As the days get shorter and colder, the furrier moths start to come out.
This month we have seen the Hairy Marys from the Anthelidea family in their assorted colours and the very furry Ptilomacra senex and Porela delineata and the larger Leaf Moths, Monoctenia falernaria, and Phallaria ophinsaria all visiting the mothing sheets on these winter nights.
Anthela repleta (male) 55 mm
Anthela acuta (male)
Phallaria ophinsaria (male)
Phallaria ophinsaria (female)
The size and shape of the antennae is the best way to tell the male and female moths apart.
Monoctenia falernaria male
Monoctenia falernaria female
This month there have been several whale sightings west of Cape Otway with whales heading east. They are believed to be Southern Right Whales, so keep your eyes peeled to the horizon on those clear calm days.
Fungi Report (Included with fauna on the basis that fungi have more in common with animals than plants!)
With these wonderful wetter conditions and cooler nights, the fungi—with their essential mycelium spreading through the moist soils and underbrush—are doing their symbiotic work, freeing up the soils and sharing nutrients to all the native plants that are still recovering. Have you noticed when walking through the forests, especially in the moister valleys, that the soil is almost spongy? This is the mycelium network of filaments, or hyphae, hard at work.
Horse Dropping fungi
The Cordyceps gunnii fungi, shown below with the wattle leaves, is one of Australia’s parasitic fungi whose spores trick the goat moth grubs on the wattle trees to go down to the ground and dig down about 15 cm. From there, the fungi’s fruiting bodies grow up and out using the captive grub as their protein.
Peter Forster reported seeing Crescent Honeyeaters and John Lenagan saw a Tawny-crowned Honeyeater on the Anglesea Heath.
Eathorne Mitchell was very excited to see a Crested Shrike-tit in the area between the Anglesea PS and the river.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.