I hope one of our very knowledgeable COG’ers can please identify the caterpillars found in the house surrounds of an eastern Wagga Wagga property.
There were thousands, of hairy, mostly dark brown to black caterpillars, ranging in size from ¾ to 3 cm in length – 5mm in diameter ( hairs not exceptionally long). I did not inspect with magnifying glass, so not an amazing description I’m afraid. None were seen moving at all except for the few small ones that made it indoors. All were hiding under the bark of White Cedar trees, under any object providing shelter, clinging together in mass on the lower trunks of White Cedar trees, drowned after rain in plastic tubs, under tubs. Magpies appeared to be eating them from the base of trees and I suspect immature Olive-backed Oriole and Pied Currawong were feeding on them. Some of the White Cedars were totally denuded of leaves whereas others were fully leafed – I suspect the leaves had been eaten, maybe at night. Squashed grub appeared to have a sticky silk substance exuding.
Birds of interest this time of year 7-10 April, were Jacky Winter 4, Scarlet Robin, Yellow Thornbill 2, Restless Flycatcher 2 pairs displaying or defending territory, Leaden Flycatcher, Brown Treecreeper, Dusky Woodswallow 4, and 1 Yellow Rosella in company of Eastern Rosella, Golden Whistler, Brown Falcon 2. There were also 4 dinner plate size Longneck Turtle in the same dam – most dams are dry at present, so the turtles might have migrated to where there is water.