A smooth white moth with a wing span of 40 mm, with, as the name suggests two small spots of black on the wings. Surprisingly, the underside showed orange and black banding on the dorsal side of the abdomen and a white belly. The legs were covered with short orange coloured setae. Eyes and antennae were black. labial palps were rec-curved.
Solitary stalked outgrowths from stems of a eucalyptus tree ( species not known) about 25 mm long and about 5 mm at the thickest part. One of them had split outer layers and a definite pointy tip. This gall was parasitised.
There were two similar but smaller galls on other branches but these had rounded tips. The galls were all dry.
Caps of this bright orange mushroom were no more than 10 mm with a deep central depression. Younger fruiting bodies were almost hemispherical, flattening out as the mature. Caps showed some striation and margins were wavy.
Stipe was smooth and slightly paler than the cap. Could not get a shot of the gills. Possibly Rickenella fibula.
A leathery, thick fruiting body with frilly greyish-white margins. The centre of the caps were dark, almost black and looked silky. The largest of these caps were about 50 mm wide.
Growing on damp sandy soil in a reserve of mixed natives. This is possibly Phellodon niger.
A robust mushroom with a purplish brown cap, about 40 mm wide. Some viscosity seen on cap which had a broad flattened umbo. The stipe was pale with blue longitudinal fibrils, widening at the base and then tapering. Gills were tan with a grey tint. Spore print tan with a hint of purple.
Spotted growing on damp sandy soil, in leaf litter in a reserve of mixed natives.
This attractive sea weed had a zig-zagging tough central stalk with small densely clustered bladder like blades, arising at points in the zig-zag. Some blades had a bifurcation. The whole body of the seaweed was a brownish green with dark brown tinges.
Said to grow in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal rocky reefs with moderate wave action, to depth of 10 m.
Spotted along the high tide mark on a sandy shore, along with other sea weeds - Western Port Bay
This pale reddish brown elongated sac-like structure with a club shaped tip and narrow base is part of a red seaweed which grows in a clump, attached to the sea floor by a discoid holdfast. The inside of the bladder appears to be filled with mucilage. This bladder was about 50 mm long.
This seaweed can grow up to 16 cms in length. The outer walls of sacs growing in rough waters are said to be thicker than those in calm waters. The secretory cells lining the inside of the sacs produce highly viscous mucilage.
Spotted along the high tide mark along with other sea weeds on a sandy beach - Western Port Bay.
Occur in Seagrass beds upto a depth of 20 mts.
This coiled thin shell with pale orange bands is that of a marine gastropod/snail that lives in a coiled tube. The snails resemble tube worms (polychaetes) because of the structure but are in a different family. The tube is usually cemented to other structures. Unlike other snails, this species does not have an operculum or lid.
A bivalve with paper-thin shells and about 40 mm wide. It had broken orange bands radiating from the umbo (where the valves are hinged). A very fragile specimen that was surprisingly intact despite being blown about in the wind. The slightly flared part of the shell near the umbo (on the Lt side in Pic 1) is called the auricle or wing, giving the species it's common name.
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)
Sea squirts/ tunicates/ascidians which appeared like clumps of collapsed "sand-crusted" sacs stuck to a sea fan. Each sac had two openings with scalloped edges - one on top and the other to the side (inhalant & exhalant siphons). The sacs seemed to have a reddish tinge. The inside of each sac had organs which were red in colour with a brown segment towards the base (pics 3 & 4). The organs seemed to be covered by mucilaginous substance. Commonly also called Conjevoi.
The anemone was about 50 mm with tentacles extended and floating in the water. Tentacles were numerous, translucent but dark green in colour and had pointy ends. The oral disc was covered by sand and therefore not visible.
Where the anemones were out of water, they looked like dark clumps studded with sand grains. Partially submerged anemones (pic 3) were interesting in that the submerged part had extended tentacles and the exposed part was curled up displaying a sand encrusted column. Long striations could be seen in the retracted column which was the same colour as the tentacles.
Spotted in rock pools - rocky intertidal zone (Cape Conran)
A black wedge-shaped beetle about 15 mm long with white specks on elytra and dramatically flabellate antennae. Legs were a deep brown with black colouring at the femoral and tibial joint. A slightly humped scutellum and head were also black.
Spotted on a young eucalyptus tree in a small reserve.
The larvae are ecto-and endoparasitic on other insect larvae, possibly of cicada.
Commonly called feather-horned beetle.
These mussels were about 40 mm long. The purple shells had black rims with thin curved lines.
They were seen in clusters and were of varying sizes.
Spotted on exposed rocks - rocky shoreline in the intertidal area ( Cape Conran, Victoria)
This mass resembling worn coral was about 10 cms across. On the surface were crescent shaped structures which were the open ends of calcareous tubes constructed by tubeworms. They have clustered together and probably grown on a snail, completely enveloping it and forming a hard mass, as suggested by Audrey Falconer(Marine Research). The mass was partially covered with sand but red algae could be seen growing on the mass.
The tubes are built by annelid fanworms from the family Serpulidae. The worms have branchial crowns in two lobes, one of them has a stalked operculum (lid). The branchial croown form the gills and also helps to capture food.
The worm lives within the tube and retracts into the tube when in danger or when the tide is out, pulling the operculum down tight to shut the opening of the tube. A dense mass of tubes can form a microhabitat for other marine creatures. My thanks to Audrey Falconer ( Marine Research) for identifying this mass.
Spotted in a rock pool in an intertidal zone of a rocky shoreline ( Cape Conran, Victoria). These tubeworms are seen from Southern Queensland all along the southern coast to Western Australia.
An eight-armed carpet sea star with greenish grey colouring. The arms showed some red along the margins. The body pattern included small white scalloping and the central disc was a beautiful green.
