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Scorpion-tailed Spiders en masse

Until recently, sightings of this rarely-seen Scorpion-tailed Spider (Arachnura melanura) could have been counted on one hand, then approximately fifty of them were found on one tree in our tropical fruit orchard. A star-apple fruit tree (Chrysophyllum cainito), with an abundant growth of epiphytes, was loaded,  but given the amazing mimicry of a dead leaf, it is possible that in the [...]

By | 2016-10-12T20:24:57+00:00 July 3rd, 2016|Spiders|0 Comments

Red Boobook

After more than twenty-years of searching Daintree Rainforest for all manner of cryptic life forms, we have at last photographic evidence of this rare Red Boobook (Ninox boobook lurida).   The Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) is also known as  Mopoke, Morepork, Spotted Owl or Marbled Owl. This Red Boobook is a smaller bird and a subspecies that is darker in [...]

By | 2015-07-25T14:39:05+00:00 July 25th, 2015|Birds|0 Comments

Yellow Many-headed Slime Mould

At last, warmer weather and rain has enlivened the Daintree Rainforest, ending a long, cold winter.  With below average rainfall, the rich and vibrant presence of fungi has been lessened, but today the Yellow Many-headed Slime Mould (Physarum polycephalum) appeared on a log in a shady section of the rainforest. Not unlike bureaucracies, the slime [...]

By | 2015-07-25T07:19:05+00:00 July 25th, 2015|Articles|0 Comments

Fairy Orchid Oberonia titania

This is Oberonia titania.  Oberonia orchids are fairy orchids, small and petite.  Species titania is the King of the fairy orchids.  Thought extinct in about 1960, we are pleased to confirm that it is alive and continuing to exhibit its delicate beauty in the Daintree Rainforest.  We first discovered this minute fairy orchid about a [...]

By | 2016-10-12T20:24:57+00:00 July 24th, 2015|Articles|0 Comments

Climate Change in Daintree

One of the most frequently asked questions on our tour is, “How is climate change affecting the Daintree Rainforest?”. The long term answer is easy.  When Australia broke away from the already fragmenting supercontinent of Gondwana, about 50-million years ago, leaving Antarctica and drifting northward for about 35-million years in what is referred to as splendid isolation, no other [...]

By | 2016-10-12T20:24:57+00:00 July 24th, 2015|Articles|0 Comments

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a genus of sac fungi known as ascomycete fungi that includes about 400 species. All Cordyceps species are mainly parasitic on insects and other arthropods; a few are parasitic on other fungi. The generic name Cordyceps is derived from the Greek word kordyle, meaning "club", and the Latin stem -ceps, meaning "head".  Several [...]

By | 2015-07-24T22:54:55+00:00 July 24th, 2015|Articles|0 Comments

Orange Floral Fungus

Spectacular orange floral fungus enhances the beauty of the rainforest, with its bright colour attracting the appropriate insects to traffic spores in a general absence of wind.  We are familiar with the White Jelly Fungus or Silver Ear (Tremella fuciformis),  but this magnificent variation is delightfully new to us.  Tremella mesenterica appears to be the [...]

By | 2015-07-24T10:44:03+00:00 July 24th, 2015|Articles|0 Comments

Northern Jewelled Spider (Gasteracantha fornicata)

I recently chanced upon a curious flourescence out the corner of my eye, beneath the movement of a small black invertebrate. Upon closer inspection, I was delighted to see the Northern Jewelled Spider (Gasteracantha fornicata), weaving its egg-sac. For many years I had wondered which spider was responsible for the moss-mimicking green pillows woven onto [...]

By | 2016-10-12T20:25:07+00:00 May 11th, 2015|Fauna, Spiders|0 Comments

Evolutionary Attraction?

What evolutionary attraction would lead fungi to produce light?  According to the Wet Tropics Management Authority, no one knows why they bioluminescence, but across an incredible evolutionary history, and in circumstances of such consistent windlessness, fungi appears to have adapted by mimicking the reproductive visual cue of the flightless female firefly. Emitting an identical light, from an identical chemical reaction, the [...]

By | 2015-05-09T19:45:39+00:00 May 9th, 2015|Flora|0 Comments

Daintree Tree Frogs

Daintree Tree Frogs have become synonymous with environmentalism. Their beauty, diversity and susceptability to environmental stresses, have elevated their importance to a level of almost universal appeal. Every now and then we are advised that certain species are disappearing in the wild. Green-eyed Tree Frog (Litoria genimaculata) is one species that attracts such concern. I [...]

By | 2016-10-12T20:25:07+00:00 May 9th, 2015|Fauna, Frogs|0 Comments