Climate change is affecting rainfall and temperature across Australia, and is consequently triggering changes in the established flowering times, breeding cycles and migration movements and other phenological changes. Essentially ClimateWatch is based on phenology, the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate. Examples include bird nesting, insect hatching, plant flowering and fruit ripening. Many studies have already provided insight into the relationship between climate variables, such as temperature and rainfall, to the timing of these phenophases.

ClimateWatch has selected around 180 indicator species that are likely to be affected by the Climate crisis and we need your help to monitor them.

Fast growing deciduous tree that reaches 3 - 15m in height. Also known as Brown Bollygum. Leaves Oblong shaped leaf blades that are clothes in white, erect hairs. Flowers Clusters of cream, green or yellow flowers appear along stems from March – June.
Deciduous tree, growing to 15 – 30 m high and 15 – 20 m wide. Some of its grey-brown bark peels off to reveal a creamy white inner bark, giving the trunk a mottled appearance. Leaves Mid-to-dark green with 3 – 5 lobes and slightly serrated edges. They are 10 – 25 cm across and turn yellow-brown in autumn. The leaf lobes are about as wide as they are long. Flowers Red or yellow, in small rounded clusters. The red (female) flowers grow from the newer shoots and the yellow (male) flowers grow from older branches further back toward the trunk.
The caterpillar (larva) is green with a hump on its upper back and small white dots over its body. The butterfly (adult) has brown or black outer wings with some white markings plus two green blotches, and green inner wings (closest to its body). The underside of each wing has the same patterning but the green parts tend to be darker. It has “tails” at the tip of each hindwing. There are two recognised subspecies Graphium macleayanus macleayanus from Queensland and NSW, and Graphium macleayanus moggana from Tasmania, Victoria and parts of subalpine NSW. Size Caterpillar 4 cm long; Butterfly wingspan 5 – 6 cm (can reach up to 8 cm).
A black and white bird, the pattern varies slightly between sexes. The male has a white eyebrow above a black horizontal eye-stripe, a black face and throat, while the female has a white face and throat, with a broad vertical stripe through the eye, and no white eyebrow. Both sexes have a thin white bill and black legs and feet. Juvenile Magpie-larks have a black forehead, white eyebrow and a white throat.
Citrus reticulata Common names: Raiatea (most common variety in Vanuatu), Mandarin orange, Mandarine (French) Small-sized tree that grows up to 9 m in height. Long slender branches. Often has spiny stems. Raiatea variety has an erect bearing that is cone shaped. Leaves 6-8 cm in length. The shape is rhombic, acute, lanceolate with the margins irregularly crenate or crenulate (serrated). Flowers Fragrant, single or in small clusters. The flowers are small, star shaped and white. Fruit 6 cm. Oblate-globose to depressed-subconcave globose. They have a thin yellow to bright orange to red-orange peel when ripe. The pulp is pale to rich orange and the juice is mild to sweet.
Mangifera indica Originally from India and Myanmar, the Mango Tree has become naturalised throughout the tropics and subtropics. The mango tree is a large, spreading evergreen with a dense crown and rounded canopy. Mature trees can attain a height of 40 m or more, with a 60 to 120 cm trunk and greyish-brown, longitude-fissured bark. Most varieties flower once per year, producing dense clusters of flowers.  Leaves Mango leaves are spirally arranged. Young leaves are copper-coloured, turning to light then dark shiny green as they mature. The leaves are either elliptical or lanceolate (pointed at both ends) with long petioles (“sticks” that attach the leaf to the branch) and a leathery texture. Flowers The tree produces dense clusters of flowers with cream-pink petals on loose flower branches. The flower clusters can reach full bloom, from the time of flower initiation, in 25-30 days. Fruit The mango fruit is large and roughly oval, with uneven sides, though the shape can vary from elongate (stretched out), oblong, ovate (egg shaped) or in between. The fruit is one-celled, with an outer flesh surrounding a stone. The flesh is soft and bright yellow-orange in colour. The skin of the fruit is yellow-green to red. Fruit length can range from 2.5 to over 30 cm, depending on the cultivar. The fruit grow fast and ripen after 3 to 4 months, some late cultivars after 5 months. The period from fruit set to maturity depends upon cultivar and climate and can range from 10 to 28 weeks.
There are 5 subspecies, 4 of which are found in Victoria. The species name viminalis means willowlike. A tall tree, up to 40 - 50 m with smooth, white bark that peels in long ribbons. Rough at base. Leaves Adult leaves are long, narrow, bright green, glossy. Juvenile leaves are opposite, stalk-less, dull green, sword shaped. Flowers Not prolific, white flowers. Inflorescences (group of flowers) are axillary (arising from the meeting point of a leaf and a branch) on stalks 0.8 cm long, with 3 - 7 flowers per inflorescence. Flower buds are oval to spindle-shaped, 5 - 9 mm long and 3 - 6 mm wide.
Corymbia comes from Latin (corymbium) a "corymb" refers to floral clusters where all flowers branch from the stem at different levels but ultimately terminate at about the same level and calophylla comes from Greek (calo) beautiful, and (phyllon) a leaf. Large tree with tessellated bark, up to 40 – 60 m high. Leaves Lance to oval shape. Veins are distinct. Flowers White to pink.
The top of its head and its hindneck are black. Its forehead is covered with bright-yellow skin, which hangs down to form wattles. The rest of the head is white. Its back and wings are pale grey-brown. Below, black plumage extends from the hindneck onto the sides of its breast, and the rest of the underparts are white. Its long legs and feet are reddish and its bill is yellow. It has a prominent spur on each wing. Juveniles are similar to adults, but have dark ‘scallop’ markings on the back and wings, and the wing spur and wattles are either smaller or absent. Distinctive feature A yellow wattle that extends from its forehead to behind its eye and hangs down beside its chin.
Large solid marine snail (mollusc) with noticeable rounded spirals (whorls). Generally smooth but some individuals show 2 strongly developed rows of spines on the body; rown or dark green striped patterns on a lighter green/fawn background. They are fished commercially for human consumption. They are also prized bait for fisherman and can be locally fished out in some areas.
The moaning frog is a burrowing frog native to south-western Western Australia. This frog is quite rotund, with a large head and bulbous eyes. Brown or slate back with irregular yellow patches. Males have large limbs but show no distinguishing sexual features. Tadpoles Densely mottled with black and gold. Have a red or gold vertebral stripe and curved lateral line.
They have a transparent mushroom-shaped bell. Its reproductive organs form a conspicuous clover-like shape when viewed from above. Numerous fine thread-like tentacles hang from beneath the edge of the bell. The moon jelly is a favourite food of marine turtles.
Shrub or small tree to 10 m high with hard, rough bark, dark grey bark on a trunk that is often twisted and bent by the effects of wind. Bark hard, fissured, slightly papery or flaking. Leaves Arranged alternately, linear to narrow-elliptic, 5 – 15 mm long and 1 – 3 mm wide. Flowers White or cream coloured and arranged in many-flowered spikes 2–4 cm long. Field Guide Improve your identification skills. Download your Moonah field guide here!
