Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern

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Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern
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Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern
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Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern
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Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern (?)
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Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern
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Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern

Gleichenia microphylla aka Scrambling Coral Fern
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida or Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Gleicheniales
Family: Gleicheniaceae
Cleland Conservation Park, South Australia – August 2nd, 2014 – in dense mass along creek on the slopes of Mount Lofty – Cool, intermittently wet conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I was hundreds of yards behind the others in a Eucalypt forest on the slopes of Mount Lofty in a part of the Cleland group of Parks whose specific name escapes me, and I was rushing down a kangaroo track to catch up and suddenly found myself standing in squelchy, peaty wetness – I squealed – My friends assumed it was the cold water seeping into my shoes, but it was because I was surrounded to eye level by a dense mass of the most beautiful species of a fern that was completely new to me – It was all around me and I just stood in the bog, madly snapping away and raving about the species! – It was a moment of pure magic! – Unfortunately as usual, my friends demanded that I hurry up, and so I didn’t get to search for other species in this amazing micro system! I did manage one quick snap of a sad specimen of Blechnum nudum, the Fishbone Water Fern.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleichenia_microphylla
http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/Gleichenia-microphylla-Notesheet.pdf
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Gleichenia~microphylla
http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1947

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Dunn’s Peacock Spider – Maratus pavonis: 1 – A Little Male a-Roving!

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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)

Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider
Male
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Subfamily: Euophryinae
Mount Barker, South Australia – Longleat Property – October 17th, 2014 – on a warm, sunny day in the flower garden

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz
Text: Michal Dutkiewicz & extra additions by Karin Dawson

When Karin Dawson invited me up to photograph Feather-legged Assassin Bugs (As featured on a David Attenborough documentary) and this Peacock Spider, I still couldn’t believe that we had one of these colourful Spiders here in South Australia! – There are a number of species of the Peacock Jumpies in Australia. They are members of the Jumping Spider family Salticidae, and this is, as far as Karin and I can ascertain, the only species that occurs here in South Australia.

Only the males are brightly-coloured. The species occurs from South Australia around the southern east coast of Australia, including Tasmania, and there is a slightly brighter variant with a slightly different abdomen from Western Australia that Jumpies fans from those parts might want to keep a look out for. I wish we could have gotten closer shots, but he was moving very quickly …

Karin observed the female to be about 8 mm long, and the male was only 4 mm long; a big discrepancy in size, but certainly not unusual in the the spider world.

http://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=2446
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maratus

Nephila edulis: 2 – Tiny Satellite Male

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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male (just visible) dwarfed by the female

Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver
Male and Female
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Dulwich garden – April 24th, 2014 – sunny, pleasant conditions

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Photos & Test: Michal Dutkiewicz
Many species of spiders show sexual dimorphism of this degree. The male stays over the other side of the web, and only zips over quickly to mate – He stays nearby though, usually on that other side, near her rear end, often hiding in the clutter of hollowed-out body parts of various parts of insects – I accidentally took some shots featuring the male. I thought I was looking at a blurry shot of the female until I saw the male in the foreground, and I then rushed outside when I noticed I had captured a shot of the male and took more and better shots – Photographing the Nephila was something I would do about once or twice a week – The male and female don’t even look like the same species!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_edulis

Nephila edulis: 1 – Female and Nest

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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest

Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver
Female and nest
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Dulwich garden – April 24th, 2014 – sunny, pleasant conditions

Photos & Test: Michal Dutkiewicz

Usually, I would see this female Orb Weaver in the centre of her nest, but was surprised one afternoon to come out and see she wasn’t in that position. After a moment of concerned searching, I saw her on a nearby branch, above and to one side of the web, making final touches to a yellowish, matted nest of spider silk and various forms of organic litter. Since then, the web was interfered with by someone, and she disappeared, but I am hoping some of the young have survived.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_edulis

The Snowy Waxcap – Hygrocybe virginea (?)

