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Connecting you with Nature

Bird Dropping Spider, image by Simon Mustoe
Edition #49 Regent Butterflies and Bird Poo Spiders


It always comes as a bit of a surprise that Australia really only started to produce comprehensive wildlife field guides in the last few years.

To think it was 2004 before The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australiacame out. The second edition has just been printed and we have an interview with author Michael Braby by Chris Sanderson who in 2012, discovered a new butterfly for Australia that has since extended its range all along our northern coasts. Chris is also helping develop a new citizen science hub on Australian butterflies, which we hope to find out more about next year.

It just goes to prove that there are plenty of discoveries still to be made, especially when armed with books that reveal a simple knowledge of wildlife is all that's needed to be an explorer.

Wildlife Australia Magazine has also just reviewed the new Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, which we're pleased to be able to show you here. Please do download their latest edition here.

If all you know about spiders are the occasional Grey Huntsman that invades your personal space,you might be surprised to discover some of the incredible beauty and diversity among the cuter representatives of the family - the peacock spiders and ant mimics. Or other extraordinary examples such as the bird poo spider, which Neil Hewett of Cooper Creek Wilderness talks about with great enthusiasm in the video we made with him here.

This is definitely one to show the kids and grand kids!

This week a European study showed how almost 75% of insects have disappeared in Germany in the last 25 years.

But as Neil says "the more I search for understanding, the more impacted I am by the existence of a chemical conversation that ties everything into its requisite role for a successful ecosystem".

Our insects, spiders and other invertebrates are in desperate need of some love and these books could inspire a new generation of kids to take an interest ... and they might even inspire us adults to rekindle our fascination and the feelings we had as children, when we explored nature more freely.

Best wishes,

Simon Mustoe
Founder, Wildiaries

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The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia

REVIEW By Chris Sanderson

Butterflies are perhaps the most iconic of invertebrates, holding a special place in people's hearts due to their beauty and their amazing ability to metamorphose from caterpillar to butterfly. Indeed many children's first experience of nature is often taking home a caterpillar or chrysalis and watching a butterfly emerge. ...

... read more

INvisible animals in the oldest rainforest in the world

Neil has used his wonder and appreciation of the forest to build 25 years of knowledge of the most cryptic of animals - he has a particular fascination with tiny camouflaged spiders, so sophisticated, they will blow your mind: the strange stick spiders, lichen spiders and the unlikely-sounding bird-dropping spider.

... watch the video


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Outright Arachnophilia

REVIEW by Dr Owen Seeman

from Wildlife Australia Magazine

Australia’s small arachnology community soon heard rumblings about a possible book, and over the past year, the rumblings become a roar. Now, A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia is here, and it is a tremendous achievement.

... read more

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FINAL SPOTS - Raja Ampat - The Last Paradise Feb 2018

Raja Ampat, the Last Paradise

Nothing will prepare you for the experience of Raja Ampat. Because of its rich seas and unique wildlife, it’s been called the ‘Galapagos’ of Asia. Alfred Russel Wallace’s visited here as he amassed his own parallel theories of evolution that fed into Darwin’s. It deserves the reputation. It is one of the most amazing places on Earth.

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