Skip to main content

Full text of "Records of the South Australian Museum"

See other formats

1 m*-i 

^ ^ r^ 





ANDERSON, C. 111-112 

The Custodianship of Sacred Objects Project: an overview 

AUSTIN, P. 129-137 

The Karangura language 

BRADLEY, J. J. 91-110 

'Li-Maramaranja': Yanyuwa hunters of marine animals in the Sir Edward Pellew Group, 
Northern Territory 

GORDON, D. P. & PARKER, S. A. 113-120 

A new genus of the bryozoan family Electridae, with a plectriform apparatus 

GORDON, D. P. & PARKER, S. A. 121-128 

Discovery and identity of 110-year-old Hutton Collection of South Australian Bryozoa 

HERCUS, L. A. 139-159 

Glimpses of the Karangura 


Mollusc type specimens in the South Australian Museum. 4. Gastropoda: Marginellidae 

HIRST, D. B. 1-17 

Revision of the Australian genera Eodelena Hogg and Zachria L. Koch (Heteropodidae: Araneae) 

LEE, D. C. & SUBIAS, L. S. 19-30 

Brachioppiella species (Acari: Oribatida: Oppiidae) from South Australian soils 

LING, J. K. 193-198 

Obituary of W. Grant Inglis 

PLEDGE, N. S. 161-174 

Occurrences of Palorchestes species (Marsupialia: Palorchestidae) in South Australia 

SHEA, G. M. 71-90 

Revisionary notes on the genus Delrna (Squamata: Pygopodidae) in South Australia and the 
Northern Territory 

SMITH, M. A., WILLIAMS, E. & WASSON, R. J. 175-192 

The archaeology of the JSN site: some implications for the dynamics of human occupation in 
the Strzelecki Desert during the late Pleistocene 

SOUTHCOTT, R. V. 31-37 

Redescription of the larva of Odontacarus (Leogonius) barrinensis (Womersley) (Acarina: 
Trombiculidae: Leeuwenhoekiinae) 

WILLIS, P. M. A. & MOLNAR, R. E. 39-55 

A new middle Tertiary crocodile from Lake Palankarinna, South Australia 

Volume 25(1) was published on 31 May 1991. 
Volume 25(2) was published on 24 December 1991 

ISSN 0376-2750 


Z). B. Hirst 


The Australian genera Zachria L. Koch and Eodelena Hogg are revised. Zachria is here limited to 
include only the type species, Z. flavicoma L. Koch and Z. oblonga L. Koch. Z. magnifica (Hogg) is 
removed to Typostola Simon, in which genus it was originally described. Eodelena is revalidated 
and removed from Zachria. E. spenceri Hogg, type species and E. melanochelis (Strnad) are 
redescribed. Five new species, E. convexa, E. lapidicola, both from Western Australia, E. 
kosciuskoensis from New South Wales, E. loftiensis from South Australia and E. tasmaniensis from 
Tasmania are described. E. nigifrons is transferred to Delena Walckenaer. 



HIRST, D. B. 1991. Revision of the Australian genera Eodelena Hogg and Zachria L. Koch 
(Heteropodidae: Araneae). Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 1-17. 

The Australian genera Zachria L. Koch and Eodelena Hogg are revised. Zachria is here limited 
to include only the type species, Z. fiavicoma L. Koch and Z. oblonga L. Koch. Z. magnifica 
(Hogg) is removed to Typostola Simon, in which genus it was originally described. Eodelena 
is revalidated and removed from Zachria. E. spenceri Hogg, type species, and E. melanochelis 
(Strand) are redescribed. Five new species, E. convexa, E. lapidicola, both from Western Australia, 
£. kosciuskoensis from New South Wales, E. loftiensis from South Australia and E. tasmaniensis 
from Tasmania are described. E. nigrifrons Simon is transferred to Delena Walckenaer. 

D. B. Hirst, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000. Manuscript 
received 4 December 1989. 

This paper is the fifth of a revision of the 
Australian Heteropodidae, excluding Heteropoda 
Latreille, 1804. As with other Australian genera of 
the Heteropodidae, Zachria and Eodelena are 
poorly defined, consequently confusion of the taxa 
has arisen. Eodelena is further often confused with 
the genus Delena. 

L. Koch (1875) described a new genus, Zachria 
for the species Z. fiavicoma, Z. oblonga and Z. 
haemorrhoidalis. Hogg (1902) synonymised the 
latter with Z. oblonga. In the same work Hogg 
described the new genus and species Eodelena 
spenceri. Simon (1903) placed that genus in 
synonymy with Zachria on the basis of similar male 
palp structure. Later, Simon (1908) appeared to 
reconsider its position when describing E. 
nigrifrons. Bonnet (1959) remarked on this change 
but left the genus in synonymy with Zachria. Strand 
(1913) described Z. melanochelis while Hickman 
(1967) commented on the description and habits of 
E. spenceri under Zachria spenceri. 

Materials and Methods 

Larger body and leg measurements of types in 
poor condition are given to the nearest 0.1 mm. Leg 
ratios exclude coxa and trochanter. Redescriptions 
of type material give the present colouration of the 
specimen or, in the absence of any specimens, a 
condensed translation of the author's description 
is given. Female vulva is occasionally inspected 
without removal of the genitalia by dissecting and 
lifting on one side and brushing away fatty tissue. 
Other materials and methods are given in Hirst 
(1989a, 1989b, 1990). Types of newly described 
species are deposited in the Australian Museum, 
Sydney (AM), the Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 
(NMV), the South Australian Museum, Adelaide 

(SAMA), the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 
Hobart (TM) and the Western Australian Museum, 
Perth (WAM). Other acronyms are BMNH, British 
Museum (Natural History), London; QM, 
Queensland Museum, Brisbane, and ZMH, 
Zoologisches Museum, Hamburg. 

Genus Zachria L. Koch 

Zachria L. Koch, 1875: 649. 


Carapace longer than wide, low gently rounded 
sides, flattish medially. Anterior eyes subequal, 
AME closer to ALE than to each other. Sternum 
longer than wide, widest mid-length. Anterior legs 
three to three and a half times carapace length. All 
metatarsi subequal in length to tibiae. Female 
spermathecal sacs tubular, long, looped to anterior. 
Male [known only from L. Koch (1876), see later] 
with large palpal tibial apophysis and embolus 
coiled one turn alongside similarly coiled broad 
conductor in distal half of cymbium. 


Large spiders. Carapace longer than wide in the 
ratio 17:14; raised at sides, flattish above; low, about 
four and a half to five times longer than high, 
highest in region of fovea. Fovea a discernible 
shallow groove; surrounding area not depressed. 
Setae short. AME equal or subequal to ALE; 
distance between AME greater than between AME- 
ALE; posterior row slightly recurved. Chelicerae 
with two promarginal teeth; four retromarginal 
teeth, subdistal tooth largest. Labium wider than 
long in the ratio 7:6. Sternum longer than wide in 
the ratio 3:2. Legs relatively short, anterior pairs 
less than three to less than three and a half times 


FIGURES 1-6. Zachria females. Figs 1-3, Z. flavicoma: 1, holotype epigynum; 2, epigynum and vulva of WAM 
28/665, ventral; 3, vulva of WAM 28/665, dorsal. Figs 4-6, Z. oblonga: 4, holotype epigynum; 5, epigynum and 
vulva of NMV K-0956, ventral; 6, vulva of NMV K-0956, dorsal. Scale line 0.5 mm. 

FIGURE 7. Distribution of Zachria and Eodetena. 

Z. flavicoma □ , Z. oblonga ■ , E. spenceri • , £". melanochelis T , £ tasmaniensis Q , E. kosciuskoensis V 

£". loftiensis , £. convexa ♦ , £. lapidicola A . 


length of carapace [leg measurements of the male 
Z. oblonga derived from L. Koch (1876) indicate 
a length of less than four times carapace length 
which is low for an Australian male heteropodid]; 
leg I, when outstretched alongside leg II, reaches 
to or near tarsi II. Abdomen much longer than 
wide, rounded, without pattern, or with dark 
median streak. Female epigynum with sclerotized 
lateral rim; fossa deeply recessed anteriorly, whitish, 
posteriorly with raised pigmented ridge. 
Spermathecal sacs tubular, long, curved to anterior 
and reaching to or beyond anterior of fossa. 

Type species 

Zachria flavicoma L. Koch, 1875 by original 


Zachria differs from other genera of the 
Australasian subfamily Deleninae in having all 
metatarsi subequal in length to the tibiae. In the 
other genera it is more usual for either the anterior 
metatarsi or the fourth metatarsi, or both, to be 
longer than the relevant tibiae. Additionally, the 
significantly longer than wide carapace separates 
it from other genera except some Neosparassus. 
Zachria further differs from Eodelena in having the 
anterior eyes subequal with AME closer to ALE 
than to each other and in the presence of 
spermathecal sacs in the female vulva. 

Zachria flavicoma L. Koch 

(Figs 1, 2, 3, 7) 

Zachria flavicoma L. Koch, 1875: 650, pi. 52, fig. 
3. Holotype 9, King George Sound, Western 
Australia, Bradley Collection. AM KS18911, 9, 
King George Sound, [35°03'S, 117°58 / E, Western 
Australia], agrees with the holotype in dimensions 
and accompanying data and is considered to be that 
specimen. It is believed to be part of the Bradley 
collection which found its way to the Macleay 
Museum of the University of Sydney, and is 
presently in the Australian Museum collection. 


(Male unknown). Female anterior leg ratio less 
than 3. Epigynum somewhat parallel-sided or 
narrower anteriorly. Vulva with anteriorly curved 
spermathecal sacs partly extending in front of fossa. 

Female AM KS18911 

CL 8.62, CW 6.95. AL 18.00, AW 9.90. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellowish-brown, 
striae darker, fovea reddish, caput dark reddish in 
ocular area. Setae brown. Chelicerae dark reddish. 
Maxillae and labium dark orange-red. Sternum 

orange-yellow. Legs dark yellow-brown, anterior 
metatarsi and tarsi dark orange-brown, patches of 
dark orange-brown on tibiae, metatarsi and tarsi. 
Area around sockets of heavier setae on venter and 
prolateral of femora dark coloured, giving spotted 
appearance. Abdomen creamy-yellow without 

Carapace: Sides rounded, flattish medially, 5 
times longer than high, lowest in ocular region, 
relatively level from posterior of eyes to posterior 
of fovea. Eyes: AME 0.52. AME: ALE: PME: PLE 
= 1: 1.04: 0.54: 0.73. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.58, 
AME-ALE 0.38, PME-PME 1.69, PME-PLE 1.65, 
AME-PME 0.96, ALE-PLE 1.23. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 = 2.50:2.77:2.31. Width of clypeus to AME 0.29. 
Labium: L 1.22, W 1.42. Sternum: L 4.38, W 2.90. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 2.7, II = 2.9. 

Epigynum: (Fig. 1). Lateral rims of fossa 
somewhat parallel; anterior of fossa recessed. Vulva 
of WAM 28/665 (Figs 2, 3) with spermathecal sacs 
moderately long and arced at anterior edge of fossa. 

Carapace length of WAM 28/665 is 8.75. 

Distribution and remarks 

(Fig. 7). Z. flavicoma occurs in south-west 
Western Australia. The male is unknown. The 
female differs from Z. oblonga in the relatively 
shorter legs, the absence of markings on the 
abdomen, shorter spermathecal sacs and the 
insemination ducts with slightly reduced coiling. 

Other material examined 

Western Australia: Juv., Binnu, 28°02'S, 
114°40'E, July 1965, M. deGraaf, WAM 88/1498; 
9, Mundaring, 31°54'S, 116°10'E, 3. vii. 1928, E. 
Riley, WAM 28/665. 

Zachria oblonga L. Koch 
(Figs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) 

Zachria oblonga L. Koch, 1875: 651, pi. 52, fig. 4. 
Holotype 9, Sydney, New South Wales, ZMH 
(Mus. Godeffroy Nr 11022), examined. A second 
9 in NMV (K-0955), [where a small part of the 
Godeffroy coll. is housed] not mentioned in Koch 
(1875), also has the number 11022 but is without 
further data. 

Zachria haemorrhoidalis L. Koch, 1875: 653, pi. 52, 
fig. 5. Hogg, 1902: 454. Syntypes, 2 juveniles, 
Sydney, New South Wales, ZMH (Mus. Godeffroy 
Nr 11021), not examined. 


Abdomen may have a dark narrow stripe dorsally. 
Female anterior leg ratios between 3 and 3.5. Fossa 


FIGURES 8-17. Zachria and Eodelena; carapace, sternum, maxillae, labium and palp. Figs 8-10, Z. oblonga, NMV 
K-0956: 8, carapace, dorsal; 9, carapace and chelicera, lateral; 10, sternum, labium and left maxilla. Figs 11-13, E. 
spenceri: 11, carapace, dorsal; 12, carapace, lateral; 13, sternum, labium and left maxilla. Fig. 14, E. convexa, carapace, 
lateral. Figs 15-17, E. lapidicola: 15, carapace; 16, left palp of holotype male, prolateral; 17, sternum, labium and 
left maxilla. Scale line 1mm. 


broad, rounded anteriorly; spermathecal sacs long, 
extending well to anterior of fossa; insemination 
ducts coiled V/i times. 

Holotype female 

CL 9.75, CW 8.40. AL 15.50, AW 8.70. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellow-orange, caput 
reddish. Chelicerae dark red-brown to blackish. 
Maxillae and labium reddish. Sternum yellowish. 
Legs yellow-brown, metatarsi and tarsi reddish. 
Abdomen dark yellowish dorsally; venter yellow. 

Carapace: gently rounded sides, somewhat 
flattish medially, 4/2 times longer than high. Eyes: 
AME 0.50. AME: ALE: PME: PLE - 1: 1.2: 0.7: 
0.8. Interspaces AME-AME 0.8, AME-ALE 0.6, 
PME-PME 1.8, PME-PLE 2.0, AME-PME 1, ALE- 
PLE 1.4. MOQ, aw: pw: 1 = 2.8: 3.2: 2.8. Width 
of clypeus to AME 0.6. Sternum: L 4.74, W 3.07. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 3.1, II = 3.5. 

Epigynum: (Fig. 4). With broad thinly sclerotized 
lateral sides. Fossa whitish allowing the long tubular 
spermathecal sacs to be seen beneath. Vulva of 
NMV K-0956 (Figs 5, 6) with insemination ducts 
coiled l'/2 times. 

Description of male modified from L. Koch (1876) 

CL 8.0, CW 6.5. AL 9.0 AW ca 6.0 (not as broad 
as carapace). 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace brown-yellow, ocular 
area with black-brown patches; adpressed setae 
yellow, upright setae black. Chelicerae black-brown; 
setae grey-yellow; black bristles. Maxillae and 
labium pale reddish-brown. Sternum pale yellow; 
setae concolourous. Abdomen dorsally with yellow 
setae, deep blackish narrowing long stripe, 
anteriorly indistinct, posteriorly blackish and 
reaching to spinnerets; venter pale yellow with white 
setae forming stripes. Spinnerets brown-yellow; 
black setae. Palps brown-yellow, cymbium black- 
brown with grey-yellow setae. Leg femora brownish- 
yellow, remaining segments (patellae to tarsi) light 
reddish-brown; adpressed setae yellow, upright long 
setae black; scopula blackish-grey. 

Carapace: 0.15 mm longer than broad, low, 
dorsally flat; fovea shallow, long but not reaching 
posterior declivity. Eyes: both eye rows straight; 
AME almost their diameter apart, AME-ALE also 
almost width of AME apart, ALE as large as AME. 
Legs: Anterior leg ratios (ca) I - 3.5, II = 3.7. 

Palps: From the illustration given by L. Koch (pi. 
73, fig. 3) the embolus appears to be narrow and 
coiled once distally while the conductor is thick and 
also coiled once distally. The palp resembles that 
of Eodelena but the embolus and conductor extend 
further proximally in the alveolus of the cymbium 
and the tibial apophysis appears larger and more 


Carapace length of females 8.12-9.15, mean 8.52 
(n=4). While most specimens examined are without 
pattern (partly due to age as the holotype is without 
a median stripe, though this was clearly figured by 
L. Koch, 1875) the abdomen of one specimen is with 
a brown longitudinal median streak which is darker 
in the posterior half. 

Distribution and remarks 

(Fig. 7). Known only from Sydney, New South 
Wales. Females are separated from Z. flavicoma by 
the relatively longer legs, the usual presence of a 
dark dorsal stripe on the abdomen, fossa broader, 
more rounded anteriorly, longer spermathecal sacs 
and insemination ducts with slightly greater coiling. 

L. Koch (1876, p. 850; pi. 73, fig. 3) described 
and figured a male collected by Daemels from 
Xanthorrhoea (grass-tree), Sydney. The institution 
in which it was deposited was not given nor are its 
whereabouts known. It is not a type. A redescription 
modified from L. Koch is given above. 

Other material examined 

New South Wales: 9, Scouts Gully, Gordon, 
Sydney, 19. xii. 1948, A. Musgrave, AM KS16609; 
9, Sydney, AM KS20788; 9, 1891, W. K„ NMV 

Species Transferred 

Jarvi (1912) transferred Typostola magnifica 
Hogg (1902) to Zachria on the similarity of the 
female vulva. That combination is not supported 
by the following characters: the carapace of T. 
magnifica is higher, ALE are larger than the AME 
and legs are relatively longer with some metatarsi 
longer than the relevant tibiae. Here Z. magnifica 
is transferred back to Typostola Simon. 

Genus Eodelena Hogg 

Eodelena Hogg, 1902: 464. Simon, 1908: 435. 
Zachria: Simon, 1903: 1024. Bonnet, 1959: 4907. 


Low flattish to slightly raised convex carapace, 
usually wider than long, occasionally longer than 
wide. AME largest, closer to each other than to 
ALE. Anterior legs about four to five times 
carapace length. Male embolus with tip barely 
coiled once. Female epigynum small, weakly 
sclerotized. Spermathecal sacs absent. 


Medium to large spiders; low flat carapace with 
shallow, often indistinct fovea in circular depression 
or with slightly convex carapace and fovea a long 


shallow groove. Anterior eye row straight, posterior 
row straight to slightly procurved; AME largest, 
PME smallest, laterals subequal. Clypeus half width 
of AME or less. Chelicerae with two promarginal 
teeth; three or four, rarely five, retromarginal teeth, 
proximal tooth small, others subequal, subdistal 
tooth usually larger. Labium 1 Vi times wider than 
long. Sternum truncate anteriorly, bluntly pointed 
posteriorly; widest between coxae II at l A its length 
from anterior and barely longer than wide in the 
ratio 5:4, except E. lapidicola in which it is longer 
than wide and widest mid-length. Legs 2143. Leg 
I, when outstretched alongside leg II, reaches mid- 
way along metatarsus II. Dorsal tibial spines 
usually lacking, patellae usually without spines 
except retrolaterally on II. Tibiae ventrally with 
three spine pairs except IV which often has two, 
lacking the distal pair. Metatarsi IV without distal 
lateral spines. Palp femur with two or three dorsal 
and one prolateral spine, usually short, thin, except 
E. lapidicola which lacks palpal femur spines. All 
leg spines relatively short except metatarsi IV ventral 
spines which are longer. Legs usually with long erect 
setae but few adpressed setae. Scopula relatively 
long, sparse, on all metatarsi and tarsi. Abdomen 
may be flattened dorsoventrally, dorsal pattern 
consists of dark spots, or blackish with pale spots. 
Male cymbium may be with two or three prolateral 
spines or stout long bristles. Male palpal tibia with 
short retrolateral apophysis with small membranous 
support. Embolus long; from its base arcing around 
tegulum, running along prolateral side of cymbium 
before looping near tip for almost one complete 
turn. Conductor begins at prolateral side of tegulum 
following route of embolus to support tip of 
embolus. Embolic sclerite present with apex 
attenuated or rounded. Female epigynum small; 
well defined but weakly sclerotized lateral edges 
overhanging whitish fossa; lacking setae medially 
but with setae extending between sclerotized lateral 
sides at anterior edge of fossa. Fossa recessed 
anteriorly, whitish, posteriorly with pigmented 
'plateau' formed by fusion of insemination duct 
bases to fossa. Vulva with one to one and a half 
insemination duct coils; spermathecal sacs absent. 

Type species 

Eodelena spenceri Hogg, 1902 by original 
designation and monotypy. 


Eodelena is removed from Zachria as it differs 
in the AME being larger than the ALE with the 
AME closer to each other than to the ALE, the 
carapace wider than long or at least not significantly 
longer than wide, most metatarsi longer than the 
tibiae and in the female by the absence of 
spermathecal sacs. Eodelena is similar in 

appearance to Delena from which it can be 
separated by the latter having in the male a highly 
coiled embolus and by the female having a larger 
fossa containing numerous setae medially. E. 
lapidicola is most similar to Delena in its large size, 
in having the carapace longer than wide, the 
sternum noticeably longer than wide and widest 
mid-length (Fig. 17), and a lack of distal spines on 
the palpal femur. It differs from Delena in having 
broader eye rows (Fig. 15), relatively shorter legs, 
longer palpal femur, and more leg spines in addition 
to the above genitalic differences. 

Eodelena convexa is least likely to be confused 
with Delena and other Eodelena species as it 
possesses a convex carapace (Fig. 14) and more 
spinose legs. As in E. lapidicola, E. convexa has the 
carapace slightly longer than broad. The remaining 
Eodelena species have the carapace wider than long 
(Fig. 11) and with convexa, the sternum only slightly 
longer than wide and widest about l A from the 
anterior edge (Fig. 13). 

A key to the female Eodelena species is given but 
with the exception of E. convexa and E. lapidicola, 
care is required in their diagnosis as colour, size and 
epigynum shape are very similar and variable. E. 
kosciuskoensis and E. loftiensis differ from other 
known females in the fertilization and insemination 
duct coiling while E. loftiensis differs from E. 
kosciuskoensis in the slightly higher carapace and 
abdomen pattern. The female of E. tasmaniensis 
is separated from those of E. melanochelis and E. 
spenceri by the general darker colour and the 
smaller epigynum with more compact insemination 
duct coils and E. melanochelis differs from E. 
spenceri in its smaller size and the narrower 

Key To The Species Of Eodelena 


Carapace wider than long 2 

Carapace longer than wide 5 

Embolic sclerite with attenuate or acute apex (Figs 

20,23) 3 

Embolic sclerite with rounded apex (Fig. 24). . 


Embolic sclerite narrow; apex attenuate (Fig. 20) 

spenceri Hogg 

Embolic sclerite broad, short bluntly pointed apex 

(Fig. 23) melanochelis (Strand) 

Carapace convex but low, abdomen with scattered 
blackish spots. Embolic base large, angular 
retrolaterally (Fig. 26); embolic sclerite small.. 

loftiensis sp. nov. 

Carapace flatfish, abdomen with numerous 
blackish spots. Embolic base rounded 
retrolaterally; embolic sclerite relatively large (Fig. 
24) tasmaniensis sp. nov. 


FIGURES 18-25. Left palpal tibia and tarsus, and embolic sclerite of male Eodelena. Figs 18-20, E. spencen y holotype: 
18, ventral; 19, retrolateral; 20, embolic sclerite. Figs 21-23, E. melanochelis, SAMA N1989589: 21, ventral; 22, retrolateral; 
23, embolic sclerite. Figs 24-25, E. tasmaniensis, holotype: 24, ventral; 25, retrolateral. Scale line 0.5 mm except 20 
and 23, 0.25 mm. 


— Carapace convex, 4-6 mm long. Palpal femur with 
distal spines; palpal tarsus 2x longer than tibia, 
without prolateral spines convexa sp. nov. 

— Carapace flat, 8-12 mm long. Palpal femur without 
distal spines; palpal tarsus subequal in length to 

tibia, with prolateral spines (Fig. 16) 

lapidicola sp. nov. 


1 — Carapace wider than long, usually less than 8 mm 

long 2 

— Carapace longer than wide, 8-12 mm long 

lapidicola sp. nov. 

2 — Fertilization ducts not enlarged to form coil, 

insemination ducts thin, membranous (Fig. 41) 

— Fertilization ducts enlarged to form robust coil, 
insemination ducts partly or wholly sclerotized 
(Fig. 47) 5 

3 — Abdomen yellowish with patches of dark suffusion 


— Abdomen largely with dark suffusion 

tasmaniensis sp. nov. 

4 — Epigynum broad, sides parallel anteriorly (Fig. 40) 

spenceri Hogg 

— Epigynum narrow, sides incurved anteriorly (Fig. 
42) melanochelis (Strand) 

5 — Carapace flattish, abdomen with dark suffusion 

kosciuskoensis sp. nov. 

— Carapace slightly convex, abdomen spotted 

loftiensis sp. nov. 

Eodelena spenceri Hogg 
(Figs 7, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 33, 39, 40, 41) 

Eodelena spenceri Hogg, 1902: 464, fig. 104. 

Syntypes, <y and immature 9 , King Island 

[39°55'S, 144°00'E], Bass Strait, Australia, 1888, 

Professor Baldwin Spencer, BMNH 1888.144, 


Zachria spenceri: Simon, 1903: 1024. 


Male with relatively narrow embolic sclerite with 
apex long, attenuated. Female epigynum relatively 
parallel-sided anteriorly and as broad as long. 

Syntype male 

CL 5.90, CW 6.10. AL 6.70, AW 5.05. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellow-brown, striae 
brown but may be an artefact of preservation, caput 
yellowish with reddish lateral margins and ocular 
area. Chelicerae reddish; sparse long yellow-brown 
setae. Maxillae and labium orange-red. Sternum 
yellow; setae yellow-white. Coxae yellowish. Legs 
yellow-brown; femora yellowish ventrally, anterior 
tibiae and metatarsi orange-brown. Palpal tarsi 
orange-brown. Abdomen yellow-brown with brown- 
black suffusion forming spots. 

Carapace: 6 to 7 times longer than high, highest 
posterior to fovea. Fovea indistinct in shallow 
depression. Chelicerae: retromarginal teeth 4. Eyes: 
AME 0.38. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 0.79: 0.63: 
0.84. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.82, AME-ALE 1.26, 
PME-PME 2.21, PME-PLE 1.95, AME-PME 0.79, 
ALE-PLE 0.84. MOQ, aw: pw: 1 = 2.82: 3.47: 2.53. 
Width of clypeus to AME 0.32. Labium: L 0.91, 
W 1.31. Sternum: L 3.19, W 3.18. Legs: anterior leg 
ratios I = 4.7, II = 5.9. Upright setae sparse. 

Palps: (Figs 18, 19). Embolic sclerite relatively 
narrow with long attenuate apex (Fig. 20). 

Female TM J145 (as male except as follows) 

CL 6.89, CW 7.14. AL 10.25, AW 7.20. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellowish, striae 
reddish, ocular area and lateral margins of caput 
reddish. Chelicerae dark reddish-brown; setae 
yellow-brown. Maxillae and labium orange-red. 
Sternum yellow, margins reddish. Leg coxae and 
femora yellowish, anterior metatarsi and tarsi 
orange-red. Palps orange-red. Abdomen (Fig. 33) 
yellow-brown with anterior yellow streak, blackish 
suffusion forming spots; venter yellow, blackish 
suffusion medially. 

Eyes: AME 0.41. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.78: 0.63: 0.73. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.83, 
AME-ALE 1.37, PME-PME 2.29, PME-PLE 2.07, 
AME-PME 0.83, ALE-PLE 0.95. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 = 2.83: 3.56: 2.46. Width of clypeus to AME 0.27. 
Labium: L 0.96, W 1.58. Sternum: L 3.67, W 3.47. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 4.1, II = 5.1. 

Epigynum: (Fig. 41). Narrow anteriorly, broadest 


Carapace length of males 5.02-9.37, mean 6.99 
(n = 8). The embolic sclerite may have much of the 
attenuate apex broken off or rounded, but along 
with the sclerite shape, remains distinct from E. 
melanochelis. Carapace length of females 5.78-8.50, 
mean 7.50 (n - 5). The usual form of the epigynum 
(Figs 39, 40) is broader anteriorly but is somewhat 
variable and occasionally may be similar to E. 
melanochelis in having the lateral sides curving 
inwards anteriorly (Fig. 41) rather than being 
parallel. The vulva has l'/2 insemination duct coils. 


(Fig. 7). King Island, 
and eastern Tasmania. 

Bass Strait and northern 

Other material examined 

Tasmania: 9, Blackmans Bay, 42°52 / S, 
147°51 E, 1924, SAMA N1989573; penult, a, same 
data, SAMA N1989574; a-, Hermit Camp, 


FIGURES 26-32. Left palpal tibia and tarsus, and embolic sclerite of male Eodelena. Figs 26-27, E. loftiensis, holotype: 
26, ventral; 27, retrolateral. Figs 28-30, E. convexa, holotype: 28, ventral; 29, retrolateral; 30, embolic sclerite. Figs 
31-32, E. lapidicola, holotype: 31, ventral; 32, retrolateral. Scale line 0.5 mm except 30, 0.25 mm. 



(?Hermit Valley = 42°51'S, 146°09'E), 19. iii. 
1972, H.D. B., A.P. A., TM J790; 4 a or, Islands, 
Bass Strait, Dec. 1908, J. A. Kershaw, NMV; 3 9 9, 
King Island, 39°55'S, 144°00 / E, Dec. 1906, J. A. 
Kershaw, NMV K-0957; or, Lake St Clair, 42°04'S, 
146°10'E, Oct. 1937, A. W. G. Powell, TM J278; 
juv., Taroona, 42°57'S, 147°20 / E, 15. ii. 1978, J. 
Parrott, TM J1296; o\ 9, Trevallyn, Launceston, 
41°27 / S, 147°10'E, V. V. Hickman, TM J145. 
Further material of 1 9, 2 crcr, 1 juv., labelled 
Adelaide, Jan. 1924, Cameron W, SAMA 
N1989575-8, is also considered to be from 
Tasmania. The locality 'Adelaide' is typed on a 
separate label while the hand written label with date 
and collector is similar to that of the Blackmans 
Bay specimens (also dated 1924). 

Eodelena melanochelis (Strand) comb. nov. 
(Figs 7, 21, 22, 23, 34, 42, 43) 

Female SAMA N1989592 (as male except as follows) 

CL 6.70, CW 7.20. AL 10.45, AW 7.30. 

Colour in alcohol: Caput with orange-red lateral 
margins and around ocular area; orange-red 
suffusion medially, dark red-brown between ALE- 
PLE and between AME. AH eyes with blackish 
rims. Chelicerae glossy blue-black. Maxillae and 
labium orange-red, maxillae with dark brown 
prolateral patch. Sternum creamy-yellow. Abdomen 
(Fig. 34). 

Eyes: AME 0.40. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.88: 0.70: 0.90. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.93, 
AME-ALE 1.38, PME-PME 2.18, PME-PLE 2.20, 
AME-PME 0.85, ALE-PLE 0.90. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 = 2.93: 3.58: 2.40. Width of clypeus to AME 0.33. 
Labium: L 1.00, W 1.58. Sternum: L 3.79, W 3.51. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 4.0, II = 4.8. 

Epigynum: (Figs 42, 43). Broader in anterior half; 
posterior *plateau' long with procurved anterior 
edge. Vulva with a little over one complete coil of 
the insemination duct. 

Zachria melanochelis Strand, 1913: 204. Holotype 
9, Victoria. H. and A. Eberhard. Whereabouts 


Male embolic sclerite broad with a short, bluntly 
pointed apex. Female epigynum relatively long and 

Male SAMA N1989589 

CL 7.42, CW 7.71. AL 7.65, AW 5.20. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace creamy-yellow, caput 
reddish on lateral margins and around posterior eye 
row; clypeus and around anterior eye row dark red- 
brown. Chelicerae black. Maxillae and labium 
reddish. Sternum yellow. Coxae and basal half of 
femora creamy-yellow, remainder of leg segments 
orange-yellow, darker on metatarsi and tarsi. 
Abdomen yellow-brown with blackish suffusion 
forming spots. Venter with median pale yellow area 
with blackish suffusion. 

Carapace: Low; sides gently sloping, flattish 
medially, 6 to 7 times longer than high, highest 
posterior to fovea. Fovea in shallow depression. 
Eyes: AME 0.46. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.78: 0.61: 0.78. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.70, 
AME-ALE 1.26, PME-PME 2.22, PME-PLE 2.06, 
AME-PME 0.67, ALE-PLE 0.85. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 - 2.70:3.43:2.13. Width of clypeus to AME 0.19. 
Labium: L 1.02, W 1.45. Sternum: L 3.98, W 3.59. 
Broadest l A length from anterior. Legs: anterior leg 
ratios I = 4.4, II = 5.4. Upright setae sparse. 

Palps: (Figs 21, 22). Embolic sclerite broad with 
short bluntly pointed apex (Fig. 23). 


Carapace lengths of males 5.66-7.42, mean 6.45 
(n = 5). Carapace lengths of females 5.34-6.90, mean 
6.16 (n = 7). One female from Icy Creek with much 
darker abdomen more similar in pattern to E. 

Distribution and remarks 

(Fig. 7). Occurs in southern Victoria to the alpine 
area of Mt Buffalo. E. melanochelis is very common 
in the Dandenong Ranges where it is found in 
lengths of tightly rolled bark hanging from 
Eucalyptus or from the undergrowth beneath 
Eucalyptus. The male differs from E. spenceri in 
the relatively shorter, and broader embolic sclerite 
with short pointed apex and the female by the 
smaller size and narrower epigynum with lateral 
sides curved inwards anteriorly. 

The redescription is from recently collected 
material which is considered to have come from 
near the type locality. Although the collectors of 
the type material were from Melbourne, a specimen 
of Lampona obscoena L. Koch from Gippsland, 
Victoria, was mentioned in the same paper. It may 
be assumed that the types of melanochelis came 
from within those areas. 

Material examined 

Victoria: 9, Belgrave, 37°55'S, 145°21'E, 12. vi. 
1989, D. Hirst, SAMA N1989592; 9, same data, 
SAMA N1989593; 9, Blackwood, 37°29'S, 
144°19'E, 26. vi. 1980, H. Parnaby, AM KS19695; 
9, juv., same locality, 10. x. 1977, H. Parnaby, AM 
KS19287; 9 and spiderling, Emerald, 37°56'S, 
145°27'E, 12. vi. 1989, D. Hirst, SAMA 



N1989594-5; 1 a, 2 9 9 , 4 km NE Icy Creek, 
37°51'S, 146°07'E, 11. vi. 1989, D. Hirst, SAMA 
N1989589-91; juv. Macclesfield district, ca 37°54'S, 
145°30'E, Aug. 1904, E, J., NMV; 2crc, camping 
area, Lake Catani, Mt Buffalo, 36°44'S, 146°49'E, 
21. ii. 1979, H. Parnaby, AM KS19288; cr, Pirron 
Yallock, 38°2rS, 143°24 / E, 19. vi. 1989, D. Hirst, 
SAMA N1989588; o*, no data, AM KS19289. 

Eodelena tasmaniensis sp. nov. 

(Figs 7, 24, 25, 35, 44, 45) 


Holotype: o*, Olga Valley, 42°43'S, 145°46'E, 
(HEC transect 2L.6445), south-west Tasmania, 20. 
i. 1977, C. Howard and G. Johnston, TM J1486. 

Allotype: 9, Wedge River, Gordon Road (ca 
42°45'S, 146°12'E) south-west Tasmania, 21. iii. 
1972, A.P. A. and H.D. B., TM J789. 

Paratypes: cr, Junction Creek, W. Arthur Plains, 
43°07'S, 146°18 / E, 8. ii. 1966, Neboiss, NMV 
K-0915; 9, same data, NMV K-0916. 


Abdomen blackish with small yellowish spots. 
Male embolic sclerite with broad rounded apex. 
Female epigynum horse-shoe shaped in anterior 

Holotype male 

CL 5.25, CW 5.26. AL 6.10, AW 4.40. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace orange-red with 
brown suffusion on lateral edges, striae and ocular 
area; numerous short dark brown setae around 
fovea. Chelicerae dark red-brown to blackish. 
Maxillae and labium orange-brown. Sternum 
yellowish. Legs yellow proximally; orange-red on 
femora distally and to tarsi. Abdomen dorsally with 
pale areas largely obscured by dark pigment. Venter 
dark with pale bordered median area containing 
dark pigment. 

Carapace: Flattish, 6.5 to 7 times longer than 
high, highest posterior to fovea. Fovea indistinct in 
shallow depression. Eyes: AME 0.38. AME: ALE: 
PME: PLE = 1: 0.79: 0.58: 0.68. Interspaces: AME- 
AME 0.68, AME-ALE 0.97, PME-PME 1.79, PME- 
PLE 1.63, AME-PME 0.66, ALE-PLE 0.74. MOQ, 
aw: pw: 1 = 2.58: 3.00: 2.05. Width of clypeus to 
AME 0.21. Labium: L 0.70, W 1.12. Sternum: L 
2.80, W 2.62. Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 4.2, II 
= 5.2. 

Palps: (Figs 24, 25). Palpal tibial apophysis 
relatively longer than in preceding species. Embolic 
sclerite with broadly rounded apex. Embolus 
relatively short, distally with less than a 3 4 turn. 

Allotype female (as holotype except as follows) 

CL 6.32, CW 6.29. AL 9.24, AW 6.30. 

Colour in alcohol: Abdomen (Fig. 35). 

Eyes: AME 0.40. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.80: 0.65: 0.75. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.85, 
AME-ALE 1.40, PME-PME 2.35, PME-PLE 1.95, 
AME-PME 0.75, ALE-PLE 1.00. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 = 2.85: 3.65: 2.35. Width of clypeus to AME 0.3. 
Labium: L 0.86, W 1.38. Sternum: L 3.17, W 3.06. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 3.7, II = 4.6. 

Epigynum: (Fig. 44). Small, somewhat rounded 
in anterior half. 


Carapace length of males 4.41-7.03, mean 5.72 
(n=2). Carapace length of females 5.91-7.25, mean 
6.52 (n = 3). Vulva of paratype NMV K-0916 (Fig. 
45) with small compact insemination ducts. 

Distribution and remarks 

Known only from south-western Tasmania (Fig. 
7). While the much darker general colour separates 
this species from the only other known Tasmanian 
species, E. spenceri, specimens of £1 kosciuskoensis 
from the southern alpine area of NSW are also of 
comparable dark colouring but differ from E. 
tasmaniensis in the robust fertilization ducts. E. 
tasmaniensis differs from E. spenceri in the broad, 
rounded embolic sclerite in the male and the 
relatively small, rounded fossa of the female. 

Other material examined 

Tasmania: o*, penult, cr, 3 juv., Franklin River 
area, 42°27'25"S, 145°43'45"E, 14. i. 1983, 
ANZSES Exped., QM S14146; 9, juv., same 
locality, Jan., 1983, ANZSES Exped., QM S14147; 
penult, cr, Maatsuyker Island, 43°39 / S, 146°16'E, 
10. xi. 1970, P. Rawlinson, TM J712; 9, Picton area 
(az43°10'S, 146°40'E), 27. xi. 1962, C. McCubbin, 
NMV; juv., same data as allotype, TM J789. 


The name reflects its known distribution as being 
endemic to Tasmania. 

Eodelena kosciuskoensis sp. nov. 
(Figs 7, 48, 49) 


Holotype: 9 , inside curled shed ribbon bark of 
eucalypt, on ground, 12 km S Thredbo (36°30'S, 
148°19'E), Grid 147 476 on 1:100,000, New South 
Wales, 31. xii. 1983, H. Parnaby, AM KS19286. 


(Male unknown). Carapace flattish. Abdomen 







FIGURES 33-38. Eodelena abdomens, dorsal pattern. 33, E. spenceri, TM J145, female; 34, E. melanochelis, SAMA 
NI989593, female; 35, E. tasmaniensis, allotype female; 36, E. toftiensis, allotype female; 37, E. convexa, holotype 
male; 38, E. lapidicola, allotype female. Scale line 1 mm. 



dark coloured. Female with robust fertilization 
ducts and small sclerotized insemination duct coils. 


CL 5.18, CW 5.77. (Abdomen damaged) AL ca 
7.0, AW ca 5.0. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellow-brown, 
margins of caput orange-brown, ocular area and 
clypeus with dark brown suffusion; setae brown. 
Chelicerae brown-black. Maxillae and labium 
orange-brown. Sternum yellow with orangish 
margins; sparse greyish setae. Coxae yellow; grey 
setae. Leg femora yellowish; patellae to tarsi orange- 
brown. Abdomen with epidermis partly lifted, 
yellow-brown with blackish suffusion. 

Eyes: AME 0.35. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.71: 0.6: 0.74. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.74, AME- 
ALE 1.14, PME-PME 2.11, PME-PLE 1.89, AME- 
PME 0.86, ALE-PLE 0.91. MOQ, aw: pw: 1 = 2.74: 
3.31: 2.46. Width of clypeus to AME 0.29. Labium: 
L 0.79, W 1.25. Sternum: L 3.02, W 2.84. Legs: 
anterior leg ratios I = 4.5, II = 5.6. 

Epigynum: Rounded in anterior half, slightly 
narrowing towards posterior (Fig. 48). Fertilization 
ducts robust and heavily sclerotized (Fig. 49). 

Distribution and remarks 

(Fig. 7). Known only from within the Kosciusko 
National Park, New South Wales, hence the specific 
epithet. The holotype female is damaged and the 
abdomen pattern partly destroyed by lifting of the 
epidermis. Two juveniles from Tumut Reservoir have 
even darker abdomens. E. kosciuskoensis differs 
from E. loftiensis in the smaller, robust fertilization 
ducts and insemination ducts, the flatter carapace 
and darker abdomen pattern. 

Other material examined 

New South Wales: 2 juv., Tumut Reservoir, 
35°58'S, 148°25'E, 22. v. 1988, D. Hirst, SAMA 

Eodelena loftiensis sp. nov. 
(Figs 7, 26, 27, 36, 46, 47) 


Holotype: o*, in rolled bark, Loftia Park, 
35°02 / S, 138°42'E, Mount Lofty Ranges, South 
Australia, 14. ix. 1989, J. A. Forrest, SAMA 

Allotype: 9, same data as holotype, but L. N. 
Nicolson, SAMA N1989580. 

Paratypes: 9, same data as holotype, but D. 
Hirst, SAMA N1989582; 9, under bark of 
Eucalyptus, Loftia Park, South Australia, 25. iii. 
1984, R. V. Southcott, SAMA N1989581; or, Loftia 

Park, in rolled bark with immature female, 27. iii. 
1990, D. Hirst, SAMA N1989616. 


Carapace low, slightly convex. Abdomen pale 
with numerous small blackish spots. Male embolic 
base large, angular retrolaterally; embolic sclerite 
small, apex bluntly extended and rounded. Female 
with small insemination ducts coiled one and a half 
times and enlarged fertilization ducts coiled once. 

Holotype male 

CL 3.34, CW 3.59. AL 4.19, AW 2.68. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace creamy-yellow; 
brown suffusion on lateral sides; caput with yellow 
lateral margins, clypeus and ocular area orangish; 
dark brown in median ocular quadrangle. 
Chelicerae dark red-brown. Labium orange, 
maxillae yellow with orange patch prolaterally. 
Sternum yellowish. Coxae and femora proximally 
creamy, remainder of legs orange-red but tarsi 
yellow-brown. Abdomen pale yellow-brown with 
spots formed by dark setae and pigment, yellowish 
anterior streak; venter yellow-brown. 

Carapace: Low convex, 5 times longer than high, 
highest posterior to fovea. Fovea indistinct in 
shallow depression. Setae relatively long. Eyes: 
AME 0.25. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 0.8: 0.72: 
0.83. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.76, AME-ALE 
0.78, PME-PME 1.84, PME-PLE 1.64, AME-PME 
0.79, ALE-PLE 0.92. MOQ, aw: pw: 1 = 2.76: 3.28: 
2.44. Width of clypeus to AME 0.36. Chelicerae: 
retromargin with 3 subequal teeth. Labium: L 0.45, 
W 0.82. Sternum: L 1.82, W 1.92. Legs: anterior 
leg ratios I = 4.8, II = 7.6. 

Palps: (Figs 26, 27). Tibial apophysis long, thin, 
slightly curved. Embolic base large retrolaterally, 
embolic sclerite with rounded apex. 

Allotype female (as holotype except as follows) 
CL 5.02, CW 5.18. AL 10.50, AW 6.92. 
Colour in alcohol: Chelicerae blackish, shiny. 
Maxillae orangish; brown prolateral patch. Sternum 
creamy-yellow. Metatarsi reddish. Abdomen (Fig. 

Eyes: AME 0.36. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.75: 0.67: 0.72. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.72, 
AME-ALE 1.06, PME-PME 1.94, PME-PLE 2.03, 
AME-PME 0.69, ALE-PLE 1.06. MOQ, aw: pw: 

I = 2.72:3.28:2.28. Width of clypeus to AME 0.17. 
Chelicerae: left chelicera with 4 teeth, basal minute, 
others subequal. Labium: L 0.71, W 1.19. Sternum: 
L 2.61, W 2.52. Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 4.2, 

II - 5.2. Upright setae more numerous than in the 

Epigynum: (Figs 46, 47). Relatively shorter and 
broader than other species, somewhat parallel sided. 
Vulva with small insemination ducts coiled Wi 







FIGURES 39-51. Eodelena female epigyna and vulvae, cleared. Figs 39-41, E. spenceri: 39, epigynum and vulva 
of NMV K-0957, ventral; 40, vulva of NMV K-0957, dorsal; 41, epigynum of TM J145. Figs 42-43, E. melanochelis, 
SAMA N1989592: 42, epigynum and vulva, ventral; 43, vulva, dorsal. Figs 44-45, E. tasmaniensis, paratype NMV 
K-0916: 44, epigynum and vulva, ventral; 45, vulva, dorsal. Figs 46-47, E. loftiensis, paratype SAMA N1989581: 46, 
epigynum and vulva, ventral; 47, vulva, dorsal. Figs 48-49, E. kosciuskoensis, holotype: 48, epigynum and vulva, 
ventral; 49, vulva, dorsal. Figs 50-51, E. lapidicola, paratype WAM 88/1979: 50, epigynum and vulva, ventral; 51, 
vulva, dorsal. Scale line 0.5 mm. id, insemination duct; fd, fertilization duct. 



times and enlarged fertilization ducts with one coil, 
together appearing as being continuously coiled 2Vi 


Carapace length of paratype male 3.56. Carapace 
length of females 4.40-5.46, mean 4.78 (n = 7). 

Distribution and remarks 

E. loftiensis is considered to be restricted to the 
high rainfall areas of the Mount Lofty Ranges in 
South Australia (Fig. 7). The specific epithet refers 
to the type locality, Loftia Park. Two females were 
collected with egg-sacs, one subsequently being 
destroyed. Eggs are loosely held in place against the 
substrate by a thin covering of silk from which they 
are easily dislodged. Differs from other species in 
the male having the embolic base enlarged 
retrolaterally, angular in shape, and the female 
having enlarged fertilization ducts. 

Other material examined 

South Australia: 5 9 9, Loftia Park, 21. ix. 1989, 
D. Hirst, N. Nicolson, C. Bonnielle, SAMA 
N1989583-7; penult, a, same data, SAMA 

Eodelena convexa sp. nov. 
(Figs 7, 14, 28, 29, 30, 37) 


Holotype: a, Wanneroo, 31°45'S, 115°48'E, 
Western Australia, 23. iii. 1979, E. Bruen, WAM 

Paratopes: o\ Dianella, 34°12 / S, 115°04'E, 
Western Australia, 25. iii. 1976, A. Harding, WAM 
88/1644; c, Gomm Spring, 34°09'S, 115°24 / E, 28 
km E by N of Karridale, Western Australia, 24. iv. 
1983, E. S. Nielsen, E. D. Edwards, ANIC; cr, 
Jandakot, Perth, Western Australia, Mar. 1977, 
R. P. McMillan, WAM 88/2136. 


(Female unknown). Carapace low convex; width 
subequal to length. Abdomen pale with faint 
pattern, embolic base rounded, embolic sclerite 

Holotype mate 

CL 4.50, CW 4.45. AL 6.20, AW 4.10. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellow, caput darker, 
clypeus and ocular area reddish, dark brown 
pigment around eyes. Chelicerae dark reddish, 
darker near fang base. Maxillae and labium yellow- 
brown. Sternum yellow. Legs yellowish proximally; 
metatarsi and tarsi yellow-orange. Palps yellow- 
brown. Abdomen (Fig. 37) dorsally yellowish with 

faint reddish-brown markings; venter pale yellow. 
Spinnerets yellow-brown. 

Carapace: Low convex, about 4 times longer than 
high, highest medially. Fovea a long shallow groove. 
Eyes: AME 0.34. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.76: 0.76: 0.76. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.65, 
AME-ALE 0.70, PME-PME 1.53, PME-PLE 1.53, 
AME-PME 1.00, ALE-PLE 0.76. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 = 2.59: 3.06: 2.35. Width of clypeus to AME 0.47. 
Labium: L 0.59, W 0.94. Sternum: L 2.34, W 2.26. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I = 4.8, II = 5.5. 

Palps: (Figs 28, 29). Palpal tibial apophysis 
positioned more dorsally, broader at base with an 
acutely pointed apex. Embolic base high, rounded. 
Embolic sclerite small; apex rounded with crenulate 
appearance (Fig. 30). 


Carapace length of paratype males 4.69, 4.85 and 
5.45. The apex of the embolic sclerite may have a 
smooth rounded appearance rather than crenulate, 
due to a more even distribution of pigment. 

Distribution and remarks 

(Fig. 7). Known only from the male, this species 
is found in south-west Western Australia. Differs 
from all other species by the pale abdomen with 
faint pattern and from the other known Western 
Australian species, E. lapidicola, by the convex 
carapace, smaller size, and the relative lengths and 
spination of palp segments. E. convexa is most 
similar to the male of E. loftiensis but the latter has 
the carapace wider than long and a retrolaterally 
angular embolic base. From the similar carapace 
shape and somewhat similar embolic base of E. 
convexa and E. loftiensis it is plausible to assume 
the female of convexa will also have a robust 
sclerotized vulva and the two species above, along 
with E. kosciuskoensis, may be originally derived 
from a single species which enjoyed a continuous 
southern distribution before becoming separated as 
a result of climatic changes. 


The specific epithet is in reference to the 
obviously convex carapace. 

Material examined 
Only the types. 

Eodelena lapidicola sp. nov. 
(Figs 7, 15, 16, 17, 31, 32, 38, 50, 51) 


Holotype: o\ Yallingup, 33°39'S, 115°02'E, 
Western Australia, 18. ii. 1974, L. E. Koch, WAM 




Allotype: 9, Bremer Bay, 34°26'S, 119°23'E, 
Western Australia, June 1976, WAM 88/1499. 

Paratypes: 9, Salisbury Island, 34°22 / S, 
123°33'E, Recherche Archipelago, Western 
Australia, 17. iv. 1982, Burbidge and Fuller, WAM 
88/1979; a, same data, WAM 88/1980. 


Distal spines on an unusually long palpal femur 
absent. Maxillae narrower in anterior half and 
sternum widest at mid-length. Male with palpal 
tarsus subequal in length to tibia. Female epigynum 
relatively broad and long with posterior 'plateau' 

Holotype male 

CL 11.67, CW 11.31. AL 13.50, AW 8.55. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellowish, caput 
margins and ocular area reddish; reddish suffusion. 
Chelicerae blackish; long yellowish setae. Maxillae 
and labium orange-red. Sternum yellow, margins 
reddish. Leg coxae and femora yellow; patellae to 
tarsi yellow-orange. Palps orange-red. Abdomen 
yellow-brown with blackish suffusion and brown 
setae forming pattern; venter pale yellow with 
orangish setae. 

Carapace: Flattened, 11 times longer than high, 
highest in ocular region. Fovea indistinct in large 
depression. Eyes: AME 0.53. AME: ALE: PME: 
PLE = 1: 0.87: 0.64: 0.83. Interspaces: AME-AME 
1.02, AME-ALE 2.04, PME-PME 2.87, PME-PLE 
3.04, AME-PME 0.79, ALE-PLE 1.21. MOQ, aw: 
pw: 1 - 3.02: 4.15: 2.38. Width of clypeus to AME 
0.38. Chelicerae: retromarginal teeth 4, distal well 
spaced from subdistal tooth. Labium: L 2.08, W 
2.28. Sternum: L 6.26, W 4.91. Legs: anterior leg 
ratios I = 3.9, II - 4.7. 

Palps: (Figs 31, 32). Palpal tarsus subequal in 
length to tibia (Fig. 16) with 3 prolateral spines. 
Embolic sclerite short; rounded apex not extending 
to prolateral side. 

Allotype female (as holotype except as follows) 

CL 11.48, CW 11.22. AL 14.00, AW 8.70. 

Colour in alcohol: Carapace yellow, caput with 
reddish ocular area and lateral margins. Chelicerae 
dark red-brown. Maxillae reddish but with yellowish 
patch posteriorly. Abdomen (Fig. 38). 

Eyes: AME 0.54. AME: ALE: PME: PLE = 1: 
0.89: 0.54: 0.78. Interspaces: AME-AME 0.91, 
AME-ALE 1.93, PME-PME 2.85, PME-PLE 2.91, 
AME-PME 0.74, ALE-PLE 1.22. MOQ, aw: pw: 
1 = 2.89:4.00:2.33. Width of clypeus to AME 0.28. 
Labium: L 1.90, W 2.22. Sternum: L 6.31, W 4.68. 
Legs: anterior leg ratios I - 3.7, II = 4.5. 

Epigynum: Relatively broad with 'plateau' of 
fossa short. Vulva of WAM 88/1979 (Figs 50, 51) 
with I Vi insemination duct coils. 


Carapace length of males 8.37-11.67, mean - 
10.52 (n = 3). Carapace length of females 8.82-11.99, 
mean = 10.07 (n = 7). 

Distribution and remarks 

Confined to offshore islands and moist coastal 
areas of south-west Western Australia (Fig. 7). It 
has been collected in most cases from under rocks. 
E. lapidicola differs from all other species in the 
shape of the carapace, sternum, maxillae and in the 
palp spination and short tarsus. 


The specific epithet refers to its habit of living 
under rocks. 

Other material examined 

Western Australia: 9, Bald Island, 34°55'S, 
118°27'E, 29. x. 1971, A. A. Burbidge, WAM 
88/1496; juv., same data, WAM 88/1497; a, under 
loose granite, Barker Bay, Albany district (probably 
Barker Inlet, 33°48'S, 121°20 / E, Esperance 
district), 28. i. 1965, R. Humphries, WAM 88/1495; 
9 Boxer Island, 34°00 / S, 121°4rE, Recherche 
Archipelago, 1950, V. Serventy, WAM 55/4996; 9, 
Cape Leeuwin, 34°22'S, 115°08'E, July 1914, 
W. B. Alexander, WAM 14/994; penult, o*, Eclipse 
Island, 35°H'S, 117°53'E, 27. i. 1938, A Blythe, 
WAM 38/141; 9, Figure of Eight Island, 34°02 / S, 
121°37'E, Recherche Archipelago, 1950, V. 
Serventy, WAM 55/4990; juv., Lucky Bay, Cape le 
Grand, 34°00'S, 122°14 / E, 19. v. 1977, R. P. 
McMillan, WAM 88/1545; juv., same data, WAM 
88/1546; penult, o% Salisbury Island, 34°22'S, 
123°33'E, 17. iv. 1972, N. McKenzie, WAM 
88/1978; 9, Two People Bay, 34°57'S, 118°irE, 
21. iv. 1982, G. T Smith, WAM 88/1581; juv., same 
data as holotype, WAM 88/1585. [The Recherche 
Archipelago material collected by V. Serventy was 
listed by Main (1954: 47) as Delena cancerides and 
field-notes on habits by V. Serventy were given.] 

Species Transferred 

Although the female syntype of Eodelena 
nigrifrons Simon (1908) has not been located, a 
juvenile syntype in ZMB has been examined and 
is considered to belong to Delena. Further material 
seen (unpubl. data) from SAMA and WAM shows 
Delena nigrifrons (Simon) to be a valid new 




I wish to thank the following people who gave assistance 
by providing material for study: Ms A. Green (TM), Dr 
M. Gray and Ms C. Horseman (AM), Mr P. Hillyard 
(BMNH), Ms McPhee and Mr G. Milledge (NMV), Dr 

G. Rack (ZMH), Dr R. Raven (QMB), Ms Waldock 
(WAM). The National Parks and Wildlife Service of South 
Australia kindly supplied a permit and Mr L. N. Nicolson, 
Ms C. Bonnielle and Ms J. Forrest assisted in the collection 
of valuable specimens. Funding was provided by an 
Australian Biological Resources Study grant. 


BONNET, P. 1959. 'Bibliographia Araneorum'. Vol. 2(5), 
pp. 4231-5058 (T-Z). Toulouse. 

HICKMAN, V. V. 1967. Some Common Tasmanian 
Spiders'. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart. 

HIRST, D. B. 1989a. A new genus of huntsman spider 
from south-eastern Australia. Transactions of the Royal 
Society of South Australia 113: 7-13. 

HIRST, D. B. 1989b. A revision of the genus Pediana in 
Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 
23(2): 113-126. 

HIRST, D. B. 1990. A review of the genus Isopeda in 
Australasia with descriptions of two new genera. 
Records of the South Australian Museum 24(1): 11-26. 

HOGG, H. R. 1902. On the Australasian spiders of the 
subfamily Sparassinae. Proceedings of the Zoological 
Society of London 2: 414-466. 

JARVI, T. H. 1912. Das Vaginalsystem der Sparassiden. 
I. Allgemeiner Teil. Annates Academiae Scientiarum 
Fennicae (A) 4(1): 1-113. 

KOCH, L. 1875. 'Die Arachniden Australiensrnach der 

Natur beschrieben und abgebildet', pp. 577-740. Bauer 

and Raspe: Niirnburg. 
KOCH, L. 1876. T)ie Arachniden Australiens, nach der 

Natur beschrieben und abgebildet', pp. 741-888. Bauer 

and Raspe: Nurnberg. 
MAIN, B. Y. 1954. Part 6. Spiders and Opiliones. In 

Australian Geographical Society reports No. 1. The 

Archipelago of the Recherche. 
LATREILLE, P. A. 1804. Tableau methodique des 

Insectes. Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle 24: 

SIMON, E. 1903. 'Histoire naturelle des Araignees'. Vol. 

2 (4): 669-1080. Paris. 
SIMON, E. 1908. Araneae. Premiere partie. In W. 

Michaelsen and R. Hartmeyer (Eds). Die Fauna 

Siidwest-Australiens*. Vol. 1 (12). Fischer, Jena. 
STRAND, E. 1913. Uber einige australische Spinnen des 

senckenbergischen Museums. Zoologische Jahrbuche 

(Systematik) 35: 599-624. 
WALCKENAER, C. A. 1837. Tlistoire Naturelle des 

Insectes*. Apteres, I. Paris. 



Z). B. Hirst 


As part of a study of oribate mites from South Australian soils, the genus Brachioppiella Hammer, 
1962 is reviewed and the following four new species are described : Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) 
paranasalis, Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna, B. (G.) minima, B. (G.) pseudohigginsi. 
Brachioppiella Subias, 1989 is commented on and a key to the adults of all Australian genera, 
subgenera and species is provided. 



LEE, D. C. & SUBIAS, L. S., 1991. Brachioppiella species (Acari: Oribatida: Oppiidae) from 
South Australian soils. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 19-30. 

As part of a study of oribate mites from South Australian soils, the genus Brachioppiella 
Hammer, 1962 is reviewed and the following four new species are described: Brachioppiella 
(Brachioppiella) paranasalis, Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna, B. (G.) minima, B. (G.) 
pseudohigginsi. Brachioppiinae Subias, 1989 is commented on and a key to the adults of all 
Australian genera, subgenera and species is provided. 

D. C. Lee, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, and L. S. 
Subias, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad Complutense, Madrid 28040, Spain. Manuscript received 
10 November 1989. 

As a result of studies done in South Australia on 
the advanced oribate mites (Planofissurae, see Lee 
(1987)) of soils, numerous adults belonging to the 
family Oppiidae Grandjean, 1951 were extracted. 
Amongst them, the subfamily Brachioppiinae 
Subias, 1989 in Subias & P. Balogh (1989) were only 
represented by members of the genus Brachioppiella 
Hammer, 1962. These are described here using the 
notation and systematic framework (as implied by 
the taxon definitions and keys) of Subias & Balogh 
(1989). The Brachioppiinae are commented on and, 
because some of the included genera are very similar 
to Brachioppiella, keys are provided for all the 
Australian taxa. 

Information on all the nine florally diverse sites 
which were sampled is given by Lee (1981), 
Brachioppiella having been collected from only four 
of these sites. Measurements are in micrometres 
(/im). All the material was collected by one of us 
(D.C.L.). The specimens are mostly deposited in the 
South Australian Museum (SAMA), but also in the 
Faculty of Biology of the Universidad Complutense 
of Madrid (FBUCM), the Field Museum of Natural 
History, Chicago (FMNH) or the New Zealand 
Arthropod Collection, D.S.I.R., Auckland (NZAC). 


Brachioppiinae Subias 

Brachioppiinae Subias in Subias & P. Balogh, 1989: 
p. 370. 

Diagnosis (Adults) 

Oppiidae. Genital and anal plates usually normal 
length and well separated. Epimeres III and IV not 
usually reaching behind genital plates, but if they 
do, then apodemes IV present. Crista notogastra 

absent. Seta c2 absent or less developed than other 
notogastral setae. Interbothridial tubercles usually 
absent. Anterior margin of notogaster lacks both 
protruding humeral processes and interbothridial 
costula. Lamellar and/or translamellar lines present. 
Fissurae lad inverse apoanal. Sensillus either 
pectinate, radiate or ciliate. 


The Brachioppiinae are restricted to the major 
southern regions (Neotropical, Ethiopian, Oriental, 
Australasian, Subantarctic and Antarctic). Few 
records are from the Northern Hemisphere or the 
tropics. Mostly the species are from moist southern 
temperate locations, indicating a Gondwanan 

Within Australia all the records are from outside 
the tropics, either from Queensland, New South 
Wales or South Australia. The Queensland records 
are from dry or wet sclerophyll forest, the New 
South Wales records are from subtropical rainforest, 
whilst the South Australian records are from dry 
sclerophyll or cultivated pine forest, or from 
woodland or closed scrubland with a substantial 
litter layer. None of the records are from the 
extensive drier Australian regions with open 
vegetation and sparse litter. 


The Brachioppiinae include genera which were 
placed in five separate subfamilies in the 
classification of J. Balogh (1983). It is particularly 
similar to three subfamilies (Arcoppiinae J. Balogh, 
1983, Lanceoppiinae J. Balogh, 1983 and Oppiinae 
Grandjean, 1951) amongst these five subfamilies, 
which lack protruding humeral notogastral 
processes. It is also very similar to the Multioppiinae 
J. Balogh, 1983. In distinguishing Brachioppiellinae 



from these four subfamilies, four characters are 
important: the shape of the sensillus, the presence 
or absence of prodorsal lines, the number of genital 
setae and the position of the paranal fissurae (iad). 
This last diagnostic character excludes Gressittoppia 
luxtoni Ayyildiz, 1989, a species superficially very 
similar to members of the Brachioppiinae, to be 
grouped in the Multioppiinae. 

In the distinguishing of brachioppiine genera, the 
number of genital setae is given considerable value. 
Whilst this is considered reliable in classifying 
species with six pairs as compared with fewer pairs 
(as it also is in distinguishing the subfamily 
Arcoppiinae from the Multioppiinae), the 
differentiating of species with either four or five 
pairs into separate genera is sometimes considered 
unreliable. The unreliability is demonstrated by 
Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna in this paper, 
since it usually has four pairs, but on only one 
female there are five pairs of genital setae. Despite 
this, four as opposed to five genital setae is still 
used, as by Subias & P. Balogh (1989), in order to 
recognise the subgenera of Brachioppiella, although 
it is pointed out under the remarks on B. 
(Gressittoppia) that this division into subgenera may 
not be valid. 

The following five genera or subgenera are known 
from Australia: Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) 
Hammer, 1962; Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) 
Balogh, 1983 (here recorded from Australia for the 
first time); Brassoppia (Brassoppia) Balogh, 1983; 
Ctenoppia Balogh, 1983; Kokoppia Balogh, 1983. 

Key To Australian Brachioppiinae (Adults) 

1 — Sensillus large, length more than distance between 

it and rostral setae. Prodorsum large, length more 
than 0.66 x length of notogaster. . . . Ctenoppia 
Balogh 2 

— Sensillus medium length, less than 0.75 x distance 
between it and rostral setae. Prodorsum size 
normal, length less than 0.66 x length of 
notogaster. 3 

2 — Notogastral setae long (e.g. length of seta la more 

than 1.5 x distance between la-lm) 

Ctenoppia variopectinata Balogh & 

Mahunka, 1975 

— Notogastral setae short (e.g. length of seta la less 

than 0.66 x distance between la-lm 

Ctenoppia eupectinata Balogh & Mahunka, 1975 

3 — Six pairs of genital setae. Prodorsal quadrangular 

field undelineated except for four small convex 
protruberances along posterior margin. Notogastral 
seta c2 present, small (length more than 2 x 

diameter of alveolus) 

Kokoppia dudichi (Balogh, 1982) 

— Four or five pairs of genital setae. Prodorsal 
quadrangular field usually partially delineated by 
translamellar line; if undelineated, then notogastral 
seta c2 represented only by alveolus 4 

4 — Four pairs of genital setae. Prodorsal quadrangular 

field delineated anteriorly (translamella) and 
laterally (lamella) by low crest, and posteriorly by 
faint, transverse line. Notogastral seta c2 present, 
small (length more than 2 x diameter of alveolus). 
Brassoppia brassi (Balogh, 1982) 

— Four or five pairs of genital setae. Prodorsal 
quadrangular field delineated anteriorly 
(translamella) and anterolaterally (lamella) by lines, 
and posteriorly with alveolate protruberance 
between setae J2-J2. Notogastral seta cl present as 
microseta (length less than 2 x diameter of 
alveolus) or represented only by alveolus 5 

5 — Five pairs of genital setae Brachioppiella 

(Brachioppiella) 6 

— Four pairs of genital setae normal for a species. 
Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) 7 

6 — Notogastral seta Im posterior to la, distance apart 

subequal to distance between Im-lp. Sensillus caput 
slim (about 2 x breadth of stalk) with three or four 

cilia. Somal length, 425-440 

.B. (B.) biseriata (Balogh and Mahunka, 1975) 

— Notogastral seta im level with and adaxial to la, 
distance apart less than 0.5 x distance between 
Im-lp. Sensillus caput medium breadth (about 3 

x breadth of stalk), usually with five cilia, varies 
from three to seven cilia. Somal length, 290-345. 
B. (B.) paranasatis sp. nov. 

7 — Apodeme apoA reaching backward beyond level of 

genital shield. Setae in epimeral file b ciliate. 
Interlamellar seta more than 0.5 x length of 
lamellar seta. Sensillus with five cilia. Tibia IV slim 
(greatest breadth about 0.25 x length), seta av 
ensiform, long (length more than 2 x breadth of 

tibia). Somal length, 360-520 

B. (G.) magna sp. nov. 

— Apodeme apoA reaching back only to middle of 
genital shield. Setae in epimeral file b smooth. 
Interlamellar seta less than 0.5 x length of lamellar 
seta. Sensillus with six or seven cilia. Tibia IV not 
slim (greatest breadth about 0.33 x length), seta 
av setose or ensiform, medium length (length 
subequal to breadth of tibia). Somal length less 
than 300 8 

8 — Notogastral seta Im nearer Ip than la. No apodeme 

between ep2, epimeral apol not continuous across 
midline. Tibia IV with clearly delineated caput 
bearing setose ventral setae. Somal length, 185-220. 
B. (G.) minima sp. nov. 

— Notogastral seta Im nearer la than Ip. Apodeme 
between epl, epimeral apol continuous across 
midline. Tibia IV with indistinct caput/stalk 
margin, bearing ensiform ventral setae. Somal 

length, 275-295 

B. (G.) pseudohigginsi sp. nov. 

Genus Brachioppiella Hammer 

Brachioppiella Hammer, 1962: p. 47. 
Type-species (by original designation): 
Brachioppiella periculosa Hammer, 1962. 



Diagnosis (Adults) 

Brachioppiinae. Sensillus pectinate with single file 
of long cilia either on fusiform or setiform caput. 
Rostral setae separated by distance more than 4 x 
diameter of one of their alveoli. Interlamellar seta 
present. Lamellar seta closer to interlamellar seta 
than rostral seta. Rostrum not incised. Costula (but 
lamellar line may be present) and crista absent. Ten 
pairs notogastral setae, seta c2 vestigial (either 
microseta, length less than twice alveolus diameter, 
or just alveolus). Apodeme IV present. Four or five 
pairs of genital setae. Ventral seta ad\ postanal, ad3 
preanal. Pore iad inverse apoanal. Tarsus IV with 
two ensiform anteroventral setae and two ciliate 
cuneiform posteroventral setae. 

Morphology of Australian species 

The prodorsum has a plateau-like quadrangular 
field around the lamellar and interlamellar setae. 
It is usually delineated (exception — Brachioppiella 
biseriata Balogh & Mahunka, 1975) anteriorly by 
a translamellar line (in lateral view can be seen to 
be a sulculus, which may be substantial but 
inconspicuous when seen from above, with edges 
that are recognisable as two parallel fine lines), 
whilst laterally it is bordered by a granulate slope 
which anteriorly forms a lamellar line (there are no 
costulate ridges), and posteriorly there is a 
protruberance between the interlamellar setae with 
alveolate sculpturing. There is a lateral row of large 
alveoli, and around the exobothridial seta the 
integument is granulate. The sensillus is not longer 
than the distance from its partner and the pectinate 
caput can be slim (as Brachioppiella biseriata, with 
width less than twice that of proximal stalk), broad 
or swollen. The notogaster shows little variation, 
except in setal length (large setae may have cilia and 
seta c2 may or may not be detectable) and in the 
position of seta Im relative to seta la. The venter 
has strong epimeral apodemes with weak superficial 
sculpturing forming shallow alveoli on the epimeres. 
The longer lateral epimeral setae may be ciliate. The 
most conspicuous varying characters are the 
number of genital setae, the position of apodeme 
IV and the presence or absence of an apodeme 
between epimeres 2. The size of the genital shields 
is sexually dimorphic, being larger on the female 
(Fig. 2) and smaller on the male (Fig. 8). No eggs 
were noted in any females collected in this study. 
Trochanter III has a transverse proximodorsal ridge 
with spurs at both ends. All the tibiae have a long 
flagelliform solenidium (cf. Brachioppia cuscensis 
Hammer, 1961, type-species, which has a short fat 
solenidium on tibia II). In all but the small 
Brachioppiella minima sp. nov., the tibiae and tarsi 
have stout, ensiform ventral spine-like setae, 
sometimes ciliate, whilst the two proximal shorter 
posterior spine-like setae on leg IV are ciliate 

cuneiform, the cilia being merged proximally and 
spreading out distally into an inverted triangle. 
Similar distal spreading out of ventral leg setae may 
be widespread amongst oppiids, and can involve 
more setae [e.g. Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) 
orkneyensis (Kok, 1967) and Quadroppia 
quadricarinata (Michael): Lions 1977]. Somal 
chaetotaxy: prodorsum — 2, 2, 1; notogaster — 2, 
6, 2; epimeres — 3, 1, 3, 3; genital shield — 4 or 
5; anal shield — 2; ventral shield — 1, 3. 


All species of Brachioppiella are known only 
from the major southern regions, mainly in the 
temperate zone, with a few species from the tropics 
(see the remarks on the subgenus Brachioppiella), 
and the subantarctic or antarctic (see the remarks 
on the subgenus Gressittoppia). 

Amongst the nine florally diverse sites sampled 
in South Australia, the greatest numbers of three 
of the four species of Brachioppiella were found 
at the dry sclerophyll forest site on Mt Lofty, which 
has the highest rainfall (mainly in winter, being a 
Mediterranean-type climate) of any site. One of 
these species, B. (Gressittoppia) minima sp. nov., 
also occurs in small numbers at two nearby sites 
in the Mt Lofty Ranges. The fourth species, B. 
(Gressittoppia) pseudohigginsi sp. nov., is from 
coastal closed-scrubland, which has a lower rainfall, 
but is a very moist site, since it is much further south 
and it is sometimes inundated from a permanent 
underground stream. The only other known 
Australian species, B. (Brachioppiella) biseriata 
(Balogh & Mahunka, 1975), is from dry sclerophyll 
forest in Queensland. 


Brachioppiella was placed by J. Balogh (1983) in 
the subfamily Pulchroppiinae. Later, Subias & P. 
Balogh (1989) considered that this subfamily should 
be restricted to Pulchroppia Hammer, 1979 and 
related genera, in which epimeres 3 and 4 are not 
bordered posteriorly by an apodeme, whilst 
Brachioppiella was the nominotype of a new 
subfamily. J. Balogh (1983) also established a 
heterogeneous subfamily, Cycloppiinae, giving 
considerable weight in the diagnosis to the number 
of pairs of genital setae. The genus Gressittoppia 
was grouped in Cycloppiinae, because of its four 
pairs of genital setae, whilst Subias and P. Balogh 
(1989) considered it to be so closely allied to 
Brachioppiella that it was given the new status of 
subgenus within that genus. As pointed out here, 
in the remarks on B. (Gressittoppia), the two genus 
group names might be better considered to be 
synonymous. The only distinguishing character that 
has been established for the subgenera is the normal 
number of genital setae. In the case of 



Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna sp. nov. 
(which on only one specimen has an increased 
setation from four to five genital pairs), characters 
are given in the remarks on the species, that 
distinguish the abnormal specimen from Australian 
members of the subgenus Brachioppiella. 

Subgenus Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) Hammer 

Diagnosis (Adult) 

Brachioppiella. Five pairs of genital setae. 


The subgenus Brachioppiella sens. str. is 
maintained as by Subias & P. Balogh (1989), 
delineated from B. (Gressittoppia) by having five 
pairs of genital setae. The possiblity that species of 
Brachioppiella should not be grouped into two 
subgenera is commented on in the 'Remarks' under 
Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia). 

Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) includes 10 
species (Subias & P. Balogh 1989), plus a new 
species described here from South Australia. The 
subgenus is widespread in southern temperate 
regions with a few records from the tropics (New 
Caledonia, Guinea in West Africa, East Africa). 
The two Australian species are as follows: 
Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) biseriata (Balogh & 
Mahunka, 1975) and B. (B.) paranasalis sp. nov.. 

Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) paranasalis sp. nov. 
(Figs 1, 2 and 9) 


General appearance and dimensions: Body 
flattened and widened, brown colour. Idiosomal 
length: female 320 (39, 308-344); male 309 (44, 
290-328). Idiosomal breadth: female 133-143, male 
122-135. Leg dimensions for holotype female 
(length 321): leg lengths (femur-tarsus) 1-191, 11-145, 
III-136, 1V-180; tibial maximum breadths 1-21.5, 
11-19, III-15.5, IV-15.5. 

Prodorsum: Rostrum rounded, unstructured, 
with rostral setae dorsally ciliate. Quadrangular field 
with lamellar line restricted to anterior half of 
distance between lamellar seta and sensillus, whilst 
translamellar line may be inconspicuous, because 
although sulculus deep, margins may be unclear in 
dorsal aspect, and posterior protruberance narrow 
with two pairs of alveolar, pale patches. Usually 
three large alveolar, pale patches lateral to 
quadrangular field. Lamellar, exobothridial and 
interlamellar setae fine and smooth, decreasing in 
size in this order, lamellar seta nearly 2 x length 
of interlamellar seta. Granulated area around 
exobothridial seta not reaching profile of 

pedotectum 1. Usually five long cilia on caput of 
sensillus, but varies from three to seven cilia, in 
single file. 

Notogaster. Nine pairs of short to medium length 
smooth setae, hi and h3 longest, seta c2 represented 
only by alveolus with root, but no seta, just behind 
pore ia. Seta Im close to and slightly anterior to seta 

Somal venter: Epimeres with weak alveolar 
sculpturing. In setal file b, setae 3b and 4b like file 
c, but \b similar to file a in being smooth and 
slimmer. Apodeme apo4 reaching backward to level 
of mid genital shield. Pedotectum 1 profile smooth, 
no pedotectum 2, pedotectum 3 large and blunt. 
Genital setae short and subequal in length. 
Aggenital seta shorter (0.6 x) than adanal seta ad3. 

Legs: Long (mean femur-tarsus length: 50% of 
somal length). Legs I and IV longer than other legs, 
whilst legs I and II are stouter than other legs. 
Relative breaths of tibiae (maximum height: length): 

1 = 56%, II = 57%, III = 43%, IV = 33%. 
Ventral setae on tibiae and tarsi often ensiform and 
ciliate. On tibia and tarsus IV, posteroventral setae 
shorter than anteroventral setae. Tarsus IV setae pv\ 
and /7v2 with single file of cilia longer proximally 
so that terminating at same level giving seta a 
cuneiform appearance in posteroventral aspect. 

Material examined 

Holotype: female (N1989277), plant litter, sparse 
moss and sandy soil, under sclerophyllous shrubs 
amongst messmate stringybark (Eucalyptus 
obliqua), dry sclerophyll forest, near summit of Mt 
Lofty (34°9'S, 138°5'E), Cleland Conservation 
Park, 9.V.1974. 

Paratypes: 26 females (N1989278-N1989303) and 
30 males (N1989304-N1989333); 2 females and 3 
males (FBUCM); 2 females and 2 males (FMNH); 

2 females and 2 males (NZAC); 6 females and 7 
males lost; same data as holotype. 


Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) paranasalis is 
easily distinguished from known Australian species 
of Brachioppiella by having notogastral seta Im 
transposed anteriorly to near la. This includes the 
other member of the subgenus and the larger 
Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna sp. nov., 
which in only one of its females examined also has 
five pairs of genital setae rather than the normal 
four pairs for Gressittoppia. The shape of the 
sensillus and the nature of the lamella and 
translamella, in combination with the relative 
position of notogastral seta Im to la, distinguishes 
B. (B.) paranasalis from all known species of 
Brachioppiella, and the position of seta Im is only 
known elsewhere in Australian brachioppielline 
genera on Brassoppia brassi (Balogh, 1982). The 




FIGURES 1 AND 2. Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) paranasalis sp. nov., female soma. 1, notum; 2, idiosternum. 

species which is most similar, and from which the 
species name is derived with the Greek prefix para 
meaning 'beside or new', is Brachioppiella (B.) 
nasalis (Evans, 1953), which has notogastral setae 
of similar length and placement. But that species 
has a sensillus with a slim, nearly setiform caput, 
with six lateral cilia, and also there are 'Anterior 
to the genital plate two forwardly directed 
projections on either side.' (Evans 1953: 260), as well 
as conspicuous granulation on the prodorsal 
quadrangular field. 

Subgenus Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) Balogh 

Gressittoppia Balogh, 1983: p. 55. 

Type-species (by original designation): Brachioppia 

moresonensis Kok, 1967. 

Diagnosis (Adults) 

Brachioppiella, Four pairs of genital setae. 


The subgenus Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) was 
given this status by Subias & P. Balogh (1989), prior 



to which Gressittoppia was regarded by J. Balogh 
(1983) as a distinct genus in another subfamily 
(Cycloppiinae) compared to Brachioppiella, then 
included in the Pulchroppiinae. The distinction 
between the subgenera relies on the number of 
genital setae and this character exhibits intraspecific 
variation in B. (G.) magna sp. nov. (only one female 
has five pairs of genital setae, rather than the usual 
four pairs). Because of this, and because no other 
character state can be found to diagnose the 
subgenus, Gressittoppia and Brachioppiella may 
need to be regarded as synonymous as subgenera 
as well as genera. The position of the fissure iad 
being given importance here in defining families, 
means that similar species to Gressittoppia, like 
Gressittoppia luxtoni Ayyildiz, 1989, are excluded 
to another subfamily (Multioppiinae). 

Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) includes seven 
species (Subias & P. Balogh 1989) plus a further 
three new species described here from South 
Australia, the first records of the subgenus from 
Australia. The subgenus is widespread in southern 
temperate regions, with a few records from the far 
south (Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica). The three 
Australian species are as follows: Brachioppiella 
(Gressittoppia) magna sp. nov., B.(G.) minima sp. 
nov. and B.(G.) pseudohigginsi sp. nov.. 

Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna sp. nov. 
(Figs 3, 4, and 10) 


General appearance and dimensions: Body 
flattened and widened, dark red brown colour. 
Idiosomal length: female 498 (5, 480-520); male 412 
(3, 362-463). Idiosomal breadth: female 212-229, 
male 174-206. Leg dimensions for holotype female 
(length 501): leg lengths (femur-tarsus) 1-292, 
11-238, III-247, IV-307; tibial maximum breadth 
1-31, 11-25, 111-19, IV-22. 

Prodorsum: Rostrum rounded, pale above ventral 
recess, with rostral setae dorsally ciliate. 
Quadrangular field with lamellar line nearly 
complete, whilst translamellar line with clear 
anterior margin to deep sulculus but posterior 
margin may be unclear in dorsal aspect, and 
posterior protruberance narrow and conspicuous 
with three pairs of alveolar, pale patches. Usually 
four large alveolar, pale patches lateral to 
quadrangular field. Only exobothridial seta is 
smooth, lamellar seta about 1.5 x length of 
interlamellar seta. Granulate area round 
exobothridial seta reaching profile to pedotectum 
I. Usually five, exceptionally four or six long cilia 
on caput of sensillus. 

