Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Malanda walk

Went to Malanda yesterday, a small town south east of Atherton in north Queensland. Went for a walk in on 1km rainforest loop before and after dark. The cicadas began calling just on nightfall and were literally deafening, the combined sound from the thousands of calling insects was brain piercing and at distortion point. After about 15 minutes someone amongst their ranks decided enough was enough and they all became silent. That left the night to the more pleasent calls of crickets and katydids.

Although its early in the season, there's a bit of life starting to appear. Two Boyd's Forest Dragons (Hypsilurus boydii) were out before dark along with an abundance of strange flies including some crane flies with legs 80mm long. After dark White Kneed King Crickets (Penalva flavocalceata) were very active, and some very large harvestmen were present on tree trunks.

A Boyd's Forest Dragon. This one was sitting motionless just off the track.

Some strange flies displaying even stranger behaviour. They were facing off, then creeping towards one another. As I took the photo the one on the right stooped down to drink at the foot of the other.

Another species of rainforest fly we are not yet familiar with.

A large Harvestman; an arachnid with eight legs and a single body part - spiders differ as they have two distict body parts.

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