Reptiles of Warwick Bushland
Focus Topic 40. Mini-beasts and their Ecology
Warwick Bushland is a thriving natural ecosystem that is sustained by many complex interactions between living organisms. This area supports a high diversity of small arthropods such as snails, millipedes, etc. Common insects include the native bees, flies, beetles, bees and wasps that pollinate our wildflowers (see Banksia Woodland Pollination site). Insects also recycle waste, disperse seeds and provide a source of food for animals, especially birds.
The most beautiful insects include butterflies and moths and dragonflies that are seen most often in warm weather. Warwick Bushland is an important refuge for the Graceful Sun-moth, an uncommon species that flies in late summer. There are also many spiders, including the very large Golden Orb Weaver with massive golden webs that are best seen in summer.
However, not all insects are good for natural bushland. The European Honeybee (Apis mellifera) is an exotic species introduced to Australia over 190 years ago by the early settlers. Feral European Honeybees impact upon native flora and fauna through competing with native bees for floral resources and steal pollen from species they do not pollinate, especially male flowers of sedges. They also displace birds from tree hollows.