Poking out of the ground to about 90 mm were a number of these black club-shaped fruiting bodies. Structurally they were differentiated into black clubs above and pale greenish yellow stems below. The older thicker clubs had white fluffy material on the dark clubs.
Spotted under a mature Acacia tree. There were about 20 and all well separated.
The white material on the fruiting bodies are thread-like spores. They break up into 3 -5 mm long part spores which penetrate the ground and infect caterpillars of moths which could be well below the surface, even up to 40 cms. The fungus consumes the soft tissue of the host and grows up wards to the ground surface were black fruiting bodies appear and thicken to maturity. Moth larvae of the genus Oxycanus ( Hepialidae) are said to be the common hosts to this fungus.
These female Sandalodes superbus look very different to the males.
Hunting for prey on the welcome sign within a local nature reserve.
Possibly Australia's largest jumping spider they also show little fear of big creatures.
Pic 1 shows the 5th instar and Pic 2, the 3rd instar of the Crusader Bug. The younger nymph had yellow bands on his legs and a small yellow band on the antennal tips. The 5th instar shows a better developed pronotum and smart bolero-like yellow wing buds. The antennal tip were completely yellow and legs completely brown by this stage. Both were seen on the same young wattle plant.
About 12 mm long this black beetle had broadly convex body with ridged elytra and a thin marginal flange. The pronotum showed broader flanges and thick lateral margins. Head and eyes were small. Antennae had beaded segments.
Spotted on grass in a park.
I'm not sure which of the 2 varieties it could be - Urostrictus or Engaeus tuberculatus - as I live close to a creek & but also on a slope away from stream but with plenty water. (I have larger resolution photos - though I took them with an automatic camera, so the focus is not great, unfortunately - as it was a rare and chance occurrence this morning).
Found in very dry conditions in very deep Pinus radiata needles under an old tree. This species reappears here for the past 4 years and is usually much larger (dryness?) This cap was about 200mm across. Top is like crushed velvet.