Notogaster: Nine pairs of medium length setae, 
sometimes inconspicuous dorsal cilia present, c2 

represented by microseta. Seta Im nearly directly 
behind la and slightly nearer to it than to seta tp. 

Somal venter: Epimere with strong alveolar 
sculpturing. In setal file b, all setae similar to those 
in file c. Apodeme apo4 reaching backward beyond 
level of posterior margin of genital shield. 
Pedotectum 1 profile granulate, small pedotectum 
2 present, pedotectum 3 large and acute. Usually 
four pairs of genital setae, but one female with five 
pairs of genital setae. Anterior three pairs of genital 
setae short, seta ge4 longer. Aggenital seta longer 
than or subequal in length to adanal seta ad3. 

Legs: Long (mean femur- tarsus length = 54% 
of soma length). Legs III and IV slim and relatively 
long so that leg IV longest and leg III third longest 
rather than shortest. Relative breadths of tibiae 
(maximum height: length): I = 57%, II = 43%, 
III = 31%, IV = 28%. Ventral setae on tibiae and 
tarsi (except av4 and pv4 on tarsus IV) ensiform and 
ciliate. On tarsus IV posteroventral setae pv\ and 
pv2 with cilia enlarged and fused at base so that 
fan- like. 

Material examined 

Holotype: female (N1989334), plant litter, sparse 
moss and sandy soil, under sclerophyllous shrubs 
amongst messmate stringybark (Eucalyptus 
obliqua), dry sclerophyll forest, near summit of Mt 
Lofty (34°9'S, 138°5'E), Cleland Conservation 
Park, 9.V.1974. 

Paratypes: 5 females (N1989335-N1989339) and 
3 males (N1989340-N1989342); 1 female (FBUCM); 
same data as holotype. 


Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna is variable 
in size, males being substantially smaller than 
females. The larger females are the largest within 
the genus, which is the basis of the species name 
derived from the Latin word magnus meaning large 
or great'. Possibly correlated with greater size are 
the dark colour, more extensive cuticular 
sculpturing and granulation, with more setae that 
are ciliate. B. (G.) magna is easily distinguished from 
other known Australian members of Gressittoppia 
by the backward extension of epimere 4 and the 
long leg IV, possibly functionally correlated 
character states. B. (Brachioppiella) biseriata 
(Balogh & Mahunka, 1975) from Queensland is 
large with a similarly extensive epimere 4 and 
disposition of the notogastral setae, so it may in the 
future be regarded as allied to this species, although 
they are currently in different subgenera. This 
possibility is more likely in the light of one female 
of B. (G.) magna having five pairs of genital setae, 
the extra pair making the disposition very similar 
to that of B. (B.) biseriata. But B. (B.) biseriata is 
further distinguishable as a separate species by 



FIGURES 3 AND 4. Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) magna sp. nov., female soma. 3, notum; 4, idiosternum. 

having a number of shorter setae, in particular the 
interlamellar and aggenitai setae and a slim caput 
to the sensillus. B. (G.) magna is also similar to B. 
(G.) hartensteini (Hammer, 1968), but the latter has 
a small seta c2 present, the caput of the sensillus 
is slimmer and notogastral seta h3 is anterior to pore 

Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) minima sp. nov. 
(Figs 5, 6 and 11) 


General appearance and dimensions: Body 
flattened and widened, straw colour. Idiosomal 
length: female 208 (28, sclerophyll forest, 200-217), 




FIGURES 5 AND 6. Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) minima sp. nov., female soma. 5, notum; 6, idiosternum. 

200.5 (1, pine forest); male 198 (74, sclerophyll 
forest, 185-206), 192 (2, pine forest, 185-200.5), 190 
(1, savannah woodland). Idiosomal breadth: female 
78-87, male 85-95. Leg dimensions for holotype 
female (length 205.5): leg lengths (femur-tarsus) 
1-119, 11-89, 111-89, IV-98; tibial maximum 
breadths 1-14.5, 11-12, III-ll, IV-12. 

Prodorsum: Rostrum rounded, unstructured, 
with rostral setae dorsally ciliate. Quadrangular field 
with lamellar line restricted to anterior half of 

distance between lamellar seta and sensillus, 
translamellar line inconspicuous, sulculus shallow, 
margins may be unclear in dorsal aspect, posterior 
protruberance broad, flattened with two pairs of 
alveolar, pale patches. Usually two large alveolar 
pale patches lateral to quadrangular field. Lamellar, 
interlamellar and exobothridial setae fine and 
smooth, decreasing in size in this order, lamellar 
seta nearly 2 x length of interlamellar seta. 
Granulate area around exobothridial seta not 



reaching profile of pedotectum I. Usually six long 
cilia on caput of sensillus, may be additional one 
or two smaller proximal cilia. 

Notogaster. Nine pairs of medium length smooth 
setae, subequal in length, seta c2 only represented 
by alveolus with root, but no seta. Seta Im nearly 
directly behind la and midway between it and seta 


Soma! venter. Epimeres with weak alveolar 
sculpturing. In setal file 6, setae lb and 3b like file 
a, whilst 4b is as long as setae in file c, but smooth, 
without cilia. Apodemes absent between epimeres 

1 and 2, although linear surface sculpturing present. 
Pedotectum 1 profile smooth, no pedotectum 2, 
pedotectum 3 large with acute point. Genital setae 
short and subequal in length. Aggenital seta 
subequal in length to adanal seta ad3. 

Legs: Medium length (mean femur-tarsus length 
m 48% of somal length). Legs I and IV longer than 
other legs, leg II being as short as leg III, but as 
broad as leg IV. Relative breadths of tibiae 
(maximum height: length): I = 57%, II = 66%, 
III = 45%, IV = 48%. Tibia IV shorter than tarsus 
IV, caput broad, more than 2.5 x breadth of stalk. 
Ventral setae on tarsi II-IV often ensiform and 
ciliate, but not on tibiae. On tibia IV, seta av longer 
and stouter than pv, but still setose and similar to 
dl on tarsus IV. 

Material examined 

Holotype: female (N1989343) plant litter, sparse 
moss and sandy soil, under sclerophyllous shrubs 
amongst messmate stringybark (Eucalyptus 
obliqua), dry sclerophyll forest, near summit of Mt 
Lofty (34°9'S, 138°5'E), Cleland Conservation 
Park, 9.V.1974. 

Paratypes: 19 females (N1989344-N1989362) and 
66 males (N1989363-N1989428); 2 females and 2 
males (FBUCM); 2 females and 2 males (FMNH); 

2 females and 2 males (NZAC); same data as 
holotype. One female (N1989429) and two males 
(N1989430, N1989431), pine litter and sandy soil, 
under pine trees (Pinus pined), cultivated forest, 
Knott Hill (35°12'S, 138°41'E), Kuitpo Forest 
Reserve, 22.V.1974. One male (N1989432), grass, 
moss, leaf litter and loamy soil under manna gum 
trees (Eucalyptus viminatis), savannah woodland, 
Chambers Gully (34°59'S, 138°41'E), Cleland 
Conservation Park, 


Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) minima is the 
smallest known species in the genus, which is the 
basis of the species name derived from the Latin 
word minimus meaning least'. It is similar to 
Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) pepitensis (Hammer, 
1962), a slightly larger species (length 270) from 
Tierra del Fuego. B. (G.) pepitensis differs in minor 

ways in the disposition and shape of setae as 
follows: sensillus with nine or ten cilia, hysteronotal 
seta la closer to Im than c2, adanal seta adl 
posterior to pore iad. Although some cuticular 
markings are stronger, the apodeme between 
epimeres 1 is absent posterior to seta la, suggesting 
a close relationship of B. (G.) pepitensis to B. (G.) 
minima, even though the shape of its tibia and 
tarsus IV is normal for the genus (similar to B. (G). 
pseudohigginsi sp. nov., Fig. 12) and unlike that of 
B. (G.) minima (Fig. 11). The correlation of the 
reduction in mid-sternal apodemes and the shape 
of the leg segments and their ventral setae 
characterizes B. (G.) minima. 

Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) pseudohigginsi sp. 

(Figs 7, 8 and 12) 


General appearance and dimensions: Body 
flattened, broad for female, elongate for male, 
brown colour. Idiosomal length: female 295, male 
275. Idiosomal breadth: female 117, male 112. Leg 
measurements for holotype male (length 275): leg 
lengths (femur-tarsus) 1-156, 11-118, III-109, IV-139; 
tibial maximum breadths 1-18, II-14.5, 111-12, 

Prodorsum: Rostrum round, unstructured except 
slight concavity between dorsally ciliate rostral setae. 
Quadrangular field with lamellar line nearly 
complete, translamellar line with moderately deep 
sulculus, but margins may be unclear in dorsal 
aspect, and posterior protruberance broad with two 
pairs of alveolar pale patches. Four large alveolar, 
pale patches lateral to quadrangular field. Lamellar, 
interlamellar and exobothridial setae fine and 
smooth, decreasing in size in this order, lamellar 
setae more 1 than 2 x length of other setae. 
Granulate area around exobothridial seta reaching 
profile of pedotectum I. Six or seven long cilia on 
caput of sensillus. 

Notogaster. Nine pairs of short to medium length 
smooth setae, la and Im being short, seta cl 
represented only by alveolus with root, but no seta, 
just behind pore ia. Seta Im behind and closer to 
seta la than to Ip. 

Somal venter: Epimeres with weak alveolar 
sculpturing. In setal file b, seta lb shorter than lc, 
whilst 3b and 4b similar in length to 3c and 4c, but 
all smooth lacking cilia. Apodeme apo4 reaching 
backward to level of mid-genital shield. Pedotectum 
1 profile granulate, no pedotectum 2, pedotectum 
3 large and blunt. Genital setae short and subequal 
in length (N.B. male illustrated, Fig. 8, so plates 
appear relatively small compared to other species 
where females illustrated). Aggenital seta subequal 
in length to adanal seta ad3. 



FIGURES 7 AND 8. Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) pseudohigginsi sp. nov., male soma. 7, notum; 8, idiosternum. 

Legs: Medium length (mean femur-tarsus length 
= 47% of somal length). Legs I and IV longer than 
other legs, whilst legs I and II are stouter than other 
legs. Relative breadths of tibiae (maximum height: 
length): I = 54%, II = 55%, III = 45%, IV = 
33%. Tibia IV shorter than tarsus IV, caput medium 
breadth, slightly less than 2 x breadth of stalk. 
Ventral setae on tibiae and tarsi often ensiform and 
ciliate. On tibia IV, ventral seta av only slightly 
longer than pv and shorter than av\ on tarsus IV. 

Material examined 

Holotype: male (N1989433), plant litter, sparse 
grass and calcareous sandy soil, under coastal wattle 
(Acacia sophorae), coastal closed scrubland, just 
south of main pond (38°03'S, 150°57 / E), 
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, 3.vii.l974. 

Paratype: female (N1989434); same data as 



pv ^ av 

pvl^avl pv2av2 

FIGURES 9-12. Brachioppiella, posterior aspects of genu, tibia, tarsus, pretarsus of right leg IV. 9, B. (B.) paranasalis 
sp. nov.; 10, B. (G.) magna sp. nov.; 11, B. (G.) minima sp. nov.; 12, B. (G.) pseudohigginsi sp. nov. Key: a = anterior, 

d = dorsal, p = posterior, v = ventral, so - solenidium. 




Brachioppiella (Gressittoppia) pseudohigginsi is 
very similar to Brachioppiella (Brachioppiella) 
higginsi (Hammer, 1968) from New Zealand in the 
disposition and shape of the notal setae, which is 
the basis of the species name derived from the 
Greek word pseudos, meaning lie', and higginsi. 
B. (B.) higginsi has a slimmer caput to its sensillus 
and has five pairs of genital setae, which places it 
in the nominate subgenus. B. (G.) pseudohigginsi 
is also similar to two larger species from South 
Africa: B. (G.) moresonensis (Kok, 1967), length 
300-344, and B. (G.) orkneyensis (Kok, 1967), length 
330-380. B. (G.) moresonensis differs in that 
notogastral seta h3 is positioned well forward, 
anterior to fissure-like pore im rather than posterior 
to it (Fig. 7). B. (G.) orkneyensis differs in that seta 
av on tibia IV is twice as long as setapv and acutely 
tapered rather than shorter and stouter (Fig. 12). 

Como parte del estudio de los acaros oribatidos 
de suelos del sur de Australia, se discute el ge'nero 
Brachioppiella Hammer, 1962, y se describen las 
cuatro nuevas especies siguientes: Brachioppiella (s. 
str.) paranasalis sp. nov., Brachioppiella 
(Gressittoppia) magna sp. nov., B. (G.) minima sp. 
nov. y B. (G.) pseudohigginsi sp. nov.. Tambie'n se 
discute la subfamilia Brachioppiinae Subias, 1989 
y se dan unas claves de ge'neros, subge'neros y 
especies australianos. 

We wish to thank Miss Keren Shepherd for the 
modifying, inking in and presentation of the figures, and 
the Australian Biological Resources Study for funding her 
salary. Also the translation from Spanish to English of 
parts of the manuscript and correspondence by Mrs 
Bobbie Matthews, and the typing of the manuscript by 
Mrs Debbie Lowery, are much appreciated. 


AYYILDIZ, N. 1989. Mites of the family Oppiidae (Acari: 

Oribatida) from Turkey. Journal of Natural History 23: 

BALOGH, J. 1982. New oppioid mites from Australia 

(Acari: Oribatei). Acta Zoologica Hungarica 28: 3-14. 
BALOGH, J. 1983. A partial revision of the Oppiidae 

Grandjean, 1954 (Acari: Oribatei). Acta Zoologica 

Hungarica 29: 1-79. 
BALOGH, J. & MAHUNKA, S. 1975. New Oppioid mites 

(Acari: Oribatei) from Queensland. Acta Zoologica 

Hungarica 21: 241-256. 
EVANS, G. O. 1953. On a collection of Acari from 

Kilimanjaro (Tanganyika). Annals and Magazine of 

Natural History, Ser. 12, 6: 258-281. 
GRANDJEAN, F. 1951. Observations sur les Oribates 

(22 e se'rie). Bulletin du Museum National d'Histoire 

Naturelle (2) 23: 91-98. 
HAMMER, M. 1961. Investigations on the Oribatid fauna 

of the Andes Mountains. II. Peru. Biologiske Skrifter 

11: 1-157. 
HAMMER, M. 1962. Investigations on the Oribatid fauna 

of the Andes Mountains. III. Chile. Biologiske Skrifter 

12: 1-96. 
HAMMER, M. 1968. Investigations on the Oribatid fauna 

of New Zealand, with a comparison between the 

Oribatid fauna of New Zealand and that of the Andes 
Mountains, South America. Part III. Biologiske 
Skrifter 16: 1-96. 

HAMMER, M. 1979. Investigations on the Oribatid fauna 
of Java. Biologiske Skrifter 22: 1-79. 

KOK, D. J. 1967. Studies on some South African Oppiidae 
Grandjean, 1953 (Acarina: Oribatei). Journal of the 
Entomological Society of South Africa 30: 40-74. 

LEE, D. C. 1981. Sarcoptiformes (Acari) of South 
Australian soils. 1. Notation 2. Bifemorata and Ptyctima 
(Cryptostigmata). Records of the South Australian 
Museum 18: 199-122. 

LEE, D. C. 1987. Introductory study of advanced oribate 
mites (Acarida: Cryptostigmata: Planofissurae) and a 
redescription of the only valid species of 
Constrictobates (Oripodoidea). Records of the South 
Australian Museum 21: 35-42. 

LIONS, J. C. 1977. Au sujet de la chaetotaxie des pattes 
et de la presence des poils proraux chez des oribates 
proches du Quadroppia quadricarinata (Michael, 1885). 
Acarologia 19: 540-551. 

SUBIAS, L. S. & BALOGH, P. 1989. Identification keys 
to the genera of Oppiidae Grandjean, 1951 (Acari: 
Oribatei). Acta Zoologica Hungarica 35: 355-412. 





The larva of Odontacarus (Leogonius) barrinensis (Womersley, 1945) is redescribed, the lectotype 
and paralectotypes are designated, and the new data are compared with those of the original 
description. Womersley' s measurements were too large (mean error = 3.53%). Analysis of the 
metric data confirms the separation of O. (L.) barrinensis from its taxonomically nearest species, O. 
(L.) athertonensis (Wormesley, 1945). 



SOUTHCOTT, R. V. 1991. Redescription of the larva of Odontacarus (Leogonius) barhnesis 
(Womersley) (Acarina: Trombiculidae: Leeuwenhoekiinae). Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 31-37. 

The larva of Odontacarus (Leogonius) barrinensis (Womersley, 1945) is redescribed, the lectotype 
and paralectotypes are designated, and the new data are compared with those of the original 
description. Womersley's measurements were too large (mean error = 3.53%). Analysis of the 
metric data confirms the separation of O. (L.) barrinensis from its taxonomically nearest species, 
O. (L.) athertonensis (Womersley, 1945). 

R. V. Southcott, Honorary Research Associate, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, 
Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Manuscript received 5 February 1990. 

The genus Odontacarus Ewing, 1929 (Acarina: 
Trombiculidae: Leeuwenhoekiinae) is known mainly 
as larvae in the Australia-New Guinea region; all 
of these are placed in the subgenus Leogonius 
Vercammen-Grandjean, 1968 (see Southcott 1986a). 

The first Australian species recognized was O. 
australiensis (Hirst, 1925), a widespread species 
occurring from eastern Australia to New Guinea 
(Hirst 1925; Womersley 1944, 1945; Domrow 1956; 
Goff 1979a). Womersley (1944) described five more 
species as larvae (as Leeuwenhoekia Oudemans, 
1911): O. adelaideae, O. hirsti, O. mccullochi, O. 
novaguinea and O. southcotti, and (1945) four more 
as larvae: O. athertonensis, O. barrinensis, O. 
echidnus and O. longipes (as Acomatacarus Ewing, 

Further species (as larvae) have been added by 
Southcott (1957, 1986a, b) and Goff (1979a, b). The 
most recent general treatments of the taxonomy of 
these larvae have been by Southcott (1986a, b, 1989). 
Of the species known as larvae, deutonymphs have 
been described by Womersley (1945) of O. longipes 
and O. novaguinea, by Domrow (1956) of O. 
australiensis, and by Southcott (1989) of O. 
adelaideae. Based on larval characters, Domrow 
(1956) synonymized O. hirsti with O. australiensis, 
and Goff (1979a) synonymized O. longipes with O. 

Womersley (1944, 1945) relied heavily on 
statistical characters for his species differentiations. 
Difficulties in separating some of these species led 
Veitch and Southcott (1984) to make a study of 
some species referred to O. athertonensis, or from 
the Atherton Tableland, Queensland. This showed 
good statistical differentiating characters for O. 
athertonensis (Womersley, 1945), O. mccullochi 
(Womersley, 1944), O. 'species S* (now O. swani 
Southcott, 1986a), and an unnamed species (now 
O. veitchi Southcott, 1986b) from Mt Jukes, 

One species requiring redescription was O. (L.) 
barrinensis (Womersley, 1945), which Womersley 
placed close to O. athertonensis. 

In the present paper the larva of O. (L.) 
barrinensis is redescribed from the type series, and 
its taxonomic status evaluated. 

Materials and Methods 

Slide-mounted mites in the South Australian 
Museum, Adelaide (SAM) referred to O. 
Barrinensis were examined. The five syntypes 
(ACB188A-E) were all in gum chloral media, on 
individual slides, mounted by me on 17. xi. 1943 and 
again on 7.V.1944, but apparently not remounted 
subsequently. Specimen ACB210A (N19896) showed 
evidence of remounting, and the mount was largely 
opaque and unusable. All these slides also bore a 
SAM number of ARA7524. No further 
remounting^ have been done. 

Microscopy and drawing techniques, also 
terminology and abbreviations, are as in Southcott 
(1989). All measurements are in micrometres (/*m) 
unless otherwise specified. 

Odontacarus Ewing 

Odontacarus Ewing, 1929, p. 188. 

(For other synonymy see Southcott, 1986a, p. 171, 

and contained references). 

Definition of larva as in Southcott, 1989, p. 37. 

Type species: Trombicula dentata Ewing, 1925, p. 


Subgenus Leogonius Vercammen-Grandjean, 1968. 
Definition of larva as in Goff, 1979a, p. 143. 
Type species: Leeuwenhoekia australiensis Hirst, 
1925, p. 150. 



Odontacarus barrinensis (Womersley) 
Figs 1A-D, 2 

Acomatacarus barrinensis Womersley, 1945, p. 106. 
For other synonymy see Southcott, 1986a, p. 188. 

Description of larva: Lee to type 

Colour in life red. Length of idiosoma (mounted 
on slide) 245, width 200; total length from tip of 

cheliceral fangs to posterior pole of idiosoma 335. 
Dorsal scutum wider than long (nasus included); 
nasus well developed, blunt pointed, slightly 
waisted, meeting body of scutum at approximately 
right angles; anterior border (omitting nasus) 
slightly concave, anterolateral borders convex, 
posterolateral borders almost straight, anterolateral 
and posterolateral angles rounded, posterior pole 
rounded, forming an obtuse angle. Scutalae narrow, 


FIGURE I. Odontacarus barrinensis (Womersley), larva, lectotype. A — Dorsal view, legs on left omitted beyond 
trochanters. B — Right palp, dorsal. C — Palpal tarsus, dorsal. D — Palpal tarsus, ventral. To standard symbols. 
(Each figure to nearer scale). 



tapering, slightly blunted at tip, with moderately 
outstanding acute setules. Sensilla level with PL 
scutala bases; sensillary setae missing in all 
specimens. Scutum finely porose, with two larger 
pores (lacunae) near each PL scutala base. 

Metric data as in Table 1. 

Eyes oval, posterolateral to dorsal scutum, 
anterior with maximum diameter 16, posterior with 
maximum diameter 13. 

Dorsal idiosomalae similar to scutalae, arranged: 
humerals 2, then approximately 18, 6, 10, 11, 9, 3, 
2: total ca 61. 

Ventral surface of idiosoma with a pair of 
setulose, pointed setae, bases 36 apart, between 
coxae III, 31 long. Behind coxae III opisthosoma 
with ca 46 setae, 28 pre-anal, 18 post-anal, pointed, 
setulose, 22-45 long, increasing in size posteriorad, 
and there resembling PDS. Anus oval, 21 long by 
6 wide (valves apposed). Urstigma well chitinized, 
oval, 20 by 18, set in concavity in coxa I. Coxalae 
2, 1, 1, well setulose, tapering, pointed; lateral coxala 
I 60 long, medial coxala I missing, all specimens, 
coxala II 44-46 long (paratypes), coxala III ca 42 
long (paratypes). 

TABLE 1. Metric data for Odontacarus (Leogonius) barrinensis (Womersley) larvae, type series. 




Coefficient of 







variation (%) 

















































































































































































































































































*For maximum 


**Humeral seta length 



100 J 

FIGURE 2. Odontacarus barrinensis (Womersley), larva, lectotype, ventral view, legs on left omitted beyond trochanters. 
Pt — pretarsala. (Some setae completed from paratypes). 

Dorsal tracheal opening normal, between lateral 
border of palpal coxa and anterior border of coxa I. 

Legs: lengths (including coxae and claws) I 370, 
II 330, III 390. Scobalar formula: trochanters 1, 1, 
1, femora 6, 5, 4, genua 5, 4, 4, tibiae 7, 6, 6 
(including 2 mastalae on III), tarsi 24, 17, 14 
(including one mastala on III). 

Leg specialized setae as follows (lengths in 
parentheses): SoGeI.30d(14), SoGeI.64p(21), 
VsGeL65d(2), SoTiI.49d(16), VsTiI.77pd(3), 
SoTiI.89d(17) (Le. distal to VsTil). SoGeIL20d(18), 
VsGeII.60d(a7l), SoTiIL40d(12), SoTiII.86d(14). 
SoGeIIL23d(26), SoTiIII.37d(24). 



Tarsus I with SoTaI.49d(19), FaTaI.42pd(oz2). 
Tarsus II with SoTaII.54d(14), FaTaII.47d(ca2). 

Pretarsal formula 1, 1, 0. Tarsal claws normal; 
neomedian the longest, thinnest; anterior and 
posterior claws with double fringes of small 

Gnathosoma normal; combined chelicera bases 
68 across; length 89 from tip of cheliceral fangs to 
posterior margin chelicera bases. Fangs stout, 
curved, with 3-4 stout dorsal teeth and 4-5 smaller 
ventral teeth. Galeala simple, pointed, 22 long. 
Gnathobasal setae (palpal coxal setae) (from 
paratype ACB188C) slender, well setulose, 18 long, 
with four or five setules. 

Material examined 

Queensland: Lake Barrine, 16.xi.1943, R. V. 
Southcott, five larvae, N19891-19895 (ACB188A-E). 
O. barrinensis was based on five syn-types collected 
free, from Lake Barrine, Queensland, 16 Nov. 1943 
(R.V.S.), and a single specimen from man, Atherton 
Tableland, Queensland, 8 March 1944 (R.V.S.)'. 
Southcott (loc. cit.) clarified collection details of 
these specimens. Specimen N19891 (ACB188A) is 
hereby specified as lectotype, specimens 
N19892-19895 (ACB188B-E respectively) 

The lectotype is labelled: R. H. label (in writing 
of R.V.S.): LECTOTYPE; (in writing of H. 
Womersley) Acomatacarus barrinensis n. sp./ Co- 
type/ Lake Barrine/ Q. 16.11.43/R.V.S./. L. H. Label 
(in writing of R.V.S.) ACB188A/ Running over log./ 
Shores of Lake Barrine/ Q. 16-11-1943/ R. V. 
Southcott. On reverse of slide, in unidentified 
writing: ARA7524/ Trombiculidae/ Odontacarus/ 
barrinensis/ syntype. 

Specimen N19896 (ACB210A) was unidentifiable 
(see above), and is excluded. 


The measurements given in Table 1 differ from 
those of Womersley (1945) for the same series of 
five mites. A comparison of Womersley's figures 
(means) for the same characters as used here shows 
that his measurements are higher than those given 
here. These eight percentage increases have a range 
of 0.67-6.38%, with a mean of 3.53 and a standard 
deviation of 1.86. 

Successive efforts have been made to find 
differentiating characters for the larval Odontacarus 
of northern Queensland and Papua-New Guinea 
(Womersley 1944, 1945; Southcott 1957, 1986a, b, 
1989; Goff 1979a, b, 1981; Veitch and Southcott 
1984). Womersley's material has been only partly 
restudied, so that his differentiating characters as 
published had perforce to be utilized in my keys 
(1986a: 179; 1989: 42). Prominent among 
Womersley's criteria were the number of dorsal and 
ventral idiosomal setae, the ratio PW/LB (as 
TW/SD'), and the absolute sizes of the shield 
characters, as well as the length of DS. Clarification 
of the taxonomy of several species — O. 
australiensis, O. novaguinea and O. hirsti — was 
by Domrow and Goff. Veitch and Southcott (1984) 
and Southcott (1986a) provided adequate 
differentiating characters for O. athertonensis, O. 
mccullochi, O. swani and O. veitchi. The 
inconsistent errors in Womersley's measurements 
made the use of his key hazardous. Two species still 
needing differentiation were O. athertonensis and 
O. barrinensis, which had been collected from two 
sites on the Atherton Tableland, separated by about 
22 km. 

Womersley (1945: 106) stated of O. barrinensis: 
This species is very close to athertonensis in the 
number of dorsal setae, ca 64 in each. It differs, 
however, in the Standard Data, the values for AW, 
PW and SB being very significantly different.' 

TABLE 2. Differentiating characters of the type series of Odontacarus barrinensis and O. athertonensis larvae. 
































































































































From Southcott (1986a), plus new data 
*PW/SD of Womersley (1945) 



In Table 2 a comparison is given of metric 
characters of the type series of O. barrinensis and 
O. athertonensis. These are the principal characters 
used in keys to larvae. Table 2 shows that there is 
a considerable overlap of all the listed characters 
of the two species, and in fact the ranges of values 
for O. barrinensis lie entirely within those of O. 
athertonensis, for all characters except AW, SB and 

Table 3 shows a comparison of the means of the 
characters listed in Table 2, by t-test, on the usual 
assumption that the variances do not differ. Table 
3 shows that there are significant differences 
between the 'size factors' AW, PW and SB. It shows 
also that there are significant differences in the 
'shape factors', the proportions PW/LB and 
PSB/SB, and borderline significance for PL/AL. 
Comparison of the two type series has not revealed 
other morphological differences. 

Even though exclusive separating characters 
between O. athertonensis and O. barrinensis larvae 
have not been found, the metric differences for 
scutal size and shape indicate that the separation 
is justified. 

The life history of this species will be described 
in a succeeding paper. 

TABLE 3. Comparison of means of key characters 
separating O. barrinensis and O. athertonensis, by t-test. 




P and significance 
















0.1>P>0.05, n.s. 








0.9>P>0.8, n.s. 




0.4>P>0.3, n.s. 




0.2>P>0.1, n.s. 








0.8>P>0.7, n.s. 

'Significant at the 0.05 level of probability 
"■'Significant at the 0.01 level of probability 
** 'Significant at the 0.001 level of probability 
n.s. not significant. 


I thank the South Australian Museum for access to their 

The work was supported by a grant from the National 
Health and Medical Research Council, Commonwealth 
of Australia. 


DOMROW, R. 1956. Three new Australian chigger 
nymphs (Acarina, Trombiculidae). Proceedings of the 
Linnean Society of New South Wales 81(2): 144-152. 

EWING, H. E. 1925. A contribution to our knowledge 
of the taxonomy of chiggers including the descriptions 
of a new genus, six new species and a new variety. 
American Journal of tropical Medicine 5(3): 251-265. 

EWING, H. E. 1929. 'A manual of externa! parasites'. 
Charles C Thomas: Springfield, Illinois, and Baltimore, 

EWING, H. E. 1942. Remarks on the taxonomy of some 
American chiggers (Trombiculinae), including the 
descriptions of new genera and species. Journal of 
Parasitology 28(6): 485-493. 

GOFF, M. L. 1979a. The genus Odontacarus (Acari: 
Trombiculidae) in New Guinea, with descriptions of 
four new species. Journal of medical Entomology 15(2): 

GOFF, M. L. 1979b. A new species of Odontacarus (Acari: 
Trombiculidae) infesting murid rodents in Papua New 
Guinea. Journal of medical Entomology 16(2): 140-141. 

GOFF, M. L. 1981. Five new species of chiggers (Acari: 
Trombiculidae) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of 
medical Entomology 18(1): 33-40. 

HIRST, S. 1925. On a harvest bug (Leeuwenhoekia 
austratiensis, sp. n.) attacking human beings at Sydney, 
New South Wales. Transactions of the Royal Society 
of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 19(3): 150-152. 

OUDEMANS, A. C. 1911. Acarologische aanteekeningen 
XXXVI. Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 3(58): 

SOUTHCOTT, R. V. 1957. The genus Acomatacarus 
(Acarina: Trombiculidae). I. Description of three new 
species from Trinity Bay, north Queensland. 
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 
80: 146-155. 

SOUTHCOTT, R. V. 1986a. The genus Odontacarus 

(Acarina: Trombiculidae). II. Observations on the life 
history and morphology of Odontacarus swani n. sp., 
and related forms. Records of the South Australian 
Museum 19(12): 169-200. 

SOUTHCOTT, R. V. 1986b. Description of Odontacarus 

veitchi sp. nov. (Acarina: Trombiculidae). Records of 
the South Australian Museum 19(14): 213-217. 
SOUTHCOTT, R. V. 1989. The larva and nymph instars 
of Odontacarus (Leogonius) adelaideae (Womersley) 
(Acarina: Trombiculidae: Leeuwenhoekiinae). 


P. M A. Willis & R. E. Molnar 


Australosuchus clarkae is a new generalised Oligo-Miocene crocodilian from Lake Palankarinna, 
South Australia. It appears to be part of a recently recognised endemic Tertiary radiation of 
crocodiles in Australia. 




WILLIS, P. M. A. & MOLNAR, R. E. 1991. A new middle Tertiary crocodile from Lake 
Palankarinna, South Australia. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 39-55. 

Australosuchus clarkae is a new generalised Oligo-Miocene crocodilian from Lake Palankarinna, 
South Australia. It appears to be part of a recently recognised endemic Tertiary radiation of 
crocodiles in Australia. 

Paul M. A. Willis, School of Biological Science, University of New South Wales, P.O. Box 1, 
Kensington, New South Wales 2033, and Ralph E. Molnar, Queensland Museum, P.O. Box 300, 
South Brisbane, Queensland 4101. Manuscript received 14 February 1990. 

In another paper (Willis, Murray & Megirian 
1990), the existence of an endemic Tertiary radiation 
of Gondwanan freshwater crocodilians in Australia 
was discussed. This speculation was based on 
zoogeographic considerations and apparently 
synapomorphic features possessed by 
Pallimnarchus pollens, Quinkana fortirostrum and 
Baru darrowi. 

A new genus and species of crocodile from Oligo- 
Miocene sediments of South Australia appears to 
support this hypothesis. It is both the oldest 
described member of the group and, apparently, the 
most plesiomorphic. This species was noted by 
Molnar (1982) and probably by Stirton et al. (1968) 
and Estes (1984). 

The following abbreviations for collections are 
used in this paper: AMNH, American Museum of 
Natural History, New York; NHMV P, Museum of 
Victoria, Melbourne; QM F, Queensland Museum, 
Brisbane; UCMP, University of California, 
Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley; SAM P, South 
Australian Museum, Adelaide. 


Order: Crocodilia 
Suborder: Eusuchia 
Family: Crocodylidae 

Australosuchus Willis & Molnar, gen. nov. 

Type species 
Australosuchus clarkae Willis & Molnar, sp. nov. 

(Figs la, b) 

Generic diagnosis 

Crocodiles of this genus differ from all other 
crocodylids in the following combination of features 
(apomorphies designated 'aO: moderately broad 
snouted; pseudoheterodont dentition; alveolar 
process present on premaxilla, maxilla and dentary; 

external nares raised, circular or ovate, with sharply 
defined margins; postorbital-squamosal contact on 
skull roof V-shaped, apex directed posteriorly (a); 
five alveoli occur in premaxilla; fourteen alveoli 
occur in maxilla; sixteen to seventeen alveoli occur 
in dentary; dentary tooth reception pits are excluded 
from margins of premaxilla and maxilla; fourth 
dentary tooth reception pit is semi-enclosed (a); 
symphysis extends posteriorly to level of fourth or 
fifth dentary alveolus. 

Differential diagnosis and discussion 

Australosuchus clarkae differs from other 
Australian crocodiles in the following features: A. 
clarkae lacks interlocking dentition, an anterior 
process of the palatines and has the fourth dentary 
tooth accommodated in a pit rather than a notch 
as in species of Crocodylus. The first of these 
features is apparently plesiomorphic for crocodiles, 
the second is probably apomorphic for certain 
Australian crocodiles (Willis et al. 1990), and the 
third is also found in alligatorines. As discussed 
below, Australosuchus seems to have no other 
alligatorine affinities, and so this feature is probably 
convergent and an apomorphy for Australosuchus. 
Australosuchus does not have ziphodont features 
as seen in Quinkana fortirostrum and it is smaller 
than both Baru darrowi and Pallimnarchus pollens. 
Australosuchus clarkae is also distinguished from 
these three fossil crocodilians by the fourth dentary 
tooth reception pit, the extent of the dentary 
symphysis and the more posterior position of the 
palatal fenestrae (a plesiomorphic feature). In these 
features, A. clarkae is sufficiently different to justify 
the erection of a new genus. 


The generic name is derived from the Latin 
australis meaning southern and suchus meaning 
crocodile. The gender is masculine. 



Australosuchus clarkae Willis & Molnar, sp. nov. 

Ho lo type 

QM F16788 (Fig. la, b), an almost complete skull 
and mandible, incomplete cervical and dorsal 
vertebrae, scapula, humerus and dermal armour, 
collected by Michael Archer in 1975. 

Type locality 

An unnamed site from the base of the eastern 
end of the bluff that yielded the Tedford Local 
Fauna and Tedford East Local Fauna, Lake 
Palankarinna, South Australia. 


NHMV P188441, right premaxilla and maxilla; 
SAM P27932, premaxillary fragment; SAM P27847, 
maxillary fragment; SAM P27933, maxillary 
fragment; NHMV P188437, right maxillary 
fragments; QM F18102, jugal; SAM P29580, jugal; 
NHMV P188439, right jugal; NHMV P188440, 
right jugal fragment; SAM P27841, frontals; SAM 
P10892, frontals; AMNH 23047, left postorbital and 
half of frontal; QM F17985, frontal, parietal and 

postorbital; AMNH 23048, right postorbital; 
AMNH 23049, parietal; AMNH 23052, right 
quadrate; AMNH 23051, left quadrate and 
squamosal fragment; QM F17433, right quadrate; 
QM F17986, squamosal (possibly from the same 
individual as QM F17985); QM F17984, squamosal; 
AMNH 23050, basioccipital; NHMV P166441, right 
exoccipital; QM F17983, exoccipital with quadrate 
fragment; SAM P27934, dentary, angular and 
squamosal; SAM P27827, dentary; SAM P29083, 
dentary; SAM P23985, dentary; NHMV P166439, 
right dentary; NHMV P160360 and NHMV 
P160357, right dentary fragment (two fragments of 
the same specimen that have been catalogued 
separately); NHMV P166442, left dentary; SAM 
P30162, right dentary; UCMP 57071, right dentary; 
UCMP 70941, left dentary; QM F18152, right 
dentary; QM F18151, left dentary; UCMP 100028, 
surangular; SAM P23985, surangular; NHMV 
P188436a, right surangular; NHMV P188438, right 
surangular; QM F17988, incomplete angular; SAM 
P23985, angular; SAM P29578, angular; SAM 
P29579, angular; NHMV P188436b, left angular 
fragment; AMNH 23055, cervical vertebral 

FIGURE 1. The type specimen (QM F16788), in its plaster cradle, of Australosuchus clarkae, gen. et sp. nov., in 
dorsal view. A, Skull. B, Entire specimen. Scale bars 5 cm. 



centrum; SAM P27829, cervical vertebral centrum; 
AMNH 23056, neural arch; AMNH 23057, caudal 
vertebral centrum and neural arch; QM F17987, 
dorsal vertebra; AMNH 23054, cervical rib; SAM 
P24656, a right hind limb consisting of femur, tibia, 
fibula, a partial third tarsal, all metatarsals, one 
phalange and claw from the first digit, three 
phalanges and claw from the third digit and two 
phalanges from the fourth digit; SAM P30161, right 
femur; SAM P27830, right coracoid; SAM P27828, 
right third metatarsal; SAM P3016O, right humerus; 
all from the Etadunna Formation, Lake 
Palankarinna, South Australia. 

Paratype material from other localities includes: 
AMNH 12177, premaxilla and two teeth and 
AMNH 12200, a skull, both from the Namba 
formation, Lake Pinpa; NHMV P188442, right 
angular fragment from the Namba formation, Lake 
Tarkarooloo; UCMP 88192, jugal and 
quadratojugal and UCMP 71396, left premaxilla 
and maxilla both from the Wipijiri formation, Lake 
Ngapakaldi; UCMP 100027, frontals, UCMP 
57069, dentary and UCMP 57071, dentary all from 
the Mampuwordu Sands, Lake Palankarinna. 

AMNH 12200 is a large skull that is badly 
shattered (Fig 2). It can be referred to this species 
but is too poorly preserved to be of much 
descriptive value. 

There are numerous other crocodilian fragments 
from Lake Palankarinna in the collections of the 
South Australian Museum and the Queensland 
Museum. These specimens are too small or broken 
to be of use. However, a search through these 
fragments revealed no specimens that clearly 
differed from those described here. 

Various unnumbered specimens from the 
collections of the Queensland Museum and the 
South Australian Museum are also of use and are 
included here as paratypes. 

Stratigraphy, fauna and age 

The holotype derives from the Etadunna 
Formation. It belongs to an undetermined local 
fauna that is some two metres below the Tedford 
East Local Fauna and at a level that is 
stratigraphically comparable to the occurrence of 
Muramura williamsi (Pledge 1987; Archer, pers. 
comm.). This local fauna is most likely to be late 
Oligocene to early Miocene in age (Callen et al. 
1987; Archer et al. 1990). 

Paratype specimens from the Etadunna 
Formation belong to the Ditjimanka Fauna. 
AMNH 12200 and AMNH 12177 pertain to the 
Pinpa Local Fauna. NHMV P188442 belongs within 
the Lake Tarkarooloo Local Fauna. UCMP 88192 
and UCMP 71396 belong to the the Kutjamarpu 
Fauna. Current understanding of the 
biostratigraphy places these faunas within the late 

Oligocene or early Miocene (Callen et al. 1987, 
Woodburne et al. 1985). 

UCMP 100027, UCMP 57069 and UCMP 57071 
are from the Mampuwordu Sands, Lake 
Palankarinna. The Mampuwordu Sands are 
thought to be late Pliocene or possibly early 
Pleistocene in age (Callen et al. 1987, Woodburne 
et al. 1985). Either this species of crocodile was 
conservative in its morphology over this period of 
time or the site information for these three 
specimens is incorrect. Considering that the 
Mampuwordu Sands are a channel cut into the 
Etadunna Formation, it is possible that these 
Mampuwordu crocodile specimens were reworked 
from the older Etadunna Formation or that their 
stratigraphic province was incorrectly interpreted at 
the time of collection. At present, we assume the 
site information for the supposed Mampuwordu 
Sands specimens is incorrect. Thus we suggest this 
species is most likely restricted to the late Oligocene 
or early Miocene. 


The specific name is in honor of Mrs Elaine 
Clark in recognition of her continuing support for 
the Riversleigh Research Project. 

Specific diagnosis 

As for the genus until new species are recognised. 


The following descriptions are primarily based 
on the holotype, the most complete specimen. The 
paratypes were used to supplement this information 
because many elements on QM F16788 are 
incomplete, badly fractured or covered by matrix. 
Paratypes are noted where used. Fig 3 shows 
reconstructions of the skull, based on specimens 
shown in Fig. 4. 

QM F16788 was chosen as the holotype for two 
reasons: it retains most of the skull elements and, 
although crushed and fractured, its skull could be 
reasonably well reconstructed; second, it is the only 
specimen that unambiguously associates cranial and 
postcranial elements. 

Premaxillae: The premaxillae on QM F16788 are 
broken and incomplete so this description is based 
mainly on SAM P27932, AMNH 12177, NHMV 
P188441 and UCMP 71396 (Fig 5). 

The external nares are raised. They are circular 
and slightly flared on SAM P27932, but on UCMP 
71396 the nares are ovate, being wider than long. 
On both specimens the nares have sharply defined 

AMNH 12177 has two unattached teeth 
associated with it. They are ovate in cross section, 
with non-serrate anterior and posterior carinae. The 
larger has vertical ribs on the lingual surface. These 



FIGURE 2. Large crocodilian skull (AMNH 12200) from the Namba Fm. of Lake Pinpa, South Australia. A, Dorsal 
view. B, Ventral view. This somewhat crushed specimen is probably referable to A. clarkae. Scale in inches and cm. 



are the only teeth associated with any of the 

There are five alveoli. The first and second are 
subequal in size, the third is larger and the fourth 
is very large. The fifth is intermediate in size 
between the second and third. 

Dentary tooth reception niches occur between, 
and lingual to, the upper series and are excluded 
from the margins. The first niche is very deep and 
separates the first and second premaxillary alveoli. 
It does not erupt through the dorsal surface on 
SAM P27932 but does on UCMP 71396. The other 
niches are more shallow. The fourth dentary tooth 
reception pit is semi-enclosed, mostly hiding the 
fourth dentary tooth when the mouth is closed and 
thus resembling the alligatorine, rather than the 
crocodyline, condition. This is an unusual and 
distinctive feature. The premaxilla is built up around 
the tooth bases to form a distinct alveolar process. 
The sculpture consists of distinct oval pits around 
the margins and indistinct pits on the dorsal surface. 
The foramen incisivum is relatively large and ovate. 
AMNH 12200 shows that the premaxillae are 
separated by the nasals on the dorsal surface, 
posterior to the nares, a feature not clear in any 
other specimen. 

Maxillae: The maxillae of QM F16788 are almost 
complete but crushed and broken. The ventral 
surfaces are obscured by matrix and mandibular 
elements. The maxilla of UCMP 71396 is complete 
and uncrushed. NHMV P18841, NHMV P188437, 
SAM P27933 and SAM P27847 are less complete 
maxillary fragments. This description is based on 
these specimens. 

The shape of the maxilla indicates a moderately 
broad and flat snout with fourteen alveoli. A 
moderately developed alveolar process is present, 
accommodating the anterior six alveoli. 

No crowns are associated with any maxilla, except 
that of the type, where the left fourth and fifth are 
present. These are oval in section with marked 
anterior and posterior carinae. The alveoli are 
round, becoming ovate posteriorly. The sequence 
of tooth size is typically crocodyline (as judged by 
the size of the alveoli) with the fifth tooth being 
the largest. The alveoli increase in size from the first 
to the fifth then decrease in size to the seventh. They 
then increase in size again until the tenth and then 
decrease in size posteriorly. The third and tenth 
alveoli are about the same size but larger than the 
second, sixth, eighth and fourteenth alveoli which 
are also about the same size. The alveolar spacing 
is interrupted by dentary tooth reception pits 
between and lingual to the sixth and seventh alveoli, 
and between and lingual to the seventh and eighth 

Tooth reception pits are excluded from the 
margins and indicate that the teeth did not fully 

interlock. Well defined tooth reception pits are 
located between and lingual to the sixth and seventh 
alveoli, the seventh and eighth alveoli, the eighth 
and ninth alveoli and between the ninth and tenth 
alveoli. Less well defined pits occur between the first 
and second alveoli and posterior to the tenth. 

The palatal suture with the premaxilla is a 
shallow W-shape and there is no clear sign of a 
contact with the palatine. However, the mid-line 
maxillary suture can be seen to extend posteriorly 
to the level of the anterior margins on the palatal 
fenestrae. This indicates that this species lacked an 
anterior palatal process. The ectopterygoid suture 
reaches anteriorly to the posterior edge of the 
twelfth alveolus. The palatal fenestrae reach 
anteriorly to the level of the ninth alveolus. The 
dorsal sutural contact with the nasal is nearly 
straight and almost parallel to the midline, but 
slightly constricted anteriorly. 

Sculpture is shallow on the maxilla, consisting 
of low surface markings, pits anteriorly and grooves 

Nasals: Both nasals on QM F16788 are crushed 
and broken. While no other specimens preserve the 
nasals, some inferences about these bones can be 
drawn from UCMP 71296 (premaxilla and maxilla), 
AMNH 12200 (a skull) and from UCMP 100027, 
(frontals and prefrontals). 

The nasals entered the external nares, flared 
slightly toward the posterior until their contact with 
the lacrymals, then tapered posterior from that 
point. An anterior process of the frontals separated 
the posterior extremities of the nasals. 

Jugals: The jugals of the type specimen are 
crushed and broken and the right has fallen away 
from the remainder of the skull so that the medial 
face is exposed. This description is also based on 
UCMP 88192, NHMV P188440, NHMV P188439 
and SAM P29580 (Fig. 6a-d). 

The jugals are slender and gracile. The postorbital 
bar is inset but there is no trough between it and 
the lateral face of the jugal. The postorbital bar has 
a weakly developed buttress on the medial surface 
that ventrally is deflected sharply forward. A very 
large nutrient foramen lies on the medial surface, 
anterior to the base of the postorbital bar. On 
UCMP 88192 and the type, there are two foramina 
here. The sculptured surface of the jugal extends 
ventrally under the region of the postorbital bar. 

Quadratojugals: The quadratojugals on QM 
F16788 are broken and partially displaced. An 
almost complete quadratojugal is present in UCMP 
88192. It is broad and ventrally thickened. The 
presence or absence of an anterior spike cannot be 
determined. Only subdued sculpture is present, and 
the ventral portion of the lateral face, behind the 
jugal contact, is flexed to be directed ventrolaterally. 

Quadrates: The right quadrate of QM F16788 is 




FIGURE 3. Reconstruction of the skull of A. clarkae in dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views. The posterior part of the 
palatal surface is unknown. 






UCMP 71396 

\ \ UCMP 100027 

UCMP 100028 

NMV P188439 

QMF 17985 

UCMP 71396 

AMNH 23051 QMF 17433 QMF 17433 

FIGURE 4. Specimens upon which the cranial reconstruction is based. A, Dorsal view. B, Ventral view. 

missing and the left quadrate is broken and 
somewhat obscured by other elements. AMNH 
23052 a right quadrate, AMNH 23051 a left 
quadrate and squamosal, and three unnumbered 
specimens (two right, one left, all missing the 
anterior portions) in the collections of the 
Queensland Museum form the basis of the 
description (Fig. 7) 

The dorsal contact with the squamosal has a 
prominent plinth. A well developed crest on the 
ventral surface (equivalent to the B crest of 
Iordansky (1973)) is orientated parallel to the 
quadratojugal suture. Posteriorly this crest curves 
laterally, toward the quadratojugal suture which it 
meets just anterior to the condyle (Iordansky's B' 
crest). The sutured margin with the quadratojugal 
is quite deep posterior to the level of the paroccipital 
process, becoming more shallow anteriorly. The 

dorsal platform between the condyle and the 
paroccipital process is quite wide. A distinct, almost 
pit-like, excavation on the ventral face lies just 
anterolateral to the medial condyle. 

Lacrymals: Both lacrymals on QM F16788 are 
crushed and broken but complete. The only 
lacrymal material known from the paratype 
collection is a small fragment attached to UCMP 

The lacrymals are relatively long and narrow. 
They form the antero-Iateral margin of the orbits 
which are large and constricted anteriorly. They 
have an extensive medial contact with the nasals. 
The lacrymal duct and ventral surfaces cannot be 
traced in these specimens. 

Prefrontals: The right prefrontal of QM F16788 
is severely broken, but the left has suffered only one 
break near its centre and is apparently complete. 





FIGURE 5. The left premaxilla and attached maxilla of A. clarkae (UCMP 71396) in dorsal (A), lateral (B) and 
ventral (C) views. Scale bar 5 cm. 

UCMP 100027 preserves both left and right 
prefrontals; the right is incomplete anteriorly and 
both lack the delicate descending process. 

The prefrontals are basically isosceles triangles 
with the apex directed laterally. The anterior process 
is relatively long and the posterior extremity of the 
nasals separates the anterior tip of the frontals from 
the prefrontals. Although the orbit margins are not 
raised, they are sharply defined and steeply angled 
to the external surfaces. There is a slight 
continuation of the cristae cranii frontales onto the 
posterior part of the ventral surface of the 
prefrontals. Sculpture consists of deep elongate pits. 

Frontals: The frontals of QM F16788 are broken 
in one place. SAM P27841 and SAM P10892 are 
complete frontals, UCMP 100027 are complete 

frontals with prefrontals and part of the nasals (Fig. 
6e, f) and AMNH 23047 is half a left frontal and 
a postorbital. All are similar but AMNH 23047 is 
smaller than the others. 

The frontals of this species are slightly concave 
posteriorly due to raised orbital rims. They are 
heavily built (particularly posteriorly), narrow 
between orbits and lightly sculptured with pits. The 
anterior process is relatively long and anteriorly 
separates the posterior extremities of the nasals. 
Ventral ridges around orbits {crista cranii frontales) 
are not as well developed as in C. porosus of similar 
size, but in AMNH 23047 they are more 
pronounced than in the other specimens. The 
frontals do not participate in the margins of the 
supratemporal fenestrae. The dorsal suture with the 



FIGURE 6. The right jugal with attached quadratojugal of A. clarkae (UCMP 88192) in medial (A) and lateral (B) 
views. The right jugal (QM F18102) in medial (C) and lateral (D) views. The frontals (UCMP 100027) in ventral (E) 
and dorsal (F) views. Scale bars 5 cm. 



FIGURE 7. The right quadrate of A clarkae (QM F17433) 
in ventral (A), medial (B) and dorsal (C) views. Scale bar 
5 cm. 

postorbital is directed medially then posteriorly in 
some specimens (UCMP 100027 and some 
unnumbered specimens in the Queensland 
Museum) but not in others (e.g. QM F16788). 

Parietals: The parietals are preserved on QM 
F16788 but are broken between the supratemporal 
fenestrae. AMNH 23049 is a complete parietal, QM 
F17985 is a frontal, parietal and postorbital, and 
there are unnumbered parietals in the collection of 
the South Australian Museum. 

The dorsal surface of this element is shallowly 
concave, posteriorly rising to the dorsal margins of 
the supratemporal fenestrae. The supratemporal 
fenestrae are large and round and the parietals are 
constricted between them. Anteriorly, the parietals 
send a thin lateral process to the postorbital, 
separating the frontals from the supratemporal 
fenestrae. There is a well-developed transverse bar 
on the ventral surface in the region of the 

Postorbitals: QM F16788 has both postorbitals 
preserved, but both have the postorbital bar broken 

and the left is posteriorly incomplete. AMNH 23047 
is a left postorbital and half frontal, QM F17985 
is a frontal, parietal and postorbital, and AMNH 
23048 is a right postorbital. 

The postorbital is flat on the dorsal surface and 
relatively thick. There is a deep nutrient foramen 
on the anterolateral edge, at the top of the 
postorbital bar. QM F17985 shows a posterior 
process on the dorsal surface that overlaps the 
squamosal, separating the lateral and medial sides 
of its anterior extremity. 

Squamosals: Both squamosals are preserved in 
QM F16788. AMNH 23051 is a left squamosal 
fragment attached to a quadrate. QM F17986 is a 
squamosal (possibly from the same individual as 
QM F17985) and QM F17984 is also a squamosal. 

This relatively thick element is flat on the dorsal 
surface, forms the posterolateral margins of the 
supratemporal fenestrae and has a well-defined 
lateral edge forming the dorsal margin of the 
temporal arcade. This edge has a ventral lip. The 
anterior process extends under the postorbital. The 
squamosal extends further ventrally on the posterior 
wall of the skull than in C. porosus and the 
posterolateral crest of the squamosal is better 
developed than on C. porosus and continuous. The 
posterior face of the squamosal is concave. 

Basioccipital: On QM F16788 the basioccipital 
is obscured. AMNH 23050 is a basioccipital. There 
is one unnumbered basioccipital in the UCMP 
collection, assumed to represent this species because 
of its locality and similarity to QM F16788 and 
AMNH 23050. 

This element is narrower and extends further 
ventrally than in C. porosus. There is a deep 
eustachian foramen ventrally and a well-developed 
medial ridge on the ventral part of the posterior 
wall. Unlike C. porosus, the eustachian foramen is 
not enclosed by the basioccipital; the posterior half 
of the eustachian foramen is bounded by the 
basioccipital. The occipital condyle is set on a 
prominent neck, that projects further than in C 

Exoccipitals: Only the posterior wall of the 
exoccipitals of QM F16788 are visible. These are 
broken and partially obscured. NHMV P166441 is 
a right exoccipital. The ventral portion of QM 
F17983 is an exoccipital including the base of the 
paraoccipital process to the foramen magnum. 

The positions of the foramina for cranial nerves 
X, XI and XII are as in C. porosus. The broken 
ventral face reveals the passage for the posterior 
carotid, and the broken dorsal surface exposes the 
internal chambers of the exoccipital that occupy the 
bulk of this element. The posterior face is more 
strongly convex than in C. porosus and the posterior 
opening of the cranio-quadrate passage is very close 
to the ventral margin. 



Other skull elements: Palatines, vomers, 
basisphenoids, laterosphenoids, pterygoids and 
ectopterygoids have not been identified. They are 
all presumably present on QM F16788 but may be 
obscured by matrix and other bones. 

Dentahes: The anterodorsal portion of the left 
dentary is present in QM F16788 but it is badly 
broken. The right dentary is possibly present but 
covered by matrix. Paratypes SAM P27934, SAM 
P27827, SAM P29083, SAM P23985, SAM P30162, 
NHMV P166439, NHMV P160360 (and NHMV 
P160357), NHMV P16644, UCMP 57071, UCMP 
70941, QM F18151, QM F18152 and unnumbered 
specimens in the collection of the Queensland 
Museum are all dentaries (Figs 8 and 9). 

The dentary is moderately broad and 
pseudoheterodont with an alveolar process that 
varies in development according to tooth size and 
extends back to at least the fourteenth alveolus. 
Pseudoheterodonty and the development of the 
alveolar process may be related to ontogeny because 
these features are not as strongly developed in small 
(presumably younger) specimens. The dentary body 
deepens posteriorly from the level of the fifteenth 

SAM P29083 and SAM P23985 display sixteen 
alveoli but QM F18152 displays seventeen in the 
right dentary. The teeth are arranged in a typically 
crocodyline sequence of enlargement. The first and 
fourth alveoli are the largest. The second, third and 

FIGURE 8. The dentaries of A. clarkae. A, Left dentary (QM F18151) in lateral, and B, medial view. C, Right dentary 
(QM F18152) in lateral, and D, medial view. E, Both dentaries articulated in dorsal view. Scale bar 5 cm. 




FIGURE 9. Left dentary with articulated angular and surangular (SAM P23985) of A. clarkae. A, Lateral view. B, 
Dorsal view. C, Medial view. D, Ventral view. Scale bar 5 cm. 

the fifth through to the tenth teeth are all similar 
and smaller in size. The teeth posterior to and 
including the eleventh are similar in size and 
intermediate between the size of the smaller and 
larger teeth in the anterior of the dentary. The 
anterior alveoli are round but posterior alveoli are 
ovate. SAM P30162 is a more robust dentary and 
the fourth dentary alveolus is greatly enlarged. This 
has forced the third and fifth alveoli more toward 
the medial than in the other dentaries. 

There is a deep indentation between, and buccal 
to, the second and third alveoli to receive the fourth 
premaxillary tooth. Other such indentations are 

located between and buccal to the first and second, 
fifth and sixth, sixth and seventh, seventh and 
eighth, and eight and ninth alveoli. 

The symphysis extends posteriorly to the fourth 
alveolus in some (UCMP) specimens and the fifth 
alveolus in others. The splenial extends to the level 
of the seventh alveolus in some specimens and the 
eighth alveolus in others but this feature cannot be 
seen in all specimens. The symphyseal region is 
broad and upswept anteriorly. It is markedly 
broader than in C. porosus of comparable size. 

Sculpture is of small point-like pits anteriorly and 
posteriorly, with sulci extending posteriorly from 



these pits. A distinct row of dorsally opening buccal 
foramina occurs parallel to the margin of the 
dentary from the medial side of the first alveolus 
to the seventh alveolus. 

The first, second, third, fifth, eleventh and 
thirteenth crowns are present in QM F18151 and the 
fifteenth is present but broken. The first crown is 
slender, recurved and almost D-shaped in section, 
with mesial and distal carinae. The posterior face 
is longitudinally striate. In section the first crown 
is wider that it is long, being about two-thirds as 
long (anteroposteriorly) as broad (mesiodistally). 

Of the second, third and fifth crowns, only the 
tips are visible but they appear to be laterally 
compressed with mesial and distal carinae. 

The eleventh crown is blunt, but laterally 
compressed with mesial and distal carinae. 

Surangulars: Neither of the surangulars of QM 
F16788 are clearly visible. Paratypes SAM P23985, 
NHMV P188438 and NHMV P188436a are 
surangulars. The surangular of this species does not 
appear to differ greatly from those of other 
crocodilians although it is slightly more gracile than 

Angulars: The angulars of QM F16788, if 
present, are obscured by matrix. Paratypes SAM 
P23985, SAM P29578, SAM P29579, NHMV 
P188442, QM F17988 and NHMV PI88436b are all 

The angulars, although basically similar to each 
other in general form, show a surprising amount 
of variation in detail. The longitudinal ridge on the 
floor of the internal, ventral canal may be well 
developed and prominent (as in SAM P23985 and 
SAM P23578) or low and poorly developed (as in 
SAM P29579). SAM P29578 has only one large 
foramen in the ventral canal whereas SAM P23985 
and SAM P29579 have two small foramina. SAM 
P29578 has a flared rim extending from the 
posterior side of the internal ascending (coronoid) 
process flaring medially and extending posteriorly 
to the posterior ascending margin. This flared rim 
is not seen in the other specimens. However, these 
are minor differences and, considering the variation 
seen in comparing specimens of other crocodilians, 
there is no reason to suspect that these angulars do 
not represent the same species. 

Other mandibular elements: The articulars, 
coronoids and splenials may be present on QM 
F16788 but if so are obscured by matrix. These 
elements were not identified among the paratypes. 

Mandibular fenestrae: Both the external 
mandibular fenestrae and the inferior internal 
fenestrae are best preserved in SAM P23985. 

The external mandibular fenestra is quite large 
for a crocodyline. It is subtriangular. The 
'hypotenuse' forms the superior border, which is 
inclined to the ventral margin of the mandible. 

The inferior internal foramen is only known from 
its ventral and posterior margins. These give the 
impression of a relatively large size for this foramen. 

Postcranials: Although there are many 
postcranial elements associated with the holotype 
and paratypes, these are not described in detail here. 
Most are poorly preserved or do not differ 
significantly from comparative specimens of C. 
porosus and C. johnstoni. However, the following 
observations may be made with confidence: 1, all 
vertebrae apparently are procoelous; 2, cervical 
vertebrae (AMNH 23055) are strongly keeled; 3, 
dorsal arches (centra eroded prior to collection) are 
best preserved, lacking only the dorsal spine, and 
the prezygopophyseal facets are not laterally 
extended as in C porosus (Fig. 10); 4, cervical arches 
are broken but resemble those of C. porosus (Fig. 
11); 5, the humerus is broken and the articular ends 
are missing, but it agrees in proportions with that 
of C porosus; 6, the coracoid and the preserved 
portion of the scapula visible are no different from 
those of C. porosus; 7, The numerous scutes have 
no keel and a sculpture of pits that are not as deep 
as those on the skull (Fig. 12); 8, long elements of 
the limbs (humerus, femur, tibia, fibula and 
metatarsals) are straighter than in either C. porosus 
or C johnstoni but otherwise similar; 9, the vestigial 
fifth metatarsal is much more robust and thick than 
the corresponding element in other crocodilians. 

Phylogenetic Affinities 

At present, a phylogenetic systematic analysis of 
the affinities of A clarkae is considered premature. 
Such an analysis will be more meaningfully 
conducted within the context of a broader 
examination of all Australian and non-Australian 
crocodilians, many of which are presently under 
study. Consequently the affinities of A clarkae are 
here outlined in only a cursory manner. 

The position of the choanae cannot be seen on 
any of the specimens. However, the basioccipital 
AMNH 23050 is notched on the ventral side of the 
anterior process to accommodate the narial passage. 
This indicates that the internal nares must have been 
situated posteriorly in the palate. This feature, 
together with the presence of procoelous vertebrae 
and the subdermal postorbital bar indicate that this 
is an advanced eusuchian crocodylid (Steel 1973). 
Although the semi-enclosed fourth mandibular 
tooth could suggest alligatorine affinities, the 
contact of the nasal and the lacrymal (seen in 
Alligator and some fossil alligatorines), the 
sequence of maxillary tooth enlargement (the fifth 
being the largest rather than the fourth, an 
alligatorine apomorphic character-state) and the 
general form of the skull indicate crocodyline 



FIGURE 10. The dorsal neural arches as preserved in the type specimen (QM F16788) of A clarkae, viewed from 
above, a, Nearly complete arch, b, c, d, Fragmentary arches (d in posterior aspect). Scale in mm. 

FIGURE 11. The cervical vertebrae and scapula, as preserved, in the type specimen (QM F16788) of A clarkae, in 
lateral view, c, Centrum (viewed obliquely from above), p, Prezygapophyses. pa, Parapophysis. s, Scapula. Scale in mm. 



FIGURE 12. Dorsal osteoderms, in situ, of the type specimen (QM F16788) of A clarkae, in dorsal view. Two complete 
osteoderms are indicated by arrows just at left of centre and at bottom-centre. Scale in mm. 

affinities. Thus the semi-enclosed fourth 
mandibular tooth is probably a convergent feature. 

Australosuchus clarkae shows some features that 
have been tentatively proposed as synapomorphies 
of an Australian Tertiary crocodile radiation (Willis 
et al 1990). These include the lack of an anterior 
process of the palatine, the degree and sequence of 
tooth enlargement in the dentary and the presence 
of an overbite. The lesser development of an 
alveolar process on the premaxilla and maxilla and 
the palatal fenestrae being more posteriorly located 
than in other Australian crocodilians suggest that 
A clarkae is a more plesiomorphic member of this 

There is a striking resemblance between the 
anterior portion of the dentaries of A. clarkae and 
B. darrowi which suggests a close affinity between 
the two. However, they differ in the posterior extent 
of the mandibular symphysis. In Baru the 
symphysis extends to the level of the sixth or seventh 
alveolus while in Australosuchus it extends only to 
the level of the fourth or fifth alveolus. 


Australosuchus clarkae is a freshwater crocodilian 
of moderate size from the late Oligocene and early 

Miocene of central Australia. To date, it is the oldest 
described member of the Australian Tertiary 
radiation of crocodiles (Willis et al. 1990). It shows 
some features that suggest it may be the most 
plesiomorphic member of this group. 
Australosuchus clarkae is considered to be a 
generalised crocodilian, that is, it lacks features 
commonly associated with more specialised 
crocodilians such as longirostrine, ziphodont or 
brevirostrine characters. 

As discussed briefly above, the Mampuwordu 
specimens obstensibly represent this species in late 
Pliocene or early Pleistocene time in the Lake 
Palankarinna area. However, cataloguing or 
collecting errors may be involved. While the 
possibility that this species remained largely 
unchanged from the late Oligocene to the 
Pleistocene could not be ruled out, such extreme 
morphological conservatism seems unlikely even in 
situations where environments persisted for long 
times. Unfortunately, without considerably more 
research, details of preservation cannot be reliably 
used to distinguish between specimens of the 
Mampuwordu deposit and those from the older 
Etadunna deposits (Archer, pers. comm.) 

Material belonging to A. clarkae has been 
mentioned by other authors. Estes (1984) 



commented that the only crocodilian material in a 
sample of fossils from Lake Palankarinna were 
small, unidentifiable teeth. Stirton et ai (1968) 
mentioned unidentifiable crocodilian remains from 
Lake Palankarinna. Molnar (1982) briefly 
mentioned the 'Etadunna' crocodilian suggesting 
that it may be related to a crocodilian from Murgon 
in south-east Queensland. Because there is no 
evidence of more than one crocodilian from Lake 
Palankarinna in the extensive collections of material 
examined in this study, it seems reasonable that 
crocodilian material mentioned by these authors can 
be attributed, at least tentatively, to A. clarkae. 


We would like to thank Tom Rich, Neville Pledge and 
Gene Gaffney for the loan of material used in this study. 
Mike Archer collected the type specimen, critically read 
early drafts and finished manuscripts and offered advice 
about the biostratigraphy. Dick Tedford and Neville Pledge 
provided photographs of some specimens and L. Bierne 
produced all artwork. The Queensland Museum and an 
N. S. F. Grant to M. O. Woodburne provided support for 
the 1975 expeditions to Lake Palankarinna. A scholarship 
from the Dean of the Faculty of Biological and 
Behavioural Sciences, University of New South Wales, 
provided support for one of the authors (P. W.) during 
this study. 


S. J. & SCALLY, K. 1990. Yingabalanaridae, a new 
family of enigmatic mammals from Tertiary deposits 
of Riversleigh, north-western Queensland. Memoirs of 
the Queensland Museum 28: 193-202. 

WILLIAMS, D. L. G. 1987. The Lake Eyre Basin — 
Cainozoic sediments, fossil vertebrates and plants, 
landforms, silcretes and climatic implications. 
Australasian Sedimentologists Group Field Guide 
Series No. 4. 

ESTES, R. 1984. Fish, amphibians and reptiles from the 
Etadunna Formation, Miocene of South Australia. 
Australian Zoologist 21: 335-348. 

IORDANSKY, N. N. 1973. The skull of the Crocodilia. 
Pp. 201-262 in 'Biology of the Reptilia'. Vol. 4. 
Morphology D. Ed. C. Gans & T. S. Parsons. Academic 
Press: London. 

MOLNAR, R. E. 1982. Pallimnarchus and other Cenozoic 
crocodiles of Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland 
Museum 20: 657-673. 

PLEDGE, N. S. 1987. Muramura williamsi, a new genus 
and species of ?wynyardiid (Marsupialia: Vombatoidea) 

from the Middle Miocene Etadunna Formation of 
South Australia. Pp. 393-400 in Possums and 
Opossums, Studies in Evolution*. Ed. M. Archer. Surrey 
Beatty and Sons: Sydney. 

STEEL, R. 1973. Crocodylia. In 'Handbuch der 
Palaoherpetologie, Encyclopedia of Palaeoherpetology'. 
Vol. 16. Ed. O. Kuhn. Gustav Fischer Verlag: Stuttgart. 

M. O. 1968. Australian Tertiary deposits containing 
Tertiary mammals. University of California 
Publications in Geological Sciences 77: 1-30. 

1990. Baru darrowi gen. et sp. nov., a large, broad- 
snouted crocodyline (Eusuchia: Crocodylidae) from 
mid-Tertiary freshwater limestones in Northern 
Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29: 

T. H. V. & PLEDGE, N. S. 1985. Geology, stratigraphy, 
paleoecology. Pp. 75-84 in 'Revision of the 
Ektopodontidae (Mammalia; Marsupialia; 
Phalangeroidea) of the Australian Neogene'. Ed. M. 
O. Woodburne & W. A. Clemens. University of 
California Publications in Geological Sciences 131. 





The South Australian Museum collection of marginellid types is one of the most important 
collections of reference material for the Australian members of the family. The species represented 
originate mainly from Tasmania and southern and eastern Australia, plus two species from New 
Zealand, one species each from Antarctica, Sri Lanka and Madeira. The collection contains primary 
type material, and some secondary types, of 27 species; a further 28 species are represented by 
secondary types. 



HEWISH, D. R. & GOWLETT-HOLMES, K. L. 1991. Mollusc type specimens in the South 
Australian Museum. 4. Gastropoda: Marginellidae. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 57-70 

The South Australian Museum collection of marginellid types is one of the most important 
collections of reference material for the Australian members of the family. The species represented 
originate mainly from Tasmania and southern and eastern Australia, plus two species from New 
Zealand, and one species each from Antarctica, Sri Lanka and Madeira. The collection contains 
primary type material, and some secondary types, of 27 species; a further 28 species are represented 
by secondary types. 

D. R. Hewish, c/- Department of Invertebrates, The Museum of Victoria, Russell Street, 
Melbourne, Victoria 3000, and K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, 
Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Manuscript received 6 June 1990. 

The Marginellidae is a family of mainly marine 
gastropods that is particularly well represented in 
Australia, and its members are especially abundant 
in southern Australian waters. Because of this, the 
Australian fauna occupies an important place in the 
taxonomy of the family as a whole. The majority 
of Australian species have been named during this 
century, and the primary types of most of these are 
held in collections of Australian museums. 

The earliest marginellid type material in the 
South Australian Museum collection is from the 
work of Prof. R. Tate between 1878 and 1901. Tate 
described species collected by himself and by 
W. L. May from South Australia and Tasmania 
(Tate 1878; Tate & May 1900, 1901). As most of 
Tate's species descriptions were not accompanied 
by figures, these species are illustrated here, with 
the exception of those which were illustrated by Tate 
& May (1901). 

A large number of secondary types and some 
primary types of Marginellidae in the South 
Australian Museum are from the collection of 
W. L. May, acquired by Sir Joseph Verco and 
presented to the museum in 1929. The May 
Collection contained secondary types of all of the 
species that May had described from Tasmania, plus 
the types of some species described by May's 
contemporaries from within Australia and from 

A later series of marginellid types resulted from 
the work of Cotton (1944, 1949), who described 
several new species from southern and western 
Australia, mostly from material previously collected 
by May and Verco early this century. Cotton's types 
have never been adequately illustrated, as the figures 
accompanying the original descriptions were of 
poor quality and, in some cases, misleading. Figures 

of types of all of Cotton's species have therefore 
been included here. Also in the collection are 
specimens of several species of Marginella described 
by C. Laseron from New South Wales, which come 
from the type localities, and were donated to the 
South Australian Museum by Laseron. These 
specimens are believed to be from the type series, 
and are regarded here as syntypes. 

Since Laseron (1957) little of consequence has 
been published on Australian Marginellidae, and the 
type material of only one species, Marginella ealesae 
Powell, 1958 (holotype), has been added to the 

As a result of the above research, the type 
collection in the South Australian Museum is very 
representative of the marginellid fauna of southern 
Australia and contains a very extensive range of 
secondary types. 

All species listed in this paper were originally 
described under the genus Marginella Lamarck, 
1799, but have subsequently been placed in other 
genera. The generic classification of the Australian 
Marginellidae has been neglected since Laseron 
(1957), and is in need of revision. The most recently 
published revision of genera for this family is by 
Coan (1965), and this scheme, although outdated, 
has been followed here, with modifications as 
indicated in the text. Other modifications are the 
use of Mesoginella Laseron, 1957 for species placed 
previously in Sinuginella Laseron, 1957, following 
Coovert (1988), and the use of Austroginella 
Laseron, 1957, Alaginella Laseron, 1957 and 
Protoginella Laseron, 1957 as valid genera, not 
subgenera of Marginella. This is considered 
necessary because species of Marginella lack 
radulae, while those of the above Australian genera 
have well developed radulae (D.R.H., unpublished 



results and see Coovert (1989) for review). It should 
be noted that a considerable amount of further 
work is necessary before the status of many generic 
and subgeneric groups can be established, and it 
is probable that extensive changes will be made in 
the future. No comprehensive revision of the 
Australian Marginellidae at the species level has ever 
been undertaken, and the species level taxonomy 
obviously requires considerable updating. In the 
following list, species are listed alphabetically 
according to their names at the time of description, 
followed by the original citation, the current generic 
placement (Coan 1965) and current species 
allocation as determined by the authors. 

The following abbreviations are used in the text. 
AIM - Auckland Institute and Museum, New 
Zealand; AM - Australian Museum, Sydney; 
BANZARE = British, Australian and New Zealand 
Antarctic Research Expedition, 1929-1931; BMNH 
= British Museum (Natural History), London; 
NMV = Museum of Victoria, Melbourne; N.S.W. 

- New South Wales; N.Z. = New Zealand; NZGS 

- New Zealand Geological Survey, Lower Hutt; 
S.A. = South Australia; SAM = South Australian 
Museum, Adelaide; Tas. - Tasmania; TM = 
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; Vic. 
= Victoria; W.A. - Western Australia. 


Subfamily Marginellinae 

Genus MargineHa Lamarck, 1799 

Marginella albida Tate, 1878 
Trans. Proc. Rep. Phil. Soc. Adel. 1: 87. 
= Volvarina (Haloginella) vincentiana (Cotton, 
1944) (q.v.) new name for M. albida Tate, 1878. 
Lectotype: D13519, adult specimen, in shell sand, 
Marino, near Adelaide, S.A., collected by R. Tate, 
date of collection unknown. (Lectotype selected 
here.) (Figs 1A-B). 

Paralectotypes: D18633, 7 specimens (2 immature), 
with same collection data as lectotype. 
Note: We have selected the lectotype (D13519) from 
the lot labelled M albida Tate, Tate's type & co- 
types' from Marino, S.A., the first locality listed in 
the original description by Tate (1878), and have 
designated the remainder of this lot (D18633) as 
paralectotypes. The specimen selected as lectotype 
was first separated and registered by B. C. Cotton 
in 1938 as the holotype of this species, as this 
specimen corresponded most closely to the 
measurements given by Tate (1878). However, as Tate 
(1878) did not designate a holotype, we have selected 
this specimen as the lectotype (ICZN 
Recommendation 73F). The 'two examples' 

mentioned by Tate (1878) most probably refer to the 
number of specimens from Aldinga, S.A., the last 
locality listed in the description. 

Marginella albomaculata May, 1911 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 382, pi. 13, fig. 2. 
- Persicula concamerata (May, 1918) (q.v.) new 
name for M. albomaculata May, 1911. 
Paratype: D15790, adult specimen, in kelp root, 
Frederick Henry Bay, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 
date of collection unknown. 
Note: Neither this specimen nor the holotype (TM 
E627/7968) were alive when collected. The shell 
surface of the paratype is slightly eroded and there 
is no trace of the pattern of white spots present on 
the holotype. This species was placed in the genus 
Epiginella by Laseron (1957), which is now 
considered to be a subgenus of Crithe Gould, 1860 
(Coan 1965). However, the shell possesses a colour 
pattern which precludes its inclusion in that genus 
and suggests that it is more correctly placed in 

Marginella altilabra May, 1911 

Pap Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 383, pi. 13, fig. 3. 

= Mesoginella altilabra (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15789, 15 adult specimens (1 damaged), 

dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 

Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 

18.xii.1907. D16086, 2 adult specimens, with same 

collection data as D15789. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E616/7915). 

Marginella auriculata May, 1916 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 85, pi. 1, fig. 6. 

= Cystiscus tomlinianus (May, 1918) (q.v.) new 

name for M. auriculata May, 1916. 

Paratypes: DI5811, 23 adult specimens (3 damaged), 

dredged in 73 m (40 fm), off Thouin Bay, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 

D16084, 2 adult specimens, with same collection 

data as D15811. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E677/8018), badly broken. 

Marginella baca Cotton, 1949 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 9(2): 200, pi. 20. 

= Kogomea eucta (Cotton, 1944) new synonymy. 

Holotype: D14227, adult specimen, dredged dead 
in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape Pillar, Tas., 
collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. (Figs 1C-D). 
Note: It can be seen from the figures that this shell 
and the type of Kogomea eucla (Figs 1K-L) are 
virtually identical and there are no distinctive 
features that can be used to separate the two forms. 
We therefore consider M. baca to be a junior 
synonym of K. eucla. This species is extremely 
similar to K. diplostrepta (May, 1916), but is 
approximately half the size of the latter, so a more 



FIGURE 1. A-B: Marginella albida Tate, 1878 (= M. vincentiana Cotton, 1944), lectotype, SAM D13519, x 9.9. 
C-D: M baca Cotton, 1949, holotype, SAM D14227, x 11.8. E-F: M. borda Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14988, 
x 10.8. G-H: M. cymbalum Tate, 1878, adult syntype, SAM D13521, x 9.3. I-J: M. denticulata Tate, 1878 (= M. 
elliottae Cotton, 1944), syntype, SAM D14501, x 22.3. K-L: M. eucia Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14985, x 11.2. 



extensive investigation is required to establish their 
relationship. Type unique. 

Marginella binivitta Laseron, 1948 
Rec. Aust Mus. 22(1): 39, pi. 5, fig. 11. 

- Mesoginella binivitta (Laseron, 1948). 
Syntypes: D14235, 3 adult specimens, dredged dead 
in sandy mud in 55-64 m (30-35 fm), Crookhaven, 
N.S.W., collected by C. F. Laseron, date of collection 

Note: These specimens were obtained from Laseron, 
and are believed to be from the type series. This 
species may be synonymous with Mesoginella 
olivella (Reeve, 1865), but a more extensive 
investigation is required. Other syntypes in AM 

Marginella biplicata Tate & May, 1900. 

Trans. Proc. R. Soc. S. Aust 24: 92. 

= Kogomea diplostrepta (May, 1916) (q.v.) new 

name for M. biplicata Tate & May, 1900. 

Syntype: D18635, immature specimen, dredged in 

44 m (24 fm), Port Esperance, Tas., collected by 

W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 

Note: This species was figured by Tate & May (1901). 

The other syntype is in TM (E634/7975), badly 


Marginella borda Cotton, 1944 
S. Aust. Nat 22: 16, fig. 33. 
= Alaginella borda (Cotton, 1944). 
Holotype: D14988, adult specimen with dried 
animal, dredged in 100 m (55 fm), off Cape Borda, 
S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, January 1905. (Figs 

Paratypes: D18645, 2 adult specimens, dredged dead 
in 90 m (49 fm), off Beachport, S.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. D18646, 
2 adult specimens (1 damaged), dredged dead in 238 
m (130 fm), off Cape Jaffa, S.A., collected by J. 
C. Verco, date of collection unknown. D18747, 4 
adult specimens (1 damaged), dredged dead in 82 m 
(45 fm), east of North Neptune Island, S.A., 
collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. 
D18648, 1 damaged adult specimen, dredged dead 
in 64 m (35 fm), King George Sound, W.A., 
collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. 
D18649, 2 adult specimens, dead collected, in beach 
sand, Hopetoun, W.A., collected by J. C. Verco, 
date of collection unknown. 

Marginella caducocincta May, 1916 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 88, pi. 2, fig. 11. 

- Mesoginella caducocincta (May, 1916). 
Paratypes: D15794, 16 adult specimens, dredged 
dead in 73 m (40 fm), off Thouin Bay, Tas., collected 
by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. D16083, 

7 adult specimens, with same collection data as 


Note: Holotype in TM (E623/7964). 

