My lovely wife Pammy is my 'spotter'. She spots things out in the garden that I miss. Eagle-eyed she is, which of course is a good quality for a botanical illustrator to possess. This morning, she spotted this person in our parsley patch. Yes, it's hard to miss, but of course eagle-eyes didn't miss it.
It's a cotton harlequin bug, Tectocoris diophthalmus. I had to get in for a closer look...
That's better. Then I did what I always do when I'm not sure of what I'm photographing. I Googled it. Shoot and Google, that's my policy.
And good old Google, or more specifically the Australian Museum website, set me straight. This is a juvenile Cotton Harlequin Bug, a brand-newie, which will turn orange (with spots) as it matures into an adult. Those blue bits glint with a metallic wink in the sunshine.
Apparently I am lucky, in that we are currently infested with a single little kid of a Cotton Harlequin bug. My Googling tells me that these bugs, when they appear in large numbers, can be destructive little sap-suckers in gardens. They do attack cotton crops, as their name implies, and they love a good suck-and-chomp on hibiscus, abutilons (Chinese lanterns) and any other hibiscus family plants. However, they ain't fussy it seems, and any juicy flower buds can become its dinner.
I practise 'live and let live' as much as possible here in Amateur Land. So s/he's welcome here, and a pretty addition in fact. If s/he invites the gang around for a flower-munching party on, say, my citrus trees, I might have to get out the soap spray, but until then I'm happy to welcome this beautiful child into my garden.