Spider in Buttercup (Ranunculus sp.) flower. Photo © David Wong 2010

When you take a closer look at grasslands you find that they contain a great deal of life. Animals are going about their business and the interactions between animals and plants become much more apparent. You can really start to appreciate the importance of plants for animals and vice-versa. I once heard a speaker use the term “habitat is where it’s at” and this has stuck with me ever since. It seems like a simple principle but if you protect habitat in good condition, you protect the animals and plant within that environment but also the processes that accompany that ecosystem, processes that are vital for life and often are taken for granted, such as pollination and purification of air.

Emerging cicada, St Marks grassland, Canberra. Photo © David Wong 2010

Mosquito on Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) blade. Photo © David Wong 2010

Fly on Billy Button (Craspedia sp.) flower head. Photo © David Wong 2010

These are just a few images of some mostly overlooked species that occur in grasslands. Animals such as flies and mosquitos are often reviled but they too play an important role in the ecosystem. They may pollinate flowers, help with the decomposition of dead animals and provide an important food source for other animals, and for me, it is hard not to marvel at their design when seen close up!

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2 Responses to Microcosm

  1. Thomas says:

    Great macro! Beautiful work …

  2. dw says:

    Thank you Thomas!

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