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Victorian Naturalist 


of the 


MAY, 1942, TO APRIL, 1943 

Hon. Editor: A. H. CHISHOLM, F.R.Z.S. 

The Author of each Article is responsible for 
the facts and opinions recorded 

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The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX.— No. i May 8, 1942 No. 701 


Tlu». monthly meeting of the Club was held on April 13, 1942. 
The President (Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison) presided and about 
90 members and friends attended. 


An illustrated lecture on "Seals and Eels" was given by Mr. 
F. Lewis, Chief Inspector of Fisheries and Game. A fine scries of 
slides coveringj firstly, the seals of Sea.1 Rocks, Westernport, and 
secondly, the ascent of elvers up the Hopkins River falls, together 
with the explanatory matter, gave to the members a great deal of 
information on these two interesting animal groups. 

Numerous questions were asked the lecturer, and various mem- 
bers commented on the, subject, A vofa of thanks to the lecturer 
was moved by Mr, A. H. Chisholm, who said that Mr. Lewis was 
the most efficient governmental officer of his kind in Australia. The 
motion was seconded by Mr. H. P. Dickins and carried with 


Mr. F. S. Colliver reported on the excursion to the Zoological 
Gardens, and stated that the two parties (senior and junior) 
totalled over 100. 

Mr Arthur Crompton was elected an Ordinary Member. 

Mr. R. G. Painter reported that in the Greensborough district 
there was an apple tree said to be 100 years old, it having been 
brought from Tasmania by John Batman. He asked that the 
Committee consider whether this tree would be deemed worthy of 
preservation and if so who would be the best authorities to 
approach. , 


Mr. R. Lee reported having observed a Rufous Fantail at a 
Brighton garden for some hours recently. 

Mr V. H, Miller remarked on the scarcity of birds along the 
main roads since the heavy military traffic. 

2 fie.!ti NutttrdistS Club Pr0<(cdi*9* [ vj.'ux' 

Mr. R. G. Fainter reporter! that the beautiful cloud effects 
spoken of at the last meeting were due to a solar halo. 

Mr, H- C. E. Stewart reported having closely observed a 
Crimson Rosella feeding another of its kind which was seen to 
have a damaged beak. (Mr. A. H. Chisholm commented that pat tots 
seemed to have consideration for their mates to a greater degree, 
than most other birds.) 

Mr. Ros Garnet reported having noticed a parrot suddenly drop 
irom a flock flying overhead; the bird when examined was been 
to have been just killed and also to be heavily infested with para- 
silts. He suggested that the bird was put out of its misery by the 
other birds of the flock. 


Mrs. M. E. Freame. — Tooth of sea-linn and teeth of whales; 
tanned eel and shark skins; jelly-fish with young attached, 
anemones (grey, hlne, whrte, lilac, and emerald-green ) . 

Mr. J. Ros Garnet. — Orchids : Ptcrustylis inmcata Fit?.., culti- 
vated from plants collected at South Belgiave in 1934 ( locality not 
hitherto officially recorded) ; pot-grown .specimens of Plcrostylix 
alveata Garnet, cultivated from planis collected on Little Suake 
Island in 1939. 

Mr. C. French. — Blnclmum (Lumaria) discolor, var. pinvatifida 
(fishbone-tern), collected from near Drouin, Victoria 

Mr. A, H. Mattingley. — Sea-snake (Hydrus plthtrus) from the 
Great Barrier Reef. 

Mr. P. Bibby. — Collection of Victorian lichens. 

Mr. S. R. Mitchell. — Mineral specimens. 

Mr. R. G. Painter. — Garden-grown native plants, including 
Hatgania cyaiica, Goodcim geniculate, Bru>wvi/i, tTtistrulis, C&rrca 
Latiircncifiuit, Crottiforia loburitifolip; Hpactis lovgifoUa,. McMetmi 
lalerita, Oleatiu lepidophylla^ Thomnsia pctalocalyx. Calviephalu.t 
Br.ozmii, Viola hedemcca. 


Five young ostriches from South Australia were added recently to llie 
Wild Life Sanctuary at North Halwyn. Although devoid of stripes, i^xrepl 
on the head and neck, they are not unlike young emus. These bird* arc 
believed to be the only young ostriches- in Victoria. 

Pcrhaps the most interesting — and heautiful — animals in the reserve are 
haw pure white possums of the silver-grey species. The female has black 
eyes., but the male's eyes are oink. By ihe way, the owner nf the sanctuary, 
Mr. W. R. Maughan, believes that while emus are at large somewhere in 
northern Victoria. 


By David Ft.tAY, Director, Sancluai) , Heulesvillc 

The Banded Ant-eater — an animal whose exact origin is 
shrouded in mystery, a living but passing relic- of the earth's very 
early tarred animals, a maisupial so different that it requires a 
special family name m zoological literature, and a probable 
Methuselah even among the kangaroos, possums and their kindred 
— this i>. the strilcingty coloured, exquisitely dainty creature known 
to the aborigines as Numbat. and to the student of zoology as 
Myrmecohiiis hisantus. 

Yet one of these intriguing, ethereal little creatures, whose 
ancestors were specialized in remote times for their unusual mode 
of life, has lived to experience a one-flay .sky, ride at 200 mile? an 
hotiT right across Australia in man's swiftest and most modern 
form of transport, the aeroplane. 

To he more explicit, on November 261 h. 1941, the first living 
Numbat tn travel by air was flown successfully by Australian 
National Airways from the Kojonup district of Western Australia 
to Victoria, and established in the Badger Creek Fauna Sanctuaiy 
at Hcafesville. 

Formerly the Numbat had a fairly wide distribution, extending 
from the South Ausiralian Murray lands and the west of Victoria 
right across to Western Australia ; but, unfortunately, the South 
Australian animal (a distinct species) has gone for ever, leaving 
onlv *he south- western corner of the continent as the last home of 
the little Westraiian pointy-nosed Myrniccohhis, 

Less is HttOWH about the habits of the Numbat than of the 
majority of pouched animals, and that is saying a good deal. It 
was entirely with the idea of watching and recording its habits that 
the specimen brought to Healesville was obtained. 

Thanks to the untiring enthusiasm of Miss Nita Kohlhagcn, of 
Kojonup (W A.) and to the co-operation and help of Mr. Fraser, 
Chief Guardian of Game, W.A.. and Mr. Lewis, Chief Inspector 
of Fisheries and Game in Victoria, the long-sought Banded Ant- 
eater became a reality. It was captured near Kojonup on November 
20, 1941. by Mr. J C, Snifch, six days hefore embarkation on its 
swift west-east continental crossing 

In the words of Professor F. Wood-Jones, the Numbat possesses 
the distinction ot being so peculiar a creature that it cannot possibly 
be mistaken for any other species. Its body is about the size of that 
of a brown rat, the male being decidedly larger than the female, but 
the figure of the animal differs from that of most small mammals 
in the remarkable breadth and flatness of the hinder part. The 
region of the loin, instead of being arched in typical mammalian 
fashion, is flattened, much as it is in lizards. The comparatively 

4 Fu.av, Tht Kumbot in Vktari* f.Vo['u*X 

thick and vvidely-spaced foreleg, combined with the pointed {ace 
seen in front view, ate strongly reminiscent in miniature of the 
large ant-eatnig mammals of other countries. 

Another of the many primitive anatomical feature* of the lovely- 
little Mynnecobins is the absolute lack of any sign nf a pouch. Its 
site is marked by specialized crimped hairs, and there are lour teats 
to which "joeys" hang while they are growing. 

Though superficially squirrel-like, particularly in the light airy- 
way it .^campers about, with its fuzzed-out tail hehl erect or arrhed 
over tLs hack, Mymtficobins- really bears a closer resemblance to 
<hat fellow-marsupial and fierce little raider of the gum trees, the 
Brush-tailed Fhascogale. This is interesting in view of the fact 
that it has recently been considered that our remarkable little Ant- 
eater may possibly be an riff-shoot of the family of insectivorous 
and carnivorous pouched animals to which the Phascogale belongs. 
When hurrying over the ground the Xumhut hounds in a series 
of leaps, bui in "slow motion" it indulges in a trotting action. 
Normally the tail is carried ''at the trail." in a line with the liody, 
but with a slight upward curve, and the hairs arc not bristled. The 
arching and spectacular fuzzing of the tail over the back occurs in 
moments of excitement and conditions of emotional stress generally. 
In colour the Numlmt is oni- of the most outstanding nf all native 
animals. Anything shoit of a colour photograph cannot d© it 
justice. Bright rust-red is the general tint of the fore part of the 
body. Six or seven white liars cross transversely between the tail 
base and mid-back region., and the fur between these bars is black. 
The individual hairs of the body are comparatively coarse, and 
longer ones with white lips give a remarkable halo-like effect about 
the animal in general. A dark cheek-stripe running to the ear and 
a white one below it give the Numbat s face — otherwise so like 
that of the brush-tailed Phascogale — its distinctive appearance. The 
tail previously mentioned is kmg and uniformly clothed Willi stiff 
hairs, which may be rapidly bristled lo form a bold and handsome 

The many accounts of the delicate nature of MymiccobtH.i. and its 
unfavourable reaction to conditions of caphviiy. had caused a good 
deal of uncertainty about the inmS|.K>rttitic>n of one of these animals 
to Victoria. Hopes were not particularly' bright when the little 
creature (a young female) proved on arrival to be iii a torpid, 
sluggish state. However 1 had seen many of the smaller mar- 
supials iu this dormant, lizard-like stale of lethargy, and I was not 
hopelessly pessimistic of rite outcome. 

On her first morning in Victoria the Numbat was as lively as. a 
cricket. She refused aH food until the early afternoon, .md then 
from offerings embracing termites, several species of ants and 
their eggs, mealworms, beetles, grubs, earthworms, raw egg, bread 
and milk, honey and jam. she concentrated on the termite* and 


I'; I 

May, 1942 

"(i'iiiij^ 1 1 «r i)k- lick ul her life!" Close-up of the Kunibitt's sticky, extensile 
Inn^ne uMnictiiifi termites in mi their naileries in "lu?in._\ lomlit'd" wuod. 

Su engrossed i 1 - little Miss XumltaL ill liekiili; termites I'mm tlieir unllcrii-s 

that she fails to realize that she h;is been lifted from the ylncmd. 
Photua. by David Fleay 

JJgJ FlXAT, The Numbat in I'ktorw S 

licked up every one in sight, or, more correctly, within "smell," for 
the olfactory sense is highly developed. The outstanding feature 
of the Nt»mbat\s meal-time was the spectacle of her amazing pink 
tongue flickering with lightning rapidity deep into every crevice of 
termite-riddled wood, its tip shootiug out at all angles, inches away 
from the animal's snout. 

