23 June, 2008

Cuckoos love Caterpillars

On Sunday 22/06/08 Maria and I were birding with Birds Australia North Queensland Group at Eubenangee Swamp near Innisfail. Apart from birds we saw a couple of big crocs.

In the trees along the creek we observed the catterpillars of the Four O'clock Moth, Dysphania fenstra, on Carallia, Carallia brachiata . Also known as Corky Bark the fruits of this tree are eaten by many birds. This bright yellow and black larva develops into a very attractive moth which flies in the afternoon, hence its name.

A female Little Bronze Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx malayanus, with some of the features of the subspecies russatus, was feeding in the bushes accompanied by a juvenile. On finding this large larva it set to work for some time before freeing the tenacious caterpillar.

Success at last!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Real helpful Alan. now I know the caterpillar in my Carallia at the beach. There are heaps and heaps of them.

cheers Kerri Redding