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Green Dinosaur Variations

Ribbonwood Well-known to the timber community, 'Ribbonwood' is an attractively grained timber that was extremely restricted in its distribution.  The primitive angiosperm Idiospermum australiense, a.k.a. 'The Green Dinosaur', is an ever-reliable piece of evidence of rainforest continuity over a period spanning more than 170-million years.  It helps to explain why the Daintree Rainforest, on the eastern [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Forest Flame (Strongylodon lucidus)

Forest Flame (Strongylodon lucidus) is a woody vine, also known as Pink Strongylodon.  It is flowering prolifically at the present, but its Daintree Rainforest flowers are reddish-orange.  The image above also shows a Golden Orb-weaver Spider Nephila pilipes) in the lower right corner, no doubt aiming to catch the butterflies and bees that will be attracted to the colourful [...]