Fauna

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Introducing Nox

Inspired by the name of the wolf 'Two-socks' in the film 'Dances with Wolves', this young male dingo’s name 'No socks' was abbreviated to 'NOX', when he arrived towards the end of a very wet January, probably evicted from the litter, looking saturated and crestfallen.  In the way of dingoes in the wild, he is [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Breakfast with the Boyd’s

Boyd's Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii), resplendent in his camouflaged coating and ornate headdress, had a fortuitous visit this morning.  A Giant Tropical Mantid (Hierodula majuscula) made the mistake of walking into sight of the ever-vigilant dragon and swiftly became breakfast. Boyd”s Forest Dragons are endemic to the rainforests of Australia’s Wet Tropics. They can reach a total length of 54-cm and [...]