Posts tagged with magpie moth

Giant spiders and other critters of Rangatira Island, Chatham Islands

  • Slightly smaller and more brightly coloured than the female, a male Rangatira spider hunts on a mahoe trunk at night, Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • A male Geodorcus capito stag beetle. Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Chatham Island skink Oligosoma nigriplantare. Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Subantarctic fur seal Arctocephalus tropicalis. Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly

Rangatira Island is best known as a refuge for rare birds, but it is also home to a spectacular variety of flightless insects, giant spiders, lizards, and seals. Te Papa natural environment curator Colin Miskelly recently spent a month on the island as a volunteer for the Department of Conservation. The team was mainly focussed… Read more »

Cuckoos, toxic caterpillars, citizen science, and cinerarias

  • Shining cuckoo in gum-tree. Image: Rob Lynch, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Juvenile shining cuckoo with monarch caterpillar, Upper Moutere. Image: Anna Barnett, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Magpie moth caterpillar (Nyctemera annulata). Image: Gonzalo Avila, Plant & Food Research
  • Cinerarias. Image: Colin Miskelly, New Zealand Birds Online

Cuckoos are well-known for eating spiky and poisonous foods, but did you know they can eat toxic monarch caterpillars? Shining cuckoo The pure, whistling call of the shining cuckoo is New Zealand’s harbinger of spring. This small cuckoo is one of our few migratory landbirds, spending the winter on tropical islands east of Papua New Guinea,… Read more »