Royal Park has five different ecosystems offering an unusually great biodiversity of plants and insects. It is rich in insects, with over 5000 species identified to date. Among them some can be considered as iconic due to their beauty, rarity, or the influence they have in maintaining a special natural biocontrol inside the Park. Much recent work has been undertaken by retired entomologist, Roch Desmier de Chenon. Examples of the species he has found are:
Chaulignathus lugubris (F.), Coleoptera Cantharidae
“Plague” Soldier Beetle. Very effective biocontrol agent of many pests in the park
Chryptocheilus bicolor (F.), Hymenoptera, Pompilidae Pepsinae
Spider Wasp Hunter of the Huntsman Spider
Anteon sp. Hymenoptera Dryinidae
Very rare or new species in Victoria, ectoparasitoid wasp on Hemiptera
CicadellidaeTartessinae, the Yellow headed leafhopper on Eucalyptus Brunotartessus
Pergagrapta gravenhorstii (West.), Hymenoptera Symphyta Pergidae
Sawfly very uncommon
Anestia ombrophanes Meyrick, Lepidoptera Arctiidae Lithosiinae Clouded Footman Moth
Some iconic spiders he has found and identified include:
Spiny Spider Austracantha minax
Golden Silk Orb-weaves Nephelia ed
Bird-dropping Spider Celaenia excavataulis
Huntsman Spider Delena cancerides
Royal Park is a valuable recreation place for people but it is also a significant biodiversity site and provides opportunities for research activities into its flora and fauna for biological scientists and students.
It also provides the opportunity for other interested people and groups to learn more by participating in insect surveys run by the Friends or through City of Melbourne’s biannual BioBlitz.
Download results from our February 2015 Insect Survey.