Marginella cairoma Brookes, 1924 

Trans. Proc. N.Z. Inst 55: 154, pi. 7, figs 4-5. 

= Dentimargo cairoma (Brookes, 1924). 

Paratypes: D9447, 6 specimens (1 immature), Taipa, 

Doubtless Bay, N.Z., collected by A. E. Brookes, 

date of collection unknown. 

Note: Holotype in AIM (TM1277). 

Marginella cartwrighti Sowerby, 1915 
Proc. Malac. Soc. Lond. 11(4): 214, text fig. 
= Granulina cartwrighti (Sowerby, 1915). 
Syntypes: D9460, 2 adult specimens, Trincomalee, 
Ceylon (Sri Lanka), collector and date of collection 

Note: Two other syntypes in BMNH 

Marginella columnaria Hedley & May, 1908 
Rec. Aust Mus. 7: 120, pi. 23, fig. 19. 
- Pillarginella columnaria (Hedley & May, 1908). 
Paratypes: D15798, 6 adult specimens (1 damaged), 
dredged in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape 
Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. 
Note: Although Coan (1965) synonymised 
Pillarginella Gabriel, 1962 with Haloginella 
Laseron, 1957 (as a subgenus of Volvarina Hinds, 
1844), examination of the radula of this species, 
which is the type species of the former, by one of 
us (DRH), suggests that Pillarginella is distinct from 
Volvarina. Holotype in AM (C28936), other 
paratypes in AM (C163392), TM (E625/7966), 
NMV (F30598) and BMNH. 

Marginella concamerala May, 1918 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1917: 104. 
= Persicula concamerata (May, 1918). 
Paratype: D15790, adult specimen, in kelp root, 
Frederick Henry Bay, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 
date of collection unknown. 
Note: New name for Marginella albomaculata May, 
1911 (non Schliiter, 1838), and therefore based on 
the same type series. Holotype in TM (E627/7968). 

Marginella connectans May, 1911 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 387, pi. 14, fig. 11. 

= Cystiscus connectans (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15795, 9 adult specimens (3 damaged), 

dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 

Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 

18.xii.1907. D16082, 1 adult specimen, with same 

collection data as D15795. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E628/7969). 



Marginella (Volvaria) consanguinea Smith, 1890 
Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 60: 266, pi. 23, fig. 11. 
= Cystiscus consanguineus (Smith, 1890). 
Syntypes: D17540, 2 damaged adult specimens, 
from St Helena, collector and date of collection 

Note: From the May Collection. Other syntypes in 

Marginella consobrina May, 1911 

Pap. Proa R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 387, pi. 14, fig. 10. 

= Mesoginella consobrina (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15792, 2 adult specimens, dredged dead 

in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape Pillar, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E630/7971). 

Marginella cratericula Tate & May, 1900 

Trans. Proc. R. Soc. S. Aust. 24: 91. 

= Cystiscus cratericulus (Tate & May, 1900). 

Syntype: D18634, adult specimen with dried animal, 

dredged in 18 m (10 fm), D'Entrecasteaux Channel, 

Tas., collected by W. L. May, date of collection 


Note: This species was figured by Tate & May (1901). 

One other syntype in TM (E631/7972). 

Marginella cylichnella May, 1918 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1917: 104. 
= Balanetta (Ovaginella) cylichnella (May, 1918). 
Paratypes: D15793, 8 adult specimens (2 damaged), 
dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 
Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 
18.xii.1907. D18636, 1 adult specimen, with same 
collection data as D15793. 

Note: New name for Marginella microscopica May, 
1911 (non Tapparone Canefri, 1875), and therefore 
based on the same type series. Holotype in TM 
(E632/7973), broken. 

Marginella cymbal urn Tate, 1878 

Trans. Proc. Rep. Phil. Soc. Adel. 1: 86. 

= Cystiscus cymbalum (Tate, 1878). 

Syntypes: D13521, 2 specimens (1 immature), in 

beach sand, Aldinga Bay, near Adelaide, S.A., 

collected by R. Tate, date of collection unknown. 

(Figs 1G-H). 

Note: Other syntypes in BMNH (1879.10.28.7). 

Marginella denticulata Tate, 1878. 

Trans. Proc. Rep. Phil. Soc. Adel. 1: 87. 

= Granulina elliottae (Cotton, 1944) (q.v.) new 

name for M. denticulata Tate, 1878. 

Syntypes: D14501, 7 adult specimens (2 damaged), 

in beach sand, Wauraltie (Port Victoria), Yorke 

Peninsula, S.A., collected by R. Tate, date of 

collection unknown. (Figs 1I-J). 

Note: The type description only mentions three 
specimens, and as all the specimens in D14501 are 
of approximately equal size and form, it is 
impossible to isolate the actual syntypes. Therefore 
the status of the entire lot is questionable. 

Marginella dentiens May, 1911 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 384, pi. 13, fig. 6. 

= Volvarinella dentiens (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15791, 7 adult specimens (2 damaged), 

dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 

Cape Pillar, Tas., 18.xii.1907, and dredged dead in 

146 m (80 fm), 10 miles east of Schouten Island, 

Tas., date of collection unknown, all collected by 

W. L. May. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E633/7974). 

Marginella diplostreptus May, 1916 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 76. 

= Kogomea diplostrepta (May, 1916). 
Syntype: D18635, immature specimen, dredged in 
44 m (24 fm), Port Esperance, Tas., collected by 
W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 
Note: New name for Marginella biplicata Tate & 
May, 1900 (non Krauss, 1852), and therefore based 
on the same type series. This species was figured 
by Tate & May (1901) as M. biplicata. One other 
syntype in TM (E634/7975), badly damaged. 

Marginella ealesae Powell, 1958 
BANZARE Rep. Ser. B, 6(9): 200, text fig. Bl. 
=Marginella? ealesae Powell, 1958. 
Holotype: D15505, possibly immature specimen 
with dried animal, dredged in 300 m, BANZARE 
Stn 39, off Enderby Land, Antarctica, (66°30'S, 
49°45'E), collected by BANZARE, 17.U930. 
Note: As this species comes from a population 
which has received very little study and which may 
not be contiguous with other faunas, its generic 
status cannot be accurately assigned on the basis 
of shell characters alone. Only examination of the 
radula will allow the genus to be assigned accurately. 

Marginella elliottae Cotton, 1944 
5. Aust. Nat. 22: 13. 
= Granulina elliottae (Cotton, 1944). 
Syntypes: D14501, 7 adult specimens (2 damaged), 
in beach sand, Wauraltie (Port Victoria), Yorke 
Peninsula, S.A., collected by R. Tate, date of 
collection unknown. (Figs 1I-J). 
Note: New name for Marginella denticulata Tate, 
1878, (non Link, 1807, nee Conrad, 1830), and 
therefore based on the same type series. See note 
under that species concerning the status of these 



FIGURE 2. A-B: Marginella erma Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14986, x 18.5. C-D: M. Jaffa Cotton, 1944, holotype, 
SAM D14982 x 8.7. E-F: M. leia Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14984, x 6.4. G-H: M. newmanae Cotton, 1949, 
holotype, SAM D14229, x 5.6. I-J: M. occidua Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14987, x 4.4. K-L: M patria Cotton' 
1949, holotype, SAM D14228, x 13.4. 



Marginella erma Cotton, 1944 

5. Aust. Nat. 22: 15. 

» Cystiscus angasi (Crosse, 1870) new synonymy. 

Holotype: D14986, damaged adult specimen, 

dredged in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape 

Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. (Figs 


Note: This species was inadequately described and 

figured by Cotton (1944). It is apparently a minor 

variant of Cystiscus angasi, which is a species that 

exhibits considerable variability of shell shape and 

has a number of synonyms (Laseron 1957). Type 


Marginella eucla Cotton, 1944 
S. Aust. Nat. 22: 12, fig. 24. 
- Kogomea eucla (Cotton, 1944). 
Holotype: D14985, adult specimen, dredged dead 
in 146 m (80 fm), off Eucla, W.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, March 1912. (Figs 1K-L). 
Paratypes: D15915, 4 adult specimens, with same 
collection data as holotype. D18667, 58 specimens 
(21 damaged, 4 immature), dredged dead in 148 m 
(81 fm), 80 miles west of Eucla, W.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, March 1912. D18668, 19 specimens (3 
damaged, 4 immature), dredged dead in 146-220 
m (80-120 fm), west of Eucla, W.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, March 1912. D18669, 9 adult specimens 
(2 damaged), in beach sand, Hopetoun, W.A., 
collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. 
D18670, 24 specimens (5 damaged, 4 immature), 
dredged dead in 73 m (40 fm), off Beachport, S.A., 
collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. 
D18671, 2 adult specimens, dredged dead in 90 m 
(49 fm), other collection data same as D18670. 
D18672, 25 specimens (4 damaged, 7 immature), 
dredged dead in 201 m (110 fm), other collection 
data same as D18670. D18673, 24 specimens (4 
damaged, 1 immature), dredged dead in 274 m (150 
fm), other collection data same as D18670. D18674, 
15 specimens (1 damaged, 6 immature), dredged 
dead in 366 m (200 fm), other collection data same 
as D18670. D18675, 33 specimens (5 damaged, 9 
immature), dredged dead in 164 m (90 fm), off Cape 
Jaffa, collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection 
unknown. D18676, 16 specimens (4 damaged, 1 
immature), dredged dead in 238 m (130 fm), other 
collection details same as D18675. D18677, 41 
specimens (11 damaged, 3 immature), dredged dead 
in 100 m (55 fm), off Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, 
S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection 
unknown. D18678, 30 specimens (2 damaged, 12 
immature), dredged dead in 113 m (62 fm), north- 
west of Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, S.A., 
collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. 
D18679, 1 adult specimen, dredged dead in 36 m 
(20 fm), off Newland Head, S.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. D18680, 

6 adult specimens (3 damaged), dredged dead in 

27-36 m (15-20 fm), off St Francis Island, Nuyts 

Archipelago, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of 

collection unknown. 

Note: Marginella baca Cotton, 1949 is a junior 


Marginella freycineti May, 1916 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 86, pi. 2, fig. 9. 

- Cystiscus freycineti (May, 1916). 

Paratypes: D16174, 22 adult specimens, dredged 

dead in 73 m (40 fm), Thouin Bay, Tas., collected 

by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. D16088, 

3 adult specimens, from Tas., collected by W. L. 

May, date of collection unknown. 

Note: This species may be a form of Cystiscus 

angasi (Crosse, 1870). Holotype in TM 


Marginella gabrieli May, 1911 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 386, pi. 13, fig. 9. 
= Volvarinella? gabrieli (May, 1911). 
Paratypes: D15805, 8 adult specimens (1 with dried 
animal), dredged in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east 
of Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 
18.xii.1907. D16077, 2 adult specimens, from Tas., 
collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 
Note: The generic placement of this species is 
problematical and cannot be resolved on the basis 
of shell characters alone. Holotype in TM 

Marginella gatliffi May, 1911 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 385, pi. 13, fig. 8. 

= Protoginella gatliffi (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15987, 47 adult specimens (9 

damaged), dredged dead off Schouten Island, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 

D16805, 2 adult specimens, dredged dead in 73 m 

(40 fm), off Schouten Island, Tas., collected by 

W. L. May, 27.iii.1910. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E643/7984). 

Marginella georgeana May, 1916 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 88, pi. 3, fig. 13. 
- Austroginella georgeana (May, 1916). 
Paratypes: D15803, 3 specimens (1 immature), 
dredged dead in 27 m (15 fm), near George III Reef, 
below Southport, Tas., collected by W. L. May, date 
of collection unknown. 

Note: Laseron (1957) placed this species in his genus 
Plicaginella, which has been synonymised with 
Austroginella by Coovert (1988) on the basis of 
radular morphology. Holotype in TM (E645/7985). 



Marginella gracilis May, 1911 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 383, pi. 13, fig. 4. 

= Volvarinella maugeana (Hedley, 1915) fay.) new 

name for M. gracilis May, 1911. 

Paratypes: D15815, 9 adult specimens, dredged dead 

in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape Pillar, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. D16087, 2 adult 

specimens, with same collection data as D15815. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E657/7998). 

Marginella hedley i May, 1911 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 381, pi. 13, fig. 1. 

= Volvarina (Haloginella) hedleyi (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15799, 11 specimens (5 immature, 3 

adult and 1 immature with dried animals), dredged 

in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape Pillar, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. D16076, 2 adult 

specimens, dead collected, with same collection data 

as D15799. 

Note: Holotype in TM (E646/7987). 

Marginella inaequidens May, 1913 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1912: 44, pi. 2, fig. 1. 
= Cystiscus inaequidens (May, 1913). 
Paratypes: D15804, 16 adult specimens (1 damaged), 
dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 
Cape Pillar, Tas., 18.xii.1907, and dredged dead in 
73 m (40 fm), off Schouten Island, Tas., 27.iii.1910, 
all collected by W. L. May. D16078, 3 specimens 
(1 immature, 1 damaged), dredged dead in 183 m 
(100 fm), off Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. 
May, 18.xii.1907. 
Note: Holotype in TM (E647/7988), badly broken. 

Marginella incerta May, 1920 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1919: 59, pi. 16, fig. 8. 

= Cystiscus incertus (May, 1920). 

Paratypes: D15806, 14 adult specimens (2 damaged), 

dredged dead in 73 m (40 fm), Thouin Bay, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 

Note: This species is closely related to Cystiscus 

angasi (Crosse, 1870). Holotype in TM 


Marginella indiscreta May, 1911 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 388, pi. 14, fig. 12. 
= Cystiscus indiscretus (May, 1911). 
Paratypes: D15813, 5 adult specimens (1 damaged), 
dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 
Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 
18.xii.1907. D16080, 1 adult specimen, with same 
collection data as D15813. 
Note: Holotype in TM (E65 1/7992). 

Marginella Jaffa Cotton, 1944 
5. Aust. Nat. 22: 11, fig. 13. 
= Volvarinella Jaffa (Cotton, 1944). 
Holotype: D14982, adult specimen, dredged dead 

in 238 m (130 fm), off Cape Jaffa, S.A. collected 
by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. (Figs 

Paratypes: D15914, 4 adult specimens, with same 
collection data as holotype. D18655, 11 specimens 
(1 damaged, 1 immature), dredged dead in 201 m 
(110 fm), off Beachport, S.A., collected by J. C. 
Verco, date of collection unknown. D18656, 11 
specimens (1 damaged, 4 immature), dredged dead 
in 274 m (150 fm), other collection data same as 
D18655. D18657, 14 specimens (2 damaged, 3 
immature), dredged dead in 366 m (200 fm), other 
collection data same as D18655. D18658, 1 damaged 
adult specimen, dredged dead in 100 m (55 fm), off 
Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, S.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. D18659, 
20 specimens (5 damaged, 5 immature), dredged 
dead in 190 m (104 fm), 35 miles south-west of 
Neptune Islands, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date 
of collection unknown. D18660, 18 specimens (8 
damaged, 7 immature), dredged dead in 148 m (81 
fm), 80 miles west of Eucla, W.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, March 1912. D18661, 1 adult specimen, 
dead collected, in beach sand, Hopetoun, W.A., 
collected by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. 
Note: This species is very similar to Volvarinella 
cuneata (Laseron, 1948). 

Marginella leia Cotton, 1944 
S. Aust. Nat. 22: 10, fig. 11. 
= Mesoginella turbinata (Sowerby, 1846) new 

Holotype: D14984, adult specimen, dredged dead 
in 274 m (150 fm), off Beachport, S.A., collected 
by J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. (Figs 

Paratypes: D18653, 7 adult specimens, with same 
collection data as holotype. D18651, 5 adult 
specimens, dredged dead in 73 m (40 fm), other 
collection data same as holotype. D18652, 17 
specimens (6 damaged, 1 immature), dredged dead 
in 201 m (110 fm), other collection data same as 
holotype. D18654, 6 adult specimens (1 damaged), 
dredged dead in 366 m (200 fm), other collection 
data same as holotype. D18650, 3 specimens (2 
immature), dredged dead in 113 m (62 fm), off Cape 
Borda, Kangaroo Island, S.A., collected by J. C. 
Verco, date of collection unknown. 
Note: The original illustration of this species was 
misleading as it did not show an anterior canal 
which is very well developed in the holotype. The 
types are heterogeneous in form and appear to be 
minor variants of Mesoginella turbinata, so we 
regard M. leia as a junior synonym of the latter. 
This change renders invalid the genus Spiroginella 
Laseron, 1957. 



Marginella lodderae May, 1911 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 384, pi. 13, fig. 5. 
= Voivarinella lodderae (May, 1911). 
Paratype: D15814, damaged adult specimen, 
dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 
Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 

Note: This specimen was labelled by Verco *Co-Type 
but somewhat uncertain'. As this specimen is from 
the May Collection, and was collected at the same 
time and locality as the type, we believe it is a valid 
paratype. Holotype in TM (E656/7997). 

Marginella (Glabella) lurida Suter, 1909 

Proc. Malac. Soc. Lond. 8(3): 183, pi. 7, fig. 14. 

= Volvarina lurida (Suter, 1909). 

Paralectotypes: D9474, 2 adult specimens (1 

broken), dredged dead in 27 m (15 fm), Foveaux 

Strait, N.Z., collector and date of collection 


Note: Lectotype in NZGS (TM1086), selected by 

Boreham (1959). 

Marginella malina Hedley, 1915 

Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 39(4): 725, pi. 82, fig. 65. 

= Triginella malina (Hedley, 1915). 

Paratypes: D16109, 6 specimens (1 immature, 2 

broken), dredged dead in 146 m (80 fm), 22 miles 

east of Narrabeen, N.S.W., collected by W. A. 

Haswell, H.M.C.S. 'Miner', 

Note: Holotype in AM (C25936), other paratypes 

in AM (C18242, C163384) and BMNH 


Marginella maugeana Hedley, 1915 
Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 39(4): 727. 
= Voivarinella maugeana (Hedley, 1915). 
Paratypes: D15815, 9 adult specimens, dredged dead 
in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape Pillar, Tas., 
collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. D16087, 2 adult 
specimens, with same collection data as D15815. 
Note: New name for Marginella gracilis May, 1911 
(non C. B. Adams, 1852), and therefore based on 
the same type series. Holotype in TM (E657/7998). 

Marginella mayii Tate in Tate & May, 1900 

Trans. Proc. R. Soc. S. Aust. 24: 93. 

- Voivarinella mayii (Tate, 1900). 

Syntypes: D13523, 1 adult specimen, dead collected, 

Frederick Henry Bay, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 

date of collection unknown. D16131, 1 broken 

specimen, dead collected, from Tas., collected by 

W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 

Note: This species was figured by Tate & May (1901). 

Other syntypes in TM (E659/8000) and BMNH 


Marginella microscopies May, 1911 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 389, pi. 14, fig. 13. 
= Balanetta (Ovaginella) cylichnella (May, 1918) 
(q.v.) new name for M. microscopica May, 1911. 
Paratypes: D15793, 8 adult specimens (2 broken), 
dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of 
Cape Pillar, Tas., collected by W. L. May, 
18.xii.1907. D18636, 1 adult specimen, with same 
collection data as D15793. 

Note: The generic affinities of this species are 
problematical and examination of the animal is 
necessary before accurate assignment can be made. 
Holotype in TM (E632/7973), broken. 

Marginella multidentata May, 1920 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1919: 59, pi. 16, fig. 7. 
= Cystiscus multidentatus (May, 1920). 
Paratype: D15802, adult specimen, dredged in 18 m 
(10 fm), off Gordon, D'Entrecasteaux Channel, 
Tas., collected by W. L. May, December 1918. 
Note: Holotype in TM (E662/8003). 

Marginella newmanae Cotton, 1949 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 9(2): 199, pi. 20. 
- Persicula pulchella (Kiener, 1834) new synonymy. 
Holotype: D14229, adult specimen, Esperance, 
W.A., collector and date of collection unknown. 
(Figs 2G-H). 

Note: Close examination shows the presence of a 
faint pattern of orange zig-zag lines not mentioned 
in the type description. The holotype and the 
specimens listed and labelled M. newmanae by 
Cotton (1949) (SAM D18727-33) encompass all the 
forms of Persicula pulchella found in southern 
Australia, and we therefore regard M. newmanae 
as a junior synonym of P. pulchella. This species 
was placed in the genus Epiginella by Laseron 

Marginella obesula May, 1920 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1919: 58, pi. 14, fig. 5. 
= Cystiscus obesulus (May, 1920). 
Paratypes: D15809, 7 adult specimens, in kelp 
rhizophores, Frederick Henry Bay, Tas., collected 
by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 
Note: This species is very closely related to Cystiscus 
angasi (Crosse, 1870) and can only be distinguished 
from that species by the distinctive orange and 
brown colours of the living animal as described by 
May (1920). Of the SAM types, four were dead 
when collected and their assignment must be 
considered doubtful. Of the remainder, definite 
traces of the characteristic colours of the animal 
can be seen through the shell of one specimen and 
it is certainly this species. The animal remains in 
the other two have deteriorated to the stage where 
it is impossible to conclusively identify the species, 



FIGURE 3. A-B: Marginella pattisoni Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14983, x 5.3. C-D: M. sica Cotton, 
holotype, SAM D14230, x 10.0. E-F: M. subbulbosa Tate, 1878, syntype, SAM D13520, x 13.3. G-H: M 
May, 1911, paratype, SAM D15816, x 7.8. I-J: M. weedingi Cotton, 1944, holotype, SAM D14989, x 7.8. 




but it must be assumed that May's original 
identification was correct. More detailed taxonomic 
work is necessary to establish the validity of this 
species. Holotype in TM (E667/8008). 

Marginella occidua Cotton, 1944 
S. AusL Nat. 22: 15, fig. 24. 

- Volvahna (Haloginella) occidua (Cotton, 1944). 
Holotype: D14987, adult specimen, Albany, W.A., 

collector and date of collection unknown. (Figs 

Paratypes: D18681, 2 adult specimens, dead 
collected, Rottnest Island, W.A., collector and date 
of collection unknown. D18682, 1 immature 
specimen, dredged dead in 40 m (22 fm), off 
Bunbury, W.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of 
collection unknown. D18683, 8 specimens (3 
immature), dredged dead in 64 m (35 fm), off 
Hopetoun, W.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of 
collection unknown. D18684, 18 adult specimens (2 
damaged), dead collected, Albany, collected by W. 
G. Torr, date of collection unknown. 
Note: The paratype lots contain specimens of two 
distinct spire and columellar plication 
morphologies. As shell sizes and colour patterns are 
the same throughout, examination of the animals 
is necessary to establish the status of the forms. 

Marginella patria Cotton, 1949 
Rec. S. AusL Mus. 9(2): 201, pi. 20. 
= Mesoginella patria (Cotton, 1949). 
Holotype: D14228, adult specimen, dredged dead 
in 64 m (35 fm), off Hopetoun, W.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. (Figs 

Note: Laseron (1957) placed this species in the genus 
Kogomea Habe, 1951. However, some important 
shell features, notably the form of the columellar 
plications and labial dentition, do not correspond 
with those of that genus. 

Marginella pattisoni Cotton, 1944 
S. AusL Nat. 22: 11, fig. 10. 

- Mesoginella turbinata (Sowerby, 1846) new 

Holotype: D14983, adult specimen, dead collected, 
Encounter Bay, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date 
of collection unknown. (Figs 3A-B). 
Paratypes: D18862, 4 adult specimens, dredged live 
in 48 m (26 fm), 38 miles south-east of Newland 
Head, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of 
collection unknown. D18663, 1 adult specimen, 
dead collected, Guichen Bay, S.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. D18664, 
43 specimens (19 damaged, 6 immature), in beach 
sand, Aldinga, near Adelaide, S.A., collector and 
date of collection unknown. D18665, 6 adult 
specimens, dead collected, Royston Head, Yorke 

Peninsula, S.A., collected by E. H. Matthews, date 
of collection unknown. D18666, 1 adult specimen, 
live collected, MacDonnell Bay, S.A., collected by 
W. G. Torr, date of collection unknown. 
Note: The shell characters of this species are within 
the normal range of variability observed in 
populations of Mesoginella turbinata, and we 
consider it to be merely a broad variant of that 

Marginella praetermissa May, 1916 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 87, pi. 2, fig. 12. 
= Austroginella praetermissa (May, 1916). 
Paratypes: D15808, 3 adult specimens, from Tas., 
collector and date of collection unknown. 
Note: Laseron (1957) placed this species in his genus 
Plicaginella, which has been synonymised with 
Austroginella by Coovert (1988) on the basis of 
radular morphology. Holotype in TM (E670/8011). 

Marginella procella May, 1916 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 87, pi. 2, fig. 10. 
= Mesoginella olivella (Reeve, 1865). 
Paratypes: D15810, 4 specimens (1 immature), 
dredged dead in 73 m (40 fm), off Schouten Island, 
Tas., collected by W. L. May, 27.iii.1910. 
Note: May synonymised this species with M. infelix 
Jousseaume, and subsequently, M. olivella (see 
Laseron 1948). These two species have been 
considered to be synonymous, but the shells of M. 
procella and M. infelix are shorter and 
proportionately wider than those of M. olivella, and 
more work is necessary to determine the status of 
both forms. Type in TM (E652/7993). 

Marginella punicea Laseron, 1948 
Rec. AusL Mus. 22(1): 38, pi. 5, fig. 7. 
= Kogomea agapeta (Watson, 1886) new synonymy. 
Syntype: D14237, adult specimen, dredged alive in 
11-16 m (6-9 fm), Sow and Pigs Reef, Port Jackson, 
N.S.W., collected by C. F. Laseron, date of collection 

Note: This specimen was obtained from Laseron, 
and is believed to be part of the type series. The 
types of this species conform exactly to the 
description of Kogomea agapeta (Watson, 1886) 
and have been compared with a photograph of the 
holotype (BMNH 1887.2.9.911). The type localities 
for M punicea are very close to that of K. agapeta 
and it is therefore considered to be a synonym. 
Other syntypes in AM (C103367). 

Marginella ringens May, 1920 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1919: 58, pi. 14, fig. 6. 
= Cystiscus angasi (Crosse, 1870) new synonymy. 

Paratypes: D15807, 8 adult specimens (1 damaged, 
1 with dried animal), Kelso Bay, Tamar Heads, Tas., 



collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 
Note: The shell morphology of this species is within 
the range of variability of Cystiscus angasi, which 
exhibits an extraordinarily large degree of variation 
in shell shape (Laseron 1957). We consider it a 
synonym of that species in the absence of any 
distinctive features. Holotype in TM (E671/8012). 

Marginella (Volvarina) roberti Bavay, 1917 
J. Conch. Paris 63: 104, pi. 2, fig. 8. 
= Volvarina roberti (Bavay, 1917). 
Syntype: D17541, adult specimen, from Madeira, 
collector and date of collection unknown. 
Note: From the May Collection, not the figured 
syntype. One syntype is reputed to be in the 
Desjardins Collection, Paris, but the collection 
cannot be presently located. Other syntypes are held 
in the Coen Collection, in the Hebrew University, 
Jerusalem, but they do not include the figured 
specimen (S. Gofas, pers. comm.). 

Marginella schoutanica May, 1913 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1912: 45, pi. 2, fig. 2. 
= Mesoginella schoutanica (May, 1913). 
Paratypes: D15811, 19 adult specimens (3 damaged, 
1 with dried animal), dredged in 73 m (40 fm), 3 
miles east of Schouten Island, Tas., collected by W. 
L. May, 27.iii.1910. D16081, 3 adult specimens, with 
same collection data as D15811. 
Note: Holotype in TM (E672/8013). 

Marginella shorehami Pritchard & Gatliff, 1899 

Proc R. Soc. Vic. 11(2): 179, pi. 20, fig. 2. 

= Cystiscus angasi (Crosse, 1870). 

Syntypes: D16098, 3 adult specimens, Shoreham 

Beach, Westernport Bay, Vic, collector and date of 

collection unknown. 

Note: This species was synonymised with Cystiscus 

angasi (Crosse, 1870) by Laseron (1957). Another 

syntype in NMV (F548). 

Marginella sica Cotton, 1949 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 9(2): 200, pi. 19. 

= Austroginella vercoi (May, 1911) new synonymy. 

Holotype: D14230, adult specimen, dredged dead 
in 366 m (200 fm), off Eucla, W.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, March 1912. (Figs 3C-D). 
Note: As can be seen from the figures, the shell 
closely resembles that of A vercoi (May, 1911) (Figs 
3G-H). The minor differences from that species, in 
size, the form of the sutures, and lip dentition 
(Cotton 1949) are all features that exhibit variability 
in A. vercoi populations and are insufficient to 
justify separation on the basis of a single specimen. 
The dimensions of the type are similar to those of 
the holotype of A. vercoi (TM E681/8022). Type 

Marginella sinapi Laseron, 1948 
Rec. Aust. Mus. 22(1): 40, pi. 5, fig. 15. 
= Mesoginella sinapi (Laseron, 1948). 
Syntypes: D14232, 4 adult specimens (1 damaged), 
in shell sand, Manly Ocean Beach, N.S.W., collector 
and date of collection unknown. 
Note: These specimens were obtained from Laseron, 
and are believed to be from the type series. Other 
syntypes in AM (C103360). 

Marginella stilla Hedley, 1903 
Mem. Aust. Mus. 4: 367, text fig. 90. 
= Mesoginella stilla (Hedley, 1903). 
Paratypes: D19099, 2 adult specimens, trawled in 
mud and pebbles, 137-115 m, 8-12.7 km off Port 
Kembla, N.S.W., 34°28'S, 151°06-03'E, H.M.C.S. 
Thetis' Stn 49, collected by E. R. Waite, 18.iii.1898. 
Note: Laseron (1957) placed this species in the genus 
Kogomea Habe, 1951. However, some important 
shell features, including the form of the columellar 
plications and labial dentition, do not correspond 
with those of that genus. Holotype (C16356) and 
other paratypes (C163382, C163383) in AM. 

Marginella subauriculata May, 1916 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 86, pi. 2, fig. 7. 
= Cystiscus subauriculatus (May, 1916). 
Paratypes: D16090, 1 damaged adult specimen, 
dredged dead in 73 m (40 fm), Thouin Bay, Tas., 
collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 
D16091, 4 adult specimens (1 damaged, 1 with dried 
animal), with same collection data as D16090. 
Note: The species is very closely related to Cystiscus 
angasi (Crosse, 1870) and may be a form of that 
species. Holotype in TM (E674/8015), badly 

Marginella subbulbosa Tate, 1878 
Trans. Proc. Rep. Phil. Soc. Adel. 1: 86. 
= Kogomea subbulbosa (Tate, 1878). 
Syntypes: D13520, 4 adult specimens (1 damaged), 
in beach sand, Wauraltie (Port Victoria), Yorke 
Peninsula, S.A., collected by R. Tate, date of 
collection unknown. (Figs 3E-F). 
Note: The type description only mentions two 
specimens, and as all the specimens in D13520 are 
of approximately equal size and form, it is 
impossible to isolate the actual syntypes. Therefore 
the status of the whole lot is questionable. 

Marginella thouinensis May, 1916 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1915: 86, pi. 2, fig. 8. 

= Cystiscus thouinensis (May, 1916) 

Paratypes: D16089, 2 adult specimens, dredged dead 

in 73 m (40 fm), Thouin Bay, Tas., collected by 

W. L. May, date of collection unknown. D16189, 

26 adult specimens, with same collection data as 


Note: Holotype in TM (E676/8017). 



Marginella tomliniana May, 1918 
Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1917: 104. 
= Cystiscus tomlinianus (May, 1918). 
Paratypes: D15811, 23 adult specimens (3 damaged), 
dredged in 73 m (40 fm), off Thouin Bay, Tas., 
collected by W. L. May, date of collection unknown. 
D16084, 2 adult specimens, with same collection 
data as D15811. 

Note: New name for Marginella auriculata May, 
1916 (non Menard de la Groye, 1811), and therefore 
based on the same type series. Holotype in TM 
(E677/8018), badly broken. 

Marginella vercoi May, 1911 

Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. for 1910: 385, pi. 13, fig. 7. 

= Austroginella vercoi (May, 1911). 

Paratypes: D15816, 9 adult specimens, dredged in 

183 m (100 fm), 7 miles east of Cape Pillar, Tas., 

collected by W. L. May, 18.xii.1907. D16079, 2 adult 

specimens, with same collection data as D15816. 

(Figs 3G-H). 

Note: Holotype in TM (E681/8022). 

Marginella vincentiana Cotton, 1944. 
S. Aust. Nat. 22: 15, fig. 30. 
= Volvarina (Haloginella) vincentiana (Cotton, 

Lectotype: D13519, adult specimen, in shell sand, 
Marino, near Adelaide, S.A., collected by R. Tate, 
date of collection unknown. (Lectotype selected 
here.) (Figs 1A-B). 

Paralectotypes: D18633, 7 specimens (2 immature), 
with same collection data as lectotype. 
Note: New name for Marginella albida Tate, 1878, 
(non Lamarck, 1822), and therefore based on the 
same type series. See note for M. albida for further 
information on types. 

Marginella weedingi Cotton, 1944 

S. Aust. Nat. 22: 16, fig. 31. 

= Protoginella geminata (Hedley, 1912) new 


Holotype: D14989, adult specimen with dried 
animal, dredged in 36 m (20 fm), Backstairs 
Passage, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of 
collection unknown. (Figs 31-J). 
Paratypes: D18637, 14 specimens (11 damaged, 1 
immature), dredged dead in 164 m (90 fm), off Cape 

Jaffa, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date of 
collection unknown. D18638, 25 adult specimens, 
dredged dead in 100 m (55 fm), off Cape Borda, 
Kangaroo Island, S.A., collected by J. C. Verco, date 
of collection unknown. D18639, 2 adult specimens 
(1 damaged), dredged dead in 110 m (60 fm), other 
collection data same as D18638. D18640, 42 
specimens (13 damaged, 1 immature), dredged dead 
in 73 m (40 fm), off Beachport, S.A., collected by 
J. C. Verco, date of collection unknown. D18641, 
1 adult specimen, dredged dead in 183 m (100 fm), 
other collection data same as D18640. D18642, 19 
adult specimens (8 damaged), dredged dead in 201 
m (110 fm), other collection data same as D18640. 
D18643, 13 specimens (1 damaged, 1 immature), 
dredged dead in 274 m (150 fm), other collection 
data same as D18640. D18644, 6 adult specimens 
(3 damaged), dredged dead in 366 m (200 fm), other 
collection data same as D18640. 
Note: Cotton (1944) originally described the species 
as being larger and narrower than P. geminata, as 
well as having differently shaped columellar 
plications. However, the characteristics of this 
species are well within the normal range observed 
for P. geminata and examination of the types and 
other specimens from Gulf St Vincent, S.A., (SAM 
D6851) supports the conclusion that M weedingi 
is a junior synonym of P. geminata. 


We would like to thank Catherine and Marilyn Hewish 
for help with the collection of specimen data. The 
invaluable help of Mr G. Coovert of the Dayton Museum 
of Natural History in providing bibliographic information, 
specimen locations and helpful discussion, is gratefully 
acknowledged. Help with specimen locations and 
registration numbers was kindly provided by Dr S. Gofas, 
Service Biostratographie, France. The assistance and 
cooperation of Ms S. Boyd (NMV), Mr I. Loch (AM), 
Ms E. Turner (TM), Ms S. Morris (BMNH) and Mr B. 
Stephenson (AIM), and the advice of Mr W. Zeidler 
(SAM), is also gratefully acknowledged. Mr G. Coovert, 
Mr I. Loch and Mr W. Zeidler are also thanked for critical 
comments on the manuscript. The photographs were taken 
by Mrs J. Forrest. This work was supported in part by 
a grant to D. R. Hewish from the Keith Sutherland Award, 
administered by AM. 




ADAMS, C. B. 1852. Catalogue of shells collected at 

Panama, with notes on synonymy, station, and habitat. 

Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History, New York 

5: 229-549. 
BOREHAM, A. 1959. Biological type specimens in the 

New Zealand Geological Survey. 1. Recent Mollusca. 

New Zealand Geological Survey, Palaeontological 

Bulletin 30: 1-87. 
COAN, E. V. 1965. A proposed reclassification of the 

family Marginellidae. Vetiger 7: 184-194, figs 1-9. 
CONRAD, T. A. 1830. On the geology and organic 

remains of a part of the Peninsula of Maryland. Journal 

of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 6: 

205-230, pis 9-10. 
COOVERT, G. A. 1988. Type species of the genera 

Austroginetla and Mesoginella and their synonyms. 

Marginella Marginalia 4: 9-26, figs. 1-9. 
COOVERT, G. A. 1989. A literature review and summary 

of published marginellid radulae. Marginella 

Marginalia 7: 1-17, figs 1-59. 
COTTON, B. C. 1944. Australian margin shells 

(Marginellidae). South Australian Naturalist 22: 9-16, 

pis 5-6. 
COTTON, B. C. 1949. Australian Recent and Tertiary 

Mollusca, family Marginellidae. Records of the South 

Australian Museum 9: 199-224, pi. 17-20. 
CROSSE, H. 1870. Diagnoses Molluscorum novorum. 

Journal de Conchyiiotogie 18: 301-304. 
GABRIEL, C. J. 1962. Additions to the marine molluscan 

fauna of south-eastern Australia including descriptions 

of new genus Pillarginella, six new species and two 

subspecies. Memoirs of the National Museum of 

Victoria 25: 177-210, 1 pi. 
GOULD, A. A. 1860. Descriptions of new shells collected 

by the North Pacific Exploring Expedition. Proceedings 

of the Boston Society of Natural History 7: 382-389. 
HABE, T. 1951. Marginellidae and Hydrocenidae in 

Japan. Pp. 101-108 in 'Illustrated Catalogue of Japanese 

Shells'. Vol 1. Ed. T. Kuroda. 
HEDLEY, C. 1912. Descriptions of some new or 

noteworthy shells in the Australian Museum. Records 

of the Australian Museum 8: 131-160, pis 42-45. 
HINDS, R. B. 1844. Descriptions of Marginellae collected 

during the voyage of H.M.S. 'Sulphur 1 , and from the 

collections of Mr Cuming. Proceedings of the 

Zoological Society of London 14: 72-77. 
KIENER, L. C. 1834. Genre Marginelle. 'Species general 

et Iconographie des Coquilles vivantes'. J. B. Balliere 

et Fils: Paris. Pp. 1-44, pis 1-13. 
KRAUSS, C. F. F. 1852. Neue Kap'sche Mollusken, als 

Zusatz zu meiner Schrift 'Die sudafrikanishchen 

Mollusken'. Archiv fur Naturgeschichte 18: 29-40. 

LAMARCK, J. B. P. A. DE M. DE. 1799. Prodrome d'une 
nouvelle classification des coquilles. Memoires de la 
Societe d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris 1: 63-91. 
LAMARCK, J. B. P. A. DE M. DE. 1822. TJistoire 
naturelle des animaux sans vertebres.' Vol. 7, pp. 1-171. 
Guiraudet: Paris. 
LASERON, C. F. 1948. New South Wales Marginellidae. 
Records of the Australian Museum 22: 35-48, pis 5-6. 
LASERON, C. F. 1957. A new classification of the 
Australian Marginellidae (Mollusca) with a review of 
species from the Solanderian and Dampierian 
zoogeographical provinces. Australian Journal of 
Marine and Freshwater Research 8: 274-311. 

LINK, H. F. 1807. 'Beschreibung der Naturalien- 
Sammlung der Universitat zu Rostock. Pt 2'. Adlers 
Erben: Rostock. 

MAY, W. L. 1920. New species of Tasmanian Mollusca, 
with critical remarks on several species, and additions 
to the list. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society 
of Tasmania for 1919: 55-69, pis 14-17. 

MENARD DE LA GROYE, M. F. J. B. 1811. Sur un petit 
coquillage de la Mediterranee qui est analogue a des 
fossiles des environs de Paris et Bordeaux. Annates du 
Museum d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris 17: 331-332. 

REEVE, L. A. 1865. Monograph of the genus Erato. 
Conchologia Iconica 7: figs 1-18. 

SCHLUTER, F. R. 1838. 'Kurzgefasstes systematisches 
Verzeichniss meiner Conchyliensammlung nebst 
Andeutung aller bis jetzt von mir bei Halle gefundenen 
Land- und Flussconchylien zur Erleichterung des 
Tauches fiir Freunde der Conchyliologie'. Halle. 

SOWERBY, G. B. 1846. Monograph of the genus 
Marginella. Thesaurus Conchytiorum 1: 239-406, pis 

TAPPARONE CANEFRI, C. 1875. Contribuzioni per una 
fauna Malacologica delle Isole Papuane. Annali del 
Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genova 7: 1028-1033. 

TATE, R. 1878. The Recent Marginellidae of South 
Australia. Transactions, Proceedings and Reports of 
the Philosophical Society, Adelaide 1: 85-93. 

TATE, R. & MAY, W. L. 1900. Descriptions of new genera 
and species of Australian Mollusca (chiefly Tasmanian). 
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 
24: 90-103. 

TATE, R. & MAY, W. L. 1901. A revised census of the 
marine Mollusca of Tasmania. Proceedings of the 
Linnean Society of New South Wales 26: 344-471, pis 

WATSON, R. B. 1886. Report on the Scaphopoda and 
Gastropoda collected by H.M.S. *ChalIenger' during the 
years 1873-76. Report on the Scientific Results of the 
Voyage of H.M.S. "Challenger' 1873-76 (Zool.) (5) 15: 
i-iv, 1-756, pis 1-50. 



G. M. Shea 


Nine species of Delma are recorded from South Australia and the Northern Territory: D. australis, 
D. borea, D. butleri, D. fraseri, D. impar, D. inornata, D. molleri, D. nasuta and D. tincta. D. 
australis is formally recorded from New South Wales for the first time. D. haroldi is synonymised 
with D. butleri. A neotype is designated for D. fraseri, and an eastern race, D. f. petersoni described, 
having a greater number of scale rows at midbody and a bolder throat pattern. D. borea, D. pax and 
D. tincta are placed in a D. tincta species group, while D. impar, D. plebeia and D. torquata are 
pieced in a D. impar species group. 



SHEA, G. M. 1991. Revisionary notes on the genus Detma (Squamata: Pygopodidae) in South 
Australia and the Northern Territory. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 71-90. 

Nine species of Delma are recorded from South Australia and the Northern Territory: D. 
australis, D. borea, D. butleri, D. fraseri, D. impar, D. inornata, D. molleri, D. nasuta and D. 
tincta. D. australis is formally recorded from New South Wales for the first time. D. haroldi 
is synonymised with D. butleri. A neotype is designated for D. fraseri, and an eastern race, D. 
f. petersoni described, having a greater number of scale rows at midbody and a bolder throat 
pattern. D. borea, D. pax and D. tincta are placed in a D. tincta species group, while D. impar, 
D. plebeia and D. torquata are placed in a D. impar species group. 

Glenn M. Shea, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, University of Sydney, New South Wales 
2006. Manuscript received 10 August 1990. 

The genus Delma is the most speciose genus in 
the family Pygopodidae. In the most recent revision, 
Kluge (1974) recognised 13 species, of a total of 30 
species in the family. Since that time, museum 
herpetological collections in Australia have tripled 
in size, while extensive collections have been made 
in remote and formerly poorly-studied areas. Within 
the last four years, the genus has been the subject 
of attention in the eastern and western thirds of 
Australia. In eastern Australia, Shea (1987a, b) 
described two new species D. labialis and D. mitella 
from Queensland, recorded the presence of D. 
nasuta in New South Wales, and provided updated 
spot distribution maps for most taxa occurring in 
the region. In Western Australia, Storr (1987) and 
Storr et al (1990) divided D. nasuta into two species 
(one new), described a second new species D. 
haroldi, briefly redescribed the remaining taxa, and 
provided distribution maps for the state. 

This paper links these studies by revising the 
genus in the intervening area (South Australia and 
the Northern Territory) for the first time since 
Kluge's (1974) revision, and discusses the identity 
of D. fraseri, type species of the genus. 

Although the monophyly of the genus is an 
unresolved issue (Shea 1987a), there is little doubt 
that the species placed in Delma by recent workers 
are at least a close-knit grade, readily differentiated 
from both more derived and relatively primitive 
members of the family (Kluge 1976), and for this 
paper I accept the phenetic diagnosis of the genus 
provided by Kluge (1974). 

Materials and Methods 

This study is based on the examination of 
material in the Australian Museum (AM), British 

Museum (Natural History) (BMNH), Museum of 
Victoria (MV), Northern Territory Museum (NTM), 
Queensland Museum (QM), South Australian 
Museum (SAM), Western Australian Museum 
(WAM) and Central Australian Wildlife Collection 
(CAWC), the latter collection now lodged in the 
Northern Territory Museum. 

Scalation nomenclature follows Shea (1987a) with 
one exception. The second supralabial scale caudal 
to the elongate subocular supralabial has previously 
been generally considered to be the caudalmost 
(Kluge 1974; Shea 1987a; Storr 1987). However, in 
specimens preserved with open mouth, the third 
supralabial scale caudal to the subocular supralabial 
is at the caudalmost extent of the circumoral 
scalation. Hence, the supralabial and infralabial 
scale counts used here are one greater than counts 
in previous works. 

I have used only derived characters to hypothesise 
relationships between taxa, and have used Pygopus 
lepidopodus and P nigriceps, the two most 
generally primitive species in the family (Kluge 1974, 
1976) as outgroups to determine polarity of 


Delma australis Kluge, 1974: 77. 


A small species of Delma (maximum SVL 88 
mm), with ventral body scales not markedly dilated 
relative to more lateral scales, a single pair of 
supranasal scales, modally 18 midbody scales and 
fourth supralabial in subocular position, loreal scale 
row usually interrupted by a ventral extension of 



prefrontal scale contacting supralabials, and body Ranges, and including the southern fringe of the 

venter grey (often tinged with pink in life). 


See Kluge (1974) and Storr et ai (1990). 


Great Victoria Desert, Gawler Ranges and Eyre 
Peninsula. Apparent isolates in the western part of 
the Lake Eyre drainage, the Tomkinson and 
Musgrave Ranges, Danggali Conservation Park, 
and to the south of the Murray River, between 
In South Australia, occurs in the south-west, from Tailem Bend and Scorpion Well Conservation Park 
the Western Australian border east to the Flinders (Fig. 1). 







■ _ 


t -r— 

I i 1 

1 r r 

t L 1 




\ V \ 

i \ 






> 1 



V . — . 


^ -4 


\ < r ^ 

J | 


— ^ 

N \ V 

r \ \ 


-\ — 


1 f w 

' 1 - ! 

- J 




/• • 



f -v \ J 

/ r 

/ j 




) ^ tf 



P" \ - 





:• y t 


V • 







• j 


• • 


• / r 

i - 

pt. ?H 


1 • l 



^ • • ! 


T i 
J ! 










_,.. i 




_i i i 

FIGURE 1. Distribution of Delma australis in South Australia. Triangles represent weakly patterned north-eastern 



Also occurs in southern W.A., south-west N.S.W. 
and north-west Victoria (Kluge 1974; Storr et ai. 
1990; this paper). 


There is noticeable geographic variation in the 
intensity of the head pattern in this species in South 
Australia. Most specimens from the southern half 
of the state and the Tomkinson and Musgrave 
Ranges in the north-west have strong dark 
variegations on the head, although the pattern is 
reduced, particularly laterally, in a few specimens. 
Material from the western part of the Lake Eyre 
drainage (east of 134°E, north of 30°S) consistently 
either lack dark markings on the head or have such 
markings very reduced. 

The single old record from the Northern Territory 
(SAM R2240; Alice Springs, no collector or date 
recorded) was considered to be suspect by Kluge 
(1974). Extensive collections of reptiles from the 
Alice Springs area since the early 1970s have 
included numerous Delma tincta, and several D. 
borea, D. butleri and D. nasuta, but no additional 
material of D. australis. Consequently, I consider 
the locality for SAM R2240 erroneous. 

Delma australis has not previously been formally 
recorded from New South Wales, although Cogger 
(1975) maps the species in the south-west corner of 
the state. Five specimens (AM R39495, R55010, 
R93142, R118635, R118637) confirm the presence 
of the species in New South Wales. 


The majority of specimens of the southern and 
western populations in South Australia are from 
Triodia or mallee habitats, or combinations of both 
(45 specimens from 24 localities), generally taken 
from in or under Triodia clumps or mallee leaf litter. 
The former habitat is shared with D. butleri. My 
impression, having collected both species in W.A., 
S.A. and N.S.W., including the Coombah area where 
the two taxa are sympatric, is that D. australis occurs 
in slightly moister situations than D. butleri. There 
is some support for this view from the association 
of several records with watercourses (SAM R14351 
binder dead log near water pond', R16205 In burrow 
under Triodia, creek flank', R21015 'on bank of 
watercourse lined with Coolibah (Eucalyptus 
microtheca)\ R22193 'under rock near water', 
R25071-72 Mn storm drain along creek'). 

One specimen, SAM R15009, was 'pit-trapped 
overnight', suggesting nocturnal activity. 

There are almost no habitat data associated with 
specimens of the north-eastern unpatterned form. 
SAM R30401 was taken in a pitfall on a gibber plain 
with Atriplex. 

Specimens examined 

New South Wales: AM R39495, 'Glenea', 70 mi. N Roto; 
R55010, 12 km S Matakana; R93142, Round Hill Fauna 
Reserve; R118635, 14.2 km N Coombah Roadhouse on 
Silver City Hwy; R118637, 13.5 km N Coombah 
Roadhouse on Silver City Hwy. 

South Australia (patterned form): AM R17306-08, Mt 
Davies, Tomkinson Ranges; R17460, Musgrave Ranges; 
R62391, nr Sleaford, Port Lincoln; R79914-15, 2-3 km 
SE Mt Hope; R79916, N side Pillie Lake; R79917, R79919, 
R79943, SE side Port Lincoln; R79920-21, 8.4 km W 
Ungarra P.O. by Yeelanina rd; R107950, 15.6 km E 
Nundroo via Eyre Hwy; NTM R9252, SAM R17752a-b, 
Marble Range; SAM R380, Mitchell; R3123, Ernabella 
Mission; R3852, R10374, 15 mi. N Poochera; R3872, 
TCokatha'; R4301, Port Germein Gorge; R5375, R10376, 
Gawler Ranges; R5613, 5 mi. W Arkaroola; R9189, R9213, 
Blesing Reserve; R9224, 4 mi. S Baird Bay; R10375, nr 
'Kokatha'; R10800, Watson; R12454-55, *Corunna'; 
R12481, R12669, Miccollo Hill, 'Siam'; R12670, 3 mi. NW 
Tailem Bend; R12746-47, Mambray Creek National Park; 
R12751, R14695, Corunna Hills; R13227, 7 mi. WNW 
Kenmore Park; R13908, Lake Gilles Conservation Park; 
R14086, Whaler's Way, Port Lincoln; R14093, Scorpion 
Well Conservation Park; R14190, R16678, Billiat 
Conservation Park; R14351, 3 mi. past Moonabie Pass, 
30 mi. S Whyalla; R14914, 'Baratta'; R14963, R24514, Mt 
Finke; R15009, 23 km N Koonibba Mission; R15195a-b, 
R15619, S of Scorpion Springs Conservation Park; R15954, 
Parachilna; R15958, Mt Serle; R16060, R17106, Danggali 
Conservation Park; R16176, abandoned piggery, W 
Bordertown-Pinaroo rd; R16205, Mt Hack, 38 km E 
Beltana; R16212, Depot Creek Gorge; R16227, Ninety Mile 
Desert; R16521, Gum Creek, Corunna Hills; R16522a-b, 
nr Millalee Creek, N Port Lincoln; R16650, 'Bibliando'; 
R16765, R16844, R17845, R17860a-c, R23233, R24184-86, 
Uro Bluff; R17144, Pinkawillinie Reserve; R19898-99, 
'Koondoolka'; R22784, R23091-93, Mt Remarkable 
National Park, 2.1 km E Sugargum Lookout; R24298, 0.7 
km SSW Old Siam H.S.; R24445, E end Brachina Gorge; 
R24865, nr 'Oraparinna'H.S.; R25071-73, Stoney Creek; 
R25349, Hambidge Conservation Park; R26333, 22 km 
NW Yalata Roadhouse; R26339, 20 km W Yalata 
Roadhouse; R26349, 50 km W Yalata Roadhouse; R28540, 
77.5 km N Minnipa; R32127, 11 km SSW Maralinga; 
R32168, 8.5 km SW Maralinga; R32278, 50 km SW 
Hanilar Lake; R32498, Bascombe Well Conservation Park; 
R32894, Wanna; R32912, 3 km along Talia Caves rd from 
turnoff on Flinders Hwy; WAM R24528, 37 km ENE 

South Australia (unpatterned north-eastern form): AM 
R17622, Coober Pedy; SAM R12756a-b, 'Muloorina'; 
R14342, Margaret River, S of Lake Eyre; R17048, Coward 
Springs; R21015, Balta Baltana Hill; R22193, Hermit Hill; 
R25826, William Creek; R25857-58, Mt Dare; R28130, 
Stuart Creek'; R28138, W of Maree; R28172, Beresford 
Rail Siding; R28215, 'Dalhousie' ruins; R28248-51, 
R28258-60, Abminga Rail Station; R29000, SW of 
Warrina; R30401, Breakaways Reserve, 25 km NNW 
Coober Pedy. 

Victoria: AM R42724, Lowan Sanctuary, 20 mi. W Piangil; 
R54889, 15 mi. W. Annuello; R84294, R84297-98, Hattah. 
Western Australia: AM R8778, Mt Barker; R11114, 

Woodlands, Tambellup; R101995, RI02004, Hamelin Pool, 



*Hamelin'; R102005, call A km N *Nerren Nerren' turnoff 
via North-West Coastal Hwy; R105720, 34.7 km N Tamala 
turnoff on Denham rd; R105740, 3.2 km S Nanga turnoff 
on Denham rd; R105813-15, 45.1 km W Newman Rocks 
turnoff on Eyre Hwy; R105879, 39.8 km E Cocklebiddy 
Roadhouse on Eyre Hwy; R117736, west side Boulder; 
BMNH 1904.10.7.18, Coolgardie district. 

Delma borea Kluge, 1974: 81. 


A small to moderate-sized species of Delma 
(maximum SVL 98 mm; Storr et al. 1990) with two 
pairs of supranasals, fourth supralabial usually 
subocular, modally 16 midbody scales and, in 
juveniles and subadults at least, a dark head 
dorsally and laterally, with narrow pale bands (one 
preocular, one postocular, one auricular, usually 
forked laterally, one branch running along each 
edge of ear, and one nuchal), but mid-throat region 
immaculate, pale. 


See Kluge (1974) and Storr et al. (1990). 


In the Northern Territory, most common in the 
Top End, north of "Wave Hill', Helen Springs' and 
50 km S MacArthur River camp, and including 
Groote Eylandt, Bathurst I., Cape Wessel I., 
Melville I. and Vanderlin I. (Fig. 2). The few records 
from further south (Alice Springs, Arltunga ruins, 
Ayers Rock, Barrow Creek, George Gill Range, 
Heavitree Gap, Kintore Range, Mt Doreen) are 
generally from rocky areas. 

Also occurs in Western Australia (Kimberley and 
its southern fringe, eastern Pilbara, Barrow I., 
Hermite I., Rosemary I. and Warburton Range) and 
western Queensland (Storr et al. 1990; Shea 1987a). 


Kluge (1974) stated that D. borea was most 
frequently encountered in regions of stony, hard soil 
and Triodia, but that it did not appear to occupy 
Triodia on sandplains. However, most specimens 
collected from the Northern Territory are from 
savanna woodland lacking Triodia. Around 
Darwin, in particular, the species seems to be 
abundant, sheltering under debris and leaf litter. 
The 40 specimens from the Top End for which 
microhabitat data are available were found in or 
under leaf litter, grass, exfoliated bark, logs and 
rubbish (tin, cement slabs, compost and boards). 
However, the two Heavitree Gap specimens from 
further south were found under rocks beneath 
Triodia tussocks on a steep hillslope. 

1 1 








^? <S K 






I • •• • 

- 1 • • 

I A 

A ^ 


| A 
| A 





A * 







A A 




* i 












i - 




I 36°- 

i i i 


1 1 


FIGURE 2. Distribution of Delma borea (dots) and D. 
tincta (closed triangles) in the Northern Territory and 
South Australia. Open triangles represent localities of 
sympatry or near sympatry. 


Delma borea, D. tincta and D. pax have very 
similar colour patterns, and largely replace each 
other geographically. They appear to comprise a 
species group, the D. tincta group, diagnosable by 
the usual presence of only a single elongate upper 



temporal scale bordering the parietals, a character 
otherwise common in Delma only in D. plebeia 
(frequency: D. borea, 93.8%, n = 65; D. pax, 96.5%, 
n = 57; D. tincta, 97.4%, n = 115; D. plebeia, 
76.9%, n = 13). Within the D. tincta group, three 
scalation characters separate the species. D. borea 
typically has two pairs of supranasals, fourth 
supralabial below eye, and 16 midbody scales; D. 
tincta typically has one pair of supranasals, third 
supralabial below eye, and 14 midbody scales, while 
D. pax is intermediate in having two pairs of 
supranasals, third supralabial below eye, and 16 
midbody scales. However, occasional specimens 
show different combinations of these three 
characters, and proved difficult to assign to species. 
The problem seemed most acute in the case of D. 
borea/D. pax, which differed only in the number 
of the subocular supralabial, and as initially 
described were widely separated geographically 
(Kluge 1974), but had both recently been recorded 
from the Pilbara (Storr et ai 1990). Examination 
of all material of D. pax in the WAM collection 
revealed that the two taxa may additionally be 
differentiated by several subtle coloration 
differences. In D. pax, the pale postocular band 
broadens ventrally (even width or only slightly 
broader ventrally in D. borea), the auricular band 
is often broader laterally, and there is no ventro- 
lateral series of parallel pale streaks along neck and 
forebody (usually present in D. borea). On the basis 
of these additional characters, D. pax appears to 
replace D. borea in the western Pilbara and along 
the north-west coast north to 'Anna Plains', while 
D. borea is largely confined to the Kimberley, south 
to East Palm Spring in the Denison Range, with 
populations on several islands (Barrow, Rosemary, 
Hermite) off the Pilbara coast, and one record 
(WAM R25201, 32 km E Jiggalong) from the 
eastern Pilbara. 

The identity of the single Ayers Rock specimen 
(CAWC R1319) is problematic. The colour pattern 
is similar to typical D. borea, but although the 
specimen is of adult size (SVL 86.5 mm), the head 
is black with narrow white bands. Such intensity 
of pattern is rare in adult D. borea and D. tincta, 
and has not been seen in D. pax. The specimen has 
two pairs of supranasal scales and 16 midbody 
scales, typical of D. borea, but the third supralabial 
is subocular, typical of D. tincta and D. pax. Until 
further material becomes available, I refer this 
specimen to D. borea, on the basis of the number 
of supranasal and midbody scales. 

Specimens examined 

Northern Territory: AM R3662, R4162, R62673, QM 
J1781 Port Darwin; AM R8249, R12877, R14161, R19121, 
R38021, R127980, R128741, CAWC R9, R1680, R4582, 
R3080, NTM R9930-31, WAM R21980, R40296, R40835, 

Darwin; AM R12794, R12841, R13004, Darwin area; 
R12901, Westhead, Darwin; R13471, R13609, CAWC 
R4950, NTM R7456, Groote Eylandt; AM R13569-70, 
R13648, R62670-72, Cape Arnhem; R13713, R13777, 
WAM R23480, Nightcliff, Darwin; AM R14336, NT; 
R30014-15, R107502, Black Point, Port Essington; 
R52135-36, Heavitree Gap, Alice Springs; R52137, 
Adelaide River township; R53149, Mt Doreen; R54745, 
ca 50 km S McArthur River camp; R54746, 30 km N 
McArthur River camp; R55904, Vanderlin I.; R61573, 
Maningrida; R73069, R76043, Bullo River Stn rd, 31 km 
NW Victoria Hwy; R75511, midreaches McKinlay River; 
R80369, 25 km S Larrimah on Stuart Hwy; R88876, 
Jabiluka project area; R98442, vicinity of 009 Gauge Stn, 
Magela Creek drainage; R112829, Mindi! Beach Casino 
site; BMNH 1932.3.7.25, 'central Australia'; 1973.3285, 
Kintore Range (23°21 'S 129°23'E) (formerly JSE 269); 
CAWC R1318, R1320, Arltunga ruins; R1319, Ayers Rock; 
R5511, Beatrice Hill; MV D174, Alice Springs; NTM R159, 
Riverview Caravan Park; R173-174, Pine Creek; R1040, 
Maclear Creek, S side Melville I.; R1317, R5371, Barrow 
Creek; R1779, SAM R8409, Katherine; NTM R1947-51, 
Millner School grounds; R2045, Mt Carr; R2082, Winellie; 
R2108-09, R3051, Rapid Creek; R2429, R2507-08, R3053, 
Millner; R2954, R3052, R8705, Stuart Park; R3144, R3146, 
R3194-97, R3218-21, R7593-98, Ban Ban Spring; R3299, 
Berry Springs; R3411, Allawa; R3791, Katherine district; 
R3870, Jabiru tip; R5825, R6516-17, R6609-10, Wave Hill; 
R6594, 70 km N Top Springs; R7744, Cape Wessel I.; 
R7883, R7946, Cape Fourcroy, Bathurst 1.; R8120, the 17 
mile, S of Darwin; R8306, 2 km W Victoria River bridge 
on Victoria Hwy; R8340, Ludmilla; R9133, Keep River 
National Park; R9457, 20 km N Mataranka; R9467, 110 
km W Katherine; R9494, Bees Creek, nr Darwin; R9496, 
Fannie Bay; R11696, R12956, Katherine Gorge National 
Park; R12727, George Gill Range; R13221, Humpty Doo; 
R13237, Gregory National Park; QM J39334, Cahills 
Crossing, East Alligator River; WAM R13496, R34331-32, 
Yirrkala; R24198, Helen Springs; R24001, 11 km N 
Adelaide River; R26224, Parap. 

Queensland: AM R26138-39, R28445, R107000, Mt Isa; 
R31627, R31629-30, Mt Isa district; R60248, 3 km W 
Cloncurry on Flinders Hwy; R63589, Bang Bang jumpup 
on Hwy 83; R90212, Inca Creek; R110534, Scotts Tank, 
'Diamantina Lakes'; Rl 10601, 6 km E Scotts Tank, 
'Diamantina Lakes'. 

Western Australia: AM R14160, Forrest River Mission; 
R40518-19, junction Ord and Behn Rivers; R49970, Balgo 
Mission; R56822, Halls Creek; R117604, vicinity of Cape 
Lefeque; R126188, Mitchell Plateau airstrip; BMNH 
1966.415, Wooroloo [in error]; NTM R7286-87, 167 km 
E Fitzroy Crossing; R13047, 3 mi. S main Ord River Dam 
site; SAM R5058, Warburton Range; WAM R11240, 
Wotjulum; R25201, 32 km E Jiggalong; R28656, Barrow 
I.; R37371, Rosemary I.; R37406, Hermite L; R37703, 
Hidden Valley; R43075, Crystal Creek near Crystal Head; 
R44566, mouth of Behn River, Lake Argyle; R44575, 2-3 
mi. upstream Ord River from Behn River junction; 
R48559, nr Shark Point, Barrow Island; R60352, 3 km 
E Nicholson; R70564, 5.2 km 202° Mt Percy; R75533, 11 
km WNW New Lissadell H.S.; R94881, Lake Argyle; 
R96944, north-west hump of the Dromedaries; R99776, 
10 km SW Silent Grove. 

No data: AM R55613-14, BMNH 1946.8.26.99, NTM 
R3558, R581L. 



Delma button Storr, 1987: 346. 


A moderate-sized relatively inornate species of 
Delma (maximum SVL 96 mm) with two pairs of 
supranasal scales, the caudal pair contacting or only 
narrowly separated from the nostril, modally 16 
midbody scales and fourth supralabial subocular, 
usually four loreals, snout short (Fig. 3), and venter 
without dark markings. 


See Storr (1987) (as both D butleri and 
haroldi) and Shea (1987b) (as D nasuta). 



Extreme south of Northern Territory (Alice 
Springs and vicinity of Uluru National Park) and 
the adjacent far north-west corner of South 

Australia, and arid southern South Australia, south 
of 43 km NE Maralinga, Mt Finke, 118 km NE 
Minnipa, Uro Bluff, Parachilna, Paralana Hot 
Springs and Danggali Conservation Park, with a 
possible north-eastern isolate near the South 
Australian/Queensland border (Figure 4). Also 
occurs in the arid parts of W.A. (Storr 1987, as D. 
butleri and D. haroldi) and south-western N.S.W. 
and north-western Victoria (Shea 1987b, as D. 
nasuta). An early record from St Francis 1. (BMNH 
1922.11.8.8-10) has not been confirmed by recent 
collections from that island and must be treated as 


Storr (1987) separated this species from D nasuta, 
but referred to it only material from Western 
Australia and western South Australia. This 
distribution was followed by Wilson & Knowles 

A B 

FIGURE 3. Dorsal view of heads of A. Delma butleri (AM R44362) and B. D. nasuta (AM R17376). 




120* 125" 

130* 135* 








/ • J 

• • • 

• • 


S-^ 7 " / 




• •• 


1 V - " 





i *■• •; „• ! 

Ay (a * Ti-i 


c> \ > * \.- 


f I 












135" 140" 145" 150" (55" 

FIGURE 4. Distribution of Delma butleri. 

(1988). However, comparison with the type series 
of D. butleri indicates that all southern populations 
referred to D, nasuta by Kluge (1974) and Shea 
(1987a) are D. butleri. To the recorded instances of 
sympatry between D. butleri and D. nasuta can be 
added SAM R12674 (D. butleri) and R12675 (D. 
nasuta) both from Warburton Range. 

In describing D. haroldi, Storr (1987) only 
compared it with D. borea, to which species the type 
series had previously been identified. However, D. 
haroldi consistently has two or more upper temporal 
scales and cannot be placed in the D. tincta species 
group with D. borea. When the descriptions of D. 
haroldi and D. butleri are compared, it becomes 
evident that there are very few, if any, differences 
between these two taxa. The populations of D. 
butleri geographically closest to D. haroldi, in the 

Pilbara, are also the most similar in coloration, with 
well developed pale bars laterally on the face and 
neck. Significantly, these populations have two 
additional pale bars between the pale postocular 
and auricular bars, a character otherwise seen only 
in D. haroldi. Specimens identified as D. butleri 
(WAM R94585) and D. haroldi (WAM R64715; fig. 
3 in Storr 1987) both from the vicinity of 
Marandoo, W.A. are almost identical, and clearly 
conspecific, as is another specimen (WAM R53760) 
from the same locality, and the specimen of D. 
haroldi (WAM R63632) from 19.5 km SE of Mt 
Meharry. Of the remaining types of D. haroldi, the 
seven specimens from the Kimberley, adjacent parts 
of the Eastern Division, and the Pilbara coastal 
lowlands (WAM R46043, R64703, R63427, R45243, 
R45811, R51722, R85094) have only a single pale 



temporal band between postocular and auricular 
bands. However, the paratype (WAM R73630) from 
Ophthalmia Range, geographically intermediate 
between the Marandoo and Eastern Division 
material, has an intermediate condition, with one 
pale temporal band on one side forking into two 
bars on the other. Seven specimens from central 
Australia (AM R14362, R96116, CAWC R1321, 
R1323, R1636; SAM R29900, R29935) are variable 
in this character, some having one band, others 
showing division of this band ventrally. Because of 
this wide zone of apparent intermediates, 
apparently an extension of the south-east to north- 
west gradation in the development and intensity of 
facial markings previously noted within D. butleri 
(Storr 1987), I synonymise D. haroldi and D. butleri. 
As both were described in the same publication, I 
nominate D. butleri (which has page priority) to 
have priority over D. haroldi. Whether the typical 
'haroldi 'from the extreme north and north-west of 
the distribution can be recognised at a subspecies 
level awaits the collection of further material from 
the intervening areas. 

Variation in D. butleri throughout the southern 
part of its range is minimal. Live material I have 
examined from 23 km ENE of Yuna, W.A. in the 
west of the distribution was similar to material from 
23 km ENE of Kimba, S.A., and the N.S.W. material 
illustrated by Shea (1987b). Most of this material 
had only very slight development of pale facial 
markings, reduced to 1-2 lip bars preocularly and 
2 lip bars postocularly. 

The five specimens from Dirk Hartog Island 
differ from mainland populations in being 
noticeably more bulky and having 17 nuchal scales 
(vs 15-17, usually 15 for other North West Division 
material), more broken pale markings of reduced 
contrast, but with dark edges, a dark apical spot 
on each dorsal body scale, and a lighter brown 
dorsal ground. 


Like populations in W.A. (Storr 1987) and N.SW. 
and Victoria (Shea 1987b), S.A. and NT. 
populations are Triodia inhabitants. All 48 
specimens for which field data are available were 
either taken from live or dead Triodia clumps or 
from habitats noted to contain Triodia. The 
substrate, where noted, ranged from sand dunes to 
rocky hillslopes, and the overstory at various 
localities included mallee eucalypts, Casuarina, 
Melaleuca and Heterodendron. 

Specimens examined 

New South Wales: see Shea (1987b). 

Northern Territory: AM R14362, road, 'Curtin Springs' 

to Ayers Rock; CAWC R1321, R1323, Ayers Rock; R1636, 

Uluru National Park, 15 km S on Britten Jones track; 

R4808, Alice Springs; SAM R29900, R29935, 24 km along 
'Mulga Park' road, SSE 'Curtin Springs'. 
South Australia: AM R7649, Immarna; R105536-37, 23.0 
km ENE Kimba; R115906-08, Pandappa Hill; BMNH 
1922.11.8.8-10, St Francis I.; MV D2659, W of Kychering 
Soak, No. 3, Overland Railway to WA on line of march; 
D15453-54, Renmark; NTM R9212, SAM R13919, R17716, 
Immarna; NTM R9295-96, SAM R16283, 'Canopus'; 
SAM R54, Waikerie; R3066a-b, Birthday Well, 
'Cariewerloo'; R3067, 'Coralbignie'; R3851a-d, 15 mi. N 
Poochera; R3878a-c, Wilson; R5022a-c, West Coast; 
R5376a-c, Gawler Range; R10727-28, Mamblin; R10932, 
Paralana Hot Springs; R12450-51, R14687, R14696, 
Corunna Hills; R13041, 'Hiltaba' H.S.; R14020, Baroota 
Reserve; R14225, Childara Rockholes; R14463, Mambray 
Creek National Park; R14568, Lincoln Way, 48 km SW 
Whyalla; R17338, 21 km E Blanchetown; R19900-01, nr 
Chinaman Dam, tardea'; R14913, 'Baratta'; R14964, Mt 
Finke; R14982, 22 km E Barton Rail Station; R15353, Uno 
Range; R15955, Parachilna; R16211, Depot Creek Gorge, 
34 km NNE Port Augusta; RI6523, nr Millalee Creek, N 
Port Lincoln; R16524, Gum Creek, Corunna Hills; 
R16649, 'Bibliando'; R16755, Wilgena Hill; R16843a-b, 
R17844a-b, R17871, R23767, R24134, R24158-59, R24163, 
Uro Bluff; R17120, R17659a~b, Danggali Conservation 
Park; RI7681, 'Balah'; R17984, R18002, Lake Gilles 
Conservation Park; R18121a-c, S of 'Hypurna'; 
R18763-64, 1 km NNE Iron Duke; R18768, 1 km W Iron 
Duke; R17458, Wilpena Motel; R22301, 2 km E Ooldea; 
R24297, S of 'Kolendo' H.S.; R24863, nr 'Oraparinna' 
H.S.; R25515-17, R25535, R25731, Danggali Conservation 
Park nr 'Canopus'; R28495, 118 km NE Minnipa; R28568, 
73 km N Minnipa; R29090, Bowman Park Reserve; 
R31361-62, Iron Duke; R31949, S Inila Rock Waters; 
R32137, 9.7 km SSW Maralinga; R33795, 12 km SSE 
Dulingari Oil and Gas Satellite; R33803, Toolachie Gas 
Satellite; WAM R36649, 43 km NE Maralinga; R44362, 
34 mi. NW Mt Lindsay, Birksgate Range. 
Victoria: see Shea (1987b). 

Western Australia: AM R86501-02, 2.5 km SW Condun 
Well; R96U6, 150 km SW Giles Meteorological Station 
on road to Warburton; R105791, 36.1 km N 
Widgiemooltha Roadhouse on Coolgardie Hwy; SAM 
R12674, Warburton Range; WAM R18551, Queen Victoria 
Spring; R21073, 33 km W Carnegie; R26503, 35 km NE 
Yuna; R28359, 16 km N Ethel Creek; R45243, 28 mi. N 
Windy Corner; R45811, Wallal; R45850, 8 mi. S of H.S., 
Dirk Hartog I.; R46043, 91 mi. E McLarty Hills: R47709, 
Northampton; R48184-88, R48261, R48270, East Yuna 
Nature Reserve, 30 km SE Yuna; R51722, 2 km SW 
Barradale; R53255-56, Ivor Rocks; R53277, 75 km N 
Kalgoorlie; R53291, 27 km NE 'White Cliffs' H.S.; 
R53459-60, Newman Rock; R53760, R94585, Mt Bruce, 
Marandoo; R54556, 25 km S Denham; R57087-88, 
R57093, 3 km N Cape Ransonnet, Dirk Hartog L; R57094, 
5 km N Cape Ransonnet, Dirk Hartog I.; R57522, 40 km 
NE Yuna; R57541, 44 km NE Yuna; R57959, R58072, 4 
km E Boingaring Rocks; R59854-55, 17 km N Charlina 
Rock; R62822, 22 km SE Mt Keith; R63427, Twin Heads; 
R63632, 19.5 km SE Mt Meharry; R64703, Balgo Mission; 
R64715, Marandoo; R64754-55, Mt Manning Range; 
R64794, R64813-14, Blue Hill, Lake Barlee; R65367, 
R65463, R65484, 30 km NW Heartbreak Ridge; R65531, 
R65569-70, R65654, R72503, R74557, R74597, 3.5 km SW 
Buningonia Spring; R65539, R65590, R74591, 1.5 km SE 



Buningonia Spring; R67188, 15 km NE Bungalbin Hill; 
R67974, Ramona Well, 35 km 164° Dandaraga; R69080, 
R69104, R74658, 8.7 km ENE <Yuinmery' H.S.; R69108, 
8.0 km ENE 'Yuinmery' H.S.; R69288, 12.5 km SSE 
'Banjiwarn' H.S.; R70876-77, 2 km N Mt Windarra; 
R70893, 1 km 45° Yowie Rockhole; R71775, 32.5 km 182° 
Woolgangie rail siding; R72248, R72255-56, R72285-86, 
R72291, nr Boorabbin; R72537, 3.0 km SW Buningonia 
Spring; R72669, 2.5 km NE Comet Vale; R72728, 3.5 km 
NE Comet Vale; R73212, R73228-29, 6 km 78° Yowie 
Rockhole; R73630, Ophthalmia Range area; R74677, 
R74679, 24 km ENE Tuinmery'; R74784, 9.5 km SSE 
Banjiwarn; R75559, East Yuna Nature Reserve; R76121, 
16 km SSW Mt Jackson Hill; R76645, 3 km SE 'Gnaraloo' 
H.S.; R76742, 5 km SE 'Gnaraloo' H.S.; R78548, 30 km 
SSE Mt Keith; R78553, 29 km SE Mt Keith; R78680, 5 
km W Mt Manning Range (S.E. Peak); R78688, 4 km W 
Mt Manning Range (S.E. Peak); R78689, 12 km W Mt 
Manning Range (S.E. Peak); R85094, 11 km NNW TJaroo' 
H.S.; R85305, 4 km ESE Big Shot Bore; R85600-01, 
R85603-04, 39 km E Laverton; R85605-06, 8 km WNW 
Pt Salvation; R86658, 37 km S Agnew; R90291, 9 km ENE 
'Yuinmery' H.S.; R91510, 4 km E Zanthus; R94077, 53 km 
NNE Queen Victoria Spring; R97262, Queen Victoria 
Spring National Park; R97303, 23 km ENE Yuna; R99603, 
R99759, Mt Lawrence Wells; R99654, 9 km NNE Mt 
Lawrence Wells. 
No data: BMNH 1966.5. 

Del ma fraseri Gray, 1831a: 14. 
i. The identity of Delma fraseri 

Delma fraseri was described by Gray in two works 
published in the same year (Gray 1831a,b). Kluge 
(1974) discussed the priority of these two works, and 
considered Gray (1831a) to be the earlier description. 
This conclusion was later followed by Cogger et al. 
(1983). Gray (1831a) did not state the number of 
specimens on which he based his description, 
although the single set of measurements and lack 
of any variation suggest that only a single specimen 
was before him at the time. At least one specimen 
was in the British Museum collection (Gray 1831b). 
Ten years later, Gray (1841) provided an illustration 
of D. fraseri Still later, in his catalogue of the 
lizards in the British Museum, Gray (1845) lists two 
specimens, one adult from Western Australia 
presented by James Hunter (presumably the type) 
and a half-grown specimen from Western Australia 
from Gilbert's collection (presumably the naturalist 
John Gilbert). Boulenger (1885) in the second 
catalogue of British Museum lizards, lists two 
halfgrown syntypes, both from *W. Australia', 
presented by J. Hunter, but no Gilbert specimen. 

In restricting the name D. fraseri to a south- 
western species, Kluge (1974) used three characters 
from Gray's (1831a) description (two pairs of 
supranasals [presumably based on Gray's 
description of Tiead . . . covered with four pair and 
three odd central plates'], three preanals, and 

banded head and neck) and two characters from 
Gray's (1841) illustration (dark throat markings, and 
fourth supralabial in subocular position), but did 
not examine the purported syntypes. 

I have examined both specimens (now BMNH 
1946.8.26.98-99). The former specimen is clearly 
that illustrated by Gray (1841), although the 
illustration is reversed. This juvenile specimen is 
conspecific with Delma fraseri (sensu Kluge). 
However, it is not the specimen measured by Gray 
(1831a), having SVL 52 mm and tail length 135 mm 
(vs '2 inches, 8 lines' [= 68 mm] and '3 inches 8 
lines' [= 93 mm]). The second specimen, almost 
broken at midbody, has more similar but slightly 
greater measurements (SVL 71 mm; tail length 97 
mm) to those given by Gray (1831a). This specimen, 
however, is conspecific with D. borea Kluge, 1974. 
No other Delma specimen currently in the British 
Museum (Natural History) is of suitable age to be 
a potential type. 

The morphological characters provided by Gray 
(1831a) apply equally to D. borea and D fraseri 
(sensu Kluge), as well as to several other Delma 
species. The description of the head and neck 
markings is ambiguous, and different 
interpretations could fit either species. 

Gray's (1831a) description reads (in part): *head 
and lips black, with four narrow cross lines, one 
between the nostril and the eyes, two just behind 
the eyes, the third broader over the eyes, and the 
last edging the occiput'. Presumably the 'four 
narrow cross lines' are pale bands on the black 
ground (Gray 1831b). Both D. borea and D. fraseri 
(sensu Kluge) have a preocular band ( 'between the 
nostril and the eyes' and presumably the first of the 
four cross-lines). If 'two just behind the eyes' is 
interpreted as a dorsally broken postocular band, 
the description fits D. fraseri (sensu Kluge), not D. 
borea, which has a complete postocular band. 
However, the position of the third band is then 
difficult to interpret. If two just behind the eyes' 
is interpreted as the successive second and third 
bands, these must be complete postocular and 
auricular bands, and the last band must be the pale 
edging to the dark nape patch, agreeing with D. 
borea and not D. fraseri (sensu Kluge), although 
the third band is again problematic, over the ears, 
not the eyes. 

The 'discoverer' of D fraseri, James Hunter, may 
be the James Hunter who was one of the naturalists 
on P. P. King's 1818-1822 survey of the Australian 
coast. This voyage visited both the south-west and 
north coasts of the continent, and could equally 
have collected either species. John Gilbert, the other 
collector later listed by Gray (1845), also visited both 

As the original description does not allow definite 
identification of the species, and as the type status 



of neither purported 'syntype' is clear (neither 
accurately fits the single set of measurements, and 
their registration history has varied), I act to 
conserve the usage of Kluge (1974) and all 
subsequent authors by designating BMNH 
1946.8.26.98, the specimen illustrated by Gray 
(1841), as neotype of Delmafraseri Gray, 1831a. This 
specimen has the following combination of 
characters: two pairs of supranasals, seven 
supralabials (fourth subocular), 7/6 infralabials, 5/4 
loreals, 4/5 suboculars, two upper temporals, 15 
nuchal scales, 14 gular scales, 16 midbody scales, 
three preanal scales and 73 ventral scales (caudal 
56 transversely enlarged). 

ii. A new subspecies of Delma fraseri 

Kluge (1974) identified three South Australian 
specimens as D. fraseri, otherwise only known from 
south-western Western Australia, but did not note 
any significant differences between two of the 
eastern specimens and the western population. 
However, additional material of the eastern 
population now in hand has shown consistent 
differences between the two populations in number 
of midbody scales and strength of the throat 
markings, and extended the known range of the 
eastern form into Western Australia. Consequently, 
the eastern form is here given subspecific status. 