This cylindrical extensible tongue is a* least four incises long. 
Members of the smaller species of termites were gathered in and 
swallowed whole without chewing, but the larger M white ants," 
particularly those of the soldier or tighter caste with the strong 
heads and formidable "jaws" of such a robust species as Colotcrmes 
nisutans, common in mountain ash timber, were subjected to rapid 
and audible mastication — the animal pausing meanwhile before 
gathering up further victims- Though the teeth of Myriiiecirbius 
are regarded as degenerate, there is a very large number of them, 
fifty-two in all ; that is. twenty more than the total number be- 
queached to man. 

Returning to early experiences with the newly-arrived Kojonup 
Numbat, it was found that her sluggishness and unhealthy appear- 
ance persisted, particularly in the mornings, for several days 
following her arrival, and on November 30 she remained torpid all 
day and refused to ear Cold and stiff to handle. <be could scarcely 
struggle over to right herself when laid upon her buck. However, 
that cheerless twelve hours appeared to end our troubles. From 
the early morning of December 1 she did not look back. Termites 
and yet more termites— easily 10,000 of the smaller species daily — 
were demanded. 

Little Miss Numbat's capacity for these soft-bodied light- 
shunning insects appeared to be inexhaustible, and slowly but 
surely the old stumps and fallen logs of Badger Qeek paddocks 
and surrounding bushlands were Teduced to chips and splinters. 
Old crumbling stumps were the usual "bonanzas" where, despite 
many a *'red-hot" sting from bull-dog ants, a spherical basement 
nest of termites would yield such a colony that the community 
strength m the central regions was astounding indeed 

In the time of its feeding habits the really outstanding feature 
of the marsupial Ant-eater impressed itself upon one's notice by its 
very strangeness. Iu direct contrast to the nocturnal habits of 
neaily all marsupials, the Numbat frisks about and feeds freely all 
day and sleeps soundly at night ! Never did we see little Miss Ant- 
eaier out after darkness had fallen. She had chosen a hollow log 
and in furnishing it with home comforts had been seen to carry in 
dead leaves and to strip dry grass, after much vigorous jerking 
and pulling with closed jav/s, from an old tussock. Quite a com- 
fortable bed was constructed in this chosen home. She never 
stirred from her ''boudoir" after dusk. Possibly she was dreaming 
of termites yet to come ! 

6 FtEAv. Tlie Nwnbal m Victoria L Vol. F,1X 

Each morning, as soon as a fresh bucket of "white-ant" materia] 
was brought along, the Numbat (who, in her eagerness usually 
jumped Into the bucket) would devote undivided attention to the 
job in hand, "going for the lick of her life." Nothing coidd distract 
her Her powers of concentration on the miuute soft-bodied insects 
were unique- Sugar ants (C«mponottis nifjriccps) mixed with the 
nibble occasionally clung to her legs, but, without the slightest 
interruption to her tongue-work, a lightning; flick of each foot in 
turn would throw the intruders many feet away. 

Were the termite*, deep down in hidden galleries in a piece of 
wood, the Numbat endeavoured to solve her difficulties by opening 
her jaws — seizing the whole fragment and pulling it into a more 
favourable position. Her sturdy and prominent fore-claws were 
used to good efTeci in scratching into rotten wood, and the long 
snout was also brought into play as a lever to force fragments of 
earth or 1 wood apart It was most noticeable that she preferred 
termite-riddled wood, so thai the insects could be extracted cleanly 
from their galleries. Once they had fallen into the dust-rubble 
and general debris of a broken-up stump, the Ant-eater was most 
diffident about collecting them, obviously disliking the accumulation 
of wood-dust on her long sticky tongue and being unable to collect 
her victims in quantity. Evidently in Western Australia very 
rotten stumps, old crumbling fogs and soil-building termites are 
sought, for Myrmccobins is not strong enough to break apart any- 
thing but very decayed or earthy material. It is probable that the 
animal finds little difficulty in scenting and scratching out colouies 
of such a species as Hclorolerwts fcrox, a termite found in South- 
western W.A. as well as in S.A., Victoria and NSW. This "white 
ant" is generally found in small colonies living under stones and in 
galleries in the soil beneath. 

In spite of (he provision of many species of true ants and other 
insects procurable in the Hcalesvillc district, it appeared quite 
definite from the captive animal's behaviour that the Numbat is 
practically entirely a "white ant" eater. In fact, Banded Termite- 
cater might have been far more apt a name than Banded Ant- 
eater. Admittedly our animal did devour odd ant eggs and some 
ant larvae and cocoon-enclosed pupae, but only when hungry, and 
she always passed them by iu favour of "straight" termites- 

In working for her food the vigour and rapidity of the dainty 
creatures movements was amazing. She became most annoyed if 
touched when working on a good "prospect," and uttered low-toned 
churring noises of protest that could be likened to sounds of heavy 
breathing. Should the animal be gently pushed away from Iter 
food, she usually retaliated by pushing back or leaning hard against 
one's hand while feeding persistently. Once, while scampering 
about, the Numbat was heard to give a rapid and very Phascogale- 


Plate II 

May, 1942 

"WI1.1t ctnnes?" Kaniiar !ik< attitude rii alertness. Wlmi rcallj ahirnii-d 

;i lu'll ll|irit;ltt >tail(.V i> adopted liv < hi' \'ninli;il. 

Willi tail fully bristled bikI ..r.i.,,1 » V cr lirr l>ai-k. ll ..,ur 

present .1 pkturi' ..1 beaut] anil iiiniMi 
Photu*. by David n«y 

}$(] Fikav. The A'wnM in Vtftoh 7 

like series of "tut-tut-tut-tuts !" evidently representing calls or con- 
versation in the Myrmecobius "tongue '' 

It was noted op a number of ejections that following a hearty 
meal, when her abdomen was quite hard and bulging with iis soltrtly- 
packed termite content, the Numbat scampered to a broad fog, 
upon which she was in the habit of resting, and stretched herself 
with long fore-limbs extended, tail straight out from the body, and 
jaws yawning widely. The astonishing feature of the whole languid 
attitude lay iu the outward and downward extrusion in a graceful 
arc of the whole four inches of pink ribbon-like tongue 

The Numb;it i.s not a burrow-making creature, and, contrary to 
general belief, is quite a clever and nimble climber and would 
experience little trnuble if need be in searching for termites in 
crumbling stumps some distance above ground. 

Should anything ever startie the little Kojonup creature — a most 
uncommon event — she would immediately sit bolt upright, with 
black eyes pupping and downbent fore-paws, resembling in minia- 
ture the altitude of a kangaroo. At such times her puzzled expres- 
sion .seemed to ask, as plainly as possible, "What uii earth was 
that?" The disregard of danger in the presence of food, so typical 
of many marsupials, is well pronounced in the case of the Numbat. 
When the little animal at Healesville was picked up, she made no 
attempt to struggle and had not the faintest inclination to bile. 

Unfortunately, in February, J 042, tragedy brought the Numbat 
chapter to a sad conclusion. With startliug suddenness, on the first 
day of that month the little animal collapsed and died within the 
space of several hours, stunning us with the unexpectedness of her 
death. She had been at the Sanctuary for jusi over two months. 
Perhaps I had not obtained quite enough termites, though goodness 
knows millions wete procured. A more likely explanation of the 
Numbat's untimely death may have been a bite from a Red-bark 
(Katipo) spider. These venomous creatures live in numbers in 
die warm house inhabited by the Numbat, and more than once! I 
have killed them in the very log in which her nest was bmlt. 

From all accounts of the Banded Ant-eater in its Westraltatt 
habitat, it relies entirely on hollow logs as a refuge, and consequently 
bush fires wreak havoc with the small creatures. Fires, combined 
with the destructive work of foxes, cats and dogs, would seem fcO 
spell the end of this too-trusting animal not so many years hence, 
unless, of course, some strictly-regulated areas in West Australia's 
Numbat country can be set aside as Ant-eater territory. Many 
excellent fauna sanctuaries have been established jfl the Western 
State, hut in order to preserve the Numbat it will he essential to 
guard continually against fire, to shoot and poison, and to design 
special fences as preventive measures against the marauding foxes 
and cats of the hush. 


(The Genus Prasophxttum, R.Br,) 
By W. H. Nicuolls, Melbourne 

] . — Pr. divtmftorum, sf>. nov. 

P/aw/o iub-rubtuio itA g>ac\lis 30-60 cm. u/.'a. Folk maaida fa omnibus 
wi-ci'i spccimtnibus, Flares varii 10-36, viridc-fusti : ovarium pyrifmmc, 
pcdicrUns twins; scpahuwdortaic ovotc-lanceoktfum. ciicullainm, xficc 
hicvi-acuuwMt'.tM; stpala-lateraUa separate, etcete-potentia, lam:eofot«, 
cencmw aficibui plertiwoue hidcHtfllis, 

Petala Hucaria, incumala, acu4a, aliquant! o ma>ii!es!c-j<iJcaki; Peno»ll<i' 
scrjRfento. sttb'(i<-<]Ml'w, 5-9 mm. lo».ga. , , 

Labvllnm iouiniculntnm, coticavmn, basem wwu Uiefie lotissimnm; apice 
ehwrginato, oblttso vfl (Uwmwftto, alu/uando tomplieatvnt apud siimm, 
tyiwftwibw crisfrs vi'l wdttJ&lis plants dcprasmn ct aliijwiudo •wb- 
constrieiumj lamina cat/psa clevnta, apicem versus canalicnlala, atiquandtr 
lotistricla el r\i(fosn w.l sitperposita, super nutjorcm partem caHasum- 
CorWMtB bifvis, lariniac latcralcs manmic. aPicc cbliqnoe. Siiymo te*tifo-rmc, 