A significant environmental weed in NSW and Queensland, and a minor environmental weed in Victoria and South Australia. Also called ‘Cruel Plant’ as it catches butterflies and moths. Green climber vine with green triangular leaves. It can grow up to 5 m long/high with clusters of pink-white flowers. Large green ribbed fruit resemble turn brown before splitting to shed masses of white cotton-like seeds. Leaves Green triangular to oval leaves 3 - 11 cm long and 1.5 - 6 cm wide with pointy ends and curling edges. Scattered hairs on upper surface with lower surface smooth with minimal fine hairs. Flowers Bell-shaped tubular flowers have five sepals (8 - 13mm long) and five petals (18 - 20 mm long) that are fused at the base. The tips of the sepals (calyx lobes) and petals (corolla lobes) are usually curved outwards or backwards. Flowers may be white or pale pink and sometimes have darker pink streaks in their throat. Flowers are borne in 2 - 5 flowered clusters (cymes), 2 - 2.5 cm diameter.
The motorbike frog is a ground-dwelling tree frog found in Southwest Australia. It gets its name from the male frog's mating call, which sounds like a motorbike riding past and changing gears. Other common names are Moore's frog, the western bell frog, western green and golden bell frog, and western green tree frog. Back is green with gold mottling (after basking in sunlight). Can be almost dark brown in colder conditions. The underside usually ranges from very pale green to light brown. Tadpoles Large translucent yellow with darker areas. As they develop they become darker with deep fins and a pointed tail tip.
Erect, spreading shrub growing to approximately 1.5 - 3 m high and 1.5 - 4.5 m wide. Branchlets are densely covered in small, white hairs. Leaves Leaves are elliptic (rounded) to lanceolate (lance-shaped), and about 6 - 12 cm long and 10 - 45 mm wide. The upper surface of the leaf is olive green in colour, smooth and semi-glossy with the underside being a pale-green/white colour, covered in white hairs. Leaf margins are flat or slightly recurved. Flowers Produces red or reddish brown flowers that bloom at the end of branches. Flowers are trumpet-like measuring 3 - 17 mm long and 1.2 - 1.6 mm wide, a single stem shoots from the flower and measures 17 - 90 mm long.
Straggly to erect tree up to 20 m tall with a rounded canopy. Smooth and grey bark on top trunk; dark grey, scaly and shedding in ribbons on lower trunk. Leaves Juvenile leaves are thick, egg-shaped to round. Often notched on end. 7 cm long and 5 cm wide. Adult leaves are dull green, broad, elliptic (shaped like a flattened circle) to egg-shaped 8 - 15 cm long and 2.5 - 6 cm wide with dense veins and petioles (leaf stalks) up to 3 cm. Flowers White inflorescence (flower clusters). Flower buds up to 7 narrow diamond-shaped buds < 0.7cm long. Commonly 7 per cluster. Similar to E. ovata but narrower.
Ficus obliqua Nabanga are also known as Banyan Tree and Small-leaved Fig is native to eastern Australia, New Guinea, eastern Indoneasia to Sulawesi and islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It starts its life growing either on other species or on rocks. Nabanga that grow on other plants, will eventually grow to encase, or strangle, the host tree. The aerial roots form stout pillars that resemble tree trunks and allow the tree to continue to expand as it ages. It can grow 15 – 60 m high with a similar width. The bark is smooth, thin, and grey and the trunk is buttressed and up to 3 m in diameter. Leaves Glossy green, elliptic to oblong. 5-8 cm long and 2 – 3.5 cm wide. Channelled on the upper surface. Flowers Tiny flowers arise from the inner surface of the fruit, known as an inverted inflorescence. Within any given fruit, the male flowers will mature several weeks after the female flowers. Fruit The fruit are round with diameters of 6 – 10 mm. They grow in pairs, starting yellow and turning to orange to orange-red dotted with darker red.
Syzygium malaccense Native to Malesia and Australia and introduced to Oceania by indigenous travellers. In Vanuatu it appears to be naturalised and the locals recognise four to six different forms of this plant, based on the colour, size and taste of the fruits. The tree grows to 12 to 18 m in height and has a bole (trunk) that is short and often fluted. The flowers and fruits can be either pink or white, depending on the form present. The wood from this tree can be used to make canoes. Leaves Nakavika has leaves that are opposite and simple with a blade that is ovate to oblong. They are generally 10-30 cm long and are glossy green. Flowers Flower clusters have short stems with a few flowers up to 6 cm long on the trunk or older branches. The terminal flower develops first. The sepals of the flower, that is shaped like an inverted cone and encloses the petals and protects flower buds, is pale yellow with rounded lobes. There are four rounded flower petals that are red or pink (rarely white) and 7 to 11 mm long. The flowers contain many, up to 200, red stamens. When the flowers fall, they form a carpet under the tree. Fruit The fruit is oblong-shaped and dark red in colour, although some, rarer, varieties have white or pink skins, including in Ambrym, Vanua Lava, Epi, Maewo, Malo, Malekula, Pentecost, Tanna and the Torres Islands (at these locations white fruit and flower forms are present). The flesh is white and surrounds a large seed.
Inocarpus fagifer The Namambe tree is believed to be indigenous to Vanuatu. It is an evergreen tree with a large dense canopy and short, thick, irregular buttresses. The tree grows to around 20 m in height. The flowers are fragrant and white to pale yellow. They are pollinated by bees and bats, fruit bats also spreading the seeds. Fallen fruit and seeds can be used in fish farming as food for freshwater fish and prawns. Four types of Namambe are found in Vanuatu and can be distinguished by the fruit shape and colour.  Leaves Namambe leaves are oblong in shape and are dark green and leathery. They are 160 to 390 mm long and 70 to 130 mm wide. The leaf veins are opposite and yellow. Flowers  Flowers of Namambe are white to cream or pale yellow. They are fragrant and form a cluster at the ends of branches and twigs. The flowers are around 1 cm long with five petals. Fruit/Seeds  The fruit is egg shaped but irregular. It occurs either as single fruit or in clusters. The fruits are 45 to 130 mm long and 35 to 120 mm wide. Young fruit are green and ripen to orange-brown, though in some types the fruit remains green when ripe. The seeds are large and encased within the fruit. In Vanuatu, four morphotypes are distinguished by fruit shape and colour.
Pometia pinnata Native to Vanuatu, the Nandao grows in secondary forest up to 300 m in altitude. There are several varieties, ranging from a small to very large tree, but typically is 12 to 20 m tall with a canopy diameter of 10 to 20 m. They are stout trees with short twisted or fluted trunks to slender, fairly straight, trees. Older trees have prominent buttresses. Parts of the tree are used as traditional medicines. Leaves Leaflets are firmly herbaceous (herb-like) to coriaceous (leathery), asymmetrical to symmetrical, variably shaped from oblong, lanceolate (pointed at both ends) to egg-shaped. The largest leaves average 12 to 30 cm long and 4 to 10 cm wide. The midrib of the leaf is flat above with a narrow keel that is triangular in section. Leaflet margin is about 3 mm deep, dentate (has a serrated edge) or repand (slightly undulating margin) to subentire (only a few indentations). Juvenile leaves are densely covered in brownish hairs and are large, thin, and initially brightly coloured (pink to red) turning green at maturity. Flowers Nandao have highly variable flower clusters, including clusters of terminal, sub-terminal, or rarely axillary loose clusters, conspicuously projecting beyond the foliage, from stiff to hanging long main branches, simple or with secondary branching. Male flowers open first and greatly outnumber female flowers. Flowers are small, have a radial symmetry and are five-parted. The calyx (the part that encloses the petals and protects the buds) is dish shaped to shallow cup-shaped. The flowers have no scent. The flower petals are small and regular and are whitish to yellow-green and highly variable in shape. Fruit The fruit is highly variable in shape, from round to elliptical and sometimes paired. The skin of the fruit is smooth and variously coloured (greenish-yellow, yellow, red, purple, blackish or brown) with a gelatinous, sweet, white to slightly pinkish, translucent pulp that partially encases a single large seed. Numerous traditional varieties are recognised locally mainly on the basis of fruit characteristics (size, shape, colour and taste). Two main forms are found in Vanuatu, one with red fruits and the other with green fruits.