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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others
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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others
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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others
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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others
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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others
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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others
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Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus and many, many others

Hygrocybe virginea (?) aka Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus etcetera, etcetera
Possibly an introduced species (?)
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Hygrophoraceae
Wittunga Botanic Garden, South Australia – June 29th, 2014 – around the rise on the dam in the grass in cool, damp conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

This species must have a world record in name changes: Snowy Waxcap, Agaricus virgineus, Hygrophorus virgineus, Camarophyllus virgineus, Cuphophyllus virgineus, Agaricus niveus, Hygrophorus niveus, Camarophyllus virginea, Hygrocybe nivea, Cuphophyllus niveus (Really and truly people! – get a Grip!) – An Agaric (gilled mushroom) The species has a largely north temperate distribution, occurring in grassland in Europe and in woodland in North America and northern Asia, but is also known from Australia. It typically produces basidiocarps (fruit bodies) in the autumn.
also been recorded from Australia. Waxcap species grow in old, unimproved, short-sward grassland (pastures and lawns) in Europe, but in woodland elsewhere. Recent research suggests waxcaps are neither mycorrhizal nor saprotrophic but may be associated with mosses. They are good indicators of soil health, because in some areas where there has been farming with chemicals, the Waxcaps won’t return until 50 years after such processes have ceased.
I found the white very tricky to process – Also, Adam and I do what we call undercranking (Darkening the shot in the camera using the A/V Setting so as not to blow the highs) – It really helps in conjunction with selecting a light spot on the subject and half-holding down the click button (Adjust the composition while holding down the half-click to get the framing you want.
Similar species: Humidicutis maevis.
Thanks to Ben Loveday for scouting this bunch for us!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygrocybe_virginea

Brown Darkling Beetle

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Ecnolagria grandis aka Brown Darkling Beetle (?)

Ecnolagria grandis aka Brown Darkling Beetle (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Superfamily: Tenebrionoidea
Family: Tenebrionidae
Subfamily: Lagriinae
Tribe: Lagriini
Subtribe: Lagriina
Mylor Conservation Park, South Australia – January 4th, 2014 – warm, sunny conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Amber-coloured Beetles that feed on dead plant and fungal matter and live in a variety of habitats including forests, heaths and urban areas including gardens. The adults can fly but rarely move even when disturbed and then fly slowly. Their two eyes wrap around the base of each antennae. The larva are dark brown and hairy, with a pair of hooks on the rear end and they live in the ground and come out in numbers to feed at the surface by night on vegetable litter including fallen Eucalypt leaves which they leave skeletonized.

http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Ecnolagria+grandis
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_beetles/BrownDarkling.htm
http://www.zin.ru/animalia/coleoptera/eng/elaec428.htm

The Leafy Sun Orchid – Thelymitra bracteata

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Thelymitra bracteata aka Large Bracted Sun Orchid, Leafy Sun-orchid
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Thelymitra bracteata aka Large Bracted Sun Orchid, Leafy Sun-orchid
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Thelymitra bracteata aka Large Bracted Sun Orchid, Leafy Sun-orchid
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Thelymitra bracteata aka Large Bracted Sun Orchid, Leafy Sun-orchid
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Thelymitra bracteata aka Large Bracted Sun Orchid, Leafy Sun-orchid

Thelymitra bracteata aka Large Bracted Sun Orchid, Leafy Sun-orchid
Working classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Charophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Superorder: Lilianae
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoidae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Thelymitrinae
Lobethal roadside scrub verge – October 25th, 2014 – warm, dry conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

These were growing next to a roadside metal rail in, what at first sight, seemed to be very unpromising conditions. We had stopped the car to take photographs of an old brickworks that was just 50 yards or so down the scrub-covered hill from the road – I was stunned to see these amazing Orchids in quite a dense group. I didn’t know what species this was, because the blue Thelymitras confuse me, but Sheridan Ford said, on the Australian Native Orchids Facebook Page: “My guess is T. bracteata. I don’t think it is pauciflora as pauci only has 1-5 flowers. The giveaway for me is the large, prominent bracts, sharply bent column arms with toothbrush-like hair tufts and the robust habit of the plant.” Thanks Sheridan. Here are my other articles on Thelymitra plus some outside links you may find useful:
https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-great-sun-orchid-thelymitra-grandiflora/
https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/spotted-sun-orchid-have-a-lush-colour-palette/
https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/the-salmon-thelymitra/
https://sanatureteers.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/rabbit-ears-sun-orchids-in-profusion-at-cromer-conservation-park/

http://www.retiredaussies.com/ColinsHome%20Page/Orchidssa/Thelymitra/Thelymitra%20bracteata%20SA/Thelymitra%20bracteata%20SA09.htm
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Thelymitra+bracteata