Australian Pine Trees  
When you drive down a Southeast Florida road, and you glance at the trees in the distance, the really tall stuff might be Australian Pine.
Australian Pine Trees
Norfolk Island Pine and Slash pine are common down here too, so let's glance at all three to make them easier to ID.
Norfolk Island Pines tend to stick straight up with a large central trunk from which branches sprout like bristles on a bottle brush. Virginia Creeper's crept all the way to this top of this Norfolk Island Pine.
Slash Pines are more clumpy and rounded. They have clusters of needles on long branches that wander out from the tree.
Australian Pine Tree Trunk
Australian Pine Tree Skyline
Here's a Cuban Knight Anole on a Slash Pine branch:
Let's get back to the Australians. Australian Pines have extremely long needles that droop from the branches and whistle in the wind. They're long haired trees with green tresses.
In this picture, the Australian Pines are to the right of the Slash Pines, and below, they are to the left of the Norfolk Island Pine.
Norfolk Island Pine Tree
Norfolk Island Pine Tree covered in Virginia Creeper vine
Slash Pine
That splintered tree is what happens to Australian Pines in a hurricane. Norfolk Island Pines don't fare much better. They're HEAVY. They fall in the high winds. Let's move on to happier stuff.
That tiny brown bug is a Firey Skipper Butterfly. It is resting on an Australian Pine. This young raccoon is climbing one.
In my neck of the woods, Australian Pines are an invasive nuisance plant even if they do provide cover and habitat and look great until they fall over. They sucker, which means that little trees sprout all around them. They grow REALLY fast.

After they bloom, they dust the surrounding landscape, which includes your car, and your porch, and, via incoming feet, your carpet, with a sticky coat of brown pollen. Oh, and my kids are allergic to the darned trees. Now I'm done with the down side. Let's look at some more of the neat creatures I've found on these trees.

Cuban Knight Anole lizard on a Slash Pine
Slash Pine Trees
Long Green Australian Pine Needles
Australian Pine Trees to the right of Slash Pines
Australian Pine Trees to the left of a Norfolk Island Pine
Australian Pine splintered and twisted by a hurricane
Firey Skipper Butterfly resting on an Australian Pine Tree
Baby Raccoon on an Australian Pine Tree

Now that's a particularly interesting picture. The butterfly resting on the Australian Pine is a Gulf Fritillary. But look - there's a bug on the bug!

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly with a little green bug on it's wing resting on Australian Pine needles; it's a bug on a bug

I ended up nose to wing with that Streaked Sphinx Moth when I was pruning the tree back so I could mow around it. I'm glad it hung around long enough for me to run in and grab a camera!

This broken butterfly is a Long-tailed Skipper; it's missing some tail. It could still fly away, and did.

That bizarre metallic bug above is a Eurhinus Magnificus Weevil. Wow, what a sight!

Streaked Sphinx Moth resting on an Australian Pine

That creature above looks more fearsome than it is. It's a tiny flat shield bug of some sort. Several were scurrying out of sight on some Australian Pine saplings we cut down.

This red and black bug is another shield bug, Euthyrhynchus floridanus. It was feasting on a green planthopper until I disturbed it.

I've found several kinds of leafhoppers lurking on the pine needles:

The long bug with maroon eyes is a syrphid fly. I believe it's a Pseudodoros clavatus. The white bug that seems to be chewing on the end of the pine needle, and I believe that it is, is an M. Undatus weevil.

A Longjawed Orb Weaver, the long reddish spider on the right, tried really hard to keep the pine needle between us, but I managed to get one decent picture while we paused to watch each other.

That wasn't the only spider around; these spiderlings are recent hatchlings.

And finally, a Brown Thrasher that was scolding me away from the chick it was feeding beneath the trees. I didn't want to take more pictures and upset it further, so I backed off. I wonder if it was eating these bees? Oh, and then I found these bug eggs on a pine needle.

Eurhinus Magnificus weevil clinging to an Australian Pine needle in western Boynton Beach, FL, May 2012
Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly perched on an Australian Pine
Shield bug hanging out on an Australian Pine Tree
Euthyrhynchus floridanus stinkbug eating a green planthopper on an Australian Pine Tree
Red veined leafhopper lurking on an Australian Pine needle
Small green leafhopper on an Australian Pine Tree
One of many many M. Undatus weevils nibbling on my Australian Pine Trees - I wonder how long it will take them to consume the trees lol?
Australian Pine Trees
Spiderlings on Australian Pine Needles
Brown Thrasher glaring at me from the cover of Australian Pine Trees
Longjawed Orb Weaver hanging out on an Australian Pine Tree
Mystery eggs on an Australian Pine Tree. I brought them inside to see what hatches. Email me a reminder if I don't get around to updating to let you know what comes out.
Bees or wasps that buzz and form little swarms on my Australian Pine Trees each May
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