Erect spreading dark green shrub. 0.2 – 1 m high. Leaves Long, narrow, oblong, blunt, dark green above with very recurved margins. Flowers Stalked, yellow flowers with 5 distinct petals. The stamens are all found on one side of the centre of the flower and look like a tiny hand of bananas.
Its genus name Ipomoea is from the Greek 'ips' or 'ipos', a worm that eats horn and wood, and probably refers to the long slender stems. Also known as Poison Morning Glory referring to its toxicity and the morning opening of the showy flowers, followed by their closing in the afternoon. Sprawling perennial ground cover, up to 3 m wide, with twining stems. Leaves Heart shaped dark green leaves are up to 4 cm long and 2 - 3 cm wide. Flowers Lilac or pink flowers have a darker throat and are shaped like a funnel or trumpet. Flowers are up to 4 cm long and 5 cm in diameter. Field Guide Improve your identification skills. Download your Native Morning-glory field guide here!
The genus name Hardenbergia is named after Franziska Countess von Hardenberg and the species name comptoniana after Mary, 1st Marchioness of Northampton whose husband was Charles Compton. Twining shrub or climber. Its size varies depending on supporting plants or structures it is growing on. Leaves Usually crowded, 3 and sometimes rarely 5 foliate. Leaflets are 4 – 6 cm long., and do not spread very widely. Size approximately 2–4 mm long and 1 mm wide, thick, concavo-convex (concave on both sides) and pointed at ends. Flowers Blue to purple and in some cases white. Typical pea shape consisting of 5 petals: the "standard", the "keel" (2 fused petals) and two "wings". Flowers are in an often drooping, elongate cluster.
Rhizophora apiculata Mangroves are associated with wet, muddy and silty sediment. This species of mangrove has both aerial prop roots and stilt root which are designed to resist large waves and tropical storms. They are used to stabilise soil, to protect the coastline from storms, and to provide habitat for marine species. They also improve the water quality in nearshore environments. Parts of the plant can be used for traditional medicines and mangrove forests can be used as a sanctuary during cyclones. Natongtong grows up to 40 m in height, though it commonly reaches 5 to 8 m. The bark is grey to dark grey and heavily fissured, although it can occasionally be red-brown and smooth. Leaves Leaves are light or dark green, opposite, simple, egg-shaped and leathery with a distinct sharp pointed tip that is 1 to 7 mm long. The upper leaf is smooth and shiny. Mature leaves are 6 to 19 cm long and 3 to 10 cm wide. The leaf stalks are reddish. Flowers The flower clusters have few to many joint and one to many buds per cluster. The sepals of the flower, that encloses the petals and protects the flower bud, are typically pale yellow at maturity. The flower buds are egg-shaped, changing from green (immature) to pale yellowish green (mature). Buds are 1 to 2 cm long and 1 cm wide. There are generally four petals that are pointed at both ends to linear, with a creamy white colour, and are 10 mm long and 2 mm wide. Petals are arranged in a cross-shaped pattern. The stamens are pale yellow. Fruit At maturity, the fruit are pear-shaped, elongate, with a smooth brown surface. The smaller end points down. Mature fruit are located in leaf axils 8 nodes down from the apical (end of leaf distant from the branch) shoot. Seeds are hidden in the mature fruit. One to occasionally two seedlings are produced from the fruit, emerging from the smaller end while the fruit is still attached to the parent plant.
Spondias dulcis Naus is native to the Indo-Malayan region to Tahiti, including Vanuatu. It is a medium sized tree, 10 to 15 m in height, with a straight smooth grey trunk and four to eight small buttresses. The crown of the tree is rounded. In Vanuatu, there is greater variability between forms of this species than anywhere else, and villagers distinguish between different types of this species according to the size, colour and taste of its fruits. Naus loses its leaves during the dry season. Leaves The elliptical shaped leaves are 4 to 14 cm in length and 2.5 to 5 cm in width and finely toothed towards the apex. They are a glossy dark green in colour, becoming yellow before falling. Flowers The flowers are grouped in loose clusters and are 50 cm long with very small white petals. They are fairly inconspicuous. Fruit The fruit is green, yellow, or orange when ripe. It is spherical or egg shaped with a length of 6 to 12 cm and a width of 4.5 to 9 cm. The fruit are found in bunches of 12 or more on a long stalk. The pulp is juicy and yellow or orange, often with fibres that are sometimes arranged in a loose and indistinct matrix. The fruit falls to the ground when green and hard before ripening. Villagers distinguish between several sorts of this species according to the colour and size of the fruit and its taste.
Barringtonia edulis The Naval is endemic to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. It is a medium sized tree with a vigorous framework of branches. It typically grows to 8 to 10 m but can grow up to 24 m in height. Most trees have a clear trunk up to one fifth of the tree height which is greyish-brown in colour. It has an extensive framework of branches that have regular fork following the formation of terminal flower clusters. The ‘flowers’ are part of a long hanging spike with over 100 densely packed flower buds, arranged in a spiral pattern. Almost every part of the plant has a traditional use. Leaves Leaves are large, simple, lanceolate (pointed at both ends) and are arranged clusters at the ends of the branches. The leaf size varies but is typically 21 to 66 cm long and 5 to 25 cm wide. The upper surface is a glossy dark green and the lower surface is slightly paler. The margins are undulated. Leaf veins are prominent and have a pattern of interlacing lines forming a net or web. Flowers A 30 to 110 cm long dangling spike contains up to 150 densely packed flower buds, arranged in spirally alternate pattern. The flowers varying in colour from green to white or red. Fruit The fruits are berry-like with short dense hairs. They are elongated, oblong to egg-shaped that taper towards the apex and base. They start as greyish-green and become reddish or purplish as they ripen. The typical length of a mature fruit is 25 – 99 mm. Fruits in Vanuatu are longer and more cylindrical than those in the Solomon Islands.
Saccharum edule Naviso originates from the tropical climates of south-eastern Asia and is grown in various Pacific Islands, including Vanuatu. Naviso is a species of sugarcane. This grass has a fibrous stalk that is rich in sugar. It is perennial, meaning it lives for several years. It grows in vigorous clumps with three to four stalks. The stalks grow to 1.5 to 4 m in height and are often streaked with different colours, depending on the variety. Leaves The leaves are pale green and are slightly hairy and rough. Flowers The large flower clusters do not open. Instead, they remain enclosed in their leaf sheaths, creating a dense mass that is similar in size to a banana. Fruits/seeds This species does not produce seeds. It reproduces using suckers that generate into new plants.
