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The importance of invertebrates

Published 28 Sep 2017 by Sharon Williams

Walking the forest at night is one of my favourite things to do and I still have my mum convinced that the small obvious glows shining back at night are drops of water, which of course, they are not; they're usually spider’s eyes and there are usually lots and lots of them.

I tend to spend a lot of time looking for the smaller critters when I wander, whether it's during the day or at night; they're usually very striking when you look closely. Not TOO closely though.

Invertebrates are a crucial part of the ecosystem worldwide but are sometimes forgotten and are often feared.

Some invertebrates such as butterflies and bees are pollinators and fly from flower to flower sharing the love, whilst other species like spiders and scorpions play an important role of keeping insect numbers controlled.

Invertebrates are also a very important part of the food chain and make a good meal for birds, carnivorous mammals and reptiles.

Did you know that the presence of scorpions may be an important indicator of forest health?

This is good news for Nardoo Hills, because we counted 11 individual scorpions in 10 minutes in the Box-ironbark forest.

The next time you wander, take time to look at the leaves, on the ground, in the grass and at the bark on the trees, the substrate is often camouflaging some amazing hidden animals.

Line Blue Butterfly Line Blue Butterfly
Nacaduba sp. Photo: Sharon Williams
Sawfly larvae Sawfly larvae
Sawfly larvae Order: Hymenoptera Photo: Sharon Williams
Unidentified Caterpillar Unidentified Caterpillar
Unidentified Caterpillar Photo: Sharon Williams
Wolf Spider Wolf Spider
Wolf Spider Family: Lycosidae Photo: Sharon Williams
Scorpion Scorpion
Scorpion Order: Scorpiones Photo: Sharon Williams

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