One of the distinguishing features between the sexes that is sometimes overlooked, is the colouration of the spots on top of the head. The female (top) has pale yellow spots on the crown, whereas the male (bottom) has white. [These photographs by my husband, Grahame]
Spotted Pardalotes are also known to nest in small tree hollows and even artificial cavities, but earthen burrows are more common. Male and female are both involved in nest building and parenting duties.
This lerp is about 5mm wide and protects a psyllid nymph as it feeds by sucking sap from leaves. Click on photos to view an enlargement.
Psyllids are Australian native insects. They produce a sticky substance (excrement) called honeydew, which drops to the ground, often splattering cars parked under eucalypts. A dark sooty mould grows on honeydew-covered surfaces, including the lerps.
An overturned lerp with psyllid nymph
A close-up of the psyllid nymph that is less than 2mm long. Notice the unformed wings, and the leg configuration with front leg facing forward and two pairs of hind legs facing backwards.
The male bird's bright yellow throat and white eyebrow [This photograph by my husband, Grahame]
The female bird with a less bold throat, head and face [This photograph by my husband, Grahame]