Delma fraseri petersoni subsp. nov. 
Figs 5-7 

Holotype: SAM R20804, N end stock route 
(32°51'S 135°57 / E), S.A., Nature Conservation 
Society, 13.X.81 

Paratypes (11): SAM R3853, 15 mi. N Poochera, 
S.A., F. J. Mitchell,; R10586, same locality, 
F. J. Mitchell, vi.56; R14985, 7 km W Immarna rail 
siding, S.A., C. and T. Houston, A. Edwards, J. 
Herridge, 7-9.xi.75; R20790, 2.5 km down stock 
route (32°53'S 135°57 / E), S.A., Nature 
Conservation Society, 8.x. 81; R20816, N end stock 
route (32°51 'S 135°57'E), S.A., Nature 
Conservation Society, ll.x.81; R32259, Scrubby 
Peak area, S.A., G. Armstrong, 22.i.88; R32463, 
Middleback Ranges, S.A., South Australian 
Herpetology Group,; R33681, Iron Duke, 
Middleback Ranges, S.A., G. Johnston, xi.81; WAM 
R100636, 20 km NNE Queen Victoria Spring, W.A., 
D. Pearson,; R100930, 25 km NNE Queen 
Victoria Spring, W.A., D. Pearson, 21.1.89; R100964, 
Jumpbuck Rd, Plumridge Lakes, W.A., D. J. 
Pearson, 17.x. 86. 


A large Delma (SVL up to 128.5 mm) differing 
from all other Delma in the combination of two 

pairs of supranasal scales, a dark head dorsally and 
laterally followed by a broad, dark nape patch (both 
reduced in intensity in adults), broad dark throat 
bands, a mode of 18 midbody scales, and 67-78 
ventral scales. 


Rostral broadly projecting between rostral supra- 
nasals, apex gabled; rostral supranasal in broad 
contact with first supralabial; caudal supranasals 
present, in point to moderate contact with nostril; 
postnasal distinct, single; loreals 3-5 (x = 4.1, SD 
= 0.45, n = 24), usually 4 (79%), in single, 
unbroken series; preoculars 6-13 (x = 8.3, SD = 
1.82, n = 23); suboculars 3-5 (x = 3.7, SD = 0.58, 
n = 21), usually subequal; supraciliaries 5-7 (x = 
5.3, SD = 0.55, n = 24), usually 5 (75%), 
caudalmost large, medial to others; supraoculars 
two, first longer; supralabials usually 7 bilaterally 
with fourth below centre of eye (n = 11), rarely 8 
unilaterally with fifth below centre of eye (n = 1); 
infralabials 6-9 (x = 7.0, SD = 0.62, n = 24), 
usually 7 (75%), first pair in contact on ventral 
midline, second pair separated; upper temporals 
two; occipital present, single; nuchal scales 15-17 
(x = 15.8, SD = 0.72, n = 12); gular scales 15-18 
(x = 16.7, SD = 0.98, n = 12). 

Midbody scales usually 18 (n = 11), rarely 17 (n 
= 1); ventral scales 67-78 (x - 72.0, SD = 3.30, 
n = 12), cranial 14-18 (x = 15.9, SD = 1.24, n 
= 12) small, caudal 52-61 (x = 56.1, SD - 2.68, 
n = 12) transversely enlarged; preanal scales three; 
hindlimb scales 2-4 (x = 3.3, SD = 0.61, n = 24). 

Snout-vent length 78-128.5 mm; tail length 
264-317% of SVL (n = 4); hindlimb length 
2.5-4.0% of SVL (x = 3.1, n = 12); head length 
(HL) 10.1-13.2% of SVL (n = 12), proportionally 
shorter in adults; head width 57.0-70.7% of HL 
(x = 64.6%, n - 12); head depth 42.0-55.3% of 
HL (X = 49.5%, n = 12); mouth length 
81.4-89.1% of HL (x = 85.6%, n = 12); snout 
length 38.4-44.6% of HL (x = 40.1%, n - 12); 
eye diameter 11.5-14.3% of HL (x = 13.1%, n « 
11); postorbital length 38.0-43.4% of HL (x = 
41.1%, n = 11); rostral depth 11.4-14.3% of HL (x 
= 12.8%, n = 12); rostral width 20.2-24.4% of HL 
(x = 21.9%, n = 12); dorsal rostral length 
6.9-9.6% of HL(x » 8.1%, n = 12); ventral rostral 
length 8.9-14.0% of HL (x = 10.4%, n = 12). 

The holotype has the following combination of 
character states: caudal supranasal narrowly 
contacting nostril; four loreals; 8/7 preoculars, four 
suboculars, seven infralabials, 17nuchals, 16gulars, 
67 ventrals (caudal 52 dilated), SVL 85 mm, TL 269 
mm, HLL 2.7 mm, HL 11.2 mm, HW 7.2 mm, HD 
5.1 mm. 



Coloration (in preservative) 

Body dorsally and laterally light grey-brown, 
often with slightly darker centres and lighter 
margins to scales, producing a series of narrow 
alternating light and dark stripes. Tail dorsum 
concolorous with body basally, yellow-brown 
distally. Head dorsally darker grey-brown from tip 
of snout to just caudal to parietals, and laterally 
touching rostroventral angle of ear, the caudal 
margin generally marked by small, irregular black 

patches. Dark hood followed by a light cream- 
brown or yellow-brown band, 3-4 scales wide, 
laterally crossing ear, in turn followed by a light to 
mid-grey nuchal band about 7-8 scales wide, 
touching caudodorsal angle of ear, with caudal edge 
convex, and cranial edge marked by small, irregular 
black patches. Body immediately caudal to dark 
nuchal band pale yellow-brown. 

Dark cephalic hood invaded laterally by 
extensions of throat ground colour: an obscure 

FIGURE 5. Dorsal and lateral views of head of holotype of Delma fraseri petersoni. 



cream preocular bar and a broad triangular cream 
postocular bar. Laterally, dark nuchal band passes 
rostroventrally, narrowing ventrally, and is followed 
caudally by a broad triangular cream to orange- 
brown patch. Lateral ground on body and tail 
grades evenly into ventral ground. 

Throat and chin cream, with dark grey bands, 
2-3 scales wide, continuations of dark dorsal hood 
at level of orbit, rostral to level of ear, and caudal 
to level of ear, followed by one or two irregular 
bands not connected to dark dorsal markings. Dark 
bands often with irregular darker grey or black 
margins. First few infralabials usually with dark 

Body venter cream with grey margins to scales. 
Over caudal part of body and proximal part of tail, 
this grey perfusion almost completely covers the 
scales. Distal part of tail cream, generally 

Juveniles with similar pattern, but dark head 
markings solid black. 


Southern fringe of the Great Victoria Desert, and 
its extension eastwards to northern Eyre Peninsula 
and Middleback Range. 

Comparison with other taxa 

Delmaf. petersoni differs from the nominate race 
in possessing a mode of 18 midbody scales (vs 16), 
and in having a strongly banded throat pattern. The 
throat pattern in adults of the nominate race 
consists of fine irregular dark variegations 
extending onto the throat from laterally (Fig. 6), 
unlike the broad complete bands of D. f. petersoni. 
Juvenile D.f.fraseri have stronger throat markings, 
often approaching those of adult D. f petersoni, 
but the throat pattern of juvenile D. f petersoni is 
even stronger, broad and evenly dark. 

For comparative purposes, all material of the 
nominate race in the Australian Museum, British 
Museum (Natural History) and South Australian 
Museum was examined, together with Western 
Australian Museum material from the eastern 
extremity of the range. Comparative scale counts 
for this material in markedly variable characters 
were: loreals 3-6 (x « 4.1, SD = 0.50, n = 140), 
usually 4 (78%); preoculars 3-9 (x = 5.8, SD - 
1.16, n = 136); suboculars 1-6 (x = 3.4, SD - 0.68, 
n = 136); supralabials usually 7, with fourth 
subocular bilaterally (n - 68), rarely 6 with third 
unilaterally (n = 1) or 8 with fifth unilaterally (n 
= 1); infralabials 6-8 (x = 7.0, SD - 0.44, n - 
140); nuchals 12-17, (x = 14.1, SD = 0.93, n - 
70); gulars 14-18 (X = 16.0, SD = 0.91, n = 70); 
ventrals 67-75 (x =71.1, SD => 2.09, n = 67); 
transversely enlarged ventrals 50-58 (x = 54.5, SD 
= 1.91, n = 50); midbody scales 15 (n = 1), 16 
(n = 66), 17 (n = 1) or 20 (n = 1). 

The distance between the easternmost records of 
D. f. fraseri and westernmost records of D. f. 
petersoni is approximately 235 km. The two races 
appear to differ in habitat preference, D. f petersoni 
inhabiting maWee-Triodia habitats (see below), while 
D. f fraseri inhabits a variety of less arid habitats, 
including woodland, heath and coastal dune 
complexes (Bush 1981; Chapman & Dell 1977, 1978, 
1980a,b, 1985; Dell & Chapman 1977, 1978; Dell 
& Harold 1977; Storr et at. 1981). 

Only three other Delma have a mode of 18 
midbody scales: D. australis, D. elegans and D. 
molleri. D. f. petersoni is very much larger than D. 
australis (maximum SVL 128.5 mm vs 88 mm), and 
has two pairs of supranasals (vs one), loreal scale 
row uninterrupted (vs usually interrupted by 
prefrontal), ventral body scales transversely enlarged 
(vs equal in size to more lateral scales) and a broadly 
banded head pattern (vs finely variegated). 

D. f. petersoni differs from D. elegans in having 
67-78 ventral scales (vs 77-82), a broader snout, 
and the pale auricular band passing transversely 
across the entire width of the ear (vs angled 
obliquely along rostrodorsal margin of ear, and 
entirely separated from a second, postauricular pale 
bar extending dorsally from the throat to the 
caudoventral margin of the ear). 

D. f petersoni differs from D. molleri in attaining 
a larger size (maximum SVL 128.5 mm vs 111 mm), 
and in having two pairs of supranasals (vs one) and 
a strongly banded throat (vs immaculate pale 

The known distribution of D. f petersoni 
overlaps those of only two other species of Delma: 
D. australis and D. butleri, all three having been 
taken at 15 mi. N. Poochera, S.A. Comparison with 
D. australis is made above. D. f petersoni differs 
from D. butleri in having 18 midbody scales (vs 
usually 16), and a dark head (vs head concolorous 
with body) with strongly banded throat (vs 
immaculate pale throat). 


The limited habitat data associated with 
specimens suggests that D. fraseri petersoni is 
associated with Triodia habitats (Schwaner et al. 
1985). The holotype was collected in a pitfall trap 
on a sand dune with spinifex and some Callitris; 
SAM R20816 in a pitfall in a dune system with 
Triodia and mallee; SAM R20790 in a pitfall in 
sandy soil with Triodia on the lower part of a dune 
slope, while SAM R14985 was taken from Triodia 
in an interdune flat with mallee. In Western 
Australia, WAM R100636 was taken from 
Eucalyptus concinna mallee over Triodia basedowii, 
and R100930 from marble gum woodland over 
Triodia basedowii on a yellow sandplain. 




FIGURE 6. Comparison of throat patterns of Delma f. fraseri (A. AM R11115; B. AM R11651; C. AM R81700) and 
D. f. petersoni (D. SAM R14985; E. SAM R20790; R SAM R33681). 



FIGURE 7. Distribution of Delma fraseri petersoni (dots) and nearest populations of D. f fraseri (triangles). Dashed 
line represents approximate limit of sandridge systems of the Great Victoria Desert. 


Named for Magnus Peterson, of Perth, W.A., 
who initally prompted my interest in pygopodids, 
and who has continued to offer much discussion 
on their systematics and natural history. 


Although Kluge (1974) identified MV D2659 as 
D fraseri, it agrees in all diagnostic characters with 
D. butleri, and lacks any trace of the dark head 
markings of D fraseri. Consequently, I correct 
Kluge's identification of this specimen to D. butleri. 

Comparative material of D. f . fraseri examined (all 
from Western Australia) 

AM R2443-44, R2446, Terth, etc'; R3436, Canning 
River, Darling Range; R9890, R9956, R10005, Rl 1649-51, 
R11665, R131829-32, Tambellup; Rlllll-2, R11115, 
R12129-32, R131833, Woodlands, Tambellup; R81698, 
Esperance tip; R81699-700, 1.2 km E Ravensthorpe; 
R114824, Hopetoun; R131834, no locality; R133847, 
Esperance Chalet Village, end of Goldfields rd, NE 
Esperance; R133914, R133989-90, R134036, R134064, 
R134080, R134369, old rubbish tip just E Salmon Gums; 
R134273, SW side Grass Patch; R134372, vicinity of 
Scadden; BMNH,30, Champion Bay;, 
1931.7.1.104-107, W.A.;,, Perth; 
1966.411-412, Victoria Park; 1966.413, Bunbury; 1966.414, 
Wandering; 1966.416, Williams; 1966.417, Bengor; 
1966.419, Nungarin; SAM R22828, WAM R75860-61, Lort 
River, Coomalbidgup; SAM R22911, Coomalbidgup tip; 
R22935, Burns Beach; R23258, 1 km N Wagin; R29406, 
21 km N Geraldton; R29511-12, WAM R14786, Esperance; 
WAM R7463, Bodallin; R21993, 8 km E Gibson; R29660, 

Parker Range area; R29661-62, 43 km S Southern Cross; 
R31089, R31113, R66885, R67208, R67213, R93330-31, 
Israelite Bay; R36235-36, Munglinup; R37832, Split 
Rocks; R71179, North Ironcap; R72354, near Heartbreak 
Ridge; R86622, R86679, Lort River Station; R93557, 
Widgiemooltha; R95553, Condingup. 

Delma impar (Fischer, 1882: 287). 


A moderate-sized species of Delma (SVL up to 
101 mm) with single pair of supranasals, fused 
rostrally with first supralabial and caudally with 
postnasal, two preanal scales, and usually with a 
series of distinct narrow pale stripes laterally and 
dorsolateral^ on body and tail, with series of dark 
spots between these stripes. 


See Kluge (1974). 


In South Australia, known only from the south- 
eastern border area (Fig. 8). The South Australian 
localities are at the western extreme of the 
distribution in Victoria and south-eastern N.S.W. 
(Kluge 1974). 


Kluge (1974) differentiated this species from other 
Delma primarily on the fusion of the supranasal 
to the first supralabial, a character not noted for 



any other Delma. However, two specimens of D. 
plebeia I have examined (AM R12485, Qld; R98656, 
5 km N Bulga, N.S.W.) show the same complex 
fusion of supranasal to both first supraiabial and 
postnasal. These two species, together with D 
torquata, share the derived character state of only 
two preanal scales, and may constitute a species 
group, the D. impar group, occurring in south- 
eastern Australia, especially in basaltic soils. 

Specimens examined 

Australian Capital Territory: AM R14349, Barton; R31621, 


New South Wales: AM R9639, nr Tumut; R11245, Gilmore; 

R64276, 14.5 km N Batlow at Wondalga (off old 

Tumbarumba rd). 

South Australia: SAM R8387, R9977, R10060-61, 

R10715-22, R11143, R12666-68, Bool Lagoon; R8782, 3 

mi. E Naracoorte. 

Victoria: AM R8777, Mt Hope; BMNH, nr 


Delma inornate Kluge, 1974: 101. 


A large species of Delma (SVL up to 135 mm) 
with modally 16 midbody scales, 1-2 pairs of 
supranasals, caudal pair (when present) moderately 
to broadly separated from nostril, and no dark head 
or throat markings. 


See Kluge (1974) and Shea (1987b). 


In South Australia, apparently restricted to the 
vicinity of Lake Alexandrina and the lower reaches 
of the Murray River (Fig. 8). Widespread in 
Victoria, N.S.W., and south-eastern Queensland 
(Shea 1987b). 


As noted by Shea (1987b), Kluge misidentified 
a number of specimens of D. butteri as D. inornata. 
To those misidentifications can also be added MV 
D15453-54, from Renmark (J. Coventry, pers. 
comm.). It seems likely that the South Australian 
population is isolated from the main part of the 
range of this species in N.S.W. and Victoria. The 
South Australian population has a high frequency 
of individuals with only a single pair of supranasals 
(78%, n = 9). 


Three specimens (R21001, R23870, R26138) were 
found under rocks. It is probable that the South 
Australian population inhabits open grasslands, like 
eastern populations (Shea 1987b). 


140 E 

- 31° S 

33° S 

35° S 

37° S 

FIGURE 8. Distribution of Delma impar (squares), D. 
inornata (triangles) and D. molleri (dots) in South 
Australia. Dashed line represents 200 m contour. 

Specimens examined 

New South Wales: SAM R11095, 20 mi. N Walla Walla. 

See Shea (1987b) for other records from New South Wales 

and Victoria. 

South Australia: SAM R12745, Tooperang; R17440, 

between Mannum and Purnong; R18648, 5 km N Walkers 

Flat; R18971, ca 16 km W Milang; R21001, River Marne; 

R23530, R23870, R26138, Lake Alexandrina; R32798, 




Delma molten Liitken, 1863: 296. 


A moderate-sized species of Delma (SVL up to 
111 mm) with modally 18 midbody scales, a single 
pair of supranasals, dark dorsal head markings (of 
reduced intensity in large adults) and an immaculate 
pale throat. 


See Kluge (1974). 


Restricted to South Australia, to the Adelaide 
Plains and Yorke Peninsula and adjacent ranges, 
from the vicinity of Oraparinna H.S. in the north, 
east to between Mannum and Purnong'and south 
to Reynella (Fig. 8). The record from Hattah, in 
Victoria (AM R84295-96) is from a captive 
collection, along with other Delma specimens, and 
in the absence of any corroborating evidence is 
considered erroneous. 


Most specimens of this species for which data are 
available were found under rocks (n - 17), tin or 
other rubbish (n = 11) or timber (n = 2). A variety 
of vegetation types and topographies is inhabited, 
including 'sclerophyll scrub', 'tall grass in 
agricultural country', largely bare hills with 
occasional chenopods and mallees', 'Acacia-scrub 
covered hilltop', 'eucalypt woodland on red soil with 
stones and sedges, scattered Casuarina and Acacia 
in understory', 'grass and rocky land adjacent 
creek', 'grassed sediment island in creek' and Yiver 
flats'. Three of the Flinders Ranges specimens were 
taken in pitfalls in Triodia habitats. 

Specimens examined (all localities except the first 
are in South Australia) 

AM R84295-96, Hattah, Victoria [in error]; R89125, 
Peterborough; Rl 15770, 3.3 mi. W Kulpara on Paskeville 
rd; R115813, 34°11'S 137°41'E, Yorke Peninsula; R115928, 
2.5 mi. W Tracy'- 'Caroona' rd on Mt Bryan rd; 
Rl 15939-40, 4.2 km NW Mintaro on Hilltown rd; 
R115943-44, 33°40'S 138°30'E; BMNH, S.A.; 
1923.11.11.47, SAM R1470, R12672-73, Mt Lofty; BMNH 
1962.810, Morialta; 1962.811, Clare; SAM R1584, R16056, 
Black Hill; R2233, Mt Lofty Range; R3021, Dunstone 
Quarry, Burnside; R6362-70, few miles N Burra; R8140, 
Hummock Mt; R11186-87, 1 mi. NE Tea Tree Gully; 
R12514-15, N of Wilmington, on towards Mt Brown; 
R12550, 4 mi. E 1 mi. N Truro; R12591, 2.5 mi. S 2.5 mi. 
W Stansbury; R12624, R12671, Point Turton; R12918, 
Mambray Creek; R13150, Seacombe Gardens; R14028, 
Mambray Creek National Park; R14462, Mt Brown; 
R14656a-b, 26.5 km N 5 km E Burra; R15625a-b, 3 km 
E Truro; R16006, nr Port Augusta, on old Port Augusta- 
Wilmington rd; R16952, ca 5 km S Wilmington; R16954, 
Mt Remarkable National Park; R17464, Hallet Cove 

Conservation Park; R17642, between Mannum and 
Purnong; R17943, R25360, Wilpena Pound; R18856, 6 km 
SE Keyneton, nr Sedan Hill; R19018, 5 km N Clare; 
R20581, Burra Creek Picnic Reserve; R20825, 8 km N 
Auburn; R22539-40, Telowie Beach; R22787, R23088, 
R23106, Mt Remarkable National Park, 2.1 km E 
Sugargum Lookout; R23136-37, R23139, R23144, Mt 
Remarkable National Park, 2.6 km from Scarfe's Hut; 
R23143, Mt Remarkable National Park, Alligator Gorge; 
R23894, St Kilda; R24200, 14 km S Burra; R24208-10, 
11.2 km N Dutton; R24211-14, 1 km S Burra; R24862, nr 
Oraparinna HS; R25786-87, Reynella, R26121-22, Pt 
Pirie; R28362, R28628, Bowman Park Recreation Reserve; 
R30310-14, Rochester Historic Site; R31718, Aldinga; 
R32858, Para Hills; R32889, Anstey Hill. 

Delma nasuta Kluge, 1974: 109. 


A moderate-sized species of Delma (SVL up to 112 
mm) with usually 16 or more midbody scales, fourth 
supralabial below centre of eye, long narrow snout 
(Fig. 3), usually five or more loreals, dorsal scales 
pale brown with a dark apical spot, and ventral 
scales usually basally edged with dark brown. 


See Storr (1987) and Storr et al (1990). 


Arid Triodia habitats of Northern Territory, south 
of Spring Creek, Barrow Creek and Tish River', 
and far north-west corner of South Australia (Fig. 
9). Also occurs in western Queensland (Shea 1987a) 
and northern and central Western Australia (Storr 


Like other populations (Kluge 1974; Storr 1987), 
Northern Territory populations of D. nasuta are 
apparently Triodia inhabitants. The six specimens 
for which microhabitat data are available were 
found in Triodia. One specimen (AM R80364) was 
found active on a road at 2020 hrs. 

Specimens examined 

Northern Territory: AM R12013, Mt Gillen; R80364, 33 
km S Barrow Creek; R84566, 50 km S Alice Springs on 
Stuart Hwy; R120116, Dead Bullock Plains, Tempe 
Downs'; R130666, 5 mi. W 'Narwietooma'; BMNH 
1973.3286, Kintore Range (23°22'S 129°26'E) (formerly 
JSE 305); CAWC R10, Hermannsburg; R20, <Fish River'; 
CAWC R301, NTM R1590, R1601, R1869, R1871-72, 
R1891, Maryvale; CAWC R764, Yuendemu Settlement; 
R919, 20°02'S 130°16'E, Tanami Desert; R1062, Bonney 
Creek, 'McLaren Creek'; R1322, Ayers Rock; R1463, 
23°52'S 135°42'E, Simpson Desert; R1494, Todd River'; 
R1647, Trephina Gorge; R2003-05, R2013, Tempe Downs'; 
R2008-09, George Gill Range; R2010, Ooraminna; 
R2011-12, Mt Peachy; NTM R1593, 20 km N Maryvale; 



FIGURE 9. Distribution of Delma nasuta in the Northern 
Territory and South Australia. 

R1621, 28.5 mi. S Alice Springs; R5568, SAM R18721, 
Alice Springs; NTM R5829, <Wave Hill'; R6556, Barrow 
Creek; R12733-34, Tempe Downs', 25 km N Kings 
Canyon rd; SAM R29889, 7 km along 'Mulga Park' rd, 
SSE 'Curtin Springs' H.S.; R29940, 22 km along 'Mulga 
Park' rd, SSE 'Curtin Springs' H.S.; WAM R20816, 'Angas 
Downs'; R24354, 6 mi. SW Barrow Creek; R55348, 
R55398, 'Maryvale' H.S.; R60234-36, Spring Creek, 58 
km N Wave Hill' H.S. 

Queensland: AM R26010, Mt Isa; R49667, 193.7 km N 
Windorah; R110542, R110609, 14 km NE Scott's Tank, 
T>iamantina Lakes'; R125040, between Mt Isa and 100 km 
to NW. 

South Australia: AM R17310-15, R17376, R17646, R17939, 
Mt Davies, Tomkinson Range; R17535, Mann Range. 
Western Australia: AM R105732-34, 28.3 km N TSanga' 
turnoff on Denham rd; R111132, SAM R13444, Wittenoom 
Gorge; CAWC R452, Balgo Mission; R1429, Giles 
Meteorological Station; NTM R6664, Nicholson River 
Gorge, TMichoIson'; R6762, 16.3 km N Halls Creek; 
R7035-37, between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek; 
R7282-85, 167 km E Fitzroy Crossing; SAM R12675, 
Warburton Range; R29375, 34 km S Denham; R29379, 
24 km S Denham. 

Delma tincta de Vis, 1888: 824. 


A small to moderate-sized species of Delma 
(maximum SVL 92 mm), with usually one pair of 
supranasals, third supralabial in subocular position, 
14 midbody scales and, in juveniles and subadults 
at least, a dark head dorsally and laterally, with 
narrow pale bands (one preocular, one postocular, 
one auricular, one nuchal), but mid-throat region 
immaculate, pale. 


See Kluge (1974) and Storr et al (1990). 


Southern two-thirds of Northern Territory, south 
of Wave Hill', Tennant Creek, 'Anthony Lagoon', 
Borroloola and 'Bing Bong', with possible isolates 
further north in the Katherine district (one 
specimen) and far northern coast (Yirrkala to 
Oenpelli, and possibly as far west as Humpty Doo). 
In South Australia, apparently restricted to the 
north-eastern quarter, extending south-west to 
t Erudinna' (Fig. 2). 

Also widespread in Queensland and northern 
N.S.W. (Shea 1987a) and central-west Western 
Australia and the Kimberley (Storr et al 1990). 


Kluge (1974) reports widespread sympatry of 
D. borea and D. tincta. This does not appear to be 
the case in the Northern Territory or Queensland. 
Rather, they seem to have largely complementary 
distributions. In the Northern Territory, the two 
species have been collected in close proximity only 
at Wave Hill' (five D. borea) and old "Wave Hill' 
(one D. tincta), in the Katherine district (three D 
borea from Katherine and district, one D tincta 
from Katherine Farms rd and another from 
'Katherine district*), at Humpty Doo (one D. borea 
and one D. tincta, the latter from Humpty Doo 
district*), and in the Alice Springs area (two D. borea 



from Heavitree Gap, one from Alice Springs, 35 D. 
tincta from Alice Springs). At Yirrkala, three 
specimens are typical D. borea in all three scalation 
characters, while one specimen has the single pair 
of supranasals and third supralabial subocular of 
D. tincta, but the 16 midbody scale rows of D. 
borea, the latter character only otherwise seen once 
in 111 Australian Museum D. tincta. Further 
collections are needed to determine whether this 
specimen is really D. tincta, or an aberrant D. borea. 
Only in the case of two specimens (NTM R3791-92) 
from ^Catherine district' have the two species been 
possibly collected synchrosympatrically. 

The single record for Renmark (NTM R1166) is 
considered to be erroneous. The Renmark area is 
otherwise well-known herpetologically, and over 325 
km south of the next nearest record. 


In the NT. and S.A., specimens have been 
recorded under rubbish (n = 7), in leaf litter (n = 
5), under dead Triodia (n = 2), under rock (n = 
1) and in a disused ant nest under a rock (n = 1). 
Habitats included grassland (n = 3), mulga plain 
(n = 1), red soil plain (n = 1) and black soil plain 
( n = 1). Four specimens were found active on roads 
between 1915 and 2100 hrs, while one was active in 
long grass at 1300 hrs. 

Specimens examined 

New South Wales: AM R4123, Clarence River; R16683, 
R60469-72, Bingara; R18582, Croppa Creek; R32595, 
'Harriearra', via Tibooburra; R44737, junction of Teatree 
Creek and Horton River, 30 km WSW Bingara; R51703, 
13 mi. E Manilla on Retreat rd; R51704-05, 0.7 mi. S 
Woolomin; R63985, 2 mi. S Barraba; R64330, Yalleroi; 
R86219, The Brothers', North Star; R87537-45, Moonbi 
Lookout; R104309, Tamworth; R105969, Chunky Creek, 
( Mt King'; R107713, Moree; R110672, nr Menindee; 
R118978, R129322, Manilla Tip. 

Northern Territory: AM R11529, Plenty River; R12364, 
Yirrkala; R26398, nr Peterman Ranges, 61 mi. from W.A. 
border; R26477-78, R26499, vicinity of Finke; R31624, 
Smoke Hills, Tanami Desert; R50963, CAWC Rll-17, 
R1070, R1350, R1561, R1805-06, R2232, R2341, R3021, 
R3124, R4806, R5448, R5889, R5909-10, NTM R531, 
R5558, R5563, R5567, R8621, Alice Springs; AM 
R52131-32, R52134, Greenleaves Caravan Park, Alice 
Springs; R52133, Alice Springs Airport; R54923, 65 km 
upstream from sea, Liverpool River; R54924, 20 km 
upstream from sea, Liverpool River; R55355, *Bing Bong', 
via Borroloola; R80363, 20 km W Qld/N.T. border on 
Barkly Hwy; R80368, 29 km E Three Ways on Barkly 
Hwy; R84549, 25 km N Alice Springs on Stuart Hwy; 
R84565, Henbury Meteorite Reserve, 146 km N Kulgera 
on Stuart Hwy; CAWC R291, 10 km N Deep Well; R495, 
Borroloola; R502, NTM R6484-86, R8416-18, R8513, 
R8811, Frewena Roadhouse and vicinity; CAWC R622, 
'Alexandria' H.S.; R1205, R1212, Maryvale; R1262, R1330, 
Simpsons Gap; R5909, St Phillips College, Alice Springs; 
NTM R101, Katherine Farms rd; R700, Railway Yards, 

Alice Springs; R910, Oenpelli; R1573-74, Tanami Bore; 
R1861, Mt Gillen; R2467, Bradshaw Drive, Alice Springs; 
R3679-80, *Brunette Downs' H.S.; R3792, Katherine 
district; R5278, Telecom Building, Alice Springs; R5391, 
Mt Watt, ca 25 mi. NW *Horse Shoe Bend'; R5392-93, 
Mt Sunday Range, 190 km S Alice Springs; R5742, 
Whycliffe Well; R6557, 10 km N Alice Springs; R6622, 
old Wave Hill'H.S.; R8544-51, R9557-64, Alroy Downs; 
R8557, 64 km N 'Alroy Downs'; R8604, 7 km N Three 
Ways; QM J21786, Humpty Doo district; J26982, MIM 
mine, MacArthur River; SAM R8062, Tennant Creek; 
WAM R55406-07, R55440, 71 km W Barry Caves; 
R78239, 70 km W Barry Caves. 

Queensland: AM R2283, Bloomfield River, Cooktown; 
R5853, Oakey; R7003, R10237, R84394, Cooktown; 
R9361, 118 mi. N Rockhampton; R9453, Winton; R11653, 
Cunnamulla district; R12321, Proserpine; R13010, 
Hughenden; R13801, Townsville; R17028, Laura; R1708O, 
Gregory Springs via Hughenden; R31628, R31631, Mt Isa 
district; R37484, 15 mi. from Proserpine on Shute Harbour 
rd; R12201-02, Brooklyn, Winton; R13714, Mungai 
Junction; R16347, R16684, R16686, Silver Plains'; R16671, 
Lappa Junction; R21131, Cunnamulla; R50209, 
Tullochard', 78 mi. SW Mitchell; R51524, Grassy Hill, 
Cooktown; R55612, R58482, *Gilruth Plains'; R56816, 10 
mi. S Gayndah; R60249, 1.6 km E Camooweal; R61577, 
Lizard Island; R62301, 80.1 km N Muttaburra on 
Hughenden rd; R62459-62, R62706, 62.4 km N 
Muttaburra on Hughenden rd; R62490-95, ca 23.7 km 
NW Aramac turnoff via Muttaburra rd; R63056, 
Clermont; R63110, WAM R21420-22, Charters Towers; 
AM R63333, Croydon Tip; R63431, just NE Karumba; 
R63574, 0.7 km S airport entrance via old Croydon rd; 
R63615-17, 8.1 km W Croydon rd; R63692, 23.9 km E 
Croydon P.O. via Gulf Hwy; R63714, Crooked Creek at 
Gulf Hwy, 34.5 km W Georgetown; R81701-02, 6.6 km 
SE Greenvale by rd; R81703, Charters Towers Tip; R81704, 
25.2 km N Yeppoon via Byfield rd; R84404, 22.0 km S 
Townsville on hwy; R90213, 63 km W Winton on Boulia 
rd; R90214, 55 km SE Winton on Landsborough Hwy; 
R105152, Weipa regeneration area; R113228-29, Mayne 
Junction Bore, 'Diamantina Lakes'; R128219, R128857, 
Mandalee, Innot Hot Springs; BMNH 1924.3.3.22-26, 
'Alice Downs', Blackall. 

South Australia: NTM R1166, Renmark [in error]; SAM 
R14498, Flinders Ranges; R15189a-c, *Erudinna'; R18254, 
R18262-63, R32453, Coongie Lake; R30970-71, <Coongie'; 
R30976, 8 km SSE 'Coongie'; R31173, 27°12'S 140°08'E, 
Cooper Creek area. 

Western Australia: AM R4939; R40529-30, NTM R13084, 
3 mi. S main Ord River Dam; AM R100565, 26.9 km N 
Wittenoom-Newman rd via Port Hedland rd; NTM 
R9940-41, Wyndham. 
No data: NTM R331, R2973, R9855-57. 

A Key To The Delma Of South Australia 
And The Northern Territory 

1 — Ventral scales not transversely enlarged; loreal scale 

row usually interrupted by prefrontal scale 


— Ventral scales transversely enlarged; loreal scale row 
complete, prefrontal separated from supralabials 



Single pair of supranasals, fused with first 
supralabial rostral to nostril and with postnasal 

caudal to nostril; two preanal scales impar 

First supralabial and postnasal distinct from 

supranasals; three preanal scales 3 

Usually 14 midbody scales; third supralabial scale 

subocular; one pair of supranasals tincta 

Usually 16 or more midbody scales; fourth 
supralabial scale subocular; one or two pairs of 

supranasals 4 

Upper temporal single; size small (SVL ^98 mm); 
head dark (paler in large adults) with narrow light 

bands; throat pale, immaculate borea 

Upper temporals two or more; size small or large; 
head pale or dark; throat with or without dark 

variegations 5 

Usually 18 midbody scales; head darker than body 

(contrast reduced in large adults) 6 

Usually 16 midbody scales; head concolorous with 

body 7 

One pair of supranasals; throat immaculate. . . 


Two pairs of supranasals; throat with dark bands 

fraseri petersoni 

One or two pairs of supranasals; if two, caudal pair 
broadly separated from nostril inornata 

Two pairs of supranasals, caudal pair narrowly 

separated from nostril 8 

Snout long, narrow; colour pattern (when present) 
of dark spots dorsally and ventrally. . . .nasuta 
Snout short; colour pattern (when present) of 
irregular complete or incomplete narrow pale bands 
over head butleri 


I would like to thank E. N. Arnold (BMNH), J. 
Covacevich (QM), J. Coventry (MV), A. Edwards (SAM), 
A. Greer and R. Sadlier (AM), M. King (NTM) and L. 
Smith and G. Storr (WAM) for allowing me access to 
material in their care, for the loan of specimens, and for 
answering my numerous enquiries. A. Stimson (BMNH) 
kindly checked the measurements of the second BMNH 
'syntype' of D. fraseri. B. Jantulik prepared the artwork 
for Figs 3, 5 and 6, and assisted in the preparation of the 
other figures. A. Greer, M. Hutchinson, G. Ingram, A. 
Kluge and M. Peterson offered useful criticism of the 
manuscript, while E. Damas and K. Jopson offered 
encouragement and assistance. 


BOULENGER, G. A. 1885. 'Catalogue of the Lizards in 
the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. 
Vol. I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, 
Pygopodidae, Agamidae'. Trustees of the British 
Museum (Natural History): London. 

BUSH, B. 1981. 'Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance 
Region'. The author: Esperance. 

CHAPMAN, A. & DELL, J. 1977. Reptiles and frogs of 
Bendering and West Bendering Nature Reserves. 
Records of the Western Australian Museum 
Supplement (5): 47-55. 

CHAPMAN, A. & DELL, J. 1978. Reptiles and frogs of 
Dongolocking Nature Reserve. Records of the Western 
Australian Museum Supplement (6): 71-77. 

CHAPMAN, A. & DELL, J. 1980a. Reptiles and frogs 
of Yorkrakine Rock, East Yorkrakine and North 
Bungulla Nature Reserves. Records of the Western 
Australian Museum Supplement (12): 69-73. 

CHAPMAN, A. & DELL, J. 1980b. Reptiles and frogs 
of Badjaling Nature Reserve, South Badjaling Nature 
Reserve, Yoting Town Reserve and Yoting Water Reserve. 
Records of the Western A ustralian Museum 
Supplement (12): 59-64. 

CHAPMAN, A. & DELL, J. 1985. Biology and 
Zoogeography of the Amphibians and Reptiles of the 
Western Australian Wheatbelt. Records of the Western 
Australian Museum 12: 1-46. 

COGGER, H. G. 1975. 'Reptiles and Amphibians of 
Australia'. A. H. and A. W. Reed: Sydney. 

1983. 'Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 1 
Amphibia and Reptilia'. Australian Government 
Publishing Service: Canberra. 

DELL, J. & CHAPMAN, A. 1977. Reptiles and frogs of 
Cockleshell Gully Reserve. Records of the Western 
Australian Museum Supplement (4): 75-86. 

DELL, J. & CHAPMAN, A. 1978. Reptiles and frogs of 
Durokoppin and Kodj Kodjin Nature Reserves. Records 
of the Western Australian Museum Supplement (7): 

DELL, J. & HAROLD, G. 1977. Amphibians and reptiles. 
In The Natural History of the Wongan Hills'. Ed. K. F. 
Kenneally. Western Australian Naturalists' Club: Perth. 

DE VIS, C. W. 1888. A contribution to the herpetology 
of Queensland. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of 
New South Wales (2)2: 811-826. 

FISCHER, J. G. 1882. Herpetologische Bemerkungen. 
Archiv fur Naturgeschichte 48; 281-302. 

[GRAY, J. E.] 1831a. Description of a new genus of 
Ophisaurean Animal, discovered by the late James 
Hunter, Esq., in New Holland. In The Zoological 
Miscellany'. Ed. J. E. Gray. Treuttel, Wurtz and Co., 
G. H. Sowerby, and W. Wood: London. 

GRAY, J. E. 1831b. A synopsis of the species of the Class 
Reptilia. In The Animal Kingdom arranged in 
conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier, 
member of the Institute of France, &c. &c. &c. with 
additional descriptions of all of the species hitherto 
named, and of many not before noticed'. Vol. 9. Ed. 
E. Griffith & E. Pidgeon. Whittaker, Treacher, and Co.: 

GRAY, J. E. 1841. A Catalogue of the species of Reptiles 
and Amphibia hitherto described as inhabiting 
Australia, with a description of some new species from 
Western Australia, and some remarks on their 
geographical distribution. In 'Journals of two 



expeditions of discovery in North-west and Western 

Australia, during the years 1837, 38, and 39, Under the 

Authority of Her Majesty's Government'. Vol. 2. G. 

Grey. T. and W. Boone: London. 
GRAY, J. E. 1845. 'Catalogue of the Specimens of Lizards 

in the Collection of the British Museum'. Trustees of 

the British Museum: London. 
KLUGE, A. G. 1974. A taxonomic revision of the lizard 

family Pygopodidae. Miscellaneous Publications of the 

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (147): 

KLUGE, A. G. 1976. Phylogenetic relationships in the 

lizard family Pygopodidae: an evaluation of theory, 

methods and data. Miscellaneous Publications of the 

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (152): 

LUTKEN, C. 1863. Nogle nye krybdyr og padder. 

Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra den Naturhistoriske 

Forening i Kjobenhaun 1862: 292-331. 
SCHWANER, T. D., MILLER, B. & TYLER, M. J. 1985. 

Reptiles and amphibians. Pp. 159-168 in TMatural 

History of Eyre Peninsula'. Ed. C. R. Twidale, M. J. 

Tyler, & M. Davies. Royal Society of South Australia 

(Inc.): Adelaide. 

SHEA, G. M. 1987a. Two new species of Delma 
(Lacertilia: Pygopodidae) from northeastern 
Queensland and a note on the status of the genus Aclys. 
Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South 
Wales 109: 203-212. 

SHEA, G. M. 1987b. Delma nasuta (Lacertilia: 
Pygopodidae), an addition to the herpetofauna of New 
South Wales and Victoria, with a note on rapid color 
change in this species. Victorian Naturalist 104: 5-8. 

STORR, G. M. 1987. Three new legless lizards 
(Pygopodidae) from Western Australia. Records of the 
Western Australian Museum 13: 345-355. 

STORR, G. M., HANLON, T. M. S. & HAROLD, G. 1981. 
Herpetofauna of the shores and hinterland of the Great 
Australian Bight, Western Australia. Records of the 
Western Australian Museum 9: 23-39. 

1990. TJzards of Western Australia. III. Geckos and 
Pygopodids'. Western Australian Museum: Perth. 

WILSON, S. K. & KNOWLES, D. G. 1988. 'Australia's 
Reptiles. A Photographic Reference to the Terrestrial 
Reptiles of Australia'. William Collins: Sydney. 


John J.Bradley 


For many generations the Yanyuwa people in the Gulf of Carpentaria have hunted dugong and sea- 
turtle. Despite external pressures the skills and traditions associated with hunting these marine 
creatures have survived. These traditions continue to provide a sense of pride within Yanyuwa 




BRADLEY, J. J. 1991. Li-Maramaranja': Yanyuwa hunters of marine animals in the Sir Edward 
Pellew Group, Northern Territory. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 91-110. 

For many generations the Yanyuwa people in the Gulf of Carpentaria have hunted dugong 
and sea-turtle. Despite external pressures the skills and traditions associated with hunting these 
marine creatures have survived. These traditions continue to provide a sense of pride within 
Yanyuwa society. 

J. J. Bradley, 150 Rowan Street, Bendigo, Victoria 3550. Manuscript received 15 October 1990. 

The Yanyuwa group of Aboriginal people who 
live in and around Borroloola, Northern Territory 
in the south-western Gulf of Carpentaria pride 
themselves on being hunters of dugong (Dugong 
dugon) and sea-turtle (usually the green turtle 
Chelonia mydas). This pride is based both on 
historical association and the continuing spiritual 
identification with these marine animals. In 
Yanyuwa society certain people are regarded as 
being maramaranja, a term which can be translated 
as 'a dugong and sea-turtle hunter of excellence'. 
As the following song verse suggests, it is a title of 
which individuals and their associated families are 

ndi-ngambala li-wurralngu 

Long and strong 

is our hair, 

for we are inhabitants 

of the sea country: 

we are dugong hunters 

of excellence. 

(composer: Jack Baju 'Akarrunda') 

The Yanyuwa hunt the dugong and sea-turtle in 
the shallow waters about the Sir Edward Pellew 
Group, the mouth of the Carrington Channel and 
the mouths of the McArthur, Crooked and Wearyan 
Rivers in the Northern Territory (see Fig. 1). It is 
in these shallow waters that various species of sea- 
grass are found. Both dugong and sea-turtle feed 
on sea-grass. The Yanyuwa classify the sea-grass into 
that which is eaten by the dugong and that which 
is eaten by the sea-turtle. In fact both animals eat 
sea-grass of the same Halophila species (Dr I. 
Poiner pers. comm.). The names given to sea-grass 
by the Yanyuwa are as follows: maraman and ma- 
Ihanngu, which is said to be eaten by dugong, and 
na-wirrilbirril and na-julangal which is said to be 

eaten by sea-turtles. A general term for all sea-grass 
is ki-maramanda. 

Yanyuwa Terms For Dugong And Sea-Turtle 

Yanyuwa hunters possess a rich and complex 
knowledge of the dugong and sea-turtle. This 
knowledge concerns both the factual details 
concerning the sea-turtle and dugong, and the deep 
spiritual significance which governs how the 
Yanyuwa act towards these animals. The Yanyuwa 
classify the dugong and sea-turtle into the following 


General terms 

walya - general term for both dugong and 


waliki - general term for dugong. 

nhabal - avoidance term for all dugong. 

yiwaji - archaic term for all dugong. 

wundunyuka - general term for all sea-turtle. 

li-waliki/a-waliki - a herd of dugong. 

Female terms 

a-banthamu - old cow with small tusks visible. 

a-bayawiji - mature cow, capable of breeding (no 



a-kulhakulhawiji -pregnant cow. 

a-lhumurrawiji -pregnant cow with a calf still 


a-miramba - non-lactating cow, but with a large calf 

still following. 

a-ngarninybala - cow with her calf riding on her 


a-wurduwu - young female dugong. 

li-milkamilarra - small group of cows with calves. 

nyanki-ardu - dugong foetus. 





























Male terms 

bungkurl - very fat, small male dugong. 

jiyamirama/jiwarnarrila - male dugong which 

travels away from cow during times of threat. 

mayili - bull dugong with small tusks. 

rangkarraku/rangkarrangu - bull dugong travelling 

by itself. 

wiriji - large old bull with a mottled hide, 

considered to be the offspring of the Rainbow 


mrumantharra - bull dugong whistling, often said 

to be the leader of the herd. 

ngumba - very young dugong. 


There are three species of turtle in the area of 
the Pellew Islands. The most commonly hunted is 
the green turtle (Chelonia mydas). 

Green turtle 

malurrba - green turtle. 

warrikuliyangu - male green turtle. 

ngululurru - male green turtle. 

rra-tharra - female green turtle. 

a-wandangumara - very large female green turtle. 

bankiba - very large male green turtle. 

ngajilingajili - green turtle with a light coloured 

shell and a lot of yellow colouring to the underside. 

lijalijangulyanda - young green turtle not 

considered big enough to eat. 

a-wathawayawiji - female green turtle containing 

unlaid eggs. 

yabalarla - green turtle hatchling. 

ngarrangarra - green turtle which lacks a lot of 

body fat. 

wunakathangu - green turtle found with ulcerations 

in the stomach (not eaten). 

Flat-backed turtle 

wirndiwirndi - flat-backed turtle. This species of 

sea-turtle is occasionally captured by Yanyuwa 


jadiwangarni - male flat-backed turtle. 

a-karninja - female flat-backed turtle. 

Hawksbill turtle 

karrubu - hawksbill turtle. This species is not 

captured by the Yanyuwa as it is considered 


yibarriwuna - male hawksbill turtle. 

a-ngurrin - female hawksbill turtle. 

Loggerhead turtle 

limarrwurrirri - loggerhead turtle. 

General terms relating to turtles 

rri-bankuja - mating turtles. 

rujurru - turtle hatchling. 

ngangkurrurru - female on the beach laying eggs. 

Dugong And Sea-Turtle Habitats 

The hunters of dugong and sea-turtle know that 
it is the tides which primarily affect the movement 
of dugong and sea-turtle. Both animals feed on the 
coastal sea-grass beds at high tide (ngakan) and 
move out onto the off-shore beds at low tide 
(mangkuru). A turning tide (jalababa), is often 
considered a good time to hunt dugong especially 
if the tide is coming in as the dugong will be 
travelling in towards the sea-grass beds. If the sea 
is calm both dugong and sea-turtle can occasionally 
be seen feeding on the sea-grass beds along the more 
exposed coastal and reef areas. 

The Yanyuwa men who are versed in the 'Law' 
of the dugong say that the dugong is a migratory 
animal. This migratory path would seem to range 
from just south of the Limmen River mouth, 
through the Pellew Islands and eastward to the 
region of the mouth of the Robinson River. Dugong 
are classified into two groupings; there are those 
that are continually moving and those which are 
more territorial. In the Yanyuwa language the 
migration of the dugong is known as muyu, and 
those dugong who remain in one area are called 
jibiya baji or 'countrymen belonging to that place'. 

In the area of the Sir Edward Pellew Group the 
dugong migration path would seem to run south 
of West Island to the north of South West Island 
and into the small strait between South West Island 
and Centre Island, then eastward past the mouths 
of the McArthur and Wearyan Rivers. 

Both the dugong and sea-turtle frequent the same 
areas, due to the presence of the sea-grass beds. The 
Yanyuwa do not regard the sea-turtle as a migratory 
animal, though research has shown that the green 
turtle does migrate long distances to nest (Limpus 
1985 pers. comm.). 

The localities which dugong and sea-turtle are 
known to frequent are the south-west and central 
west coast of West Island (Mamadathamburu), the 
area in the vicinity of the central west coast of South 
West Island (Mangurrungurru), the McArthur River 
mouth and Dugong Creek (Wuthanda), an area 
around the mouth of the Crooked River 
(Liwujujuluwa), an area to the north-east of 
Sharkers Point (Lidambuwa), and an area to the 
north of the Wearyan River (Bulubuluwiji). At most 
times of the year dugong and sea-turtle can be 
found at any of these localities in varying numbers 
(see Fig. 1). 

The largest numbers of dugong are found in the 
vicinity of the Sir Edward Pellew Group in the mid 
dry season (ngardara), usually around June, July 
and August. It is during this time that the Yanyuwa 
do the greater part of their dugong and sea-turtle 
hunting, though people will hunt at other times of 
the year. During the mid dry season however, the 



sea is usually calm and the strong south-easterly 
winds (rra-mardu) have ceased to blow. 

Harpooning Equipment 

Yanyuwa hunters prepare or repair most of the 
equipment detailed below while still at camp or 
while travelling on the river on the way to the sea 
(see Fig. 2). 

The Yanyuwa hunt dugong and sea-turtle with 
a harpoon with a detachable head to which is 
attached a long rope and float. Most senior 
Yanyuwa men possess at least one harpoon, which 
is called either na-ridiridi, yirlakungka or ratharr. 
These are usually carved from the wood of young 
messmate trees (Eucalyptus tetrodonta) and are 
from three to five metres in length. The harpoons 
are usually well cared for, being rubbed with the 
sap of certain trees, red ochre and sugar bag wax 
to help preserve them. 

The base of the harpoon point rests in a socket 
carved into the thicker end of the harpoon shaft. 
This socket is called the na-wuthula or na-balalarra, 
or more commonly na-mulu (Its mouth*)- The 
harpoon points are usually called na-malbi or na- 
wulukayangu and today are made of metal - usually 
a piece of steel rod (tappet rods from Toyota engines 
are a common source), approximately 15 cm in 
length and 1 cm in diameter. In past times these 
points were made out of hardwood, usually 
Pemphis acidula, which in Yanyuwa is called na- 
wubulu. These wooden points were warmed slowly 
in the hot white ashes of a fire to temper them. In 
past times the wooden points used for hunting sea- 
turtle were barbed because the hunters had to spear 
the turtle in the neck or flippers, as the wooden 
points could not penetrate the shell. These barbed 
wooden points were called na-ngalhinbiji which 
literally means It has a hook/barb'. 

The top of the harpoon point is wrapped in cloth 
or paperbark and then tightly bound with string 
to ensure that the harpoon point rests firmly in the 
harpoon. The harpoon point is attached to the 
harpoon ropes called ma-ngarduku or ma- 
yinymathu. In the past the rope was made out of 
the inner bark of the kurrajong or banyan tree. 
Today commercial nylon or hemp rope is used. 
Kurrajong ropes are still occasionally made for sale 
to Aboriginal art and craft organisations. 

Two ropes of about twenty metres in length are 
required. The harpoon point is attached to the rope 
by way of the nungawu, which is a small loop made 
in the end of the rope through which the harpoon 
point is passed. The bound end of the harpoon 
point is pushed firmly against the loop and then 
both are tied together with string. The other end 
of the ropes are attached to a wooden float called 
mawarl. This is made from a light piece of wood 

and is usually about 60-70 cm in length and about 
20 cm in diameter. The float is thrown out when 
a dugong or sea-turtle is harpooned, to mark the 
course the harpooned animal takes and to tire it out. 
This float was of more importance in the days of 
bark and dugout canoes when men had to paddle 
to catch their prey. With the advent of motor boats 
the hunters can usually keep up with the sea-turtle 
or dugong and the float is rarely required but it is 
always carried and kept attached to the ropes. The 
float is still useful if the engine fails, the rope 
becomes tangled, if the hunter falls overboard when 
he spears the dugong, or loses the harpoon. 

It is Yanyuwa tradition that the dugong and sea- 
turtle be harpooned twice. The first harpoon strike 
into the dugong is called na-walangkarramba or na- 
walangkarrangu, and the second is called na- 
nyirriwa or na-nyirriwangu. 

Hunting Rules 

Yanyuwa dugong hunters must follow strict rules 
before leaving the land to go hunting. Hunters try 
to keep their noise level to a minimum, they will 
not break sticks, burn string or sugar bag wax or 
handle greasy food. The reasons behind these 
restrictions are not known but the restriction on 
making noise is said to be because the dugong has 
extremely keen hearing. In Yanyuwa the dugong is 
said to be lingi, a term usually reserved for a person 
of high intelligence or keen hearing. It is believed 
that if too much noise is made the dugongs will hear 
and dive into deep water where they cannot be 
hunted. Men will not handle greasy food before 
hunting as they believe if it contacts the harpoon 
points it will make them smooth and they will slip 
out of the harpooned dugong or sea-turtle. All of 
these restrictions are grouped together under the 
generic term, wardimalyurr. 

While there are no such specific rules associated 
with the hunting of sea-turtle, this animal's keen 
eyesight is treated with as much respect as the 
dugong's acute hearing. Otherwise, the same rules 
are observed as the hunters do not know which of 
the two animals they may find when setting out on 
an expedition. Any person who disregards these 
restrictions and others concerning the Law of the 
dugong have the following phrase directed at them 
— wardiwiji angkawangu (Vou are filled with 
badness, you are a mainland dweller'). This is an 
insulting remark to people who class themselves as 
sea people and the hunters of marine animals. 

The Hunt 

When hunters reach the area in which they wish 
to hunt, they scan the water for dugong and sea- 



na-wuthutu, na-mulu - hole where the harpoon point rests 


mawarl - float, 60-70 cm 

ma-ngarduku - harpoon rope, 20 m 

na-malbi- harpoon point, 15 cm 








na-ridiridi, yirlakungka or ratharr- harpoon, 4-5 m 


f f 

FIGURE 2. Harpooning equipment. 



turtle surfacing to breathe, for muddy water which 
has been caused by these animals feeding, or for 
broken pieces of floating sea-grass and excreta. It 
is these signs which make visible and meaningful 
tracks to the hunter. 

When an animal is located, the skill of the boat's 
'driver' (wuliyi/wungkayi) is crucial. He has to 
follow hand signals given by the harpooner and 
manoeuvre him within range to spear the animal. 
This is often difficult as he must keep pace with 
the dugong which can swim at speeds of 10-12 
knots for short periods. Sea-turtles are also capable 
of short bursts of speed and have the added 
advantage of keen eyesight, referred to in at least 
one Yanyuwa song cycle (see below). In shallow 
water the dugong can be tracked by the wake which 
is caused by the upward and downward movement 
of the tail, producing a series of flat circles on the 
surface of the water (Marsh et al. 1981). Sea-turtles 
are always tracked through the water by sight. 

When a dugong has been speared once it usually 
tires quickly; it is then brought into range once more 
and speared again. The hunter usually tries to place 
one harpoon in the region of the neck and another 
in the lower back or tail region. After the animal 
has been speared twice the dugong is pulled 
alongside the boat. In Yanyuwa this action is called 
Ihungkayarra. The dugong is then grabbed by the 
tail and a noose is placed around it, just below the 
flukes. The animal is turned around so its stomach 
is facing outwards. Its tail is braced against the 
gunwhale, forcing the head under water and 
drowning it. 

In past times when the Yanyuwa hunted dugong 
from bark canoes the dugong was not drowned 
alongside the canoe for fear that the struggling 
animal would damage the frail craft. Instead the 
dugong was brought within a short distance of the 
canoe and then the hunter swam out to the dugong 
and plugged the dugong's nostrils with paperbark 
or even his own fingers, and he stayed with the 
dugong until it drowned. 

From the moment a dugong is speared until it 
is drowned no talking takes place. It is believed that 
talking while the dugong is dying is a sign of great 
disrespect, and if someone does talk while the 
dugong is being pulled alongside the boat, the 
spirits who guard the dugong will come and remove 
the harpoon points. 

The hunters usually try to spear young male 
dugongs and occasionally a cow as long as it has 
not got a calf or does not appear to be pregnant. 
The Yanyuwa dugong hunters say that they can tell 
the difference between a male dugong and a 
pregnant cow by the way in which it dives after 
surfacing; a pregnant cow is said to dive quicker 
and at a sharper angle. Large old bull dugongs are 
avoided because they are said to be the offspring 

of the Rainbow Serpent and are therefore to be 
feared. They can be killed but only with the 
assistance of special 'power songs' (nyiri) which are 
said to weaken the animal and break its back. One 
power song which is used in an attempt to weaken 
such animals is as follows: 

Miriyayurr, miriyayurr. 
Kunjurr, kunjurr. 

You with the spirit of the 

Rainbow Serpent, 

Your back is broken, 

truly it is cracked. 

(Isaac Walayungkuma 1985 pers. comm.). 

It is said that such a dugong, if not controlled, will 
tow the boat to the mouth of its father, the Rainbow 
Serpent (Bujimala) and dive into the mouth, taking 
boat and crew with it. Quite often though, if one 
of these dugongs is harpooned the rope is just cut. 
These large dugongs are powerful, and trying to kill 
one by drowning would be much more hazardous. 

When the dugong is drowned it is tied alongside 
the boat. A rope is tied around the tail which is then 
fixed to the back of the boat, and a harpoon point 
is passed through the dugong's nostrils and to this 
a rope is attached. This rope is tied to the front of 
the boat. The dugong is then taken back to land 
for butchering. 

During times when groups of Yanyuwa people are 
camped on the islands they will often hunt the 
dugong at night. The dugong is located by listening 
for the sounds of dugong surfacing to breath. The 
dugong are followed through the water by their 
phosphorescent wake, called balirrka. As this 
method of hunting is considerably more dangerous 
there is very careful preparation of the hunting 
equipment before setting out. 

Sea-turtle are hunted in a similar fashion to 
dugong. Sea-turtle can at times prove more difficult 
though, due to the animals' keen eyesight and the 
length of time which they can stay submerged. The 
harpooned sea-turtle will often swim under the 
boat, making it harder for the driver of the boat 
to place the harpooner in an ideal position to 
harpoon it for the second time. When the sea-turtle 
has been harpooned twice it is pulled up alongside 
the boat and taken hold of by its front flippers. If 
the sea-turtle is relatively small it is pulled directly 
into the boat; if it is very large and heavy it is tied 
to the side of the boat by the front flippers so that 
it hangs vertically in the water with its head above 
the water line. This is to ensure that the sea-turtle 
does not drown. The Yanyuwa believe that if they 
let a sea-turtle drown they will have great difficulty 
in finding and catching them when they go hunting 
again. With the sea-turtle secured either in or 
alongside the boat it is taken back to land for 
killing, cooking and butchering. 



Butchering And Cooking Dugong And 

Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the method by which 
a sea-turtle is killed and gutted. The sea-turtle is 
cooked whole, in its shell, before it is butchered. 
Firstly it is laid in a shallow pit which contains hot 
coals; the sea-turtle is then covered with wood which 
is set alight. It is then left for two to three hours. 
As the sea-turtle cooks it is watched to make sure 
that the fire does not burn through the shell, causing 
the mathulmathul to be lost. Mathulmathul is a rich 
'soup' composed of meat and fat particles, juices, 
and blood. This is much sought after by older 
people who believe that it has medicinal value 
(younger people used to European food find it too 
rich and complain that it gives them diarrhoea). 
After the turtle has cooled it is butchered. Figures 
5, 6, and 7 show the order in which this is done. 
After the first cooking much of the sea-turtle meat 
is still somewhat raw, so after butchering the meat 
is placed into a ground oven on a bed of Acacia 
leaves to complete the cooking process. 

When a dugong is brought back to the land for 
butchering its head must be faced back in the 
direction of the sea. This is to enable the spirit of 

FIGURE 4. Butchering the turtle. When dead the turtle 
must be laid on its back, then the first cut is made. The 
act of making this cut is ngunduwamantharra. The person 
butchering the turtle then reaches in through this cut and 
removes a number of organs, listed in their order of 
removal: 1. ngundurrngundurr - section of the bronchial 
tube; 2. na-widiri - liver (eaten); 3. rra-ngawu - bladder; 
4. ma-mulka - stomach (eaten; occasionally severe 
ulcerations are found in the stomach of old turtles, and 
they are called wunakathangu)\ 5. wunakaka - large 
intestines (eaten); 6. ma-karriyalu - small intestine (eaten). 
After the turtle has been gutted, paperbark is folded into 
small rolls and pushed into the bronchi remaining inside 
the turtle. The reason given for this practice is so that the 
turtle in the sea will not become ngarrangarra or without 
fat. The heart of the turtle is removed with the bronchial 
tubes and is also called ngundurrngundurr. The liver is 
also called na-manyi, and the stomach is also called 

FIGURE 3. The turtle is killed by hitting it hard on the 
head with a stone or an axe to break the hard protective 
covering plates. A long sharp stick is then thrust into this 
hole to 'mangle the brains'. This act must be performed 
by a person who stands in the position of a ritual guardian 
of the sea-turtle. 

the dugong to return to the sea. This is an act of 
great importance to the Yanyuwa people and is 
called ki-maramanngku t which can be literally 
translated as Teturning the one belonging to the 

There are two methods which can be used to 
butcher a dugong (see Figs 8, 9, 10). One method, 
called yingkurra, involves removing the meat in 
slabs with the hide still attached. This method is 
used when large groups of people are present and 
the meat can be distributed quickly. The most 
favoured method however is called munbul and 
involves removing the hide of the dugong in its 
entirety, excepting the head and tail portions. 
Munbul is considered to be the most archaic form 
of butchering and is therefore associated with the 
activities of the old people, li-wankala, who in 
contemporary times are spoken of with much 

Today that dugong was butchered in the way of my 
forefathers, we cut it munbul it really made me 
remember the old people, when a dugong is cut up 
like that and cooked, the meat is sweet. That other 
way, that yingkurra that is only new way I don't like 
it, it make a dugong like a bullock and that is badness. 
(Ida Ninganga 1986 pers. comm., translated by 



na-manda- 1 Uppers 

FIGURE 5. Butchering the turtle, continued. Broken lines 
indicate knife cuts. A. Flippers are cut off at the joint, 
na-wi B. Na-ngabala — skin, meat and fat. 

The only organ of the dugong which is eaten is 
the small intestine {murajuju). It is cut into short 
lengths of about 20 cm. The murajuju is then 
washed in salt water and boiled or cooked in a 
ground oven (rabarr), in similar fashion to the rest 
of the meat. 

The oven (approximately 1 m deep, 1-2 m in 
width and 2 m in length) is filled with wood which 
is set alight. While the wood is still burning, stones 
are thrown into the fire to get hot. When the wood 
has burnt down to hot coals the heated stones are 
removed and green mangrove branches are laid onto 
the bed of coals. The meat is then placed in the 
oven. The head is placed at one end of the oven 
and the tail at the other. The smaller portions of 
meat are then placed between them. Onto this meat 
are placed hot stones, and over these cuts of meat 
and hot stones are placed the two halves of the rib 
cage which is also covered by stones. The oven is 
then covered with paperbark and sealed with earth. 
The meat is left to cook for several hours. 

na-yalam - shoulder and chest 

na-lakalaka - piece of meat 

sacred to the sea 

na-wuthula - meat and fat. 

na- Ihundu - fat 

na-narrngu - (at and main tail 

wulaya - head 

na-mulngu - neck 

na-yinji - lungs and bronchii 

na-rurru - green fat lining the 

Ihuwayngul- yellow fat 

FIGURE 6. Butchering the turtle, continued. Broken lines 
indicate knife cuts. C. Wurrunthulburrunthul — tail piece, 
fat and meat. D. Wundumutha - green fat and meat. 

na-buyurni - shell 

mathutmathul - 'soup' 
made from meat juices, 
blood and particles ol 
meat and fat 

rabarr- hot stones used 
during cooking process 

ma-yajbarla - main portion 
of hips 

ma-rawurr - central hip 

FIGURE 7. Cooking the turtle. 



na-milwangu wulka 


1 -.- 






\ \ 

\ \ 
\ 1 

.15 B 6} 

L 1 ^ 

c 4! 

c d 








FIGURE 8. Method of butchering dugong known as yingkurra. Numbers refer to the order in which the cuts are 
made. a. Wulaya - head. b. Na-rawulurr - jaw. c. Na-jamuka - chin. d. Na-yabirli - shoulder blade, e. Na-yirrimbi 
- tail. f. Na-manda - flipper, g. Na-waji - armpit, h. Na-wurdu - belly section. The slabs of meat A, B, and C are 
called wungai. The hide of the dugong is called yanjurr. The belly section is cut in half and the two sections are 
called na-yalari. 



FIGURE 9. Method of butchering dugong known as 
munbul The hide is removed in one piece and is then 
roasted flesh-side down on a bed of hot coals. 

During certain ritual occasions parts of the 
dugong and sea-turtle are kept exclusively for the 
senior men. It is the rib-cage sections, head, and 
flippers which are considered sacred, and the hip 
and back flipper section of the sea-turtle. These are 
the sections which are placed into the ground oven 
within the confines of a restricted sacred area called 
na-manda. This area is enclosed by a semi-circular 
earth mound which is built to surround the ground 
oven. After meat cooked in the na-manda has been 
eaten all the scraps and bones are thrown back into 
the ground oven and burnt. The belief is that failure 
to dispose of the bones correctly will result in a 
cessation of successful hunting. 

When the head of a dugong is removed from the 
ground oven the flesh is removed, and the jaw is 
separated from the skull. The jaw, skull and flesh 
is cooked once more. The skull of a dugong is 
usually thrown back into the sea or river. This is 
why few dugong skulls are ever found at camp sites; 
the head of a human or animal is deemed sacred 
by the Yanyuwa. 

If a female dugong is killed and found to be 
pregnant the foetus is taken with the rest of the meat 
and cooked. It can only be eaten by senior men who 
have the dugong as their Dreaming, or by those who 
by Dreaming relationship call the dugong 'mother'. 

The act of distributing the meat from the dugong 
and sea-turtle is called wangkamantharra and is 
governed by Yanyuwa law. The portion received by 
each person is usually based on the relationship of 
the people to the hunters and at times by people's 
Dreaming relationship to these creatures. It is not 
viewed favourably if the hunter does not distribute 

the meat. In the past such an action was enough 
to incite heated argument and even physical violence 
and this can still be the case today. 

In the division of dugong meat the hunter 
receives some of the belly meat, the head, and if 
the dugong has no ritual use (in terms of na-manda 
cooking) he takes a small portion of the rib-bones 
and some of the intestines. The driver of the boat 
receives the tail, some shoulder meat and rib-bones. 
If a woman's brother or sons participated in the 
hunt, she may not eat from the back-bone or ribs, 
so she is given a large portion of the intestines. The 
hunters' sisters, sons and daughters are not allowed 
to eat any of the tail portions. The hunter also 
makes a presentation of meat to his mother-in-law. 
This is done through a second person because of 
the strong avoidance taboo which exists between 
son-in-law and mother-in-law. This presentation is 
seen as an on-going payment in return for the man 
being given his wife. 

The driver of a boat in a sea-turtle hunt receives 
some meat and associated green and yellow fat from 
the hip section of the turtle. He also receives some 
of the chest meat, intestines and green fat which 
lines the shell. The head and neck of the sea-turtle 
goes to the senior ritual guardian for the animal. 
The hunters' mothers and sisters are not allowed 
to eat the intestines of the turtle so the stomach is 
saved exclusively for them. As with the dugong the 
best meat is given to the mother-in-law of the 
hunter. The oil (na-ngilili) which the Yanyuwa 
obtain from the hide and meat of the dugong during 
the cooking process is said to have medicinal 
qualities and is rubbed onto the body and hair. The 
Yanyuwa say that it makes their hair grow strong 
and when rubbed on their bodies it keeps their 
bodies warm and free from pain. 

With the advent of refrigerated storage some 

Yanyuwa families have the facility to store large 

amounts of dugong meat over a longer period. This 

has led to some apparent abuse of the complex rules 

regarding distribution of the meat, a development 

which is particularly resented by some older people: 

Freezer, freezer, they freeze him [dugong meat] all lot. 

That's narnu-wadi [badness], not like old people, 

everybody got something, selfish bugger people this 

day, no idea, karawathawathamu [swear-word]. I dont 

like it, that walya [dugong and sea-turtle] got law for 

everybody. (Ida Ninganga pers. comm. 1987). 

Many of these problems stem from the fact that 
some younger Yanyuwa people have not learned the 
full scope of the law associated with dugong, and 
can thus easily offend older people: 

You know what, he brought up head [dugong head] 
for me, that's not the way, no idea, true, old people, 
my father never bin like that, I can't take head, never 
even been cooked, yakayaka [insane] true, I bin chuck 
that head to the dog, I never touch it, no Law, not 
allow . . . (Annie Karrakayn pers. comm. 1986). 



ngundurmgundurr - heart 

na-yinji- lungs 

kurruru - backbone ~' 

rimi/rirrkukilwalkarru - large intestine 
j I 
na-widiri - liver I wilawila - stomach 

murajuju - small intestine 

ma-minji- skin and meat; also 
contains genital organs 

na-walkirrirri - uterus 

rra-wumumu - kidneys 

lubala - part of backbone 
without ribs 

a-larlurr- ribs 

a-mardanbangu - short ribs 

FIGURE 10. Gutting the dugong. Before the internal organs can be seen a layer of white fat called rra-mayngul 
is removed. Broken lines indicate knife cuts. 



European Accounts 

Within their oral tradition the Yanyuwa have 
detailed accounts dealing with the activities of 
dugong and sea-turtle hunting, which are both 
mythologically and historically based. Other sources 
also exist which mention Yanyuwa associations with 
such activities. In 1814 Matthew Flinders made the 
following comment: 

Turtle tracks were observed on most of the beaches, 
but more especially on the smaller islands, where 
remains of turtle feasts were generally found. (Flinders 
1814: 171). 

W. G. Stretton, Special Magistrate at Borroloola, 
commented in 1893 that 

. . . they [the Yanyuwa] are also very clever at making 
rope, which they use for dugong fishing. The rope is 
made from the bark of the Currajong tree, a species 
of Brachychiton, which these natives call Tvlyaddo' 
[ma-yatha]. (Stretton 1893: 249). 

One of the most detailed accounts by Europeans 
of a Yanyuwa dugong hunt and subsequent 
procedures comes from a description by W. E. 
Harney who spent some time with the Yanyuwa in 
the Sir Edward Pellew Group during the 1920s. In 
this book *North of 23 Degrees' he gives this 
description of a dugong hunt: 

This place is the home of the dugong, which is a large 
sea mammal that feeds on the grass growing upon the 
floor of the shallow banks in this locality . . . Often 
I went out with them to hunt the dugong. Night was 
the best time, for then their path could easily be 
followed by the phosphorescent wake they left behind. 
A native would stand up in the stem of the craft, a 
wooden canoe, and direct the paddling native with the 
point of his harpoon. The canoe would glide 
noiselessly over the water, the men at the paddles 
feathering their paddles to eliminate the splash. Up 
would come the huge sea cow to fill its lungs with air; 
then bang! in would go the six-inch nail with a long 
rope attached to the head. The native who struck with 
the spear would fall overboard with it to give leverage; 
then quickly he would leap aboard the craft as the 
already wet rope went whizzing out as the dugong 
gathered away. The paddlers would now frantically 
paddle the canoe to reach a good speed when the line's 
end was reached; this would stop any jar which might 
pull out the nail. After a time the animal would tire 
and come to the surface for air, when another nail 
would be driven in to its neck or head; then down the 
line the hunter would go to plug up the valve with a 
piece of paper-bark or grass. 

The creature would soon die from want of air and 
rise slowly to the surface, to be lashed to the side, or 
maybe the canoe would be sunk and the animal floated 
in. Treading water the natives would hold the side of 
the canoe a little way out of the water to enable others 
to bail out the water. This done, they would all 
scramble in again and hoist sail for home. A signal 
would be given - a wave of the paddle or a loud blast 

on the conch shell, and quickly the camp would astir, 
as the women and children went to the bush to gather 
wood for the fire to roast the beef. Many were the 
orders given as the carcase was rolled up the sandy 
beach to the large fire blazing merrily away. Glass 
flakes, flints, and knives of the white man were all used 
for the cutting up. The great slabs of beef were sliced 
off and placed on bushes, or failing these on the sandy 
ground. Women would scold the eager children trying 
to scrape out coals to cook a little bit of meat given 
to them by an elder . . . The oven being now ready to 
take the meat, on layers of dampened bushes over hot 
stones are laid the first slices, then more stones and 
beef . . . till the whole dugong is in the oven. The latter 
is covered over first with paper-bark, then with sand 
or soil to make it airtight. 

Now for the waiting period. For about four hours 
the meat would be left there to 'stew' in its own juices; 
then came the sacred moment as old Friday uncovered 
the feast. Four to five hundredweight of . . . meat . . . 
As the native law of distribution now comes into force, 
Friday the uncle or mother's brother of the chap who 
caught the dugong will hand the portions out. A lovely 
hindquarter to the hunter's mother's mother, or Ku Ku 
[sic]; a forequarter to his mother's brother; a belly piece 
to this person; the head to the hunter, as well as the 
tail. Each receives his share, according to a just law, 
so that no rows may arise over the giving out of food. 
One group of people receives nothing; these are the 
women with their menses. To them it is forbidden, or 
taboo; they call the word 'gooda gooda' [sic]. Should 
they eat of this meat, then the dugongs would be 
offended and leave that locality, which, when one 
comes to think of it, provides a clever excuse should 
the hunter return without a kill. (Harney 1946: 

Mythology And Ritual Associated With 
Dugong And Sea-Turtle 

Both the dugong and sea-turtle are important 
mythological beings for the Yanyuwa and 
neighbouring groups to the north. The Mara people 
whose country lies to the north-west of the Yanyuwa 
have a very important Dugong Dreaming centre. 
This site, known as Wunubarryi (Mt Young), lies 
some seven kilometres south-east from the mouth 
of the Limmen River. The Yanyuwa people also 
recognise the importance of this site and they share 
in the control and use of the Dugong Dreaming 
power which is centred there. 

Just to the east of Wunubarryi are a number of 
quartzite outcrops. These are believed by the Mara 
and Yanyuwa to be metamorphosed dugong and a 
single dolphin which were stranded on dry land by 
a receding king tide (bambiiiwa) during the 
Dreaming. It is interesting to note that a similar 
occurrence happened in 1984 during Cyclone Kathy; 
a number of dugong and sea-turtle were stranded 
after a storm surge carried them up to eight 
kilometres inland in the vicinity of the McArthur 
River delta area. 



The Dugong Dreaming represents a herd of 
dugong (see Fig. 11). Two of the rocks are males, 
while the others are females. It is at one of these 
female dugong that the Yanyuwa and Mara 
custodians for this site carry out dugong increase 
rituals. When men wish to perform these rituals 
they approach the Dugong Dreaming herd and 
brush down the 'female dugong' they have selected 
for use in the ritual. Surrounding the female 
dugong' are a number of hammerstones. One of 
these hammerstones is taken and the 'female 
dugong' is struck while the names of dugong 
hunting localities along the coast and in the area 
of the Pellew Islands are called out. A translated 
example of this recitation is as follows (see Fig. 1 
for localities): 

You dugong, listen to me, you will come out from here 
and you will travel to Wuthanda (McArthur River 
mouth), Liwujujuluwa (Crooked River mouth), 
Lidambuwa (Sharkers Point) and Bulubuluwiji 
(Wearyan River mouth). Listen to these words that I 
am telling you! (Tommy Rilley (Nawurrungu) 1983 
pers. comm.) 


Hammer slones used 
in Intjruasa rituals 

Desecrated cow duqongs 

appro* 50 m 


FIGURE 11. Map showing the Dugong Dreaming at 
Wunubarryi (Mt Young) in the Limmen Bight, Northern 

Some of the 'female dugong' have deep grooves 
and depressions in them indicating that the rites of 
increase are of some antiquity. 

In 1976 this Dugong Dreaming site at 
Wunubarryi was desecrated. The owners of the 
Nathan River Station, where Wunubarryi is located, 
dug out two of the 'female dugongs' while 
constructing a four wheel drive track through the 
area. The Yanyuwa and Mara people were extremely 
upset over this incident and consider that the 
dugong population in the area of the Sir Edward 
Pellew Group has suffered because of this 

The Yanyuwa people have a Dreaming site for the 
Lone Male Dugong {jiyamirama) at Wungunda on 
the southern bank of the mouth of the Crooked 
River, and at Wirdiwirdila, a small island in the 
Wearyan River is a Dreaming site associated with 
the rib-bones of the Lone Male Dugong. During 
the singing of their ceremonial song cycles the 
Yanyuwa also sing of the dugong, and some of these 
verses are given below. These particular verses, 
belonging to the Yanyuwa Rrumburriya semi- 
moiety, are associated with the dugong hunting 
locality of Bulubuluwiji at the mouth of the 
Wearyan River: 

jirrimbi ramba 

The tail of the dugong 
strikes the water 



The cows are gathering, 
they travel with their calves 


The bull dugong thrashes, 

it tires (It has been harpooned). 

(Old Tim Rakawurlma 1982 pers. comm.). 

The song of the Lone Male Dugong is sung in 
the song cycle of the Yanyuwa Wuyaliya 



The back of the Lone Male Dugong, 

is clearly showing. 

(Old Tim Rakawurlma 1982 pers. comm.). 

The sea-turtle is associated mythologically with 
a number of areas over the Sir Edward Pellew 
Group. The west coast of West Island and the 
coastal margins of Bing Bong Station are associated 
with the Dreaming path of the Green Turtle. This 
sea-turtle completed its travels on a reef called 
Liwintha, which lies just to the south of West 
Island. Watson Island and the northern section of 



North Island are also associated with the path of 
the Green Turtle Dreaming. Various rock 
formations along the Dreaming path of this turtle 
represent the shell, internal organs and segments 
of meat which the hunters of sea-turtle find 
important. One song cycle verse associated with the 
green turtle is as follows: 

Yurrunjurr na-mi. 

The Green Turtle with round wide eyes 

like the uppermost grindstone, 

It sees a great distance. 

(Old Tim Rakawurlma 1982 pers. comm.). 

Yanyuwa Views Of Dugong And Sea-Turtle 
Exploitation Sites 

Evidence of the Yanyuwa 's utilisation of dugong 
and sea-turtle as a food source can be found on 
many sites in the Sir Edward Pellew Group. Some 
of these sites are apparently quite old, while others 
were used within the last thirty years. No matter 
what the age of the site they share in common such 
things as charcoal, stones which show evidence of 
having been affected by heat, and scatterings of 
bone and skeletal remains which may give evidence 
of the numbers of people at these sites and from 
where the meat source was obtained. Minnegal 
(1984b) identifies four types of dugong butchering 
sites in Queensland's Princess Charlotte Bay region. 
Three of these sites have direct relevance to the 

1. Initial butchering sites - where dugong were 
removed from the water and cut into a number 
of large segments to facilitate transport back to 

2. Primary, and primarily, dugong 
consumption sites - where large parcels of 
dugong meat were taken to be further butchered, 
cooked and consumed. 