Its species name banksii is after the English naturalist and botanist Sir Joseph Banks. A small, brown seaweed (algae) which resembles a beaded necklace. It has branches (thalli) which are made up of strings of hollow, water-filled, round or oval-shaped beads joined together by a short stalk. Each bead is covered in many pores, giving it a rough surface. It is attached to the substrate by a thin disc (holdfast). Size Fronds 10 – 30 cm long, beads 5 – 15 mm in diameter, and holdfast 3 – 10 mm across.
Flowering orchid up to 30 cm tall. This orchid is pollinated by a species of fungus gnat, attracted to the flower by a chemical produced by the plant. The insect enters the flower, which temporarily traps it inside, and in attempting to escape, it comes into contact with the sexual organs of the flower and pollination occurs. Leaves Egg-shaped to elliptic dark-green leaves in rosette arrangement at the base of the stem, 3 – 9 cm long, 1 – 3 cm wide. Leaf margins wavy or crisped. Flowers Single flower ‘hood’ emerging on a flowering spike 8 - 30 cm tall. Flowers are 1.8 – 2.5 cm long, showing a strong ‘nodding’ position; and are a translucent white colour, with green stripes and orange/brown colouration at the tips.
Fast growing medium-sized tree, 16 - 30 m tall that forms dense foliage cover. It is particularly drought resistant, and tolerates poor soil conditions. Leaves Long, slightly curved leaves 10 - 20 cm long. Flowers Grouped yellow flowers in a spike, up to 8 cm long, develop from February to August.
Its genus name Ceratopetalum means horned-petal after one of the species that has petals resembling stag’s horns, and its species name gummiferum means gum-bearing after the gum that oozes out of its bark. Evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 10 m high and 6 m wide, but much smaller when grown in gardens where it reaches a height of only 2 – 5 m. Leaves Glossy green and made up of three leaflets which are 3 – 8 cm long and 0.5 – 3 cm wide when mature. They are thin, with serrated edges, and are a golden orange-red colour when young. Flowers Initially creamy white and star-shaped, forming clusters that are 10 cm long. Each flower has five petals that are about 3 mm long. After pollination the white petals fall off, leaving the outer sepals which enlarge to about 12 mm long and turn deep pink to orange-red. These “flowers” consist of five sepals and are also star-shaped. They are commonly mistaken for flowers, but the real flowers are the less noticeable white ones.
The Oblong turtle (Chelodina oblonga) occurs in Northern WA and the Northern Territory. This species is also known as Southwestern snaked-neck turtle (Chelodina colliei) in southwest Western Australia. The original specimen collected and given the name Chelodina oblonga is now thought to be from a species of long necked turtle found in northern WA and the Northern Territory, the Northern Long-necked turtle (Macrochelodina rugosa). The first specimen of the oblong turtle seen in southwest WA was originally classified as Chelodina colliei. The carapace (upper shell) ranges in color from light brown to black. The olive to gray neck is thick, with blunt rounded tubercles. The head is large and flat with a protruding snout and an unnotched upper jaw. Size Adult Shell 30 - 40 cm long.
A medium sized bird with Orange legs and feet. Brown upper wing, head and neck. May have a blue tinted neck. It has a small downwards pointed tail with an orange/yellow beak. It builds a mound for a nest made of a large heap of mostly decomposing organic matter (leaves, earth, sticks, debris, sand etc) that are circular or elongated. Distinctive feature A black crest on the top of the head.
Mostly black in colour with a light grey saddle behind the dorsal fin and a distinct white oval shaped horizontal patch behind the eye. The belly, underside of the jaw, and underside of the tail are also white. Mature males have a tall triangular-shaped dorsal fin while females and juveniles have a smaller, more curved dorsal fin. Size Adults reach a length of 10 m, dorsal fin up to 1.8 m in height.
The caterpillar (larva) is initially green, white and brown and resembles bird droppings. A mature caterpillar has a dark brown head, a green body with some pale yellow and brown markings, and spines along its back. The male butterfly (adult) is black with an arc of creamy-white spots near the tip of each forewing. Each hindwing has a creamy-white patch and a single red spot, and there are many red crescents on its underside. The female butterfly is brown to black, and the outer half of its forewing is whitish-grey. Its hindwing has a creamy-white patch, as well as a series of blue and red crescent-shaped markings. Size Caterpillar up to 6 cm long; Butterflies 10 – 12 cm wingspan.
Annual herb or perennial sub-shrub up to 20 cm tall, often forms a mat up to 2 m in diameter. Pale four-petalled yellow flowers. Leaves Distinctive leaves made up of two fleshy Y-shaped leaflets looking like butterfly wings. Leaves are ovate with a narrow end at their base. Leaves grow between 1 - 4 cm long and are fleshy, a dull grey-green or green. Flowers Bright yellow in colour with four petals growing between 8 - 15 mm.
Palola viridis Palolo are found in tropical regions of Asia and the Pacific, including Vanuatu. Palolo are a type of segmented marine worm that grow up to 40 cm in length. Each segment of their bodies has paddlelike appendages with gills. The head of the worm has many sensory tentacles. Males are reddish-brown and females are bluish-green. They live in crevices and coral rubble. Size Up to 40 cm in length. Breeding During the breeding season, the worm breaks in half with the tail section carrying the eggs or sperm to the ocean surface. The tail section looks like an animal and has eyes and drifts on the waves in large, tangled masses of thousands of worms. The head section remains in the reef. Breeding occurs at least twice per year, at almost the same time annually and following a phase of the moon. There is a strong link between El Niño and the quantity of palolo. Strong El Niño tend to result in very low palolo harvests. More palolo seem to spawn in years of neutral El Niño. Diet Palolo are omnivores feeding on both invertebrate and algal material. They are also scavenger feeders.
Pencil pine is slow-growing; it can take more than 50 years to reach 1 m tall, but it can live for 1300 years, placing this species amongst the longest lived trees in the world. A conifer tree usually with a classic conical shape. Grows up to 15 m tall, smaller in exposed environments. Older trees often have multiple trunks and some dead branches. Leaves Individual leaves mid to dark green, small (3-5 mm long) and scale-like, closely clasped to stems. Leaves densely arranged around stems, forming a rope-like branchlet less than 5 mm in diameter. Cones Male and female cones usually on separate branches, at the tips of the stems. Male cones small (4 - 5 mm diameter), develop between February and May, persist until spring. Female cones 12 - 15 mm diameter, develop between September and February, cones can persist for several months after seed shed in autumn. Gold in colour, becoming reddish-brown with age. Large quantities of cones are produced during ‘mast’ years, typically every 5 - 6 years, with much less fruiting in other years.
Black and white, with the pattern varying across its range. The back of its neck, upper tail and shoulders (on its wings) are white in males and grey in females, and (across most of Australia) the rest of its body is black. In south-eastern, central and south-western Australia, including Tasmania, its back and rump are entirely white. Its eye is red-brown. Young birds are usually grey rather than black and have dark eyes. Distinctive feature One toe faces backwards and three face forwards. It has a square-tipped tail.
Erect annual herb. Grows up to 1.2 m high. It is one of the largest Mulla Mulla's. Leaves Basal rosette of spatula shaped leaves up to 10 cm long. Flowers Pink/purple flower spikes are up to 10 cm long and 4 cm across with loose-hairy flowers.
