A vermiform larva about 20 mm long with pointy ends. The tail end appeared bifid. The white body had deep blue patterns.
Spotted on dry soil in a garden. Did not appear to like sun light and actively dug through the dry dirt.
The flowers in this species were smaller and not as robust as in C. valida which has purplish flowers. The flowers had just a slight tinge of purple and the leaves, that were paired were all green and small. Flower buds (pic 3) were a pale green.
A small plant about 10 cm high with lance-shaped leaves. The flowers were attractive with the central sepal (green) and lateral petals (brown) fused to form a hood, rising up and over the labellum. The lateral sepals were fused at the base and rose up on either side to erect points. The inside of the hood showed broad white stripes (pic 5). The same colouring could be seen on the outer side of the flower (pic 3).
Small ( 6mm wide) flat pale discs with tapering bases seen on herbivore dung pellet ( possibly Kangaroo) The pale surfaces had minute evenly spaced holes (ostioles) - some of them showed puckering around the edges. The discs had irregular margins.
Spotted in a national park which is a free range for kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and rabbits. ( Churchill National Park)
( This is Poronia erici but there is no listing on ALA. Ref : Fuhrer 2005. Could this be added, please Thanks)
Hardly visible on a bed of moss were these thin sculptured stalks with smooth club-shaped tips. The whole fruiting body was about 30 mm tall including the 15 mm club-shaped fertile tips.
Spotted on moss beds along walking track - Churchill National Park . There were several of these in a moist patch of moss.
The fruiting bodies of this very tough woody fungus looked like large rusty nails arising from the ground. The flattened caps ( upto 50 mm across) had concentric rings and were slightly puckered. The underside showed dark reddish brown pores - no white "bloom" as the cap were old. The stems were firm and slightly velvety in dry specimens. Some of the caps had incorporated grass blades ( pic 3).
Spotted on a damp forest floor - mixed natives but mostly young mountain ash ( Eucalyptus regnens)
Attractive clump of toffee coloured caps with slight convexity, a small discrete umbo and rolled in margins. Gills were a pale brown. these must have been covered by a thin cortina which could be seen tearing-off some of the younger caps (pic 3). The remnants of a brown spore-stained cortina could be seen as a wispy annulus around the stipe. The stipe below the annulus was a dark brown with white fibrils.
Spotted groiwng as a clump on dead wood in a forest with mixed native trees.
These were large earthstars, about 45 mm across. They were fully open with split pale rays of areolated outer skins (exoperidia). In the centre was a smooth rounded spore sac with a central pore through which the spores are released. These earthstars were sessile .
Spotted on moist ground under pine trees.
With contorted pale orange caps about 25 mm, these fruiting bodies were growing close to the ground. The cap margins were mealy and white.The fertile under-surface had densely packed spines or teeth instead of pores and these were slightly decurrent (pic 2). The whote stipe were otherwise smooth.
Spotted on sodden forest floor in a reserve.
A clump of contorted brackets forming a 360 mm wide mass that emerged from the trunk of a large living gum tree. The upper surface of the fruiting body was velvety and tan colour. The pale underside had minute pores (pic 3) which had a creamy covering. Some brackets showed a peeling layer (pic 4) which exposed the pore surface.
Caps were a bluish yellow with fine cracks with young ones rising out of the ground like pale purplish puff balls. Mature caps were about 55 mm wide with a central depression. Gills and stipe were cream coloured. The stocky fruiting body was quite close to the ground. The spore print was a pale cream (photo not good enough to post).
Spotted in damp soil a eucalyptus forest.
This large gum tree had a beautiful trunk and several hollows. A galah flew to one of the hollows ( pics 1 &2), entered it and came out again after a few minutes and had a good look around. It then flew to perch on a nearby branch (pic 4). Soon after a second bird came out for a few minutes and the two sat outside for awhile (pic 6) before flying away together.
Spotted in a reserve near a creek.
An attractive grey-brown geometrid moth with fine brown and black lines and a wing span of about 50 mm. The wings had narrow black bands contrasting with flashes of white. The undersides of the wings were pale with a black mark on each wing. The dark submarginal areas on each wing was broken by a pale patch.
Spotted in a suburban garden.
This attractive dark brown butterfly had a wing span of about 50 mm. Both fore and hind wings had bright yellow patterns much like the common brown, except only the hind wing had a distinct eye spot (on the upper side). This butterfly showed a long style-like yellow marking on the fore wing ( pic 1), which is a sex-brand and seen only in males. The underside of the fore wings showed a dark patch on a background of pale gold with a small eye spot at the apex. The hind wing had beautiful patches of purple with two small eye spots, one near the costal margin and the other near the trailing margin.
Spotted on a grass verge in a nature reserve. It was flitting about landing one one clump of grass for a few seconds before going to another.