A moderately robust or somewhat slender plant 30-60 cm high. 
Leaf -lamina withered in all the specimens seen (about 40), but 
apparently slendcr-tcrete, varying in length, hut often exceeding 
the spike. Flowers variable in size, 10-36 (in my specimens), 
green with red-brown markings, in a more or less crowded spike, 
ovary pear-shaped, pedicels very short, the subtending bracts small, 
depressed; expansion beginning in middle of spike, extending 
upwards and downwards. Dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate, usually 
incurved, 5*nerved, tip shortly acuminate, lateral sepals prominent, 
lanceolate, concave, outer margins incurved, quite free, erect, 
divergent, 3-nerved, tips usually bidentate. Petals linear, incurved, 
acute, in some few flowers prominently falcate, obtuse, 3-nerved. 
All perianth-segment* of about equal length — 5-9 mm LabeUum 
on a short broad movable ctaw, oblong-cuneate, deeplv concave 
throughout, often very broad towards the base, reflexed (but not 
markedly so) just beyond the middle, tip narrow, the apex either 
emarginate, obtuse or acuminate; membranous portion white, 
suffused with pink, about as broad as the callotis pari; in some 
flowers a horizontal fold at the flexion, the whole depressed from 
the bend upwards; margins crisped or merely undulate, rarely 
smooth, or somewhat laterally pinched beyond the flexion ; callous 
part green, not prominently raised except towards the tip, divided 
by a furrow (throughout its length in most flowers, in others ter- 
minating near the apex) , the furrow widening to a definite channel 
below the bend, 

In some flowers the callous plate also is constructed near die tip, 
the apical portion appearing as a separate raised somewhat, wrinkled 
callosity as in some species of Microtis. Occasionally this raised 
portion is superimposed over the larger callous part, extending 
downwards to the bend. 

ifil'l - NfCHOhLS, Additions to Orchuiacfat oj I'ictlfria 8 

Column shori , appendages large, with more or less hatchet-shaped 
oblique tips, a small rounded lobe ;it the hase. Anther much 
shorter than rostellum, rent form, red. Rostellum triangular, higher 
than the appendages, tip emargmate after removal Df disc. Follinia 
2-odobed. candicle linear of medium length ; pollen grains small, 
depressed (in those examined), Stigma reniform, viscid, 

The new species is probably one of the most variable, in regard 
10 the floral characters, on recurd (W.H.N.), yet Pr. patens. R.Br., 
appear.- to be its nearest affinity. 

Flowering during December, January, February. 

Habitat: Gorae West (via Portland), Collector: Mr. Clifford- 

"During the winter months ihc area of several hundred acres 
(known locally as "Malsceds"), where this orchid flourishes, is 
covered to a depth of 2 or more feet of water ; really it is a wide 
creek bed, a natural watercourse; a favourite feeding-ground for 
emus and kangaroos The fact that the season 1941 was the driest 
for 25 years probably explains why this orchid had not been 
recorded before. Other ground orchids that occur here include 
Pterostylis fatcata, Caladenia earned and some Microtis, species.' 1 
Habitat: Flat, heavily-timbered country, rather rough, in black 
loam soil. 

2. — Pr l3c\in()tehole), <tp. nov. 

The recent discovery in Victoria of the Tasmanian Prasophyllum 
niiduni, Hooker fil., 1 at Gorae West (via Portland), is, I venture 
to say, one of the most interesting and important! in the history of 
Australian orchids for many years. This discovery, though it con- 
cerns most diminutive (comparatively) plant forms, opens up a 
long-standing and somewhat complicated question of nomenclature 
directly involving two or more very distinct specific forms. Two 
of these species have been described, strange to TeJate, by Ihe 
same authority, under the same specific name. One form is 
credited with a wide distribution, viz.. Pr. rufum, R.13r. 2 This 
orchid is the New Zealand Pr. nudum, Hooker fil. 2 The Tasmanian 
plant, lb which Hooker also gave the name of Pr uudttm, is 
actually very distinct and identical in every particular with the 
newly-found Victorian material found at Gorae West and its 

Pr. ni/aw, R Br. — Bentham referred Hooker* Pr. nudum of 
New Zealand to this Australian species, and it is recognized as 
such in New Zealand now.' 1 Incidentally, Hooker considered his 
Pr. tuidiscapum, which he records from Tasmania, and Victoria 
also, identical with his New Zealand species Pr. nudum (Pr. 
rufunx R.Br.) while Bentham relegates the former »o Lind ley's 
Pr. brachystachyuni. After careful examination of all available 
material and the original descriptions, 1 agree with this circle of 

Id Xicniii-T.*,. Additions in Orclvclovror oj VitUnio L Voi.'ux" 

conclusions, for I can find nn feature to distinguish Pr, braihy 
stachyum specifically from Pr. rnfum. 

It would be well to mention here that all the specimens' under 
Pr, brachystadiymn, Ldl.. from Victorian localities are mis- 
dctermincd specimens of Pr. nigricans, T?.Br Tlris well -mat Iced 
species, some little time after the flowering period has passed, loses 
its characteristic dark colouring, changing to a glaucous green wilh 
old-gold markings, before finally withering 

Rodway 5 ' despite Archer's admirable figures (under Pr, nudum, 
Hk.f.) in ihe FktfO 'i a.wtavicaj also reduces this form (apparently 
following prior authorities) to a Synonym of Pr, mfitm^ Bentham* 
likewise adds to the confusion when he writes: "The plate of 
P.mtdum, llonk. f.. above quoted {PI. Tasut.) represents the species 
correctly as to the general figure, but the analysis, unfortunately, 
most have been taken from a flower of the Pr. intrkatum." 

It should be noted that Pr, iniricntum, C Stuart, is synonvmou* 
with Pr. Archen, Hk.f.* 

Concerning Pr. rnfmn. R.Bi'.j This- species differs materially 
from Pr. Archeri, Hk.f., also from the Tasmauian "Pr. nudum, 
Hk.f," in having entire, margins to a much narrower and more 
acute labellum, and also nou-cibate appendages to the column. 
Hooker writes, in reference to the last mentioned plant, "a near- 
relation of Pr. Archeri, yet distinct.* This sums up its relationship, 
and its closest affinity. 

From Pr. Archeri, Hookers Pr. midum (hi. Vatnu) differs 
mainly in the longer inflorescence and smaller, more abundant 
flowers, the relative lengths of the perianth-segments, broader 
labellum (possessing distinctive characteristics) and a different 
column. Thus it seems somewhat strange that so distinctive a 
form should have caused perplexity. 

I am again indebted to 2>lr. Clifford Beauglcholc for my speci- 
mens of this intriguing Prasofrhylluvi, The three original specimens 
found at G*jrae West were handed tu him by a young collector 
(Master W. Phillips, age 13) and were collected on the property 
of Mr. Phillips, senr. 

In all, fourteen /lowering plants have been noted in this area, the 
majority, however, being in advanced fruiting stage. Even in this 
condition, and also when in early hud, the species may wilh cer- 
tainty be easily known from othet described Victorian forms by 
tits iftaract eristic lateral sepals. 

Tbe Gorae West specimens were growing "in black sand, inclined 
to be peaty, somewhat dry, fairly wet in winter, with Bottle-brush 
and Tea-tree (in association) ; also some fern growth 2 feet high — 
the position well-shaded horn the sun." The additional locality 
already mentioned for this prasophytlmii was found on the 24th 
February by Mr. Beauglehole himself; approximately 2 miles 
west from Gorae West. (The original find was on the lOlh Feb.) 

JJ*2 ] Nichoi.LS, Additions to Orckidaceac uj Victoria 1 1 

Three additional specimens were found here, including a remark- 
ably robust, many-flowered plant, possibly representing the maxi- 
mum development in the species. This habitat is *'a peaty swamp, a 
dangerous locality for walking" ; it gave the searcher "the creeps." 

In consequence of the prior use of the specific name of nudum 
for Hooker's New Zealand species, which is now correctly inter- 
preted as the species which Robert Brown had long before named 
Pr. rufum, the re-use ot this name by Hooker for the Tasmaman 
plant is therefore invalid. Thus a new name must be given to the 
latter, which has (so surprisingly !) turned up in Victoria also. 
Archer's figure (previously quoted) shows a filiform leaf-growth 
arising from the sheath. Such an occurrence is not uncommon in 
Pr. Archcri in alpine regions. It probably is found in other some- 
what similar species also. 

I am re-uaming Hooker's Pr. nudum of the I'lora Tasmania! 
after Mr. Clifford Beauglehole, for it is mainly through his keen- 
ness that this little terrestrial orchid has been rediscovered, in this 
instance on the mainland of Australia. This indefatigable collec- 
tor was instrumental in the finding also of Pr, divcrsifiormn, sp, 
nov., and of Pr, fuscv-viride. Reader, the last-mentioned gem 
a new record for S.W. Victoria. 

Prasupliyllum Beauylclwlei, sp. nov. 

I'lanlu yritcillima, circa Itl-JO em. alia; super canlts medium hraclea 
subuioia. Inflorescentia spiea laxiascitia vel compucttt circa 1.5-3.3 cm, 
ionga; Jiorcs 5-AJ, parvi deflexi atra-pitrpurci badii vel virides, pedicelli 
breves; sepalnm dorsatc mamjeste cucullatum 1^-3 mm. tonyum, apicc glan- 
dulosus; scpala latcralia circa -!s-3 mm. loiuja, palentia lanceolata, concava. 
bas-i connata, tipicibus glandtdosis ; petala trianyularia lanceolata, acuminata, 
l\-2± mm. lout/a. Labcllum ungnicHlatnm, ovalum, scmi-rcciirvum, I$*3 mm. 
lottgum. marginibus brcvi-culatis, laminae pars callostx bifida, dnvbiis 
parlibus, paralldis puptllosis. clcvata, e.xigiw sulcata inter partes; Anthera 
longe mucronata. Laciniac lateralis bifidae. margmibus antcrioribus cilialis;_ 
stigma orbicularc concavwn. 

A very slender plant usually about 10-16 cm. high (robust 
specimens up to 20 cm.) Tuber globular or of irregular shape. 
Base of stem with a fibrous sheath, often with the remains of old 
tubers attached. Stem usually wiry (in robust specimens 3 trim, 
thick). Fruiting specimens often attain a length of 30-35 cm. 