A colourful bird, the upper part of its back is bright green, merging to light blue on the lower part to its rump. Its tail is black, tinged with blue, and has two long central feathers (called streamers) that extend beyond the tip of the tail. Its forehead is blue-green and the top of its head is golden. A bold black eye-stripe runs from the base of its beak and is bordered below by a narrow blue line. Its chin is yellow, changing to chestnut on its throat, below which is a broad black band. It has a green breast, becoming paler on the belly and changing to light blue from the lower belly to the vent. It has a long, slim, curved black beak and its legs and feet are grey-black. Young birds are generally duller and greener. They lack the black band across the lower throat and the long tail streamers. Distinctive feature The sexes differ in the length of their tail streamers: the male has longer, more slender streamers.
A small native bird with a black head and breast, electric blue shoulder patches and white wing spots. Upperparts are bright olive-green, sometimes a silvery green-blue. The only pitta in the Darwin region, and Australia’s only pitta with a black head and breast. Its nest is loose, interwoven sticks and dead vines, usually dome-shaped but can be a cup, with entrance at side or near top. It can be in a fork, on a branch, against butress root on the ground, from ground level to 8 metres above.
Its genus name Grevillea is named after Charles Francis Greville, co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society, and its species name speciosa means showy, referring to its foliage. Evergreen shrub, grows up to 3 m tall. Leaves Oval shaped with silvery hairs on underside. They are 1 – 5 cm long and 4 – 12 mm wide. Flowers Bright red, or occasionally pink, and spider-like in appearance. Each “spider leg” is 2 – 4 cm long and forms in a loose circle on a stalk. The flower heads are approximately 7 cm in diameter and grow at the end of branches or amongst leaves.
A fleshy reddish wattle (skin flap) is on the side of the neck. Plumage is grey-brown on body, with prominent white streaks and yellow on belly. Face is pale and tail is long with a white-tip. Young Red Wattlebirds are duller than the adult and have a brown, rather than reddish, eye. The wattle is also very small and pale. Its nest is an untidy saucer of sticks, leaves, and grass lined with bark-strips, fur, and hair; 2 - 16 m high in the fork of a tree or on a branch against trunk. Size 33 - 37 cm long
Tiny, plain grey-brown and whitish wader with black legs and straight, gently tapering black bill, slightly swollen at tip. Shadowy dark line from bill through eye separates small white area over bill and subtle whitish eyebrow from whitish throat. Upperparts are grey-brown. Underparts are whitish with grey-brown zone on sides of upperbreast. Size 13 – 16 cm
A medium-sized marine snail (mollusc). They are grey or off-white in colour, with 5 - 6 distinctive ridges spiralling up towards a sharp tip (apex). Size 25 - 50 mm Field Guide Improve your identification skills. Download your Ribbed Top Shell guide here!
A tussock-like, rosette plant. Tussock size up to 30 cm high and wide with a flower stalk up to 1 m high. Leaves Long, sword-shaped and forming a clump. Each individual leaf is 8 – 20 cm long and 1 – 3 cm wide and usually stands upright. There are 5 veins running down each leaf. Flowers Small and initially cream, but turn brown rapidly. They grow on top of a ridged, 1 m high flower stem growing from the centre of the tussock of leaves. The flowers form a tight, cylindrical cluster which is 1 – 7 cm long.
Erect shrub or tree that grows up to 20 m high. Usually has a single trunk 15 - 20 cm in diameter at breast height, with pendulous branches. Bark of main trunk is grey and longitudinally fissured, while other branches have smooth, pale green bark. Leaves Phyllodes (flattened leaf stems) are long (15 - 40 cm) and thin (2 - 7 mm), straight to weakly curved, dark green and pointed. Veins numerous, closely parallel, narrower than intervein spaces. Flowers Flowers form groups of 25 - 40, forming inflorescences (flower clusters) cream in colour.
A tall tree to 40 m with smooth bark, mottled, shedding at intervals throughout the year showing white, yellow and grey, becoming roughened at the base. Frequently a straight tree but can develop more twisted habit in drier conditions. Leaves The tree has a large, dense crown of long and narrow adult leaves, lanceolate in shape or infrequently sickle-shaped, 5 - 30 cm long by 0.7 - 3.2 cm wide, and grey to grey-green on both surfaces. Side veins are prominent and usually at 45° to the leaf midrib, and oil glands are numerous and located separate to the veins. Flowers Its inflorescences (flower heads) are comprised of umbels of 7 to 11 flower buds located at the junction of the leaves and stem with the buds being of ovoid or globular shape and 0.6 - 1.1 cm long by 0.3 - 0.6 cm wide. Buds are green to yellow or cream, and have a prominent tip beak. Flowers are white to cream.
Small, semi-succulent, spreading shrub that grows 1 - 2 m tall. Branches grow to 1 m long. Leaves Leaves are green in colour with fine white hairs. Leaves are semi-succulent, cylindrical in shape and grow up to 2 cm long. Flowers Flowers are small and solitary, held in the leaf axils (where leaf joins stem).
Stocky, medium-sized migratory shorebird with a short black bill and short orange legs. Back, head and upper chest is marked with black-brown and pale areas (tortoise shell-like) with a white breast. The bill is wedge-shaped and slightly up-tilted. In flight, there is a distinctive black and white pattern. Distinctive features The distinctive marking and dark and white pattern in flight make the Ruddy Turnstone unmistakeable, along with their habitat of turning over stones.
Commonly known as the muttonbird in Australia.It is one of the most abundant seabirds in Australian waters. They migrate to Australia in enormous flocks and often a number of birds are washed up on beaches and die as a result of exhaustion, sickness and bad weather. Dark smoky brown body with a paler coloured throat, slender bill, light brown feet, narrow wings pointed at the tip, brown to grey-brown underwing colouration (some have whitish underwings), short rounded tail, body up to 43cm long, when flying black toes extend just past tail tip. Nests on grass and leaves, and in burrows underground. Size 40 – 45 cm long
Named in 1830 by explorer and botanist, Allan Cunningham. The genus name Grevillea honours Charles F Greville who co-founded the Royal Horticultural Society, and the species name robusta refers to its large size. Evergreen tree usually grows 20 – 30 m tall but can range from 8 – 40 m in height. Leaves Silvery green and fern-like, green on the upper surface and paler underneath. They are 10 – 34 cm long and 9 – 15 cm wide, and consist of 11 – 31 segments that are narrow-elliptic to triangular in shape. The segments are 1.5 – 5 cm long and 2 – 10 mm wide, and they give the leaf a deeply divided appearance. Flowers Golden yellow to orange, each one is about 2 cm long but they are arranged in pairs along the flowering stalk to give an overall length of 12 – 15 cm.
