Today Miss 9 discovered an amazing bug in the garden. Sitting on a rosella branch was this beautiful orange and metallic blue insect, guarding a clutch of perfectly formed pale pink eggs.
So we got on to google to try to find out exactly what it was.
It took a little while, but finally we discovered this is the cotton harlequin bug.
It's official name is Tectocoris Diaphthalmos.
According to this site the bugs are quite maternal and look after their eggs and young.
This is a spider we found on a nearby branch. It was also interesting, but has nothing to do with the hibiscus harlequin bug.
Apparently they suck the sap from hibiscus and related plants. They are a problem for cotton crops. Typical insecticides deal with them.
We think we'll keep this one - she's not doing any harm to my ridiculously large rosella crop, and it will be fun to watch the eggs hatch. Besides, we are trying not to spray insecticides/poisons in our little oasis here.