Tag Archives: Aldinga Scrub

Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath

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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
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Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath

Leucopogon rufus aka Ruddy Bearded-heath
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Charophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Superorder: Asteranae
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – January 31st, 2015 – mild, overcast conditions

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

Harlequin Mistletoe – Lysiana exocarpi – A Pretty And Tasty Mimic

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Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
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Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
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Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
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Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
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Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
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Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
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Host species (Unidentified) for Lysiana exocarpi

Lysiana exocarpi aka Harlequin Mistletoe
Working classification:
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Charophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Superorder: Santalanae
Order: Santalales
Family: Loranthaceae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – January 31st, 2015 – dry, warm conditions growing on host plant

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Mistletoes create rich diversity because of the insects and animals they attract. They are a parasitic (hemi-parasitic) plant that has no roots of its own and grows out of the branches of trees. Their leaves mimic the dominant host plant in their range of distribution – Next time you’re out in the bush and you notice a section of the tree where colour and shape changes, chances are you are looking at a Mistletoe. Australian Mistletoes are renowned mimics and are not related to the “kissing ritual” Northern hemisphere types.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysiana_exocarpi
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Lysiana~exocarpi
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:apni.taxon:139130
http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/BT9900475
http://www.cpbr.gov.au/mistletoe/images/caption-image/lysiana-exocarpi-exocarpi-RWP-6743-b.html
https://www.anbg.gov.au/mistletoe/images/caption-image/lysiana-exocarpi-exocarpi-tree-SA.html

Red Bull Ant – Scariest Ant I have Ever Seen!

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Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe
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Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe

Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – August 16th, 2014 – moving over sand and leaf litter carrying a larva (species unknown) in its jaws

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Respect this creature’s territory! – Its bite usually causes pain that lasts for two days, but it can be fatal, causing anaphylactic shock. It has good eyesight, and will eyeball intruders and come after them. It is regarded as a primitive Ant, and solitary individuals are usually seen wandering the ground or up tree trunks, but they live in colonies – They are one of the largest Ants in the World. The adults do not eat solid food, but feed their larvae such fare – It was interesting seeing this fierce-looking individual making its way over the sand amongst the leaf litter, not producing the usual hostile display, even though I was quite close – It was carrying the larva in its mandibles, but I am not sure if this was food for the not-so-little ones or was a young one being relocated. They don’t sense chemicals like most ants, apparently, but rely on their eyesight – Once more – Beware!

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

http://home.iprimus.com.au/foo7/jumperant.html

Muntries – A Super Food

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Kunzea pomifera aka Muntries, Emu Apples
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Kunzea pomifera aka Muntries, Emu Apples
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Kunzea pomifera aka Muntries, Emu Apples
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Kunzea pomifera aka Muntries, Emu Apples

Kunzea pomifera aka Muntries, Emu Apples, Native Cranberries, Munthari, Muntaberry or Monterry
Kingdom: Plantae
Pnylum: Angiosperms (?)
Class: Eudicots (?)
Subclass: Rosids (?)
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – November, 2013 – mild, overcast conditions

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

This plant is called Muntries, and it is a super food and has been used as such by both European early settlers and indigenous Australians alike – according to Wikipedia: “The berries produced by these plants are about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in diameter, green with a tinge of red at maturity and have a flavour of a spicy apple. Crunchy in texture, muntries contain up to four times more antioxidants than blueberries and provide natural waxes that are good for skin nourishment.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunzea_pomifera
http://www.yallaroo.com.au/Kunzea_pomifera.htm

Blue-spike Milkwort

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Comesperma calymega aka Blue-Spike Milkwort
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms (?)
Class: Eudicots (?)
Subclass: Rosids (?)
Order: Fabales
Family: Polygalaceae
Aldinga Scrub – November, 2013 – overcast, mild conditions

Many flowers in this genus are now grown commercially – Some are twining, but this attractive species grows as distinctive spikes – The flowers may rarely be pink or white.

http://esperancewildflowers.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/comesperma-calymega-blue-spike-milkwort.html

Lacy Coral Lichen – Cladia ferdinandii

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Cladia ferdinandii aka Lacy Coral Lichen
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Cladoniaceae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – August 16th, 2014 – overcast conditions with occasional light rain

Photos: Michal & Adam Dutkiewicz

Cladia ferdinandii is a rare Australian lichen (Lichenized fungi) found in the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park and in other areas along the coast. It is threatened by the encroachment of nearby housing developments. This very beautiful and delicate group of lichens resemble coral, and they are susceptible to trampling and pilfering, hence the need for this Aldinga Scrub colony to be fenced off.

Is This A Flower Only A Pollinator Could Love?

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Pterostylis (Urochilus) sanguinea aka Urochilus sanguineus, Banded Greenhood
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperm
Class: Monocot
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – August 16th, 2014 – overcast conditions with occasional light rain

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

Well, what do you think? – Is This A Flower Only A Pollinator Could Love?

Flowers are more than symbols, more than decoration – This isn’t a flower only pollinators can love, this is a flower for the adventurous, the intellectually divergent, the quirky, the big-of-heart – Once you embrace this Quasimodo of a flower, you are embracing a richer, deeper beauty and you will be the richer for it!

Small Mosquito Orchid In Aldinga Scrub: 1

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Acianthus pusillus aka Small Mosquito Orchid
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocots (?)
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Acianthinae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – August 16th, 2014 – overcast conditions with occasional light rain

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

This is one of the smallest Orchids in the World, as far as I know – It’s so small, you need to use manual focus most of the time – Not a favourite with Orchid-lovers, but for those who love the unusual, this is really something. These were quite abundant in the Aldinga Scrub – Here’s a Link to John Walmsley’s page:

http://www.johnwamsley.com/may10.html

Pink Fairies In Aldinga Scrub – A Caladenia Orchid

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Caladenia latifolia aka Pink Fairies, Pink Fairy Orchid
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Class: Monocots (or Liliopsida…?!)
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Aldinga Scrub – August 16th, 2014 – overcast conditions

Another Orchid that can be overlooked in passing because of its resemblance to the more common Glossodia major, or Purple Cockatoo, aka Waxlip, Orchid – It was a very exhilarating find for my brother and I – It was very close to the Cladia ferdinandii (Coral Lichen) enclosure – For more information on this species, look here: http://www.oznativeplants.com/plantdetail/Pink-Fairy-Orchid/Caladenia/latifolia/zz.html

The Onion Orchid And The Ant

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Microtis arenaria aka Notched Onion Orchid (?)
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Angiosperms
Subclass: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Aldinga Scrub – November, 2013 – overcast conditions

When I first saw this species from a distance, I suspected it was a Microtis, because I had read about them – The others passed it by because they thought it was a weed – As inconsequential as they may appear, they are very unusual orchids – Here is an interesting quote from Wikipedia:
“Every flower tends to set seed, after being pollinated by wingless worker ants from the genus Iridomyrmex, attracted by nectar at the base of the lip. This is an exceptional case of pollination by ants, since ants tend to secrete an anti-fungal substance that kills pollen. This doesn’t seem to affect Microtis pollen.”