The arms were well defined ending in thick rounded tips.
This sea star was about 50 mm across.
Spotted in a rock pool - intertidal rocky shore (Cape Conran) facing the Bass Strait. They occur all around the Australian coast.
A mollusc with a flattened body and eight distinctive overlapping plates that protect them from predators and crashing waves. This chiton was grey-green in colour, about 63 mm x 35 mm. The girdle encircling the plates had a snake-skin like appearance giving it the common name "snakeskin chiton".
These chitons were found along with barnacles, attached to the side of a rock in an intertidal rocky shore (Cape Conran) off the south coast of Victoria facing the Bass Strait.
This species is said to prefer rock surfaces in the mid-tide region, rather than under rocks in lower -or sub-tidal zones.
This moth had a wing span of 20 mm. Typical to this species, it stood on it's front legs holding it's up-curved abdomen in the air with the apices of the fore wings resting on either side.
The wings were a mix of grey and brown with thin wavy lines. The costa had white markings down the whole length.
Spotted under bright garden light. Unsure of the ID as there are a few with varying wing patterns and colour.
A brown algae with a thallus (body) with multiple holes of varying sizes. The algae is said to be about 10 cm in diameter. But in the one that was washed ashore it was a loose mesh like a woolen hair net. The whole mass was compressible and soft.
Found on the inter-tidal zone off Western Port Bay (Balnarring Beach). They are said to grow in the tidal zone.
'Hydro' = water, 'Clathrus' = mesh
This species forms dense mats.
This sea slug would have been about 5 " in length. It had mottling of cream and brown. The ear-like sensory clubs or rhinophores and oral tentacle were withdrawn and the usually extended side flaps called parapodia were flipped back. The mantle and atrophied shell could be seen (pic 5) as a reddish radiating structure.
I have the expert Mattt Nimbs to thank for the ID. He says "Definitely Aplysia. And yes probably A sydneyensis, there is a wheel like pattern of radiating stripes on the mantle that sits over the vestigial shell: a distinguishing characteristic of sydneyensis"
A small clump of brown algae (Phaeophyceae) with flat dark lower branches and twisted paler tips.
Spotted on a tidal zone - Balnarring beach ( Westernport Bay).
My thanks to Janine Baker for identifying the genus. Possibly Z.spiralis
A dense clump of pale orange seaweed (red algae) with oak-leaf shaped fronds/thalli.
Washed-up onto the beach off Westernport Bay (Balnarring Beach).
This species gets it's name "quercifolia" fro the oak-shaped fronds.
It is reported that this is a common and distinctive species found in deep waters in the rough-water coasts of southern Australia.
My thanks to Janine Baker for the ID.
A small, very active dark beetle commonly called Water Penny from family Psephenidae had a slightly dorso-ventrally flattened body. The elytra showed two narrow bands of pale specks. The pronotum which was the same colour as the elytra had a pair of short pale streaks on either side of midline arising from the posterior margin. The lateral margins had pale flecks. The elytra stopped short of the terminal abdominal segments. Head was small with relatively large closely placed eyes. Antennae were segmented.
Legs were thin with feeble tarsi.
Flew in towards the garden lights on a warm night and then disappeared under some wood.
( Please add Sclerocyphon sp.)
This oecophorine moth had a white head and thorax. Wings were white with broad, dark costal margins which were broken by two oblique bands of white on either side. The body of the fore wings showed dark smudges and spots. Labial palps were re-curved.
Wing span about 20 mms.
Attracted to bright garden lights on a warm day. Area has tall gum trees.
(Please add Palimmeces hemiphanes. Thanks.)
An attractive moth with patches of rust brown and grey on the fore wings and narrow white wavy transverse bands that dipped down at the apices. Hind wings showed thin wavy brown lines and a broader white band near the trailing margin. The under side of the silky wings were pale. Wing span about 20 mm.
Spotted under bright garden lights.
A small attractive moth that looked almost square because of a hunched back. Satiny wings were a creamy colour deepening to a reddish-brown towards the trailing margins. Two lines of small black dots slanted downwards from the mid-costal area.
Wing span - 20 mm.
Drawn to bright garden lights. Mixed natives in the area.
A moth with a wing span of about 30 mm. It was more grey than brown with the fore wings showing a central transverse band. Each fore wing had two oblique black lines, one running from wing base downwards to the inner margin and a shorter one from the apex of each fore wing running upwards.
Spotted under bright lights on a warm night in a suburban garden. Mixed native trees around. Also near a national park.
I am hoping the moth will return tonight so I can get a better shot/natural light. Thanks to Cathy Powers for confirming this as Dysbatus.
This moth had an attractive shimmer to its grey-brown wings. The wing veins stood out and were a distinctive brown. Each fore wing had two thin transverse black lines that together formed a band when at rest. Within the band was a small black crescent shaped mark. A narrow black line traversed the thorax along the anterior edge. Underside of wings were pale with dark sooty patches nearer the trailing margins. Wing span would have been about 30 mm.
Spotted in a suburban garden. Probably attracted to lights at night.
Thanks to Cathy Powers for the ID.
These attractive clumps of pale grey lichen were seen on rocks. They appeared to start of as regular clumps with soft tight branches with minute convoluted bluish grey pads. The branches appeared to open up into long pendulous filamentous strands ending in rounded brown apothecia.
Spotted on rocks at an altitude of 1200 mts. in a national park (Baw Baw NP)
Wondering if this is a species of Cladonia. Any help with an ID will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
This slightly pearly, creamy moth had a wing span of about 20 mm. The wings had dark flecks - about three rows on the fore wings and two on the hind wings. The trailing margin of each wing had a thin dark broken line and a short white fringe.
Attracted to garden lights on a warm night - mixed native trees around.