Happy new year. 2 queries please, the spider had immobilised the bee, is that its tongue sticking out and what do bees use such a large tongue for? The caterpillar is on a flowering gum in my garden in Queensland and i wondered if you could identify it for me. Thanking you,
Bees have long tongues to lap up nectar from plants. Your caterpillar seems to be some species of Inch Worm or Spanworm in the family Geometridae. We found an awesome webpage of Australian Geometridae, but had no luck identifying your caterpillar exactly. Caterpillars in this family are also known as Loopers, Measuring Worms and Twig Caterpillars.
Update: (01/04/2008) Unknown owlet moth from Australia
Going on my own observations, it looks very much like the caterpillar of the Hakea or Pink-bellied Moth, Oenochroma vinaria, posted on WTB on 11/11/07. The caterpillar has small white dots over its body and also some yellow larger dots along the back. There are two “horns” just behind the head. When disturbed, the caterpillar rears up, showing its horns more clearly. When at rest, it is well camouflaged, looking just like a brown stick. And a Happy New Year to you and all WTB readers, also.