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Kooyang Late summer January-March, Eel season

Great balls of #spitfires

I remember spitfires from my #childhood. But what are they and are they dangerous?

I remember when my parents would tell me to keep away from the big tree in the back corner of the yard because of spitfires? In my young mind I imagined miniature #dragons spurting fire at any poor soul that got too close. My older brother the braver kid in the family would poke the strange mass of #insects with a long stick and then run for his life.

Despite their #caterpillar-like appearance, this #sawfly #larvae won’t grow into a beautiful #butterfly.

Spitfires don’t spit or sting, they actually #dribble. When threatened they wriggle their tails and regurgitate from their mouth a thick mustard-coloured goop that is made of concentrated #eucalypts and looks like #fire. You might feel the fear of death if you accidently came across a cluster of these #gothic-looking #grubs dribbling goop. But spitfires, their goop and the grown sawfly are harmless to #people and #animals.

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