Leaf -lamina below the inflorescence, sheathing bract-like, 2-3 cm. 
long. Flowers very small, 5-42 (in my specimens), sessile, green 
and red-brown or purplish black, somewhat deflexed Ovary long, 
curved, a minute rather blunt bract at the base. Dorsal sepal con- 
spicuously hood-shaped, erect 1^-3 mm. long, tip with a gland at 
the apex, lateral sepals connate at the base, about 2^-3 mm. long, 
lanceolate, concave, erect, divergent, tips with a prominent gland. 
Petals slightly shorter than dorsal sepal, triangular-lanceolate, 

Labelluin ovate with a short acute apex, semi-recurved, fleshy. 

tVlrt Nat 
Vol LI X 

Prasophyllum, spp. ; two main figures slightly reduced. (For Key, sec p. 14, J 

[Jg ] Nicholcs, Additions t Orckidoeea* •/ firwrio 1.1 

surface raised, papillose, green with deep red-brown or purplish- 
brown markings, about same length as dorsal sepal, attached to a 
prominent columnar projection by a movable claw, margins shortly 
cih'ate, cilia, inclined towards Ike dp. Individual cilia glandular, 
callous portion raised, divided into two parallel sections by a narrow 
groove, which is wider at the base, each section lanceolate, uniting 
at the tip in a dark-coloured blotch (in most flowers examined) , 
membranous part about same width as raised sections. Anther 
with a moderately long point, Polling 2, no caudicle Rostellum 
shorter than the anther. Column appendages prominent, outer 
lobes purplish, much narrower and slightly longer than the inner 
lobes, outer margins Minutely ciliate. Inner lobes broad, rounded, 
not coloured, margins entire. Stigma circular, concave. Flowering 
period : January, February, March. Distribution ; Tasmania, 

Hooker's locality for this species is unknown, for he records 
"Tas. : but I do not know where." Thus the following Victorian 
habitats are the only known ones, viz. : Gorac West (W. Phillips 
et C- Beauglehole) ; two miles west from Gorae West (C. 
Beauglehole. J 

3. — Pr. fuscQ-v'tridc. Reader. 9 

This rare and attractively coloured species is on record only 
(rem Yorke Peninsula, in South Australia, and from Dimboola in 
Victoria, Dimboola being the original habitat, It has now reached 
me from Bridgewater {via Portland), Collector : C. Bcaugleholc, 
March 5th, 1942. The Bridgewater flowers differ from those of 
Dimboola only in having a conspicuous white gland inset at the 
tip of the labellum-— a feature represented in the Dimboola flowers 
by a dark-coloured htolch. 

4.— Pr. fixivum, R.Br.«° 

R. D. FitzGerald's plate in Australian Orchids} 1 under Pr. 
avstralt, R.Er. has often created interest and speculation as to the 
true character of the form he figures It is, however, but a stUT<Jy 
specimen of Robert Brown's Pr. fiavum,, minus the. characteristic 
yellow tinge of the typical form. The present writer and Mr. F. J. 
Bishop discovered this dark green form on the track from 
Stringer's Creek (via Walhalla) to Mt. Erica (E. Vic.) dnrirtg 
the year 1923, also on two subsequent journeys. This form varied 
in height from 30 cm. to over 70 cm. and the flowers number from 
about 12 to over 70. Almost wholly green, the other colour, dark- 
brown, was mare or less inconspicuous., and the labellum white. 
This green form appeared to be restricted to the rock-strewn slopes 
of the lower hills, in more or less unsheltered positions; the sur- 
rounding vegetation, besides the low-growing Eucalypts, consisting 
mainly of Cassinia longifotia, Helichrysum semipapposum and a 
Gvodetw sp. 

)4 N1CH0U.S, Additions to Orchidaceae oj Victoria Lvoi.ux' 

Several photographs were secured of plants growing right on the 
main highway only 18 inches from the vehicle tracks. The normal 
yellowish form also occurs hereahouts, higher up where the big 
gums grow. The difference hetwccn them, though striking at first 
glance, is confined to the absence of the yellow colour (in the green 
form) and the incurved floral segments. Thus not sufficient varia^ 
tion exists to warrant a varietal name. On the other hand, 
FitzGerald's plate of Pr. jtaifuni* 2 represents a small form which 
must be very rare indeed— if the artist has not exaggerated the 
yellow colour of the blooms, here shown as golden-yellow. Fitz- 
Gerald's material of the green form was collected in New South 
Wales (Loc, Conjola lake, near Ulladulia). 

5. — Pr. Morrisii, Nidi., variety cont&rtmn, u n. var. 

Ptanta robustu. circa 30-35 cw. alia, Labelium ovato-rimeatwn, basi latum, 
opicc contortum. 

A comparatively robust plant about 30-35 cm. high. Flowers 
larger than those of the typical form Labelium ovatc-cuncatc, the 
base very wide; apex of labelium with a peculiar undulate, some- 
wliat contorted twist. 

Habitat: Pyrete Range (via Gisborne). On rocky ledges in 
jronbark country, in association with Coka-na major, R.Br. (Col- 
lector : G. Lyell. F.E.S.) 


1. flora Tasmanka, ii, 14, tab. 113 (partly). (18(50). 

2. ProdrOMM Flora Novae Hollamdiac, p, 3)9, (1810). 

3. Phra Novae Zealondiac, i, p. 342, (1853). 

4. Matniai Flora fifop Zealand, p. 676. ■ 

5. Tasmanian Flora, v 194, (1903). 

6. See also Flora Anstralicnsis., y\, p, 344, (Bcntbam) ! Flora Queensland, 
v., p. 1570, (Bailey). 

7 Ft. Anst'sis, vi, p. 344. 

& Victorian Naturalist, xlviii, p. U0. 

9. tbid, siv (1898), p. 163; Trans. Roy. Sac. $. Augtr. (1909), x.*w»i|. v , 
206 (under Pr. Tcppert, Mucll. et Rogers). 

10. Prod. Fl. Nov. Hoi!,, p. 318. 

11. Australian Orchids, ii, -fit, 1, 

12. Ibid, i, pt. 3. 

13. Vic. Nat. (Oct,. 1931), pi iii, Figs c. j, o, s (Lab. ct col.) 


Pro-i/rfiltylln-m species 

A— Flowering spike of Pr. diversiflormn. ,*/». nov. 
B. — Flower from front of Pr, diivrsifiorMn. sp «<>;' 
C — A Labelbim from irotii of Pr. diz-ersiflivuni, sp. nop 
D. — A Labelium from side of ft, divers! floruni, sp. nan. 
E — A Labelium from front of Pr dhcrsifiOTum, sp. -nov. 
F.— Labelium lips of Pr. divcrsijiormi, sp. nov. 

jV_ j Column appendages of Pr. dk'cvsiftorum r sp, nov. 

I. — Column from side of Pr, divcrsiflvhmi, sp. »m>. 

,.j1jJ The Rombrmi-Hird as o Bn-Eaitr 15 

J, Column showing sligmatic plate el of I'r, dwcrsiflor nut sp, nm. 

K — Pollimn of P.r . divcriijlorwn^ sp. Htm. 

L. — Column sb<lWittfi Anlbejr of Pr dii<crxifl<irMi>i, ffi im>v. 

(Note figs. 13, C, E and V show Ihc most important variations in the 
M. — A typical specimen of Pr. ScuvyUholH, sp, nov. 
N. — A flower from above oi ftj Beu,u,t)l<'liMci, up. nov. 
O— A flower tron> s»<tc of Pr. Bicftglehaki, tp. Hoi>. 
V. — Column dimming st'nrma, etc., of Pr, Bcanrihholei, sp. nov, 
Q — Column appendages, showing variation of Pri litauvlrhoki, Sp. Hov. 
R- — Cro=i5-scc<»o;i of stem of Pr. tSfimglchok'i: sp. noi>. 
S.— A Labellum from front, also individual cilia of Pi. Beait{)U>ltolc>, 
sp, nov. 

T. — Polliilia of Pr. fleaitfjletioki, sp. mv. 
U — A l>wrl of Pr. PfiiMfllrhoh'i, .\p. WW, 

■ I have recently come upon some notes, laid aside for several years, whidi 
Mr. Henry Tryon, foinwr Government Entomologist of Queensland, wrote 
»H regard lo the Rainbow-bird (Mcrnps nrnatus), sometimes termed the 
Tkie-rater T|icy include the following observations: 

That Mzrops does not e*iiusively or principally feed upon Ijpcs will 
appear from the fart that in examining the stomachs oi five individuals 
obtained in. different parts of Australia, at different times of the year, all 
were found to contain insects inclusively, of different orders, hut none of 
these were bees, and the last Msrops stomach whose contents 1 scrutinised 
contained five dragon flies, twelve meat ants, and other insects, m a 
fragmentary condition. As is well known, meat anH are natural enemies of 
the honey bee. amongst other insects. 

Under the conditions inseparable from bee-keeping, the undoubted habit Of 
capturing bees may he very apparent, but 1he birds' Ires ohvtfJIH habit, but 
one persistently exercised, with respect to other insects, is commonly over- 
looked Attention is seldom drawn to this habit 01 M crops except when, (he 
swarms are very weak- and there is little or no flow uf honey to sustain the 
Inve. Then, if the bee-caters are foutid feeding about the hives, and giving 
their attention' largely to capturing bce-S. failure in honey production on the 
part oi the hive is wont to lie put down exclusively to their depredation^. as ir may appear, observations indicate that the bee-eating 
habit exercised at this time, and -it such season, actually is in the interests 
of the aprtulluiist, This is brought about by the fact that whilst the bird 
at certain limes captures Lees fretpaeiiuux hives tinder control, it at all 
times and in all leasrms preys on honey bees that, having 'gone wild,!' have 
become established generally m the bush. Thus it serves in so doing to 
remove competitors for the greatly reduced supply of honey yielded by the 
native flora, oc the amuunt of which the very existence of the apiary >s at 
all times dependent 

In fact, did not the wild naturalized lices meet with an enemy in the 
bird in <iuestiun, it would go hard indeed for the apiarists' industry when 
a severe drought reduced almost to a vanishing pQiDl the ordinary sources 
whence the honey of the hive was iranicred. This remark also applies 
to tlie other native birds that to a greater ot less extent capture, and 
consume bees. 

However, all bee-comuming li'sli may not be as harmful an at first 
sight would appear. In Europe the Rrdstan has been blamed for exercising 
>hc habit, but J. O. Owen has pointed out (Birds — U.itjn! <md tfartn-fttl) 
that whilst lliis bird dots (.upline honey lives, it confines its attention almost 
entirely to the comparatively useless drones. 


