These true bugs are a treasure

By Dr Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum Entomologist These images show an aggregation of nymphal True Bugs. Not all insects are ‘bugs’ but these are. If you turned one over and looked at the head you might see the proboscis – a long, thin, straight feeding tube lying down between the legs – that makes these ‘True Bugs’ belonging to the Order Hemiptera. Unusually, we can … Continue reading These true bugs are a treasure

Colour in insects

by Susan, Discovery Centre Information Officer Jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and Christmas beetles (Scarabaidae) are common names given to particular groups of beetles due to their spectacular iridescent or metallic colouring. The gold, green, blue or purple colour shifts as the insect moves delighting us (and presumably any potential mate) with their beauty. But what causes these shifting colours?   Colour in nature is produced using … Continue reading Colour in insects

5 minutes with Dr Christine Lambkin, Curator of Entomology

What is your favourite species in the collection and why? My favourite is a specimen labelled suborder Falsifera. There are nearly 3000 species of grasshoppers and crickets in Australia. There are so many different types they are placed into two Suborders, the Ensifera and Caelifera. When Queensland Museum received the University of Queensland Insect Collection in 2011, we discovered within it a specimen representing an … Continue reading 5 minutes with Dr Christine Lambkin, Curator of Entomology

How to save a spider

Most spiders are smaller than your thumb, but they have a mighty reputation. Venom and silk are their superpowers and they save us from a world that would otherwise be overrun with insects. Most spiders are harmless, but sometimes they turn up around the home in places that might not be convenient. On National Save A Spider Day (14 March), Queensland Museum arachnologist Dr Robert … Continue reading How to save a spider

It’s Christmas Beetle time

As we head into the festive season, one sure sign that Christmas is on its way is the emergence of the infamous Christmas Beetle. The familiar whirring and clicking of the beetle as it haphazardly makes its way through the air, often crashing into a screen door or gathering around lights, stirs up a sense of melancholy of childhood Christmases for many. Although many bemoan … Continue reading It’s Christmas Beetle time

Where have all the museum insects gone?

By Katie Hiller, Information Officer, Queensland Museum Southbank Have you been wondering what the giant cockroaches and stick insects have been doing while the museum was closed? The insects from the Discovery Centre moved to a holiday home where they were kept warm and in isolation, from human visitors  but not each other, and they have been thriving in their new habitat. However, they are … Continue reading Where have all the museum insects gone?

Our native Blue-banded Bees

By Dr Chris Burwell, Senior Curator of Insects, Queensland Museum Blue-banded bees, a name used for several species of Amegilla, are common visitors to Queensland gardens and are one of our most beautiful Australian native bees. Their boldly banded backsides (abdomens in entomological lingo) make these stocky bees stand out. The paler bands on the abdomen are made up of thousands of tiny, tightly-packed hairs. … Continue reading Our native Blue-banded Bees

Garden Insect Photography with Collection Imager Geoff Thompson

by Geoff Thompson, Queensland Museum Collection Imager  What does a museum micro-photographer do when locked down? He builds a modification for his flash diffuser and heads out into the garden to photograph small creatures, with his own camera and macro lens. After editing and adjusting, only a few images are worth sharing. Queensland Museum entomologists have identified these as far as is possible. Often it … Continue reading Garden Insect Photography with Collection Imager Geoff Thompson

Let’s not forget the “little things”

By Dr Mike Rix (Principal Curator, Arachnida, and Research Fellow) Most of us are all too familiar with the plights of large and charismatic species such as the tiger, black rhinoceros, giant panda and polar bear. Their iconic status and magnificence are synonymous with the international conservation movement, as their continued existence on planet Earth remains so dependent on the concerted efforts of citizens and … Continue reading Let’s not forget the “little things”

What happens to all the butterflies in winter?

By Dr Chris Burwell, Senior Curator of Insects at Queensland Museum This year has seen a bumper summer and autumn for butterflies in Queensland with a great diversity of species and huge numbers of some species on the wing. They have provided a bright distraction from the anxious times in which we have been living during the current health pandemic. As we head towards winter … Continue reading What happens to all the butterflies in winter?

Are these nocturnal raiders infiltrating your garden?

By Dr Chris Burwell, Senior Curator of Insects at Queensland Museum Queensland Museum entomologist Dr Chris Burwell delves into the nocturnal raiders that are infiltrating gardens in south-east Queensland right now – fruit piercing moths. My fellow curator Patrick Couper recently photographed some nocturnal raiders feeding on his carambola fruit. They weren’t the usual fruit bats or possums. They were moths, fruit piercing moths. Most … Continue reading Are these nocturnal raiders infiltrating your garden?

How many different species of ants do you think live in your backyard?

By Dr Chris Burwell, Senior Curator of Insects at Queensland Museum Small yellow ones that raid your kitchen, bigger black ones that crawl over your plants, even bigger metallic green ones that sting when you go barefoot in the garden. Three species, five species, ten species? The answer will probably be more than you think, depending on where you call home. If you live in … Continue reading How many different species of ants do you think live in your backyard?

Entomologist Dr Chris Burwell’s Musings on Butterflies

By Dr Chris Burwell, Senior Curator of Insects at Queensland Museum Have you noticed butterflies everywhere for the last couples of months? There has been a great variety of different species and well as exceptional numbers of a few species. Fast-flying, yellowish-green Lemon Migrants and more leisurely, black and pale-blue spotted Blue Tigers have been especially common. The recent weather has been ideal for butterfly … Continue reading Entomologist Dr Chris Burwell’s Musings on Butterflies

Stunning new spiders jump into our hearts

Queensland Museum scientists have discovered five new jumping spider species. Have you ever seen a more adorable spider? These cute and colourful jumping spiders are changing the reputation of arachnids around the world. Queensland Museum arachnologist, Dr Barbara Baehr, along with colleagues Joseph Schubert from Monash University, and Dr Danilo Harms from University of Hamburg recently described the new Australian species which feature vibrant colours … Continue reading Stunning new spiders jump into our hearts

International Women’s Day: women in Australian history

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re highlighting some of our favourite females in Australian history, shared through the lens of the incredible women who are part of the Queensland Museum Network team. Our collections are full of amazing stories and we’re thrilled to be able to share them with you to celebrate this special day.  Jennifer Wilson, Senior Curator, Transport Energy and Science Favourite … Continue reading International Women’s Day: women in Australian history

Sharing nature’s gems for World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day, held annually on 3 March, was created to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife. This year’s theme is “Life below water: for people and planet”. Oceans harbour a rich variety of communities and a wealth of strange and beautiful creatures, each with its … Continue reading Sharing nature’s gems for World Wildlife Day

Celebrating women in science

We celebrate the achievements of women, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, who have forged the way for those of us in science today, and to give an opportunity for children: girls and boys, to choose role models in science – Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite, BSc MSc MD PhD This coming 11 February is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and to celebrate we’re … Continue reading Celebrating women in science

Been missing our Discovery Centre critters?

Never fear, they’re all still here and safely tucked away behind the scenes throughout the Discovery Centre’s renovation. Our staff continue to bring in the tasty eats they like best – bundles of fresh gum leaves for our stick insects, dried leaves for the giant cockroaches and even frozen rats for our green tree pythons. The baby scorpions, born in the museum, are thriving on … Continue reading Been missing our Discovery Centre critters?