Native plant lists for Bungabee and Bentley areas

When revegetating land, it’s helpful to know what was originally in the area and what seed banks are likely to be in the soil once you get rid of the lantana and other weeds. These are the plants that are mostly likely to survive if you plant them or allow the seedlings that pop up on their own to mature. Doing a condensed version of the TAFE bush regeneration course focusing on botany rather than such things as fence construction or chainsaw use, thanks to a government grant, made me aware of ways to do this.

I managed to get hold of a couple of lists via National Parks. They were done by Alan Roberts and Rob Kooyman. They are a bit out of date, but should give an idea of what’s living in the McKellar Ranges at the Boundary Creek (Bentley) and Bungabee State Forest areas. Just ignore the pencil scratchings – they are my notes. The ‘M’ means I’ve found them on my property.

Bentley flora and fauna 1/3

Boundary Creek, Bentley flora and fauna 1/3

Bentley Flora and Fauna List_2_copy

Boundary Creek, Bentley flora and fauna 2/3

Bentley Flora and Fauna List_3_copy

Boundary Creek, Bentley flora and fauna 3/3

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 1/6

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 1/6

Bungabee State Forest Flora and Fauna List_2_copy

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 2/6

Bungabee State Forest Flora and Fauna List_3_copy

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 3/6

Bungabee State Forest Flora and Fauna List_4_copy

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 4/6

Bungabee State Forest Flora and Fauna List_5_copy

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 5/6

Bungabee State Forest Flora and Fauna List_6_copy

Bungabee State Forest flora and fauna 6/6

And lastly here’s a list of the plants identified in my own rainforest gully in Larnook

(thanks to Nan and Hugh Nicholson).

Alectron sp.

Bangalow palm (Archantophoenix cunninghamiana)

Blue quandong (Eliocarpis grandis)

Bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina)

Brush bloodwood (Baloghia lucida)

Brush stringybark (Rodamnia rubescens)

Churnwood (Cirtonella moorei)

Cordyline sp.

Cunjevoi (Alocasia brisbanensis)

Flooded gum (Eucalyptus grandis)

Foambark (Jagera pseudorhus)

Giant watergum (Syzygium franciscii)

Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)’

Mist flower (Eupemacia adenophorum)

Murrogun (Cryptocarya microneura)

Myrtle ebony (Diospyrus pentamera)

Native ginger (Alpinia caerulea)

Native rosella (Hibiscus heterophyllus)

Native tamarind (Diploglottis australis)

Pollia (Pollia crispate) (resembles wandering jew but bigger, slightly above ground level)

Red kamala (Mallotus philippensis)

Riberry (Syzygium leuhmanni)

Sandpaper fig (Ficus coronate)

Strangler fig (Ficus watkinsiana)

Whitebean (Ailanthus triphysia)

White beech (Gmelina leichhardtii)

White bollygum (Neolitea dealbata)

Yellow carabeen (Sloanea woollsii, tallest tree in subtropical rainforest, typically has split bark on buttress)

 

Grasses

Basket grass (Oplismenus aemulus)

 

Vines

Bird’s nest fern (Asplenum australacium)

Five-leaf water vine (Cissus hypyglauca)

Lawyer vine (Calamus meulleri)

Maidenhair (either Adiantum diaphanum or A. hispidum)

Pothos (Pothos longipes)

Ripergonum sp.

Snake vine (Stephania japonica)

These lists may all be helpful to anyone pondering their own bush regeneration in this area.

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There’s a hole in the paddock, dear Lise, dear Lise

… and it’s because new fencing is going in. Our neighbours dug some post holes and inadvertently performed a small wildlife survey via these ‘pit traps’. Here’s the very common striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peroni) …

Striped marsh frog, Limnodynastes peroni; photo by Lise Bolton

Striped marsh frog, Limnodynastes peroni; photo by Lise Bolton

Photo by Lise Bolton

Photo by Lise Bolton

Photo by Lise Bolton

Photo by Lise Bolton

You can hear the ‘toc, toc’ sound of the striped marsh frog at the Amphibian Research Centre. We can hear the sounds of this frog and the one below clearly in the wet season.

Lise thinks this is the burrowing Eastern banjo frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii grayi), also called the pobblebonk …

Pobblebonk, Limnodynastes dumerilii grayi

Pobblebonk, Limnodynastes dumerilii grayi; photo by Lise Bolton

… because its call is ‘bonky’ (and, yes, pun intended, as it’s a mating call) – check it out here.