Its genus name Banksia is named after Sir Joseph Banks, a British explorer and naturalist, and its species name marginata is from the Latin 'marginatus' meaning bordered, referring to the recurved leaf edges. A variable species that occurs as a shrub, a flat-lying plant, or a tree, with smooth brown-grey bark. Grows up to 2 m high and wide as a shrub, less than 1 m as a flat-lying plant, and between 5 – 12 m as a tree. Leaves Green on the upper surface and silvery underneath. Each leaf is linear to oblong-shaped, 1 – 8 cm long, 3 – 13 mm wide, and has finely-toothed edges. The edges are recurved (rolled under) and may have small serrations, and their tip can be blunt or squared. Flowers Pale yellow cylindrical spikes forming a bottle-brush shape. Each flower head is 5 – 10 cm long and 4 – 6 cm wide and attracts nectar-eating birds. Fruit/seed:
Chalcophaps longirostris sandwichensis Other names: Pacific Emerald Dove The Sot Leg, or Pacific Emerald Dove, is a squat ground-dwelling pigeon found in tropical and sub-tropical parts of Indonesia, Australia, and the western Pacific. It is found in all provinces of Vanuatu. They are usually solitary but can be found in small groups. It is rarely found above 600 m in elevation. The male has a white patch on the edge of its shoulders and grey crown. Females have a browner complexion and a grey mark on the shoulder. Adults have eyes that are dark brown and the bill bright orange-red. Young birds resemble females with brown scallops on their bodies and wings. Their wings have less green and the bill is dull. Distinctive features One toe faces backwards and three face forwards. The back and wings are emerald-green (shiny green), though the green can be inconspicuous when in flight. When in flight, pale bars on the back may be seen and the underwing is buff coloured. The shoulder is bright pale blue. Flight feathers and tail are blackish. The head and underparts are a muddy purple-rufous colour and the legs and feet are rufous. Size The Sot Leg is stocky and medium sized, typically 23-28 cm in length (from head to tail). Behaviour Call Its song is an accelerating and rising series of around six to seven mournful coos. They also have a nasal “hoo-hoo-hoon” call. Diet Forages on the ground, often searching for fallen fruit. They also eat seeds. Flight Flight is fast and direct, but it prefers to walk rather than fly. It is often flushed when approached closely and has a loud wing-clatter. Breeding The Sot Leg builds a stick nest in trees, up to 5 m from the ground. It lays two cream-coloured eggs. The males perform a bobbing dance when courting the females.
The southern brown tree frog is native to southern Australia. Other common names of this tree frog are brown tree frog, whistling tree frog, or Ewing's tree frog. Ranges from pale fawn, cream, or orange to light brown, although some individuals in western Victoria and South Australia are partly or completely green. It has a wide brown band that starts from between its eyes and runs down its back. Darker flecks are also scattered across its back. It has a narrow black or brown stripe that runs from its snout to its shoulder, and a pale stripe that runs from below its eye to the base of its arm. Its belly is white to yellow and breeding males have a light brown vocal sac (beneath their mouth). Distinctive features Its back is smooth with small lumps, its fingers have no webbing and its toes are half webbed.
The name ‘right whale’ was given to them by early European whalers who thought they were the ‘right’ type of whale to hunt. Their slow moving nature made them easy targets and their blubber was of high quality. They also floated when dead, making them much easier to move to shore. Generally black with small patches of white on the belly and lacking a dorsal fin. They have a rounded head and short, spatula shaped flippers with a distinctive V shaped blow. Distinctive feature They have numerous, pale coloured callosities around the head.
Perennial, rhizomatous herb with strappy leaves. Leaves Glossy green, firm and flat. Long and thin up to 1 m long and roughly 1 cm wide. Leaves are usually taller than the flowering stem. Leaf base is broad with brownish edges. Tips of leaves have teeth. Flowers Grow in a whorled cluster attached to a straw-coloured bracts. Individual flowers are roughly 4mm long, but the cluster and leaf grow to 50 cm. Have a strong scent. Flower head is brown – during flowering petals are creamy yellow.
The male is unmistakable in full breeding varying from cobalt-blue in the east of its range to violet-blue in the west with a pale blue head. Wings and long tail are brown with a blue wash. In non-breeding plumage, called eclipse, he is very similar to the female, being pale brown above and white underneath although he retains the blue wash on wings and tail. The young look like the females. Distinctive feature The magnificent blue colour of the male. Size 14 cm
A large jellyfish with a rounded bell shape that is clear or tinted brown or yellow. The bell has many obvious small white crystalline spots close to the surface that are evenly distributed. The tentacles are located in the centre of the bell, with 8 individual arms visible. Two sets of tentacles are visible: one is short, fleshy (cauliflower-like) and the other is longer, clear to white (rope-like) and extend beyond the shorter fleshy tentacles. The longer tentacles also have white spots on their ends.
A spreading shrub with stiff, tangled branches often ending in sharp spines. Grows to 0.5 - 1.5 m tall and 2 m wide. Leaves Leaves are arranged alternately along branches. They are erect, linear to oblong in shape and are generally 5 - 20 mm long. They are smooth and without hairs and are mid-green in colour. Flowers 3.5 – 6.5 mm long and 0.8 – 2 mm wide, mauve to lilac-coloured, bell-shaped, spotted, found solitary at the bases of the leaves. The flower's 4 stamens (pollen-bearing) are fully enclosed in the petal tube.
This spider is named for the cross the female weaves into the web. There are many theories about why the female does this including, strengthening the web, for camouflage, and for increasing prey catches as the cross reflects ultra-violet light which attracts insects. It may also deter predators which must go to the effort of cleaning off the extra silk after diving into the web. The female has a silvery head with silver, yellow, red and black bands across its abdomen, and two yellow stripes running down its underside. Its legs are dark brown to black with one or two yellowish bands. The male and juveniles are brown and cream, with brown legs. It often appears to have only four legs because it sits with its legs in pairs along the stabilimentum. Distinctive feature The zigzag patterns (known as the stabilimentum) it weaves into its web to form an X or a cross, after which it is named.
Was previously named Bracteantha viscosa, and before that Helichrysum viscosum. Small stiff herb with multiple branches and hair covered stems. Grows up to 20 - 80 cm high. Leaves Stems with fine hairs or prickles. 30 - 100 mm long and 2 - 10 mm wide linear leaves with bright green elliptic (oval like shape) that have a sticky and rough surface. Flowers Bright yellow flower heads, 20-30mm wide. Displays colours of gold, orange, bronze or vibrant yellow. These appear in September to December but may occur later. Large single flower surrounded by many bracts (petals).
The striped marsh frog or brown-striped frog is a common species in urban habitats It is a mostly aquatic frog native to coastal Eastern Australia. A pale to grey-brown back with darker brown stripes. Usually also a pale stripe running down the middle of its back. Its belly is white and often flecked with brown, and there are dark spots and stripes on its limbs. Size 4.5 - 7.5 cm
Although named after the early explorer, Charles Sturt, this legume was first collected by William Dampier on an island in the Dampier Archipelago in 1699. Low spreading ground cover up to 3 m wide and 30 cm high. Leaves Dull green leaves are made up of 7 pairs of oval-shaped leaflets. Stems leaves and pods are covered in short soft hairs. Flowers Red flowers are arranged in upright stalks in groups of 3 or more. Each flower is up to 9 cm from the top of the standard to the base of the keel. The standard is the large petal with the black dome at its base. In some plants the dome may be red and albino varieties with completely white flowers have been found in the Pilbara.
Grey soft fur, with a white belly and a black stripe that runs from its nose, over its head and along its back. It has a long bushy tail, the last quarter of which is black, often with a white tip. Its ears are large and hairless, and its large eyes are black. Size About 28 cm long (from nose to tip of tail).
Males have a rich blue and black plumage above and on the throat. The belly is grey-white and the beak is black. In non-breeding plumage, called eclipse, he is very similar to the female. Females and young birds are mostly brown above with a dull red-orange area around the eye and brown beak. Females have a pale green gloss, absent in young birds, on the otherwise brown tail. Both sexes possess brown legs. The nest is dome-shaped consisting of grass, moss, rootlets, twigs, spiders webs and other bramble. Found low in tussock, shrub or bracken.