Hi ICxnvon, The Sfory of the Murray /v'iwr [ Vol j.lV 

By A. S. Ken vox. Melbourne 
(Continued from April issue) 

The nexi event in the Murray River story is the discovery of 
Lake Alexandria, the Murray mouth, by a boat's crew of Mr. 
Duncan Forbes in the year 1829, while in command of the sailing 
schooner Prince of Dawwrk, Meanwhile Cunningham, in 1827, 
had found the Namoi. Gwydir, Macintyre or Dumaresq. and the 

Charles Sum now appears accompanied by Hume. Sturt, a 
military man, was 32 and Hume now 30. The problem of tlie 
whercaway of all these streams — die Macquarie, Bogan, Namoi, 
Gwydir and Macintyre. all trending to the north-west; and the 
Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Hume, Ovens and Goulburn, all converg- 
ing to a possible effluence in Spencer's Gulf or thereabouts — 
worried the colonists grey-haired. Governor Darling sent Sturt and 
Hume out at the end of 1828. a year of bad drought. On the 18th 
January, 3829, they came on the Darling heading to the same point 
as the southern streams, after gathering the flows of the northern 
rivers. It was the end of the theories of an inland sea and north- 
western Australian out fail. But the drought conditions — the 
Darling itself was salt — precluded investigation in that direction. 
Sturt returned to Sydney and by the end of the year started another 
expedition, to follow down the' Murrumbidgee, as a more reliable 
route. This time Hume stayed at home and looked after his crops. 

Sturt abandoned his drays, Ins cattle and most of his party and 
embarked ill boats from a depot near the present town of Maude 
on the 7th January, 1830. Exactly a week later — let us have his 
own words: 

"On a sudden, llic river took a general southern direction but in its tortuous 
course swept round to every point of Ilia compass with the greatest irregu- 
larity. We were carried at a fearful rate down its narrowed and contracted 
stream, At 3 pin. Hopkinson called out thai we were approaching a junc- 
tion, and in less than a minute afterwards we were hurried into a broad and 
noble river.-" 

Reaching the Darling- Junction on the 23rd, covering a little 
over twenty river miles a day. they named the stream Murray, aitcr 
Sir George Murray, then Colonial Secretary, not wotting' that it 
was Hume's Home. 

Later on Sturt was sorry. In his report on his May- August, 
1838, overlanding cattle trip from Albury to Adelaide he says: 

"I have thus. Sir. conducted you to that prw'nt at which tile Hume urtiliiut 
with tiie Murrumbidgee, both rivers ccare to bear their respective names and 
form the- Murray of my second expedition . The Hume, however, is a 

noble- and beautiful stream, and that it should hear his name is sufficient to 
satisfy the ambition of any ttiait. I by no means wish to take away from 
the credit of another, much less front thai of Mr. Hume, whan- superior 

"«J K1.NVOK, fire SlOry «-/ Hit Mrtfrav fri'tw '■' 

talcnlt> as Ail ex'dorei' 1 hive eref Ik».i\ ready to admit. When J named the 
Murray 1 was in a great measure ignorant of the other rivers with which ft 
_vva5 connected. But if niy . kiiowledg* then had been as extensive as it now 
is, 1 should still have considered lffl$c*M justified n\ Adopting tile usage o< 
modern travellers And in Riving a name to that river down which anri up 
which I have- toiled more than 4,000 miles. It was a task that 1 humbly 1:011- 
OM've fully entitled me to so iiegalivc a privilege. The colonists have, how- 
ever, criiuiiiued lo the upper branch ol ilie river the name given by rite to 
its lowei pal only, i trust, therefore, thai il«if. efplaualirm will confini: all 
three ( MurrumlHitjjep, Hume and Murray) to their proper limits. 1 want 
ill it to usurp an inch of ground or ot water over which T have not parsed." 

The colonists were right ' one river, otic name is the only practic- 
able way. Thai the river .should have retained its first name, the 
Hume, may be conceded, but Ilisnic saw only a few miles of it, 
whereas Sturt's epic journey down his Murray River fired the 
public imagination. It is certainly too late tu change the name now. 
We have, however, the Hume 'Reservoir or D;im, the Hume High- 
way, Hume-vale (formerly Scrubby Creek, near Whittlesea), and 
possibly Humanlon near Yass, as well as thirty odd cairns along 
the toute in Victoria alone. «- 

Now let us get back to the completion of the discovery of the 
Australian Nile -'-and that is not a mi.snomer,, for the Murray 
comes fourth in the list of the worlds great rtvers. Strangely 
enough, iVhitakcr's Ahtiouuc, OtU great Kritish standby, gives 
neither the Murray nor the Darling, but the World Almanac, a 
U.S.A. production, honours the Murray with a notice, although 
not tu its correct position, ft uses the Mississippi-Missouri com- 
bination (3988 miles,) to achieve second place to the Nile (4000 
miles) thus beating the Amazon hy a wee hit (3900 miles)- Then 
come? the Murray- Darling (3282 miles) with the Obi cm its tail 
(3200 miles) and the Yangtze (3100). No other terrestrial 
stream gets to 3000 Buc in watershed (that is, theoretical drain- 
age area and not actual), it is away behind, coming ninth only, 
although if drains — save the mark' — 414.253 square miles, one- 
seventh of the whole continent, a similar proportion of Queensland, 
no less than three- fourths of New South Wales, more than hah" of 
Victoria, and a trifling area 'in South Australia. 

There ate, however, two records which it holds invpregnably 
secure from scizuie: they arc, a minimum flow oi precisely nothing 
at all and a minimum proportion of annual rtm-oflF, 3 per cent. 
While dilating on these recoids the Following may be added: The 
surface fall from Echuca to Euston is four and a half inches to 
the mile, and from there to Mildura three* and three-quarters. The 
river at Mildura is just 100 feet above sea level, and as it is 550 
miles from the Murray mouth the fall for that section is just over 
two inches to the mile, although in its lower reaches (say from 
Morgan south) the fall is almost too small to measure 

The navigable length of the Murray, once in a while, is over 3500 
miles— 1400 on the Murray itself (Goolwa-AIbury ), 1200 on the 

lb Kr.vyrw, TIk Story of the Mw»\i Riwf [ v'd.Lix' 

Darling (Wentworth-Walgelt). 700 to where the ring .sat On the 
tucker-box, and 350 on the Edward. Wakool and Goulburn". 

Navigation was first predicted by Captain Start, again by Joseph 
Hawdnn and Captain John Hart, :md finally given effect in 1853 by 
Captains Cadcll and Randall. Jl is, however, now a thing of the 
past, and save for a few peddling or hawking boats and the mag- 
nificent tourist trips, the once imposing fleet of steamboats exists 
in photographs only. 

On the other hand, its use for irrigation and water supply is 
still increasing and will shortly resell its maximum — some two to 
three million acres irrigated and eighty million acres supplied with 
. stock and domestic water. 

Leaving statistics behind we shall resume the discovery tak- 
W« have mentioned the headwaters — McKillop. 1825: the river 
at Albury, 1824; the outlet. 1829; the Darling and its tributaries. 
1827-9: the Murray and Murmmbtdgee, 1830; the Murray from 
Hume's chance discovery to (he Goulbnni Junction, 1838. Sir 
Thomas Mitchell was not satisfied with Sturt's identification of 
the Darling at its junction with the Murray. In 1835 he followed 
Sturt's footsteps to the Darling and traced it down to Menindie. 
but he still clung to the idea that Sturt's Darling was actually the 

It was in March, 1836, that the Major (also so known to early 
Victorians), started on his Australia Felix trip. He. found that 
Sturt was quite right so he decided to follow up the Murray River 
— now the established name Crossing a little over a mile below 
the Mumuttbidgee junction — that is, between the tnte and the false 
— he was the first man to .see the Humr above it ; [6th June, 1836. 
He saw and named Swan Hill and Cake Roga — Portuguese for 
swimming-pool. He missed the Loddon and thought the Little 
Murray and the Gunbower Creek were one stream and were 
actually the Goulburn. The other guesses by the Major were as 
Lad — first the- Yarrayne, then the Loddon, etc.. flowing westerly; 
the Wimmera with an outlet to the sea a1 Cape Bernoulli, and the 
Glenelg mouth ten miles or more inside Victoria. All misleading 
and perplexing in the extreme for his successors 

The invxf part of the gap remaining between Albury and Cohuna 
was filled in January, 1838, when Joseph Hawdou, hero ol the first 
overlanding party from Sydney to Melbourne, 1836, set out from 
his station at Taflaroolc — be bad just returned from running the 
firsl mail to Ihe Murray, Melbourne to How long, and, much to 
hii surprise, found himself at the junction just above Echuca a 
week later. We have already related Sturt's work from Albury to 
the Goulburn junction; the Mm ray discovery was finished and 
the Darling ditto. 

Round about 1845-6 settlers came down the Murray. Edward 
Bernard Green had a station on the F.dward. hut had to abandon 

vUz] tiru\<>\. !hc .SVoiii oi (tie Murray Rivfi 19 

il, Seveial others were in the same boat. Settlement proceeded, 
however, and as Melbourne was the nearest port traffic became 
considerable. James Maiden — it is remarkable how this name per- 
vades western New South Wales and the Lower Darling among 
hoiclkeepers, coach proprietors, storekeepers, pastoralists, too, 
"pioneers everywhere — hi 1 84^ established an accommodation house 
and a punt It was soon known m Maiden's Punt, though with the 
usual official ineptitude it was named Moama. Mcrcwcathci. the 
first clergyman in the Rivcrina, who arrived there m May of > S51 , 
and was stationed at Moolparm, always referred to it as Maiden's 
Inn. lie refers tu the sale of town allotments held November 13th, 
1351. at Moolamon. THe Moama sdlncmenis sold remarkably well. 
Maiden himself gradually acquired property and became a wealthy 
squatter, but eventually died in poverty in I860. 

The name Echuca WW Ihc locality name before the town was 
surveyed and named officially. It is an aboriginal word meaning 
"the place of stones." Most people would consider that evrremely 
inappropriate, but actually when the river falls to a flow of almost 
nothing Lhere are one or two reefs exposed with much gravel, well 
known to the blacks but not tn the whites. Similar reefs or rocks 
occur right along Hie Murray to Miklura. The popular version is 
''the meeting of the waters" — much more attractive and something 
like the Yarra Yarra, "ever flowing/' and equally erroneous. 

Echuca was surveyed and named in 1855, though known as 
Hopwooils for long years after. The railway which was opened 
in September, 1864, was known officially as the Sandhurst-Murray 
River line. The coining of the railway was a K.O. far Moama, 
and Echuca ruled supreme as Mistress of the Murray. When in 
1876 a private railway was constructed from Moama to Peniliqtnn 
(the Sandhills) the iron bridge, then the finest in the southern 
hemisphere, was built. It was completed in 1&78 and cost i 120,000. 

