This slate-pencil sea urchin would have been about 50 mm across. It had probably just died and been washed ashore - still had most of its short thick primary spines and smaller needle like secondary spines.
The primary photo is of the top side (aboral) and the second is of the underside (oral) with the mouth in the middle. Just visible in pic 4 is a triangular white tooth-like structure in the centre which is part of a complex dental apparatus called the "Aristotle's Lantern".
The shorter spines were a deep red and the thicker ones were paler, some with deep red ridges. It is possible that a few long ones were broken at this stage.
Spotted on the rocky ocean shore -low tide mark on the south coast. (Phillip Island)
These small grassy plants were populating a shallow depression in an ephemeral wetland. About 200mm tall maximum they had shiny black flower heads and occasional black sections on the leaves or stems as well producing a striking and attractive effect. Soil was judged as very poor, coarse sandy. Zero shade.
In a newly developed nature reserve next to an ocean/bay beach.
A tufted perennial about 5-25 cm high. Flowers from Winter to January.
Looking very much like small Camellia flower buds, these pea-sized growths could easily be mistaken for flower buds on the tea tree. They were globose, had scaly bract like outer growth and layers of soft sheaths within. They did not appear to have stalks and were seen on branches between nodes.
On cutting one of them open, I found at least two very small maggots at the base, not much over 1 mm in length. The inside of the gall was soft with white fibrous layers.
Spotted on Coastal Tea Tree ( Leptospermum laevigatum)
Small white clustered flowers with white, feathery petals in flared tubular shape. Plant was about 0.5 metres tall. Thick, tough pointy leaves thin stems.
These were right on the edge of the beach growing in almost pure sand with a solid stand of coastal ti-tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) surrounding it. Newly created nature reserve.
Found trapped in a small pool of seawater at low tide on rocks.
These are very fast and always keen to remain in shadows.
About 9mm long; others in the area suggest high variability in colour and pattern.
This little patch of lichen was on rocks just above the high tide mark.
It would have been getting full sun for most of the day and in spite of it's soft fluid appearance it was really quite tough.
It was surrounded by other lichens, one that looked like splattered white paint and one which was very black and even tougher.
About 50mm across.
Maybe Caloplaca thallincola ??
These were growing in a small nature reserve on a rocky shoreline just inside the mouth of WesternPort.
Greenish brown-algae made of strings of hollow, water-filled, round beads on a short stalk. Each bead has a smooth surface except for an even array of tiny tubercules (containing reproductive cells) and is about 12-15mm diameter. The strings might be up to 200mm long and many strings may grow from a single base.
Sometimes called sea grapes.