A native pheasant up to 1 m, including tail. Plain rich brown above, coppery on wings, deep grey below; legs and feet dark grey, powerful. Tail of male long and train-like, of two clubbed ‘lyrates’ about 60 cm long usually horizontal; glossy black and rufous above, silvery below, with notched ‘windows’; two slender, curved, ribbon-like guard-plumes’ and 12 lacy filamentaries, black above, silvery below. Moults annually. Full tail acquired at 6-8 years. Tail of female (and immature male) is simpler, drooping and pointed, lyrates smaller, often hidden; typically looks twisted. The nest is a bulky mound of sticks, bark, fern fronds and moss; on ground, bank, rock shelf, in stump or head of tree fern or to 25 m in a tree fork.
They are called Surf Barnacles because they prefer to live in areas of medium to high energy wave action. Small invertebrates that live inside hard circular or pyramid-like structures made from calcium-carbonate. They have eight main side plates, surrounded by many smaller ones, giving them a scaly appearance and are usually grey with a greenish tinge. Size 20 mm high, 25-30 mm diameter. Field Guide Improve your identification skills. Download your Surf Barnacle guide here!
Lowland Leadbeater’s Possum and Helmeted Honeyeater feed on the flowers of this species, which flowers at a different time from the Mountain Swamp Gum. This overlap of flowering time provides food across an extended period for these creatures. Small to medium tree, 20 m tall. Bark is variable, dark and rough at the butt; upper trunk and branches peel in ribbons. Leaves Juvenile leaves are short-stalked, almost circular. Adult leaves are thick, glossy, dark green, ovate shaped, usually has a wavy edge. Flowers White cluster of 3 - 10 (often 7).
A dense shrub with pale white peeling, papery bark and numerous branchlets. The Swamp Paperbark grows upto 9m tall and has long needle like leaves. Leaves Leaves are arranged alternately, dark green in colour and linear in shape 5-18 mm long and 0.5-1.7 mm wide. Juvenile leaves are typically bright green. Flowers Cream/white flowers usually clustered in heads or spikes to 17 mm long and 10 mm wide. Fruit/Seeds Small woody loculicidal capsule opening at the summit with 3-4 valves. Woody capsules are typically persistent year round with seed released in pulse events.
Evergreen tree, greyish-brown bark has oak-like appearance, branchlets spreading or drooping. Can be found solo or in dense stands. Usually 8 – 15 m high. Can reach a maximum of 20 m high (rarely) and only reaches 2 m high on clifftops. The trunk can be up to 35 cm in diameter. This tree is also found in prostrate form (lying flat on the ground), reaching 30 cm high and 2 m wide. Leaves Segmented branchlets with very small teeth-like leaves (0.6 - 0.9 mm long), 12 – 17 leaves arise at the nodes of segments. New growth is strongly recurved (bent or curved backwards or downwards) and become erect as they mature. Flowers This species is dioecious (male and female reproductive structures develop on different individuals). Male inflorescences (arrangement of flowers) are spikes, growing 1.2 – long with 7 - 10 whorls per cm (ring of floral parts borne at the same level) and a 0.8 mm long anther (pollen-bearing part of the stamen).
Also know as Blackthorn. A woody shrub to small tree, usually with thorny branches. Grows up to 5 – 10 m high. Leaves Glabrous, dark green, 20 – 44 mm long and 5 – 9 –mm wide. Flowers White, 6 – 10 mm wide, fragrant.
It was first described by renowned botanist J.E. Smith, the founder of London’s Linneaen Society. Evergreen shrub with smooth, purplish brown or light green bark. Up to 0.3 – 3 m high. Leaves Narrow, straight or very slightly elliptic, and blue-green. Each leaf is about 5 – 15 cm long and 2 – 10 mm wide, with a prominent vein down the centre. Its surface is hairless and covered with a fine white powder. It grows at right angles to the stem. Flowers Pale yellow to white and ball-shaped. Each flower is 4 – 7 mm in diameter and is found in clusters of 5 – 10 flowers aligned along an axis of 1 – 3 cm long. They are sweet smelling and enclosed in overlapping bracts (modified leaves) before opening.
Mostly bright green, with a blue crown, cheeks and colouring on its wings. It has red around its bill, throat and forehead, and bright red patches under each wing. The red on its throat is edged with yellow and its long, pointed tail is purple-red. The female is slightly duller, with a creamy bar under its wings. Size About 25 cm; ; Wingspan 32 – 36 cm
Large shrub up to 8 m tall. Leaves Light green phyllodes (flattened leaf stalks) 14 - 2 0cm long and 2 - 3 cm wide. Several longitudinal veins. Flowers Bright yellow flowers arranged forming elongate clusters.
Bushy shrub or small tree, up to 4m in height. They can live for over 100 years. Leaves Oblong-shaped, usually 1 - 2.5 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. Flowers Solitary, white and have circular petals, 8 Usually in groups of 4 - 16 at end of branches. Creamy white in colour.across. Usually appear between December and April.
Upright rounded shrub or small tree that grows 8 - 11 m high although it can be much smaller if it is found in exposed areas. Trunk and branches are grey to dark brown. Leaves Lanceolate (lance-shaped) to elliptic (rounded) in shape, measuring 6 – 12 cm in length and 1 - 3.5cm in width. Leaves are leathery to the touch with upper surface of the leaf being a dull green while the underside is pale yellow-green. The margins of the leaf are deeply or shallowly toothed, occasionally entire or sometimes deeply lobed. Flowers Flowers may be held in clusters up to 12 cm long. Blooms are white to cream, fragrant and usually abundant when flowering. Flowers are very hairy and spidery in appearance.
A small green seaweed. It has dark round, forked fronds (branches) with a fuzzy appearance and a velvety or sponged texture. Size Up to 30 cm long. Field Guide Improve your identification skills. Download your Velvet Weed guide here!
Evergreen shrub or small tree. Grows 1 – 6 m high. Leaves Bright yellow-green to dark green and paler underneath. They are 4 – 15 cm long and 1 – 3 cm wide, and generally have a toothed or curved edge. The leaves have a minty smell when crushed. Flowers Funnel-shaped and white, or pink to pale mauve, with purple and orange spots inside. They are about 2 cm long and grow in clusters at the end of branches. They are slightly scented.
Medium marine snails (molluscs) that float around in the open ocean. They have a purple shell that lightens in colour as you move towards the flattened top of the shell. The shell itself is very light weight and they have no operculum (lid). Their flesh is a dark purple or sometime black. They float around the open oceans upside down, attached to a raft of mucus bubbles that they make. Size Up to 30 mm
The Latin name Nuytsia comes from Pieter Nuyts, a member of the Council of Dutch Indies and a 17th century explorer in South Western Australia. Tree or shrub, up to 10 m high. Leaves Long thin leaves. Flowers Orange with more stamens than petals.
