However, for me the highlight was a guided tour of the Robertson Rainforest patch on Tony and Anna Williams "White Birch Farm". This rainforest is significantly different from the Robertson Nature Reserve, in the dominant plants being dense stands of Lilly Pilly trees Syzygium smithii (formerly Acmena smithii). In the Robertson Nature Reserve, the dominant trees are more varied, being Sassafras, Blackwood, Coachwood. It was a lovely forest walk, with fantastic ferns and, of course, beautiful patches of moss on the rocks and tree trunks.
While on the walk I noticed two small black fungi points sticking out of the ground. I called to Tony and pointed them out and explained what I thought they were, and sought permission to dig it up.
As I had expected, it revealed the mummified body of a large caterpillar, with a fruiting body of the Cordyceps gunnii growing out of the top of the caterpillar's original body.
|Fruiting body of Cordyceps gunnii|
The red line indicates the original ground level
|This shows the entire body of the Caterpillar|
and the Fungal Fruiting body
A dual 'head" is unusual, but not unknown,
|This is a clearer image (taken on a previous occasion)|
you can clearly still see the lumpy "prolegs" of the Caterpillar.
The fruiting body (in this case grey in colour)
grows out of the head of the caterpillar.