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Lots of New Species for Riddells Creek

posted 18 Mar 2013, 04:27 by Russell Best
The past couple of weeks have been incredibly dry but it does mean I've been able to walk right up the centre of the creek in Wybejong. In doing so I spotted an amazing array of new species.

First, this is an amazing time for dragonflies at the creek ... just look at these (just click on the links for photos - which are best viewed in Firefox, Chrome & Safari):

Scarlet Percher (new for Riddells Creek) -

... and flying in the same patch was the Wandering Percher -

... and the Blue Skimmer -

The females of these three species are all yellow & black but none were around that day.

Also in that patch of creek was the Swamp Tigertail -

Then this at the weir, Common Shutwing (new for Riddells Creek) -


Also at Wybejong I finally caught up with this very large grasshopper and worked out what it was:
Giant Green Slantface -

(I've seen heaps of this grasshopper on the grassland rail reserve but never been able to get close to one). I can only find records of this species near Heywood at Museum Vic so it could be quite an unusual occurrence. I've walked up and down our rail reserves for a few years now and this is the first year I've seen this unmissable species.

Also at Wybejong! A new plant species, Elatine gratioloides (Waterwort):
It appears this is a new plant species for the Macedon Range too. It is really tiny!!

I've created a native fauna & flora collection on NatureShare for Wybejong and added all the things I know that are remnant there (NB. no reveg or things that have been planted are allowed on NatureShare). So far I've amassed about 120 remnant species there at Wybejong and I haven't even started on birds yet:
... and have a look at some of the interesting observations I've added for starters (the echidna is very cute):

Feel free to join the collection (under members) and add your own observation - the list is lacking in birds especially. As I wandered through I also found four senecio species that didn't seem to be on the remnant flora list for Wybejong. I also saw someone acting suspiciously so I went up and asked what he was up to - he was from Sunbury and releasing a Brushtail Possum into Wybejong! It's all happening down there at the moment!!! Greening of Riddell do amazing work down there at Wybejong and it is exciting to see that so many remnant fauna species are surviving there. Even a massive Orchard Swallowtail butterfly flew by while I was there this week too - only the second I've seen in Riddell this season!

Not new species but a couple of firsts (unless you know differently) ...

First, I spotted a new species on Barrm Birrm last year and I've been visiting the three plants since January waiting for it to flower - it finally flowered this week.
Acacia implexa (Lightwood) -

Second, James and I went for a late night wander through Conglomerate Gully last week. At the 'cabin' James asked me if I'd seen any Sugar Gliders in Riddell and I answered no but I have heard them at my place. As I was giving my answer James spotted a Sugar Glider!

I think this could be the first photo record of a glider in Riddell - unless you know differently? The call is quite distinctive and sounds like a 'Chihuahua' calling from the trees - here is a link to the call:
Basic Sugar Glider Sounds

If that isn't enough, here is a new moth species for Riddells Creek, Metrocampa biplaga:


... but I've saved the best until last (for me anyway) ... this beautiful Pied Lacewing was in large numbers on tree trunks at Barringo recently:

We're now at 1160 species named in Riddells Creek!