3. Base camps - where individuals took any 
remnants of dugong meat left over from the 
initial feasts. 

(Minnegal 1984b: 15) 

Figures 12, 13, 14 and 15 illustrate the factors 
which Minnegal (1984a and b) discusses. All of 
these sites, with the exception of that in Fig. 13, are 
still used by the Yanyuwa as base camps for the 
exploitation of dugong and sea-turtle and for the 
cooking and distribution of the meat. Each diagram 
is accompanied by a description of the site elements 
and a description of the site given by Yanyuwa 

The Yungkurra site (Fig. 12) is still a favoured 
butchering site due to its close proximity to major 
sea-grass beds in the region of the McArthur River 
delta region. A unique feature of the site is a cleared 

'causeway' some six metres in length. This feature 
seems to be of great age and was possibly 
constructed by clearing a pathway through the 
mangroves of the intertidal zone and then clearing 
this area down to the bedrock by removing the loose 
stones and rocks. The end result is an obvious 
cleared pathway which makes the task of rolling 
dead dugong, and pulling sea-turtles, ashore to a 
butchering point much easier. The cleared area 
would also have made the beaching of canoes an 
easier task where the rocky nature of the area makes 
safe mooring difficult. It also provides ease of 
access to the sea for people when washing the offal 
removed from the creatures prior to cooking. The 
foredune area at the end of the causeway is littered 
with bone fragments of turtle and dugong as well 
as the stones and charcoal from the ground ovens 
used during the cooking process. This site is still 
used for beaching and butchering dugong and sea- 
turtle. No cooking has taken place at the site in 
recent times though, as dugong meat or live sea- 
turtles are loaded directly into the boats and taken 
to base camps on other parts of the islands or 
further up the McArthur River. A senior custodian 
for the Yungkurra site, Tim Rakawurlma made the 
following comments: 

The old people long before me they threw stones to 
the north and south, and in doing so they made a road. 
The road is for dugong and turtle and maybe canoes 
when there was wind and waves. I cut dugong up at 
that place as did my father and my sons, they still use 
that place. Perhaps they were really clever those old 
people, would you think that? 
(Tim Rakawurlma 1985 pers. comm., translated by the 

The site of Rumannguwa (Fig. 13) is located on 
a hill on North Island, about one kilometre from 
the coast. It is some distance from any of the major 
areas where dugong and sea-turtle are found. The 
site consists of a permanent fresh-water lagoon, the 
north-western corner of which has a large and 
relatively bare sand-ridge upon which evidence of 
past occupation can be found. On the north-eastern 
end of the ridge, the remains of a dugong were 
found after heavy rain washed the area in 1984, 
during Cyclone Kathy. The remains are of the head, 
a shoulder, and some ribs. Also in evidence are 
charcoal and stones used in a ground oven. Johnson 
Timothy, a senior custodian for the island, has 
reconstructed what he felt the site represented: 

This might be where my old grandfather Lithi camped, 
he was boss for this country. I reckon just him and 
his family were here; you see there is only a little bit 
of dugong bone here. This dugong was killed 
somewhere else and the meat was given to the family. 
Old Lithi must have got the head, shoulder and a few 
rib-bones. It was a long way to carry the meat but the 
old people used big string bags, a-birndawarra to carry 
meat in, hanging on poles or on their heads. This was 






-" rrrs 




FIGURE 12. The Yungkurra site. a. Area of foredune littered with charcoal, stones used in ground ovens, and bone 
fragments, b. 'Causeway' - area cleared of stone to facilitate the landing and butchering of dugong and sea-turtle. 





^•v;-:.y.^^r.:;v^- A ^;.,j;;..v^;^o , 2 3 

■ :.\.'V. 

C1 ■ 

metres (approx.) 



FIGURE 13. The Rumannguwa site, a: Grindstone, b 1 : Dugong skull, shoulder blade, ribs, b 2 : Ribs and rib fragments. 
b 3 : Ribs, c 1 : Ground oven, cooking stones and charcoal, c 2 : Charcoal. 



a wet season (Ihabayi) place because water would run 

away. This place makes me think hard for the old 

people. That grindstone, they must have ground up 

lily seed, that ma-rnayi, or smashed up dugong meat 

to make it soft for the old people or young children. 

See those rib bones [b3] over in that little cave maybe 

a dog or kid went away by himself to eat. Old people 

they make me think. (Johnson Timothy 1984 pers. 

comm., translated by author). 

Much of Johnson's speculation can be supported. 

The site is some 33 kilometres away from the nearest 

areas where dugong may be found in large numbers, 

and it is possible that the people responsible for 

leaving the remains shared in a dugong capture 

elsewhere and then took what meat they could carry 

back with them. The use of large string bags for 

the carrying of meat is quite often mentioned by 

the Yanyuwa. Today the Yanyuwa use commercially 

made bags and plastic boxes for the same purpose. 

The use of a grindstone or pounding stone for 

pounding meat is also still practised by the 

Yanyuwa. This is especially true for old people with 

severe dental damage or young children just 

beginning to take solids. The pounded meat is often 

mixed with water to make a form of thick broth. 

The site of Nganthaa (Fig. 14) is still considered 

to be a favoured base camp from which to hunt 

dugong and sea-turtle. The site is in very close 

proximity to the major sea-grass beds around the 

McArthur River delta. The site described here was 

recorded in 1980 but archaeological evidence of the 

site was destroyed during high tides caused by 

Cyclone Kathy. The site is still used, but it is very 

rare for any cooking to take place there as the meat 

is usually loaded in the boats and taken back to 

Borroloola, or other centres. The site was described 

by one of the senior custodians in the following way: 

This camp here, these dugong bones belong to the 
camp of my father, really my father's brother, old 
Babawurda. We camped here in the cold season time. 
My father he harpooned the dugong and cut it up on 
the reef at low tide, he didn't worry about sharks. 

We cooked the dugong and we stayed there for a 
while. Later we killed a turtle and another dugong but 
we took them back home to Borroloola. We used to 
cook that dugong meat really well. That ground oven 
we used the same one all the time when we camped 
here. Those rabarr [stones used in ground oven] are 
probably from the old people. That first tree (b2), that 
where old Babawurdi camped with his wife, that why 
he had the head and shoulder, that other tree (b3) only 
ribs and some tubala [part of backbone without ribs] 
that was Billy and Graham's camp [his sons], they were 
only young then. That other camp (b4), that was where 
my aunty was camping, sister for that old man, that's 
why no rib-bone is there and I camped at that end tree 
(b5) with my wife and Douglas and Thelma. I was 
paddler for that canoe so I got tail and ribs. 

Those other ribs in the ground oven they were eaten 
at that place again and thrown back in the oven. (Don 
Miller 1980 pers. comm., translated by the author). 

Another site, Walangkurra (Fig. 15), is the nearest 
mainland site to the sea, and more importantly it 
is very close to major sea-grass beds lying to the 
south of West Island. This site was documented one 
day after the people who had been camped there 
for a week had left to return to Borroloola. The 
scattered dugong bones indicate residence patterns 
and kinship ties and reflect the continued 
importance placed on the proper distribution of 
meat according to kinship rules. 

The camp c6 at Walangkurra is of special interest, 
in that the person who camped there was one of 
the senior Jungkayi (Guardian) for the dugong and 
was therefore given the head of the animal by the 
hunter. The head is considered the most sacred part 
of the animal. Normally the head of the animal 
would be returned to the sea. The hunter's sister's 
camp, cl, reflects the law under which the sisters 
of the hunter are not permitted to eat the meat from 
the rib-bones or back-bone of the dugong. 

Continuing Significance Of The Dugong And 
Sea-Turtle To The Yanyuwa 

The Yanyuwa still regard the dugong and sea- 
turtle as vital elements in their economy, and cannot 
conceive of a time when they would not be able to 
have them as part of their diet. Within the Sir 
Edward Pellew Group sea-turtle remains present in 
large numbers, but the Yanyuwa have in recent times 
begun to fear for the safety of the dugong. With 
the increased use of the islands as a fishing and 
tourist destination, signs are becoming more and 
more evident that the dugong, and perhaps the sea- 
turtle population, will become more threatened as 
development increases. In November of 1983 while 
travelling to the islands via the Carrington Channel 
the author found two dead dugong on the mud flats 
at the mouth of the Carrington River. Both had 
been shot with high powered rifles. Another four 
dead dugong with gunshot wounds were found 
during the following days. This number of dugong 
represents approximately half the number the 
Yanyuwa men kill per year using traditional 

Yanyuwa men and women are continually finding 
more dugong which have suffered at the hands of 
visitors to the islands. Dead dugong have been 
found with their heads cut off or showing signs of 
being slashed with sharp objects. Other dugong are 
found showing severe abrasions and cuts caused by 
fishing nets. In April of 1984 a group of Yanyuwa 
men travelled to South West Island, and while there 
they found the dismembered carcass of a dugong. 
Attempts had been made to cover the butchered 
remains with stones. The method employed to 
butcher the dugong and the amount of waste meat 





10 20 30 40 50 



FIGURE 14. The Ngathaa site, a: Ground oven, cooking stones and charcoal, b 1 : Numerous rib fragments, b 2 : Skull 
and shoulder blade, b 3 : Rib-bones, lumbar vertebrae, b 4 : Jaw, shoulder blade, humerus, b 5 : Rib-bones, some fragments 
of vertebrae. 





10 20 30 40 50 
■ I I I 1 * 


ghC1 .*■-*•... 

\C2 .\ 


.*: C3 


To sea 

* t . 




• * v 
1 • * . 


Mule Creek 


FIGURE 15. The Walangkurra site, on the Mule Creek - Bing Bong Pastoral Lease, a: Butchering area for dugong 
and sea-turtle, b 1 : Ground oven for sea-turtle containing burnt up shell and flippers, b 2 : Ground oven for dugong 
containing rib-bones and ground oven stones, b 3 : Secondary ground oven for sea-turtle meat; also contains pelvic 
bones of the sea-turtle. c l : Hunter's sister's camp; shoulder blades and humerus, c 2 : Hunter's mother's camp; jaw 
bone and lumbar vertebrae, c 4 : Boat driver's camp; rib-bones and small vertebrae from tail, c 5 : Hunter's camp; rib- 
bones and lumbar vertebrae, c 6 : Hunter's cousin's camp; jungkayi for dugong; head and rib-bones. 



found did not correlate with the traditional methods 
employed by the Yanyuwa. It is reasonable to infer 
therefore that this dugong too was a victim of non- 
Aboriginal hunters. 

The continuing episodes of damage to the 
dugong and sea-turtle population greatly concern 
the Yanyuwa. The dugong and sea-turtle represent 
Dreamings for certain individuals and groups of 
people. The continuing episodes of dugong 
slaughter, damage to important areas for sea-turtle 
and the desecration of important ritual centres 
causes unrest in terms of the functioning of a 
traditionally-based society. There is also concern 
that those people who stand in a 'mother' guardian 
relationship to the dugong and sea-turtle are not 
fulfilling their duties and obligations towards the 
species, an offence which is punishable under the 
dictates of traditional Law. 

It becomes clear then, that to the Yanyuwa and 
Mara people the problem is not just conservation 
of the dugong and sea-turtle, but also the 
maintenance of ritual activities which reinforce the 
spiritual principles underlying Yanyuwa/Mara 
society. The Yanyuwa people are justifiably proud 
of their dugong and sea-turtle hunting heritage. In 
their oral history accounts certain men are 

mentioned over and over again as being 'dugong 
and sea-turtle hunters of excellence', maramaranja. 
Younger men will say with pride that they were 
trained' by these skillful men. Certain old men 
among the Yanyuwa who were skilled hunters in 
their youth are spoken of with high regard and their 
advice is still sought in terms of Law and practical 
knowledge concerning the dugong and sea-turtle. 
In a world where values are changing quickly the 
continuation of the hunting of these two marine 
animals remains one way in which the Yanyuwa 
people can continue to identify themselves with 
pride as 'salt-water people'. 


The author gratefully acknowledges the help and 
assistance given by the following Yanyuwa men:— Don 
Miller, Johnson Timothy, Graham Friday, Musso Harvey, 
Tim Rakawurlma and Tom Friday. Assistance was also 
given by the following Yanyuwa women:- Jemima Miller, 
Dinah Norman, Ida Ninganga, Annie Karrakayn and 
Eileen McDinny. The author is grateful for the support 
given by Jean Kirton, Dr Helene Marsh, Dr Ian Poiner, 
Bob Ellis and the staff of the Aboriginal Sacred Sites 
Protection Authority who provided valuable technical 
assistance for the final draft of this paper. 


FLINDERS, M. 1814. 'Voyage to Terra Australis'. Nicol: 

HARNEY, W. E. 1946. TMorth of 23 Degrees'. Holland 

and Stephenson: Sydney. 

1981. Present day hunting and distribution of Dugongs 

in the Wellesley Islands'. Applied Science Publishers: 

MINNEGAL, M. 1984a. Dugong bones from Princess 

Charlotte Bay. Australian Archaeology 18: 63-71. 

MINNEGAL, M. 1984b. A note on butchering Dugong 

at Princess Charlotte Bay. Australian Archaeology 19: 

STRETTON, W. G. 1893. Customs, rites and superstitions 

of the Aboriginal tribes of the Gulf of Carpentaria. 

Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 

17: 227-253. 



Christopher Anderson 


For the last five years the South Australian Museum's Custodianship of Sacred Objects Project has 
operated in Central Australia in an attempt to inform Aboriginal people about the Museum's 
Restricted Collection and to discuss with them ways to deal with it. 


For the last five years the South Australian 
Museum's Custodianship of Sacred Objects Project 
has operated in Central Australia in an attempt to 
inform Aboriginal people about the Museum's 
Restricted Collection and to discuss with them ways 
to deal with it. 

The project, run by Christopher Anderson with 
the assistance of other Division of Anthropology 
staff especially Philip Clarke, has concentrated on 
the tjurunga and sacred boards from Central 
Australia. This is because these constitute almost 
80% of the South Australian Museum's collection 
of restricted material. 

There are four aspects to the project: 

a) physical organisation of the collection and of its 
documentation; computerization of all data for 
immediate access; 

b) planning and implementing a programme to let 
Aboriginal people in the relevant communities know 
about the collection's content and secure storage; 
providing details of the project for discussion 
regarding custodianship of the collection; 

c) Narrowing the focus of discussions to particular 
communities and beginning the necessary 
background research; consulting with senior men 
in these communities; 

d) Return of objects (if this is the outcome and if 
all conditions set by all parties are met); fulfilling 
the responsibilities and commitments that come out 
of the relationships created by the project 
(assistance with establishment of local 'keeping 
places', assistance with cultural activities such as 
joint exhibitions, and so on). 

A further related aspect has been the visits to the 
Museum by senior Aboriginal men from Central 
Australia. Since 1985 we have had eleven major 
visits by men to view the storage arrangements for 
restricted objects and to discuss matters relating to 
them. In most cases these visits were funded from 
outside the project; generally, the men were already 
in Adelaide for other purposes. They have always 
been very happy with the storage and curation 
arrangements at the Museum. 

Discussions in Adelaide and in Aboriginal 
communities have also been held about 
secret/sacred material from north-east Arnhem 
Land, Borroloola (Northern Territory), and 
Aurukun (Queensland). We have also offered advice 
to other communities, including Docker River, and 
to Eastern Aranda people in Central Australia about 
the location of certain secret/sacred objects which 
have been noted as missing from those 


As the Curator responsible for this project, I have 
conducted ten field trips totalling over 160 days to 
the following communities: 

Yuendumu and outstations (NT.) 

Yuelamu (Mt Allan) (NT.) 

Mt Liebig (NT.) 

Walungurru (Kintore) and outstations (NT.) 

Papunya (NT.) 

Fregon (S.A.) 

Ernabella (S.A.) 

Marree (S.A.) 

Oodnadatta (S.A.) 

Because of the detailed knowledge required of 
local community politics, I have had to rely on 
anthropologists who already know a given 
community well for background information and 
assistance. This has on occasion involved travel for 
the purposes of working with them prior to a field 
trip. In some cases we have funded them to come 
to Adelaide and also engaged them as consultants 
in the field. Because of the inability of one person 
to handle all consultations that arise from the 
project we are using external funding to supplement 
Museum resources to engage consultants to assist 
with at least four communities (Maryvale, 
Hermannsburg, Haast Bluff and Mt Liebig). Geoff 
Bagshaw has undertaken considerable work on the 
project at Haast Bluff, Kintore and elsewhere. I have 
also had assistance from John Kean and from staff 
of the Central Land Council. 


The South Australian Museum has returned 
around 130 restricted objects to Aboriginal 
custodians in Central Australia. Aboriginal men 
have thus far only been willing to discuss objects 
for which there is reasonably full documentation. 
At the very least, the 'Dreaming' or totemic 
affiliation and the site name are required. On this 
criterion only about 20% of the South Australian 
Museum's collection is subject to the project's 
consultation programme and possible transfer of 
custodianship. The Museum considers itself to have 
an important obligation to continue preserving the 
other material. The communities involved have 
supported us in this. 

The future of the project 

The salary of a full-time curator at a Scientific 
Officer Grade 3 level and office overheads have been 
met by the South Australian government. The 
redevelopment of the Restricted Collection store, 



including the installation of purpose-built cabinets, 
was completed at a cost of $100,000 as part of the 
overall Anthropology store and office re- 
organization during 1985-86. The Anthropology 
Division contributes annually towards the project's 
running costs and towards care of the collection. 
Field consultation trips averaging three weeks in 
duration cost about $5000 each, including vehicle 
costs and field expenses. The Department of 
Aboriginal Affairs has contributed $43,507 toward 
the cost of the project. This has been primarily to 
cover consultation expenses. 

Existing grant funds were exhausted at the end 
of 1990 and with the restructuring of Aboriginal 
funding through the newly established Aboriginal 
and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), the 
project will have to be funded differently. Personnel 
changes within the Division of Anthropology may 
also affect the project. 

The Custodianship Project has benefited the 
Museum in many ways in its dealings with 
Aboriginal communities. The issues go far beyond 
those involving secret/sacred material. The project 

has also attracted considerable attention from the 
museum and anthropology professions, and has 
raised the national and international profile of the 
South Australian Museum. 

Major project publications 

ANDERSON, C. 1987. Research and the return of objects 
as a social process. Conference of Museum 
Anthropologists Bulletin 18: 2-8. 

ANDERSON, C. 1990. Repatriation of cultural property: 
a social process. Museum 152(1): 54-55. 

ANDERSON, C. 1990. Australian Aborigines and 
museums - a new relationship. Curator 33(3): 165-79. 

ANDERSON, C. in press. The economics of sacred art: 
The uses of a secret collection in the South Australian 
Museum. In 'Papers presented to the Pacific Arts 
Association's 4th International Symposium - Arts of 
the Pacific'. 6-12 August 1988. Ed. P. Dark. University 
of Hawaii Press: Honolulu. 

ANDERSON, C. in press. Repatriation, custodianship and 
the policies of the South Australian Museum. Paper 
presented to the Conference of Museum 
Anthropologists, 28 November - 1 December 1989, 

Christopher ANDERSON, Head, Division of Anthropology, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, 
South Australia 5000. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(1): 111-112, 1991. 

t-afb r 




MAY 1991 

ISSN 0376-2750 



1 D. B. HIRST 

Revision of the Australian genera Eodelena Hogg and Zachria L. Koch 
(Heteropodidae: Araneae) 

19 D. C. LEE & L. S. SUBIAS 

Brack ioppiel la species (Acari: Oribatida: Oppiidae) from South Australian soils 


Redescription of the larva of Odontacarus (Leogonius) barrinensis (Womersley) 
(Acarina: Trombiculidae: Leeuwenhoekiinae) 

39 P. M. A. WILLIS & R. E. MOLNAR 

A new middle Tertiary crocodile from Lake Palankarinna, South Australia 


Mollusc type specimens in the South Australian Museum. 4. Gastropoda: 


Revisionary notes on the genus Delma (Squamata: Pygopodidae) in South 
Australia and the Northern Territory 


Ti-Maramaranja': Yanyuwa hunters o\' marine animals in the Sir Edward Pellew 
Group, Northern Territory 



The Custodianship of Sacred Objects Project: an overview 

Published by the South Australian Museum, 
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. 






GORDON, D P. & PARKER. S A. IWI. A new genu* or" the brprann family Bcctrid&e, with a 
pLcctrifarm apparaius, Arc. S. Ausl. Mus. 25(2): LI3--L20. 

A new brvltfoan genus, frtyrhoplectrtt {IV pe specie* Lepmlia poada Hmlon). is cHtabhshed for <wo 
.■southern Australian species of EJeelntaic with a ipurnd, scoop-like picctnlurxu apparatus. These species 
*erc formerly placed in Pyripora, which lucks such an apparatus, h is shown thai Af pwclrfa is not 
cOfifipeeifkc *'ith Cetleporu uiattl Lamnuroux, ■which is a species of DiplopeveBa filial amonorcl I iJae). 
Mwhapteclru pvcula is a prelacy nuus hermarfchrnditr. 

D. P. Gordon, New /xaJand Oceano^raphie Institute, Division erf Water Sciences, DSW, Private B^g, 
Kilhirnie. ^fcllLnE.lon 3, New Zealand, aitd 5. A. PUrlcer, Smith Australian Museum. North Terrace, 
Adelaide. South Australia 5000, Manuscript received 20 August 1990 

The ei e ctfi d bryozoan genus Fyriporu tTOrbigny, 
1849 is best known by the north-eastern Adantie Recent 
species P. oamodatia ( Renting j. This species, like a 
number of related fossils including the tvpe species P 
piriformis {Mrcltelin), forms encrusting branching 
chains, of simple piriform zooids. each of which ha* 
a proximal gymnocjig and a coextensive membranous 
frontal wall w-ilh a narrow granular crypiwysl bor- 
dering (he As is typical of el corrida there are 
no avieularia or ovicells, As Taylor (19E6) has re- 
marked, ihe absence of ovicells in these species 
suggests thai the larva is of the plankiotrophic cypho- 
naules type, though none has yci been. recognized. 

Three species of Pytipora have been reported from 
the southern coast of Australia; P. pntita (Hincks. 
18H0}, P. cmssa (MacGillivray, 1BW) and R cutenu- 
taritt (Fleming, 1828). Pyripvra polita (=Lepmiia 
pctcula Hution, I87B, sec below) is a common encruster 
of sea-grass stems and has been immraled hy scanning 
electron microscopy [Bock 198-2, Tig, 9.7(e)). P- crassa 
and Australian P. catcm/fana have to date been 

During an examination and subsequent taxanornlc 
revision of F. W. Hutloms collection of South Australian 
brywfians in the Outgo Museum, New Zealand 
(Gordon & Parker 1991b). skeletal structures were 
discovered m'Rp&atia that clearly affected its generic 
placement. This finding led io an investigation of all 
three putative Australian species of Pyrifwm. The 
skeletal structures constitute the pLcctriform apparatus 
(Gordon &. Parker 1991a), an Internal elaboration of 
the gymnocyst, which occurs in several species of 
malac-osteginc bryozoans. It does not occur in the type 
species of Pyriptjm (P. pyriforTtus)* however and a new 
genus is required for the Australian species. 


Mychoplcctra gen. nov. 


Colony encrusting, uniscrial to mult i serial. Zooids 
generally p>nfonm H with extensive proximal gymnoeyst 
and narrow granular gryptneyst. Kcnozooids present. 
Plcctriform apparatus present. Articulate spines, 
avieularia and ovicells ahsent. Embryos numerous, 
non-brooded. Simple uniporous septula present. 


Mychoplwtra, (. , formed from Gk mychos. inmost 
part, recess, and ptetotitt, spur. Although ptektrun is 

a neuter noun, ftfychoptet.irm is here introduced as 
feminine m gender [see the International Code of 
Zoological Nomenclature, Article 30(a) (Iv) (Ride et 
at. 1935: 5S-59)]. 

Type species 
Leprotic* pocufo Hulton, fflTt, 

Mychoplectra pocula (Hulton) 
(Figs 1-4) 

Upralio ptxula Hution. 1378; 24- Jelly ISE9; 132. 

Membmtfpompoliia Hindis, IKHD; 377; MacGillivray 

1332; US; Jelly 1389; 161. 

Pyriptjrtt potita: MacGillivray in McCoy I8&5: 24; 

1387: 205; i890i 2; Vigeland 1964; 169; Bock 1932; 


Material examined (localities all in South Australia) 
South Australian Museum. ViaU: SAM L4T5, 47ft, 
oflTSeaelinr, Adelaide disirict. Gulf St Vincent, 11 m. 
coll. S. A. Shephcnl, 2fi Sept. 1963; U77, R>rt Elliot. 
Encounter Bay, uciJaied: L490, no data. Slides: L189a, 



FIGURES 1-3. Mychfyp{£ctrG jnjtcWu IHuKIOQ): L colony on ihell Ol turriTellki gastropod {SAM L4*H), no locality). X 40; 
J .,-.. \ :\:-'\ ;r plecn'i fr>i-m AppraTiu r'nrcm within the zooi J fparaLrcln^pc, QM A.S&1&0B, Gulf St Vifk-fitlJC, South Australia). 
X 275, X ft90. 



off Adelaide. 20-35 fms [37-64 m|, coll. J. C. Vcreo, 
undated; L47&-483, Glenelg, Adelaide, undated; L4S2, 
"5. Aust", undated. Spirit specimens: L4E3, West I., 
Encounter Bay, 3-5 m f coll, N, Holmes. 8 July I9KH: 
L4S4, just E of The Bluff. Encounter Bay, upper 
subtidal, coll. K. L. Gowktl -Holmes and S. A. Parker 
18 July 1988; Lttfc Edithburgru Yorkc Peninsula. 
upper nbtW, coll. P. Hudson, 24-28 April 1989; 
\A9iy Fbn Victoria jetty, Yorkc Peninsula, 1-2 m, eoll. 
K. L. GowIett^Holmes, 23 July 1989; L499, 5 Nm NW 
of Outer Harbor. Adelaide district, coll. N. Holmes, 
7 Nov. L98ft 

Otago Museum, Vials; OM" AMI6UA, B, shores of 
Gulf St Vincent, coll. R- Tate (leelotype and 
paralectotype of Lapraliu pocuta Hutton). 

N.Z. Oceanographic Institute. Vial; Stn 7^722. just 
E of the Bluff t, Encounter Bay, upper subtidal, col J. 
5. A. Parker and T. Sim, 10 Feb I9H9 

SAM L477 and L4&2 were on algae, L490 OS & 

turriccLlid gastropod, and the remainder on stems of 
the sea-grasses Amphibolis antarctica and 4. grtfffikif. 


Colony' encrusting, plurlserial, with short itiniseria] 
runners distally that also become pluri serial as the 
colony expands. Colour in life pearly white, often with 
a pinkish, tinge from thinly entrusting and/or endozoic 
red algae. Zooids 032-0.64 x 0.17-0.32 mm, elongatc- 
pyrifbrm, often occurring an oblique rows depending 
on the substratum. Frontal surface a smooth, 
porcellaneous gjmnocyst, sometimes with transverse 
growth-check lines proximally, that surrounds the 
variably subpyriformteuboval sunken opessa- frontal 
memhrane set at angle of ca 20-45 a (o the plane of 
the substratum; gymnocysl with 3 large rounded 
eminences reordering, 2 lateral, with a btrger 
swelling at the highest part of the frontal wall that 
overhangs me proximal part of the opesia and frontal 
membrane; the underside of the gymnocystal overhang 
with a prickled surface. Cryrjtoeyst narrow, vertical, 
rarely shelf-like, not or scarcely developed proxirnally, 
with no or sparse granulations- Avicularia absent. 
Kenozooids present inter/.ooidally (depending on 
crowding of zooids) , with a vari ab I y s h a pen 
membranous area. Plectrilfbrm apparatus comprising 
a median scoop proximally recurved with distal teeth, 
and a pair of lateral spurs which may project into the 
opesia. Additional tiny spurs may protrude into the 
hody cavity beneath the lateral cryptocy&t. Calcareous 
spinous prove v^es also acise from the inner side of the 
frontal gymnocyst proximally^ projecting into the 
coelom. Generally 3-2 openings of narrow intramural 
basal jjore-chambers present fronttJly, ftolypidc with 
12 tentacles. No ovicells; zooids protogynous 
hermaphrodites, producing numerous non-brooded 
embrvos. Anccstrula unknown. 


Mychopleara is established for this species and for 
"Pyripora' enastt, both of which are characterized by 
a plcctritbrm apparatus, I. ike Pyripom, Mychapt&etm 
has a well -developed gymnoeyst, a partial cryptocyst, 
extensive area ai membranous frontal will, and 
kenozooids. Both genera lack oral or mural spines, 
avicularia, and ovicells, Whereas Recent Pyripam have 
discrete basal pore-chambers with a septular wall {these 
details unknown for the fossil type species) , 
Mychapteffru has small tubular intramural chambers, 
comparable io those In Hippothna dh-aricata (see 
Gordon & Hastings 1979, fig. 2, CK with a tiny 
uniporous septulum. 

The earliest available name for the type species is 
Lcpralia pocuta Hutton. 187^ described without 
illustration, and subsequently overlooked, Recently, 
H ution's- co llection from Sou th Au st ral ia was 
discovered m the Otago Museum, Duncdin (Gordon 
& Parker 1991b). His specimens of Lepruiia pocuta 
were formally registered and a lectotype (A.K8.16QA) 
designated from the syntypes- It is ncn. inconceivable 
that instead of pocuta Hutton had meant to write the 
substantival foanpocttlMm, Even if this had been so. 
however, the spelling cannot now be corrected m 
pocukm\ for. there is in Huttons original description 
no clear internal evidence of an inadvertent error/and 
no indication that poathtm is the correct substantival 
form [see the International Code of Zoological 
Nomenclature, Article 32(c) (ii) (Ride ct al 1985: 
68-69)]- We therefore suggest that poatta be retained, 
and treated as adjectival in form. 

FIGURE 4. Mychoptfctra pactda (Hutioai); single zooid, with 
testes (left-hand Hide) und oocytes visible under the firmest 
membrane (NZOl Stfi Z6722, near Victor Harbor, South 
Australia, from colony oil Stem of Amphibatis aniarcttca)* 
x KB, 



FIGURES- 5-7. iJipiop-areikr akua (XamourouxV; 5. ceroids 
from Stem of Amphibolis antarctica !t)M AJftUtL, Gulf St 
Vincent, South Australia, Hut ton Collection); 6 and 7, 
Lamouroux V (1821) illustrations of Ctttepora atofa on type 
material of AtnphiMi*- aftftg/l'tf ofl fn>m Espcramre Bay, 
Western Austral i*i. 

In his account of Hincks" <1B80) species 
Memhratiipora polim, MacGillivray (1882) commcnlcd 
that it probably ought to form the type specfefl rf a 
new genus^ to include also Hippoihtxi cmssa 
MacGillivray, 1869. While prescient, this was in 
contradi stint liun Ha Membranipara, not Pyriparci, in 
which genus MacGillivray (fa McCoy 1685) later 
included M, pvtita* and //. ensssa. Concerning .W. 
polito MacGillivray (I&82) also stated, L l have little 
doubt that it is Identical with l^ittotiroux's Ceifepara 
alata* He repeated this assertion in McCoy (ISB5)* in 
which he transferred the species to Pyriprtru. Jelly 

(1889), Allowing MacGillivray, tentatively listed 
Lamou rou x\ ( 1 H 1 1 ) spec ics with M. polita . 
MacGillivray was in error, however As suggested by 
Harmer (1926: 289), C^ibepom afaia is a senior 
synonym of the species currently known as 
Dipfapvreifa ciriria (Hutton), formerly Th&tfapem 
t:incia (Fig. 5) (see Soule es al. 1991). Both 
bfxxkoptecim poeuta and D. efneia encrust stems of 
ihc cymodoeeacean seagrasses AmphibaUs antarctica 
and A. gnfflthii along the southern Australian coasL 
Lmammmx (1821, pi. 64, figs )0, ID illustrated part 
of a leafy stem of ^4. antarctica, reproduced here (Fig. 
4). showing zooids and a colony of an encrusting 
bryo*oan (Figs 6. 7), Mychoptecira pmuta and 
Qtptnpunetla cinctti are two of only three bryozoan 
spec i es 1 1 he ot her be i ng Elect rti flagettum 
(MacGillivray)l to form regularly whorled zookla] rows 



on Amphiix*tis r but Lamouroux's illusi ration cannot be 
c£My<-ht!}rfecira, for (he latter produces only oblique 
whorls, not regularly iransverse ones (venicillate) as 
depicted by Lamouroux. Lamourouxs illustration of 
the zooids confusingly fails to show ihe cryptoeyst of 
D. cmcta but his description (1821; 2) makes it clear. 
He describes i he zooids as 'gibbemej inf&rieurem&tt, 
awe </eujc appettdices p&roSdes tar teur parties 
moyenne et latemle\ ouuertwr ft-vjJc avec wr tuberxtde 
trks-gf&f ei maffrittrfonrte de chaque cote: This is a 
description of zooids wMl the membranous frontal wail 
intact. The wing-like appendages correspond ro the pair 
ot snirH~ith L T vmniH.-vsLii flaps, which encroach onto the 
convex cryptoeyst; the mamilliform tubercles occur on 
cither side of the subciivular orifice (Fig. 5). As 
Harmer (3926: 289) suspected, therefore* Diplapttretin 
tdatv {Lamouroux, 1821) is the correct name for this 
.species. The type locality is Espcranee Bay, Western 
Australia (^Vbmcrsksy 1984: 104). The type specimen 
would be on lype material of AmphiMis Antarctica. 
evidently housed at the Herbarium Univcrsitatis 
Florcntinae, Florence* Italy, but upon enquiry, ihe latter 
has been unable to be located . 

Mychoptectra crassa (MacGillivray) 

rl'ig* 8 10) 

Hippotfatu crassa MacGillivray, 1&69; 13f . 
Fxripora craaaa: MacGillivray in McCoy 1885: 23, 
\W: 205: Vigeland 1964: 169. 
Pyripora cammktria MacGillivray (min Fleming) in 
McCoy 1885- 24. pi. 106. Tig. 5: 1&K7: 205: Vigelund 
1964: 169, 

Materiel exotttlntd 

Souih Australian Museum. Vials; L189b, off 
Adelaide, Gulf St Virata, 2f)-35 fins [37-64 mj, coll. 
J. C. "Verco (undated): L4S5. Chiton Rocks near Victor 
Harbor, Encounter Bay, coll. L. Slach. 20 Nov. 1936: 
L4S4 Kangaroo I., no other data: WS7, S. Aust.. no 
other data: L4S9, between Backstairs Rl&ige and The 
Pages, coll. J. C \erco (undated); 1.500, Shall frn:k. 
West L f Encounter Bay, coJL S- A Shepherd. 18-19 
Aug. 1967; L502, Price I., southern Eyre Peninsula. 
17 m, con. L, Hobbs, 28 Sept. 1989. Spirit: The Pages 
{islets). Kangaroo I, 15 fms [27.5 m], coll. K. Shearti, 
12 April 1941. 

Museum of Victoria. Slides (both labelled Pyripora 
catenuterta): NMV F58646, Port Phillip Heads, 
Victoria, coll. J. B. Wilson; NMV F58647. Hobsons 
Bay. Victoria (no other details). 


L189b, 1-4E5 487 on red algae (including Pfewda&a 
iucidu); L489 on adeonid bryozoan (with 
IhrbiceUepom rrrftjuiei): L498 on stalk of brachiopod 

MogeUaraafiavescens\ L500 on hydroid " L502 on flat 
rounded pebble; F5SM6 on stem of Thydroid; F58647 
on angular pebble. 


Colony encrusting, uniscrial, branching more or less 
cruciform, to pluri serial. Zooids d2 1-0.64 x 0.14-0.42 
mm, elongate -pyrifbrm, the proximal caudal portion 
short, truncated in laterally buckled zooids, longer and 
tapering In distal ly budded zooids. Fronlal gymnocyst 
smooth, somei imes with a thick pored laneous 
protuberance immediately proximal lo the membranous 
fronta I wal |; cry ptoeyst shel f-l ike, mod c rale I y 
developed, w irtest proximaUy, pustu lose; frontal 
membrane set at shallower -angles to substralum tbu 
mM. pcK.-uiii{0-25*}. AvicuOaria absent. Kcnozooids 
may be present interzooidally, replacing julozooids at 
distolatcral budding sites when crowding occurs, the 
opesia iriegularSy circular to oval. Plectriform 
apparatus similar to that in M. poadfl but the distal 
spurs of the apparatus lend to be more often visible, 
with sit least one protruding somewhat into the opesial 
space- liny spur-like spines may occur sparsely on the 
laieral walls. Internal flail-like spines occur pmximally 
under the gyninoeyst. Small intramural basal pore- 
chafnben present, up lo 2 per side but the pmvjmal 
pair may be suppressed. No oWcclls, AncesLrula 


Two types of zooids were evident in the colonies 
of M. crassa examined : 

a) (Fig. $) zooids possessing a protuberance on the 
gymnocysl proximal to the frontal membrane 
(corresponding io the 'thick lip- 1 ike projection 1 of 
MacGillivray (1&69), MaeGillivray in MeCo>- 
0885)1, the proiubcrance sometimes bearing a pit- 
like depression apparently covered with a 
membrane: some Zjooids showing addiiional 
gymnocyslal thic ken ing on the pttffi i molatc ral 
margins of the opes la, though this thickening not 
encroaching over the frontal ]nembranc as in M. 

b) {Figs 8, 10) zooids lacking gymnocystal 
protuberances and thickenings, and outwardly 
rtsembhng Pyripont atitnttfaria {Fleiiiing). 

Type "a T occurred iri the colonies on the relatively 
flexible subst rales (fronds and seems of red algae, 
hydnoids and brachiop^>d scalk). Type 'b 1 occurred on 
the h antler substrates (L4B^ adeonid bcyozDan 3 and 
L502 and h'5tio47, pebbles). In addition, wttmy L502 
has many Type 'a' zooids and zooids iniermediate 
between the two types, which leads us to regard (hem 
as expressions (}f the one speeics, M- imssa. xather 
than as representing different specie?-. 

Through the courtesy of Mr T. St ranks of I he 
Museum of Victoria, we have been able to examine 
on loan two of the slides identified by MacGillivray as 



FIGURES S-W, Sfydtuptecim cnm* {MacGittivTay}: & and K>, colony on adeonid bryozoan (SAM L439, tetween B&ctolaift 
Bmigt untl The Pages, Smith Australia) X SOL X 115; 9, colony on red alga (IPttrocforfia ludda) (SAM L4S5. Chiton 
Rocks, Encounter Bay, South Australia}, * 170. 


n i > 

Pyripvra caimularia (F5S646, 58647, lisied above). 
These colonies are both referable lo M emu, the firsi 
having /jooids of Type "a", ihe second zooids of Typo 
n b n . MaeOillivray's figure (in McCoy 1885) is also of 
type "b\ which differs from irue Pyripora catenutaria 
(Fleming 1328} oflhc north-eastern Atlantic Ocean by 
the possession of the plettriform apparatus, the 
pn>portionaiely larger eryptoeyst and the heading of 
[he mural rim less disiinetto absent. Scanning election 
micrographs of P. caiertularia have been published in 
Tayior fl9£6}- 

Recent species of Pyripora appear to be restricted 
to the Northern Hemisphere (Ryiand & Hay ward 1977 1 ; 
Canu & Basskr 1929). Mychopleclrn, on the other 
hand, is so far knuwn only I'mm the Southern 
Hemisphere. Pyripora audens Marcus, l£49 of Brazil 
is certainty a Mydtopltcirti, and from its external 
morphology MeMhroniporo cburnea Hineks. J89I 
(type locality *? Queensland 1 ) may also be congeneric. 

Apart from the type species P. piriformis, several 
other fossil species have been ascribed tu Pyripom fe.#- 
by Canu & Bassler 1920: Thomas & Larwood 1956. 
I960: Urwood 1973; Voigi I9H2) and it would be 
instructive io examine the interior waits of these tor 
a plectriform apparatus, which in Mychopicctra pocukt 
appears lo be a guide for the movements of the polypide 
(Gordon &. Ffcrkcr 1991a). 


Details of reproduction in Pyripora are noi known. 

though it is suspected of having a cyphonautes-type 

larva. In §4ydkJpkctm, the only breeding information 
pertains to M pomta. In South Australian waters, 
gonads are evident in colonies collected in Rebruary. 
and colonies have been found spawning in February; 

July and November. Testes and apparently mature 
oocytes occur in the same zooids, Oocytes are 
spherical , approximately 0.01 mm in diameter and in 
living material are- brownish-red and sel in a clear 
gelatinous matrix: W 30 or more are evenly distributed 
under the membranous part of the frontal wall. 

The inline :^r nam ration ot gamete*, varies in 
clcctrids. Electro ptlosa and £. posidottioc tend lo be 
protandn}us whereas in E. crusmicrtfa male and female 
gametes mature simultaneously (Si I en 1966). Uplo20 
ova art produced by £- pwidtmiw (Silcn 1956) and 
a much larger numher by the memhraniporid 
Merntraniporv meyrimmacca (39 arc illustrated) {Silcn 
194^. The cyphonautes larvae of ihese species have 
been illusiratnl by Ramzoli (1963) and RylanU (1964, 
1965). A cyphonarutts larva is presumed for 
frfyckopiectru. Plankton-sweeps over Amphibulix heds 
around times ot" egg- release might reveal ihe larvaJ form 
of Af. panda. 


Wfc Hhnuld like to thank K. L. Guwl en- Holmes, N. Holme*, 
L. Hobbs, T, Sim and F, Hudson for assistance in cnLLcetLng 
material, T. Stranks tor the loan of ipeLLcnenH in lire Museum 
of Victoria* and P L. Cook, P J. Hay ward and I 5. Rylanrt 
fix helpful iTiinnmcntH on the manuHtrnpt. 

KH-mi v; is 

BOCK, P. E. 1932. Biyranns CFIiylum Bryonia). P^ 3tt-3$4 
in "Marine invertebraleH of houiIiltli AuslrJia". Pt I. Ed* 
S. A. Shepherd & I. M, Thomas, Government Printer: 
South Australia. 4Vt pp. 

CANU F. & HASSLEft, H. S. W20. North American Early 
Tertiary BryO/oa. Bulletin fifth? Untied States Notional 
Museum 106: l-«79. 162 ph. 

CANU, F. & BASSLER, R. S. 1929. ftryozwaof the Philippine 
Region. Bulletin rfthe United States h'aticxral Museum WO: 
l-tj&5. 94 pis. 

FLEMING, J. IS23L A history of British animals, eithibilin^ 
their dcscrip<ive characters and systematical artangemetll 
of the genera and species of quadrupeds, hinds, rerrtileH, 

I'.sh^. Mi.II..\l.i ,ir..l Kadiaki i ■(■/■■ a I nicJ kinuil .'TV 1 1 

and Bradfuie. Edinburgh. 5ffi pp. 

GORDON. D. P & HASTINGS, A. B. lsW. the inirrajoidiil 

communications of Hippothatt .Tfn.YH to- 1 (TJryoeoa) and 
their value in classiilcatMwi. Journal of Natural HisU*n m L3: 

GORDON D P. & JttRKER r S A 1991a The plectritorm 

apparatus — an enigmatic Hlnieture in malacoHte^ine 
Brjuzoa. Pp. 133-145 m "Bryozoaires atluels fil JbiSLles: 
BrVTCffiOa living and tossM*. FjO 1 F. P. Hijjcy. Bulletin de la 
SiH'iele des Srierrzex Natareiles de 1'Ottext de fa France. 
Afimotrt K.S. t. 

GORDON, IX P. & mRKER. L S. A. ]99lb. Disa-uvery and 
ideniiiy of UO^year-old Hutton Collection of South 
Auitrallun Bryozoa. Record* of the South Australian 
Mtaewn 2S&Y- 121-128 

HARMLK. S. t. N> II.L h--;..'. M :■!', i'.-.'-i^. K4vLMlk.11 

Pan 2- ChciloRlomala Anasca. SikoRa-Expeditre 28b: 
ISL-Mt, pJs 13-34. 

HINCK5. T 1S80 ContritHJtion^ towards a general hLHtory 
of the marine E\tlyzoa. II. Foreign MeuibfiiniporLna. AtttHlfs 
and Magazine vf Batumi Btoary (5>*: »l-*?2, 37fi-3«], 

pis H), LI.. 16. 

H1NCKS. T. LNyi. ConlrihutlonH towards a general history 
of the murine PoJyzOa. XV, Sotith -African and other 
FtJyzoa. Annais and Magazine of Natural Histarv {6)7: 
285 -29* pis 6, 7. 



HUTTON, P. W. 1878. On some Souih Australian PbLyzoa. 
Papers and Proccedtngs and Report of the Kcyai Society 
of Tasmania for IH77-M7H: 23-25. 

JELLY, E. C. I&S9. A synonvmic catalogue of the RecenL 
marine BryoMM'. Dulau and Co. : London. 322 pp. 

LAMUUROUX. J, V F. 1621. 'Exposition method iquede* 
genres oe 1'ordrc des pulypiers, avee leur description ei 
ccJJcs des principales espece* figure** dans R4 planches; 
lc& 63 premieres apartcnant it rHisloire natujelie des 
Zoophytes d."ELIis et -Sclande/. V, Agasse: Pans. ]tf pp., 
34 pis. 

LARWOOD. G. P. £73l New species of Fyri^m dXMugny 
from the Cretaceous and the Miocene. Pp. 463-473 in 
'Living and foasil Bryonia- Recent advances in research. 1 
Ed. G. P. Larwnod, Academic Press: London. 634 pp. 

MeCOY, F. IBS5. "Prodromusof'thc Zoology of Victoria'. Vol. 
2, Decade II: 1-46. Government Printer: Mel hog rnc- 

MacEill.LIVRAY, P. H. 1869. Descriptions, of some new 
genera and species of ' AukI ralian FVtyttua. to which is added 
a list gf species found in Victoria. Transactions #fld 
ftwtfefings qf tfa fitywf Society o/Vfrtt.™ 9: 128-148. 

Ma^GILLIVRAY. F. H 1KH2. EfeH riptiorii of new, ur little- 
It no* n Folyzoa. ftm I. 7ftsn#eefiftw sad Proceedings of 

the Royot Society of Victoria IB: 113-131, I pL 

MacGILLrVRAY, P. H. IS87. A catalogue of (he marine 
Pulvzoa of Victoria. Transactions and Proieedings of the 
Row! SOi-iety tf Victoria 23: 187-224. 

MacGILLP/RAY. P. H. S89G. An additional Ksl of Soul h 
Australian PoJyzoa. Transactions of the Royal Society of 
South Australia 13: 1-7, 1 pi. 

MARCUS. E. 1949. Some Bryuzoa from the Brazilian coast. 
Communicaaanes Zool&gicax del Maseo de Historia 

tfamnti de Montevideo 3<53): \-3X 7 pK 

QRBKjNY, A, D, aft 1849. Description de que-Lqucs pSBRS 
nouvcaujt de MoSlusques Bryo-soajres, Revue el Magasin 
de Zooiogie Pitt? et Appkquee (2)1: 499-504. 

RANZOl.J, F 1963 Elccfra pttsidoniae Gamier, svituppo 
delle colonic di larve allevate in lahoralorio Buifettrw di 
Znafogia. Puitolicata ddii ' Union? ZobI&rioi ftahana 30: 
59-66, 2 pis 


MELVILLE, R. V. (Eds.). 1985. International Code of 
Zoological Nomenciuun^ 3rd edition, international Trust 
tor Zoological Nomenclature. London. 338 pp. 

RYI.AND, J. S. 1964. The identity of some cyphorHutes larrae 
(folyxna). Journal of the Marine Biological Association 
oflhe United Kingdom 44: 645-054, 

RYLAND, J. & W8& Poiyzoa {Bryoz^a), Order 
Cheilostosrtaia, cyphonautes lark^ac. FJehey tf 'identification 
da zoapianrton |.07. 5 pp. 

RYLAND, J, S. & KAYWARD, R }, 1977. L Brilistv UttKW 
brycraoani. Chcilos&omata: Anasca. Ke\<s and nntcs for the 
idenlifieatbon of (he species". Linnean Snciely 5ynopM* of 
the British Fauna (n.s.) Hi Academic Press: London. I&K 


SILEN. L. IMS The main features of Ihe develupmenl of 

iheoviurj, embryo and ooceium in the noccitcrous Bryozoa 
Gy miloJacmata. Arkiv for Zo&fagi 35\t\l): 1-34. 

SILKS. [.. 1966, On ihr fertilisation prohk-m in the 
gymnolitemalous Bryozna. Qphe-tiu 3: 1L3-340. 

5QULE, D K , SOUI.E, J, D. & CHANEY, H IWl. Some 

little known genera of ThaJamoporellidac Thairopora. 
Dipioparetfa, and new genera Marsupiapareftu and 
VutittfnQfrepttts. Pp 447-4o4 wi "Bryozoaires anuels ei 
filial Its Bi>ivi q lrvifll| tDd fbHil 1 . LJ !■ I' tiipCY ttuitfiiii.' 
df iti Societt des Science* MsiAmr/ta tie rQuest de in 
France Memoir? H.S, I. 

TAYLOR. P. D 19S6. T"he anccsliula and early ^EOWrth paUern 
in twio primitive chellostomc bryo?oans: Pyripora 
catenuiaria I Fleming J ajld Pyripo-ropsi.f portlattdctisis 
Pohowsky. Journal ofi^asurat Hts&try 20; 101-110. 

THOMAS, H, D. & LARWOOD. G. P. 1956 -Some ^niuerial" 
rnembraniporinc palyznan genera and S. nfi"*' Amencan 
A I hia n specie* Gcvfotficui Magazine 93: 3Q9-37&., 

THOMAS, H. D. & LARWCX>D, G. P. 19oQ The Cretaceous 
species of Pyrtp&ra d'Orhi^ny and Rhammtitopoftl Lai^g. 
Palaeontology 1: 370- 386^ pis 60-62. 

VIGELAND, 1. F. 3964, A preJiminaiy report on the Polyzoa- 
Col lection in NauonaJ Museum of Victoria, 1961-62. 
Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 
26: 167-199. 

VOIGT, E, &Q& Uoer Fyrtpara huctei Buge (Brjoi. 
CheJlosiomaia) in Geschieben des Holssciner Gesteins 
(Unl. Miozan). Qtr GfMMcbf-Sammler 16: 49-56. 

WQMERSLEY. H. B. S 1984. The Marine Bauble Flom 

of Southern Australia!. Fjrt \\ Ciovernment Printer: South 

Auslralia. 329 pp. 



GORDON, D. P. & ftUOtEH.. S. A. 1991 . Disctwcry and identity of 110-year-old Huttan Cdleaioft 

cf South Australian Bryuzoa. Rcc. 5. Ami. Mui. 25(2): 121 I2S. 

A Jofyg-overinrifccd collection of bryozoa™ from Suuch Australia described by Huilon in IB7& ha* 
been diRcmcird iind Oiuniined. IdcntincalionH ast given tor the spcc]L-H in the colled ion, with annutelioiE. 
Alfhmigh most of' Hution'K name* are juninw Kpnanymn of earlier- named specK*. twu are senior am! 
nectSHilale nomenclaiUFal changes Atfevncffopxis TJeizii {MacGiMivnw, 1889) becomes A. baccate 
(Hurcon, IST7S> and Pyripom p<tfiia fHincks, IftBQ) becomes AfwAtJ/^'™ jratufri (Hutlon. IB7&). 

D. P, Gordon, New Zealand! tXieaiKtgraptiie Institute, Division of Water Sciences, D5IR, Private Bag, 
Kllbirnie, Wellington 3 F New Zealand, and S. A. Writer. South Australian MuieiiKi, North Terrace, 
Adelaide. Smith Australia 5*XX). Manuscript received 20 August 1990. 

Examination of a collection of South Australian 
Bryuwia in ihe Otago Museum* Dunedin, New Zealand 
has yielded information cm the identity of several 
nominal ta\a ihal affects modem nomenclature. The 
collection, overlooked for 110 years, was discovered 
in 19S8 following an enquiry from one of us (S.A.P.) 
as to iis probable whereabouts. 

Frederick Woollaston H niton, an English-born and 
-educated geologist, was an important contributor to 
nineicenth-century New Zealand science. During his 
various appointments he had found it necessary to 
become a botanist and zoologist as well and described 
a wide range of organisms, including birds, fishes, 
molluscs, insects, worms, hydroids and Brywoa. 
When, in 15^6, he was appointed Professor of Natural 
Science at Otago University, he also had charge of the 
Qta^O Museum H which as Direclor and Curator he 
practically founded. While in this capacity, he received 
from Professor Ralph Tale, an Honorary Member of 
the Royal Society of Tasmania, a collcciion of 
bryozoans from the shores of Gulf St Vincent, South 
Australia. H niton (1878) briefly described most of 
these y naming six as new, Unfortunately; none was 
illustrated and, probably for this reason, she identity 
of all but one of the new species has been unrealised. 
Further, the specimen* remained unexamined in the 
Otago Museum for 1 10 years. 

The collection comprises 20 species. Two are not 
mentioned in Huttons (1S7&) paper whereas some other 
species mentioned In the paper are not in the collection. 
One to several specimens of each species was contained 
in a folded piece of paper with only a number to 
identify il. On a separate piece of paper in the same 
box as (he specimens and in Huttons faded Inked 
handwriting was a key to the number with names 
alongside H the new species' names in pencil only (one 
new species-name was subsequently changed in 

Hutton's paper but Identifiable nonetheless). All of ihc 

specimens have now been labelled and registered 
{numbered A.8S.14Sto A.88.172 in the Otago Museum 
regi ster) . All six of Hutton/s, new species are 
represented. Hi neks (1581) recognised that one was a 
senior synonym of a species described by himself in 
1880, Now ihal the identities of ihe remaining five arc 
known for the first time, it is apparent that two 
currently used names will have to drop into synonymy. 

Revision of Hurrohrs List 

In Huttons C1K7H) thrcc-pa^c paper, 21 species arc 
listed, nine of them (including the two resuscilated) 
accompanied by descriptive annotations. All are listed 
beSow. in the same order. For the 20 species still 
present in the Otago Museum collection, revised 
identifieaiions are given where necessary. Registration 
numbers are given at the end of each entry. 

1. Caberea\ mdiz: Caberen grandis Hi neks, 1881 [run 

Aiwtfixin rnJis (Busk. 1852) |. A. 88. 166. 

2> Membmnipura iacroixi [sic]. No specimen in 

collection, M. tm-roixii Audouin, lK2o Is currently 
regarded as a synonym of the extra -Australian 
Catwpeum reticulum (Linnaeus, 1767). 
3, Mrmbrartipora (?) CTJTtJtf-' Diploptfrctte slats 
(LamourouK , 1821) . formerly 77j^ ropora t insm 
(Hution, l£78) (Fig. I). Use of the generic name 
Dipfoptwlta MacGillivray, lK85a follows Soule eial. 
(IW1). who rcseparaied this genus from Thairapora:. 
Use of the trivial ]iarne uIuki follows Oordon & Ffcrfcer 
(1991). fl utvm is also a senior synonym of 
Mantmnipcra transversa Hincks, 1880. A. 88. 161 r 
holotype of Arfembmftipvm 0) cincia Huiton, 


4 ■ » 

* •* 

% 1 

gk - <**• ■ ■ : : s 



4 Lepraita Candida ; A ntcftnapuriti unicornis 
( H utton , LB73-> [non Fen cs trutina Candida 
(MaeGillivray, 1860a)]. A .S3. 163. 
51 LepraHa eirgans: AdeoneMopsis sulcata {Milne 
Edward s , 1 S3 6) [non Hipp opo rwi a etega n s 
(MacGillivray, lSoOh)!. AJiJfifc 
& Lepraiia latfi: J>fd.v;iwjfielia Jarralfo (MacGillivray, 
1869). A.K&-15&. holotype of Lepratia iatei Hutton. 
7, Lcpraiia spicea; Mucropt fra/ie/fa ctlerii 
(MacGillivray, 1869) [Fig. 2J- A .38. 162, holotype of 
LcpraJia spicea Hutton. 

ft. Lepratra baccaia; Adeoneltuptfc baccate (Hutton, 
1&78) (Figs 4-7 >. Senior synonym of MooneBopjis 
zietzii (MacGiUivtay, 1&89}. This Jltile-known species* 
purplish in life, encrusts small algae and stems of the 
cymfidftocaccan seagrass /iffrpfiiMi.*. it is strictly 
encrusting, unlike the similarly coloured A, jufrara, 
which fan begin as an encrusting form but later gives 
rise to bilamellar lobes. AdeancUtrpsis baccate is also 
readily distinguished from otter Adeoneifopsis species 
by its zooida] morphology - the autozooidal spiramen 
is single, sometimes slightly stellate, whereas that -of 
the female /ooid is compound, generally with three 
pores. Avicularia are rare, and the xooidal surface is 
knobbly, with cauliflower-like excrescences, A.S8.159„ 
holotype of Leprulia baccate Mutton. 
9. Leprvlia pocuia: Mychoplectra poculi* (Hutlon, 
lS7S}(Fig. 3). SmkwwywxtfmtfManfrmnipompoiitQ 
Hineks, 18B0 and type species of the genus 
Myekoplectra Gordon '& Parker, 199], A.S3.160A, 
leelotype and A &&A60B, paralcctoiype of Lepra tia 
pwuta Button (see Gordon & Parker, 1991). 
HI CcHepom agglutintms: Celltporaria crltfata 
(Lamarck. 151ft). CeUeporaria aggtwinans (Huiton, 
l£f?3). widely distrLbuccd in New Zealand, is not known 
from Australia. In zooidal feature* the two species are 
very similar, but C. cristate typically forms bilamcllstr 
lobes with a crest. One of the most consistent 
differences between C agglutinate and C. critfaia is 
the insignificant or scarcely evident condyles of the 
autozooidal orifice in the former compared with the 
stout condyles in. the latter {cf. Gordon 19S9 H plate J6D)_ 
Hoth species have a Hgula on the crossbar of the 
columnar avscularium, like that in C. Jusca {Busk. 
1K54)< but C. fitsca has a toothed rostrum (cf. Boek 
1982, ng. 9.116). A .38. 167. 

U, CeUepoia edax: Cslyptathtcx fata (MacGillivray, 
1883) [notr Hippopcridru edar (Busk, 1859); non 
Hippcporidm htsUmia (Taylor & Cook, 1981)]. 

12. ?CeIiepar(t tubigem: Celleporaria crisMv 

(Lamarck, 1816) [nun Turbkeilepora tubtgera (Busk, 

1S59)]. A.88.152, 153, 154, 170. 

IX Eschara contort* : Parosmittina untspinow 

(Waters., lS89a) [nan Eschuroides conform (Busk, 
1554)]. A.88.172. 

M. Eschara (?) hutteni- Cafyplotheca varJflfosa 
(MacGillivray. 1869) (Fig. 8>. Senior synonym of 
Schizoporellu biturrita Hincks, 1884 and Schizcporeffo 
baccaia Maple-stone, 1913 (P. E. Boek, in Hit. 1988); 
replacement naine for HutlorTs original Eschars tatri, 
preoccupied {vide Tate's footnote to Hutton 1&78: 24). 
Illustrated by StiM as Gigantopara himrrita in Bock 
{1982: .see also Bock 1 * 1987 Corrigenda), A .8a 15 7. 
holotype of Eschara 0} hutloni Tale in HuUon. 
IS- fiBtihornera faliacca: Moment faliacea 
MacGillivray, 1869. A, 53= 175. 
16. ftetepom ceilul&sa : TTiphyllo^oon mu n itum 
(Hiracks, IS7S) {nan Retepara ceftehtu Smitt, I86B, 
nttn Linnaeus, 1758). A.8KI65, 173. 
IT. Retepora phoenka [sic]: fV^ra/ia tiruiutj 
MacGillivray, 1869 [nan fodkfyum phoeniceum (Busk, 
1854)]. A.8K.171. 

IflL Vinculari [sic] matirica: Ctilaria austratis 
MacGillivray, in McCoy, 1580: 48 {non Vinculoria 
maorica Stolit^ka, 1865, = Qwperia sp-^Jc Brown 
195S: 39). A^ai69. 

W, fdmonca radians: Mtsonea radians (Lamarck. 
131ft) (Fig. 9), Me&mea radians (see Hastings 1932; 
Bock 1982) is the correct name for this species, which 
has often been referred to as Crisba radians . The type 
species of Crisina is Crisina /wnwniaina dT>rbigny 
1851, Cretaceous, Europe, which is clearly 
distinguished from Mesonea radians* a Recent spccies h 
by the distribution and arrangement of pores and by 
the construction of the ovicell (Vbigt I9&4). Sfcsvnga 
(Canu & Bassler, 3920) Jus pores on frontolateral feces 
of branches as well as dorsally, and the ovicell has 
smooth, membrane-covered porous areas. Crisina has 
only dorsal pores in longitudinal furrows and the 
ovicell lacks the porous areas (Voigt in Ins.,. 19K6)_ 
There appear to be several species from the Indian and 
Pacific Oceans, with a Cmj'rtii-likc colony form, that 
have been attributed to Crisina radians, ^tcrs (!Kft7), 
Harmcr (1915), and Bock (1982) have illustrated 
Lamarck's (Iftl6) species, but those of Brood ^1976) 
from Fast Africa, of Ryland (1934) from Fiji, and of 
Soule ?t al. (198T0 from Hawaii are neither conspeeiric 
nor even congeneric with it. Clearly there is an amount 
of work to be done in sorting out the [ndo- Pacific 
crisiniform' bryoaoans. A. 8 5. 164 

FIGURES 1-4. I. Fan uf ho&rrtypr. A.SS.Jfil. of Mfrtthranipum (?) cincla Hucion. = Dipfopareila ahta (|jmt>un>UX) fc X 
10.5. 2. Part of holotype, A. SB. 162, of Lepralia spicea Hunori. = Mucwpelralielhi tllf.rii (.MacGillivray), X W. 3l Pajt 
\yf psralctiorvpc, A.fifi.loOB. cif Upruliti pneuh HuMon. = Mychopteclnu povuto, X *0. 4. Part of hdlolypc, A.8aiW F of 
Lepraiia baccata HuUon, = ArfeaneHvpsti baccata* showing one gonnzwoid (g?.l surrounded by He^ral jutozouids, X 72. 
(All specimens frun\ Otegn Museum!. 





FIGURES 8 AND 9. 8. Pan of holotype rf Esfhaw (?) Hunoni Tate r>( Hutton, A.Hfl.l57 F = Calyptirthecu variutosa 
(Macfij]livmv). X 55. 9. Ateirtntt2 radians (Lamarck), part of Specimen A .8^164, showing brood chamber und peristome, 
x 53. <Bo*h specimens from O*ago Museum). 

KfiURES 5-7. 5. Part of symype, SAM L4*0 of Aie&teBcpsv zietzii MatGilliviHy, = a. bati-ufa (HutKm), showing n. 
gonozooid {at Icttj, with characteristic: compound spiramjen and several autozooids wi|h simple sparamen; 6 is uf the same 

specimen as in 5, but lilted to show an autozooidal aytcglarium (av) F both x 105 (specimen from South Australian Museum). 
7. Pfcrt of holotype, A.HH, L59 of AfMwwffcyj.w'j frarrniVj ftfUHon) showing the interior of the frontal shields of an autozooid 
(left) and a gOAOZOOid (right), X 205. 



FIGURHS 10 AND tl. LtcfKnapora viaoriemts flftters, specimen A.Sti-WK, Otaga Muhclitti. fhftwir^ the ramifying brood 
chamber {part magnified in II), X 56, X 300. 

20. Pustulipara porcelfanica. No specimen in 
collection. Currcnll>7 [his Hutton (1S73> species is 
known only frum New Zealand, as Gateopsis 

porcellamiiti (Gordon, L9S9). To dare, the only species 
of Galectpji-i definitely recorded tor South Australia 

is G- tirngimsrris (MacGilllvray, 1885b) (specimens in 
South Australia Museum). 

21. TuhulipoTvijkibf Maris. No specimen in collection. 
Titbtflipora flabeHaris (Fabrieiu&> 1780) is an antic* 

boreal species, unlikely to occur in Australia (Hsywwd 
& Ryland, 1985), There are several samples of 
Tttbuiiparu from South Australia in the South 
Austral Lan Museum, none Identified to species.. Six 
species of the genus have been reported from Victoria. 

D. P. GORDON & & A. FAttkLK 

: T 

22. Discoporeffn novae -zeatandiae [sic| : 
Lrdteftopora victoriensis Waters, 18fl9l> [jusm 
IJchentjptJtti nomezetandiae (Busk. 1875)] (Figs 10. 
II). A. 8 8. 148, 150. 

23. Disaipun-ifii fimbriatae [ife]: L fctewyp wi 
ecA/ngta (MacGilJivray* 1884) ftaan Disporella 
fimbriate (Busk, 1&75)). (Cy Waier* EB8&: 232 - "A 
'Challenger' specimen from Tristan da Cunha was 
submitted to mc named L ftmbritrta* This is L 
eckituita with an ovioell, so that the name jimbri&tt! 
must be dropped"). AM .149, 151. 

Two additional species, not mentioned in Hutton's 
(1K7&) paper, arc represented in the collection. These 
are Sicoinoporrlia chunac&i (Lamarck, 1816). syn. £ 
truncate (Harmer, 1900) (A .88.174) and Rhymktizoofi 
sp ls possibly fl. ddkattfium (MacGillivray, in McCoy 
1890: 356) (A. MS. 155). For the priority of 

Stegirtoporella chtmacea over 5. m*fic«r« see d'Hondt 
1979: 18. 20. 

Two of Hiitton's 11878) names are senior synonyms 
til' later-described species. Thus, Atleangtfopais zietzii 
MacGiUivny, 1889 becomes A. toc@sfia {Hutton. 
1878). and Pyripora poitta (Hinds, 1880) becomes 
Myrhoptectra p&cuta {Hutton, 1878). 


We sincerely wi^h to thank John Darby and Tony Harrift 
of ihe Otago Museum tor Locating the Huiion Collodion and 
making ji avuLiahle ftu study, P. Bocfc of ihe ftoya] Melbourne 
Institute of Tech nology for comments on CsrfjpftwAffoa 
wrioiasa and Schirjvp&rella bacKVUti* and J. £. Ryland and 
P. J. Hay ward fa" *fteir critical reading of a draft. 


AUDOUIN, J. V. 1826. Explication sommaire diss planches 
de polypes tfre I'Egyptc- et dc la Syne, publiccs par Jules- 
Cesar Savigny. Pp. 22 5-2 44 in "Description de I'Egypfc, 
■ ■ii I:-, i.-il ties ofoservatums lL iks rffhiMvhcs -^ui nnt de 
i.iii-.s en Egypte pendant rtixpcdiiion de lArroec 
trartC.aise . . Histoire Katnrelle'. Vol. J, part 4. 
Imprimene Inrpenale: Raris. 

BOCK, R E. I9S2 Brjoouns (Phylum BrynDflV Pp. 3&-&M 

in 'Marine Invertebrates of Southern Australia", Pt L. Eds 
S. A. Shepherd & [. M. Thomas. Government Printer: 
South Australia.. 49l pp. [And unpublished Corrigenda 
circulated 1987.] 

BROOD, K 197ft. CycLostomatoas Bryozoa from (he coastal 
waters of East Africa, &otogica Scripts 5; 277-3QC3L 

BROWN* D. A. 195«. Fhasil cheilostoinatous Polynia from 
SOWth-wesi Victoria. Memoirs of the Geological Soiiety 
of Victoria 10: 1-90. 

BUSK..G. IH52. "Catalogue of marine ftjlyzua in the collection 
of the British Museum, I. Cheilostomata (partX Trustees 
of the British Museum (Natural History): London. Pp. 
I-54 r pis 1-68. 

BUSK, G IBM. 'Catalogue of marine Polyzoa in the 
collection of the British Museum, II. Cheilostomata {pan)* 
Trustees of (he British Museum (Natural History): London. 
Pp. 55-120, pis 69-124, 

BUSK, 0- I&59. L A monograph of the- fossil Pl>lyzoa of ine 
Crag 1 . Rtfoerttiifl$rnpfii€al Sttcrvtv iMofWgKtphs): London. 
136 pp -> 22 pis 

BUSK, G. 1875. "Catalogue ot the cydosioiviMtous ftilyroa 
in the collection of the British Museum 1 . Trustees of the 
Briosh Museum (Natural Hislniy): London. 39 pp., 34 pis. 

CANU, F. & BASSLER, R. S. 1920. North American tarly 
Tenia ry Brynzna. Bulfctttt of the United States NaiifttMt 
Museum 106: I-B79, lo2 pis. 

FABRIC! US. O. 178tt 'Fauna Grocnlandica 1 . J. G. Rothc, 
Kafniae & Lipsiae. 452 pp, 

GORDON, D. P. f989. TTk marme buna Of New Zealand- 
Bryozoa: Gymnoiacmata (ChcilostJOmida Ascopiionna) 
ftOPJ the -ATesteo Sou(h [sland «intineiUal sheJf and slopc. 
jV^u Zealand Ocearw^ruphie Institute Memoir 07: 1-158. 

GORDON. D. P. & ftLRKER, S. A. IW3- A new fenusof 

the bryozoan (amily Electridae. with a ptectriform 
itpfHiatus. Records of the Stwfr tlusiraiian Muxeurn 25f2): 

HARMER. 5. F. i™. A irvision of ih& genus SteRiWoporellx. 
Quarterly J&urmit of Microscopical Science fn.S.) 43: 
22o"-29< 2 ph. 

HARMHft.. S, F. 1915. The FOlyaaa of the Sihaga Espedition. 
Pan i, Entoproeta, Ctcnostomata and CyckMHomata. 
Sibosa-ExpediM 28a, WSft 12 pis. 

HASTINGS. A- B. 19^2. The POlyzoa ftith a note on an 

iis-vociated hydiuid. CrtW Barrier fteef ETpedilitm I9SS-29. 

Scientific Reports 4(\2): 399-45B, I pi. 

HAY WARD. P J Sl RYLAND, I S I9ft5. CyLto&ionw 

brycffoans. Keys and notes for the identification of the 
species. Linncan Society SflKpsesqfthe Britisftfimm (n,S-) 
34. E, J. Brlll.-'Dr W. Baekliuys: London. 147 pp. 

H1NCK5, T. 1878. Notes on the genus Retepartt, with 
descriptioriS of new species. Annats £MtS Magazine of 
tfatmtf History (5)1: 353 365, pis 18, 19 1 . 

HINCKS. T. IB80. Contributions towanis ;i genera] history 
of the marine My/xia. II. Foreign Membnsnspcjnna (second 
series). Annals and Magazine of Nufumt ffiuors {5)6: 
81-92, 37b-3SL pis 10, ll f 16. 

HINCKS. T. 1B»L. Contnbutionii towards a general history 

of the marine Polyzofl. IV. R^reign Mernbraniporitia. 

Annals ami Magazine of Natural History (5)7: 147-161 , pis 

HENCKi, T. 1884. Contrihutinns to w"*iids a general history 

of (he marine ftjlyzoa. Xllf, Pnlyma (nsm Vktoriu. 

(continued). Annali and Magazine of Natural History (5)13: 

27o-2«5, pis B. 9. 



r, J.-L. d'. 1979. Revision des Bryozoaires oe l-esucur 
ct P£ron conserve's, dans Ses collections du Museum 
National tTHiwirc NaTurcHctfcrVi*. Huiieriii Trimestriei 
de la Societe Geologique de Narmandie et des Amis du 
MKf&ffl da Hawe HtyJ): 9-24, 

HUTTON, R W, I3T73. -Catalogue of the marine Molluscs 
of New Zealand, with diagnoses of the species 1 . 
Government Printer: Wellington, lift pp., I pt. jRniyzoa 
pp. S7-KHJ. 

HUTTON, F. W. 1K7K. On some South Australian Pblyzo-a. 
Papers and Proceeding* and Report of the Ruyat Society 
of Tasmania for !X7?-iti?H: 23-25. 

LAMARCK, J. B. P. A. de M de 18I& Folyzoa, tin 'HiMiiirt- 
nalurelle des animaux sans vertebres . . . preccdee dune 
introduction offruni la de"tcrminaiion des caractcre5 
n w rtfMf de I'animal, sa distinction d** vegetal ct des autre* 
corps naturals , e n f i n , lex position des priniri pes 
MnSneOMW de la zoologie'. 2\ I-56S, \erdiene: ftris. 

LAMOUROUX, J. V. F. 1821. Kaposi I km rnethodioue des 
genres de I'ordre des polypiers-. wee leur description ct 
cdlcs des principals espfeces fi^urees ilans £4 planches: 
les 63 premieres apartenant a rhistoire naturelle den 
Zoophytes d*Ellis ct Solander'. V. Agasse: fori*. 

LINNAEUS, C 1758, "Systema naturae per legna ina naturae, 
^ecundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum 
charaelenbus, diffcrenttis, synonymis, locis 1 . Edn 10, vol. 
L Laureniii SaLvii. Holmiae. 824 pp. 

LINNAEUS. C. 1767. -Systema naturae" Edn 12, vol. 1. 
RriglHim Animate l.;iurun1ii Salvii, Holmiae. |Vol. I. fort 

1, pp. 1-532 (1766), Pilti 2, pp. 533 1327 CIW7>J, 
McCQV; F. IKKl Prodramus oHhc Zoology of Victoria' vol. 

L, decade 5: i-58> ID pis. Government Printer Melbourne. 
McCCTr; F. ISM). 'Prodramus of ihe Zoology of Victoria 1 , vol , 

2, decade 20: 329-375, 10 pis. Government Printer: 
Me I bourne. 

MacGlLLIVRAY. P H IHMJa. On some new Australian 
Polvzoa. Transactions of fhe Philosophical Swietv (f 
Victoria 4: 9?-tfc I pi. 

MacGILLIVRAY, P. H 186Qt>, Notes on she chcitostflmataus 
frlyznu, of Victoria and other parti of Australia. 
Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Victoria 4: 
159-HSS. pis 2. % 

MacClLLIVRAY, P. H. 1869. Descriptions of some new 
genera and species of Australian ftjjyzua; to wJlkrh is added 
a list of species found in Victoria- Trattsactions and 
Proceedings- of ike Rtjyai Society of Victoria 9: 126- I4B. 

MacGILLIVRAY, P H. 1883. Descriptions nf new, or little 
known, ftilyzna. Ram EL Transactions and Proceedings 
of the Royal Society of Victoria 10; 130- I3K, .3 pis. 

MacGILLIVRAY, P H. 1884. Descriptions of new, or litrle 
known. RjLyzna. Part VI. Transaction! and Proceedings 
of the fowl Society of Victoria 2G: l2ft-]2&. I pi. 

MacGILLIVRAY, R H. 1885a. Descriptions of new, or Jiule 
known, Rrlyzoa. Fart VII. Transactions and Proceedings 
of the Royai Soiiety ef Victoria 21: 92-99, I pi. 

MacUILLlVRAY, P. H. 1885b. Descriptions of new. or little 
known, Polyzxia Pin VCTI. Transactions and Proceedings 
of the Royai Society of Victoria 21: W6 119, 5 ph. 

MacGILLlVRAY, P. H. 3889. On some South Australian 

Polyzoa . Ihinsaviions ami Proceedings and Report, of the 
RoyaJ Society of South Australia 12: 24-30, pi. 2. 

MAPI. ESTONIA C. M. fllS. Nbw or linlc-kmwn rblyjoa. 
Proceedings of the Roytd Society of Victoria (n.s.) 25: 
357-362, pi. 28. 

MILNE EDWARDS, H. 183o, Reeherches anatomiqoes. 
physiolngiqucs, ct 70ologiqucs sur les lischares. Annates 
des Sciences Nuturcites (2)6; 5-53, 

ORBIGNY. A. D. d\ 1851-34. 'Paleontologie franchise, 
ncscripliondcs Mollusqucset rayaiuics fossiles. Terrains 
Creiace's V. ^uosDiim. 1 VJciur Massoti: Paris. [Pp. 1-188 
(IS51); pp. IKS his-472 (1H52'|; pp., 473-yti4 (1853); pp. 
985-1192 (1834>- pis 600-800.] 

RYI-AND. J. 5. 1984. Phylum Brymoa. Pp. ftK-75 In 'A Coral 
Reef Handbook 1 . 2nd edn. Ed. P Mather The Australian 
Coral Reel Society: Brisbane. 

SMITT, F. A. 1868. Kritr-sk ferteckning ^fver Skandinsvjcns 
hljfs-Bryiwoer. IV. Ofversigt of Ktmgtigti H'fensfoipi 
Akadetniens Farhnndtingar IS: 3-23tX pis 24-28. 

SOULE, D. F., SOULE, J. D & CHANEY, H. 1991. Some 
little known genera of ThalamoporeUidae: Thairopota, 
Biploporella. and new genera SfarsuplopontUa and 
Thcdamotreptits, Pp. 447-464 in ^Bryuaoaire* actuels et 
fossiles: Bryonia living and kts&W. Ed. F. P. Bigcy Bulletin 
de ia Societe de* Sciences Naiurettes de ('Quest de ia 
France, Memoire H.S. 1. 

SOULE, J. D., SOULE. D. F. & CHANEY, H, W L987. 
Phylii F.nkiprocLi and BryuMia (Ectoprocla), Pp. 83-166 
in 'Reef and shore fiiuna of Hawaii. Section 2: 
Platyhclminthes through Phoronida, and Section 3: 
Sipuncula through Annelida'. Eds D. M, I>ev3ne>' Si L- 
(3 F-ldrodgc. BislMip Museum Special Publication 64(2&3). 
Bishop Muw-'um PKtt; Honolulu, 461 pp. 

STOnCZKA. 1 iHri. 1 ? I ; rsv,;c Elryi^iK". *u\ ccrn lnrL±:^n 
Grtinsandsteine der Orakei-Ba>- bei Auckland, Rcise der 
(Xuerreiehischen Fregatte 'Novate ' um die Erde in den 
Johreo 1857, 1858, 1859 , , . anrtagncher Theit 1(2): 
89-15$, pis 17-20. 

TAYLOR, P. D. & COOK, P, L- l^HL. Hippoporidra edas: 
tBusk. 1859) and a revis-km of some fos&il and Jiving, 
Hippoporidra iRrywoaj. Bulletin of the British Museum 
Natural History), Geology 35: 243-251. 

VOTm; F. 1984. Die CSencra Reteporidea d'Orb-igny. 1849 
und Cnsidmonea MarfiSOn (Bryozoa C>elostomata'J in der 
Maasirichter Tuffkreide (One res. Maastfichtium) nebsT 
Bertierkungjen uber Poiyascosoecia Canu &l Bassler und 
anderc ahnliche Gattun^cn. Mittciiungen OBI dew 
GeatogiscH'BuiHtonfidogiscnen /nstitut der Universital 
Hamburg 56: 385-412. 

WATERS, A. W, 1887. Bry07Oa frOH New South Wales. North 
Australia, &c. Part II. Annats and Mitgasint ofNfnural 
History (5)3»: lKl-20^. pis % & 

WATERS, A. W. IS8°a. Bryozoa from New South TOles. 
Part IV. jlrtrttifa and Magazine tjf Natural History (6)4: 
[-24. pis 1-3- 

WATFIRS. A. W. 1889b. On the ovicclh Of ^n-me Lichen- 
OpOrae, Journal <tf the Unnaean Society, Zoology 20: 
280-255, pL 15. 


Peter Austin 


This paper examines the linguistic position of Karangura, an Aboriginal language once spoken to 
the north-east of Lake Eyre in South Australia. The language occupied a crucial geographic position 
between three major linguistic groups in the region. The paper analyses the few existing sources on 
Karangura to determine its relation to these other languages. The fullest known vocabulary of 
Karangura is presented. 



AUSTIN, P. 1991. The Karangura language. Ret: S. Aust. Mus. 25(2): 129-137. 

This paper examines the linguistic position of Karangura, an Aboriginal language once spoken to 
the north-east of Lake Eyre in South Australia. The language occupied a crucial geographic position 
between three major linguistic groups in the region. The paper analyses the few existing sources on 
Karangura to determine its relation to these other languages. The fullest known vocabulary of Karangura 
is presented. 

P. Austin, Department of Linguistics, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3083. Manuscript received 
30 August 1990. 

The area to the east and north of Lake Eyre was 
traditionally one of some linguistic diversity. In the 
region along the Warburton Creek and Diamantina 
River from Lake Eyre to the current Queensland border 
we find three groups of languages represented: 

1. Wangkangurru - this language is closely related to 
Arabana, spoken to the west of Lake Eyre (Hercus 1990); 

2. Ngamini and Yarluyandi - these two languages were 
closely related to one another and were also genetically 
close to Diyari and Thirrari spoken further south along 
Cooper Creek and the eastern shore of Lake Eyre (see 
Austin 1981, 1990a,b; Breen 1971: 184); 

3. Wangkamadla (or Wangkamanha) - this was the most 
southerly dialect of the western division of the Pitta-Pitta 
group of languages (Blake 1979: 184). 

The question is: where does Karangura, occupying 
as it does a position bordering on all three language 
groups, fit into the linguistic picture of northern South 
Australia? In this paper I examine all the available 
linguistic evidence on Karangura in an attempt to 
answer this question. My study thus complements the 
historical and ethnographic research on Karangura that 
Hercus has undertaken. 

The Karangura Language 

There are just three sources of data on the Karangura 
language, all of them old historical documents: 

1. a vocabulary published in Wells (1894); 

2. five words collected by Pastor Carl Schoknecht 
sometime between 1871 and 1873 (see Schoknecht 1947); 

3. a few words in Reuther's monumental dictionary of 
Diyari (see Reuther 1981). 

In the following sections each of these sources is 
examined in detail. 

Wells' Data 

Appended to Wells' (1894) paper on Aborigines of 
the Diamantina, Herbert and Eleanor Rivers is a 
section entitled 'Dialect 1 which gives a listing of 217 
English words and their correspondences in the 'Native 
dialect'. The transcription of the Karangura words is 
quite good, essentially being a naive adaptation of 
English spelling. There are three notable features of 
Wells' transcriptions: 

1. The use of the symbol a, primarily at the end of words. 
This seems to indicate that Wells felt the final Karangura 
low vowel was longer and clearer than the English final 
vowel typically signified by a in English spelling, namely 

2. The use of the symbol a, primarily in unstressed 
syllables to signify the low vowel. 

3. The transcription of initial velar nasal ng which 
appears in Wells' list as 'nf, as in items 12, 13, 28, 58, 
65, 74, 101, 119, 123, 170, 189; as 'n', in items 88, 207; 
or is simply omitted, as in items 32, 95, 135, and 147. 

