Yearly Archives: 2015

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Northern Jewelled Spider (Gasteracantha fornicata)

I recently chanced upon a curious fluorescence 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 fluorescent green egg-sac. For many years I had wondered which spider was responsible for the moss-mimicking green pillows [...]

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 [...]