As an illustration oi the value of roads it is interesting to know 
that, owing to the abominable state of the road to Bendigo, a tare 
hundred miles, lit the flood years of 1853-4, freight being £6 per 
cwf. — over one shilling a pound — it was cheaper to send goods to 
Adelaide by sea. thence by road to Morgan on the Murray, theuce 
by steamer to Echuca and again by road to Bendigo, a total distance 
of 1700 miles. Small wonder Echuca flourished and Hopwood 
and Maiden acquired fortunes) 

Those interested in the Murray River ilory should rear) The Nile 
of Ait-iSmiw, by David John Gordon ; Paving the Way, by Simpson 
Newlands; Half-crown Bob, by Price Waning, and KnorHini 
/ August Pierce, 


20 fclJKVMe. r>,u,ll, f ,f Dr \l. S. Ko,jas Vvlut' 


Naturalists throughout Australia will greatly regret tlic death of Richard 
Sanders Rogers, M.A., MAX, D.Sc, F.L.S., who passed away in Adelaide 
on April 3(1, 1942. 

Dr. Rogers was the greatest orcbidologist that Australia has known. 'Imc, 
Robert Brown described more than one hundred specie, hut he lelt WiCin 
there, being a general botanist. FitzGerald named a -couple of do^cn. and. 
published his monumental work under government aid. Dr. Rogers studied 
orchids under all conditions, and published many species, not only from 
Australia, but fi'Om Polynesia, New Guinea, and Kcw Zealand as well. A 
complete, set of his writings shows how monumental has oeen bis studies. He 
has now left the torch for Nicholls ;md fo» Rupp to catry on. in the way they 
Irnow so well. 

Dr. Rogers: first essay was a series of articles on South Australian orchids 
in the Children's Hour a publication of the. South Australian Education 
Department, about 1908. These articles were reprinted in book form, aod 
again reprinted in 191 1. At the time, this was our only orchid book. Dr. 
Racers' first genus was Microtis, which he published in 1906; and from shell 
on he worked incessantly on his (treat hohhy until a few year;: ago, Realtiittft 
the value of illustration he invited that noted flower-painter, Rosa l"iveash, 
to do his illustrations, and the results oi her drawings in both black and 
ttilottt show how wonderfully she did the work, 

Dr. Rogers visited Kangaroo Island in 1908 and collected 35 species, two 
of which were new to science. In 1919 he visfied West A us Italia, and In 
addition lit re-discovering all of FiuGerald's species of 1881, he collected 
five »cw species. In all of his ramblings he was accompanied hy Mrs. 
Rogers in, ardent and faithful collaborator. 

Dr. Rogers was a leading physician in Adelaide: he accompanied troops 
to the Boer War. he was in charge of military hospitals in the Great War; 
he was City Coroner, president of many institutions; and in all of his work, 
lie was most meticulous in effort and detail. He was slow to publish a 
r^ew species, feeling that cartful study and observation were, needed, and 
thus he could never he classed as a ''species splitter/' 

The death of Miss Fivcash, in 1938, created a break, for without an artist 
little satisfactory work could he accomplished, Dr. Rogers ha* left a 
monument of work; his collection includes hundreds oi water-colour and 
pen-and-ink drawings of Australian orchids; and it Is Itoped that these will 
be preserved for the nation Wars and depressions prevented the publication 
of a great work with coloured illustrations, and this was a keen disappoint- 
ment to the doctor. 

He always gave of his great knowledge freely : to students he was wonder- 
ful jit both help and advice. His genial and loving personality were his great 
charm* and many of us will C3fry the memory of these great attributes all 
through our lives. F.. K. Pr^cOTT, 

Previous References 

1, " Australian Ocliidology," by Edward £ Pescott. Vic. Mai., Dec- 
19.52, p. 196. (Includes an excellent portrait of Dr. Rogers and a notice of 
Miss Rosa Fivcash). 

2. "Rosa Fivrash Flower Painter,', bv Edward E. Pescolt. Vie. NaL. 
April, 1938, p. 199. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX. — No. i June 8, 1942 No. 702 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on Monday, May 
11 1942. The President (Mr. P. Croshie Morrison) presided 
and about 60 members and friends attended. 


This was an illustrated lecture given by Mr. N. Lothian on 
"The Alpine Flora of New Zealand." A good series of photo- 
graphic studies and lantern slides as illustrations to the descriptive 
matter gave to those present a good idea of this flora 

Some discussion as to the possibilities of cultivating these plant* 
took place, and several questions were asked, after which the 
President accorded thanks to Mr. Lothian for his interesting 

Reports of excursions were given as iullows: Coburg Bad 
Lands, Mr. F. S, Colliver: Sherbrooke Forest, Mr. H. C, E. 
Stewarl. Mr. Stewart exhibited photographs of a rare fungus 
found mi the excursion. 

The retiring Auditors.. Messrs, A. S. Chalk and A. G. Hooke, 
were re-elected. 

The following nominations were, received: President. Mr. P. 
Croshie Morrison; Vice-Presidents, Messrs. H- P. Dickins. Jvr> 
Hammett, H. C. E. Stewart: Editor. Mr. A. H, Chisholin; 
Secretary, Mr. F. S. Colliver; Assistant Secretary. Mr. Noel 
Lothian; Treasurer, Mr. E. F. Ford; Librarian, Dr. C. S, Sutton: 
Assistant Librarian, Mr. P. Bibby; Committee, Messrs. G. N. 
Hvam, J. H. Willis, P. F, Morris, A. S. Chalk and Cedric Ralph. 


(a) Mr. A. D, Hardy reported on the large amount 01 
diatomaceous material at present lining the aqueducts of our 

water supply system, and suggested thai it W&S due to the grcatei 

22 Fiekl jfthffltlNf Chi) Proorrh'iK/s [ fa ^ 

.silica content: of the waters, which was in turn due to lhc erosion 
Of the catchmeut. areas owing to bush fires. 

(b) Mr P. F. Morris reported on a combat between a silver 
eel and a cormorant. 

(c) Mr. A. A. Brunton stated that whilst on a fishing (rip in 
New Zealand he had noticed a cormorant *eat 71 lbs. of fish each 
day for a week. 

(d) Mv, A. H. Chisliolm, referring to Mr. Morris's note, 
stated that similar incidents sometimes took place when (t 
kookaburra caught a snake: there were records of both the bird 
and reptile kdling each other 

(e) Mrs V. H. Miller reported having noticed a number ot 
ferns growing on walls within the city area Other members 
amplified Mrs Millers statement. 

(f) Mr. P Crosbie Morrison reported that the fly agaric had 
recently been recorded from Lara, near Launcesron, Tasmania. 
This record, as well as the two Australian ones (Emerald, Vic. 
and Aldgate. S A) have all been traced to the importation of 
nursery stock 


(a) Forthcoming Excursions. — '.Hie Secretary announced that 
a tree- plan ting excursion would lie held at Maling's Quarry, 
Balwyn. possibly in July, and asked that members who would 
purchase a tree or shrub for the excursion notifv him by the 
June meeting. 

(b) Natural History Medallion. — The Secretary announced 
that nominations for the 1942 award should reach him by the 
€ixt of May m order to be eligible for consideration by the 
Selection Committee. 

(c) Welcome to Visitors. — The President welcomed, among 
others, Mr. Burbnry, a naturalist from Tasmania. In his reply 
Mr. Burbury stated that as he would be spending a considerable 
amount of bis time in Melbourne he honed to see more of the 
Out) and its work. 


Miss E. Campbell — Hahvt hm-iva, garden-grown at: South 

Mr. H. P. Dtckins — Australian flower studies. 

Mr. A. D Hardy. — Dried algae and microscopical exhibit of 
same. A seed of Physistiym-a vmenosmn, the "poison bean" or 
''ordeal-beati 1 ' of Calabar. 

Mr. A. H. Mattmgley — Star-fish (Asterim) from the Great 
Barrier Reef. 

j9*,'jj NlottidSj Thry ! ; Mis/lit /,> r j'iiiiili 22 

Mt. fvo Hammed. — Guvtlpii-gmwn native plants, including 
Hiiktii pcliohut, hi Milcato var. scopunu. (iirvillca lutxtjolia. 
Mrtti<t:tua pult.hdln, C>:-wn eri'mophit't. Conro fulclicHa. hacckm 
MmMixttrmo. Eiitalyphw Iriutixyio-n var. rosea. 

Mr. R G. Painter — GHnlcn-<jto\vn native plants, including 
Gic.villca a/ftim. \:u\ Paltatiiyw, Lfavric tin-prcssa. Corrca rellexa. 
C. reffcra var. nibiv (two forms), C. LMvrcitatitut, Cassia 
auslr<rh<s. Crotolniw lobniiiijnt'w Plcclrantlms poiviflonu, Mcla- 
Ijrura htcraJn, k'tolir hiulcrtirfii. Hibbntia fafciiHlnla. Rubus 
roso f of his fforeptensa. 

Air F 5. Colliver — Sim-cracks, vam-.spoth and tipple-murks 
from the Qirbonift'Miis beds at MfttwSeW, Victoria. 


• 1 record n most fascinating combat between a Little Black Cormorant 
{Hhnhti.rftCi'rtti- fit fir), often known ft "Shap," and a common ¥ < t\ (An<imlhi 
atisttvlu). "I Ik "r'niK " was the small cirmlar tiler, in ihe Melhouritc 
Botanic Gatdcns. and as six i>eople \icwed the coiuesi it is n "fish stoo" 
wiiIj coi roboiainiii. 

Rpnmi I. How lony they had bctu>ug t cannot say. lor on m; arrival 
tlioy were at it in earnest The bird had a "head sf isson>°' nviW" lilt BfftlS 
of the eel. whilst tlie latter had about ihh(y inches of [H hodv ii<htU rolled 
around flic cormorant"* neck liath showed hereditary instinct o( tactics 
and bluff The eel seemed to wriggle itttil a winning (jrip. awl I was about 
1o lap llic pint" whin liic (ormorai)l dived. 

