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 Tropical & Subtropical Savanna Woodlands

Including the insects and spiders of the northern woodlands of Australia...

Class Arachnida

Order Araneae: Spiders

Family Lycosidae: Wolf Spiders

(Bladensberg National Park, Queensland)

Wolf spiders are very common. A quick look with a head torch at night over the tropical woodlands ground will reveal many twinkling star-like lights; these are the eyes of Wolf Spiders!

Order Isoptera: Termites

While termites are often called ‘white ants’ and do superficially resemble ants, they are in fact not at all closely related. Their order is considered much more primitive than ants, but they have evolved a complex colonial caste system similar in some respects to ants, with specialized ‘worker’ and ‘soldier’ individuals. Termites feed primarily on cellulose in dead vegetation and are thus acknowledged to be important recyclers in the tropical open woodland. They seem even more dominant in the tropical woodlands of northern Australia compared to the equivalent habitats elsewhere in the world.

(Millstream Chichester National Park)

Termites are quite inoffensive creatures to larger animals like humans. They are relatively delicate and are rarely seen on the open ground, with most living within the soil or vegetation. Relatively few species construct mounds, but the species that do are usually the most noticed.

(Millstream Chichester National Park)

Many species travel across the land through specially constructed tunnels. They are usually made up of grains of soil, and stuck together with termite saliva. They can make nice patterns across rock walls and burnt tree trunks.

Throughout the virus I am working in Australia on and off as local borders close, mostly in the Kimberley with Coral Expeditions (May-September). If you can't go travelling until everything settles down, then until then, here I am doing online guided walks for Noble Caledonia and online lectures for Silversea.