These are scale insect galls seen on the adaxial side of the leaf . The broad-based conical outgrowths are female galls. There were two of these, one at the base of the leaf base and another along the main vein. the gall was purplish and had a ring near the base. One of the galls showed two openings and the other a single smooth circular orifice. Also on the leaf surface were many upright tubular structures with apical openings with crenulated margins. These were male galls and they were tinged red.
Spotted on a eucalyptus tree - ? species. Nature reserve.
My thanks to Dr L.Cook for confirming genus and identifying the species.
Looking like a 5 mm piece of bird-dropping, this little black and white capsule is a cocoon of an ichneumon wasp. It was attached to the leaves on this young tree and wrapped around it was the skin of its larval host - a lepidopteran. Mimicking bird-dropping and wrapping the skin of the larval host over and around is, apparently, one of the many strategies employed by ichneumonids to escape attacks from hyperparasitoids. Spotted on a young black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) in a nature reserve.
This observation features just one tree which accommodated every stage of the life-cycle of the common imperial blue or imperial hairstreak butterfly. Pic 1 shows a male butterfly resting beside a pupa. Pic 2 shows a cluster of pale blue-grey eggs with fascinating spikey outer coverings (see reference link in notes). The caterpillar in pic 3 had small horn-like tubercles along the dorsal aspect of the body. Pic 4 shows a cluster of glossy dark pupae and pic 5 shows the exuviae.
Pic 6 is that of an adult.
Every stage of this butterfly was attended by hoards of ants (Iridomyrmex ). They were running around all over the tree , clustering in large numbers around the pupae. There were ants around the eggs and caterpillar.
Another interesting feature was the fine webbing around the eggs and the pupae.
Spotted on a black wattle tree (Acacia mearnsii) near wetlands at a retarding basin.
This small wasp ( a case-moth larvae parasite wasp) was about 10 mm long and very active. The narrow abdomen had thin white bands and a moderate size ovipositor. Head, antennae and thorax were black. The hind legs had black and white markings while the other legs were a pale yellow.
Spotted actively searching low plants (in this case the bumblebee weed) in a riparian area.
An erect plant about a foot high with thin dichotomous branches. The flowers were very small, about 5 mm wide with bright yellow petals. Leaves were small, lanceolate and some had indented margins.
Spotted growing amongst other vegetation like dandelion, sorrel and grass by a walking track, in a national park. It was difficult to see this plant separate to the others growing in the area but the bright yellow flowers looked like little stars suspended amongst tall grass.
This beefly had a wingspan of about 15 mm. The basal part of the wings were black and this ended in a smooth wavy line. The rest of the wings were clear. Head, thorax and abdomen were black. The abdomen had a soft velvety look and was truncated with the rear end covered with pale setae.
Spotted in a suburban garden.
This very attractive jumping spider was only about 6 mm long. It looked like two blobs of yellowish-orange but a closer look revealed a spider with a black cepahalothorax with an ochre colored anterior part and three thin white lines, one in the middle and two laterally placed. The abdomen had two bright orange "c"-shaped patterns facing each other with a central orange patch. All this on a background of very pale teal. The third pair of legs seemed to have dense white setae on the tarsi. The four eyes in the front were a deep green. The palps were white.
Spotted on black wattle in a reservoir park.
A very hairy but attractive jumping spider about 100 mm long. The dorsal aspect of the abdomen had reddish brown pattern with an inverted "Y" in black. Legs were hairy and banded.
Spotted on a eucalyptus tree trunk in a park.
The female of a "Tassel Rope-rush" plant. Wiry tough clumps of blue green stems that were mostly prostrate with some branches standing erect up to about 50 cm. no leaves were seen but the branches had nodes with brownish bracts. Terminal flower heads seemed to have what looked like layered bracts with narrow brown flowers.
Male plants nearby.
Commonly called "Tassel Rope-rush", this plant was growing in a clump and would have been about a foot tall stretched out. The clumps formed mats of wiry branclets that were thick and striated (pic 2). At the nodes were what looked like brown leafy bracts. The attractive branched inflorescence looked like clumps of bracts that were coppery, plump and ovoid.
There were no sign of "normal" leaves. Several plants growing together gave the appearance of a tangled mat.
These plants are Dioecious and this one had male flowers.
Spotted in a sclerophyll bush - part of the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens. Soil might have been a little sandy.
Tall plant with beautiful blue flowers with purplish tinge ot the outer surface of sepals. Yellow pollinia was visible at the tip of the column. Stigmatic surface showed a dense tuft of white hairs. Leaves were erect and narrow ( not seen here).
Spotted in semi-shade in a reserve with eucalypts and natives - dry sclerophyll forest.
The flowers bloom in October and November.