There are a number of forms which suggest that 
Wells did not have a good grasp of the language, and 
that he must have elicited the vocabulary by pointing 
to various objects. There are also simple mistakes 
which suggest that the Karangura speaker(s) being 
interviewed did not understand Wells' English prompt 
(see for example 'heart', 'moths', and 'no', below). We 
can see this by comparing some of the forms and 
glosses he gives with corresponding words in 
Ngamini. 1 Simple errors such as the following are 
indicative of the danger of taking Wells 1 list at face value 
without examining comparative data: 




'bark of 




yet-an-na yatha-rna 






















'to speak, say, 

bark (of dog)' 
'to drink' 

'to bite' 
'desert well' 
'nothing- now' 

* This is the purpose-different subject form oithapa- to drink'. 
It would occur in the Ngamini translation of sentences such 
as 'Dig the ground for water (for me) to drink!' (see below). 

Classification of Karangura 

There is sufficient information that can be extracted 
from the Wells vocabulary to show that Karangura was 
very closely related to Ngamini, though not identical 
to it. There is both lexical and grammatical evidence 
to support this classification of Karangura. Firstly, there 
are a number of lexical terms found in Wells' list that 
resemble words peculiar to Ngamini that are not shared 
with its close genetic neighbours Diyari, Thirrari and 
Yarluyandi. Also, there is evidence of certain 
grammatical forms that are only found in Ngamini. 
This evidence follows, as well as indicators of 
Karangura's distinctiveness from the Ngamini language. 

L Peculiar lexical items 

There are five words in Wells' list that are cognate 
with words otherwise peculiar to Ngamini: 


Ngamini Diyari 


'dam -poo' 















'three' (lit. 



'two one' 
in Ngamini) 





2. Grammatical forms corresponding to Ngamini 

Here we have four pieces of evidence: the ergative 
case affix, the participial verb inflection, the 
purpose -different subject verb inflection and the verb 
nominalising derivation: 

(a) The ergative case affix: 

All the eastern Lake Eyre languages have a case 
inflection, which we term the ergative, that is suffixed 
to nouns marking the transitive subject and instrument 
functions. This case marker has the following forms: 



added to female personal 


added to all other nouns 



added to dual and plural 


added to all other nouns 



added to dual and plural nouns 


added to all other nouns 

There are some examples in Wells' list of ergative 
case-marked nouns showing -nu, as in Ngamini 2 : 



Ngamini Diyari 





(b) The participial inflection: 

In Diyari the participial affix added to verbs is 
invariant and has the shape -rna, and in Yarluyandi it 
is invariably -rnda. Ngamini has a number of different 
forms, depending on the phonological shape of the stem 
to which it is attached (see Austin 1990a for details). 
Thus, most vowel-final stems take -rna, while verb 
stems ending in Ci, (where C is a nasal consonant) 
delete the Ci and add -nda. Thus the participial form 
of mani- 'to get' is manda, and of pirnani- 'to become 
big' is pirnanda. The participial form of pali- 'to die' 
is palda. With reflexive verbs there are two possibilities 
which occur in free variation: V-jarrhirna or V-janda, 
for example 'to see oneself is either nhirrkajarrhirna 
or nhirrkajanda. Examples from Wells' vocabulary 
show that Karangura had the Ngamini patterns: 

Wells Ngamini 



'mirra-_ mirrhajanda mirrhatharrhi- 'scratch oneself- 
chunta' rna ptcple' 

'muckoo- manda mani-rna *get-ptcple' 


'pul-ta palda pali-rna 'die-ptcple' 

Interestingly, part of this typical pattern of variation 
in verb forms in Ngamini and Karangura is shared with 
Wangkangurru where the present tense inflection is 
normally -(rn)da but verbs ending in a nasal plus i 
delete the final syllable and add -nda, as in mani- 'to 
get', present tense form manda (see Hercus 1990). 

(c) Purpose-different subject verb inflection: 

All the languages in the Lake Eyre region have the 
syntactic device of switch-reference, that is, an 
indication in dependent verb inflections of the sameness 
or difference of subjects across clauses. Thus, to 
express purpose there are two inflections: one for same 
subject and another for different subject. The forms 
of these inflections characteristically differ in the 
different languages: 



Diyari Thirrari Ngamini Yarluyandi 


-same subject -lha -lhali 



-different subject -rnanthu -yani 



There is one example in Wells' list that we can 
analyse as a purpose-different subject form, and it 
shows an affix cognate with Ngamini. The example 
is 'dig' - 'tap-poo-lee' - which clearly corresponds to 
Ngamini thapili (thapa-ili) 'drink-purpose-different 
subject'. Probably the Karangura speaker responded to 
Wells' prompt 'dig' with a sentence like '(You dig for 
water for me) to drink', only the last element of which 
('drink-purpose-different subject 1 ) Wells was able to 
catch and write down. In any case, the form is clearly 
the same as in Ngamini. 

(d) Nominalising derivation: 

The languages to the east of Lake Eyre can form 
instrument nouns out of verbs by adding a nominalising 
derivational affix. In Diyari and Yarluyandi the form 
of this affix is -ni (see Austin 1981: 162), as in the 
Diyari example pawa daka-ni 'seed grinder' (where 
pawa is 'seed' and daka- is 'to grind'). In Ngamini the 
corresponding affix is -ini where the initial i replaces 
the final vowel of the verb stem (thus puwa dakini 'seed 

grinder'). There is one example in Wells' list which 
shows the Ngamini pattern, namely 'handcuffs warika- 
mun-drini', which we can analyse as warrfcamandrrini , 
the nominalised form of warrkamandrra-, 'to tie up' 
(Diyari would have warrkamandrrani here). 

3. Linguistic Distinctiveness from Ngamini 

Karangura as recorded by Wells differs, however, in 
two interesting respects from Ngamini as recorded both 
in early sources such as Reuther and also in recent 
materials collected by Breen and myself. One of the 
differences is in the area of vocabulary, and the other 
is phonological: 

(a) Vocabulary differences: 

Although there are clear Ngamini cognates for 
almost all the words recorded by Wells (see below) 
and items otherwise unique to that language (see 
above), there are also sixteen items which differ from 
Ngamini and have cognates in Wangkangurru. Of great 
interest in this respect is the fact that most of these 
also have cognates in Thirrari (or 'Tirari') as recorded 
by Reuther 3 , suggesting the existence of a local pool 
of lexical items shared between Thirrari, 
Wankgangurru and Karangura. These items are as 






'bul-ya arms' 



'upper arm, wing 





'to go' 

'kulyi-erra womb' 



'moo-yoo-unta sunrise' 

muyu winta 

diji winda 









'to snore' 





'pe-pe yes, I know' 





'pi ma' 

pi ma 


'pre-tana I kill you** 




'to hit, kill' 







'how many?' 

'tunya-anna licking 1 












* This verb occurs in the eastern dialect of Wangkangurru only. 

** Notice that the root of this word is apparently cognate with Wangkangurru but that it seems to contain the participial 

affix cognate with Ngamini -ma (cf. Wangkangurru -rnda). 

*** Hercus points out that Wangkangurru kuya is also pronounced kuyayi and wiya is also pronounced wiyayi. These two 

words were borrowed from Lower Southern Aranda and probably spread along with the Warrthampa ceremony [see Hercus 

(1991), this volume]. 

(b) Phonological differences: 

In Ngamini there occur intervocalic clusters of post- 
alveolar continuant plus peripheral stop, i.e. rk and rp. 
These do not occur in neighbouring languages and 
correspond to Ik/rlk and Ip/rlp in cognates in Diyari 

and Yarluyandi. That is, Ngamini has merged the apical 
laterals as r before k and p (see Austin 1988: 242ff). 
In Wells' data the laterals have not changed to r, 
showing that Karangura was conservative like Diyari 
and Yarluyandi. Some examples are: 




Ngamini Diyari 










'pool -karma' 

parka- ma 

pari ka- ma 

'to travel' 




'to blow' 




'ear, leaf 




'bone' {cf. 





'to whistle' 

On the basis of these similarities and differences we 
can say that Karangura was closely related to Ngamini 
but showed a number of interesting differences that 
point to areal characteristics shared with Wangkangurru 
and Thirrari. 

Wells' Vocabulary of Karangura, With Corresponding Ngamini Forms 
English Native Ngamini 

1. ants 



2. arms 


(Wangkangurru cognate) 

3. anus 



4. bad 


5. bag 



6. bark of tree 


yatha-rna 'to speak, say, bark (of dog)' 

7. big 


thipi 'alive' 

8. bite 



9. bone 


warpu {cf Diyari muku, Wangkangurru warlpu) 

10. boy 


(Wangkangurru cognate) 

11. blood 



12. beard 



13. breasts 



14. bread 



15. brother 


nhuyu 'elder brother' 

16. blowing 


purka-rna {cf Diyari purlka-rna) 

17. billycan 

warra chuna 

warrajanda (participial form of warra-jarrhi- 'to hang') 

18. bottle 



19. boot 


thina puta 

20. calf 


21. cane grass 


pirta 'tree' 

22. calves of legs 


23. cutting 



24. cold 



25. crying 



26. cheeks 


27. chest 


28. chin 



29. copi (gypsum) 


walyu 'ground, earth' 

30. come back 



31. come along 


32. cow 


ngama milki 

33. crayfish 



34. crane 


purrhalku 'brolga' 

35. crow 


kukunka 'hawk species' {cf kawalka 'crow') 

36. clean 


37. deaf 


{cf. Wangkangurru yarri 'ear') 

38. dark 


milyaru 'dark, night' 

39. dog 



40. dead 


palda (participle of pali- 'to die') 

41. dig 

tap-poo -lee 

thapili (purpose-different subject of thapa- 'to drink') 

42. diver (bird) 



43. devil 



44. dress 


puruka (loan from English 'frock') 

45. dust 

woo-too -roo 


46. damper 



47. dirty 


warrhu 'white' 

48. eyes 


mirki (cf. Diyari milki) 




49. elbow 

50. eyebrows 

51. eyelashes 

52. emu 

53. excreta 

54. eucalyptus 

55. earth 

56. fish 

57. flame 

58. forehead 

59. feet 

60. fingers 

61. fat 

62. fur 

63. fire 

64. fly 

65. father 

66. frown 

67. four 

68. feathers 

69. gammon 

70. grass 

71. grub 

72. girl 

73. go on 

74. give 

75. go back 

76. gun 

77. go away 

78. galah 

79. hair 

80. hat 

81. hit 

82. heavy 

83. hungry 

84. hole 

85. hold on 

86. hand 

87. heel 

88. head 

89. heart 

90. hole thro' nose 

91. handcuffs 

92. head dress 

93. how many 

94. iguana 

95. I don't know 

96. 1 kill you 

97. intestines 

98. kangaroo 

99. knees 

100. knife 

101. kissing 

102. kicking 

103. kill 

104. licking 

105. lazy 

106. lake 































killan Kill i 






























(cf. Wangkangurru mampu-kardi) 

pirpa (cf. Diyari pilpa) 

mirki wirri 




yapi-rna 'to burn, ignite' 



mara 'hand, finger' 




ngarpi (cf. Diyari ngapiri) 

puju 'blind' 

wita 'many' 

wangku 'none, nothing' 

(Wangkangurru cognate) 

kaparrha 'come here!' 

ngangki-yamayi 'give-imperative' 

thika-rna (cf. 30) 

makita (loan from English 'musket') 

(Wangkangurru cognate) 

kilankila 'galah' 

ngurdu 'head' 



maku manda 'to lift' (participle of mam- 'to get*) 

muwa-nu 'hunger-ergative' 


karrha 'hold-imperative' 

mara (cf. 60) 

thina 'foot' (cf. 59) 

ngurdu thandrra (cf 79) 

waldrra 'hot' 

mulha wirpa 

warrkamandrrini (nominalised form of warrkamandrra- 'to. tie 


maltharra 'bunch of feathers' 

(Wangkangurru cognate) 



(Wangkangurru cognate) 




nganja-rna 'to love, like' 

daka-rna 'to pierce, poke, kick' 

dandrra-rna (cf. 81) 

(Wangkangurru cognate) 

ngama-rna 'to sit' 

* Hercus points out that Warrha(nha) is the name of an important freshwater lake near Poeppel's Corner. It is possible 
that the speaker(s) consulted by Wells named the best-known lake of the general area. 






long time 




thai poo 











long nose 









look out 



long way 






















































no good 






old man 



old woman 















pouch (pelican) 



quart pot 









red ochre 










kootoo kootoo-gudda 



























mirra chunta 























minha 'what, something' 
tharpa (cf Diyari tharlpa) 
(Wangkangurru cognate) 
kani 'sleepy lizard' 

mulha 'nose' (cf 90) 

milyaru 'dark, night' (cf. 38) 


nhirrka-rna 'to look, see' (cf. Yarluyandi nhika-rnda) 



karrkarrhu 'old man' 

nganyi T 

(Wangkangurru cognate, cf. 109) 




wita 'many' (cf. 67) 

mayatha 'boss' 



(Yarluyandi nhirrhi, cf. Ngamini, Diyari pirrhi) 


mulha (cf. 112, 90) 

mulha wirpa (cf. 90) 

wapa 'go-imperative' 



karrkarrhu (cf 1 1 8) 


(Wangkangurru cognate) 
waparu 'flock pigeon' 

parka-ma (cf. Diyari parlka-rna 'to travel') 



(Wangkangurru cognate) 

kaku 'elder sister' 

mar da 

daku 'sandhill' 

daku (cf. 151) 

thaltu 'salt' (loan from English) 

purrhi-rna 'to lie, sleep' 


yurupa 'rope' (loan from English) 

mirrha-janda 'scatch oneself (participial of mirrha-jarrhi-) 

kalka 'sunset' 

diji wirrhi-rna (lit. 'sun enters') 


thapa-rna 'to drink, suck' possibly used for 'smoke (a pipe)' 

pirta (cf 21) 

milyaru 'dark, night' (cf. 113, 38) 

** Hercus also notes that Yarluyandi and Eastern Wangkangurru have a word minyiminyi which is used to describe a very 
old woman, the oldest person in any group. 




166. shoulders 

167. snake 

168. "venomous 

169. spitting 

170. sit down 

171. stand up 

172. sick 

173. snoring 

174. shield 

175. skin 

176. shame 

177. sweat 

178. spider 

179. small 

180. stink 

181. suck 

182. swimming 

183. sunrise 

184. scalp 

185. two 

186. three 

187. teeth 

188. thighs 

189. teats 

190. testicles 

191. tickling 

192. toes 

193. tail 

194. thunder 

195. thirsty 

196. tattoo mark 

197. throw 

198. tall 

199. tomahawk 

200. you 

201. you walk 

202. yawn 

203. yes, I know 

204. uncle 

205. vagina 

206. veins 

207. water 

208. wood 

209. wrist 

210. whistle 

211. whirlwind 

212. womb 

213. windpipe 

214. wet 

215. woman (married) 

216. white 

217. whip 















koo poo-ta 












kicherie poo-doo 








warra li 



wop pinna 







thai -poo 












thandipila (cf. Diyari, Yarluyandi thandrripila) 

ngama-rna (cf. 105) 

(Wangkangurru cognate) 


muntha-nu 'shame-ergative' 


matha-rna 'to bite' (cf. 8) 

kupa 'child' 




(Wangkangurru cognate) 


parrkuna ngunha (lit. 'two one') 


wilyirri 'buttocks' 

ngama pirna 'big breast' 


thina 'foot' 

mikiri 'desert well' 

wangku-lha 'nothing-now' (cf. 69) 




wapa-rna 'to go, walk' 

yakayayi 'goodness me!' 

(Wangkangurru cognate) 

kaka 'mother's brother' 




tharpa 'leaf (cf. Wangkangurru jalpa 'wood*) 


wirpa-rna (cf. Diyari wirlpa-rna) 


(Wangkangurru cognate) 

ngalka-rna 'to swallow'? 

kangu 'sweat' (cf. 177) 

wihapirna 'old woman' (cf. 137) 

(cf. Wangkangurru thaku wipa 'stock whip', loan from English) 

Schoknecht's Data 

Carl Schoknecht was a missionary to the Diyari at 
Killalpaninna from 1871 to 1873. In the introduction 
to his translation of Schoknecht's dictionary, his 
grandson J. C. Schoknecht (1947) provides the 
following information, from a small note-book kept 
by the missionary: 

Karanura. Location: Same as No. 7 

Examples of the language: wirta, spear; pinawila, 

boomerang; mara, hand; kapa, water; wanda, vegetable 


The annotation 'Same as No. T means that the 
location was recorded as being the same as the 
'Wonkamala' tribe, namely 'A creek to the east of the 
Salt Creek (kalakupa)'. 



We can recognise some of these words recorded by 
Schoknecht, and compare them with the forms given 
by Wells and their Ngamini cognates: 
















'vegetable food 

Reuther's Data 

3. Under the Diyari entry kaldrri 'salty', Reuther gives 
as Karangura the word 'kalikalitja' (as distinct from 
Ngamini 'kaldrikaldri'). I have no comments on this 

4. Under the Diyari entry kalkawarrha 'evening 1 , 
Reuther has Karangura 'kalkauratja' (and Ngamini 
'kalkaura'). Again, we have a form identical to both 
Ngamini and Diyari. The final 'tja' may be some kind 
of emphatic suffix, as in the previous two examples. 

These are the only instances of Karangura words in 
Reuther's work. 

There are a few words of Karangura scattered 
throughout the early pages of Reuther's massive Diyari 
dictionary (Reuther 1981), mostly in the form of 
comparative notes on neighbouring languages. The 
forms which appear are listed below, together with 
notes on them and comparison with Ngamini: 

1. Under the Diyari entry dama- 'to cut', Reuther lists 
the Karangura cognate as 'dramatjanta'. We can compare 
this to the Ngamini verb damajanda, which is the 
reflexive participial form of the verb damajarrhi- 'to 
cut oneself. Notice that Reuther's Karangura form 
shows the same reflexive participial inflection as in 
Ngamini and also the same as we noticed in Wells' 
vocabulary (see above). The initial 'dr' in the verb given 
by Reuther is unexpected. Wells' item 23 has 'cutting* 
— 'dum-an-na 1 (dama-rna as in Ngamini and Diyari). 
Now, there is a regular correspondence whereby words 
with initial d in Diyari-Ngamini have cognates with 
drr in Yandrruwandha-Yawarrawarrka, as the following 
forms illustrate (see also Austin 1988): 

Dyari Ngamini Yandrruwandha Gloss 

dama- dama- 

daka- daka- 

danga- danga- 

diji diji 


'to cut' 
'to pierce' 
'to hunt away' 

Immediately preceding the Karangura entry 
'dramatjanda' in Reuther's dictionary is the 
Yawarrawarrka cognate 'dramajandrari' (drrama- 
yindrra-ri): it is possible that he copied the initial 'dr' 
onto the Karangura word by mistake. 

2. Under the Diyari entry for kurda- 'to fall' (of rain), 
Reuther lists the Karangura word 'burndatja' (and also 
the Ngamini word 'burina'). We can recognise this as 
the normal verb 'to MYpurrhi- in its participial form, 
namely punda. As noted in relation to Wells' 
vocabulary, Ngamini verbs have a number of participial 
forms, and those verbs ending in rrhi- add nda to form 
the participial (deleting the final syllable). Again, we 
have strong evidence that Karangura was grammatically 
identical to Ngamini in this respect. 


The vocabulary in Wells' 1894 paper is an invaluable 
source on the Karangura language. For most of the 
entries in it we are able to recognise their cognate forms 
in the neighbouring languages. Lexical and 
grammatical hints in Wells' list suggest that Karangura 
was very closely related to Ngamini and that it was 
therefore located in the eastern Lake Eyre group of 
languages, along with Yarluyandi, Diyari and Thirrari. 
Wells' data is confirmed by other fragments to be found 
in the writings of Schoknecht and Reuther. 

We have good evidence from Hercus' research that 
the Karangura possessed ceremonial and mythological 
links with the Wangkangurru people. While the 
Karangura vocabulary shows a high degree of cognacy 
with Ngamini, there are also quite a number of 
cognates with Wangkangurru, reflecting an areal 
vocabulary (also partly shared with Thirrari). There 
is additionally some evidence of grammatical features 
shared with Wangkangurru, primarily the short 
participial forms of certain verbs ending in i. This 
characteristic is an areal feature of Wangkangurru, 
Ngamini and Karangura. 

Finally, our research has demonstrated the 
importance of considering historical linguistic 
documents in their areal and comparative context, 
making use of all that we know from both historical 
and contemporary sources. 


Research on Karangura and other eastern Lake Eyre 
languages has been carried out under a grant from the 
Australian Research Council. I am grateful to Pia Herbert 
for research assistance, especially with helping to make 
available in machine-readable form the comparative 
vocabularies of J. G. Reuther. I am also grateful to Gavan 
Breen for making his Ngamini fieldnotes and tape recordings 
available to me. My fieldwork on Diyari, Thirrari, Ngamini 
and Yarluyandi was carried out in 1974-77 and supported by 



the Australian National University. Luise Hercus assisted with 
obtaining a copy of Wells' vocabulary list and Reuther's 
vocabularies, and provided comparative data on 
Wangkangurru; she also gave valuable comments on an earlier 
draft of this paper. 


1. Ngamini data come from: my field notes and tape 
recordings, my transcriptions of Gavan Breen's tape recordings, 
and a 'Ngaumeni' comparative vocabulary collected by J. G. 
Reuther. The orthography used for Ngamini and other eastern 
Lake Eyre languages is the same as that employed in Austin 
(1986) and all publications on Diyari thereafter. The spelling 
generally follows Australianist practical orthography 
conventions: th nh Ih are lamino-dentals, j ny ly are lamino- 
palatals, rd rt rn rl are apico-domals (retroflex), and ng is 
the dorso-velar nasal. Note that all the languages have three 

'r-sounds': r a retroflex continuant, rr an alveolar tap, and 
rrh an alveolar trill. The vowels are a i u. 

2. In all the eastern Lake Eyre languages the ergative case 
is used with abstract nouns and a copula verb to predicate 
a psychological state of the subject (see Austin 1981: 121), 
as in Ngamini nganyi muwa-nu ngana-yi (I hunger-erg be- 
present) 'I am hungry 1 . 

3. Thirrari became extinct early this century, although I was 
able to collect a little information on it from Ben Murray who 
learned the language as a child from his maternal grandmother 
[see Austin (1981: 4ff), Austin et al. (1988)]. Ben Murray's 
Thirrari is almost identical in vocabulary to Diyari (apart from 
a couple of unique lexical items such as kurdingka- 'to run', 
cf. Diayari mindrri-, and dandrra- 'to hit', cf. Diyari nandrra-) 
though there are some differences in the form of affixes, 
particularly the verb suffixes. The Thirrari recorded by 
Reuther shows exactly these differences in affixes, but 
additionally has a number of different vocabulary items which 
are not the same as the Diyari words (but which are identical 
to the corresponding Wangkangurru words). It may be that 
the last generation of Thirrari speakers had adjusted their 
speech towards that of their more numerous Diyari neighbours. 


AUSTIN, P. 1981. A Grammar of Diyari, South Australia'. 

Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 
AUSTIN, P. 1986. Diyari language postcards and Diyari 

literacy. Aboriginal History 10: 175-190. 
AUSTIN, P. 1988. Trill-released stops and language change 

in Central Australia. Australian Journal of Linguistics 8: 

AUSTIN, P. 1990a. A grammar of Ngamini. Manuscript, La 

Trobe University. 
AUSTIN, P. 1990b. To the east of Lake Eyre. Manuscript, 

La Trobe University. 
AUSTIN, P., HERCUS, L. A., & JONES, P. G. 1988. Ben 

Murray {Parlku-Nguyu-Thangkayiwarna). Aboriginal 

History 12(2): 115-188. 
BLAKE, B. J. 1979. Pitta-Pitta. Pp. 183-242 in 'Handbook 

of Australian Languages'. Vol. 1. Eds R. M. W. Dixon & 

B. J. Blake. Australian National University Press: 

BREEN, J. G. 1971. Aboriginal languages of Western 

Queensland. Monash University Linguistic 

Communications 5: 1-88. 

HERCUS, L. A. 1990. A grammar of Wangkangurru. 
Manuscript, Australian National University. 

HERCUS, L. A. 1991. Glimpses of the Karangura. Records 
of the South Australian Museum 25(2): 000-000. 

REUTHER, J. G. 1981. 'The Diari' (microfiche). Australian 
Institute of Aboriginal Studies: Canberra. 

SCHOKNECHT, J. C. 1947. A dictionary Dieri-English and 
English-Dieri, being a translation of the original German- 
Dieri and Dieri-German collated and compiled by the late 
Pastor Carl Schoknecht during his work as a Lutheran 
Missionary among the Dieri Aborigines at Kopperamanna, 
Killalpaninna, etc., near Lake Eyre, South Australia, in 
the years 1871-1873. Translated and prepared by J. C. 
Schoknecht. Manuscript, 37 p. 

WELLS, F. H. 1894. The habits, customs, and ceremonies 
of the Aboriginals of the Diamantina, Herbert and Eleanor 
Rivers, in East Central Australia. Report of the Australian 
Association for the Advancement of Science 5: 515-22. 


Peter Austin 


Karangura people occupied lower Eyre Creek in the far north-east of South Australia. They had 
disappeared by early this century. This paper seeks out some of the causes of this tragedy, and 
records what has been preserved of Karangura traditions by the neighbouring Wangkangurru and 
Yarluyandi people. 



HERCUS, L. 1991. Glimpses of the Karangura. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(2): 139-159. 

Karangura people occupied lower Eyre Creek in the far north-east of South Australia. They had 
disappeared by early this century. This paper seeks out some of the causes of this tragedy, and records 
what has been preserved of Karangura traditions by the neighbouring Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi 

L. A. Hercus, Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra, Australian 
Capital Territory 2601. Manuscript received 30 August 1990. 

It is one of the many tragedies of Aboriginal people 
that their traditions have not been treated with general 
respect until relatively recently, when for vast tracts 
of the country it was already too late. Even this belated 
recognition lacks egality: it is often said that Aboriginal 
traditions only have significance when the groups to 
whom they belong still have knowledge and attachment 
to them. This attitude is inevitably compounded by 
land-rights legislation which by its nature has to deal 
with the claims of living people. There are no such 
restraints militating against European and Asian 
traditions. It is unlikely that anyone would claim we 
should forget all about the Sumerians because nobody 
now has any direct links to them and because a lot of 
what we know about them was written down by 
Babylonians anyway. Traditions, whether they are 
ancient Sumerian, recent European or Aboriginal all 
have significance as being part of human thought. 

It is a sad fact that many of the groups that once 
inhabited south-eastern Australia are now known by 
little more than names on a tribal map. The same 
applies even to people who once lived in more desolate 
parts of Central Australia: there are groups that became 
extinct early this century. A typically tragic case is that 
of the Karangura people of what is locally called the 
lower Georgina - the Eyre Creek of modern maps 
and the Herbert River of early maps. 

Though they have no modern descendants, 
Karangura people should not be regarded as irrelevant 
and their traditions deserve recognition — provided 
we can at least get a glimpse of them. 

There are two possible sources of knowledge of 
Karangura country and Karangura people: these are 
meagre historical and ethnographic documents from 
last century on the one hand, and what oral evidence 
could be gathered over the last two decades from the 
oldest of their surviving neighbours, people of 
Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi descent. The actual text 
of this oral evidence is given where relevant here: some 
of it is in English, some in the Wangkangurru language. 

Karangura Country 
There is some measure of agreement as to the general 

location of Karangura country (Figs 1 and 2). Howitt 
in his papers (n.d., paper 5), when discussing whether 
a Diyari person could eat whichever animal was his 
matrilineal descent totem, mentions the location of the 
Karangura in relation to the Diyari: 'further to the north 
among the Karangura, Marunga and Yudlayudlanga 
etc. the mardu is not eaten'. In his map (1904: 44), based 
mainly on evidence gathered by him decades before, 
Howitt shows the Karangura as living along Eyre 
Tindale (1974: 212) has the following entry: 





South of Alton Downs on Eyre Creek; east to 

Pandi Pandi; on the Eleanor River south to the 

northern margin of Goyder Lagoon. Wells listed 

fourteen named hordes. 

138°40'E x 26°25'S 

3 200 sq. m (8 300 sq. km) 

Karangura, Karangura, Kurangooroo, Andrawilla 

(native name of early police camp, now 


More recent evidence obtained from neighbouring 
people confirms this general location. The most senior 
Wangkangurru man, Mick McLean, speaking to Luise 
Hercus in January 1967 (Tape 66) about the Seven 
Sisters Myth and Song Cycle, described how the Old 
Man Unthuriya, sometimes also known as the Larrikin 
Man 1 went with Seven Sisters: 

Text 1. Seven Sisters 

M. : Take'm down Cooper's Creek and to the Diamantina then. 

Thita-purrunha 'Full of Ants, that is Karangura country, 

Karangura and Wangkamadla mixed, Adria Downs. 

Then further is Ngurrawani, (Gnarrowie Well) straight down 

from Adria Downs. 

L.: Nallamundie Waterhole, is that Karangura? 

M.: That is all Karangura. Thitirri, supposed to have been 

straight down from Adria Downs. 

They (the Seven Sisters) followed the creek right down, they 

come up half way up in that creek and cross over where the 

Kallakoopah starts. That's where they start to dance . . . 

This account mentions the northern part of the area 
given by Tindale, and includes Adria Downs, slightly 
further north still than Alton Downs. Other 



! \ 

F , 1 / , 

j • >■ ,- 1 
tot \ 

i @£' ^ yBedourje^ ""\ \ 

i i 

I 1 

\Kalidawarry W.H.{ *"y'' 

7 **' 

^\ s 


•-X N \/// 

\\%L8ke Muhcoonie 

'•■'Old Annandale' \ 

wp m -' 

^\ s — 




\m \ 



\ Birdsville^ 

Old Alton Downs A ^"Pandie Pandie' 


8 i 

.CD * 



a $ 







\ 1 



■ — <r 

■ > 




Goycte/- Lagoon 

o. ... ^ -.y 



/ ■>* 


•Two Wells 

w-7 ( 

1 •sCowarie'YjX. 

- V ~-J^i 

/ ! 


S J\ burton ^ K-Cowarie'r 

\ >" 

fa: -Lake 
V -^J .':"- Eye 

\ \ 



V^ I 


f x 


X, — i.j-v 



( i 


-.'■/ "V'L;>r- 


■'■ia ■- ■ ■ .'■ "r. 

? : 'Lake Gregory 



Lake Blanche 




• Mafree 

r ft t- r 
-■'' } 

FIGURE 1. North-east South Australia and south-west Queensland, showing major Aboriginal groups at the time of European 
contact. V. Potezny, 1991. 



V \ 

\\ \ 

/ ( 

s ) 7* 


\ ) 

\ / 


A <# 


i ) f Cooningheera W. H_J>I 

i / 






|. u . * . ... . Jardine Crossing^ \ \ /-' 
v Herbert Hut (rum) -.£& \ \— ;— ■ 

Gnarrowie W.H.s 

Dickeree W.H.y 1 k*° 

\-V'Alton Downs 

Eight Mile Wty ( a 

>Pandie Pandie' 


\(ruin) \) 

S ! 

" Miranda ni ^ P ... u 

Koonakoo W.H\ ,*-...» , . . /Karrathunka W.H. 

I \ y Midla-kaptrn (\r\ \ 

S ^ W ( " 

\ Kanti-purru*\% r\ v 

, A T ,.„ ,.,.P* \ \\ Minnie Downs; 

Tadna-pulu-timtjini Ten Mile W.H\ n 

3 I IT 

Narrabutiani W. W ( 



Danda-parkulu m j * 

Giri Giri'WMi 



lake Etamunbanie 


^ Tepaminkanie W. 

HP- A 

'Andrewilla'— J A 

^*e m //a^ dClif,onHillsQS - 

. /*■ * < 

/ . // 

a / •'Goyder Lagoon W.H. 




;0 / -^. 

.Goyder lagoon' 

4? ; > 

/ .Damperanie 
) t i 

\, i 




10 20 30 40 50km 

_l J I _l I 

FIGURE 2. Important sites in Karangura and neighbouring country. V. Potezny, 1991. 

mythological accounts, discussed below, and also 
identical statements made in 1974 by Maudie Naylon 
of Birdsville (born ca 1886) further corroborate 
Tindale's general positioning of Karangura country. One 
important point to note is that there is general 
agreement: only the western, the Eleanor channel of 
the Diamantina traditionally belonged to Karangura. 
The eastern channel belonged to Yarluyandi people and 
to Ngamini people further south near Goyder's Lagoon, 
with Yawarawarrka people coming in from the east. 

Northerly Neighbours 

There is one major disagreement between Tindale 
and the evidence gathered from people over recent 
years — admittedly much younger than his informants. 
This disagreement concerns the position of Yarluyandi 
country: according to Tindale Yarluyandi people were 
the only immediate northerly neighbours of the 
Karangura. The recent evidence, supported by the 
myths, indicates that Yarluyandi country was situated 
along the Diamantina and not Eyre Creek. It was the 



Wangkamadla, the south-westernmost of the Pitta- Pitta 
group, who in traditional times lived around Annandale 
and extended down towards Thita-purru ('Full of Ants'), 
Adria Downs. Adria Downs was repeatedly said to be 
'both Karangura and Wangkamadla mixed'. 

There is an account of events in the Adria Downs 
country late last century, in the nineties, when a small 
group of Wangkangurru people arrived there, on their 

way out of the desert. It is evident from the account 
that Karangura people were no longer there. Their 
neighbours, the Wangkamadla people from Annandale 
however were still in the area and took a poor view 
of this visit, which unlike expeditions for pituri, was 
unplanned. This was described by the Wangkangurru 
speaker Mick McLean Irinjili who had heard about 
it subsequently (tape 571, 1971): 

there is swamp, kutha nganthu. That is where 


mob Wangle' aranda-kunha arluwa 
Speech-Aranda-POS child 

maljka nguyu 
not one 

Text 2. Adria Downs 

1. M.: Adria Down is what they call Thita-purru, whitefellow call'm 
they could be ngurku, plenty paya, paya papu. 

2. Pinja-ru paliji-rna-pirda-lhuku , uta kari-nha kaparra. 
War-party-ERG strike-SP-kil!-HIST, now 

they-ACC blood-feud. 

3. Kari-nha partjarna anthunha mapu kumpira-ma-ru from Annandale 
They-ACC all my mob dead-make-NAR 
partjarna pirda-lhuku. 
all hit-HIST. 

4. Kumpira-ma-lhuku kari-kunha watji-nangka-ngura ngata-ki ngata-ngata-ki , 
Dead-make-HIST they-POS follow-CONT S-CONT after-EMPH after-after-EMPH, 


5. Johnnie Reese-kunha anja, he is one of them but he has gone. Pandi Pandi. He was pinja-nga join in. His brother got killed 

6. Uka-kunha nhuthi mudlu-nga kayirra uka-kunha nhuthi idni-ngura Birdsville, you know 
He-POS brother sandhill-LOC there he-POS brother He-CONT 

mudlu-mudlu? There uka-kunha nhuthi, Parraka-nhanhi , old Njurrili ha! 
sandhill-sandhill he-POS brother, Bank-see 

7. That pinja is no good, I don't like 'm. 
L.: Kari-ri partjarna pirdayi-ka? 

They-ERG all kill-PAST? 
M.: Ngata-ngata-ki clean'm up; partjarna, mankarra njurdu pirda-rnanha mankarra-kari-nha, kayirra thangka-ka 

girl too kill-IMM girl-PI-ACC, there sit-PAST 


Later-later-EMPH all, 

anthunha kaku, Finke Bob been have'm, she was the last, uka nguyu-ki 
my sister, she one-EMPH 

Text 2. Translation 

1. Adria Downs is the name that whitefellows call Thita-purru 'Full of Ants'. A swamp is there with water laying about 
in crab-holes. This was a place where they would be fine, there were lots of birds and eggs. 

2. A war-party came to attack and kill them, and now they had a blood-feud. 

3. Those Annandale men killed all those people there who were from my mob, they attacked our mob who had (some) 
Aranda-speaking parents. 

4. They killed them and persecuted them later on and then later on again, so that not one should stay alive. 

5. Johnnie Reese's father was one of (the group who were being pursued) but he had gone, he was at Pandi. He joined 
in (a reverse) war party. His brother got killed. 

6. His brother is (buried) there on the sandhill, his brother was staying at Birdsville, you know that little sandhill, that 
is where his brother is (buried), that was Parraka-nhanhi 'Looking at a steep bank', they also called him old Njurrili, oh! 

7. Those war-parties are no good, I don't like them. 
L. Did they kill everybody? 

8. Later on (the Annandale men) killed the whole lot (of this small group), the girls too, but my (classificatory) sister stayed 
alive, the one that Finke Bob married, she was the only one left. 

Ultimately the feud was abandoned, the revenge 
killings stopped, and early this century Wangkangurru 
people actually went to join the Wangkamadla group 
at Annandale. This was recalled by oral tradition and 
is proved by a letter sent from Annandale to the Office 
of the Chief Protector of Aboriginals in Brisbane in 
1908 (a copy was made available to the author by Angus 
Green). It gives a list of 43 people with the comment: 
'the above consist of Blacks mustered here on the 10th 

Oct 1908.' Many of the names on the list are English 
and nondescript, such as 'Judy', 'Biddy' and 'Jubilee'; 
some are clearly Wangkamadla like 'Muncoonie Jack' 
and 'Mulligan Mick', but at least a few are known to 
have been Wangkangurru, such as 'Yarotilli' (i.e. 
Yaratuli) and 'Pigweed', who was really Jessie Milja- 
witjinangkarda, and one, Lucy Kingkardie (i.e. 
Kingkardi 'Laughing') was Yarluyandi. The place- 
names along the Eyre Creek north of Adria Downs 



corroborate the evidence that before this influx the 
Annandale area was not Wangkangurru nor Yarluyandi 
but Wangkamadla country. The Annandale group of 
Wangkamadla people was well known to the oldest 
people of part-Yarluyandi descent at Birdsville who 
regarded them as outsiders but had extensive 
information about them. They could still point out a 
site called Nganawardani where two small creeks come 
out of the main channel on the western bank of the 
Diamantina on the Queensland-South Australian 
border; 'we used to have the big {Warrthampa) 
corrobories at Ngalpura-ngura, Jardine Crossing, just 
up a bit. Different people came from everywhere, and 
the Annandale mob camped here at Nganawardani! 
They made it clear that the bulk of the Annadale people 
were not of 'our (Yarluyandi) mob': they were 
Wangkamadla, not Yarluyandi. In his large-scale study 
in south-west Queensland, working mainly with Pitta- 
pitta people, Breen came to an identical conclusion. 
As his map shows (Breen 1971: 21), the Wangkamadla 
were traditionally the immediate northerly neighbours 
of the Karangura. 

The fact that Wangkamadla people were their 
immediate northerly neighbours had some importance 
for the history of Karangura people. As Austin 
demonstrates (1991), the Karangura belonged to the 
Diyari language group like their southern and eastern 
neighbours, the Ngamini and Yarluyandi. They were 
in fact the most north-westerly outpost of this group 
and had as less related neighbours the Wangkangurru 
people in the desert on the west, and the Wangkamadla 
people further up along Eyre Creek to the north. The 
Karangura were thus on the cross-roads between a 
number of traditions, which put them into a vulnerable 
position once the old order broke down. 

Karangura People: A Small Tribe 

Apart from the waterholes on the Eleanor in the 
Andrewilla area, the main country of the Karangura 
was along the 'Georgina, the lower Eyre Creek. Unlike 
the Diamantina, this creek Hoods only rarely: the water 
of the upper Eyre Creek and the Mulligan has to fill 
Lake Muncoonie to the north and then be high enough 
to back out again before it can flow down the Georgina 
channels. This is not, and was not, hospitable country: 
when the waterholes in the Georgina channels dried 
out the Karangura depended on soaks and some wells 
in the adjacent sandhill country or had to congregate 
by the longest-lasting Eleanor waters. They could 
manage this because they were a small group. Birdsell 
(1973: 344) made calculations intended to show that 
theoretically even at the time of contact the 'Karanjuru' 
might have consisted of as few as 32 persons. They 
were the very smallest of the small tribes living in an 
area where there was an easterly expansion of the 
subincision boundary. Birdsell concludes that this 
expansion led to a fragmentation of tribes. There is 

evidence, not only from Wells (1894: 515) of the 
existence of a number of local groups of Karangura. 
A population count as low as 32 is therefore highly 
unlikely for the time of first contact. Nevertheless the 
ecological evidence indicates that Birdsell was justified 
in thinking that the Karangura must have been amongst 
the smallest tribes, and may indeed have numbered 
only around 100 when the Europeans arrived. 

Karangura People: Earliest References 

The information about Karangura country may be 
clear in its outlines, but we know little about the people. 
J. W. Lewis's exploration party crossed Karangura 
country in February 1875 (Threadgill 1922: 165), but 
his map does not contain a single Karangura place- 
name. The surveyor Cornish worked in the area in 
1880. His map was recently acquired by the Mortlock 
Library and was found there by V. Potezny. It shows 
a number of Karangura waterholes, 'Kooringala', 
Tooracky', 'Kalkaparidiginna', and 'Koonakoo'; but he 
does not mention the people he must have met (Fig. 
3). The earliest published mention of the Karangura 
is by W. J. Paull in his introduction to the 'Ominee' 
(Ngamini) vocabulary (Paull 1886: 18). He states that: 

The marches of the lands of the Ominee, Wongonooroo, 
Kuranyooroo and Yarleeyandee tribes, all intimately 
connected, meet on the Warburton River at Cowarie head- 

Cowarie was in Ngamini country, but there is plenty 
of oral traditional evidence to show that under the 
impact of white settlement people from adjoining 
groups congregated here. 

The most informative early reference to Karangura 
people is by the police officer F. H. Wells in his article 
on 'The Habits, Customs and Ceremonies of the 
Aboriginals on the Diamantina, Herbert and Eleanor 
Rivers, in East Central Australia. He starts by saying: 

The natives of the localities named belong to the 
Andrawilla tribe, and occupy a block of country about 
ninety by ninety miles. The chief tribe is subdivided into 
smaller tribes or clans viz: Andrawilla, Kuntapunchinna, 
Dickeri, Kyratonka, Kertie-terie, Yumalla, Kerra, 
Dipracoolie, Tunbulla, Koringurra, Kalkaparichinna, 
Mundowalla, Tippaminkinna and Dampaminnie; these 
tribal names being taken from the names of various 
waterholes in the locality inhabited by the tribe, such as 
Andrawilla, Kyratonka etc. (Wells 1894: 515). 

These names do indeed correspond to names of 
waterholes. Most are known from three other sources 
besides the list given by Wells: 1. from the unpublished 
map produced by Hillier in 1904 according to the data 
of Pastor Reuther at Killalpannina mission, 2. from 
the more recent evidence of Aboriginal people of 
Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi descent, 3. from modern 
maps. The correspondences between Wells's list and 
the other sources is illustrated in Table 1. The recent 
Aboriginal information is given in italics. 



'Koringurra', which is mentioned in the Well's list, 
is probably the actual tribal name Karangura, but we 
cannot rule out the possibility that it might be 
Kooringala waterhole on Eyre Creek, called Kuringala 
'Whitewood tree' by recent speakers of Yarluyandi and 

With the possible exception of this tribal name, the 
items on this list are all names of major waterholes, 
and there can be little doubt that they were centres of 
small local groups. Most, but not all of them, were 
no doubt originally Karangura centres. The Andrewilla 
waterhole (Fig. 4) appears to have belonged originally 
to Karangura people, as did the area towards the south 
to Goyder's Lagoon. Two of the waterholes listed by 
Wells are however some considerable distance outside 
the area: Damperanie and 'Miranda' are situated to the 
south-east and east in what was probably Yawarawarrka 
country, while 'Kuntapunchinna', Pandi Pandi, was to 
the north and Yarluyandi people consider it part of their 
original territory. It might have been a place shared 
by Yarluyandi and Karangura people. 

Wells obtained his information at Andrewilla in the 
early 1890s. He writes of the Andrawilla tribe', but he 
is obviously referring to whoever happened to be living 
at Andrawilla at that time. He did not differentiate 
between the various groups, though his vocabulary 
must have come from Karangura people. Wells gives 
us further important information in that he mentions 
some names of persons of the Andrawilla tribe'. Some 
of these names refer to people who are known from 
other sources; one survived till recently, while others 
have relatives who recall them. They were people from 
various groups from the north-east of South Australia, 
who happened to be at Andrewilla. Only a few were 
Karangura, even in 1892-3: 


FIGURE 3. Individuals of the Andrewilla Tribe', photographed 
at the Andrewilla Police Camp during the 1890s. State 
Records, South Australia, GRG.52. 

TABLE 1. Localities of the Andrawilla Tribe'. 


ss name 

Name on modern map 

Aboriginal name 









Pandie Pandie 

(Pandi Pandi) 



Dickeree, also 

Alton Downs Waterhole 




Kyra tonka 











Old Clifton Hills Outstation? 



Yabmalkira ? 


Giri Giri 





Old Lagoon 





Toondooloo, 'Miranda' 





















(Y. indicates that Reuther lists this place as being Yarluyandi, 

N. as Ngamini, W. as Wangkangurru 

and D. as Diyari). 



FIGURE 4. Andrewilla waterhole, the largest in Karangura 
country. Photograph: L. A. Hercus. 

Personal names listed by Wells 

Male names 

Kooripipinna - Kuripipinha was a Karangura man from Alton 

Downs. He was named after some special fossil bones 

which had magical qualities. 
Appakulta - Ngapa-kalta 'Water-skin' could be a Karangura, 

Yarluyandi or Ngamini name. 
Toondroo-wonko-inna - Probably represents a Wangkangurru 

name, Thurndu wankayinha 'Stomach Growing Big'. 
Wadoo-woka - Wardu-waka 'Little short fellow' could be 

either a Diyari or possibly a Karangura name. 
Watti-wattina - Wati-watinha 'Track' was a Yarluyandi man. 

He was the great-uncle of the Naylon family and brother 

to the last full Yarluyandi woman, Judy Trew 

Tring-alli - Thiringili 'Sandy 1 was a Yarluyandi man who 

died at an advanced age at the Yelpawarilinna waterhole 

on the Diamantina in the early thirties. 
Watti-kattana - Wati-katali was known to the oldest 

Yarluyandi people from their youth. He was a Karangura 

man and came from and also died at Alton Downs. 
Oooroo-charoo - Wangkangurru tjaru means light cloud. 

This name probably is Nguru-tjaru, 'another white cloud'. 

Female names 

Paroo-moogunna - 'after a fish'. Parru-mukunha 'Bones of 
Black Bream' is remembered to this day. She was a relative 
of the Crombie family and was Yarluyandi. She spent most 
of her later life in the company of another Yarluyandi 
woman of the Fish totem, Polly WaRi-WaRi 'Yellow-belly'. 

Nooyoo-nackaroo - 'after a fire' is probably the Wangkangurru 
name Nguyu-Makaru 'By one Fire'. 

Akka-willi-likka - 'after a fire' is Maudie Naylon Akawiljika, 
of mainly Wangkangurru descent, who was born in the 
Simpson Desert about 1885 and died at Birdsville in 1980. 
Her name is Aranda, given by her part-Aranda father Bille 
Reese Ngaltja-kintarda. She was not only unique in her 
traditional knowledge, but she also happened to be at 
Andrewilla every time any known investigator went there. 

She was listed not only by Wells (1894), but also by 
Basedow (1919) and by Tindale (1934). In her later years 
she stayed in Birdsville. Her knowledge was representative 
of the mixed group of people who were at Andrewilla, and 
she maintained her attachment to traditions. Though her 
main language was Wangkangurru, she also had a 
command of Yarluyandi which she recorded for the author, 
and Ngamini and Yawarawarrka, which she recorded for 
Gavan Breen. There was also a man of this name, 'Akka- 
willi-likka' who was photographed at Andrewilla during 
the 1890s as one of a group of Wangkangurru arrivals from 
the Simpson Desert (Jones 1991: 172). 

Naruwa — Njaruwa 'Wren' was known only as a man's name; 
there were two people of that name, 'little {i.e. younger) 
Njaruwa' and 'Big Njaruwa\ The older Njaruwa would have 
been a baby at the time of Well's stay at Andrewilla, and 
this may account for the mistake in gender. He was great- 
uncle to the Lumpkin and McLean families. 

Wilyerooroo-mun-nung-arrie - 'after wind' is almost certain 
to stand for Wiljaruru-maningaru 'taken away by the storm'. 
This is a Wangkangurru name. 

Wumma - 'after a snake'. This name is WabmafWama 'Snake', 
a word common to all languages in the area. The name 
therefore does not give any indication of which group the 
person belonged to. 

Kal-li-irri - Nothing known 

Wooti-inna - This could be the Yarluyandi name Wutjunha 
'the blind one', but that remains uncertain. 

Yarraguninna - Probably a Wangkangurru name Yarra- 
kudninha 'Putting something down on hollowed-out 

It is clear from the evidence of these names that as 
early as about 1892-3 a mixed group was living at 
Andrewilla, and that the majority was not Karangura. 

Karangura People: Negative Evidence 

After Wells there are only few first-hand references 
to the Karangura. Howitt & Siebert (1904: 106) and 
Howitt (1904) published the same myth, originally 
collected by Siebert, presumably during his time at 
Killalpannina in 1900-1. It is about the Two Men who 
introduce the circumcision knife, and it is entitled 'The 
Malku-malku-ulu, a legend of the Karanguru and 
Ngameni'. Howitt and Siebert's work does not have any 
further specific mention of Karangura people, but it 
represents the last reference to the Karangura on first- 
hand evidence. 

Gason (1874: 1895) had not mentioned the 
Karangura, but this is not surprising as he was writing 
mainly about Diyari people. It is after the evidence 
of Wells, from 1894 onwards, that the Karangura are 
conspicuous by their absence from written records. 
Albert Helling wrote from Cowarie to Howitt in 
March, and again in April, 1899, to give him 
information on Aboriginal people in the area. His 
letters, preserved in the Howitt papers, make no 
mention of the Karangura. Speaking of the current 
situation at Goyder's Lagoon he says: 'the Blacks there 



are Wonkaooras, Yowraworkas and Ahminys. The 
former tribe predominate.' (Howitt, n. d.). 

The missionary Reuther in his vast work written at 
the turn of the century made only rare references to 
the Karangura. They are not named on the map that 
Hiller drew, using Reuther's materials. Of the 2468 
place-names which Reuther lists for the north-east of 
South Australia (Reuther 1981: Vol. VII), there is not 
one attributed to the Karangura. Place-names in what 
was traditionally Karangura country, as shown in the 
list above, he ascribes mostly to Yarluyandi, and a few 
to Ngamini and Wangkangurru. Not a single one of 
the famous toas (Jones & Sutton 1986) is attributed by 
Reuther to the Karangura. The Karangura do not figure 
among the lists of personal names (Vol. VI). All other 
groups, even those that had greatly declined in 
numbers, such as the Pirlatapa, are named on the 
Hillier map, and toas and personal names are listed 
for them. Only the Karangura are absent. 

Home and Aiston (1924) make no mention of the 
Karangura, neither do Tindale's and Fry's notebooks 
from their 1934 Diamantina expedition. F. Fenner took 
part in the same expedition and his article (Fenner 
1936), which includes a map, also makes no reference 
to the Karangura. 

There was no conspiracy of silence; something was 
clearly amiss with the Karangura, and strangely 
enough, this was connected with Karangura traditions 
and myths. The following sections will give some 
details of what has come down to us of Karangura 
traditions and how these are connected with the 
destruction of Karangura people. 

A Karangura Song 

Only one brief text has come down to us verbatim 
in Karangura. It came through a Diyari speaker, Mary 
Dixon, who was born about 1884. Mary was the 
daughter of a greatly respected and knowledgeable 
Diyari man, Mawili, who gave much information to 
Aiston (Home & Aiston 1924: 44). She came to 
Killalpaninna at the turn of the century as a young 
married woman. Being married she was not allowed 
to go to the school and spent much of her time with 

the older women. An old Karangura woman taught her 
how to sing a Karangura lullaby for her first baby. She 
never forgot this and sang it to Luise Hercus and Dora 
Parker in 1966: 

Text 3. Karangura Lullaby 

Tjalpapa-li tjalpa-li 
Warm warm kali-ma 

Dora Parker (Wangkangurru) then explained: 

Ngatji-rna ngataru. Wakarra pirda-lhuku, 

Look-IMP behind. Neck hit-PURP. 

'He might sneak up and hit you in the back of the neck if 

you are not looking.' 

Text 3. Translation 

Mary's song: 

Box-tree by box-tree 

(Around) the side (around) the side looking 

Dora Parker: She is looking behind (the trees), in case 
someone were to hit you in the back of the neck. Someone 
might sneak up and hit you in the back of the neck while you 
are not looking. 

In this Karangura lullaby the mother assures her baby 
that she has looked behind every tree by a waterhole 
and that all is safe. Looking behind trees is the 
Aboriginal equivalent of looking under beds. The 
lullaby is tragic since all the caution of Karangura 
people was obviously in vain. 

Fragments Of Karangura Mythology: 
Some Minor Myths 

A. The Two Dogs 

The knowledge of a number of minor myths had 
remained with people of Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi 
descent: they could still explain some of what was once 
Karangura country. A very localised and stereotyped 
myth, interesting only on account of its location, was 
that of the Two Dogs, told by Linda Crombie, January 

Text 4. Two Dogs 

1. Karna-katjarranha two dogs name that and there is the flat, big one too. You can go to the top of the Andrewilla 
sandhill and you see it. Make me sorry when I have a look at the country. 

2. Ularaka-nga madla-ru warrawa-rna warrukathi-pula-nha; puntha-li purda-lhuku 
History-LOC dog-ERG chase-IMP emu-TWO-ACC; drink-HAB get-down-HIST 
puntha-li purda-lhuku 

drink-HAB get-down-HIST. 

3. Warrawa-rna right up to Karna-katjarra, no, Wipala-payirri , Walka-thipani 

madla-pula-ru. pirda-rna warrukathi pula-ru 
dog-two-ERG. kill-IMP emu two-ERG. 



Text 4. Translation 

1. Karna-katjarranha 'Clever Man 7 is named from the two dogs. It is a big flat area. You can go to the top of the Andrewilla 
sandhill and you see it. It makes me sorry when I have a look at the country. 

2. In the history time the Dogs chased two emus there. The emus used to come and crouch to have a drink (at the Andrewilla 

3. The two dogs Kama Katjarra, 'the Clever Man 1 , no (I mean) Wipala-payirri 'Wide Flat 1 and Walka-thipani killed the emus. 

called out ngampa ngampa yarra, 'a nardoo stone is 
over there, quite close!' Hence Eight Mile Waterhole 
has the slightly abbreviated name Ngampampa-yarra. 
These people sneaked over to the sandhill, took the 
nardoo stone and went back to grind nardoo. In the 
morning the Man from the North caught up with them 
and retrieved his stone. It was very heavy and he 
managed to carry it to Kayirri-thungka, Karathunka. 
He put it down and rested, still in company with Kimili. 
Now it was TjilpurWs turn to steal the stone. 

He crept up and took it away first to Ngardu- 
pandiyarranha 'Pounding Nardoo' waterhole just north 
of Manganuni waterhole, where the grandmother was 
the first one to try it out. Then all the family went 
further south along the Diamantina with the stolen 
stone to their big camp at Ngantji-malkani. This is 
where Tjilpuru's grandmother made a song about it in 

Text 5. The Nardoo Stone Song 

(The Grandmother's song, recorded by Maudie Naylon, Sept. 

B. Kimili 'Kanti-purru' The Black Snake and 
Kurkari the Green Snake 

Kimili, also known as Kanti-purru 'Carrying a 
waddy', is the main ancestor to whom Reuther 
attributed the naming of places along the Eleanor 
channel in what was traditionally Karangura country. 
Reuther regarded this as Yarluyandi ground; there must 
in any case have been close connections between the 
Karangura and the Yarluyandi who immediately 
adjoined this area. All the sites along the Eleanor are 
associated by him with Kimili, this includes for instance 
the main Andrewilla waterhole, the nearby Karna- 
katjarra sandhill of the story above (Vol. VII: 1475), 
Ngampangampayarra (Vol. VII: 1479) 'Eight Mile 
Waterhole', and Tharnapulutjintji (Vol. VII: 2044), 'Ten 
Mile Waterhole 1 . The only conspicuous exception is 
Kajiridunka Karathunka (Vol. VII: 828). 

The Snakes and the Grinding Stones 

There are several myths that related how people 
along the Eleanor and adjacent areas on the Diamantina 
did not have grinding stones of any kind and were 
trying to eat unground nardoo and grass-seeds. Then 
the two Snake Ancestors came from the north via Alton 
Downs. Kimili, the Black Snake, as well as carrying 
his waddy, came with a seed-grinding dish, while his 
companion Kurkari, the Green Snake, was carrying 
a ngampa, a nardoo stone. They separated near Old 
Alton Downs. 

Kurkari with his nardoo stone came along the Kutari 
sandhill near Bayard's yard, to the east of Karathunka. 
He put down his stone and rested. Kimili joined him 
there and they camped. While they were asleep 
Tjilpuru the Bush-lark boy came sneaking up from the 
Ngardu-mathani 'Biting (unground) nardoo' sandhill by 
the Diamantina, which was Yarluyandi country. He was 
intending to steal the nardoo stone. The people at the 
Eight Mile Waterhole however were much closer; they 

Text 6. Kimili and the Two Women 

Linda Crombie (of Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi descent) was able to relate several stories connected with 

Kimili Kanti-purru, 'Carrying a Waddy': 

1. Mathapurda-pula karna njara thidnangkara-nganha mathapurda Kanti-purru-nha. Kurkari yuka-rnda pula 
Old man-two man young north-from, old man Kanti-purru-PROP. Kurkari go-PRES two 
Karlatjuwarri. Karlatjuwarri-nganha ngarritji-rna-yiwa-rna arnari. 

Kalidawarry. Kalidawarry-from go down-SP-TR-IMP this way. 

2. Mayarla-thu nguru thu yuka-ngura mathapurda mankarra-pula-nha thiki-ra Kurkari-thu 
Leave him-EMPH other-EMPH go-CONT old man girl-two-ACC take-PUNC Kurkari-EMPH 


Tjilpiirung tjilpuru 
ngandireela ngapirela 
ngardula pirdarai 
ngampa yarra 
Tjilpurung tjilpuru 


Your mother, your father 

Are cracking nardoo seed 

The stone is there 


The grandmother sang to the boy Tjilpuru and he 
answered her. The Yarluyandi song consisting of the 
boy's verse is as follows, according to Tom Naylon 
(June 1981): 

Ngandriteji nagpi 
WaRila patjiyarra riimu 
Ngatatali kanjinina waa 

Ngardulu pandri 

Mother, father 

Fish they are catching . . 

Mother's father, mother's 

mother oh! 

Nardoo they pound. 

The Bush-lark people kept the nardoo stone for ever 
after and Kurkari travelled on without it; he was 
looking for a wife further south in Ngamini country. 


3. Two of them come down, mathapurda nguru-ki Kanti-pureru-nha, stop there at the Kanti-purru, karna 

old man other-EMPH Kant i -pur re u- PROP man 

nguru yuka-ngura mankarra wapa-wapa-rna, mankarra kapu-kapu mathapurda Kurkaria. 
other go-CONT girl seek-PRES, girl look for 1 old man Kurkari. 

Kanti-purru katha-nangka-rda He was Snake too. 
Kanti-purru wander round CONT S-PRES. 

4. Tharna-pulu-tjintjini, uljurla-pula thanga-rnda karla pangki-nga, muyu-nga. kanhangarda pula 
'Vagina-two-warming' woman-two stay-PRES creek side-LOC sun-LOC there two 
thati-nangka-rda thaRalju thaRi- thaRi-nha, thaRalju thaRi, they was killing m, tjirka-purru thaRaliu 
eat-CONT S-PRES frog small small-ACC frog small tail-having frog 
pula tharni-thangka-rda. warpi-nangka-rda pula thangka-rda. 

two eat-stay-PRES lie-CONT S-PRES two sit-PRES. 

5. Mathapurda uka yuka-ka. Ah njipa-parlu awarda thanga-rnda! tharna-ku nhanhi-lhiku warrritha-ru 
Old man he go-PAST Ah, clothes-bare there stay-PRES! vagina-DAT see-HIST afar-ABL 
mathapurda-ru ! 

old man-ERG! 

Tharna-pulu-tjintjini, they were rattling with sand. 

6. Kanti-purru ngarritji-rna-yiwa-rna. kanhangarda karla-nga thangka-ka uljurla-pula, 
Kanti-purru descent-SP-TR-IMP there creek-LOC sit-PAST woman-two. 

7. Athu nhanhi-ra minha-minh' anthunha! Thika-ngarra thika-ngarra arnari yuka-rnda ami nhanhi-lhiku! 
I SEE-PUNC what-what mine! Return-IMM return-IMM this way go-PRES us see-PURP! 

8. Uka-ru yaka-yaka ma uljurla, uljurla-pula-nha yaka-yaka-ma thika-rna thangka-lhuku. 
He-ERG chase-chase-IMP woman, woman-two-ACC chase-chase-IMP go back-IMP sit-PURP. 

9. He fell in love with those two women then, but they ran off to the Danta-parkulu sandhill. 

Text 6. Translation 

1. Two men, newly initiated, came from the north. These two men Kanti-purru 'the one carrying a waddy' and Kurkari 
the Green Snake, went to Kalidawarry waterhole (near Lake Muncoonie in Wangkamadla country). From Kalidawarry 
they came down this way. 

2. Saying Til leave him' one of them went on, it was Kurkari who went over there (to Two Wells near Mt Gason) to take 
away two girls from there. 

3. Two of them had come down: one was Kanti-purru 'Carrying the Waddy' (i.e. Kimili, the Black Snake) who stopped 
there at the Kanti-purru sandhill, the other one went on in search of girls, he was old man Kurkari, the one who was 
looking for girls among the Ngamini. Kanti-puru stayed just wandering around on the sandhill. He was a Snake too 

4. At the place called Tharna-pulu-tjintjini two women were resting in the sun by the bank of the creek (the Eleanor) 
The two of them were eating frogs, they had been killing those little tadpoles, the ones that still had a tail They staved 
there lounging about, eating. J 

5. The old man came - ah they were there with (of course) no clothes on! The old man saw their vaginas from afar at 
lharna-pulu-tjintjim (as they were warming themselves up with hot sand), rattling with sand. 

6. Kanti-purru came down as the two women were there by the creek. 

7. Ah, I see something here that is for me!' 

'He's coming down, he's coming back this way to have a look at us!' 

8. He chased them, he ran and ran after the two women, he wanted to come and stay with them. 

9. He fell in love with those two women then, but they ran off to the Danta-parkulu sandhill. 

Reuther was obviously told some of this story is no adequate translation of the words it has not been 

because he has the following entry in his list of place included here. Kimili then left, taking his grinding dish 

names (Vol. VII: 2044): with him, and he travelled all the way to near Coongie 

Tanabulutindi Lake where he ultimately put it down. It had worn him 

Tanabulu 'the female sexual organ', tindi 'to warm'. 0Ut ' ,iterall y crushed him, because it was altogether 

Kimilina observed how they (certain women) strewed hot tGO bl S and neavv - Son g s n °w lost described his 

sand on these parts for they had syphilis(!) journey. The stone is said to be still there, near 

. Coongie, as a large rock. 
Reuther gives no further information. The story of the two Snake Ancestors is significant 

Kimili continued along the Eleanor naming the in a number of ways: it illustrates the fact that there 

country and lending his grinding dish. There is a song, was a band of mythological lines that came from the 

partly in Yarluyandi, connected with him and with all Mulligan up north and traversed Karangura country 

the people now grinding flour. This was sung by Tom going down the Georgina towards Yarluyandi and 

Naylon in 1982 shortly before his death but as there Ngamini country. This was one of the main routes for 

'■ This is a Ngamini expression meaning 'look for' and it is a direct quotation from the Ngamini story of Kurkari see Hercus 
Xj PhtMnu nQQm 

& Potezny (1990) 



the pituri trade (Watson 1983: 30), and probably also 
for the importation of grinding stones. The Snake 
Ancestors thus followed a well established course and 
Karangura people occupied a central position in the 
tradition. The Danta-parkulu sandhill where the two 
women find refuge is halfway between the Eleanor and 
the main Diamantina channel. It was an important 
Grub Increase site and probably both Yarluyandi and 
Karangura people joined in rituals there. 

C. Mirithira, the Grub-Powder Man 

Reuther knew about the ancestor 'Miritira (Vol. X: 
90) and wrote of him as coming from 'Turuwarapu on 
the other side of Salt Creek'. He associated Mirithira 
with grub powder [for details on the preparation of 
which, see Hercus (1989)] and with Grub Increase rites. 
Linda Crombie however knew of him mainly as the 
ancestor who dwelt at the Andrewilla waterhole and 
who created the trees at Two Wells. 

kudna kilta-rna 
guts pull out-IMP 

hammer stone 

Bank got washed away now, 

Text 7 Mirithira 

1. Mathapurda Mirithira-nha Wirluma-nganha karla-li ngarritji-rnda. 
Old man Mirithira-PRGP Wirluma- from creek-ADV descend-PRES. 

2. Uljurla-kari-ri Ngantarawirli-nga kari-ri pardi mapa-lhuku. kudnakardi kilta-rna, thawi-lhiku, 

. . . Woman-they-ERG Andrewilla-LOC they-ERG grub coIlect-HIST guts pull -out- IMP throw-PURP. 

3. Mirithira-ru mathapurda- ru uljurla kari-nha yahmi-rna kudna kilta-lhuku; 
Mirithira-EKG old man-ERG woman they-ACC growl-IMP guts pull out-PURP : 
thawi-lhiku, wadnhi-lhiku pardi maka-ra watji-rna 
throw-PURP cook-HIST grub fire-CAUS roast-IMP 

4. Pardi pulpa pirda-nangka-lhuku ngampa-ru uljurla-kari-ri. 
Grub powder beat-CONT S-HIST nardoo stone-INST woman-they-ERG. 

5. Mathapurda Mirithira-ru yahmi-rna kari-nha; uljurla kari-ri ngampa 
Old man Mirithira-ERG growl-IMP they-ACC; woman they-ERG nardoo stone 
mani-ra pirda-lhuku pardi kari-nha, pardi pulpa tharni-lhiku waya-rnda. 
take-PUNC smash-PURP grub they-ACC, grub powder eat-PURP wish-PRES. 

6. Pulpa-purru yuka-ka kari-ri kutha ngunhi-rna uka-ru widni-wa-rna. 
Powder-having go-PAST they-ERG water give-IMP he-ERG take away-TR-IMP 
ngarrimatha-nga. puthu parkulu there, each time he eat'm nguru uka-ru tharni-ra 
flood-LOC. dish two other he-ERG eat-PUNC. 

7. Nganara-wirti-nga uka-ru yabmi-rnda uljurla-kari-nha. Nganara-wirli-nga, wanka-yiwa-rna 
Steep-Bank-LOC, he-ERG growl-IMP woman-they-ACC. Steep-Bank- LOC, walk up-TR-IMP 
kaRuku-thu Danta-parkulu- ruku 
there-ALL Powder-two-ALL. 

8. Kanhangarda uljurla-kari-nha kaRi-lhiku-thu 
There woman-PL-ACC see-HIST-EMPH 
thunka-thunka-la-ru kari-kunha, 
deprive-APP-NAR they-POS. 

9. Mama-ma thunkuthunka-la- yabmi-la-mintja-nta 
Grab-IMP deprive-APP- growl-APP-RECIP-REFL they all, 

10. Kari-ri nhanhi-ra ngamarla arluwa-kari thudni-rnda wadla-ra 
They-ERG see-PUNC pitiful child-they cry-PRES hunger-CAUS 

cruel, I don't like to talk about it, cruel old man nguyu-ru tharni-lhiku arluwa-kari ma ma ma ma ma! 

alone-ERG eat-HIST child-they boohoo, boohoo, boohoo 
thudni-nangka-rda ngamarla kari. 
cry-CONT S-PRES pitiful they. 

11. Kudnala witji-rna. Uljurla kari thampa-rda manii-lhiku puthu 'kanha, manta puthu, pitjatja; 
Asleep become-IMP Woman they sneak-PRES take-PURP dish he-ACC, take away dish bark dish; 
wadna-rda-nhara kudnala kurda-ngura uka, 

run away-SP-OPT asleep lie-CONT he. 
\2.Uljurla-pula thampa-rda, mathapurda kurda-yi-ngura yatu, kangi tharni-limaru. Uljurla-ru 
Woman-two sneak-PRES, old man lie-ACT-CONT full, too much eat-PLUP. Woman-ERG 
mama-rnda, mama-ma- thika-rna wardukupa ngunhi-lhiku. 
grab-PRESS grab-IMP return-IMP child give-PURP. 

13. Uta thurka-mda mathapurda thanta wapa-lhuku, uta pula wana-wana-ya-ngura 
Now get up-PRES old man things look for-HIST, now two run-run-TR-CONT 
yabmi-la-mintja-nta pula mathapurda uljurla. 
swear-APP-RECIP-REFL two old man woman. 

14. Mathapurda mani-lhiku waya-ngura uka-nha pardi-pulpa; mani-rnda, yabmi-rnda uljurla-ru: 
Old man take-PURP want-CONT he-ACC grub-powder; take-PRES, growl-PRES woman-ERG: 
maljka maljka thiki-thiki-la-Ru! 

not not take-take-APP-IMP! 


pardi pirda-nangka-rda-nha, pardi pulpa. widna-yiwa-ma 
grub beat-CONT S-PRES-NP grub powder steal-TR-IMP 

kari partjarna, mathapurda thangka-nangka-rda 
old man sit-CONT S-PRES. 


\5.Mayarla uljurla-ru pirda-nha, mathapurda warlu thika-rna. Two Wella-r«£w 

Let it be woman-ERG beat-NP old man sullenly enraged go back-IMP Two Wells-ALL 
go back-HIST. 

\6.Partjarnda thika-rnda Danta-parkulu sandhill., purku-witji-ma at two mile from Andrewilla. Pardi 

All return-PRES finish-become-IMP Grub 

patharra witji-rna pardi pulpa pirrpayi-rna that is where that patharra green. 

box tree become-IMP grub powder spill-IMP 

17. Thika-rna mathapurda kudnangkari thika-rnda them patharra I showed you, at Two Well, thangka-rda 
Go back-IMP old man south go back-PRES sit-PRES 


18. Mathapurda- ru pardi watji-rna, pardi katharrayi-rna at the Two Well there. You know them trees we seen those 
Old man-ERG grub roast-IMP grub burst-IMP 

parranta-wili, but different ones again, pardi paltungka-rda katharrayi-rna that is how them trees come. 

grub explode-PRES burst-IMP 

Text 7 Translation 

1. Old man Mirithira came from Wirluma (a fire ritual centre far to the north in Wangkamadla country). 

2. At Andrewilla some women were collecting grubs. They pulled out the guts and threw them away. 

3. Mirithira swore at the women to gut the grubs. They pulled out the guts to throw them away, and then they cooked 
the grubs; they roasted them on the fire. 

4. The women were continually smashing the (roasted) grubs to powder on a nardoo stone. 

5. Old Man Mirithira went on swearing at them. They got nardoo stones and hammer-stones and smashed up the grubs 
because they wanted to eat grub powder. 

6. They would walk along carrying their grub-powder, and when they went to get water he would come and steal it. (His 
camp was by a) bank which got washed away by the big flood. He had two coolamons there (filled with grub powder). 
He would eat one lot after another. 

7. At Andrewilla The Steep Bank' he swore at the women. They walked up and left Andrewilla, they went over there, 
to Danta-parkulu, the 'Two lots of powder' sandhill. 

8. There he saw the women grinding up grubs. He stole the grub powder, he took away all they had. 

9. He grabbed (the powder) taking it away from them. They all swore at him and the old man swore back at them and 
then he just sat there (eating their grub-powder). 

10. They looked on, the poor little children, and they cried and cried from hunger. It was a cruel thing and I don't like 
to talk about it. He was a cruel man. He ate it all on his own and the children were crying the whole time boohoo, 
boohoo, the poor things. 

11. He fell asleep. The women sneaked up to grab his dish. They took the dish, a bark-dish, and they wanted to run off 
with it as he lay there sleeping. 

12. The two women sneaked up as the old man lay there, bloated, having had too much to eat. The women grabbed (the 
dish of grub-powder) they grabbed it and came back to give it to the children. 

13. Then the old man got up to look for his things, and the two women were already running away, and both (sides), the 
man and the women screamed abuse at each other. 

14. The old man wanted to take away their grub powder; he took it and the women yelled at him: 'Don't, don't take it away 
from us!' 

15. 'Let the women go on pounding (the grub powder) then!' With this the old man left in a sullen rage and went down 
to Two Wells. 

16. All (the women) went back to the Danta-parkulu sandhill and they finished there, two miles from Andrewilla. The 
grubs turned into box trees, wherever the women spilt grub powder that is where you see those green box-trees. 

17. The old man went away down south, those box-trees I showed you at Two Wells, that is where he stayed and where 
he finished. 

The old man had roasted some grubs there (without bothering to take the guts out). Those grubs burst. That happened 
at Kurtjuru Two Wells. You know those trees we saw there, like a type of eucalypt, but different again? The grubs 
exploded and burst, that is how those trees came to be there. 


D. Other Minor Myths 

Goannas ultimately became spots as she turned into a Goanna 

and went off to join the other Goannas in their main 

A small waterhole east of Kooringala is called camp at the nearby Midla-kapirri, 'Goanna Nose' 

MiRandani 'Feeling sore'. This Karangura place-name waterhole. It seems that this was a localised Karangura 

is comprehensible in terms of Yarluyandi, where miRa tradition, though according to Reuther (Vol. VII: 

means 'a sore'. A female Ancestor was here. She rested 2035), Turaki, the Terachi waterhole was also 

at the waterhole suffering from skin sores. These associated with the Goanna story. 



FIGURE 5. The Pirlitji sandhill, centre of the Willie Wagtails 
myth. Photograph: L. A. Hercus. 

The Willie Wagtails 

The Pirlitji sandhill (Fig. 5), south-west of Koonakoo 
waterhole (Fig. 6), was the centre of a Karangura myth 
about Willie Wagtails. Linda Crombie had only heard 
the outline of the story: a war-party of Willie Wagtails 
came from Annandale to fight the local birds camped 
at this sandhill. The intruders lit their camp-fire close 
by and shouted challenges. The word Pirlitji which is 
Karangura, apparently refers to this fire. After a big 
fight the war-party had to retreat to Koonakoo 
waterhole, where they split up. The main party 
returned to the Annandale country while a small group 
travelled south via Kalkapurritjinha. Koonakoo 
waterhole was said to be at the centre of a Dog myth, 
now lost. 

E. Kujumokuna 

This Karangura ancestor was no longer remembered 
by Yarluyandi and Wangkangurru people but 
information is obtainable in the work of Reuther. He 
states (Vol. Ill: 1211): 

Kujumokuna was one of the tribal ancestors of the 
Karangura. From kuju = kidni in Diari 'penis' and 'moku 
bone 1 meaning: 'the bone [-like tissue] in a man's penis.' 
He makes his appearance as a witchdoctor among the 
Karanguras to the north. He was killed at Kudnangauana. 
With him originated sorcery by boning. Since he possessed 
magical powers as a witchdoctor, even [after his death] 
his bones still had magical effect. They were therefore 
gathered up and used for purposes of witchcraft. Today, 
when a human bone is sharpened to a point: on a stone, 
his invocatory songs are [still] sung, so that the bone 
receives [the desired] magical power. 

All these myths show that there were particularly 
close mythological links between the Karangura and 
Ngamini and Yarluyandi, and particularly with the 
Wangkamadla people to the north. There were close 

trading links, not only in pituri and probably grinding 
dishes as discussed above, but also in other goods. Thus 
speaking of some special fossil bones called 'kuripikiri', 
Reuther writes (Vol. Ill: 126): 

The kuripikiri, then, found in the district of the Marungarli 
tribe, is passed on as an article of trade to the Karanguras, 
then to the Ngamanis, coming down finally to the Diaris, 
and is dearly paid for in kind. The animal, from which 
it is derived, is unknown to the 'native' people. 

Karangura people were not on their own; that is why 
at least some of their traditions have survived among 
their neighbours. 

Major Karangura Myths And Rituals: 
The Warrthampa And The Mindiri 

The myths we know most about are the major 
travelling myths which traverse the area and which are 
associated with important rituals. We get some idea 
of the Karangura part of these because neighbouring 
groups knew how the whole 'line' of myth was 
connected. A number of lines went through Karangura 
country. These were: the Swan History, which is 
however mainly Yarluyandi, the Seven Sisters (see text 
1 above), the Initiation History of the Two Men, a short 
sketch of which was published by Howitt & Siebert 
(1904) and Howitt (1904), and the Two Boys History. 

The story of the Two Men who introduced the 
Circumcision knife is part of the tradition of all the 
Lake Eyre people, but the Karangura had a special part 
in the myth. This is evident not only from the work 
of Howitt and Siebert, but also from that of Reuther. 
The whole song cycle has been recorded from 
Wangkangurru men by the author, but long sequences 
of it are secret. 

Two rituals attracted the largest groups of people 
in the eastern Lake Eyre Basin. These were the 
Mindiri, which was connected with the Emu History, 
and the Warrthampa , which was connected with the 

FIGURE 6. Koonakoo waterhole, adjacent to Pirlitji sandhill. 
Photograph: L. A. Hercus. 



Two Boys. There is a brief description of the Mindiri 
in Berndt (1953) and Home & Aiston (1924: 37-44). 
The Mindiri belonged basically to the Cooper, but it 
reached as far north as Koonchera and Lake 
Etamunbanie, and therefore the Yawarawarrka and their 
neighbours the Karangura were involved. It did not 
traditionally belong to the Wangkangurru. Both of these 
ceremonies were variously described by people who 
had actually taken part in them as being 'larrikin', and 
'rude'; they involved sex and were 'good fun' There 
is no doubt that large numbers of people took part. 
Gason (1895: 174), writing about the 'Mindarie' says: 

Dance or peace festival, all the tribe and the neighbouring 
tribes are invited to attend. Promiscuous sexual intercourse 
is carried on secretly: many quarrels occur at this dance. 
I have seen as many as 1000 take part on a hard clay flat, 
lit up by fires kept burning by the women. 

The Warrthampa is mentioned only rarely in the 
literature. Reuther in writing about it may have 
misunderstood some of the comments of his informants 
as he attributes to the followers of the Warrthampa 
sentiments that seem more in keeping with German 
romantic ideals than with the usually more practical 
Aboriginal views. He writes about the Warrthampa as 
follows (Vol. X: 21): 

This muramura is venerated in the vicinity of Birdsville 
and further northwards. He is regarded as the father of 
all kana (men). Should any man be slain by a pinga 
(vengeance party) but have previously sung the Wadumpa- 
song, he can meet death fearlessly. 

Further information is given by Howitt and Siebert, 
in their account of the legend of the 'Wapiya girls' (1904: 

After a time they came to a place where a number of men 
had assembled for the Wodampa dance, who strangled 
the girls, being enraged because they had seen what it 
was not lawful for them to see. 
The Wodampa dance is the most sacred dance the 
Wonkamala and the Ngulubulu have. It recounts the origin 
of mankind. 

Even these scarce sources leave no doubt that the 
Warrthampa was a most important ritual and it 
belonged to the northerly groups, precisely those that 
did not traditionally participate in the Mindiri. The one 
exception were the Karangura: they had an important 
part in both, and particularly the Warrthampa. 

The Warrthampa is linked with the myth of the two 
(Rainmaker) Boys who travelled from Witjira 
(Dalhousie) across the Simpson desert to Karangura 
country. They then headed north to Itabucca Springs 
and Glenormiston and ultimately returned to 
Dalhousie. Like the other ancestors discussed above, 
the Two Boys followed the same pituri route, but this 
time from south to north: they went up the Georgina 
and then up the Mulligan. There was an immense song- 
cycle connected with this myth, part of the Simpson 
desert section and the Karangura portion were 
remembered by Mick McLean. At various times he 
and Maudie Naylon Akawiljika spoke about the 
Warrthampa : 

Text 8. The Warrthampa 

(From Tapes 112, 138-40 (1966); 157 January (1967), Mick McLean speaking at Marree, and Tapes 515 (1972). 

675 (1975) Mick McLean speaking at Birdsville and Port Augusta) 


in that Warrthampa - that's kari-kunha, maljka 

they-POS, not 

those days Warrthampa was 

thamunha aria 
secret true 
3. Athu unha 
I you ACC 

Maudie was talking about kira ngarra-la-lhuku 

boomerang rattle-APP-HIST 

nguru thanga-rnda ngangka, partjarna wapayi-kanha, 
other remain-PRES alive, all die-PERF. 

I have been hear'm long time, kira ngarra-pa-rna Warrthampa-ku 

boomerang rattle-INT-IMP Warrthampa-DAT 
uljurla-ru ngawi-rna all right, ngawi-rna uljurla-ru! 

woman-ERG heat-IMP hear-IMP woman-ERG! 

nguntayi-ra arlali: uljurla got to pay'm that Warrthampa aria in that, Mindiri-wili. 
tell-PUNC finally: woman Warrthampa true Mindiri- like. 

