Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nangara Note - 8th April 2015

The weather wasn’t great, but yesterday I headed to Jindivick for a short walk at Nangara Reserve. After being on ‘other duties’ for much of Easter, which I hasten to add was most pleasant, I woke with wilderness withdrawal, a syndrome I often suffer from. So far I’ve only found one solution – ‘Get out there’!

Three Fungi
Any good fungi field guide points out that most fungi begin to fruit after experiencing the onset of late summer/early autumn rains. A very large proportion of fungi in my district begin to show their fruit in April. Much research around the world indicates that fungi fruiting times might be good indicators for measuring climate change.

The beautiful little Pixies Parasol, Mycena interrupta, apparently the most recognisable small mushroom and frequently photographed, has begun to appear. I suspect this won’t be the last time I focus the camera on one of these beauties this season. Look closely and you can see the young, as yet unformed fruit just appearing. They often grow in colonies and I shall be keeping the eyes peeled. They grow on old logs, often amongst moss.

In spite of its tiny size it isn’t too hard to miss the Scarlet Hood, Hygrocybe coccinea, (I think?), in the leaf litter. Despite the dull, dull day and the very darkest corners of the reserve, that brilliantly coloured scarlet cap is a real giveaway – no attempts at camouflage here.

A very common early species in these parts is the soil inhabiting Parasol Mushroom, Macrolepiota sp, (probably clelandii). I reckon someone missed the chance to give this fungus the common name ‘cappuccino’, although modern day baristas are getting good at sprinkling all sorts of fancy frothy milk shapes on top.

One Moth
I came across this Pink-bellied or Hakea Wine Moth, Oenochroma vinaria, (DF?), Patched Leaf Moth - Monoctenia falernaria, (thanks Mosura), struggling at ground level, pretty much on its last legs I suspect, but giving me great opportunities to get in close with the camera. 

This frontal view shows fairly clearly the segmented legs, thread-like antennae indicating the female of the species, the compound eye of all moths and the labial palps which are thought to have a sensory role for identifying food, and the rolled up proboscis used to sip up the nectar or rotting fruit juices, etc.

Any day in the bush is a good day.


  1. How about Patched Leaf Moth - Monoctenia falernaria ?

  2. Indeed Mosura,
    Thank you. I'm afraid I'm just a learner when it comes to Lepidoptera. The power of the net, hey?