Finally, a melomys – either Melomys burtoni (the “grassland melomys”) or M. cervinipes (“fawn-footed”). According to the Queensland Museum, burtoni is rarely encountered, so perhaps it’s cervinipes. The habitat of cervinipes is “[r]ainforest and moist lantana, bracken, creek verges”, which is spot on for the paddock. Both species occur in our area, according to various field guides.

Melomys sp.

Melomys sp.; photo by Lise Bolton

Melomys are threatened by land clearing and cats, so I’m patting myself on the back for having caught 16 feral cats (over 13 years, three this year alone) and had the local vet dispose of them.

The frogs and melomys were all photographed and released unharmed, in the case of the melomys probably to go back to Lise’s house and eat pumpkins while swinging from the rafters – or did I misinterpret what she said? :) Golly, some animals just won’t read the field guides to know how they should behave, do they?

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The rise and fall of the red phallus fungus

A couple of posts ago, I reported on the fruiting body of a stinkhorn fungus, Phallus rubicunda. I promised Denis I’d keep an eye out for the development of more, and as luck would have it another one popped out a few days later.

I took a photo a day at around 9 a.m. every morning from beginning to end. Sorry, folks, that’s 27 photos, but it gives a good idea of the “life cycle” of the fruiting body.

A Tramp in the Woods posted a series of photos a couple of days ago on his Phallus impudica, from the Forest of Dean in the UK. There I found out that the “egg” is commonly called (in the UK) a “witch’s egg”. He also has nice photos of flies feasting on the spores, attracted by the disgusting smell. It’s the middle of summer in the UK, but the middle of winter here, so “no flies on us”, as we say.

The witch’s egg above the old fruiting body splits and the fruiting body starts to emerge …

PR_24_6

24 June: The fruiting body starts to emerge while the previous one shrivels

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25 June

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26 June

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27 June

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28 June: lengthening

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29 June, after 7 mL of rain overnight

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30 June

PR_1_7

1 July

PR_2_7

2 July, with forefinger showing scale

PR_3_7

3 July

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4 July

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5 July

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6 July

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7 July

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8 July

PR_9_7

9 July

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10 July

PR_11_7

11 July

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12 July

PR_13_7

13 July

PR_14_7.JPG

14 July

PR_15_7

15 July

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16 July

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17 July

PR_18_7

18 July

PR_19_7.JPG

19 July

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20 July: fallen off and drying up

So there you have it – pretty primitive time-lapse, but you get the idea.

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Micro monster … and the kitchen sink

Not the best of backgrounds, but I takes ‘em as I finds ‘em … it’s a house centipede (Allothereua maculata) in my kitchen sink. I’ve been enjoying David Attenborough’s documentary series, Micro monsters, hence the association. It is not an insect, but a chilopod.

House centipede, Allothereua maculata

House centipede, Allothereua maculata

Wikipedia says, among other things:

The body of Allothereua maculata is made up of 15 segments and bears 15 pairs of long legs. The body is pale brown with dark markings, and grows to 20-25 millimetres (0.8-1.0 in) long. It bears one pair of antennae on the head and a similarly long pair of caudal appendages at the tail end.

The Atlas of Living Australia says:

Description: Medium-sized centipede with extremely long legs and antennae, and compound eyes. Runs very fast and easily drops legs to avoid capture.

Biology: Active at night. Often found under rocks and in litter. Prefers humid, moist areas. A free-ranging predator of ground-dwelling insects. Prey captured by ensnaring in the long legs. Prey consists of smaller ground-dwelling insects and spiders.

Habitat: Bushland areas in southern Australia but may also be found in gardens [and kitchen sinks].

Native status: Native to Australia.

Maximum size (cm): 3.

Diet: Carnivore.

Danger rating: Harmless [to people].

Colours: Blue, grey, yellow.

Distribution: Southern Australia.

Habitat types: Terrestrial.

It’s nice to think of it beetling around (centipeding around?) the place at night cleaning up other insects, in company with larger spiders that munch up cockroaches. My very own cleaning service!

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Lattice fungus – not

Fungi are popping up all over at the moment, despite the general lack of rain. This one was in the eucalypt forest near the dead water rat on neighbour Jackie’s property. It’s a stinkhorn fungus, and she says this one was living up to its name.

