Tag Archives: Morialta Conservation Park

Flower-feeding March Fly


Scaptia auriflua aka Flower-feeding March Fly, Tabanus auriflua
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Tabanidae
Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia – December 11th, 2013 – warm conditions

Photo: Aldo Trissi

Although March Flies have an intimidating reputation for feasting on blood, this pretty, colourful species is harmless, and feeds exclusively on plants by drinking nectar from flowers. The eye colour changes depending on the light, but a green tendency may be present and the rich golden-orange hairy fringes make it distinctive, however, the rich colour has been faded in some photos I have seen on the net. The species seems to have quite a wide range in Australia.

Wikipedia has this to say: “Adults are about 10 millimetres (0.4 in) in length and mimic bees with dense hair and a golden coloration. Their eyes meet in the middle and the eye coloration differs from light source to light source.”

The Laughing Kookaburra

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Dacelo novaeguineae aka Laughing Kookaburra
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Halcyonidae
Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia – April 21st, 2014 – in Eucalypt, sunny conditions

In contrast to the mellifluous piping or delightful trilling or tuneful carolling of the songbirds, the jovial ascending staccatto chortle of the Laughing Kookaburra is one of the most distinctive bird calls in the World. The sound, used in countless films over the years has helped to elevate this modest-hued tree-dwelling Kingfisher to international celebrity status and it is a true icon of Australia, alongside the Koala, the Kangaroo, the Platypus and the Emu.

The Champion Caroller!


Cracticus tibicen aka Australian Magpie
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Artamidae
Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia – April 21st, 2014 – in Eucalypt, sunny conditions

To my ear, Australian Magpies have one of the best singing voices of the birds I am familiar with – I always delight in hearing their complex, highly individualistic, very musical carolling.

Bearded Orchids in Morialta

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Calochilus robertsonii aka Purple Bearded Orchid
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia – October, 2013 – Yurrebilla Trail, off Moores Road, mild conditions

We have a favourite Orchid patch in Morialta Conservation Park – It’s on the margins of true scrub and it’s a field gradually being repopulated with native species after having “done time” as farmland pasture – As the seasons change, various species of Orchids emerge there, but that may all be changing – A weed species called Disa bracteata, a scourge from Southern Africa, is spreading through the spot!

Fire Orchids Are Spectacular!

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Pyrorchis nigricans aka Black Fire Orchid, Red-beaks and Undertaker-orchid
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Class: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Morialta – September 13th, 2014 – mild, wet conditions

So many of these unusual flowers erupted on Central Track at Morialta this year – It was such a treat, and they were so challenging to photograph – They are fairly small, so these shots are macros.

Liverwort – Like a Space Alien

Asterella drummondii, a Liverwort that looks like a sci fi alien
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Marchantiophyta
Class: Marchantiopsida
Order: Marchantiales
Family: Aytoniaceae
Dry-looking specimens: Montacute Conservation Park – November 15th, 2014 – mild to warm, overcast conditions
Wet-looking “Green Brain” specimens: Morialta – September, 2013 – wet conditions