Friday, November 20, 2015

Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog Morans Creek

20th November 2015

Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)

I cannot quite contain my excitement about getting to hear, find, observe and photograph an Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) in the wild, while out looking for frogs along the banks of Morans Creek in the Lamington National Park, South-East Queensland.

Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)
This beautiful large frog was calling from rocks on the sides of the creek.  The noises were loud but intermittent, and at first I thought whatever large frog was making the sounds, was hiding under the large overhanging rocks.  While I was looking at a large number of metamorphosing tadpoles in a shallow rock pool, I again heard the frog call, and looked up with the torch to come eye to eye with this beautiful creature.  On first look, "I thought to myself that it looked like a Fleay's, but I wasn't getting too excited until I could confirm with the books and online.

Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)
The Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) was named after my Grandfather's first Cousin, the famous Australian Naturalist, David Fleay, in recognition of his immense contribution to the knowledge of the breeding biology of Australian animals.  This species is currently listed as Endangered in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and nationally (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999).  More about Fleay's Barred Frog Here

Not the best photo, but it shows how large the Fleay's Barred Frog is, compared to my hand. 

The photo below, shows the tadpoles that I was viewing, prior to spotting the Fleay's Barred Frog, less than a metre away on a rock above the tadpole rock pool. Some of these tadpoles have started to metamorph and have the back legs.  You can see that they already have "barred" markings on their back legs.  I wonder if these are possibly tadpoles of the Fleay's Barred Frog?  I am no expert at tadpole identification, so would appreciate any feedback on those who know more. The description of where the frogs are laid etc, is indicative of what i observed, located in a fast-flowing stream.

Tadpoles in rockpool in Moran's Creek - Could they be Fleays Barred Frogs?

This sighting was extremely amazing - I hope the tadpoles survive, whatever they turn out to be, and that this beautiful frog species can be around for a long time to come.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Elusive Major Skink (Egernia frerei)

13th November 2015

Major Skink (Egernia frerei) at Ravensbourne

Until today, this Major Skink (Erernia frerei) has remained elusive.  Each day at work when I walk past a particular part of the garden of banana trees, I hear a rustling in the leaves and get a quick glance at a reptile ducking under the tree roots and dry leaf litter.  Today, I was lucky enough to finally get a good sighting of my little friend and luckily had taken the camera so managed a couple of photos to help with an i.d.  This "Major Skink" is around 180mm in length, fairly large, but not as big as the local Blue-tongued lizards.  

They are known to shelter in hollow logs, rock crevices and burrow under thickets and tree roots. They are shy lizards that are active during the day and can be found from rainforest edges to dry forests and woodlands.


Major Skink (Erernia frerei) at Ravensbourne, South-East Qld.

Major Skink (Erernia frerei) at Ravensbourne, South-East Qld.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lorikeet in spectacular Orange Mistletoe

28th October 2015

Rainbow Lorikeet in Apostle Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe vitellina) 

I spotted this stunning Mistletoe heavy with orange flowers near Cooby Dam, North of Toowoomba during the week. When I stopped to take some photos, Scaley-breasted Lorikeets & Rainbow Lorikeets were amongst the plant having a feeding frenzy.

I believe that the Mistletoe is Apple Mistletoe ((Dendrophthoe vitellina) based on my reading in my Mangroves to Mountains plant guide... however I am a newbie at learning plants so please advise me if I have it wrong!  More photos of full plant taken on my phone to come.


Rainbow Lorikeet in Apostle Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe vitellina) 

Rainbow Lorikeet in Apostle Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe vitellina)