in a summary about an excellent recent series of seminars on Resilience.


Other / 20.05.2018

Jack Hasenpusch emailed me a pdf of a chapter on camouflage and natural history, he and Paul Brock wrote for the book Camouflage Cultures, Beyond the Art of Disappearance. This was in response to a number of questions I asked him about spiny leaf insects, also known as giant prickly stick insects, Extatosoma tiaratum. The females can take a leaf-mimicking or lichen-mimicking shape. I had heard that the lichen-mimicking insects were instars which lost their lichen pattern and reverted to an overall light colour as adults. The pdf confirmed that the lichen pattern can be retained by adult females on rare occasions. The shape of the leaf-mimicking form is so different from the lichen-mimicking form that it is hard to believe they are the same species. I have filmed brown and green leaf-mimicking adult females on the mountain as well as an adult male and late and early lichen-mimicking instars.



Film Diary / 09.05.2018

On my morning walk I happened to glance towards the garden with the cotton shrubs and noticed the bolls dotting the vegetation with their white fluff. I crossed the road to take a closer look and was regaled with a profusion of harlequin bugs clustering on leaves, on unopened bolls, crawling on stems, which totally eclipsed anything I saw and filmed last year. The bugs were early to late instars, with countless males replacing the lone specimens on the shrubs I saw previously. There may have been a greater number of adult females  than before, but because of the profusion of instars it was difficult to tell.


Other / 08.05.2018

Today I renewed the domain name for this website for another two years until May 17 2020. The cost increased by over 200% which led me not to renew a matching domain name which I thought might have some commercial value. A Chinese company once contacted me wanting to use it, but without making an offer, so I didn’t reply.