Ktuimt 2. On surfacing, the bird l»acl a shorter grip over Hie etj's nionth, 
and, tin to be denied, the fish again adopted the "stranglehold" with 
omwlrrablc pressure. Both were showing ureal phicl' wider severe 
tininshment. and both obvionslv reatind il was a lijyjtil to kill Willi evidently 
a winning grip, point- were iimv in favour of the cormorant, which dived 

tfnwifl 3 When under water the eel relaxed its hold, fur the bird was able 
to begin the round with half the fish unappealing- head first into its 
rominrssm iat Svt to hi outdone — or done tor riinnci-— Hie eel set up a 
"IniU hula" action in the bird's throat, and. hern realizing that discretion 
was better than valour, retreated lull length into the water, 

Rfntml 4. Reeoverine 1r<>"< its astonishment, Ihe bird dived and appeared 
with onh Ihe filmed tail flapping By c:\tendinij' its whole body vertically 
am) attempting lo fly. the i.-orntorant W8? able to close its pouched bill. But 
it was .'»s overloaded as a Melbnurjie ii', and the eel. dBJifetHg the 
abdominal darkness, again succeeded in escapine. by contortion. 

Round 5. The. bird apparently had enoush and attempted hi escape \>y 
flinhl. bit! il ivH.s too wet and weak A gardener threw a stone which the 
rormnrant escaped by diving', and in about len seconds il appealed with the 
eel an easy victim. Fully cxlcndine: its body ,-md Happing its winRS. the 
cormorant swallowed ihe thirty or more niche* of eel in one quip, 

Rr>i:iiri 6. The eel eoidd not rise from bis "eoniCi'" atkl the COrmdi'aflt 
was declined victorious and allowed to dtgfft hi) well-earned prize. Thus a 
member of ihe class Piicf* was defeated by a senilis of the cla.«s Aves. 

The moral of the story is that one must rise to Ihe threshold ol publ.c 
isuc to he rcCi^nucd and accepted as a (jeniu* I 

P F Momus (Botanic Cicdens). 

24 u.\\\>. A'Ptrx r.u ■ Atvfmtwii V/n»/.v t.YuUjS' 


By P, Lewis. Chief inspector oi Fisheries and Game, Victoria. 

(Fnrttnn of address to Apr\l n).ccth(j of p,t\'.C,) 

There arc two species of seals now liviog on ihe southern 
Australian coast, these being the White -necked Hair-Seal, or 
South Australian Seal-Lion, and the Australian Fur-Seal or 
Sea-Bear Both belong to the one genus. The only real ddYerenee 
between them is that while they both have soft under-iur in ihtiir- 
young stages, in the Hair- Sea) the fur is shed as it grows older 
while (Jie Fur- Sea] retains i:. to the end of its life, 

These seals ait what is known as eared seals, having small 
external ears., while the true seals, whose home is the Antarctic, 
have no externa! ears. The eared seals also have then- hind limbs 
or flippers turned sideways- to facilitate movement on land, while 
ihe true seals of the Antarctic have lheir hind flippers peniumently 
turned backwards, making them more suitable for life in the water. 
According tn ^ome authorities the range of the Hair-Seal wai 
at one time much mure extensive than at present Le Souef and 
Burrell slate that its range is the whole southern coast of Australia, 
but thai is definitely not so now, as it is not found east of Spencer 
Gulf It is Stated also that the Fnr-Seal formerly ranged right 
to W-A., but Wood Jones reports that he found no evidence of 
the species west of Bass Strait- 
It appears that one <j( the first industries established iu Australia 
was in connection wilh Ihe seeming mid selling of seal skins and 
oil. Bass and; Flinders m 179S /ue said lo have taken 6,000 >kins 
and many tuns of oil lro-u UftSS Strait. In 1805 ten ships nnd 
180 men were engaged in the industry, and from 1800 jo 1810 
almost a quarter-million seal skins were taken. Is it any woader 
rhnt the seals of Bass Strait were almost exterminated ? 

Old fishermen of Western Port have informed me that about 
(he middle of last century there were only two or three do*en 
seals left on the Seal Rocks About 1SS0 the Government placed 
tire seals under whole-year protection and they have now bred up 
to what ia probably somewhat near their original numbers There 
arc about fourteen colonies of Fur-Seals in Bass Strait, the lour 
principal ones being on the Victorian coast and the balance in 
Tasmatuan waters. Our four colonies arc al Julia Percy Island 
(off Pott Fairy), the Seal Rocks (off Phillip Island), the Glennies 
(off Wilson's PminoiUory ■), and the Skernes. a group oi rocks 
off the mouth of the Wmgan River, about 20 miles west of 

The Sea! R'icks, oi whiOi I have had a s>ood deal of experience, 
having lan<led there on several occasions l_. -ludy the habits of 

{SjS } I 5«IS 'Vi'''"r Oil -J r».m ithor) i'rrr/.f 2S 

the seals, have a population varying from 3.000 to 5,000 seals in 
the breeding season, which extends from November to January. 
Various estimates of the number Ejf seals on these rocks have been 
made., ranging from 2,000 lo 50,000, but it should be home in 
mind that Hie Rocks are only about ten acres in total urea and 
that at least three or four acres of these are high ground not 
frequented to any extent by the seals This leaves not more than 
seven acres, or roughly 30,000 square yards, available, and if 
5,000 seals occupied this territory, that would mean one. to each 
six square yards, which is pretty close to tht limit of capacity 
through the breeding season. To s*y. therefore, that 50,000 seals 
come tc these Rocks is a gross over- statement o* the position 

At times other than the breeding season the Rocks are only 
occupied by a small number nf *eals. which seem tn come here 
purely for resting purposes. 

About the headlining of November the large males (or bulls) 
arrive, at lite Rocks ond take up a definite territory, which they 
retain unlil .ibont the end of January. During this period they 
seldom if ever leave the Koeks to feed, so that while they are very 
tai and in gOOtl condition when they arrive, at the end of the 
season they arc very poor As the females arrive the bulls each 
endeavour to secure n harem The single yonng one produced by 
each female is horn about the end of November, and trom then 
on fur the next few weeks pandemonium reigns — with die bellow- 
ing of the males and the noise made by the females and the 
bleating of ihe young ones rhere is a constant uproar both day and 

A good deal of fighting takes places amongst the males owing 
to others trespassing on their territory; but rarely do they kill 
each otheT, because before the fight i caches a serious, stage one 
will have had enough of it and clear out On one. occasion I saw 
a hull lap up sea-water like a dog afler a fight 

Pbr the first few days after they arc horn the young ones lie 
a Unit sleepily on the rocks, but as they get older they play about 
in the many rock-pools, heing later taken to sea by their mothers, 
who i» ihe early stages are very solicitous of their welfare. 

iVr.-my fishermen have claimed that when seals get amongst a 
shoal of fish they are exceedingly destructive, m that they kill 
fish for sporL To a casual observer this would appear to be so, 
because a seal has no leeth capable of biting or cutting fish into 
piece? Tf he catches a fish that is too large to swallow in one 
piece he must break it up. A seal's teeth are designed only for 
seeming and retaining sueh slippery prey as fish, so that when a 
seal gets a large fish he grips it tightly in his teeth, shakes bis 
head violently, and breaks off a piece, which is promptly swallowed 

3& l.nvi\ \'»rr.i nn Aiutmtithi \07ls LvS.tflJJ 

The other limkp.ii piece, of. flics away, ^'viujj; the impression 
that (lie seals are tossing' the fish into Ihc air ill sport, ll fish are 
not abundant al (lie time, the seal goes alter (ho broken pie.e<', but 
it food is plentiful he would naturally g$ the closest fish and 
repeat" the performance There is no evidence whatsoever that 
seals kill fish for sport, or for any reason other than to obtain food- 

Investigation Iras shown that in liass Strait our seals feed mainly 
on the common pelagic fish, such as salmon and hanacouta. 

The seal being a polygamous animal, there must 1)C a surplus 
of males every year thai cannot secure, a harem. In the Alaskan 
Fishery it is these surplus males of two or three years old that art 
killed to provide the fur skins for market ; but as there is no 
trade in these skins in Australia th^ smphis males are driven away 
from the main part of the rocks by the older and stronger bulls, 
and I am convinced that it is these seals that, are the cause of 
complaints from fishermen hi Port Phillip Bay and Western Port 
I5ay. where occasionally a few of them cause trouble to fishermen. 
Fishermen have the right to kill all seals interfering with fishinjj 


Some weeks ago my wife and 1 saw n "daddy kjirjilcn*' spider holding a 
silverfish, minus feelers and Ipfig, and btfHf&lifle along Ihc wall with its 
burden. About a fortnight l.ue.i in die corner of the wall and CCilnlH was 
another "daddy longlegi" and aliout 13 inches down was baijujiitt o silvcrfisfi 
inmiobilued by web T gave this specimen to Mr. lvo Hainiiici. Since these 
Iwq incidents, "daddy loii£je;».C have been rtiiflided with vciy much meaier 
sympathy than previously. — X. O RnsKNitftix. 

As mentioned above. Mr. Roicuhaiit handed me the 'immobilized" silver- 
FihIi :nul s{sij jlv captor. Both were in a small glass far when I received 
Ihcin bur, on (lie following luoiiimjr the silverfish had disappeared aitd the 
slider bad doubled its size. 'I hi> spider in tniestioii was Ihc ivtjt rttnj-' type, 
njlh very slender limbs (7'fWc/t.r hltm-alis) — Tvo C. Hamaikt 


"About a week stnee. '•'• says Thv Argus of February 7, Jfifis. "a small 
colony of tlie English house sparrow. conSisliuy >A probably three families, or 
about 2(1 birds altogether— encamped in the fewfofeti and premises Of Mr. 
Manallack. of Brunswick, and stilt appear perfectly satisfied with (lieir 
choice. The metnhers of lite Acclimatisation Society will l>c gratified to 
learn that tbey could not have fallen into CieMei rptarteis, for their woi'hy 
ho-.! carefully guards the 'new chum?' trwi every kind ot danger, and 
attends to their dailv wantj in a manner that is ar once plcastiig and 

Readers arc requested to note that in the bldtx litlled with the May 
number of The I'v Itrni" WdttBvNfl the volume number should br l.YfM. 


Plate III 

Ini i;-4J 

The "Batman" Ajijik' Trw ;it (irfoiisluinnii;!*. 

Photua. liy E. K. Pescott. 

tMjtJ 1'kM.vnr, "HfltvMv" 4pph 'tree m Grmuluh mu/h >7 

By EdvVaKD £■ PsHstXntj Melbourne 

So the "Batman" tree hah bceu "'discovered' again! 

The tree crops up periodically in different ways, and there are 
many legends concerning it. it was planted by John Batman, 
it was brought tnwn Tasmania by Batman; it was planted as a 
memorial to Batman (a) in his memory, or (b) as a memorial 
to his famous meeting with the aborigines. These ure some oi 
the legends. Further, quite a number of people are credited with 
the direct planting of the tree. 