Warrthampa is my country, that is more dear! Mindiri is nothing, rubbish! Maljka 'ntha waya-rnda! 

Not I want-PRES! 

Kayi Witjira-ru yuka-kanha Thuthirla-pula kanhangarda nhingka-yiwa-rna, along Lagoon waterhole, 

This Dalhousie-ABL go-PERF. Boy-two there glance-TR-IMP 

Kandritja, nhingka-yiwa-lhuku nhanhanga thuRu-thuRu kadnha-thidla thangka-ngura kanhangarda pula 
glance-TR-HIST here island hill-bit sit-CONT there two 

nhingka-rna-yiw-anka-lhuku kardapu-nga nhingka-rna-yiwa-lhuku. 
glance-SP-TR-INCH-HIST head-LOC glance-SP-TR-HIST. 

Kandritja Ngamani-kunha wadlhu-nga. Tharka-ngura kaRu irlangkurda: athu 'nha ngunta-ka 
'Waterhen' Ngamini-POS country-LOC. Stand-CONT there thus: I you show-PAST 

kanhangarda nhingka-yiwa-lhuku Warrthampa, kira ngarra-la-lhuku. 

there glance-TR-PURP boomerang rattle-APP-HIST. 

Pula wanka-rda, wadlhu-ru pula wanka-lhuku, kardapuAi wanka-lhuku, 
Two rise-PRES, ground-ABL two rise-HIST, head-ADV rise-HIST 
just the tops of their heads coming out. 

L. HERCUS 153 

8. Pula ngatji-rna karna ngura-nganha. Wintawi-rna thika-lhuku, ThuRu-ki-thi thika-lhuku 
Two see-IMP man camp-from Dive down-IMP return-PURP, below-EMPH return-HIST 
wadlhu -nga thuRu . 


C inside. 

9. Pula wadlhu-ru wanka-rda kanhangardanga. Warrthampa-kunha-lki , they living here, Warrthampa, 
Two ground-ABL rise-PRES there. Warrthampa-POS-EMPH 

ngarra-l-ta kira kari-kunha ularaka. 

rattle-APP-PRES boomerang they-POS History. 

10. Ngurlupurlu, Marrunga, you know Durie. They got that full History. My country ngalingali. 

beginning (?). 

11. KaRu yuka-ngura kanhangarda karla-nga-li , kaRu tharka-thika-lhuku Kadrikudna-nha, 
There go-CONT there creek-LOC-EMPH there stand-return-HIST Kadrikudna-PROP 
tharka-rna kaRu irlangkurda, in the middle of that flat down from Kuntjirri, kaRu thika-rna. 
stand-IMP there thus there return-IMP. 

12 Thutirla-pula all the feathers of that bird they pirda-ka pirda-ma munta-nga kalpa-lhuku yakuta-nga, 
Boy-two kill-PAST kill-IMP bag-LOC collect-HIST bag-LOC, 

wantarda: paya nguru paya nguru pirda-ngura, wantarda kalpa-lhuku. 
down: bird other bird other kill-CONT down collect-PURP. 

13. Kuyatiyarri paya call'm kuyatiyarri. wakarda pirda-ma 'kanha pula-ru, kathangka-rda, paya 
Orange chat bird orange chat that kill-IMP him two-ERG wander-IMP, bird 


14. Wantarda iki-rna, pula-kunha thanta, pitji-lhiku, kari pitji-rna kanhangarda ngura-nganha. 
Down carry-IMP, two-POS things, paint-PURP, they paint-IMP there camp-from. 

15. Warrthampa kanhangarda nhanhi-wa-rna. pula-ru, wantarda ngunhi-wa-rna: 'nhalara urkari 

there see-TR-IMP two-ERG, down give-TR-IMP: 'this-CAUS you 

pithi-nha-ka, maljka yalkirri irlangkura, yalkirri, malja malja nhanha thawi! maljka malja-ra 

paint-NP-for ever, not gypsum thus, gypsum kopi, kopi this ACC throw! not kopi-CAUS 

pithi-nha! nhala-ra wantarda-ra pithi-nangka-rda!' 

paint-IMP this CAUS down-CAUS paint-CONT S-PRES!' 

16. That is the Warrthampa there, kari thika-rnaya-ma Warrthampa pula-nha wanta-thika-ngura. 

they return-TR-IMP two-PROP follow-return-CONT. 

Maudie been tell you, kari thika-rna nhanhangu-ru tharka-thika-lhuku Yabmalkira-nha yatjalka-nga 
they return-IMP here-ABL stand -return-PURP Yab ma I kira -PROP lignum-LOC 
thangka-ngura kaRu Kutiri-nga -that's Kutiri, supposed to be mikiri there, belonging to Karangura country, 
stay-CONT there Kutiri-LOC 
Karangura ngura. 

17. Mingka-nga witji-rna-thika-lhuku thuRu thika-lhuku, pula Kutirinja-ruku, ama-ki-ti 
Hole-LOC become-SP-return-HIST below return-HIST two Kutirinja-ALL, mother-EMPH 


18. Pula-ru paku-ru kira thawi-rna warra-rna, didn't know mathapurda over there, mathapurda 
Two-ERG empty-ABL boomerang throw-IMP play-IMP, old man old man 
ngura-nganha thangka-ngura, kira-ra uka-nha palji-rna, kira uka-irnda kurda-yiwa-rna yadla 
camp-from sit-CONT, boomerang he-ACC aim-IMP, boomerang he-ALL fall-TR-IMP close 


19. Mathapurda-ru nhanhi-lhiku wadlhu partjarna, 'ah nhawula pula palji-ra anthirda kira 

Old man-ERG see-HIST country all, 'ah these two two strike-PUNC me ALL boomerang 

antirda awarda thawi-raV 
me ALL this throw-PUNC!' 

20. Kant i mant' uka-ru midla pula-nha puntji-lhiku; kanti mani-lhiku mitdla pula-nha uka-ru 
Waddy take he-ERG nose two-ACC flatten-PURP; waddy take-HIST nose two-ACC he-ERG 
kuntili kanti nguyu-ru midla pirda-ma parkulu manhi pirda-ma. 

crossways waddy one-INST nose hit-IMP two self hit-IMP. 

21. Kuti-rna pula-nha kanti-ri midla pirda-ma. Kutirinja that's in the Georgina. 
Drag-IMP two-ACC, waddy-INST nose hit-IMP. 

22. Kuhmarri mani-lhiku uka-ru kubmarri puntha-ru: ah Witjira-nganha thutirla-pula Witjira-nganha! 
Blood take-HIST he-ERG blood drink-NAR: ah Dalhousie-from boy-two Dalhousie-from! 

23. 'Ah, Witjira-nganha ' all them ground he tell'm then, all them water, mikiri. He tell'm Karangura way. Karangura and 
Wangkamadla mixed. All that Parra-parra, MaRapardi, that's the last Simpson water, that's in my country. 

24. Pula kaRuku yuka-ka Wangkamadla yani-rnda. 
Two there-ALL go-PAST say-PRES. 


25. The karangura man sang: 26.1 don't like singing that because I wouldn't know 

Witjirinja ngintja ngali kamtayd, what he is saying there, I just know that karntaya 

Pdrra-parranja ngintja ngali karntaya, aah means going along, going into another country. 

Kdruljdrinja ngintja ngali karntaya They're doubling up all those places where they've 

Pdrra-parranja ngintja ngali kdrnta been: 

MdRapardinja ngintja ngali karntaya, aah 

Kdruljdrinja ngintja ngali karntaya 

Pulawdninja ngintja ngali karntaya. 

Wdlpurakdninja nginja ngali karntaya 
27. (The Karangura man sang again): 28. That sound funny to me, I don't like singing'm. Ha! 

MdRapardi ngintja ngali karntaya That is where he names all the mikiri, my country, 

Kdruljdrinja ngintja ngali karntaya follow all that, Karangura way, That's all places, he 

Wdrru-wdrru ngintja ngali karntaya mixes them up in that song. They change their voice 

Pulawdninja ngintja ngali karntaya over there. 

Wdlpurakdninja ngintja ngali karntaya 

Kdruljdrinja ngintja ngali karntaya. 

29. Wangkamadla kanhangarda thimpa-rda ularaka waRa-nganha waRa-nganha mikiri, intjali intjali 
Wangkamadla there speak-PRES History what-from what-from well, where where 
yuka-kanha thimpa-rda 

go-PERF speak-PRES. 

30. Nganka-ma-lhuku. Karangura country where he tell'm that Witjira-nganha, then he went on to Kuringala 
Alive-make-HIST. Dal housie- from 

waterhole, and to where Jack Gaffney got his station, Dikirri. 

31. Wadlhu-nga winta-kurda-lhuku thika-rna pula yuka-lhuku karla-li yuka-lhuku Kira-ngarrapani. 
Ground-LOC hide-lie-HIST return-PRES two go-HIST creek-ADV go-HIST Herbert Hut. 
Walta yuka-lhuku pula ama pula-kunha ngataru yuka-rnda. 

Together go-HIST two mother two-POS behind go-PRES. 

32. Yuka-lhuku kaRu tharka-yiwa-rnda along Kira-ngarrapani-nha. Ah, that is where the netting crosses 
Go-HIST there stand-TR-PRES Boomerang-rattling-PROP. 

through the Queensland border! 

33. Kira ngarra -l-ta. When they were singing, must have been. That is what you call 
Boomerang rattle-APP-PRES. 

Kirangarrapani, 'Making the boomerangs rattle.' 

34. Kanhangarda thangka-yiwa-rnda, kira ngarra-li-nda again, pula-kunha ngaRu Witjira-nganha 
There sit-TR-PRES, boomerang rattle-DIST-PRES two-POS style Dalhousie -from 
they copied it - no, it is there. 

35. And that Kudnarri 'Overflow' over there, what they call that? Then they go along Adria Downs, big swamp you see, 
those two wiya been go, thutirla-pula warrukathi warrawa-rna ha ha! pula thika-rna 

young boys boy-two emu chase-PRES ha ha! two return IMP 

thangka-yiwa-lhuku, must have been kurdarna I suppose, Kirangarrapani. 
sit-TR-HIST sleep Herbert Hut. 

36. Wadnayi-nangka-rda paya muyu nguru muyu nguru wara-nangka-rda, killing all the birds for different 
Chase-CONT S-PRES bird day other day other play-CONT S-PRES 

wantarda Warrthampa-ku 
feather Warrthampa -DAT. 

37. Ukaliri yuka-rna -wanka-lhuku , karla-li karla-li yuka-nangka-rda ama pula-kunha yuka-rnda 
Then go-IMP-go up-HIST, creek-ADV creek-ADV go-CONT S-PRES mother two-POS go-PRES 
ngataru, puthu wanpa-rda kutha-puthu kutha-purru puthu canteen will, 

behind, dish carry-PR.ES water-dish water-having dish like. 

38. Yuka-lhuku kaRu Kati-tharri, got headache there, Kati-tharri, that is headache in Wangkamadla Kati-tharri 
Go-HIST there Old Annandale 

is Wangkamadla, Wangkamadla and Karangura mixed anyway. 

39. Yuwu padni thadlhu wadlhu-lki 
Man nothing empty country-INF. 

Text 8. Translation 

1. Maudie (Naylon Akawiljika) was talking about how they rattled the boomerangs in the Warrthampa 2 . That (part of the 
ceremony) belonged to those other people {i.e. the Karangura), there is not a single one of them living now, they all died out. 

2. I heard about it a long time ago, how they rattled the boomerangs for the Warrthampa, in those days it was well and 
truly secret, but women could listen to it all right, oh yes, women could listen to it! 

3. I'll at last tell you the truth about it: the women have to pay for this {i.e. by means of sex), the real Warrthampa, it's 
just like in the Mindiri. 

Maudie Naylon had demonstrated a few days earlier how people used to make boomerangs rattle in the Warrthampa 
ceremony. They held two boomerangs close together and made them touch each other with a rapid vibrating motion. 

L. HERCUS 155 

4. The Warrthampa belongs to my country, that costs more! 3 The Mindiri is nothing, just rubbish! I have no time for it! 

5. The Two Boys had come from Dalhousie, they had a quick glance round, that was at Lagoon Waterhole, which is called 
Kandritja (= Koondaritchinna waterhole on modern maps), they quickly glanced around. There's an island in the waterhole, 
a little bit of a stony rise, that is where they were, the two of them, just looking around quickly before departing. They 
just glanced round as they came out (from under the ground) head first. 

6. The Kandritja 'Waterhen' waterhole is in Ngamini country. I showed you the place. That is where they were having 
a quick look for the Warrthampa, because they could hear the boomerangs being rattled (from afar at Kira-ngarrapaninha, 
Herbert Hut). 

7. The two of them came up, they came up from under the ground head first, with just the tops of their heads showing. 

8. The two of them saw a man belonging to that place, so they dived down under the ground again and went back, travelling 

9. The two of them came up from under the ground. They belonged to the Warrthampa, the people living there, and they 
rattled boomerangs for the (ritual belonging to) their History. 

10. Ngurlupurlu and Marrunga people, you know those from Durie, they have got the full History. My country is the first part. 

11. They went there along the creek and they stopped at Kadrikidnanha, that is in the middle of that flat down from Kuntjiri, 
that is where they went. 

12. The Two Boys had been killing a lot of birds for their feathers, they went on killing them to collect the down-feathers 
in a bag, a large bag. They killed all kinds of different birds to collect down-feathers. 

13. The birds called orange chats, they were the ones that the Two Boys killed. The two travelled around chasing birds. 

14. They carried the down-feathers round with them, ready for painting up (for a corroboree) the Two Boys painted up 
the people from the camp. 

15. The Two Boys had gone to have a look at the Warrthampa and they handed over their feathers. 'You all paint up with 
these from now on and for ever! Not like that with gypsum crystals, with kopi! Throw away this kopi! From now on 
you will always paint up with these!' 

16. They had the Warrthampa there, and the Two Boys went round following the Warrthampa. Maudie was telling you, 
they went back from this place to stay around Yabmalkira 'Clifton Hills' and then at Kutiri. There is supposed to be 
a native well there, belonging to Karangura country, a Karangura camp. 

17. The two of them went down inside the hole to go back underground to Kutiri, to pick up their mother. 

18. The two threw boomerangs about for fun, playing. They didn't know an old man was over there, an old man belonging 
to that place was sitting there. They threw a boomerang in his direction: the boomerang landed right close to him. 

19. The old man looked round in all directions: Ah, here are those two that threw a boomerang at me!' 

20. He picked up his waddy to flatten their noses, he took his waddy and hit them both over the nose with a crossways 
blow, hitting both their noses with the one (blow) of his waddy. 

21. He dragged the two (unconscious bodies) along the ground, he had hit them over the nose with his waddy. Kutirinja 
(which means 'dragging'), that is in the Georgina. 

22. He got (a drop of their) blood and tasted it: Ah', he said Those two boys come from Dalhousie!' 

23. Ah, from Dalhousie!' (he said) and he named all the places, all the wells, the mikiri. He sang about it in the Karangura 
way. Karangura and Wangkamadla mixed. He named them all, Parra-parra, and MaRapardi, that's the last (westernmost) 
Simpson Desert well, that's in my country. 

24. He was talking in Wangkamadla about the places where the two of them had gone. 

25. The Karangura man sang: 26. 1 don't like singing these verses because I don't know what 

(From) Dalhousie I, we two travelled, he is saying there. I just know that karntaya means going 

Karulinja that is where I, we two travelled, along, going into another country. They're 'doubling up' 

Burraburrinna, the long well-shaft that is where I, (mixing up the order of) all those places where they've 

we two travelled, been. 

Murraburt that is where I, we two travelled, 
Karulinja that is where I, we two travelled, 
Pudlowinna that is where I, we two travelled, 
Wolporican that is where I, we two travelled. 
27. (The Karangura man sang again): 28. (Those verses) sound funny to me, I don't like singing 

Murraburt that is where I, we two travelled, them. These are all the places, he mixes them up in that 

Karulinja that is where I, we two travelled, song. They sing a different way over there (on the 

Warru-warru 'the White One' that is where I, Karangura side, different from us Wangkangurru people). 

we two travelled, 

Wolporican that is where I, we two travelled, 
Karulinja that is where I, we two travelled. 

3 What the extra 'payment* was for the women was never made clear. 

4 The geographic sequence of the Simpson desert wells was quite different from the order in which they are mentioned 
in the song. By this it is made clear that the Karangura man did not know the Simpson desert - it was not his country. 
Wangkangurru people relied on these wells except after rains and their location was well known to all the people in the 
desert. They first became known to Europeans as a result of the expedition of Lindsay in 1886 (see Hercus & Clarke 1986). 
The spelling of the names of wells given in the translation is that adopted by Lindsay. Murraburt was the westernmost of 
the wells, the one closest to Dalhousie, this is why Mick refers to it as 'the last Simpson desert water. The location of Karulinja 
is not known. 


29. He's speaking there in Wangkamadla about the History, naming whichever well they came from and wherever they went. 

30. The old man resuscitated them. It was (at Kutirinja) in Karangura country that he said 'You come from Dalhousie'. 
Then the old man went on to Kuringala waterhole and from there to Dickerie, the (old) Alton Downs waterhole, where 
Jack Gaffney has his station. 

31. The Two Boys went underground, they went following the (Eyre) creek, travelling to Kira-ngarrapani 'Making the 
boomerangs rattle' ('Herbert Hut 1 ; see Fig. 7). They went together side by side with their mother walking behind them. 

32. They went there to stay for a while at Kira-ngarrapani-nha , 'Making the boomerangs rattle' 'Herbert Hut'. 5 Ha, that 
is where the netting crosses through the Queensland border. 

33. They must have been making the boomerangs rattle while they were singing. This is why the place is called Kira-ngarrapani, 
'Making the boomerangs rattle'. 

34. They stayed there for a while, making their boomerangs rattle at that place, far away. They had their own style of doing 
this, from Dalhousie, and they copied it in this place. 

35. And that overflow there, what do you call that, the big swamp at Adria Downs? The Two Boys went there chasing 
the emus, ha ha! They turned back again to stay at Kira-ngarrapani, 'Making the boomerangs rattle', they must have 
been sleeping there I suppose. 

36. Day after day they ran round chasing birds: they were killing birds to get all kinds of different feathers for the Warrthampa. 

37. Then the two of them went up along the creek, following the creek they went. Their mother came along behind them 
carrying a coolamon full of water, carrying it like a canteen. 

38. They went to Kati-tharri, 'Old Annandale'. Kati-tharri means headache in Wangkamadla. 7 Kati-tharri, Old Annandale 
that is Wangkamalda country, or Wangkamadla and Karangura mixed. 

39. But nobody lives there now, it is empty country. 

What Happened To Karangura People hearsay evidence that the relevant police records were 

destroyed. Details of the Koonchera massacre were 

The turmoil of early white settlement of the related to the next generation of Aboriginal people by 

Birdsville area from the later 1870s onwards was an the few survivors, by Charlie Karna-piti, who died 

unmitigated tragedy for the Aboriginal people of the about 1920, and by Kuranta 'Sticknest Rat' or 'Lagoon 

entire district. There were six major massacres, mostly Charlie 1 , Linda Crombie's grandfather, who died in his 

well organised, and intended to wipe out whole groups eighties in 1935. These survivors had been young men 

of people. The immediate cause of these was cattle who were particularly skilful and able-bodied and 

spearing, as in the massacre on the 'Georgina' (1) therefore managed almost miraculous escapes. This fits 

described by the solitary survivor, Ngatu-thakali with the probable date for these massacres, namely the 

(Hercus 1977), the massacre on the point of the late seventies and the early eighties of last century. In 

Koonchera sandhill (2) (Hercus 1986) and the massacre all these massacres Karangura people were among the 

at the Giri Giri waterhole (3). The murder of a main victims. 

lascivious station cook at Kooninghera near Durie on The events described by Ngatu-thakali (Hercus 1977) 

the Diamantina led to a series of revenge massacres were a series of killings in which white horsemen, 

throughout the region (Hercus & Jones, in prep.). probably stockmen and not police, pursued Aboriginal 

These took place at Kooninghera itself (4), to the north people who had killed a bullock. They chased them 

at the Kalidawarry waterhole (5), and at Mingka- from waterhole to waterhole on the lower Georgina, 

ingkani near Ngapamanha (6). There were lingering killing one small group after another, and also wiping 

traditions even among white stockmen about these out a larger group at the Narrabutiannie waterhole (Fig. 

terrible deeds. This is clear from the evidence of 8). This must have been not long after 1878. In that 

Farwell (1950: 160) who estimated that at least 200 year speculators first took up the part of the country 

people were killed at Koonchera alone. There is which came to be called Alton Downs (Litchfield 1983: 

y Reuther (Vol. VII: 845) gave the same explanation for this name: 

Kirrangaripini, Jelj. 

kirra = 'boomerang'; ngaripini in D [Diyari] ngaribana 'to beat time'. Meaning 'to beat time with boomerangs'. 

Wutjukana's son here beat time for the ceremonial mura song with boomerangs. The muramura therefore named the 

place accordingly. 
Wutjukana is the name that Reuther gives for the Two Men from the Initiation ritual centre at Mararu in the Simpson Desert. 
6 - In the earlier part of the myth the Two Boys had been chasing a pair of emus. They caught up again with the same pair 
of emus at Adria Downs and continued their pursuit. 

7 A reference to this myth is to be found in an article by W. Fraser who lived for a while on Kaliduwarry near Lake 
Muncoonie. Fraser gives a summary of the story of the Two Boys and describes their chase of the Emus: 

they again followed up the tracks, which took them to a waterhole. They called this waterhole "Cuttitery" which means 

a sore head - for the boys had such sore heads there that they had to give up the chase. This waterhole is on the adjoining 

station to this. (Fraser 1899: 45) 



FIGURE 7. Kira-ngarrapani 'Making the boomerangs rattle 
waterhole, scene of" major events in the Two Boys History 
of the Karangura. Photograph: L. A. Hercus. 

FIGURE 8. Narrubutiannie waterhole, scene of a Karangura 
massacre in about 1880. Photograph: L. A. Hercus. 

145), even before it had been surveyed. This station 
comprised practically the whole of Karangura country. 
Ngatu-thakali, who survived to tell the tale, was 
Wangkangurru, a member of a visiting group. The bulk 
of the people killed were local Karangura people. 

A major massacre, often mentioned by 
Wangkangurru people, was at Kiri-Kiri, the Giri Giri 
waterhole of the maps. (Mick McLean always referred 
to 'the Karangura place Mikiri-kiri' as the site of this 
massacre, but he was probably influenced by the 
Wangkangurru word mikiri 'weir.) Oral traditions say 
that the killings were carried out by native police. One 
of this group of police was in fact a Lower Southern 
Aranda man, a classificatory uncle of Mick McLean 
(Tape 673): 

That was my uncle 'King George'. He was a policeman 
you know, and he went off shooting blackfellows in the 
Karlamuku country. 8 

According to oral tradition, the massacre at 
Koonchera was organised by police from Andrewilla 
and must have taken place around 1885 when police 
were first stationed there. This massacre and the 
vengeance parties that resulted from the murder of the 
cook at Kooninghera waterhole were by all accounts 
well organised: they appear intended to kill the 
maximum number of people, men, women and 
children. They seem timed to coincide with the major 
ceremonies, the Mindiri emu ritual and the 
Warrthampa. The massacre at Koonchera wiped out 
a large group of followers of the Mindiri. All the older 
Wangkangurru and part-Yarluyandi people who had 
heard about it in their youth, including Mick McLean, 
Maudie and Bob Naylon, Johnnie Reese, Dora Parker 
and Linda and Frank Crombie (Fig. 9), mentioned in 
their own accounts that many Karangura died there. 

The massacres resulting from the events at 
Kooninghera, apart from the immediate action at 
Kooninghera waterhole, were organised to coincide 
with the Warrthampa rituals at Kalidawarry waterhole. 
This was the most important Warrthampa site 
belonging to the Wangkamadla, the immediate northern 
neighbours of the Karangura, and involved Karangura 
people. Another massacre eliminated a Mindiri group 
at the Mingka-ingkanji waterhole east of Pandie, 
adjoining Karangura country. There were said to be 
no survivors. This would again have involved 
Karangura people. Because they belonged to both the 
Warrthampa and the Mindiri traditions, Karangura 
people became victims of all the killings. By the late 
1880s therefore, very tew would have been left. 

Apart from the organised massacres there were also 
private vendettas against Aboriginal people. A frontier 
attitude prevailed in the far north-east of South 
Australia and in the Birdsville area; this may well have 
cost some of the few remaining Karangura lives. The 
fragments of the Birdsville police records, made 
available by Angus Green, contain a particularly telling 
sequence of letters (Simpson Desert History Vol. 2). 
These are connected with a petition to the Colonial 
Secretary from the Diamantina Divisional Board on 
behalf of the residents of Birdsville in February 1887, 
during a drought, urging 'that the Blacks (Aborigines) 
and their dogs be removed from encampments on the 
township waterhole.' This was a very special place for 
Aboriginal people. Apart from being the deepest and 
most lasting waterhole in the district, it was WirraRi, 
an important Yarluyandi emu site, with rocks 
representing the ancestral emus. The police sergeant, 
the first ever to be stationed at Birdsville, an unsung 
hero named Sergeant A. McDonald, obviously did 
everything possible to avoid having to take the action 

8. Karlamuku was used as a general term by desert Wangkangurru people to refer to the channel country to the east of their lands. 



FIGURE 9. Linda and Frank Crombie, major sources of 
information on the Karangura and their traditions. Photograph: 
V. Potezny. 

demanded of him by letters and telegrams from his 
superiors. He went from various delaying strategems 
to a straight refusal and managed to hold off the whole 
matter until it rained, when the Aboriginal people were 
prepared to leave in any case. This is clear from his 
lengthy letter from Birdsville to the Commissioner of 
Police, Brisbane, 27 September 1887. Some of his 
comments have sinister implications (Simpson Desert 
History, Vol. 2): 

About twelve months ago Mr Ward, Customs Officer here, 
observed a certain Squatter (a Justice of the Peace) on 
a Sunday illtreating the Blacks in their Camp and sent 
for a constable to give him in charge-this party is a 
member of the Board and no doubt would like to see the 
Blacks a long distance from the Town and the Police. 

As a result of the killings the Karangura were reduced 
to a few survivors, some of whom lived at Andrewilla 
when Wells was there. From 1866 onwards many 
displaced people from the eastern Lake Eyre basin had 
sought refuge at the Killalpannina mission on the lower 
Cooper. According to the evidence of Mary Dixon and 
other elderly Diyari people who had been at 
Killalpannina at the turn of the century only two old 
Karangura people were at the mission at that time and 
they died soon after. 


We must conclude from this that the Karangura 
ceased to be mentioned in the literature quite simply 
because they had been wiped out. Nobody lives now 

in what was their traditional heartland, along the 
channels of the Georgina. The old Alton Downs 
homestead is deserted; the new homestead, the only 
habitation in the whole of Karangura country, is at the 
Andrewilla waterhole. It is truly 'dead men's country', 
but it is also country that once had a rich tradition of 
mythology, now vanished. 

Note on Orthography 

In this paper a practical orthography has been used for 

Plosive consonants other than the retroflex plosive have been 
written as unvoiced (k, p,4h, t), but pre-stopped consonants 
have been written with voiced plosives as this corresponds 
most closely with the pronunciation, hence bm y dn, dnh, dnj, 
dl, dlh. 
Retroflexes have been written as r + consonant, i.e. 

rl is retroflex / 

rn is retroflex n 

rd is retroflex t 
Interdentals have been written as consonant + /?, hence nh, 
th, Ih. 

Palatals have been written as consonant + j, hence tj, nj, Ij. 
ng has been used for velar n. 
The three r-sounds have been transcribed as follows: 

r = the alveolar flap 

rr — the trilled r 

R = the retroflex r. 


The following abbreviations used for linguistic terms are 
used in glossing Wangkangurru texts: 


ablative case 


accusative case 


active stem-forming suffix 


applicative stem-forming suffix 


causative case 


continuous participle 


emphatic clitic 






historical past 


im perfective 




locative case 


narrative past 


past tense 


possessive suffix 


punctiliar present 


speed form, indicating action undertaken before 



transitory aspect 


I would like to thank Wangkangurru people, particularly 
Linda Crombie, for sharing their knowledge and making this 
work possible. I am also deeply indebted to Vlad Potezny 
of the Aboriginal Heritage Unit and to Peter Brown, manager 
of Alton Downs Station. 





BASEDOW, H. 1920. Report upon the First Medical Relief 

Expedition amongst the Aborigines of South Australia. 

GRG 23/1/1920/144. Public Records Office of South 

FRY, H. K. 1934. Pandi Pandi and Lake Eyre. Manuscript. 

South Australian Museum Anthropology Archives. 
HERCUS, L. A. 1967-1989. Sound tapes. Duplicates lodged 

with AIATSIS, Canberra. 
HILLIER, H. J. 1904. Map of Aboriginal sites in the eastern 

Lake Eyre region. Manuscript. South Australian Museum 

Anthropology Archives. 
HOWITT, A. W. n. d. Howitt Papers, Manuscript, Box 5. 

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 

Studies: Canberra. 
Simpson Desert History: Extracts from Official Documents 

in Birdsville Police Station, 1876-1964. Manuscript. South 

Australian Museum Anthropology Archives. 
TINDALE, N. B. 1934. Journal of Anthropological 

Expedition to the Diamantina, northeast of South Australia. 

South Australian Museum Archives. 

Secondary Sources 

AUSTIN, P. 1991. The Karangura language. Records of the 

South Australian Museum 25(2): 000-000. 
BERNDT, R. M. 1953. A day in the life of a Dieri man before 

alien contact. Anthropos 48: 171-201. 
BIRDSELL, J. B. 1973. A basic demographic unit. Current 

Anthropology 14(4): 337-351. 
BREEN, J. G. 1971. Aboriginal languages of Western 

Queensland. Linguistic Communications 5: 1-88. 
EYLMANN, E. 1908. 'Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie 

Sudaustralien'. Dietrich Reimer: Berlin. 
FARWELL, G. 1950. 'Land of Mirage 1 . Cassell: Melbourne. 
FENNER, F. 1936. Anthropometric observations on South 

Australian Aborigines of the Diamantina and Cooper Creek 

regions. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 

60: 46-54. 
FRASER, W. 1899. Tradition of the Blacks on the Mulligan 

River. Science of Man 2(3): 45. 
GASON, S. 1874. The Dieyerie Tribe of Australian 

Aborigines: Their Manners and Customs'. Adelaide. 

GASON, S. 1895. Of the Tribes Dieyerie, Auminie, 
Yandrawontha, Yaruwaraka, Pilladapa: Lat. 31° 0'; Long. 

138 ° 55 ' E. Journal of the Anthropological Institute 24(2): 

HERCUS, L. A. 1977. Tales of Ngadu-dagali (Rib-bone Billy). 

Aboriginal History 9: 22-43. 
HERCUS, L. A. 1986. The end of the Mindiri people. Pp. 

183-192 in 'This is What Happened'. Ed. L. A. Hercus 

& P. J. Sutton. AIAS: Canberra. 
HERCUS, L. A. 1989. Preparing grass witchetty grubs. 

Records of the South Australian Museum 23: 51-57. 
HERCUS, L. A. & CLARK, P. 1986. Nine Simpson Desert 

Wells. Archaeology in Oceania 21: 51-62. 
HERCUS, L. A. & POTEZNY, V. 1990. Locating Aboriginal 

sites: a note on J. G. Reuther and the Hillier map of 1904. 

Records of the South Australian Museum 24(2): 139-151. 
HORNE, G. A. & AISTON, G. 1924. 'Savage Life in Central 

Australia'. Macmillan: London. 
HOWITT, A. W. 1904. 'Native Tribes of South-east Australia'. 

Macmillan: London. 
HOWITT, A. W. & SIEBERT, O. 1904. Legends of the Dieri 

and kindred tribes of Central Australia. Journal of the 

Anthropological Institute 34: 100-129. 
JONES, P. & SUTTON, P. 1986. Art and land: Aboriginal 

sculptures of the Lake Eyre region'. Adelaide: South 

Australian Museum. 
JONES, P. G. 1991. Ngapamanha: a case study in population 

history. In 'Language and History: Essays in honour of 

Luise A. Hercus'. Pacific Linguistics 116: 157-173. 
LITCHFIELD, K. 1983. 'Marree and the Tracks Beyond'. The 

Author: Adelaide. 
PAULL, W. J. 1886. Warburton River. Pp. 18-21 in The 

Australian Race 7 . Vol. II. Ed. E. M. Curr. John Ferres: 

REUTHER, J. G. 1981. The Diari' (trans. P. A. Scherer). 

Microfiche, AIAS: Canberra. 
TINDALE: N. B. 1974. Aboriginal Tribes of Australia'. 

University of California: Berkeley. 
THREADGILL, B. 1922. 'South Australian Land Exploration, 

1856 to 1880'. Royal Geographical Society: Adelaide. 
WATSON, P. 1983. This Precious Foliage'. Oceania 

Monograph No. 26: Sydney. 
WELLS, F. H. 1894. The Habits, Customs and Ceremonies 

of the Aboriginals of the Diamantina, Herbert and Eleanor 

Rivers, in East Central Australia. Report of the Australian 

Association for the Advancement of Science 5: 515-522. 


Nevilles. Pledge 


The first discovery of Palorchestes azael in South Australia was made in about 1870 in a clay pit 
near Adelaide. Although reported briefly by Tate, it has not been described in detail until now. 
Several discoveries in the past twenty years have enlarged our knowledge of the genus, expanding 
its geographic and stratigraphic range in the State, and increasing its taxonomic diversity. 
Palorchestes azael including previously undescribed anterior cheek teeth, is now reported from 
Naracoorte in the South-East. A second, small Pleistocene species has been found near Mt Gambier 
and is compared with P. parvus, and the late Miocene P. painei is reported from a cave deposit on 
Yorke Peninsula. 




PLEDGE, N. S. 1991. Occurrences of Palorchestes species (Marsupialia: Palorchestidae) in South 
Australia. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(2): 161-174. 

The first discovery of Palorchestes azael in South Australia was made in about 1870 in a clay pit 
near Adelaide. Although reported briefly by Tate, it has not been described in detail until now. Several 
discoveries in the past twenty years have enlarged our knowledge of the genus, expanding its geographic 
and stratigraphic range in the State, and increasing its taxonomic diversity. Palorchestes azael including 
previously, undescribed anterior cheek teeth, is now reported from Naracoorte in the South-East. A 
second, small Pleistocene species has been found near Mt Gambier and is compared with P. parvus, 
and the late Miocene P. painei is reported from a cave deposit on Yorke Peninsula. 

N. S. Pledge, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Manuscript 
received 28 November 1990. 

Palorchestes azael (Owen, 1874, 1875, 1880) is one 
of the rarer elements of the Pleistocene marsupial 
megafauna. Alone amongst the diprotodontoids 
(Archer & Bartholomai 1978), the teeth of Palorchestes 
are characterised by a mid-link between the two 
loph(id)s, to such an extent (with other characters of 
the palate) that Owen (1874) and others considered it 
to be a giant kangaroo. Woods (1958) showed that 
Palorchestes was not a kangaroo but more akin to the 
diprotodontids. Other features of the skull have since 
indicated Palorchestes" distinction from the 
Diprotodontidae (Archer & Bartholomai 1978). 

The type specimen of Owen's Palorchestes azael 
(1874) was obtained from an unspecified deposit in 
Victoria in 1851. This was probably on the River Tambo 
in Gippsland (Mahoney & Ride 1975: 88). Lydekker 
(1887) listed it and three other specimens as being in 
the British Museum (Natural History); one of the latter 
came from the Wellington Caves, New South Wales, 
and the other two from the Darling Downs of 
Queensland. In his revision of the genus, Woods (1958) 
listed only nine specimens of P. azael from the eastern 
Darling Downs, then in the Queensland Museum. 
Ramsay (1886) reported P azael (as a new species P. 
rephaim) from the Wellington Valley and Dun (1893) 
reported further occurrences of the species in the caves 
there. Scott (1916) recorded it in the Mowbray Swamp 
deposits of Tasmania, Gill & Banks (1956) from the 
Scotchtown Cave, in the same area, and Gill (1953) 
from Terang, Victoria. Dennant & Kitson (1903) had 
earlier listed two specimens from Werribee and 
Sorrento in Victoria, while Flannery & Archer (1985) 
mention it as occurring also at Strathdownie, Spring 
Creek and Buchan Caves in Victoria. Glauert (1926) 
reported it from the Margaret River caves of Western 
Australia, but Merrilees (1968) discounted it. Finally, 
Palorchestes sp. cf. P. azael is listed for the Tirari 

Formation along the Warburton River near Lake Eyre 
in northern South Australia (Wells & Callen 1986), and 
has recently been found at Riversleigh, Queensland 
(Davis 1990). The species appears to be widespread, 
as indeed is Diprotodon, but Palorchestes azael is rare 
by comparison. Its ancestors may not have been so rare. 
P. parvus is a not uncommon member of the Chinchilla 
local fauna (De Vis 1895, Woods 1958), and is reported 
to occur with P. azael at Strathdownie, Buchan Caves, 
Wellington Caves and Gore (Queensland) (Flannery 
& Archer 1985), while the earlier P. painei is found 
at Alcoota (Woodburne 1967), and also at Hamilton 
(Turnbull & Lundelius 1970). Recently, postcranial 
material with associated teeth has been found (Flannery 
& Archer 1985) allowing determination of other bones 
and tentative reconstructions. 

Specimens of Palorchestes spp. are here described 
from four South Australian localities of different ages. 
Evidence is presented for a second (and possible third) 
Pleistocene species, after P. azael, with deciduous teeth 
being described for the last, while the presence of the 
late Miocene species P. painei is indicated. The 
localities for the specimens described are shown in Fig. 

Material studied is housed in the South Australian 
Museum (SAM), Queensland Museum (QM), 
Australian Museum (AM) and the National Museum 
of Victoria (NMV). Tooth designation follows Archer's 
(1978) system which is based on embryological studies 
of modern marsupials. 

Thebarton Specimen (SAM P11546) 

The first record of Palorchestes azael from South 
Australia was a mention in passing by Tate (1890). In 
about 1889-90 Mr W. Shearing presented to the South 




Mt. Gambier D 

V f 


FIGURE 1. Locality map showing finds of Palorchestes spp. 
in South Australia. 

Australian Museum two jaw fragments that had been 
found in about 1870 some 5 metres below the surface 
in his clay pit at Thebarton, then an outer suburb about 
2 kilometres west of the city of Adelaide. The exact 
locality has been lost and the pit probably filled in and 
reclaimed. Occasionally bones were found in the 
numerous clay and sand pits west of Adelaide, usually 
Diprotodon (Tate 1890: 182) in various stages of 
disintegration, but the specimens described here are 
somewhat better preserved. 


This comprises the fused symphyseal portion of the 
mandibles, with evidence of the premolar and three 
molars (M 2 _ 4 ) in the right ramus, and M 2 in the left 
jaw (Fig. 2). The anterior extremity of the symphysis 
is badly damaged, and much is missing. The teeth are 
badly chipped and greatly worn. The premolar is 
represented only by its roots, while of the molars, only 
M 3 retains any trace of enamel. M 2 has been worn to 
or below the base of the enamel. Nevertheless, 
approximate measurements can be made of M 2 and 

TABLE 1. Dimensions of upper molars of Palorchestes spp. (in mm). 





P. azael 

BM (NH) 46316 

AM F7272 (=B.5936, type of 
P. rephaim Ramsay) 

QM F773 

M : 


24.1X19.6 25.4x21.2 25.7x20.3 27.1x22.7 from Woods (1958) 

25.5x21.2 27.0x23.5 27.2x23.7 28.0x22.0 

25.0x21.0 26.8x23.2 27.2x22.5 28.0x21.5 

26.0x22.3 26.5x23.2 26.7x22.6 28.5x21.3 

26.1x21.8 26.7x22.7 27.8x22.6 27.6x22.0 

from unpublished 
scaled photograph 

from Woods (1958) 

QM F3837 

SAM P11546 
P. parvus 

QM F789 

26. 0x24. Oe 27.0x24.0e 


pers. comm., 
M. Archer (1973) 

e = estimated 

18.8X14.7 20.3x16.1 21.2x16.3 24.0x16.7 

17.8x14.2 20.6x16.2 21.3x16.5 23.3x16.6 from Woods (1958) 

P. painei 


UCMP 70553 (left) 

UCMP 70550 

18.2x14.3 - 18.0X15.3 18.6x14.4 

16.8x14.4 18.1X15.5 19.4x16.3 20.1x15.6 from Woodburne (1967) 

16.7x13.9 18.0x15.3 18.5x15.0 20.2x15. 5e e = extrapolated 


UCMP 66521 

17.8x14.0 18. Ox 15. 5e 18. Ox 15. 5e 19.9xl5.5e 



M 3 (Table 2). The other fragment represents part of 
the right maxilla, with M 3 and M 4 . Again, the teeth 
are very worn and broken, but M 4 retains some 
enamel labially, and approximate measurements are 
possible. The size of these teeth agree with those of 
Palorchestes azael (Table 1). 


Mandibles. Although somewhat crushed laterally, 
and preserved in partly calcified clay which makes 
preparation difficult, the mandibles have been partially 
restored, particularly in order to eliminate the distortion 
in the symphyseal region, and to complete as far as 

FIGURE 2. Thebarton specimen of Palorchestes azael, SAM 
P11546, dentaries and maxilla fragment. Scale in mm. 

possible the anterior portion of the right ramus. 
Unfortunately, the end is a mass of hardened calcific 
clay and cancellous bone that does not lend itself to 
cleaning. As a result, the full symphyseal length, and 
the nature of the incisor alveolus are unknown; indeed, 
there is no sign of the incisor. The left molar is slightly 
displaced linguad but this was not considered important 
enough to risk damage to the specimen by restoring 
it to its proper position. 

As Woods (1958) states, the diastema is long (at least 
85 mm) and the diastemal crest descends forward from 
the premolar position on the dorso-lingual side of the 
ramus. The mandibles are firmly fused, with no trace 
of a suture. The preserved part of the symphysis is 145 
mm long, ending level with the anterior root of M 3 . 
The lingual region of the symphysis is a deep, rounded 
groove. At the level of the anterior mental foramen, 
40 mm anterior to M 2 , the width of this lingual 
channel is the same as the depth, approximately 22 
mm. Below M 2 , a large (11 mm diam.) sub-circular 
genial pit straddles the symphysis. The posterior end 
of the symphysis is sharply rounded, forming a 
transverse torus 18 mm thick. Ventrally, the mandible 
appears narrow and attenuated. About 50 mm in front 
of the posterior edge of the symphysis and about 30 
mm apart, are two broad shallow depressions on either 
side of the midline. The effect of these is to produce 
a slight carination of the symphysis. The mental 
foramina are 25 mm antero-dorsal of these depressions. 
Indication of a very small posterior mental foramen 
is seen 40 mm below the anterior root of M 3 . The 
mandibular canal below M 4 is 14 mm high and 11 mm 

Maxilla. Only the portion giving rise to the right 
zygoma, with the remains of two molars, is preserved. 
The zygoma arises opposite M 3 , as in Owen's 
specimen (1874, pi. LXXXII). M 3 is represented only 
by dentine and roots, but M 4 retains some enamel 
labially. This is smooth and mostly lies in the protection 
of the transverse valley. 

Geological Age 

The precise geological age of the specimen cannot 
be determined as no carbon-dateable material was 
obtained. The clay deposit at Thebarton has been 
identified as probably the Pooraka Formation of Firman 
(1969), which consists of up to 7 metres of late 
Pleistocene sandy clay overlying the older Pleistocene 
Hindmarsh Clay. 

Victoria Fossil Cave Specimen 

Early in 1972, during excavations conducted by R. 
T. Wells in the Victoria Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, the 
large mandibles of a Palorchestes azael (SAM P16583) 
were unearthed (Wells et al. 1984). Certain other large 
bones (mainly limbs) have been found in the same area, 



TABLE 2. Dimensions of lower molars of Palorchestes azael (in mm). 






P. azael 

BM (NH) M34 

(type of P. crassus Ow. 1880) 

BM (NH) 40034 
QM F774 

QM F781 
SAM P11546 

SAM P16583 

26.5X15.0 27.0x16.0 30.0x17.5 (33x22) 

22.7x16.1 27.1x17.8 

23.4x14.7 28.5X17.7 

22.4x13.3 28.2x17.7 

23.7x15.6 27.2x17.0 

24.1x14.0 25.7x16.0 




(28) x 17.0 

29.0ex21.0e 29.6x21.2 
28.5x20.4 30.9x20.2 


from scaled photograph 
of original. (Left 
ramus). Owen (1880) 
figured the other 

from Woods (1958) 

from Woods (1958) 
with estimate for M, 

from Woods (1958) 

estimated from 
battered specimen 

and may belong to this specimen. So far, no skull has 
been found. 

The Fossil Chamber of Victoria Cave is a large 
tunnel about 60 m long, and up to 15 m wide, with 
a maximum of about 2.5 m headroom above a silt floor 
up to 3 m thick, with bone scattered throughout (Wells 
1975, Wells etal. 1984, Smith 1971). The Palorchestes 
specimen (SAM P16583) was collected by Wells in the 
top 15 cm near the south-western wall about halfway 
along the tunnel (excavation grid reference: 70-70.5 
R8'-9' DO-6"). 


The specimen consists of the fused mandibles, with 
more or less complete cheek-tooth rows (the left M 3 
and half of both LM 4 and RM 4 are missing), and with 
enough of the ascending rami to indicate most of the 
form (Fig. 3). The coronoid processes are both 
missing, as are the spatulate incisors. The jaws are well 
preserved; the teeth were fractured and expanded by 
infiltrating silt, but the pieces have been cleaned and 
rejoined with little distortion or alteration from their 
original size and form. A few expanded cracks in the 
jaws have been left unrepaired as they do not materially 
affect any measurements. The specimen is considered 
to be the best preserved of all those so far discovered. 

The best preserved Palorchestes azael previously 
reported is QM F774, from a well on the Darling 
Downs in Queensland (De Vis 1884; Woods 1958). In 
that specimen of a juvenile individual, the jaws are 

pathologically deformed (parameral differentiation), 
lack most of the ascending rami, and have the teeth 
fractured, expanded and recemented so that accurate 
measurements are not always possible. It does, 
however, retain the scoop-like incisors and possess all 

molars, although the M s s 

had not yet erupted. 


The jaws of the Naracoorte Palorchestes are basically 
similar (so far as can be compared) to the Thebarton 
mandible fragment and also to QM F774. The only 
noticeable difference is the absence of the genial pit 
in the lingual channel. Certain anatomical features can 
now be described in full: most importantly, the length 
of the diastema is 114 mm and the total length, from 
anterior tip of the symphysis to the condyle is 425 mm. 
The symphysis is 178 mm long. The anterior mental 
foramen is 87 mm from the tip of the mandible and 
47 mm from P r At the posterior edges of the alveoli 
of the incisors, the jaws are about 48 mm wide and 
34 mm deep. At the anterior mental foramina, these 
dimensions are 46 mm and 52 mm (minimum 
transverse distance) respectively, and at P_ 78 mm and 
about 70 mm. The depth of the mandible at M 2 and 
M 5 is 76 mm and 65 mm respectively, with a ramus 
thickness of 46 mm at M 5 . Because of damage or loss 
to one or other ramus {e.g. only one condyle is 
preserved), the maximum width of the jaws cannot be 
measured, but an estimate is given by the maximum 
separation of the pterygoid fossae: 205 mm. Separation 



FIGURE 3. Victoria Cave specimen of Palorchestes azael, SAM P16583, A) dentaries in occlusal view (stereoscopic pair). 
B) left dentary in profile. 



of the tooth rows is as follows: 43 mm at P 3 , 45 mm 
at M 2 , and about 40 mm at M 5 . 

In profile, the jaws are outstanding amongst the 
diprotodontoids, and are reminiscent of the 
macropodines. The predental portion is flexed 
downwards rather like Macropus giganteus and the 
incisor alveoli suggest the scoop-like teeth seen in QM 
F774. The ascending rami tend to slope backwards as 
in Bettongia, rather than rising vertically as in 
Diprotodon, Zygomaturus or Macropus. With the jaws 
resting on a flat surface, the height of the condyle is 
195 mm. Both coronoid processes are missing, so the 
total height is unknown. The masseteric fossa is 
shallow, as is characteristic of diprotodontids, but 
sharply bounded and ovate. The pterygoid fossa is deep, 
bounded below by an upturned lip. The angular process 
is prolonged acutely, and directed somewhat medially. 
The post-alveolar shelf is separated from the ascending 
ramus just posterolabial to the M 5 by a thin high wall 
that forms a distinct rounded trough about 15 mm in 

The alveolus for the incisor is roughly crescentic or 
reniform in section, concave dorsomedially, and tapers 
rapidly with a depth of only a few centimetres. The 
maximum diameter of the alveolus is 23.3 mm and the 
minor diameter is about 13 mm. The alveoli are 
oriented such that the incisors may be splayed a little. 
The cheek teeth, being worn down to the dentine and 
breaching the links in all molars, indicate a mature age 
for the animal. By contrast, the Thebarton specimen, 
SAM P11546, was aged and QM F774 juvenile. The 
enamel of the teeth is consistently smooth, though this 
may be due to food abrasion. The form of the teeth 
is the same as described by Woods (1958). Tooth-row 
lengths are 134 mm (left) and 130 mm (right); LP 3 is 
19.4 mm x 14.5 mm, RP 3 is 19.1 mm x 14.7 mm. 
Other dimensions are given in Table 2. 

The similarity in form of the jaws to those of some 
of the early 'shovel-tusker' proboscideans {e.g. 
Phiomia, see Osborn 1936) suggests a similar habit, 
though the analogy should not be carried too far. It 
should, however, be noted here that the form of the 
nasal region as seen in BM(NH) 46316 (the holotype 
of P. azael, Owen 1874: 83), QM F789 {P. parvus) 
and QM F91719 (P. painei) indicates a long, regressed 
nasal opening (Bartholomai 1978), such as is found in 
Phiomia and also in tapirs, and therefore the likelihood 
of a short trunk. This has been accepted in recent 
restorations {e.g. Flannery 1983, Flannery & Archer 
1985). Such a feature has also been suggested for the 
diprotodontids Zygomaturus (Scott 1915), and 
Diprotodon (Rich 1983). 

Geological Age 

Uranium series and collagen racemisation dating of 
bone from the upper levels, which yielded this 
specimen, have given the results: 125 000 U/Th and 
150 000 years U/Pa BP (H. Veeh in Wells et al. 1984) 

and 50 000 and 70 000 years BP ± 20% (J. Bada in 
Wells et al. ibid) respectively. Carbon dating of 
associated charcoal gave results of about 16 700 years 
BP (+ 3000, - 2180) {ibid.), suggesting a lag deposit 
with reworking {e.g. Archer 1974). 

Henschke Fossil Cave Specimens 

During the early-mid 1980s, excavations by J. Barrie 
in the newly uncovered deeper sections of the Henschke 
Fossil Cave (Barrie 1990, Pledge 1990), on the outskirts 
of Naracoorte, produced a number of isolated teeth of 
Palorchestes azael (Fig. 4). 

The teeth are mostly from two areas in the cave, and 
can be distinguished by their colour/preservation. Most 
are from the area 'HJD' (Barrie 1990) in a reddish silt 
(specimens SAM P31364, 31365, 31368, 31376, 
31378-31380) and show generally a darker brownish 
preservation, while a few were collected several metres 
away at area 'HSDW' in a sandier sediment and have 
a buff to cream colour (SAM P31377, 31381-31383). 
Several others were found in the intervening area (SAM 
P31355) or elsewhere in the cave (SAM P31367, 31384) 
and also show pale coloration. 


This comprises a pair of I 2 , a second damaged LI 2 
and RI 2 , a pair of P 2 (one still in a fragment of 
maxilla) a right M 1 , a pair of M 2 , a pair of M 3 (?), 
two fragmentary left I,, a right I,, right M, and 
fragment of left M,, left M 2 (?), non-identical left and 
right M 3 (?), and the anterior half of a more 
posterior(?) molar. All the teeth are only barely worn, 
the enamel crests cracked rather than worn through, 
and it is apparent that at least two individuals were 
present. It is also apparent that there is some 
considerable morphological variation, at least in the 
lower molars and lower incisors. Because the teeth are 
so near to pristine condition, as compared with 
published material, they are described briefly below. 


f{l) (SAM P31364-31367). There is some 
uncertainty about this designation which is based on 
comparison with P. parvus (QM F789). The tooth is 
relatively broad (13 mm), strongly curved, and very 
thick (>10 mm) at the base where the cross section 
is trapezoidal. The cutting edge, slightly uneven, is at 
about 75 ° to the longitudinal axis, acute medially. The 
teeth are very similar to the otherwise very worn AM 

P 2 . (SAM P31368, 31369). A pair of premolars is 
given this designation. One of them is the only 
specimen in this collection to have any associated bone, 
and this preserves what is considered to be part of the 
crypt for the unerupted left P 3 . In addition, the teeth 
are much smaller, and of different detailed morphology, 
than P 3 of P. azael (AM MF 452) from Wellington 



FIGURE 4. Henschke Fossil Cave specimens of Palorchestes azael. A) Right upper teeth, occlusal view in stereo; P (SAM 
P31368), M 1 (P31370), M 2 (P31371). B) Lower cheek teeth, occlusal views in stereo; right M, (SAM P31381), left M 2 
(P31369), left M, (P31379), right M (P31378, also in medial profile). Scale in mm. 



Caves. However, they closely match in size and 
morphology the P 3 of Palorchestes parvus (QM 
F789). They are marginally larger than that specimen 
and almost unworn, thus preserving the crests in great 
detail. (There is no other evidence off! parvus, such 
as molars, in the deposit, and with the evidence of the 
P 3 crypt, the premolars are confidently referred to P 

The teeth are roundly triangular, the shortest side 
anterolingual and bearing a well defined precingulum. 
The longitudinal crest extends from the parastyle to 
a point about 2 mm lingual of the posterior corner. 
The metacone is about halfway along the crest and is 
the highest cusp. The paracone is close in front of it, 
and sends a deeply notched transverse crest lingually 
to the protocone. A parallel crest from the metacone 
towards the hypocone ends abruptly at a deep notch 
and does not meet a weak crest from the poorly 
expressed hypocone. A low postcrista from the 
protocone includes the swelling of the hypocone and 
continues, parallel to the longitudinal crest, to meet 
the posterolingual cingulum at about the halfway mark. 
The posterobuccal corner of the tooth is shallowly 
basined by the longitudinal crest, the posterobuccal 
cingulum and the swelling of the combined protocone- 

A damaged tooth (P31384) from a different part of 
the cave (HJDX) somewhat resembles in general form 
the teeth mentioned above. It differs in being slightly 
larger and in having a more complicated zig-zag 
longitudinal crest. The posterior moiety is similar but 
from the paracone(?), separated from the metacone by 
a notch in the crest, the crest forks into an anterior 
and a buccal branch, the latter not quite reaching the 
buccal cingulum. It is concluded that this tooth is an 
aberrant right P 2 rather than P 3 since it in no way 
resembles the P 3 of AM F452. 

A/ 1 . One tooth (SAM P31370) may represent this 
position. It is from the same locality in the cave as 
the pair of M 2 s described below, but is of more solid 
appearance, shows slightly greater wear and some 
morphological differences. It generally resembles (as 
do the M 2 s described below) the M 2 of QM F772, but 
differs in having converging rather than parallel 
forelinks from the paracone and protocone, the 
preparacrista being aligned longitudinally. Also there 
is a sharp postparacrista which converges on a slightly 
weaker premetacrista, and a stronger 
premetaconulecrista that meets the postprotocrista. In 
addition there is a weak postmetacrista which impinges 
on the postcingulum. 

In view of the decreasing development of links and 
crests backwards in the upper molar tooth row, this 
hyperdevelopment of crests suggests that SAM P31370 
is indeed an example of M 1 . It should be noted that 
QM F772 preserves the posterior margin of an alveolus 
anterior to M 2 , as well as trace of a crypt below it. 
Since AM F452 indicates that P 3 erupted when M 2 

was quite worn, the crypt in QM F772 apparently 
housed P 3 which means that the alveoli above it 
contained M 1 of similar size to the little worn M 2 

Afi. This position is represented by a pair of teeth 
(SAM P31371 [right] and P31372 [left]) from the same 
area, exhibiting identical preservation and stage of wear 
— virtually unworn. The teeth resemble QM F772 
(Woods 1958: fig. 1 - his M 1 ) except that the two 
forelinks from the paracone and protocone are conver- 
gent instead of roughly parallel, and the postparacrista 
is somewhat sharper. They also resemble the putative 
M 1 (SAM P31370) except in lacking the premetacrista 
and the postmetacrista and having a weaker post- 
protocrista-premetaconulecrista link. 

Afi. Except in being less worn and very slightly 
larger, the teeth ascribed to this position, (SAM P31373 
[right] and P31374 [left]), are identical to M 3 of QM 

/,. Three specimens represent this tooth: a 
fragment of left incisor (SAM P31377) and a pair 
(P31375 - incomplete left, and P31376 - complete 
right). They are virtually unworn and are interesting 
in showing a distinct dorsal crest ('dorsal flange' of 
Woods 1958) extending from the tip, posterobuccally 
just inside the outer edge of the tooth, for almost half 
the length of the enamel crown. 

The tooth P31376 has the typical spoon-shape of 
Palorchestes spp. with a thicker, straighter medial 
margin and the anterior extremity on the mesial side. 
However, it differs noticeably in proportions from that 
of QM F2203 from Dalby, Queensland, being 
absolutely shorter and broader than that somewhat 
worn specimen. It has, in fact, the same breadth: length 
proportions (0.61) as that of P. parvus (QM F7072 from 
Chinchilla, Queensland), whereas the ratio for QM 
F2203 (P azael) is less than 0.4. 

M y Comparison of the six lower molar specimens 
suggests that two are in fact deciduous first molars. 
SAM P31381, a complete right molar, and P31382, an 
anterior fragment of the left, show similar preservation 
and stage of wear and are from the same locality (area 
HSDW) in the cave. They show the same unique 
structure that differentiates them from typical 
Palorchestes azael lower molars, a feature not 
previously reported in Palorchestes, yet reminiscent 
of first molars in some other diprotodontans, namely 
the retention of the trigonid. Instead of a simple 
protolophid, there is a triangular structure having the 
protoconid and metaconid at the ends of a narrow 
transverse protolophid, and these joined by lower 
cristids to an equidistant lower point at the end of the 
cristid obliqua. There is thus a deep enamel-lined basin 
or pit forming the 'stop' of a question mark formed by 
the cristid obliqua and concurrent hypolophid. Because 
of the apparent lateral compression of protolophid, 
there is a strong preprotocristid and premetacristid. 
The precingulum is strong and high, but unaffected 
by these cristids. The postlink of the hypolophid is 



almost undetectable - just a slight swelling at the apex 
of the broad postcingulum. This postcingulum is 
slightly broader and definitely higher than in 
succeeding molars, and is seen to decrease in height 
to a low eminence in the M 5 of other specimens, e.g. 
SAM P16583. 

Despite the triangular form of the protolophid, it 
cannot be interpreted as a trigonid without radical 
reinterpretation of the cuspid pattern of the lower 
molars, since the triangle is apparently headed in the 
opposite direction to a normal trigonid. Too few 
diprotodontan M,s are preserved in a state of little or 
no wear for detailed comparative studies to have been 
made. In the primitive diprotodontid Raemeotherium 
yatkolai, M 2 possesses a small but distinct trigonid 
(Rich et al. 1978), but this cannot be reconciled with 
the Palorchestes molar unless the posterior corner of 
the triangle in the latter is considered to be the 
protoconid, which makes the buccal corner the 
paraconid. It would be tempting, if there were just one 
such tooth, to dismiss it as dental anomaly — a possibly 
pathological condition (Archer 1975). But with a 
second specimen mirror-imaging the first, and 
probably from the same animal, this is not so easy to 
accept, although symmetrical abnormalities are 
recorded (ibid.). 

On balance, it is proposed that these two specimens 
do represent M, of Palorchestes az&el. 

M r Comparing the three remaining complete 
molars, from two localities, it is apparent that only one 
(SAM P31383) represents M 2 , and it is from the same 
site as the putative M.s, having the same preservation. 

It is slightly longer than Mj and has a slightly lower 
postcingular eminence. Otherwise it has the typical 
form of a lower molar of Palorchestes azael. 

M y Two teeth, SAM P31378 (right) and P31379 
(left) are allocated this designation. Although from the 
same location (HJD) and having similar preservation, 
size and stage of wear, they are not considered to be 
a pair because of a distinctive postmetacristid on the 
left molar, which is repeated on the anterior moiety 
fragment of the proposed M 4 , SAM P31380. This 
cristid forms a strong fork at the lingual end of the 
protolophid. Again, this feature could be considered 
an anomaly, possibly similar to the split cusp 
phenomenon recorded by Archer (idem), but its 
repetition in successive teeth in the jaw suggests a more 
regular feature. 

M 4 . SAM P31830 is the broken anterior moiety of 
an unerupted molar — evinced by the open-prismatic 
nature of the enamel, not yet fully calcified. As noted 
above, it displays a distinct postmetacristid. 


At least two individuals referrable to Palorchestes 
azael are represented here (Table 3). One of them is 
represented by both upper and lower teeth, whilst the 
other seems to have been just the lower jaws. Both were 
immature animals. Features of the M 2 , Ij and possibly 
M 2 call to question the specific allocation of the taxon 
because these teeth are noticeably different from those 
reported in accepted Palorchestes azael specimens. 
However, on present evidence, it is only possible to 
indicate that there may have been great variation in the 

TABLE 3. Cheek tooth dimensions (in mm), Palorchestes azael from Henschke Fossil Cave. 

protoloph (id) 


Specimen no. 

Length (1) 


height (h) 


P 2 (L) 

P 31368 



10.0 (pa-me) 






10.6 " 




17.5 + 




M l (R) 






M 2 (R) 












M 3 (R) 












M. (R) 

P 31381 








M 2 (L) 



17 + 



M- (R) 













M 4 ? (L) 


17 + 



species. The features have not been reported before 
because most described specimens are of older 
individuals whose teeth are worn to the point of 
destroying detailed cusp morphology. 

It should be noted that an unworn specimen of P. 
cf painei from Hamilton (Turnbull & Lundelius 1970, 
pi. xxx) seems to show an incipient postmetacristid, 
as in SAM P31379. 

Age of Deposit 

Only two radiocarbon determinations have been 
made on the Henschke Cave deposits, both from the 
upper beds of the upper part of the cave (Pledge 1990). 
They gave a result of about 37 800 years BP for the 
depth interval 30-75 cm and greater than 35 000 years 
BP for 105-120 cm. 

The Palorchestes teeth come only from the lower 
part of the cave (Barrie 1990) and are considered to 
be much older. 

Gouldens Hole Cave 

Gouldens Hole is a cenote several kilometres south 
of Mt Gambier in the far south-east of South Australia. 
Uncovered by a farmer's excavation of an access ramp 
to the water, there is a small simple tunnel, which 
gradually slopes up and away from the sinkhole. The 
floor of this tunnel was covered to about 15 cm with 

a silty deposit containing fossils. These consisted 
primarily of isolated teeth, but with occasional bones 
of modern vertebrates mixed with them as well as 
invertebrates dissolved out of the Gambier Limestone. 
The deposit thus contains a mixed vertebrate fauna 
ranging from (?middle) Pleistocene to Modern (such 
as sheep and rabbits, therefore post 1858). The end 
of the tunnel cannot be reached because it narrows too 
much, but it is apparent that the fossils are derived 
from a distant (and filled-in) entrance by water- 
winnowing of a debris pile. Virtually only small (teeth) 
or light (modern bones) specimens reached the lower 
extremity of the tunnel. 


Amongst the collection representing at least ten 
marsupial taxa are five and one half molar teeth of 
Palorchestes sp. (Fig. 5) - a pair of upper molars M 2 
(P24097), a left and right M 2 (not a pair - P31396, 
P31397), a larger right lower molar (P31399) and half 
of a similar (but more anterior) tooth (P31398). 


These teeth are about the size of P parvus molars, 
although possibly exhibiting greater size variation, but 
appear to be higher crowned than comparative 
topotypic material at hand (see Table 4). The upper 
molars are smaller and relatively narrower than that 

FIGURE 5. Goulden's Hole Cave teeth, Palorchestes sp. cf. P. parvus. Occlusal views in stereo. Left M 2 (SAM P24097). 
right M 2 (P31396), left M 3 (P31397), right M 5 (P31399, also in medial profile). Scale in mm. 



(M 2 ) from Cement Mills, Gore, Queensland, reported 
by Bartholomai (1977) as Palorchestes cf. P. parvus. 
Although the Gouldens Hole specimens differ from 
P. parvus, sensu stricto, there is not yet sufficient 
evidence to warrant erecting new species for them. 
Accordingly, they are referred, only tentatively, to 
Palorchestes sp. cf. P. parvus. 

Geological Age 

As noted above, the teeth are from a reworked mixed 
assemblage. The age can only be estimated at 
Pleistocene on the basis of other species of known 
Pleistocene age and similar preservation. 

Curramulka Specimens 

Corra-Lynn Cave (5Y1 in the National Cave register) 
contains a relict deposit of cemented fossiliferous silt 
(Pledge in prep.) which has yielded a large number 
of vertebrate species suggestive of a Late Tertiary age. 
Amongst them is a considerable number of isolated 
teeth (and some recognisable bones) of Palorchestes 
(Fig. 6). Measurements (Table 5) and morphological 
features suggest these best fit Palorchestes painei 
Woodburne, 1967 from the putative Late Miocene 
Alcoota Fauna of the Waite Formation (Woodburne 


This comprises: posterior half LM 3 (SAM 
P29860), LM 3 (P31331), RM 4 (P29938), LM 5 
(P26536, P29859), LI, (P29941), LM 2 (P29905), 
LM 3 (P29940), LM 4 (P29999), RM 5 (P30000). 
(Positional designation is based on relative size, shape 
and some morphological features of the links'.) There 
are also three very large, very compressed ungual 
phalanges of the form that has been ascribed to 
Palorchestes (Flannery & Archer 1985). These differ 
in detail from the damaged claw bones of phalange I 
of Thylacoleo carnifex, that have lost the protective 


Unworn molars show that these teeth are relatively 
high-crowned, more so than indicated for P. painei by 
Woodburne (1967, table 23) who suggests that P. parvus 
has higher crowned molars, but less so than the 
Gouldens Hole teeth. Turnbull & Lundelius (1970) 
calculated relative crown heights (i.e. the ratio of 
protolophid height to tooth length) for the Alcoota P 
painei and their Hamilton specimen, as well as for two 
good P. azael specimens (M 3 4 ) from Wellington 
Caves, obtaining about 0.52, 0.65, and 0.74 and 0.73 
respectively. The values for specimens described herein 
are given in Tables 3-5. It is apparent that there are 

TABLE 4. Cheek tooth dimensions (in mm), Palorchestes sp. cf. P. parvus from Gouldens Hole Cave, compared with 
P. parvus from Woods (1958) and SAM specimens. 


Specimen no. 

Length (1) 


protoloph (id) 
height (h) 


P. sp. cf. 

P. parvus, Gouldens Hole 

M 2 (L) 


SAM P24097 






M 2 (R) 

M 3 (L) 




10 + + 

11 + + 


M 4 (R) 




(13 + ) 


M 5 (R) 






P. parvus 


M 2 (L) 
M 3 (L) 
M 4 (L) 
M 5 (L) 

QM F783 (type) 



M 3 (L) 

M 4 (L) 
M 5 (L) 

SAM P18432 
SAM P18400 



10+ + 
10+ + 

11 + 






specific differences for this ratio, at least in lower 
molars, but there are also positional differences in teeth 
of the one species. It is suggested on this basis, at least, 
that the Hamilton and Curramulka specimens are 
conspecific, but that they differ from P. painei, sensu 

Geological Age 

Based on correlation of mammal and bird fossils, 
and the apparent absence of any rodent material, Pledge 
(in prep.) considers this deposit to be early Pliocene, 
or even Late Miocene, in age. 


I am grateful to Dr A. Bartholomai, Director of the 
Queensland Museum for allowing me to borrow certain 
specimens for comparison and to Dr M. Archer for assisting 
me while I was there; to Dr A. Ritchie for information on 
specimens, and permission to peruse the Australian Museum 
material; Dr T. A. Darragh for information on Victorian 
specimens, Dr R. Wells for assistance at Naracoorte, and Dr 
R. H. Tedford for valuable discussion. 


ARCHER, M. 1974. Apparent association of bone and 

charcoal of different origin and age in cave deposits. 

Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 17(1): 37-48. 
ARCHER, M. 1975. Abnormal dental development and its 

significance in dasyurids and other marsupials. Memoirs 

of the Queensland Museum 17(2): 251-265. 
ARCHER, M. 1978. The nature of the molar-premolar 

boundary in marsupials and a reinterpretation of the 

homology of marsupial cheek-teeth. Memoirs of the 

Queensland Museum 18(2); 157-164. 
ARCHER, M. & BARTHOLOMAI, A. 1978. Tertiary 

mammals of Australia: a synoptic review. Alcheringa 2: 

BARRIE, J. 1990. Skull elements and additional remains of 

the Pleistocene boid snake Wonambi naracoortensis. 

Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 28(1): 139-151. 
BARTHOLOMAI, A. 1977. The fossil vertebrate fauna from 

Pleistocene deposits at Cement Mills, Gore, southeastern 

Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 18(1): 


BARTHOLOMAI, A. 1978. The rostrum in Palorchestes 
Owen (Marsupialia: Diprotodontidae). Results of the Ray 
E. Lemley Expeditions, part 3. Memoirs of the Queensland 
Museum 18(2): 145-149. 

DENNANT, J. & KITSON, A. E. 1903. Catalogue of the 
described species of fossils (except Bryozoa and 
Foraminifera) in the Cainozoic fauna of Victoria, South 
Australia, and Tasmania (with locality plan). Records of 
the Geological Survey of Victoria 1(2): 89-147. 

DAVIS, A. 1990. The exposure of Pleistocene Palorchestes. 
Riversleigh Notes no. 11: 8. 

DE VIS, C. W. 1884. Notes on a lower jaw of Palorchestes 
azael. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South 
Wales 8: 221-224. 

DE VIS, C. W. 1895. A review of the fossil jaws of the 
Macropodidae in the Queensland Museum. Proceedings 
of the Linnean Society of New South Wales (ser 2) 10 

DUN, W. A. 1893. On palatal remains of Palorchestes azael, 
Owen, from the Wellington Caves bone-deposit. Records 

TABLE 5. Tooth dimensions (in mm), Palorchestes cf P. painei from Corra-Lynn Cave (Curramulka Local Fauna). 



protoloph (id) 


Specimen no. 

Length (I) 



height (h) 


M 3 (L) 

SAM P29860 


M 3 (L) 





M 4 (R) 


19 + 




M 5 (L) 






M 5 (L) 







I, (L) 




M 2 (L) 





12 + 


M 3 (L) 







M 4 (L) 







M 5 (R) 







M 3 ? (R) 

P 31408 




(P. painei. 




FIGURE 6. Corra Lynn Cave, Curramulka teeth, Palorchestes sp. cf P. painei. Left M 3 {SAM P31331), right M 4 (P29938), 
left M 5 (P29859), M 2 (P29905), M 3 (P29940), M 4 (P29999), right M 5 (P30000, also in medial profile). (M 4 and M 4 not 
in stereo). Scale in mm. 

of the Geological Survey of New South Wales 3: 12-124, 

pi. 16. 
FIRMAN, J. B. 1969. Quaternary Period. Chapter 6 in 

'Handbook of South Australian Geology' Ed. L. W. Parkin. 

Geological Survey of South Australia: Adelaide. 
FLANNERY, T. F. 1983. A unique trunked giant, Palorchestes 

azael. Pp. 54-55 in 'Prehistoric Animals of Australia'. Eds 

S. Quirk & M. Archer. Australian Museum: Sydney. 
FLANNERY, T. F. & ARCHER, M. 1985. Palorchestes 

Owen, 1874. Large and small palorchestids. Pp. 234-239 

in 'Kadimakara Extinct Vertebrates of Australia*. Eds P. V. 

Rich & G. V. van Tets. Pioneer Design Studio: Lilydale 

GILL, E. D. 1953. Geological evidence in Western Victoria 

relative to the antiquity of the Australian aborigines. 

Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria 18: 25-92. 

GILL, E. D. & BANKS, M. R. 1956. Cainozoic history of 
Mowbray Swamp and other areas of north-western 
Tasmania. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum, 
Launceston (n.s.) 6: 1-41. 

GLAUERT, L. 1926. A list of Western Australian fossils 
(systematically arranged.) Supplement No. 1, Geological 
Survey of Western Australia, Bulletin No. 88: 36-72. 

LYDEKKER, R. 1887. 'Catalogue of the fossil Mammalia 
in the British Museum (Natural History)'. Part 5. Taylor 
and Francis: London. 

MAHONEY, J. A. & RIDE, W. D. L. 1975. Index to the 
genera and species of fossil Mammalia described from 
Australia and New Guinea between 1838 and 1968. Western 
Australian Museum Special Publication no. 6. 



MERRILEES, D. 1968. Man the destroyer: Late Quaternary 
changes in the Australian marsupial fauna. Journal of the 
Royal Society of Western Australia 51(1): 1-24. 

OSBORN, H. F. 1936. 'Proboscidea: a monograph of the 
discovery, evolution, migration and extinction of the 
mastodons and elephants of the world'. Vol. 1. 
Moeritherioidea, Deinotherioidea, Mastodontoidea. 
American Museum Press: New York. 

OWEN, R. 1874. On the fossil mammals of Australia - Part 

IX. Philosophical Transactions 164: 783-803, pis 76-83. 
OWEN, R. 1876. On the fossil mammals of Australia - Part 

X. Philosophical Transactions 166: 197-226, pis 19-31. 
OWEN, R. 1880. Description of a portion of mandible and 

teeth of a large extinct kangaroo (Palorchestes crassus, Ow.) 
from ancient fluviatile drift, Queensland. Transactions of 
the Zoological Society of London 11: 7-10, pi. 2. 

PLEDGE, N. S. 1990. The upper fossil feuna of the Henschke 
Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Memoirs of the 
Queensland Museum 28(1): 247-262. 

RAMSAY, E. P. 1886. (Notes and exhibits from the Australian 

Museum). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South 

Wales 10: 761. 
RICH, T. H. 1983. The largest marsupial. Diprotodon 

optatum. Pp. 62-63 in 'Prehistoric Animals of Australia'. 

Eds S. Quirk & M. Archer. Australian Museum: Sydney. 
RICH, T. H., ARCHER, M. & TEDFORD, R. H. 1978. 

Raemeotherium yatkolai, gen. et sp. nov., a primitive 

diprotodontid from the medial Miocene South Australia. 

Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria 39: 85-91. 

SCOTT, H. H. 1915. A monograph of Nototherium 
tasmanicum. Tasmania Geological Survey, Records 4. 

SCOTT, H. H. 1916. A note on ' Palorchestes' as a Tasmanian 
Pleistocene genus. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal 
Society of Tasmania 1915: 100-101, pi. 9. 

SMITH, M. J. 1971. Small fossil vertebrates from Victoria 
Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. I. Potoroinae 
(Macropodidae), Petauridae and Burramyidae 
(Marsupialia). Transactions of the Royal Society of South 
Australia 95(4): 185-198. 

TATE, R. 1890. The stratigraphical relations of the Tertiary 
formations about Adelaide, with special reference to the 
Croydon Bore. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal 
Society of South Australia 13: 180-184, pi. IV. 

TURNBULL, W. D. & LUNDELIUS, E. L., Jr. 1970. The 
Hamilton Fauna. A Late Pliocene mammalian fauna from 
the Grange Burn, Victoria, Australia. Fieldiana: Geology 
19: 1-163. 

WELLS, R. T. 1975. Reconstructing the past. Excavations 
in fossil caves. Australian Natural History 18(6): 208-211. 

WELLS, R. T. & CALLEN, R. A. (Eds). 1986. The Lake 
Eyre Basin — Cainozoic sediments, fossil vertebrates and 
plants, land forms, silcretes and climatic implications. 
Geological Society of Australia, Australian Sedementologist 
Specialist Group Field Guide Series, no. 4: 1-176. 

1984. The fossil vertebrate deposits of Victoria Fossil Cave, 
Naracoorte: an introduction to the geology and fauna. 
Australian Zoologist 21(4): 305-333. 

WOODBURNE, M. O. 1967. The Alcoota Fauna, Central 
Australia. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and 
Geophysics, Bulletin 87: 1-187. 

WOODS, J. T. 1958. The extinct marsupial genus Palorchestes 
Owen. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 13(4): 177-193. 




M A. Smith, E. Williams & R. 7. Wasson 


The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Strzelecki Desert is from the JSN site, discovered 
in 1979 during a geomorphic study of the dunefield. Further radiocarbon results confirm a late 
Plesitocene antiquity for occupation at JSN and indicate that the site was occupied on more than one 
occasion between 10 000-15 000 years ago. The location of the site suggests that this pattern of 
occupation reflects systematic use of the Strzelecki dunefield in the late Pleistocene. These findings 
refute the idea that there was no significant human occupation in the Strzelecki Desert-Cooper's 
Creek region, prior to the mid-late Holocene. 



SMITH, M. A., WILLIAMS, E. & WASSON, R. J. 1991. The archaeology of the JSN site: some 
implications for the dynamics of human occupation in the Strzelecki Desert during the late Pleistocene. 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(2): 175-192. 

The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Strzelecki Desert is from the JSN site, discovered 
in 1979 during a geomorphic study of the dunefield. Further radiocarbon results confirm a late Pleistocene 
antiquity for occupation at JSN and indicate that the site was occupied on more than one occasion 
between 10 000-15 000 years ago. The location of the site suggests that this pattern of occupation reflects 
systematic use of the Strzelecki dunefield in the late Pleistocene. These findings refute the idea that 
there was no significant human occupation in the Strzelecki Desert -Cooper's Creek region, prior to 
the mid-late Holocene. 

M. A. Smith, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National 
University, GPO Box 4, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, E. Williams, The Australian 
Heritage Commission, GPO Box 1567, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, and R. J. Wasson, 
Division of Water Resources, CSIRO, GPO Box 1666, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601. 
Manuscript received 17 January 1991. 

The earliest evidence of human occupation in the 
Strzelecki Desert is from the JSN site (Fig. 1). The 
site was discovered by Wasson in 1979 during a 
geomorphic study of the dunefield (Wasson 1983) and 
takes its prosaic name from a nearby seismic line 
(79-JSN). A radiocarbon date of 13 850±190 yr BP 
(ANU-2278) for a small hearth became available as 
a result of this fieldwork. We can now report further 
radiocarbon results that confirm a late Pleistocene 
antiquity for occupation at JSN and which also 
indicates use of the site during the late Holocene. A 
full list of radiocarbon dates is given in Table 1. 

The initial discovery raised a perennial but difficult 
question of interpretation. Although it showed the 
presence of humans in the core of the Strzelecki 
dunefield soon after the pronounced aridity of the last 
glacial maximum had passed, there was insufficient 
evidence to determine whether this was part of a 
regional pattern of occupation of the dunefield in the 
late Pleistocene or simply a fleeting visit. Despite 

considerable archaeological research in the decade 
since the discovery of the JSN site, other evidence of 
late Pleistocene occupation in the Strzelecki Desert- 
Cooper's Creek region has only recently come to light 
with the discovery of two hearths dating to about 
12 000 yr BP adjacent to Cooper's Creek (Veth et al. 
1990). Until these later finds were made the balance 
of archaeological evidence appeared to indicate that 
the region was not otherwise occupied until about 
3-5 000 yr BP (Pretty 1968; Hughes & Lampert 1980; 
Lampert & Hughes 1987, 1988; Williams 1988). This 
lent support to the view that Wasson's hearth 
represented a single episode of occupation rather than 
a wider regional trend (cf. Lampert & Hughes 1987; 
Veth 1989: 87-88). 

One might well expect to find some evidence of an 
expansion of human settlement into the Strzelecki 
Desert, coinciding with the progressive relaxation of 
arid conditions after the last glacial maximum (Singh 
& Luly 1991; Bowler & Wasson 1984). Initial reports 

TABLE 1. Radiocarbon dates for the JSN site. All dated material was wood charcoal. 

Sample code 



Conventional radiocarbon 
age (years BP) 

13 850±190 

13 150±830 

14 400 + 200 
10 500+230 

2 400+270 


Wasson's hearth 

From aeolian unit below Wasson's hearth 

JSN/W3 earth oven 

Dispersed remnants of earlier oven beneath WJSN/N2 

WJSN/N2 earth oven 



Port r: 

Augusta IS u. 

\ \\ \\ A\V \V% L Toontooware 

, • N vv t\ \\ \ " %|/_ Maroocoolc 

\' * ,, c oongieL uw .'r\ 

Maroocutchanie \\ v 
Maroocoolcannie .. , V 

*« .1 

» *l'i it ;;.v,/^ 

Stony Desert 

Nappa Merrie. 

