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A healthy population exists of these secretive carnivorous marsupials in the Conservation Area. Image from Trail Camera.

Found feeding on Spotted gum tree for wood boring grubs.

A new environmental weed has appeared on the Conservation Area after the March 2021 floods. Skyflower is a member of the Verbena family and grows as an upright shrub, originally from South America and Mexico. Leaves and unripened berries are TOXIC and can kill children, dogs and cats although songbirds eat with impunity. Listed in the Top 50 invasive weeds in Northern NSW and Qld. This species has other common names of Golden Dewdrop and Pigeon Berry.

Skyflower Duranta erecta

Toxic berry

“The adult moths have a wingspan up to 10 cm. The moth sometimes adopts an asymetrical posture, with the abdomen bent under the wings. Caterpillars are large reddish brown covered in dense bristles which may cause severe irritation if handled.”

I.D. and reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans  further information is available at

http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/anth/chalepteryx.html

Curious as to how the pupa managed to colour itself with these striking markings I asked Lepidoptera expert Don Herbison-Evans for the answer.

“The Glasswing pupa is naked, devoid of any silk except for the cremaster. Its colours are an exaggeration of those of the last larval instar: yellow spiracles ringed by black joined by a lateral black line.”

A miracle of evolution.

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Attractive red robin which is locally migratory. A first time sighting in the Conservation Area.

With no common name and wingspan around 4cm this moth has a dark line on the hindwings and recurved forewings. Caterpillars found feeding in Ironbark trees and tend to pupate in dry soil under suitable conditions.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans with further reference available at

http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/chro/punctunculus.html

Extremely widespread across rural districts usually seen performing acrobatics hunting insects.

Breeding pair of Rufous Whistler in the Wildlife Refuge favouring the Melaleuca cover under eucalypts.

The caterpillar is found on Mistletoe and when disturbed curl their heads back. They are a large attractive day flying moth often mistaken for a butterfly. A new species for the Conservation Area.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans follow link for further references.

http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/agar/behri.html

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