Insects AND OTHER INVERTEBRATES
The bushland and waterways of the Wolli Creek Valley and Regional Park invariably provide habitat for a host of invertebrate species.
In terms of sheer numbers of individuals, and in the number of species, invertebrates are the most numerous organisms on earth. Many invertebrates, (a term which covers insects, spiders, worms, molluscs and some other animals) are still not scientifically described. This has led some scientists to estimate that they make up as much as 99% of all animals on earth.
Invertebrates have a critical role to play in preserving and maintaining ecosystems. This may be as pollinators of most of the flowering plants on earth, in maintaining soil structure and fertility, in aiding decomposition processes that release nutrients, and in controlling or regulating the numbers of other species (whether these are plants or animals).
Any significant decline in insect or other invertebrate numbers may signal problems for ecosystems. There is some concern amongst researchers that this may be happening in some parts of the world, due to climate change and other impacts.
WHAT MIGHT BE FOUND IN THE WOLLI CREEK VALLEY AND REGIONAL PARK
Thanks to some ‘snap shot’ bushland field surveys conducted by members of The Society for Insect Studies (SFIS), we have been able to start a list of some of the insect and spider species that have been found and identified during the SFIS’s field visits (as well as some earlier records from others). What is found during any one of these surveys, in any month or year, can vary greatly, depending on the season, weather and climatic conditions.
WCPS welcomes further studies and surveys of the insects and spiders and other invertebrates of the Valley. There is much to learn, and we currently know so little. Aquatic invertebrates for example have not yet been the subject of any field work/study in the Wolli Creek Valley.
LINKS AND USEFUL INFORMATION AND IMAGES
WCPS member Voren O’Brien’s Flickr photo album of invertebrates from the Wolli Valley
See this stunning Wolli Creek Regional Park Slide Show · David Noble which features many pictures of insects and other invertebrates
The Society for Insect Studies (SFIS) – the SFIS holds regular field excursions, so joining them is a good opportunity to attend these, and learn from the knowledge of others.
And this great article from The Conversation: Photos from the field: zooming in on Australia’s hidden world of exquisite mites, snails and beetles