Beneficial Predators

Sun Tzu advocated in ‘The Art of War‘ the best line of defence is attack. This adage has not only been proven to be relevant in Eastern and Western military thinking, legal strategy and business tactics etc, but it could also be an effective method in the management of pests in the garden. What is […]

Birds in Our Backyard

Our yard here on the Coffs Coast sees many bird visitors. They are a constant delight to observe. Some are more welcome than others so I guess we need to plant species that attract the birds that we’d most like to see. The following YouTube clip from Brad Walker has quite a few birds that […]

Snail Siesta?

Recently a magazine article intrigued me……. apparently during extended dry periods there are some critters who shut themselves down to survive. This is called aestivation and is a state of dormancy, similar to hibernation characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, which is in response to high temperatures and arid conditions. The common snail […]

Brown Lace Lerp

The Brown Lace Lerp is an oval, flat and soft 4mm long critter. Their wings are transparent with a wing-span of 6mm. Brown Lace Lerp feed on Eucalyptus trees. They are a small psyllid that live under a small shell-like cover called a Lerp.  Adults appear in summer and lay batches of 50-100 eggs. Eggs […]

Prickly Pear

The first plants of prickly pear were brought into Australia to start a cochineal dye industry. At that time, Spain had a world-wide monopoly on the important cochineal dye industry and the British Government was keen to set up its own source of supply within its dominion. The dye was derived from cochineal insects which […]

Christmas Beetle

Christmas Beetle Anoplognathus spp.December in our part of the world seems synonymous with the appearance of the Christmas beetle. They seem to clumsily blunder around external house lights and are a constant source of fascination for many children. Their navigational system is somewhat put off kilter by artificial light and this is why they are found […]


Top: A green frog looking very settled in a bromeliad. Frogs are good critters as they eat slugs and other plant pests. If you have frogs in your garden, well pat yourself on the back as you’ve achieved the tick of approval by one of nature’s toughest judges – frogs. When frogs take up residence […]

Fungus Gnat

Fungus gnats are those really annoying little flies that are commonly found in groups just hanging around our indoor plants and bags of potting mix. They are either black or dark grey and about 3mm long and just thrive in moist potting mix or soil. These critters are not benign – they can transmit diseases […]


This summer seems to be shaping up to be ‘the season of the Cicada’ as their presence is being heard more stridently this year than most other years – or at least here on the Coffs Coast. Australia has a huge reputation for cicadas with a predicted 700-1000 species. This figure far outstrips South Africa […]

Dindymus versicolor – Harlequin Bug

CHGC member Sue came to an outing armed with images of this rather pretty critter and wanted to know what it was. It’s a bad guy, commonly known as Harlequin Bug, Dindymus versicolor and can really wreck havoc on succulent new growth – in Sue’s case, her broadbeans.  Sometimes these insects are known as Pull me/Push you […]