Lattice fungus, Ileodictyon gracile

Lattice fungus, Ileodictyon gracile (photo by Jackie Cooper)

The ‘arms’ are a little thicker than in most of the photos on the web, such as on Fungimap, but I can’t find another one with such thick ‘arms’, so I’ll have to assume it’s still Ileodictyon gracile. If anyone knows any better, please let me know.

Update: Thanks to those who responded – I agree with  Brigitte (local botanist and fungiphile) and Gaye (see comment below) that it’s an older Pseudocolus fusiformis – see Gaye’s post on it. She confirms that the smell, described by Jacki, is really bad.

The Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens do fungi ID but need a real specimen rather than a photo, and fair enough. So I’ll wait until Jackie lets me know there are more in her garden. Maybe I can “transplant” some to mine – or at least get some spores – but a loooong way from the house of the descriptions of the smell are anything to go by!

The stink comes from the brown goop on the arms – the spore mass. Australia Fungi – A Blog has further information and photos.

Let’s have some rain so we can have some more fungi!

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Water rat

My neighbour Jackie found this pathetic corpse near her house the other day. It didn’t take long to track the ID down via Menkorst and Knight’s A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. That white tail gives it away. It’s a native water rat, Hydromys chrysogaster – also known as the rakali. (Photos thanks to Jackie Cooper.)

Water rat_1 Water rat_3

Water rat_2

According to the Australian Museum,

The water rat is one of Australia’s largest rodents and is usually found near permanent bodies of fresh or brackish water.

The nearest body of water to Jackie’s house is a dam, so that was likely to be its main haunt.

The water rat feeds on a wide range of prey including large insects, crustaceans, mussels and fishes, and even frogs, lizards, small mammals and water birds. It forages by swimming underwater.

 This rat is most active around sunset and may forage during the day, too. Other Australian rodents are mostly nocturnal.

ABC Science gives a lot more details, including the fact that water rats seem to eat cane toads with relative impunity.

The burrow is built ‘along the side of rivers and lakes’ – in Jackie’s case, probably next to the dam.

The body was in good condition, not chewed or outwardly attacked, so the cause of death is not obvious. They apparently live for two or three years in the wild.

It’s the first one I’ve ever seen – they are very shy and hard to detect.

Vale, Ratty!

 

The Water-rat feeds on a wide range of prey including large insects, crustaceans, mussels and fishes, and even frogs, lizards, small mammals and water birds. It forages by swimming underwater. Once it catches its prey, it usually carries it back to a regular feeding site. – See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Water-rat/#sthash.QNE1GE20.dpuf
The Water-rat is one of Australia’s largest rodents and is usually found near permanent bodies of fresh or brackish water.The Water-rat is one of Australia’s only two amphibious mammals (the platypus is the other). They live in burrows alongside river and lake banks. – See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Water-rat/#sthash.QNE1GE20.dpuf
The Water-rat is one of Australia’s largest rodents and is usually found near permanent bodies of fresh or brackish water.The Water-rat is one of Australia’s only two amphibious mammals (the platypus is the other). They live in burrows alongside river and lake banks. – See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Water-rat/#sthash.QNE1GE20.dpuf
The Water-rat is one of Australia’s largest rodents and is usually found near permanent bodies of fresh or brackish water.The Water-rat is one of Australia’s only two amphibious mammals (the platypus is the other). They live in burrows alongside river and lake banks. – See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Water-rat/#sthash.QNE1GE20.dpuf
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The red phallus

Get your minds out of the gutter, folks – I’m talking about the fabulous stinkhorn fungus, Phallus rubicundus. Several have popped up in the garden lately, but this one is the most spectacular.

Phallus rubicundus

Phallus rubicundus, a stinkhorn fungus

The gucky, slimy brown substance on the right is what’s left of the spore-bearing head (compare with the better photos at the Australian Fungi blog). The reference books describe it as ‘foetid’, but this one wasn’t smelly, perhaps because it’s breaking up. The smell attracts insects, which distribute the spores.

The fruiting body (stalk) comes from a puffball, like the one still in the ground on the left.

Fuhrer’s A Field Guide to Australian Fungi says:

Usually found on organic humus and decaying wood debris in tropical and subtropical habitats.

It has a wordwide distribution. Nice one, Nature!

 

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