Nature's Place

A Jewel of Harlequins

On the white flowered Hibiscus in the nearby bush is a small herd of bugs, Harlequins they are called, don’t know why – possibly for the distinctive symmetrical markings on the ‘face’. These ones are real beauties; they go through many different colours in their little lives, blues, greens and reds. And there are times when they can be found with developing wings that make them look like something from a futuristic car show, and very elegant.

Anyway, these last days they are this wonderful blue with hues and patches of green and red and iridescent, overlaid on a very purposeful looking form. A very attractive little jewel of the forest.


You have to know where to find them as they don’t appear on all Hibiscus plants, only a few I know of. And then you have to know how to handle them, with care of course. But they also respond to a kind of attention so it’s possible to get a few shots without disturbing them unduly.

And when they are done sitting I put then back exactly where I find them. This one is on my stick, the one I use for stabilising the camera at times is also good for shooting on.

I am usually in the nature just for a walk these days as the little people are shy or just not around after the drastic weather of the last year, and health permitting – other bugs I am catching are from visiting children, no fun at all, the bugs caught this way.


It’s a simple pleasure of mine, this walking and seeing or sensing. To see the colours and form, the movement and the life in it all.

And then I go home, to tend the wildy garden I have encouraged and nurtured.

Just for a while now.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge


18 Responses

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  1. The Background Story said, on 14/01/2012 at 9:49 pm

    Terrifying and beautiful at the same time!

    • Mark said, on 22/01/2012 at 1:32 pm

      Ha, ha! I think you got the wrong place. :) Surely not terrifying?

  2. Lunar Euphoria said, on 23/10/2011 at 2:07 am

    Jewels, indeed! They look like something you’d find on the end of a necklace.

  3. niasunset said, on 10/10/2011 at 7:12 pm

    WOW! This is as you named, a jewel , a great jewel. You are amazing Mark, I loved your photographs, so inspirational and so beautiful. Thank you, with my love, nia

  4. fatcatfromvox said, on 10/10/2011 at 2:26 am

    Beutiful pictures! I’ve seen some of these guys out on Stradbroke Island once (years ago, but they were so cool that I still remember!), some looked like the once you’ve captured here, and some were mostly orange-yellow. I assumed the yellow ones were either a different sex, or nymphs – it seems they might have been females. Fascinating critters! Latin name Tectocoris diophthalmus if anyone else is trying their google-fu for more information :)

    • Mark said, on 10/10/2011 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks FatCat. So you’ve been around here. I think this is one of the nymphs but can’t say about the red ones. I have found both colours doing what one might expect of the other, looking after young. I haven’t seen Yellow ones yet, would love to though.

  5. rachelci said, on 09/10/2011 at 11:06 pm

    Hard to imagine the weather being so extreme you don’t have insects. We broke some records here this year, and the populations reflect that, but still there are plenty of critters overall. Interesting things happening in the world these days.

    • Mark said, on 10/10/2011 at 7:32 pm

      Yes Rachel. The rain came down so hard and for so long last year it washed everything away, including this years insects, it seems. It has been dry but not so dry that there wouldn’t normally be much more than there is.

  6. Jack said, on 09/10/2011 at 10:43 pm

    Nice series Mark. Incredible colors.

  7. Daniel said, on 09/10/2011 at 10:25 pm

    Beautiful photos Mark, great looking little creature.
    I hope your health will permit you to take such great photos for many years to come.

    • Mark said, on 10/10/2011 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Daniel. I will point the body to do what I want and a greater power will determine if it gets there. :)

  8. bareego said, on 09/10/2011 at 7:55 pm

    Such richly coloured bugs, beautiful !
    Looks like he had a tasting session in #2 there :O)

    • Mark said, on 10/10/2011 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks mate, yes, I was wondering if I would feel the needle going in – had to wait to see, but no – it was just regurgitating fluid :)

  9. jamyun said, on 09/10/2011 at 7:26 pm

    beautiful..nature inspired me..wish to see more type of insects..i know realized that it have a lot of secret..the beauty behind the insect..u proved it to me Mark..the insect is really beautiful..

    • Mark said, on 10/10/2011 at 7:36 pm

      Good to hear from you Michael Jamyun, and pleased you are enjoying the bugs life now. :)

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