Miscanthus sp. Wael Ken grows in clumps and is reed or cane like in form. It reproduces underground through its root system, which sends out shoots that grow upwards. It is used as a traditional building material. The cane can also be used to drink kava once the pith is removed. Leaves Leaf sheaths are either free from hair (smooth) or covered in long soft hairs. The leave blades are flat and linear and 18-75 cm long. They have a prominent mid-rib. The leaf margins are sharp with slight serrations. Flowers Flower plumes grow from 0.3-2 m or more in height. Flowers are comprised of loose branching cluster with large fan shaped branches 10-40 cm in length. The flowers are purplish. These flower clusters persist through winter.
Flower-like invertebrate that has many long tentacles surrounding a central mouthpart which is attached to a hard surface. These specialised fighting tentacles come from the acontia, which appear as white spots on the top of the column. At low tide or when disturbed, the tentacles retract and the anemone looks like a round blob of jelly. They range in colour from bright red, reddish-brown to dark purple. Their tentacles contain hundreds of stinging cells called ‘nematocysts’ which the anemone uses to sting and immobilize their prey, and to do battle with other unrelated anemones. These are the same cells that give Blue Bottles their sting although most anemone species cannot penetrate human skin.
Metallic blue-black on top and light to dark grey on its breast and belly. Its forehead, throat and upper breast are rust in colour. It has grey legs and feet, and its eyes and bill are black. A young Welcome Swallow has shorter tail feathers than an adult and its forehead and throat are a creamy beige (instead of rust). Distinctive feature A deeply forked tail with a white band or row of spots on the long tail feathers.
The motorbike frog is a ground-dwelling tree frog found in Southwest Australia. It gets its name from the male frog's mating call, which sounds like a motorbike riding past and changing gears. Other common names are Moore's frog, the western bell frog, western green and golden bell frog, and western green tree frog. Back varies from pale brown to dark chocolate with areas of deep green or olive, red colouration in the groin and hind limbs. Tadpoles Large, black with deep tail fins.
Also known as Cape Lilac. It reaches maturity when it is 6 – 10 years old and lives for about 20 years. Deciduous tree, usually 10 – 15 m high but can reach 45 m in its natural environment. Its canopy is 6 – 8 m wide. Leaves Bright glossy green and oval in shape, 2 – 7 cm long and 1 – 3 cm wide. They are arranged either side of a 12 – 45 cm long stem and turn yellow in late autumn before falling from the tree in winter. Flowers Pale purple to white, star-shaped, forming clusters that are 10 – 20 cm long. Each individual flower is about 2 cm in diameter and consists of 5 petals. The flowers have a chocolate scent!
A large bird of prey with a dark grey back and a white head, white chest and white belly. Their legs are also white and have long black talons. They have dark eyes and a light-coloured, hooked beak. When viewed in flight, the undersides of the wings are a distinctive half white and half grey-brown. First-year juveniles have a buffish and ‘spiky’ head, contrasting with patchy cream and dark brown body and wings; underwing pattern also patchy, but note half-moon at base of tail feathers. Older juveniles have a pale buff-grey tail. Their nests are massive, made of sticks and branches, usually found in a tall living tree near water or on a remote coastal cliff (on ground if on an island). Distinctive feature A wedge-shaped tail, distinctive when seen in flight.
The White-browed Scrubwren is a small, drab bird which inhabits the dense undergrowth in many different habitats. The male has a blackish mask; cream eye; white eyebrow and bold curving silver-white whisker-mark; rufous rump; and a variable dark tail band. The female is duller and her whisker-mark is browner. Distinctive feature White-brow and curving silvery whisker-mark.
A medium-sized black and white honeyeater. It has large bright yellow tail and wing panels, with a large conspicuous white cheek patch on a mainly black head. Young birds are duller with brownish plumage. Size 16-18 cm
Mostly light blue-grey in colour. The forehead, crown, chin and upper throat are white. It has a long, slim neck and a pointed grey-black bill. The legs are long and dull yellow in colour. Easily identifiable when seen from below with the dark flight feathers of the wing contrasting with the paler grey plumage. Males and females are similar. When breeding, the birds have long feathers (nuptial plumes) on the head, neck and back. Young are similar in appearance to non-breeding adults, with little to no white on the face; underparts often have a reddish colour. Distinctive feature Its characteristic white face.
A ground-dwelling tree frog found in Southwest Australia. It gets its name from the male frog's mating call, which sounds like a motorbike riding past and changing gears. Other common names are Moore's frog, the western bell frog, western green and golden bell frog, and western green tree frog. Ranges from bright green to olive to pale brown, and it can change colour depending on the local temperature and environment. It has a white (occasionally pinkish) stripe on the back of each leg that runs down to its toes, and its belly is white. Size 11 – 14 cm
It has dark brown to black fur with a bright white-stripe at the junction of the body and wings. Some individuals also have an area of white-fur on the chest. One of the largest insectivorous (microbats) in Australia, it is in the ‘free tail’ family (Molossidae) which have a strong, stiff tail projecting beyond the tail membrane. The species was formerly classified as Tadarida australis. Size 85 - 100 mm head and body length; free tail extends 40 to 55 mm from the body. Adult average weight 37 g.
It is named after John Clements Wickham, 1st lieutenant on HMS Beagle 1831-36 (Darwin's expedition), and later government resident at Moreton Bay, Queensland. A shrub or small spindly tree. Grows 1 - 4 m tall. Leaves Simple 2.5 - 9 cm long and 2.5 - 5.5 cm wide. They are distinctively pruinose (frosted in appearance) and the leaf margins are serrated and prickly. Flowers Cream, yellow or red irregular flowers. They are mainly red in the Pilbara region.
One of Australia's most widespread birds on mainland.Mostly black with a white belly and eyebrow.  A young bird has paler, slightly rusty edges to its wing feathers. Size 18 - 22 cm long (from head to tail)
Erect shrub or tree, 3 - 10 m in height, but can grow up to 20 m. Leaves Phyllodes (flattened leaf stems) are narrow (5 - 12 mm wide) and 5 - 17 cm long. They have a prominent central vein and a curved pointed tip. Flowers Pale yellow or white, and clustered in groups of 15 - 30 inflorescences. Flowers form globular balls.
A medium sized shrub standing upto 4m tall with stringy bark that often shreds in strips and numerous branchlets with consistent foliage Leaves Narrow and oblanceolate in shape, 4-20 mm long and 1.4-4 mm wide. Leaves are silky with a silvery sheen on both sides   Flowers White flowers of approximately 15 mm diameter, occur densely along the branches.   Fruit/Seeds Hemispherical woody capsule, 5-8 mm in diameter with a ‘woolly’ outer surface. Woody capsules are typically persistent year round with seed released in pulse events.
Fast growing deciduous tree that grows to 15 - 25 m tall. Leaves Long strips of small leaves 30 - 60 cm long. Flowers Bright yellow flowers with orange stamens that blossom from March to June and September to November.
Erect or spreading shrub that grows up to 1 m high. Young stems of the plant are covered in small hairs. Leaves Branches are crowded with leaves and are arranged in more or less opposite, linear pair. Leaves are small and cylindrical in shape 3 - 8 mm long and 0.5 mm wide. Leaves are green in colour and are covered in small white hairs. Flowers Arranged in groups of mostly 2 or 3 near the ends of the branches. The floral cup is hairy and 3 – 4 mm long. Petals are pale yellow, more or less round and about 1.5 mm long. There are 24 - 35 stamens (pollen-bearing organs) that protrude from the flower 3.5 – 4.5 mm long.
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