I M ' 


t n i 


FIGURE 1. The Strzelecki Desert-Cooper's Creek region showing the location of the JSN site and places mentioned in the text. 



of the age of Wasson's hearth put this at about 13 000 
yr BP (Hughes & Lampert 1980), suggesting a close 
correlation with the end of the glacial-age climate. 
Moreover, the hearth was stratified above the last major 
aeolian unit in this part of the dunefield. The JSN 
evidence also seemed to fit in well with a small body 
of data from other parts of the arid zone suggesting 
that many parts of the interior, away from the 
comparatively well-watered montane and piedmont 
habitats, were reoccupied by about 10-13 000 years ago 
{cf. Smith 1988: 310-315). 

In this paper we review the regional significance of 
the JSN site, drawing on unpublished details of the 
original work by Wasson in 1979, together with the 
results of further field investigations carried out in 1989 
by Williams and Smith. Previous summary reports of 
JSN can be found in Wasson (1983: 102-103, 1984: 7 
and fig. 6) and Hughes & Lampert (1980). Evidence 
now indicates that JSN was occupied on more than one 
occasion between 10-15 000 yr BP. We argue that this 
shows systematic human use of the Strzelecki dunefield 
during the late Pleistocene, given that JSN is not 
situated on obvious routes for travel within the region. 

TABLE 2. Features excavated in 1989. 

Field code 



tree root 


earth oven 




remnant of fire associated with JSN/W3 


tree root 


hearth ? 


tree root 


earth oven 


rake out from WJSN/N1 


tree roots (2) 

In what follows we use the names JSN pan, WJSN 
pan and Wasson's hearth to refer to various components 
of the JSN site. 

Further Investigations at JSN 

Ten years ago Hughes & Lampert (1980) outlined 
a program for archaeological research in the Strzelecki 
Desert-Cooper's Creek region in which they pointed 
out the need for further work at JSN. In fact, the 
radiocarbon date for Wasson's hearth became available 
shortly before they began their fieldwork in October 
1979 and they made an attempt to reach the JSN site. 
This was unsuccessful, apparently because of 
impassable drift sand. 

In October 1989 Williams and Smith were able to 
relocate the JSN site using Wasson's original fieldnotes, 
sketch plans, and photographs together with directions 
keyed to the grid of shotlines established by SANTOS 
in the area. The objective was to clarify the nature of 
late Pleistocene occupation at JSN by determining 
whether there were other archaeological remains 
present and whether the setting of the site could provide 
any clues about its likely use. On this visit we could 
find no trace of the small hearth sectioned by Wasson 
ten years earlier. It could well have been either entirely 
removed by further erosion or buried by recent drift 
sand. However, the surrounding area was found to 
contain a number of other hearths and ovens and an 
extensive surface scatter of chipped stone artefacts, 
grindstones and baked clay heat-retainers scattered 
across several interdunal pans. Small excavations were 
undertaken to examine the internal structure of eleven 
features (Table 2), and surface collections of chipped 
stone artefacts and baked clay were also made in five 
sampling areas (Fig. 2). 

The Regional Setting 

With a mean annual rainfall of 125 mm or less, the 
northern part of the Strzelecki Desert is within the most 
arid part of the continent. The major part of this region 
is an extensive dunefield made up of north-south 
trending sandridges with a dominant vegetation of 
Zygochloa paradoxa (sandhill canegrass). This is 
circumscribed to the north, west and east by stony 
plains and silcrete-capped hills (Fig. 1). Within the 
dunefield there are numerous small claypans and playas 
in the interdunal areas. There is also a major contrast 
between pale dunes, rich in clay pellets, to the west 
of Strzelecki Creek and red quartzose dunes to the east 
of the creek (Wasson 1983). The pale dunes lie in a 
structural depression in the underlying bedrock and 
there is a complete absence of outcropping rock in the 
portion of the dunefield lying between Strzelecki and 
Cooper's Creek. The JSN site is situated in this part 
of the dunefield, 40 km west of Strzelecki Creek (Fig. 


The channels of Strzelecki and Cooper's Creek 
periodically feed floodwaters from the north-east into 
the Strzelecki Desert. Immediately upstream of 
Innamincka, where the channel of Cooper's Creek is 
confined by rocky hills, there are a number of deep 
permanent waterholes. Downstream from Innamincka, 
Cooper's Creek floods out into the dunefield forming 
a maze of floodplains, shallow lakes and ephemeral 
swamps intersecting with the linear sandridges of the 
dunefield. In contrast, Strzelecki Creek has a narrow 
floodplain and presently fills from Cooper's Creek only 
rarely, when floodwaters at Innamincka top a rock bar. 



-: fc 







500 m 




JSN 79 Shotlirie 

' Peg 700 



■ : .';,' 

> . 


': <1 

/f ; 3 


' : ;' « -J 


■. ^ ■' .■■>' 


■'. '.''• 



■':■ & 

; 5 

■• ■■&:'. 

..• ■ -/■? ;' 

' ; - 'fj? 

■ *',"" '.';'-*. 

•j i 

: £& 




■ \' 




; .£ 



v 1 

-' '«f 






■ 'if 

■ $ 


■ * 




.■ p 

FIGURE 2. The JSN site showing the location of features excavated in 1989. Compiled from aerial photographs and 
survey plan. Star shows approximate position of Wasson's hearth. 


Under most conditions Strzelecki Creek is a chain of 
semi-permanent waterholes, many of which are saline, 
linked by a poorly defined channel. It occupies a clear 
ecotone between the pale and red dune landscapes. On 
the floodplains the dominant perennial vegetation 
consists of Eucalyptus microtheca (coolibah) and 
Atriplex nummularia (old man saltbush). 

The area around JSN is not presently reached by 
floodwaters from either the Cooper or Strzelecki 
Creeks. The configuration and stratigraphy of the dunes 
suggests that this was also the case in the late 

Pleistocene. The southern margin of the biologically 
productive Cooper floodout zone is 60-70 km to the 
north of JSN. The main channel of Strzelecki Creek, 
40 km to the east, is the nearest watercourse but is 
a comparatively poor riverine habitat. 

Description of the Site 

Archaeological material at JSN is scattered over 
several interdunal pans (Fig. 2). There are many similar 



pans throughout the dunefield and the JSN area is 
unexceptional . 

The JSN pan is about 450 m long and 200 m wide, 
with a surface of grey/brown sandy cracking clay. It 
is closed off both to the north and south by low cross 
dunes to form a small basin, and it clearly collects local 
runoff. The dunes which surround it are of pale yellow 
pelletal-clay and are strongly rilled and sculpted by 
erosion. Within these dunes, Wasson (1984) identified 
three aeolian units; the modern mobile crests, a 
possible late Holocene unit and a Last Glacial unit (Fig. 
3). Underlying the dunes and exposed on the flanks 
of the pan is a tough yellow/grey alluvium, containing 
authigenic groundwater gypsum, representing the 
substrate on which both the pan and the dunes rest. 

131501830 ( ANU-2279 

13850+190 (ANU-2278) 

20 40t 

i r^i 3 g 

2 £=^\ 4 ^^ 

5 [ 




\ ! 

"S I 




* Wassun's hearth 

Late Holocene sand 
Last Glacial sand 

In 1989 the vegetation in the immediate area was 
sparse with some isolated stands of Acacia ligulata, 
A. aneura and other tall shrubs, such as Hakea 
leucoptera, Eremophila longifolia and several other 
species of Acacia. There was little ground cover apart 
from Zygochloa paradoxa on the dunes and a light 
cover of ephemeral plant species such as Ptilotus sp. 
on the surface of the pans. 

To the west of the JSN pan there is another, larger, 
interdunal pan referred to here as WJSN. It is about 
700 m long and 200 m wide and more sparsely 
vegetated than the JSN pan. 

The visible archaeological remains consist of an 
extensive but low density scatter of chipped stone 
artefacts and baked clay on deflated areas at the 
northern ends of the JSN and WJSN pans (Table 3), 
In 1989 various features, either charcoal-stained 
sediment or concentrations of baked-clay lumps, were 
visible on the deflation surfaces. Eleven were excavated 
to test their identity (Table 2 and Fig. 2). The greatest 
concentration of baked clay lumps and stone artefacts 
occurs on the WJSN pan. Several pieces of Velesunio 
sp. shell were also recovered from this area and there 
is evidence of at least five individual hearths, as marked 
by discrete clusters of baked clay heat-retainers. On 
the JSN pan the density of archaeological material is 
lower but again there are indications of perhaps four 
to five hearths, in this case marked by dark charcoal 
staining with small pieces of burnt or baked clay. 

Transects by Williams to the west and north of the 
JSN site and by Smith to the south and east confirmed 
that the site is a genuine concentration of archaeological 
material and not simply part of a background scatter 
of occupation debris. To the west and east of the site 
there is no appreciable background scatter of artefacts 
or baked clay. A light scatter of chipped stone artefacts 
and some grindstone fragments is evident up to one 
kilometre to the south of the site. Two other 
concentrations of archaeological material were 
observed. XKZ/E1 is a small hearth together with three 
stone artefacts and a piece of Velesunio sp. shell found 
adjacent to a floodout area five to eight km north of 
JSN. ESJN is a scatter of about 25 artefacts on a 

FIGURE 3. Cross-section and stratigraphic relationships of 
Wasson's hearth. (1) Large charcoal pieces. (2) Bleach 
developed in 3. (3) Yellow -grey fine sand, sub-horizontal 
laminae, fissile soft carbonate and clay pellets. (4) Very tough, 
pale yellow-grey fine sand, small hard and soft carbonate 
nodules and clay pellets. (5) Yellow-grey fine sand, low-angle 
laminae, no visible carbonate, no charcoal. 

TABLE 3. Distribution of archaeological material at JSN. Data 
excludes baked clay within discrete hearth concentrations. 





baked clay 
no. g/10m 2 

chipped stone artefacts 
no. /10m 2 






















400 + 












claypan one kilometre due east of JSN. To the east the 
density of artefacts only rises again within a few 
kilometres of Strzelecki Creek, as shown independently 
by Wasson during a survey transect of the dunefield. 
The paucity of archaeological material in this part of 
the dunefield has also been noted by R. Callen (pers. 
comm.). Hughes (1983) commented on the low 
numbers of artefacts on sites in the dunefield west of 
Strzelecki Creek. 

Hearths, Earth Ovens and Other Features 

As few detailed descriptions of late Pleistocene 
hearths or ovens are available we present our 
observations in full below. 

Wasson's hearth 

The hearth excavated in 1979 (Fig. 3) was roughly 
circular in plan, about 20 cm in diameter, and plano- 
convex in cross-section. Its depth from the eroded 
ground surface to the base of the shallow basin was 
about 10 cm. Apart from charcoal and diffuse organic 
matter it also contained pieces of burnt clay and tiny 
lamellate fragments (1-2 mm) of shell, presumed to 
be Velesunio sp. shell by comparison with similar 
fragments of young shell from Strzelecki Creek. From 
its structure and contents it appears to have been a small 
cooking fire. 

It was dug into a finely laminated yellow-grey sand 
that forms the calcareous B horizon of a palaeosol at 
the northern end of the JSN pan. Charcoal from the 
hearth gave a radiocarbon age of 13 850+190 yr BP 
(ANU-2278). Samples from the hearth were also 
examined for pollen by J. Luly but proved to contain 
only a few very eroded pollen grains. 

In 1979 several other features were noted in this 
sector of the site. Some of these were simply ill-defined 
charcoal stains. At least two closely resembled 
Wasson's hearth before excavation, suggesting the 
presence of more than one hearth here. 

The stratigraphic unit beneath the Bca horizon 
contained large pieces of charcoal and it is probable 
in this environment that such charcoal is evidence of 
human occupation. A radiocarbon date of 13 150+830 
yr BP (ANU-2279) was obtained on large charcoal 
lumps from this stratigraphic unit beneath Wasson's 
hearth. The two radiocarbon dates overlap at one 
standard deviation and indicate a very rapid build-up 
of sandy sediment in this part of the site. 


This appeared as a diffuse charcoal stain about 40 
cm in diameter with some small pieces of reddened 
baked clay embedded in the feature. As it was not 
sectioned it is not known whether it is simply a thin 
lens of hearth debris (see JSN/W5 below) or an intact 
hearth. Because of its distance from the other hearths 
described below it must represent a separate feature. 

JSN/W3 and related features 

This is a large earth oven, roughly sub-rectangular 
to oval in plan, 144 cm long and 70 cm wide (Fig. 4). 
It is well-defined, sub-rectangular in cross-section and 
at least 40 cm deep. It was dug as a steep-sided pit 
into the tough grey-brown clayey alluvium on the 
western flank of the JSN pan. As it cuts through a 
calcareous horizon, the fill of the oven contains small 
pellets of carbonate. 

It contains large lumps of charcoal (up to 5 cm 
diameter) as well as large lumps of baked clay. The 
latter were presumably used as heat- retainers and range 
in colour from yellow (10 YR 8/3) or buff (7.5 YR 7/4), 
sometimes with a black core, to orange or red (10 R 
6/8 or 2.5 YR 6/8). The former result from underfiring 
while a red or orange colour is characteristic of firing 
in a strongly oxidising atmosphere (Goffer 1980: 
119-121; Joukowsky 1980: 367-369). As the most 
intense red colours are produced at temperatures of 
700-900 °C, it seems likely that the original position 
of this material would have been at the surface of the 
fire where temperatures of greater than 600 °C are 
rapidly attained (cf Clark & Barbetti 1982) and where 
a good draught could be expected. The present 
distribution of reddened baked clay lumps throughout 
the oven suggests major disturbance to their positions 
since the time of firing. Such disturbance would be 
expected during the normal use of an oven, particularly 
if the clay lumps were heated on an adjacent fire and 
then transferred to an oven pit (cf Warner 1969: 131) 
rather than heated on a fire in the pit itself. 

More significant is the re-use of the oven on at least 
one subsequent occasion. The evidence for this is a 
basin-shaped structure within the oven, at its western 
end, about 35-50 cm in diameter and defined by 
differential charcoal staining within the oven. Baked 
clay and large pieces of charcoal are concentrated in 
this part of the oven. As the structure fits neatly within 
the initial oven pit and does not cut across it, it can 
hardly be a fortuitous superimposition. A radiocarbon 
sampje of charcoal from within this structure gave an 
age of 14 400+200 yr BP (ANU-7196). This dates the 
latest use of the oven, though one would not expect 
much of a time lag between initial use of the oven pit 
and its subsequent re-use. 

The large size of the initial pit is unusual and 
warrants some comment here. In the arid zone there 
are no plant foods that require cooking in such a 
structure and it is larger than would normally be 
required to cook an emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) 
or large macropod. The fact that there are only 
relatively small quantities of baked clay and charcoal 
in this pit is also surprising unless the initial oven was 
robbed of its contents to commission the later oven. 
Another possibility is that it was used to steam plant 
foods, perhaps leaves, stems or shoots, rather than to 
cook meat. 




Eroded surface 

CaCo3 nodules 

<^)q Reddened baked clay lumps 

Amorphous mass of yellow baked clay 
t% Charcoal 

50 cm 


\ Secondary oven with 


Original oven 

Unidentified pit 
(tree root?) 


.■■■,' -Concentration of baked clay lumps 



FIGURE 4. Plan and cross-section of JSN/W3 oven. 

Inferred edge of oven 

The dimensions of the secondary pit together with 
its roughly circular shape, concentration of baked clay 
lumps and large pieces of charcoal suggest subsequent 
use as an oven to cook an emu (Dromaius 
novaehollandiae) . 

JSN/W5 is a separate feature that may be associated 
with the JSN/W3 oven. This was visible on the surface 
as a large diffuse charcoal stain with some large pieces 
of charcoal (1-3 cm) and some small pieces of reddened 
baked clay embedded within it. Excavation exposed 
a series of large pieces of charcoal, dispersed in the 
sediment matrix rather than contained in a pit. Given 
that it is within two metres of JSN/W3 it may be a 

related feature, such as a dump of material removed 
from the oven. Another possibility is that it is the 
remnant of a fire to prepare the heat-retainers before 
they were placed in the oven pit. Clark & Barbetti 
(1982: 149) have drawn attention to the fact that such 
features are a likely archaeological correlate of the 
method of preparing earth ovens described by Warner 
(1969: 131) for north-eastern Arnhem Land. 


This appeared on the surface as a small circular 
concentration of burnt clay, about 30 cm in diameter, 
tightly clustered as a capping on a small residual. On 






<C3 Reddened baked clay 

&+ Charcoal 

^^ Dark burnt clay mass 

\ 1 Large mud cracks infilled with yellow sand 

Ashy sand \y:.-'< '■■;■''■ r ^X ; 

with charcoal VT-V S? &&& 2400 ± 270 
icvbj» V: '■.,; :: ■ £ » S' (ANU-7198 

V:V ,"'X 

5YR 4/2 

Cracking grey sandy clay 
10YR 6/3 

10,500 + 230 




s -s 

5S. Boundary of low mound 



tf : ■': 4- 
"■■■o" ■■" 

WJSN/N1 : .: 
'0:\ ■-.' ■.# 

o ■,;■.£■ 



•.■••••:•• ■■' o. 



#£&£■$* Concentration of baked clay lumps 
?£?&& embedded in surface 


-■■"■■■■--:; "■::V;-<-- ■..-.■ ■;-■..;=.■.■■■■■'.'■■;■;. ■■ 
K**W -"xAi 1 -:;;-'.; 

^ ".WJSN/N2 .a 3 
."■ >'c?.;'i-.v.-.-"'-'vv....v.-v :-:| 



FIGURE 5. Plan and cross-section of WJSN/N2 oven. 

either side of the residual a diffuse scatter of clay lumps 
extended outwards. None of the burnt clay was 
reddened. On excavation the hearth was revealed as 
a single layer of baked clay without any stratigraphic 
depth. This rests directly upon tough brown clayey 
alluvium. There was no visible charcoal or other 
occupation debris either within the feature or in the 
underlying sediment. This feature most resembles what 
have been described as 'hotplate' hearths (P. Clark, 
pers. comm.), in which a layer of heated flat rocks or 

burnt clay lumps is used to grill meat (cf. Kerwin & 
Breen 1981: 304). 


This was a diffuse circular charcoal stain, about 45 
cm in diameter, on a surface of laminated yellow-grey 
sand with flecks of calcium carbonate. In cross-section 
it is plano-convex, forming a very poorly defined 
shallow basin 16 cm deep. Its structure is similar to 
Wasson's hearth. However, as JSN/NE2 did not contain 



any pieces of burnt or baked clay or fragments of shell 
we cannot be certain that it is of human origin, 
particularly given the prevalence of burnt tree roots 
in this sector of the site (see below). 

WJSN/N1 & N2 

WJSN/N1 is a dense concentration of baked clay 
capping a low rise. Excavation showed this to be a 
surface veneer, 2-5 cm thick, of baked clay and sand 
comprising rake-out from the WJSN/N2 oven (Fig. 5). 
The latter is a well-defined oven pit dug into the 
strongly pedal clayey alluvium that forms the substrate 
of the WJSN pan. The oven pit is roughly circular in 
plan, 55 cm in diameter, conical in cross-section and 
40 cm deep. It is filled with a loose grey ashy sand, 
reddened baked clay, black burnt clay and large (1-3 
cm) pieces of charcoal. A radiocarbon sample on 
charcoal provides an age for this feature of 2 400+270 
yr BP (ANU-7198). 

Several pieces of reddened baked clay and some very 
large lumps of charcoal (5-10 cm long) were observed 
within the underlying alluvium. Where this material 
is stratified beneath the oven it cannot be modern 
intrusive material. Nor was it associated with any of 
the large mud cracks in this unit. We believe that it 
most likely represents the dispersed remnants of earlier 
ovens. Subsequent radiocarbon results support this 
interpretation. Charcoal from beneath WJSN/N2 gave 
a radiocarbon age of 10 500+220 yr BP (ANU-7197). 

Burnt tree-roots 

Several other features were revealed upon excavation 
to be tree roots. In plan they were usually circular and 
much smaller than the hearths, about 10-15 cm in 
diameter. In cross-section they were diffuse charcoal 
stains, roughly cylindrical in shape, and often set in 

the ground at an angle. The number of such features 
in the JSN/NE area, including JSN/NE1 and NE3, 
suggests the presence of a stand of trees here at some 
time in the past. A similar observation can be made 
about the WJSN/N3 area where a series of diffuse, 
roughly cylindrical charcoal stains with carbonate root 
casts radiating laterally from them, testify to the former 
presence of a stand of trees. The remaining feature, 
JSN/W1, was unusual in that while it conforms to the 
morphology described above, it was only burnt for a 
few centimetres depth, where it was exposed at the 
ground surface. The remainder of the feature was a 
mould formed by decay of the root. 

SEM identification of archaeological charcoals 

A scanning electron microscope was used to examine 
the ultra-structure of archaeological charcoals in order 
to identify the species of wood used in the ovens. This 
aspect of our study was limited to the examination of 
charcoal retained from the three samples that were 
submitted for radiocarbon assay. 

In this sector of the arid zone the range of species 
that is likely to be encountered in any assemblage of 
archaeological charcoals is comparatively restricted. 
Here, the archaeological charcoal was compared with 
reference samples of Acacia ligulata and A. aneura 
collected at JSN in 1989 and with reference material 
from other species not present around JSN today, such 
as Eucalyptus aff. terminalis, E. microtheca, E. 
camaldulensis and Callitris glaucophylla. 

1) ANU-7197 (10 500±230 yr BP) is from an Acacia, 
possibly one of the clonal shrubs such as A. ligulata 
that grow at JSN today. The presence of biseriate rays 
serves to exclude A. aneura. 

2) ANU-7198 (2 400+270 yr BP) proved to be too 

TABLE 4. Composition of the JSN assemblage. 

















redirecting flakes 
backed blades 








pirri points 

other retouched artefacts 










other chipped stone artefacts 






















seed-grinding implements 
other grindstones 














crumbly to withstand prolonged SEM examination but 
is probably also an Acacia. 

3) ANU-7196 (14 400+200 yr BP) was indurated and 
so did not provide optimal conditions for identification. 
However, it is also clearly an Acacia. A second, 
independent sample of charcoal from the JSN/W3 oven 
is from a bloodwood, probably Eucalyptus terminalis, 
which occurs in parts of the dunefield today. 

The results suggest that the late Pleistocene tree and 
shrub vegetation around JSN may have been similar 
to that of today, probably with some discrete stands 
of various species of Acacia as tall shrubs and with 
occasional sandplain Eucalyptus as isolated trees. The 
archaeological evidence clearly points to an 
environment where firewood was readily available 
between 10 000-14 500 years ago. It is also significant 
that none of the charcoal is from species such as 
Eucalyptus microtheca or E. camaldulensis, which 
occur along watercourses or on floodplains. The 
possibility of further reconstruction of the late 
Pleistocene vegetation using phytoliths is now being 

TABLE 5. Size of unretouched flakes in various sampling 
areas at JSN. Length is measured perpendicular to striking 
platform on axis through bulb of percussion. Data exclude 
broken flakes. 

Sampling area 


gth (mm) 

weight (g 














JSN/W3 & W4 



































TABLE 6. Proportion of various categories of industrial debris 
in each sampling area at JSN. Data expressed as percentage 
of total number of artefacts in each area. 

Chipped stone artefacts 

The presence of distinctive implements such as 
backed blades, unifacial pirri points and seedgrinders 
(Table 4) immediately suggests a late Holocene age for 
much of the JSN assemblage. Tula adze slugs are 
notable by their absence though they are present on 
other sites in the Strzelecki Desert — Cooper's Creek 
region. All the artefacts were resting on deflated 
surfaces as 'float' rather than in primary stratigraphic 

Given the range of radiocarbon dates for occupation 
at this site one would expect there to be a palimpsest 
of material of different ages on the deflation surfaces. 
However an impression that the bulk of the assemblage 
is late Holocene in age is reinforced by the absence 
of artefacts with a markedly greater degree of patination 
or with carbonate encrustation, despite the presence 
of carbonate nodules and root casts in some of the 
sample areas. The one artefact which does show a 
greater degree of weathering than the bulk of the 
assemblage, a large retouched flake (WJSN/N3-251), 
is made on a quartzite containing easily weathered 
mica, chlorite and other clay minerals. 

To test whether there were any other differences 
across the site that might point to some temporal 
patterning within it, we compared the size of flakes 
from the various sample areas, the proportion of flakes, 
cores and retouched artefacts in the various collections 
and the types of raw materials used (Tables 5-7). The 
results show only minor differences across the site in 
flake size, assemblage composition, and in use of 
various raw materials. Therefore, we are unable to 
point to either any significant temporal patterning 







retouched pieces 





11. 1 



& W4 






























across the site or to evidence for a mixture of material 
of greatly differing ages within the assemblage. On 
balance, there seem to be few artefacts of late 
Pleistocene age in the assemblage. 

The majority of the retouched artefacts consist of 
irregular pieces with short lengths of retouch along one 
or more margins. One specimen (WJSN/N3-116) 
warrants special comment. This is a small, chunky 
flake, 28 mm long with retouched margins converging 
to form a broad point. At the apex the edge of the 
implement exhibits crushing, pronounced rounding and 
a well developed polish. Starch grains (3-5 microns 
in diameter), cellulose and possibly some resinous 
plant material are present on the edge suggesting that 
the implement was used in scraping a soft, moderately 
starchy but not fibrous material. A firm identification 
is not available but a rootstock or tuber seems likely. 



The roots of Typha or Boerhavia diffusa (tap vine) are 
possible candidates, bearing in mind that the implement 
may well have acquired its distinctive use-wear before 
being brought to the JSN site. 

Sources of raw materials 

JSN lies in a stone-free part of the dunefield and is 
some distance from potential sources of isotropic stone. 
The nearest of these are outcrops of silcrete along 
Strzelecki Creek at Chidlee Well, Merty Merty and 
at Lake Murteree, the latter with evidence for 
Aboriginal quarrying of the outcrop during the late 
Holocene (Hughes & Lampert 1980: 63-64). These 
outcrops are too small to have been included on existing 
geological maps (see Preliminary Edition — Strzelecki 
Sheet G54-2 1970). It is unlikely that there are any 
outcrops west of Strzelecki Creek as the bedrock in 
this sector of the dunefield has been subject to 
downwarping and is over 100 m below the surface 
(Wasson 1983: 91). The possibility that there is a local 
source of stone from gravels in palaeochannels 
underlying the dunefield can be ruled out. 

The dominant raw materials present in the JSN 
assemblage (Table 7) are grey-yellow cherty silcrete 
and pink or grey fine-grained granular silcrete. Other 
raw materials are present in small quantities. These 
include cherts of various colours but similar lithology, 
silicified dolomite (Namba formation dolomite beds), 
black silicified wood (Eyre formation), quartz, and 
quartzite derived from water- worn cobbles. 

The likely source of the cherty silcrete, chert, 
dolomite and pink silcrete has been identified by R. 
Callen (SADME), on the basis of fine-scale geological 
mapping in the Strzelecki region, as the Tertiary age 
Namba formation between Delia and Dullingari 
Satellite Gas Fields. This is about 115 km north-east 
of the JSN site amongst the red quartzose dunes east 
of Strzelecki Creek, adjacent to its upper reaches. The 
silicified wood is probably also available in the Della- 
Dullingari area. 

Grey fine-grained granular silcrete is the nearest 
isotropic stone to the JSN site, as it outcrops 40-50 
km to the east at Merty Merty and Lake Murteree. 
However, the specific source of the material used at 
JSN is uncertain as small outcrops are widely 
distributed in the dunefield to the east of Strzelecki 
Creek. It also outcrops in the Della-Dullingari area. 

We consider that outcrops in the Della-Dullingari 
area are the most likely source of the grey silcrete used 
at JSN. If the grey silcrete had been drawn from the 
closest outcrops to the site, one would expect it to be 
the most common raw material in the JSN assemblage. 
However, in this case it makes up only 31% of the 
assemblage whereas cherty silcrete and chert, both 
derived from sources in the Della-Dullingari area, 
together make up 59% (Table 7). If it had been 
obtained from sources significantly closer to the site 
than the Della-Dullingari area, we would also expect 
artefacts of grey silcrete to be less reduced than those 
made on cherty silcrete. In fact, there is no significant 
difference between the two raw materials in the size- 
distribution of artefacts (Table 8). 

The likely sources of the quartz and quartzite cobble 
material are Flinders Ranges fan deposits near 
Moolawatana, south of Lake Blanche. At JSN, 
quartzite cobbles appear to have been broken during 
use as hammerstones or anvils rather than used as 
cores. Much of this material consists of irregular shatter 
fragments. There are few flakes and no retouched 
artefacts or cores of this raw material. This is also 
generally true of other varieties of course granular 
material (listed as 'other' in Table 7). 

Selected aspects of reduction and curation at JSN 

The composition of the assemblage (Tables 4 and 
6) shows that not only finished flakes and retouched 
implements were brought to JSN. The high proportion 
of debitage and the presence of worked-out cores (Table 
9) shows that knapping took place at the site. This is 
supported by the variability in the size of flakes and 

TABLE 7. Raw materials in the JSN assemblage. Data expressed as percentage of total number of artefacts in each sampling 














JSN/W3 & W4 





































miscellaneous coarse granular materials 



TABLE 8. Weight (g) of artefacts on different types of 
silcrete. Data are (A) cores, (B) unretouched complete flakes, 
(C) debitage. 







cherty silcrete 





granular silcrete 






cherty silcrete 





granular silcrete 





t 0.01 (1), 75 = 



cherty silcrete 





granular silcrete 





t 0.01 (1), 118 = 


debitage at the site, with both categories containing 
many items weighing less than a gram (Table 10). The 
latter are presumably the fine debris produced by stone- 

With a core: flake ratio of 1: 22 there is no evidence 
to suggest that cores have been selectively removed 
from the assemblage. Although the proportion of flakes 
is a little lower than one would have expected, this 
might simply indicate that much of the reduction of 
particular cores took place before they were brought 

to the site. The low level of curation of the cores is 
further emphasised by the observation that at least half 
of the cores have been discarded while still suitable 
for removal of further flakes (Table 9). Nor is there 
evidence to indicate that large flakes or large items in 
the debitage category have been either selectively 
removed from the site or recycled as cores. For 
example, there is no significant difference between the 
size distributions of flakes and debitage (Table 10). 
In Table 9 the cores collected from JSN are ranked 
roughly according to their state of reduction. They 
range from well-established but still viable cores to 
those that are at the end of their use-life. The latter 
are characterised by platform/core face angles of about 
90°, the presence of major step-fractures that undercut 
the platform, a shape approaching that of a cube or 
sphere, and the presence of multiple striking platforms 
indicating rotation of the core to extend its use-life. 

TABLE 10. Weight (g) of flakes and flaking debitage from 
WJSN/N3 surface collection. 


SD Range 

unretouched complete flakes 79 5.1 9.6 0.1-48.9 
debitage 125 6.7 12.0 0.1-45.4 

t 0.01 (1), 202 - 0.989 

TABLE 9. Extent of reduction of cores. Specimens are ranked from viable cores (top) to exhausted cores (bottom), 

wt (g) 

shape 1 

platform 2 


scar 3 

no. 4 

cortex 5 


























































































1. Shape index is calculated as core height/ Vweight. Values between 7-9 indicate a shape approaching a sphere. 

2. Platform angle is average value to nearest 5°, measured on most viable platform. 

3. Scar ratio is calculated as length of latest flake scar/core-face length. Values less than 0.5 indicate inefficient flake removal 

4. Number of major step-fracture scars. 

5. + indicates more than 10% cortex. 



In this assemblage several of the exhausted cores weigh 
more than 100 g yet there is no evidence of attempts 
to further reduce them by splitting the old core to create 
a fresh platform or by using bipolar percussion. 

Inferences about site logistics in the mid-late Holocene 
Studies by Byrne (1980) and Hiscock (1987) have 
elegantly demonstrated a general correspondence 
between the morphology of artefacts on a site and 
distance from source of the stone. This is based on 
the premise that with increasing distance from a source 
it is increasingly unlikely that the supply of stone can 
be replenished, while the existing stock-in-hand, 
sometimes called the curate set or donor assemblage, 
is continually being diminished. People using the 
dunefields in the Strzelecki Desert would presumably 
have carried a small stock of cores and implements 
with them, probably no more than 2-3 kg per family. 
As they moved along a chain of campsites this stock 
would be progressively depleted as new flakes were 
produced for various tasks and as existing implements 
were resharpened. At each site in the chain various 
items would be discarded, usually exhausted cores, 
worn out implements and the debitage from knapping. 
As the stock of stone diminished, one would expect 
criteria governing the discard of items to be tightened 
and attempts made to recycle, rejuvenate or ration 
(Hiscock 1987) the material at hand. The lack of stone 
in this part of the Strzelecki dunefield precludes 
substitution by local raw materials. 

Given that the JSN site is in a stone-free sector of 
the dunefield and is at least 40 km from the nearest 
potential sources of isotropic stone and over 100 km 
from the sources apparently utilised, one could expect 
that the stone artefacts discarded at the site would show 
the hallmarks of extreme reduction. This is not the case 
and allows us to make some inferences about the 
scheduling and logistics of late Holocene occupation 
at JSN. 

Comparison with sites at Coongie Lakes 

The unusual character of the JSN assemblage is 
brought out by comparison with assemblages from 
other sites in the region. Archaeological sites adjacent 

to the Coongie Lakes, in the northern part of the 
Cooper floodout zone, are a comparable distance from 
potential sources of stone. Some of these sites are very 
extensive and have a comparatively high density of 
artefacts (Williams 1988), consistent with ethnographic 
accounts of large groups of people living in semi- 
sedentary conditions while the lakes held water. The 
assemblages on these sites contain few intact cores and 
most of these are very small (Tables 11 and 12), close 
to the theoretical limit at which Hiscock suggests 
bipolar techniques become necessary for further 
reduction (Hiscock 1982: 39-41). Exhausted cores 
appear to have been recycled as implements. Artefacts 
in these assemblages are also very small, with mean 
weights of about 3-4 g. 

In contrast, artefacts and cores at JSN are much 
larger (Tabels 11 and 12) and cores are better 
represented in the assemblage. There is no evidence 
that cores have been recycled as implements. Many 
have been discarded while still viable (Table 9). Some 
are as large as cores at the quarry in Byrne's study 
(1980). Although there is no primary decortication 
phase represented in the JSN assemblage, nearly 20% 
of flakes and 75 % of the cores still retain some cortex. 
Thus the JSN assemblage shows neither the direct 
effects of distance from stone sources, nor the 
mediating responses that one would expect to have 
operated to offset a diminishing stock of stone. 


The studies by Byrne (1980) and Hiscock (1987) 
quoted above both use linear distance from source as 
an approximation of gross time since procurement. 
However, in the case of JSN the condition of the 
chipped stone material is not consistent with the 
distance from source irrespective of whether the actual 
source of much of the JSN raw material is 40 or 115 
km away. This indicates that people must have travelled 
fairly directly from the source to the site, without 
spending a great deal of time foraging and camping 
in transit. The dumping of useful items at JSN, 
especially viable cores, also indicates that people must 
have expected to be able to replenish their stock of stone 
elsewhere within a day or two of leaving the site. 

TABLE 11. Comparison of JSN and various Coongie Lakes sites (Williams, unpubl. data) 

JSN site 

Lake Lady Blanche 

no. artefacts 
per sq. m 


mean wt 




% flakes 


% retouched 




% cores 





TABLE 12. Weight (g) of cores at JSN and various Coongie 
Lakes sites (Williams, unpubl. data). 



JSN 12 

Marroocoolcanie 4 

Lake Lady Blanche 2 

JSN/M: t 0.05 (1), 14 - 2.744 
JSN/LLB: t 0.05 (1), 12 = 1.783 





Therefore, it seems likely that people intended to travel 
directly back to Strzelecki Creek after leaving the site. 
In this regard the chipped stone artefacts identify the 
JSN locality as a specific destination that people 
travelled some distance to reach, not one occupied 
during the course of itinerant use of the dunefield and 
floodplains. These ideas could be tested by further 
fieldwork as we would expect artefacts on other sites 
in the surrounding dunefield to show a degree of 
reduction more consistent with their distance from 
sources of isotropic stone. Some indication that this 
is indeed the case is given by Hughes (1983: 9-10). 

The duration of visits to the JSN site must also have 
been relatively short, so that the demand for stone was 
easily met by the stock-in-hand without recourse to the 
recycling and extreme reduction of stone evident at the 
Coongie Lakes sites. 

The fact that much of the isotropic stone at JSN is 
from sources in the Della-Dullingari area supports a 
suggestion by Hughes (1983: 11) that the predominant 
pattern of movement of people into this sector of the 
dunefield was west along the Cooper floodout zone 
and then south along the interdunal corridors rather 
than east-west across the grain of the dunefield from 
Strzelecki Creek. If people had simply travelled down 
Strzelecki Creek and then directly out to JSN it is 
unlikely that so much cherty silcrete and chert from 
the Della-Dullingari area would have been transported 
to the site. Fresh supplies of stone could have been 
acquired much closer to JSN at Lake Murteree, or at 
other outcrops of silcrete along Strzelecki Creek. 


Small numbers of seed-grinding implements and 
other grindstones are present at the JSN site. There 
are 13 grindstones in the surface collection, most of 
which are probably fragments of larger seed-grinding 
implements (Table 13). Six retain enough diagnostic 
features to allow positive identification as fragments 
of either millstones or mullers (cf. Smith 1986). As 

none of the grindstones is heavily patinated or 
carbonate encrusted, there is nothing to suggest that 
they pre-date mid-late Holocene occupation of the site. 

A variety of lithologies is represented, including 
pink, grey, brown and white varieties of sandstone. 
These range in texture from very fine-grained through 
to gritty sandstone. Some appear to be from tabular 
sources, others from boulder or cobble sources. Three 
specimens are on quartzite or metasediment cobbles. 
This variability is characteristic of sites in stone-free 
parts of the Strzelecki Desert-Cooper's Creek region 
where stone for grindstones was one of the 
commodities in the regional exchange system 
(McBryde 1987). One of the major conduits for the 
movement of exotic materials was Strzelecki Creek and 
it is likely that here grindstones from a variety of 
sources would be in use at any one time. In this respect 
one would expect the lithology of the grindstones at 
the JSN site to be more informative about exchange 
systems at the regional level than about local patterns 
of land-use and resource procurement. However, to the 
extent that we have been able to identify sources, the 
grindstones suggest a broadly similar pattern of 
movement of raw materials to that shown by the 
chipped stone artefacts. 

The JSN grindstones were examined by A. 
Watchman. On hand examination none match material 
from known grindstone quarries at Anna Creek or 
Tooths Nob. Two specimens, including one which is 
a rim fragment of a millstone, are of white, coarse- 
grained, poorly sorted sandstone similar to that 
reported from the Narcoonowie quarry (Hughes 1983) 
67 km south-east of Moomba. Two other specimens, 
on medium-grained brown sandstone, resemble 
material available from quarries in the Innamincka 
area. Both of the latter specimens are near-complete 

The size of the grindstone fragments at JSN is 
variable (mean weight 148 g) but the largest example 
weighs 482 g. One specimen has seen subsequent use 
as an impromptu core. The majority, although broken, 
do not show signs of obvious recycling, such as 

TABLE 13. Typological classification of the JSN grindstones. 


millstone fragment 


undiagnostic fragments 

amorphous grindstone 








crushing, battering or flaking. This suggests that they 
were brought to the JSN site as grindstones rather than 
as convenient pieces of sandstone recycled as 
hammerstones or cores. If so, the presence of seed- 
grinding implements is intriguing, as JSN is well away 
from the floodplains which are the most productive 
habitat for panicum (Panicum decompositum) and 
ngardu {Marsilea spp.). It is possible that other types 
of seed, perhaps from various species of Acacia or 
Portulaca, might have been locally available. 

Mussel Shell 

In the surface collection from WJSN/N3 there are 
30 small pieces of freshwater mussel shell with a total 
weight of 12.3 g. A single small piece (1.4 g) was found 
elsewhere on the site and another, weighing 7.7 g, was 
also found adjacent to the XKZ/E1 hearth, to the north 
of the JSN site. 

None of these fragments retain sufficient features 
to allow positive identification to species, which in the 
case of freshwater mussels requires nearly complete 
shells. However, the most likely species is Velesunio 
wilsonii as this is the only large bivalve present in the 
Cooper basin today (McMichael & Hiscock 1958; 
Cotton 1961). The thickness of the archaeological 
material, 2-3.5 mm, rules out the smaller Corbiculina 
sp. bivalve. 

The shell collected in 1989 is assumed to be of mid- 
late Holocene age because of its association with the 
dense scatter of chipped stone artefacts at WJSN/N3. 
However, Wasson's hearth also contained tiny (1-2 mm) 
lamellate fragments of shell, probably also Velesunio 
sp. , which must be of late Pleistocene age. Freshwater 
mussels are unlikely to have ever been available locally 
at the JSN site and must have been brought in to the 
site from one of the deep waterholes along either 
Strzelecki Creek or Cooper's Creek. The small amount 
of shell involved indicates that the shellfish were 
probably brought in as implements rather than as food. 
Kerwin and Breen (1981: 308-9) record the use of 
mussel shells as spoons for ngardu in the Innamincka 
area. Although fragile the shell is obviously suitable 
for a range of other uses. For instance, Cotton (1961: 
175-176) notes the use of V. ambiguus shell along the 
Lower Murray River for cutting up fish, skinning 
animals and working wood. Hercus & Clark (1986) 
also report the presence of freshwater mussel shell on 
archaeological sites in the centre of the Simpson 


Nature of Prehistoric Occupation at JSN 

The JSN site was occupied on more than one 
occasion between about 15 000 and 10 000 yr BP. 

There seems a good chance that further excavation of 
features, as they are exposed by erosion, would add 
detail to this chronology. Occupation during this period 
left a series of ovens and hearths and some freshwater 
mussel shell at the site. The lack of any appreciable 
number of stone artefacts suggests that occupation at 
this time may well have been more transitory than later 
use of the site. But the rapid accumulation of sediment, 
evident at the northern end of the JSN pan (Fig. 3), 
together with the widespread occurrence of large pieces 
of charcoal in this unit also suggests that people and 
their fires may have had sufficient impact to locally 
destabilise dunes. 

JSN was also a focus for occupation in the mid-late 
Holocene. The long history of use of this site is in 
marked contrast to the paucity of archaeological 
remains elsewhere in the western part of the Strzelecki 
dunefield. This shows that the JSN locality must have 
had qualities which repeatedly drew people to this point 
in the dunefield. Analysis of the stone artefacts 
reinforces this view. During the late Holocene, people 
appear to have travelled more-or-less directly out to 
JSN from the Cooper floodout zone some distance 
away, stayed for a short period and then travelled back 
towards the riverine corridor of Strzelecki Creek. This 
phase of occupation left ovens, hearths and mussel shell 
as well as chipped stone artefacts and seed-grinders. 

It is not clear why the JSN locality was favoured for 
occupation. One possibility, given that large animals 
are otherwise known to have been quite rare in the 
Strzelecki Desert-Cooper's Creek region (Kemper 
1990), is the availabilty of game. The presence of earth 
ovens confirms that either large macropods or emu 
were exploited in the area. We also observed several 
emus at the site in 1989. Another possibility is the 
opportunity to salvage raw materials, especially stone, 
from previous episodes of occupation of the site. 
However, the lack of evidence for the recycling of stone 
or the re-working of older artefacts seems to rule this 
out, as does the absence of artefacts that can be 
attributed to the first phase of occupation at the site. 

Water must also have been a critical determinant in 
allowing access to this part of the dunefield, but there 
is nothing to suggest that JSN is better served than other 
interdunal pans in the region. The JSN pan collects 
run-off after local rain. Conchostraca shells were found 
on the surface in 1979, confirming the presence of 
standing freshwater at some time. However, this need 
not have been very substantial as these small 
crustaceans are only found in ephemeral pools and can 
flourish in a few centimetres of fresh water. In 1979, 
Wasson also noted that the eastern flanks of nearby 
dunes had been trimmed by waves, presumably after 
exceptionally heavy local rainfall in 1973-76, but this 
was also the case elsewhere in the dunefield. JSN is 
not strategically situated with respect to groundwater. 
Drilling by Delhi Australia, about 20 km to the north, 
showed hyper-saline water at approximately 80 m 



depth. Nor is the site located near any of the 
palaeochannels that underlie the dunefield. At best, 
any soakage at JSN would most likely be derived from 
local infiltration into the dunes, similar to the mikiri 
wells of the Simpson Desert (Hercus & Clark 1986). 

Local ethnohistoric accounts shed no light on why 
JSN was a focus of prehistoric occupation. For 
instance, although the 1904 H. J. Hillier map provides 
Diyari and Yandruwantha place names for several 
places in adjacent parts of the dunefield {cf. Reuther 
1981), none is given for the JSN locality. 

Whatever the attraction may have been, humans were 
visiting the JSN area by at least 14 400 yr BR Repeated 
use of the site since that time is unlikely to have been 
due simply to chance, as the site is not situated in any 
obvious natural corridor for travel through the region. 
In fact, JSN is in an otherwise undistinguished part 
of the Strzelecki dunefield. The most likely 
interpretation is that it reflects regular use of the 
dunefield, probably with semi-permanent occupation 
of the riverine corridors already in place by the late 
Pleistocene. The presence of Velesunio shell at JSN, 
in both late Pleistocene and mid-late Holocene 
contexts, is tangible evidence of some link with these 
riverine habitats. Although speculative, we favour the 
idea that the JSN area was one where people could 
depend on finding large game, otherwise rare in the 
more intensively exploited riverine and floodplain 
habitats. If so, it is plausible that people would have 
taken advantage of local rainfall to travel specifically 
out to the JSN area to hunt these animals, and that such 
visits would have been short, given the ephemeral 
nature of local waters. 

The pattern of use of the JSN site changed sometime 
during the mid-late Holocene. At this time visits appear 
to have become more prolonged though not necessarily 
more frequent, and to have involved the grinding of 
seeds and the manufacture and maintenance of chipped 
stone artefacts. In contrast, late Pleistocene use of the 
site probably did not involve much on-site stone 
working. At this time, people may have brought in 
finished flakes and implements but did not discard them 
in any appreciable number at JSN. 

Regional Significance 

Evidence for late Pleistocene occupation at JSN, 
together with recently reported radiocarbon dates of 
about 12 000 yr BP for two hearths on the lower 
reaches of Cooper's Creek (Veth et al 1990), refutes 
the idea that there was no significant human occupation 
of the Strzelecki Desert - Cooper's Creek region prior 
to about 3-5 000 years ago. Riverine, dunefield and 
montane habitats in this sector of the arid zone were 
all occupied in some fashion between 10 000 and 
15 000 BP. 

With radiocarbon dates of 13 850+190 (ANU-2278) 
and 14 400±200 yr BP (ANU-7196), first evidence of 

occupation at JSN coincides with the end of the first 
phase of climatic amelioration in this region. This 
phase began about 16-17 000 yr BP, a time when the 
pollen and sedimentary records at Lake Frome (Singh 
& Luly 1991; Bowler et al. 1986) show that a major 
period of lake floor deflation, coinciding with the last 
glacial maximum, had ended. Lake sediments began 
to accumulate again and trees, mainly Callitris and 
Eucalyptus, recolonised the region. At this time, the 
climate was cooler than modern, with a winter- 
dominated rainfall. This phase ended abruptly at about 
14 500 yr BP when the trend towards gradual climatic 
amelioration was reversed, rainfall again declined and 
Lake Frome became much shallower. These more 
rigorous conditions persisted until about 13 000 yr BP. 

The new radiocarbon dates for JSN also show clearly 
that first use of the site took place before the re- 
establishment of summer monsoon incursions into this 
region at .13 000 yr BP (Singh & Luly 1991). The 
climatic and environmental changes at this time mark 
the end of the glacial-age climate and we might 
otherwise have argued that this was the most likely time 
for any expansion of settlement into regions such as 
the Strzelecki Desert. At this time, the pollen record 
at Lake Frome registers the onset of summer rainfall 
and higher temperatures. The lake filled with water 
sufficiently to build beaches several metres above the 
floor of the modern salina. Around 12 000 yr BP, 
Cooper's Creek also responded to a major hydrologic 
change as its catchment was revegetated and sandy 
sediments were no longer carried in quantity. 

In this context it is unlikely that the earliest dates 
at JSN record the initial stages of re-colonisation of 
the Strzelecki Desert. There is no reason now why this 
should not have taken place closer to 16-17 000 yr BP. 
If further work shows this to be the case, it would also 
indicate that the major impact of glacial aridity, at least 
upon population distribution (cf. Lampert & Hughes 
1987; Smith 1989; Veth 1989), was restricted to a 
comparatively narrow time-interval, perhaps already 
ended by 17 000 yr BP. It is also important to note that 
we cannot yet dismiss the alternative possibility that 
people continued to occupy the Strzelecki Desert- 
Cooper's Creek region throughout the peak aridity of 
the last glacial maximum. The deep permanent 
waterholes along Cooper's Creek, between Innamincka 
and Nappamerrie, may well have supported such a 

Finally, although the riverine corridors were 
probably a key focus of occupation in the Strzelecki 
Desert — Cooper's Creek region during the late 
Pleistocene, the evidence from JSN also shows that 
people were able to exploit the resources of the 
dunefields at this time. Thus they would have been in 
a position to gain a working knowledge of the ecology 
of such habitats at an early date. This weakens an 
argument, recently put forward by Veth (1989), that 
major sandridge deserts, such as the Simpson Desert 



to the north, would have constituted biogeographic 
barriers to human settlement until the mid Holocene. 


Fieldwork by Williams and Smith was funded jointly by 
the National Research Fellowship Scheme, Department of 
Science and the Department of Prehistory, ANU. The 
Australian Heritage Commission contributed towards the costs 
of further documentation of the site. SANTOS allowed access 
to the JSN area and to facilities at Moomba. The Aboriginal 
Heritage Branch (South Australian Department of 
Environment and Planning) gave approval for collection and 
excavation. We thank C. Dodd (then Aboriginal Liaison 
Officer, SA NPWS) for assistance in this regard. W. J. 

Mumtbrd and I. Faulkner drew the figures. P. Boot identified 
the residues on WJSN/N3-116. J. Pask and L. Masterton 
assisted with SEM identification of the charcoal. J. Luly 
examined Wasson's samples for pollen. A. Watchman 
identified raw materials used for grindstones and for 
WJSN/N3-25L R. Callen (South Australian Department of 
Mines and Energy) identified likely sources of raw material 
for the chipped stone artefacts and gave advice on the location 
of palaeochannels near JSN. L. Hercus gave advice on local 
ethnohistory and assistance in using the J. G. Reuther 
manuscript. We wish to thank our companions in the field 
in 1989: D. Bowdery, G. Dunnett, B. Smith and C. Dodd. 
Wasson thanks the Hyde family and Kevin Quayle. Useful 
advice and discussion was given by D. Bowdery, B. J. Cundy, 
P. DeDeckker, G. Dunnett, R. G. Kimber and G. van Tets. 
The archaeological material from JSN will be lodged with 
the South Australian Museum. 


M. J. & YUAN BAOYIN. 1986. Radiocarbon dating of 
playa-lake hydrological changes: examples from north- 
western China and central Australia. Palaeogeography, 
Palaeoclimatologw Palaeoecology 54: 241-260. 

BOWLER, J. M. & WASSON, R.'. J. 1984. Glacial age 
environments of inland Australia. Pp. 183-208 in 'Late 
Cainozoic Palaeoclimates of the Southern Hemisphere Ed. 
J. C. Vogel. A. A. Balkema: Rotterdam. 

BYRNE, D. 1980. Dynamics of dispersion: the place of 
silcrete in archaeological assemblages from the Lower 
Murchison, Western Australia. Archaeology and Physical 
Anthropology in Oceania 15: 110-119. 

CLARK, P. & BARBETTI, M. 1982. Fires, hearths and 
palaeomagnetism. Pp. 144-150 in Archaeometry: an 
Australian Perspective Ed. W. Ambrose & P. Duerden. 
Department of Prehistory, ANU: Canberra. 

COTTON, B. C. 1961. 'South Australian Mollusca: 
Pelecypoda'. Government Printer: Adelaide. 

GOFFER, Z. 1980. Archaeological Chemistry: a sourcebook 
on the applications of chemistry to archaeology'. John Wiley 
and Sons: New York. 

HISCOCK, P. 1982. A technological analysis of quartz 
assemblages from the south coast. Pp. 32-45 in 'Coastal 
Archaeology in Eastern Australia. Ed. S. Bowdler 
Department of Prehistory, ANU: Canberra. 

HISCOCK, P. 1987. Raw material rationing as an explanation 
of assemblage differences: a case study of Lawn Hill, north- 
western Queensland. Pp. 178-190 in Archaeology at 
ANZAAS, Canberra' Second printing. Ed. G. K. Ward. 
Canberra Archaeological Society. 

HERCUS, L. & CLARK, P. 1986. Nine Simpson Desert 
wells. Archaeology in Oceania 21: 51-62. 

HUGHES, P. J. 1983. An archaeological survey of the 
replacement Moomba-Wilton gas pipeline, Strzelecki 
Desert, S. A. Unpublished report. ANUTECH: Canberra. 

HUGHES, P. J. & LAMPERT. R. J. 1980. Pleistocene 
occupation of the arid zone in south-east Australia: research 
prospects for the Cooper Creek-Strzelecki Desert region. 
Australian Archaeology 10: 52-67. 

JOUKOWSKY, M. 1980. A complete manual of Field 
Archaeology'. Prentice-Hall: New Jersey. 

KEMPER, C. M. 1990. Mammals. Pp. 161-167 in 'Natural 

History of the North East Deserts'. Ed. M. J. Tyler, C. R. 

Twidale, M. Davies & C. B. Wells. Royal Society of South 

Australia: Adelaide. 
KERWIN, B. & BREEN, J. G. 1981. The land of stone chips. 

Oceania 51: 236-311. 
LAMPERT, R. J. & HUGHES, P. J. 1987. The Flinders 

Ranges: a Pleistocene outpost in the arid zone? Records 

of the South Australian Museum 20: 29-34. 
LAMPERT, R. J. & HUGHES, P. J. 1988. Early human 

occupation of the Flinders Ranges. Records of the South 

Australian Museum 22: 139-168. 
McBRYDE, L 1987. Goods from another country: exchange 

networks and the people of the Lake Eyre Basin. Pp. 

252-273 in Australians to 1788'. Ed. D. J. Mulvaney & 

J. P. White. Fairfax, Syme and Weldon Associates: 

McMICHAEL, D. F. & HISCOCK, I. D. 1958. A 

monograph of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: 

Pelecypoda) of the Australian region. Australian Journal 

of Marine and Freshwater Research 9: 372-508. 
PRETTY, G. L. 1968. Excavation of Aboriginal graves at 

Gidgealpa, South Australia. Records of the South Australian 

Museum 15: 671-677. 
REUTHER, J. G. 1981. The Diari'. (Transl. P. A. Scherer). 

AIAS Microfiche no. 2: Canberra. 
SINGH, G. & LULY, J. 1991. Changes in vegetation and 

seasonal climate since the last full glacial at Lake Frome, 

South Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, 

Palaeoecology 84: 75-86. 
SMITH, M. A. 1986. The antiquity of seed-grinding in arid 

Australia. Archaeology in Oceania 21: 29-39. 
SMITH, M. A. 1988. The pattern and timing of prehistoric 

settlement in Central Australia. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. 

University of New England: Armidale. 
SMITH, M. A. 1989. The case for a resident human 

population in the Central Australian Ranges during full 

glacial aridity. Archaeology in Oceania 24: 93-105. 
VETH, P. 1989. Islands in the interior: a model for the 

colonization of Australia's arid zone. Archaeology in 

Oceania 24: 81-92. 



VETH, P., HAMM, G. & LAMPERT, R. J. 1990. The 

archaeological significance of the Lower Cooper Creek. 

Records of the South Australian Museum 24: 43-66. 
WARNER, W. L. 1969. A Black Civilization: a social study 

of an Australian tribe'. Revised edition. Peter Smith: 

Gloucester, Massachusetts. 
WASSON, R. J. 1983. The Cainozoic history of the Strzelecki 

and Simpson dunefields (Australia), and the origin of the 

desert dunes. Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie N. F. 45: 

WASSON, R. J. 1984. Australian-New Zealand 

Geomorphology Group, 2nd Conference Post- Conference 

Excursion Notes, Strzelecki Dunefield. 
WILLIAMS, E. 1988. The archaeology of the Cooper Basin: 

report on fieldwork. Records of the South Australian 

Museum 22: 53-62. 


7. K. Ling 


Grant Inglis was born in Cupar, Fife, Scotland, the eldest of three children, the other two being 
sisters. At a very early age he moved with his family to Lockerbie where his father taught music at 
Lockerbie Academy. The three Inglis children were educated at that establishment until their early 
teens and their schooling was completed at Dumfries Academy. Grant did his National Service 
training after leaving school and before going to Aberdeen University where he planned to take a 
degree in forestry. However, he changed to zoology in his second year - a profession he followed 
for the rest of his life. 



9 August 1928 - 26 March 1991 

Grant Inglis was born in Cupar, Fife, Scotland, the 
eldest of three children, the other two being sisters. 
At a very early age he moved with his family to 
Lockerbie where his father taught music at Lockerbie 
Academy. The three Inglis children were educated at 
that establishment until their early teens and their 
schooling was completed at Dumfries Academy. Grant 
did his National Service training after leaving school 
and before going to Aberdeen University where he 
planned to take a degree in forestry. However, he 
changed to zoology in his second year - a profession 
he followed for the rest of his life. 

After graduation from university he joined the staff 
of the British Museum (Natural History), now the 
Natural History Museum, in 1953. There he headed 
the Aschelminth Section until 1968. In 1958, Grant 
Inglis was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of 
London; and in 1965 he was awarded his D.Sc. from 
his old university, Aberdeen. He rose to the rank of 
Principal Scientific Officer at the Natural History 
Museum and was Dean of Studies at the Working Men's 
College in London. Always a keen mountaineer, he 
participated in and led a British Museum (Natural 
History) expedition to Nepal in 1961-62. 

In 1966-67, Grant Inglis came to Australia as an 
exchange worker at the Western Australian Museum 
and so began his long association with this country. 
Soon after his return to England from Australia, the 

position of Director of the South Australian Museum 
became vacant and he was appointed to that institution 
on 2 September 1968. 

The Directorship of the Museum also carried with 
it the office of Protector of Relics, as provided for in 
the Aboriginal and Historic Relics Act, 1965. 
Memorials to Grant, albeit now made obsolete by 
recent legislation, may still be seen throughout the State 
in the form of brightly painted, white-on-blue notices 
proclaiming this or that object to be under his 
protection. Through this role and that of Museum 
Director, Grant Inglis travelled the length and breadth 
of South Australia where his wit and bonhomie won 
him many rural friends. In turn the harsh beauty of 
the Australian landscape enthralled him. 

Upon his arrival at the Museum, Inglis laid down 
his policy of emphasis on South Australia in both 
research and display, aided by comparative work from 
other regions where necessary. He also perceived a 
need for more resources to be expended on public 
programs, particularly exhibitions, than curation and 
research, because he felt the latter had had a good run 
during the preceding few years. He also saw a need 
for the salaries of exhibitions staff, or preparators as 
they were known then, to be augmented significantly 
in line with the importance of their role in the 
Museum's overall functions. 



Grant Inglis, along with his predecessors and 
successors, inherited immense problems of inadequate 
and unsuitable space for work and collections in a 
twentieth century museum. He tackled these with 
vigour, and several options came and went during his 
tenure: Finally, during 1971, approval was near for a 
northward extension from the Museum's west wing to 
accommodate collections and research areas. In time, 
however, that also was superseded by yet another plan. 
By this time Inglis was heavily involved with a 
Committee of Inquiry on Environment in South 
Australia (the Jordon Committee) which led to the 
establishment of the Department of Environment and 
Conservation, of which he was to become the first 
Director on 28 February 1972. The South Australian 
Museum went with its former Director to the new 
Department of which it became a division. 

In 1976, a new South Australian Museum Act was 
proclaimed, which increased the size of the Board from 
five to six, and Grant Inglis was appointed to the Board 
from 18 May 1976 to 16 March 1980. However, he was 
rather unceremoniously removed from the position of 
Director (Permanent Head) of Environment and 
Conservation in 1977 and transferred to the Education 
Department as Deputy Director-General, Museums 
and Botanic Garden Services; these organisations were 
also removed to the Education Department. This 
situation existed until September 1979 when a new 
government established the State's first Department for 
the Arts, to which the South Australian Museum was 
joined. Grant Inglis then was transferred to the 
Department of Fisheries as Senior Scientific Adviser 
and ceased to have any formal administrative links with 
the Museum after March 1980; but he did become a 
familiar figure about the Museum again as he directed 
his remarkable mind once more to systematic zoology. 
Grant Inglis remained with the Department of 
Fisheries until April 1987 when he retired. Officially 
appointed as adviser to the Department, in fact he 
pursued his research in systematic zoology and 
produced his last seminal papers. In addition, his 
experience in writing, editing and refereeing was put 
to good use as he assisted Dr Scoresby Shepherd, editor 
of the Department's publications, with incisive criticism 
and polishing of manuscripts. In 1986, Grant Inglis was 
awarded the Verco Medal by the Royal Society of South 
Australia (of which he was president in 1970-71) for 
notable contributions to nematology. 

During his life he produced more than a hundred 
papers, most of them scientific, amounting to over 1300 
published pages. His most productive years 
scientifically, were before he took up administration 
at a senior level; notably during his fifteen years at 
the British Museum (Natural History) and first three 
years in South Australia. However, very few 
subsequent years went by without some significant 
contribution to the field and increasing attention to 
theoretical and philosophical aspects of the science of 

systematics. He wrote his seminal paper on the purpose 
and judgements of biological classification in 1970 
whilst heavily embroiled in administrative duties at the 
South Australian Museum. 

The majority of publications were concerned with 
the classification of nematodes or round worms, small 
animals that may be free-living, but also include 
important parasites of animals and plants. Inglis worked 
mainly on parasites of vertebrate animals. He not only 
described many new species, but also made substantial 
changes in their higher classification. His special 
ability lay in clarifying the structure of parts of these 
small, somewhat enigmatic animals, and that in the 
days before scanning electron microscopy was in 
general usage was some achievement. Often, what had 
been misinterpreted as similar and homologous 
structures were proved to be very different in their 
origins, requiring considerable changes in the 
classification. Later he moved on to free-living marine 
nematodes, and he once jokingly said that it was the 
sheer diversity of these that drove him into 

During his period of administrative responsibility, 
Inglis developed his scientific interests in areas which 
did not require so much time working with a 
microscope, at first in the functional morphology of 
muscles and body wall of round worms, and later, into 
the procedures of biological classification. In the latter 
he saw evolution as progressing in waves, leading to 
his establishment of a classificatory process he called 
stratigramy, rather than by branching from a single 
event as is the basis of accepted cladistic methodology. 

His new role in the Department of Environment and 
Conservation also gave rise to writings of a different 
scale and flavour as, for some, radical new concepts 
of nature conservation had to be promulgated to a still- 
learning public and new policies had to be argued with 

One of his great achievements whilst Director of 
Environment and Conservation was the pioneering 
beverage container deposit legislation that was 
eventually passed by the South Australian Parliament. 
The remarkably clean roadsides to be seen as one 
enters South Australia from other states will be a lasting 
memorial to Inglis' tenacity in getting this model 
legislation to and through the State Parliament. And 
the deposits on soft drink cans which he pioneered are 
now the basis of a minor industry amongst the less 
well-off members of today's society. Their thrift and 
resourcefulness would no doubt have appealed to Grant 
Inglis' native instincts. 

Grant recognised that protection of the environment 
resulted from foreseeing harmful effects and avoiding 
them. He was an enthusiastic proponent both at the 
state and national level of the introduction of 
environmental impact statements. He hoped museums 
would be a rich resource base for these studies, and 



always insisted on the statements having a 
comprehensive biological basis. 

With the incorporation of the Department of Fauna 
Conservation in 1972 into the Department of 
Environment and Conservation, Grant Inglis set about 
developing a systematic classification of the various 
properties that were formerly under the protection of 
that Department. He clearly recognised the multiple 
uses that parks had - conservation, recreation, and 
teaching purposes - and set in train the development 
of management plans for each of the parks. 

Grant Inglis was an accomplished orator and 
thoroughly enjoyed public speaking. Once embarked 
on an administrative career, he took every opportunity 
to speak at conferences and seminars about 

environmental issues. He was in considerable demand 
nationally and was not averse to publicly advocating 
positions he was working towards. 

He had an infectious - some would claim 
rambunctious — sense of humour, and he gathered 
about him a small circle of close friends. Despite heart 
trouble which had manifested itself before he turned 
40, he enjoyed the good life and was an active member 
of Adelaides Beef and Burgundy Club and all that that 
entailed. In 1980 and again in 1990, he underwent heart 
by-pass surgery, the first of which gave a new lease 
of life to his considerable energies. 

A bachelor, Grant Inglis died of a massive heart 
attack in his beloved Scotland on 26 March 1991. 



1. Allometric growth in the Nematoda. Nature, London 
173: 957. 

2. On some nematodes from Indian vertebrates. I. Birds. 
Annals and Magazine of Natural History (12) 7: 821-826. 


3. On the family Parasubuluridae van den Berghe & 
Vuylsteke, 1938 and the subfamily Numidicinae Lopez- 
Neyra, 1945 (Nematoda). Parasitology 45: 431-440. 


4. The comparative anatomy and systematic significance 
of the head in the nematode family Heterakidae. 
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 128: 


5. A revision of the nematode genera Kathlania and 
Tonaudia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (12) 
10: 785-800. 

6. A revision of the nematode genus Meteterakis Karve, 
1930. Parasitology 48: 9-31. 

7. A review of the nematode superfamily Heterakoidea. 
Annals and Magazine of Natural History (12) 10: 

8. The comparative anatomy of the subulurid head 
(Nematoda); with a consideration of its systematic 
importance. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of 
London 130: 577-604. 

9. A redescription of the nematode Paraspidodera sellsi 
Morgan, 1927 and its removal to a new genus 
Morgascaridia. Journal of Helminthology 32: 65-72. 

10. A new species of the nematode genus Thoracostoma 
from the Antarctic. Annals and Magazine of Natural 
History (13)1: 45-48. 


11. The systematic position of Nematoxys piscicola Linstow 
(Nematoda). Zeitschrift fur Parasitenkunde 19: 100. 

12. The systematic position of the nematode genus 
Hoplodontophoru. Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique 
Africaines 59: 316-325. 

13. Some oxyurid parasites (Nematoda) from Ochotona 
rufescens vizier (Mammalia: Lagomorpha) in Iran. 
Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France 84: 178-187. 

14. Nematodes de Venezuela. III. Nematodes parasitos 
vertebrados venezolanos, I. Una revision del genero 
Trypanozyuris (Ascaridina: Oxyuridae). Memorias de 
la Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales 'La Salle' 19: 
176-212. (With C. Diaz-Ungria as junior author). 


15. Nematodes de la famille Dubioxyuridae. Annates de 
Parasitologic Humaine et Comparee 35: 190-191. 

16. Sur la position systematique des Schneidernematinae 
(Nematoda). Annates de Parasitologic Humaine et 
Comparee 35: 428-429. (With A. G. Chabaud as junior 

17. Nematodes de Venezuela, IV. Nematodes parasitos de 
vertebrado Venezolanus, II. El genero Ozolaimus 
(Oxyuridae: Pharyngodoninae). Acta Biologica 
Venezuelica 3(1): 1-24. 

18. Further observations on the comparative anatomy of the 
head in the nematode family Subuluridae: with a 
description of a new species. Proceedings of the 
Zoological Society of London 135: 125-136. 

19. Comment on the proposed use of the plenary powers 
to suppress the generic name Southernia Filipjev, 1927. 
Z.N. (S.) 940. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 18: 

20. Nematodes de Venezuela, V. Sobre una coleccion del 
Distrito Mara (Zulia). Acta Biologica Venezuelica 3: 


21. The oxyurid parasites (Nematoda) of primates. 
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 136: 

22. A note on Enterobius vermicularis microbulbus 
Yamashita and Konno, 1957. Zeitschrift fur 
Parasitenkunde 20: 177-178. 

23. Free-living nematodes from South Africa. Bulletin of 
the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 7(6): 



24. The species of Rhabditis (Nematoda) found in rotting 
seaweed on British beaches. Bulletin of the British 
Museum (Natural History) Zoology 1(6): 320-333. (With 
John W. Coles as junior autnor). 

25. Three species of Cyatholaimus Bastian, 1865 
(Nematoda: free-living: marine). Bulletin de la 
Societe Zoologique de France 86: 73-86. 

26. Two new species of free-living marine nematodes from 
the west coast of Scotland. Hydrobiologia 18: 284-292. 


27. Marine nematodes from Banyuls-sur~Mer: with a review 
of the genus Eurystomina. Bulletin of the British Museum 
(Natural History) Zoology 8(5): 209-283. 

28. Miscellanea nematodologica. I and II. I. The structure 
of the head of Parathelandros mastiguris. II. A note on 
labiopapillae. Zeitschrift for Parasitenkunde 21: 215-217. 

29. Ichthyouris ro gen. et sp. nov. (Nematoda): an oxyurid 
from a freshwater fish. Journal of Helminthology 36: 


30. 'Campaniform-type' organs in the Nematoda. Nature, 
London 197: 618. 

31. New marine nematodes from off the coast of South 
Africa. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) 
Zoology 10(9): 529-562. 

32. Miscellanea nematodologica. III. Capillaria kabatai nov. 
sp. Zeitschrift fur Parasitenkunde 22: 518-520. (With 
John W Coles as junior author). 

33. The occurrence of Lemuricola (Nematoda: Oxyuridae) 
in Malaya: with the description of a new species. 
Zeitschrift fur Parasitenkunde 23: 354-359. (With 
Frederick L. Dunn as junior author). 

34. Sobre el genero Labiduris (Ascaridata: Kathlaniidae) 
con una discusion sobre el desarrollo de la cabeza. 
Boletin de la Sociedad Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales 
25(106): 126-154. (With D. Diaz-Ungria as junior 


35. The marine Enoplida (Nematoda): a comparative study 
of the head. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural 
History) Zoology 11(4): 263-276. 

36. Functional deformation in the head of the genus 
Allodapa (Nematoda). Journal of Helminthology 38: 

37. Some oxyurid parasites (Nematoda) from Neotropical 
primates. Zeitschrift fur Parasitenkunde 24: 83-87. (With 
Frederick L. Dunn as junior author). 

38. The structure of the nematode cuticle. Proceedings of 
the Zoological Society of London 143: 465-502. 


39. The functional and developmental significance of the 
cephalic septum in the Ascaridoidea (Nematoda). 
Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of London 176: 

40. The comparative anatomy of the ascaridoid cuticle 
(Nematoda). Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France 
89: 317-338. 

41. Observations on the nematode genus Citellina: with the 
description of a new species, Citellina himalensis. 
Journal of Helminthology 39: 11-18. 

42. Nudora omercooperi sp. nov. (Nematoda: free-living) 
from an unusual locality in South Africa. Hydrobiologia 
25: 176-180. 

43. Patterns of evolution in parasitic nematodes. Pp. 79-124 
in Third Symposium, British Society of Parasitology. 

44. The British Museum (Natural History) Expedition to 
East Nepal: 1961-1962. Introduction and list of localities. 
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 
12(3): 97-114. (With J. G. Sheals). 

45. Chabaudus chabaudi gen. et sp. nov. (Nematoda: 
Seuratoidea) from a fresh-water fish in Sierra Leone. 
Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines 71: 171-176. 
(With C. G. Ogden as junior author). 

46. Miscellanea nematodologica. IV. The male of Alinema 
alii Rasheed, 1963. Annals and Magazine of Natural 
History (13) 7: 523-525. (With C. G. Ogden as junior 

47. Miscellanea nematodologica. V. Rictularia dhanra sp. 
nov. from a squirrel in Nepal. Zoolologische Anzeiger 
174: 227-231. (With C. G. Ogden as junior author). 

48. The nematodes parasitic in the gizzards of birds: a study 
in morphological convergence. Journal of Helminthology 
39: 207-224. 

49. Descriptions of some strongyles (Nematoda) from 
mammals in East Nepal: with records of other parasitic 
nematodes. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural 
History) Zoology 13(7): 229-245. (With C. G. Ogden 
as junior author). 

50. The pinworm parasites (Nematoda: Oxyuridae) of the 
Hapalidae (Primates). Parasitology 55: 731-737. (With 
G. E. Cosgrove as junior author). 


51. Primate: pinworm co-phylogenies. (Proceedings of the 
British Society for Parasitology) Parasitology 55: 22pp. 

52. The origin and function of the cheilostomal complex 
in the nematode Falcaustra stewarti. Proceedings of the 
Linnaean Society of Umdon 111: 57-64. 

53. Comment on the proposed suppression of Aphelenchus 
steueri Stefanski, 1916 (Nematoda). Bulletin of 
Zoological Nomenclature 22: 273. 

54. Marine nematodes from Durban, South Africa. Bulletin 
of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 14(4): 

55. Chairman's summary: Section CI. Proceedings of the 
First International Congress on Parasitology 1;CI: 412. 

56. The observational basis of homology. Systematic 
Zoology 15: 219-228. 


57. The evolution, host relationships and classification of 
the nematode Superfamily Heterakoidea. Bulletin of the 
British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 15(1): 1-28. 

58. The occurrence of Rhabditis marina on Western 
Australian beaches. Nematologica 12: 643. 

59. Miscellanea nematodologica. VI. Echinonema australis 
sp. nov. from Sminthopsis crassicaudata in South 
Australia. Journal of Natural History 1: 173-175. (With 
P. M. Mawson as junior author). 

60. The relationships of the nematode superfamily 
Seuratoidea. Journal of Helminthology 41: 115-136. 

61. Interstitial nematodes from St Vincent's Bay, New 
Caledonia. Expedition Franqaise sur les Recifs 
Coralliens de la Nouvelle Caledonie 2: 29-74. 




62. Nematodes parasitic in Western Australian frogs. 
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 
16(4): 161-183. 

63. The geographical and evolutionary relationships of 
Australian trichostrongyloid nematodes and their hosts. 
Journal of the Linnaean Society of London 47: 327-347. 

64. Allopatric speciation in the nematode parasites of frogs 
in southern Western Australia. Journal of Zoology 156: 

65. Closing address: Adelaide Seminar, Museums 
Association of Australia. Kalori 35 (special edition): 


66. Convergence in the structure of the head and cuticle of 
Euchromadora and apparently similar nematodes. 
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 
17(5): 149-204. 

67. The deceptive simplicity of nematodes. Australian 
Natural History 16: 172-175. 

68. Review of The procession of life', by Alfred S. Romer. 
Journal of Natural History 3: 302-303. 


69. The labours of the South Australian Museum. Issue 5: 

70. Similarity and homology. Systematic Zoology 19: 93. 

71 . The purpose and judgements of biological classification. 
Systematic Zoology 19: 240-250. 

72. Cyatholaimidae (Nematoda) from the coast of Western 
Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 
16(5): 1-13. 


73. Speciation in parasitic nematodes. Advances in 
Parasitology 9: 185-223. 

74. Marine Enoplida (Nematoda) from Western Australia. 
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 95: 

75. Freshwater fish of South Australia. S.A, Yearbook 1971: 
27-34. (With C. J. M. Glover as senior author). 

76. Nematode parasites of Oceania. XII. A review of 
Heterakis species, particularly from birds of Taiwan and 
Palawan. Records of the South Australian Museum 16(8): 
1-14. (With G. D. Schmidt and R. E. Kuntz as junior 

77. Conserving evidence of our past. Journal of the 
Anthropological Society of South Australia 9: 4-6. 

78. The on-display interactions of museums and their public. 
Kalori 42: 57-60. 

79. The environment. Pp. 55-60 in 'Public Health in South 


80. New urban development and the natural environment. 
Pp. 33-38 in 'City of the Future: the Murray New Town 
Proposal'. Department of Adult Education, University 
of Adelaide. Publication No. 33. 

81. 'Report of the Committee on Environment in South 
Australia". (With Chairman: D. O. Jordan; and C. W. 
Bonython, B. Mason, F. D. Morgan, and P. S. 
Woodruff). Government Printer: Adelaide. 

82. Introduction. In Aboriginal Bark Canoes of the Murray 
River 7 by Robert Edwards. Rigby Ltd.: Adelaide; for 
the South Australian Museum. 


83. Foreword. P. 5 in 'Southern Aspect: An Introductory 
View of South Australian Geology' by A. R. Alderman. 
South Australian Museum: Adelaide. 


84. Aschelminthes. In 'Encyclopedia Brittanica' (15th Ed.) 
Macropedia 2: 137-144. 


85. Rural landscape conservation in South Australia. Pp. 
137-144 in 'Landscape Conservation. Australian 
Conservation Foundation: Melbourne. 


86. Social-organisational responsibilities for environmental 
matters. Pp. 8-16 in 'Roads and the Environment 
Seminar'. South Australian Highways Department: 

87. Environmental aims and objectives. Pp. 43-45 in 'Report 
of the 3rd Annual Conference of the Australian Institute 
of Health Surveyors, South Australian Division'. 

88. Summing Up. Eco-fire: Fire control in relation to the 
management of natural ecosystems and natural reserves. 
Pp. 43-46 in 'Proceedings of the Symposium of the 
National Parks Association, New South Wales'. 

89. Environment — aims and objectives. Pp. 43-46 in 'South 
Australian Health Surveyors Conference'. Third Annual 


90. The development and future of the National Parks ethos. 
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of 
Australasia, South Australian Branch 78: 50-55. 


91. Assessment of impact of a new city on the environment. 
Pp. 66-71 in 'Opportunity for Choice: Where should 
Australia Locate Her People?'. Ed. E. G. Hailsworth. 
CSIRO: Melbourne. 


92. Zoo-zoogeography of parasitic nematodes. Abstracts of 
the 24th Congress of the Australian Society of 
Parasitology pp. unnumbered. 


93. An outline classification of the Phylum Nematoda. 
Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 243-255. 

94. The structure and operation of the obliquely striated 
supercontractile somatic muscles in nematodes. 
Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 677-693. 

95. The design of the nematode body wall: the ontogeny 
of the cuticle. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 705-716. 


96. The origins of nematodes. Australian Nematologists ' 
Newsletter 4: 4-9. 

97. Evolutionary waves: patterns in the origin of animal 
Phyla. Australian Journal of Zoology 33: 153-178. 








The observational basis of homology. In 'Cladistic 
Theory and Methodology 7 . Van Nostard Reinhold: New 
York. Reprint of 1966 (pub. no. 56) Systematic Zoology 
15; 219-228. 

Comment on the proposed completion of the Official 
List entry for Rhabditis Dujardin, 1855 (Nematoda). 
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 43: 5-6. 
Further comment on the proposed conservation of 
Southernia Allgen, 1929 by the suppression of 
Southernia Filipjev, 1927 (Nematoda). Z.N. (S.) 940. 
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 43: 13-14. 
Stratigramy: biological classifications through 
spontaneous self-assembly. Australian Journal of % . 
Zoology 34: 411-437. 

102. Cladogenesis and anagenesis: a confusion of 
synapomorphies. Zeitschrift fur Zoologische Systematik 
und Evolutionsforchung 26: 1-11. 


103. Concepts in science, the universe, and everything. 
Search 20: 71. 

104. Centenary biographical note: Harold Arnold Baylis 
1889-1972. International Journal of Parasitology 19: 




Kiwinematidae n. fam. (Nematoda) for Kiwinema n.g. 
and Hatterianema Chabaud and Dollfus, 1966: 
Heterakoidea of native New Zealand vertebrates. 
Systematic Parasitology 15: 75-79. (With E. A. Harris 
as junior author). 

A new species of the nematode genus Aspiculuris 
Schulz, 1924 from Aethomys namaquensis (Rodentia) 
in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Systematic 
Parasitology 17: 231-236. (With E. A. Harris and J. 
W. Lewis as junior authors). 

Characters: the central mystery of taxonomy and 
systematics. Biological Journal, Linnean Society of 
London (in press). 

108. A revision of the nematode genus Odontoterakis 
Skrjabin and Schikhobalova, 1947 (Heterakoidea). 
Systematic Parasitology (in press). 

109. Mammalakis n.g.; Mammalakinae n. subfam. 
(Nematoda: Heterakoidea: Kiwinematidae): with 
Heterakis macrospiculum Orhepp, 1939 as type species. 
Systematic Parasitology (in press). 

J. K. LING, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 25(2): 193-198, 1991. 




ISSN 0376-2750 



113 D. P. GORDON & S. A. PARKER 

A new genus of the bryozoan family Electridae, with a plectriform apparatus 


Discovery and identity of UO-year-old Hutton Collection of South Australian Bryozoa 


The Karangura language 

139 L. HERCUS 

Glimpses of the Karangura 

?1 N. S. PLEDGE 

Occurrences of Palorchestes species (Marsupialia: Palorchestidae) in South Australia 


The archaeology of the JSN site: some implications for the dynamics of human 
occupation in the Strzelecki Desert during the late Pleistocene 


193 J. K. LING 

Obituary of W. Grant Inglis 

Published by the South Australian Museum, 
North Terrace. Adelaide. South Australia 5000.