Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Caveat osservatore-orchidaceae: Let the Orchid observer beware

This is for Colin Rowan who kindly rang me several days ago, to inquire as to my well-being, because he had noticed it was a long time since I had written anything on my Blog. Thanks, Colin. As it happened, I was at that very time, checking out Colin and Mischa's photos of Orchids, in response to an inquiry from a Canberra naturalist who had just returned from the Blue Mountains. Such is the world of Orchid enthusiasts - we share information, and ask for help or guidance when we are unsure. That's what I like about fellow Orchid enthusiasts.
Not all naturalists share their information - but the best ones to know are those who do share information.

Caveat osservatore-orchidaceae: Let the Orchid observer beware.

Caveat osservatore-orchidaceae:
Let the Orchid observer beware.
Early this Spring I was surprised to notice a tight cluster of vertical stems, which were obviously Orchids. I saw them in the gleam of my headlights, as I rounded one of the tight corners on Barrengarry Mtn (above Kangaroo Valley). I drove to the top of the mountain and safely did a U-turn, drove back, parked on the opposite side of the road, and safely checked the Orchids. It was a colony of Pterostylis erecta. At night it is easy to know if there is any traffic coming up Barrengary Mountain, so I could inspect these plants from the relative safety of the road, at night..

The reason I was able to spot these orchids at night  was that they were growing at headlight height, on the excavated side of the road verge. So I saw lots of fine white stems. In daylight, they did not stand out.

I subsequently saw a similar colony (many actually) growing along the excavated edges of Macquarie Pass. Those were a mixed group of Pt. curta, Pt. erecta and Pt. nutans. Some appeared to be hybrids (as one would expect with so many related Orchids growing tightly together).

Orchid colony on edge of Macquarie Pass roadway,
The worst part about trying to study these plants, at close range, is that there is little or no safe walking edge to the roadway.Macquarie Pass is so busy that, even at night, one cannot walk on the road - not safely anyway. There is very little room for walking beside the road, in the tighter corners of that road. Where there are "safety rails" there is in fact no spare room to walk safely.

Hence this warning: 
Caveat osservatore-orchidaceae: Let the Orchid observer beware.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Another new crop of Orchids for this spring.

Three new Orchids for Kangaloon, this Spring. There has to be a first flowering for everything. This is it for these three "Caladenias".
Stegostyla moschata
Tourist Road, Kangaloon.

Stegostyla transitoria
Tourist Road, Kangaloon.
Petalochilus mentiens
Tourist Road, Kangaloon

Aenetus eximia - Green Ghost Moth

I have written about a similar species twice, previously, because at first I did not realise the male and female were in the same species.
I originally mis-identified this as Aenetus scotti, but Dr. Dave Britton from Australian Museum has corrected me. Thanks Dave. I can now provide the correct name,and links.
Aenetus eximia
Australian Moths on Line has a set of specimens illustrated.
Don Herbison-Evans also has good information and photos on his site.

The related Swift Moths appear in early winter, but these ones seem to arrive in November or December. However, with the warm weather we have had this year, all my plants are coming into flower early. So that might be a trend.

Aenetus eximia
First time I have seen this species.
As one of my Facebook friends commented tonight,
"It looks like a Green Leaf, but with wings".
Aenetus eximia
The wing spots and dark blobs along the leading edge
of the forewings are matched on the ANIC dried specimen.
Dried specimens often lose some colour (the silver dots).
Head and small antennae of Aenetus eximia
The small antennae make me believe this is a female.

Showing the bright pink tonings of the hind-wings.
In this regard, it shows similarities to the Swift Moths
which are also in the same family Hepialidae
Aenetus eximia on my fly screen