Glen Forrest student captures image of a rare bug

Helena College student Beth Shaw (15) of Glen Forrest, has produced books called
Helena College student Beth Shaw (15) of Glen Forrest, has produced books called "In Plain Sight" from the images captured in her backyard. Photo: David Baylis

GLEN Forrest student Beth Shaw (15) has had her work featured in the CSIRO’S Atlas of Living Animals (ALA) after she captured the only sighting in Australia of a rare bug.

The Year 10 Helena College student photographed the elusive Pebblebug as part of her personal project for the school’s International Bacclaureate program.

“I started capturing the wildlife that visited my suburban backyard in February 2017 because I wanted to record all four seasons,” she said.

“Specifically I wanted to capture the diversity and beauty of the wildlife that belong to the scientific phylum, Chordata which includes mammals, birds, insects and reptiles.

“Some were the ordinary ones that visit many backyards such as galahs and bandicoots but others were more unusual such as the Pebblebug (Lipocallia sp.) which was just on my garden wall.”

Ms Shaw said when she uploaded the photo of the bug to the Atlas of Living Australia website she realised hers was the only sighting in Australia.

“I was really surprised that I managed to get a photo of such a rare bug without even trying,” she said.

“I also captured a picture of a mole cricket in the lawn which is apparently the only photograph the ALA has of this species in WA.”

Ms Shaw has published three books on her work, In Plain Sight, Minibeasts; In Plain Sight, Eight Legs and In Plain Sight, Feathers, Fur and Scales.