Soldier Crab presentation Sunday April 22

Dr Vic Semenuic from WA is back here undertaking further research on our unusual Soldier crabs. He will be presenting some of his findings on Sunday evening April 22nd. See Soldier Crab Pres Vic S April 22  for details

Media coverage of Bermagui Bioblitz 2012

We have been delighted with the range and diversity of local media covering the Bermagui Bioblitz 2012, following is a taste of the coverage, so far.

The Atlas of Living Australia, recently posted on their site:

People from all over the far south coast of NSW came together for the thirty-hour Bioblitz in and around Bermagui on 30-31 March. About two hundred adults and children, accompanied by local experts, searched the beaches, pools, wetlands and forests to find every living thing they could.

Read the full article here: Blitzing Science. In 30 hours

Sorting specimens found on the beach survey at Bermagui Bioblitz Sorting specimens found on the beach survey at Bermagui Bioblitz


Vanessa Milton from ABC Open South East wrote:

The challenge: to record as many species as we could find in the forests and swamps, clifftops and seaside around Bermagui. In 30 hours.

The Oxford English dictionary defines ‘crowdsource’ as (verb): obtain (information or input into a particular task or project) by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet. Link to the article Crowd Sourcing for Science

You may also like to view some of ABC Open’s Photos from the Bioblitz, please find the link to a flickr gallery here.


Stay tuned for more media coverage as it develops.

Rare (to this region) Greenhood orchid sighting

Glenda Wood writes: While walking along the Captain Creek Jetty track, at
Mallacoota, on Saturday 7 April,  I came across a colony of
Greenhood orchids. They were growing at the base of a gum in
very sandy soil in amongst bracken and narrow leaved
lomandra. The Greenhood flowers were growing out of the
middle of rosettes of leaves (this is important to note). I
was not sure which particular variety of Greenhood this
might be.

Similar varieties of Greenhoods – the Autumn Greenhoods –
are in flower at this time of the year as well, only their
flowers grow independently of the leafy rosettes.

I searched my reference books to try to establish its
identity, but was unsuccessful. Having met David Jones
(botanist and orchid expert) at a recent Bioblitz session, I
decided to tap into his expertise to identify this
particular Greenhood. I sent David some photos.

David replied quite quickly, identifying it as Pterostylis
acuminata (Sharp Greenhood). David said it is very rare in
Victoria, known only from the Mallacoota-Genoa area, but is
common further north in NSW.
Given this Greenhoods rarity to this region, I felt quite
privilaged and excited to have found it

I searched the internet and found further information from
the Friends of Lane Cove National Park site.

The name acuminata means drawn out to a long point, this
refers to the labellum.

Ancient Ostracod?

At the Bioblitz, Stephen Skinner  found a sample of zooplankton he couldn’t identify. Luckily he did have a microscope camera, so he sent images to us. After a series of requests, from Nick Yee, through Anna Syme (RBG Vic.), we asked Mark Warne (Earth Sciences Deakin Uni) and he sent us the following reply:

“Hi again Libby
Your pictures prodded a memory, and I dug out some slides on fossil ostracod shells that I extracted from 2,000 year old coastal lagoon (fresh – brackish water) sediments in the Warrnambool area of Victoria.  These slides have a few specimens that are probably of the same species as in your photographs.  As far as I can tell these specimens are of a yet undescribed species of ostracod.   My fossil shell material is without soft parts (appendages etc), so I would like to see some of your specimens with soft parts.
Regards Mark”
These interested and helpful scientists are all doctors (PhD’s) and specialists, so it is very pleasing and valuable that they spent time helping to identify this tiny creature, and fascinating to know it has such a venerable history! We are now trying to see if we can get specimens to Mark for closer study.


Sighting by Liz Allen  – 5 Double banded Plovers  [ Charadrius bicinctus ]were sighted feeding on the sandflats at Spencer Park.They are a common migrant to SE Aust. in Autumn to Spring from NZ [where they breed ] . Non breeding plumage shown here. Note – Another Double banded plover was sighted by Derek Lambert during the Bermagui Bioblitz

Bioblitz special! Not an Oarfish but an eel leptocephalus

Many of us were fascinated by a 19cm long by 1.7cm wide, almost transparent dead fish found by one of the school students on Friday 30th March. Its semi-transparent backbone could just be identified.

The first tentative identification was that it could be a very juvenile deep water Oarfish – which can grow to 8m in length.

Since then, Andrew Green has been sleuthing and sent the following comments: “I sent my pics of your “oarfish” to Mark McGrouther who is head of fish at the Australian Museum in Sydney. He kindly forwarded the pics to his colleague and eel expert Mike in Tokyo.

Turns out it is not an oarfish, but an eel leptocephalus, as I wondered initially; although not our common local freshwater eel, but a conger (hence the large size of the leptocephalus).

See this: to see some of Mike’s work.”

Do have a look at these videos, they are superb and show exactly how this tiny fish moves and hunts.


Blustery weather brought a group of crested terns to the rocks at Greencape at Easter. Also a dozen Sooty Oystercatchers were seen over several days at the rock platforms below the lighthouse.

Flocks of travelling Honeyeaters were feeding on banksias close to the Lighthouse cottages on Easter Monday morning  . Several at least were identified as Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.

Pegasus Lancifer