The old tree, weary and worn, much dilapidated, stands on a 
flat ou the eastern bank of the Plenty River, a tew miles above 
Greensborough, and quite close to the water-supply pipe that 
crosses the valley and the river. 

The facts about the t;re, as far as can ever lie known, are these: 
The original owncv or lessee of the land was Frederick Nevin 
FhntofY, who settled there m the early '40's Flintoff was a 
personal f riend of John Batman ; wd less than ten years ago, in 
1933. Flintofr's daughter, then n very old lady, and since dead, 
told me the story of the tree so far as she remembered ft. (The 
FluuotT family are all huried in the St Helena cemetery.) 

The story was that Flintoft ordered his "baJiti.'' one Batey, to 
plant the. tree as a memorial to his friend Batman. Tins Batey 
was the father of Isaac Ratey, so well known in Victorian history, 
and especially of Gisborne 

Some few years later the land came in the possession of Robert 
Whatmough (pronounced Whatmurc), and Flintoft uiged What- 
irtOQgh to guard and protect the tree, and not allow it to be 
destroyed. This Robert VVhatmoutfh claimed to he the hist 
official liuipltghtcr <>i Melbourne, goim; Out each evening carrying 
his ladder to light ihe few lamps then in existence f-atev he 
removed to Gi-ccitsboTough, His son, Robert Emmctt What- 
mough. succeeded to (he orchard, and the tradition of the tree 
was parsed on to him by his lather. 

Again, in l°d 0. one Bosch, a German who had succeeded to the 
orchard, showed me the tree, calling it "the Batman tiee' r ll 
was in. a very; parlous condition, and I urged him to graft it over 
with strong-growing varieties, and also to till up the crevices »i 
the trunk with These things he did, 

So that, tip to 1910, we sec that no one. claimed that lohu 
Batman had any connection will; the apple tree itself, and therefore, 
this pretension, which must be quite vvrnng. is only of recent date. 
At any rate. Miss Flintoft told me tint the tree had Iwe.n planted 
after Batman's death, and so "that's that.'-" 

2H I'nxeMTT, 'Batiumi' Applr, Txr al Cim-iitbirrimttii [ y^ f,^' 

Thai the tiee. rame. Frtfttt Tasmania is very doubtful, tor if was 
;i seedling tree When if fruited. Robert Emmet I: Whatmough 
exhibited the fruit at the Horticultural Society of Victoria, later 
the "-Royal." and rooeived' a certificate for it uudcr the name of 
' Whatmough's Fancy " Whatmough had a dumber of wax 
models of the apple made, and he claimed it to be the first 
•needling raised in Victoria. He was photographed with his dish 
4if apples, and then the apples were exhibited at the Eottrke Street 
Waxworks, where they were to be seen for some years. 

Rosch gvatted the tree over with the Rome Beauty and Rymer 
apples, and also repaired th* trunk. But to-day the tree is urgently 
ui need of fun her repairs. 

There is yet another tradition regarding this old apple tree. 
The hill above the flat, and on which Frederick Flintoff huilr his 
house, was called by him "Point Look Out." For many years 
there has existed B local tradition that this hill was the regular 
meeting-place of the aborigines. Now., the exact location of the 
•signing of Hip famous Barman treaty with the Jaga Jaga group 
has always been a matter of much controversy. In 1885, Tames 
Blackhum. C.E.. dismissed all prior authorities, by fixing the place 
of meeting '"on the east side oi fhr River Plenty, to the N.W. of 
the township of Eltham, and about three miles above the junction 
of the Plenty with the River Yarra " Stich a location may with 
some certainty he the spot on the hanks of the Plenty, .shove 
Greensborough, quite close to where, the water-mains cross the 
river. And so local folk Have said that the tree was planted by 
Flintoff to commemorate this meeting. II Batman did nwet Jaga 
Jaga here, then the tree assumes a most important place in our 

Bur then, in later years, A. S. Kenyon and others have stated 
that, with all a< h's impedimenta. Batman could not possibly have 
taken such a long walk in the time allotted to him in his diary. 
They have decided that the banks of the Merri Creek near Norlh- 
<"ove was 1he place oi the famous meeting. And so our visions 
of the importance oi the tree fade away. 

But whatever FKmoff intended, there is die tree, certainly 
planted as 3 memorial of some, kind ro his friend Batman There 
it stands to-day, after a ceiuury, battered and forlorn, but living, 
and appealing. 

An interesting association with the tree are the graves of two 
or three little children of the Whatmough family, children who 
died in the very early days- The graves, unmarked, are near the 
pipe-line, and indeed, the Whatmough family have stated that the 
survey of the pipe-line was altered so that, in the budding of it, 
the grave-, should not lie disturbed. 

fj^ c ] toWiVT, buhvwul PtWmfla Or Cttttte-ni*. * ?> 

By II. C. E. SfJiWARx. Melbourne 

Twenty-two flays at Mount Buffalo during February and March 
last provided occasion for a survey of the grazing position then 
and it s effect on ihe indigenous flora, Misgiving was iclt from 
the outset ;ir the probable aftermath of the tremendous destruction 
by the 1939 bush (ires. Naturally, the first outcome observed was 
the prolific growth oi alpine grasses. In this can be found the 
motive for grazing on the highlands When dry summers occur 
in the lowlands, the eyes ot cattlemen are turned to the green high 

Modern conservation principles applied to national parks and 
reserved primitive areas discard grazing permits as an anachronism. 
In accord with such principles the Field Naturalists' Club of 
Victoria and kindred societies protested vigorously, but ineffectu- 
ally., against a grazing lease on the Buffalo early in 1939. The 
plea in defence of ihts tease was that. it. solved The prohlem of 
illegal grazing. True, stray cattle trespassed on the Buffalo during 
the years prior to the resumption of the lease, but not to an 
extent to justify the licence being granted. What was. seen during 
the recent summer proves that two kinds of grazing — illegal as»d 
otherwise — can ffoun'sh side by side. 

The first mumnig, February' 15th, the lowing of cattle, penetrated 
indoors, and outside the Chalet several beasts were seen promenad- 
ing the. road by Bent's .Lookout Nibbling at native shrubs, they 
hailed to investigate the concrctc-and granite shelter-cabin, newly 
ccnsi.rncf.eri aT Echo Point. As there was nothing to eat in this 
expensive-looking edifice, they continued their walkabout towards 
the tennis courts*. The animals kepi on a vegetarian diet, not 
strictly confined to Gruin-iTie/u-- Identical cattle, a week or so 
later, evinced a partiality to Ihe e*otic shrubs in the Chalet front 
garden. whe>i the gate was left open overnight 

After breakfast, the urge to inspect the Lick trade pant die 
subles to the nearest tundra was too strong to resist. Seventeen 
horses contentedly mur.ched chaff', o:«ts and hay in their stalls, and 
the sight created wonder why cattle were not treated likewise. 
Leisurely the granite was traversed until the main road at the 
pump-house was reached A cow, with her half-grown progeny, 
was seen feasting on the Mountain TJeath-Myr'li; (h'neckca 
Cuini'iaiia) , watered down by dtaughts from the Crystal Brook. 
Thi' p;iwed state of the brooksides, with the resultant mire, 
indicated regular visits. Presently a lusty plant of St John's Wort 
caught the eye. unusual for the high altitude. The stoloniferous 
toots made it difficult, to uproot the invader. But how to dispose 
of the nnweicomc remains^ The calf seemed interested, $B me 

, ,, ,. , ,,, . r vut. Nui. 

30 Stt.wani-. Hnlamtat I'anitliM- or i,itllli-tuiii [ Vd i ,,|\ 

plant was otfa-ed. He sniffed inquiringly, (lien turned aside tQ 
resume) the banquet: of Bavckca. Perhaps he recognized the curse 
of the north-east, or knew in Ins animal way tliat he and his 
kindred had brought the seed from the. valleys. 

The saunter was continued along the road iusvard> the J Jen 
and Chickens Rocks. There we saw a wide expanse uf Alpine 
Everlasting (HdiiJirysum kpidopkyUvm) in a glory 01 bloom, 
limited entirely to this particular region. Cattle embellished lite 
st.ene here, too, but evidently the xcrophiloutf everlasting proves 
too much for then digestion. 

In the afternoon Lake Catani was visited. Al the head of I Ik: 
lake an imposing herd of cows browsed, presided over hy an 
enormous black-arid -white bull. Subsequently the bull, a well- 
known feature of the landscape., was found to be Ihe. influence 
persuading lady visitor.*; to retreat die way they came, when 
seeking to walk round the lake. Acres of grass had hecn closely 
cropped at this favourite haunt of cattle, and numerous flowering 
plants had been devoured. Here and there were bitten green stubs 
of native herbaceous perennials, the Golden liverlasiing {Ucti- 
chrysum bracUwtitvi). the Alpine Aciphyll (sjctpliytlo swifilni- 
folia), the Silver Daisy (Cclrmsw- lonyifolui), to mention hut a 
lew that could be a show of colour al tilt time of year — but now 
not a specimen was m flower. 

At the camping-ground, additional cattle rested w the lee of the 
ni'V, communuy hut, a replica of the Echo ] J omt building The 
state of the ground nearby would hardly entice hygienic campers 
to use the. shelter Some venturesome heifers waded in the lake 
betimes, to find new vitamins in the water reeds. 

An excursion to Mount Dunn, via the Long Plain, formerly a 
joy in the floral reason (dilated upon by the late 1> j. 1*'. 
Wilkinson in "his Vomtwcc of tinffah) revealed further encroach- 
ments by the cattle. The shores of the lake and the boggy margins 
showed not a square yard without hoofmarks, and rhc IvygrnphiUni.s 
flora was seriously denuded Nearer the Horn Road, the Mountain 
Lieatb-Myrtle was again despoiled, and considerable impoverish- 
ment was manifest in the wonderful Daisy bushes and Mini 
Lushes. A rock in the locality shelters the lone example uf the 
Tree-Violet (HvmGnatitlvini avgiftlifolw). a drug plant whose 
properties are being investigated in medical research, Shorn of 
its outer foliage hy cow teeth, this hush shrank further beneath 
ihc g< anile. Plants disagreeable to the cattle palate, like Uu.- 
peerless epacrid Richca contiiwiths. mutely expressed resentment 
of animal hooves and dropping*. Cow manure may stimulate 
pansics ill suburban gardens, but is poison to many native plants, 
especially ratified montanes, 


Platk IV 

The "Waxhi'rry" (duitltlwria (i^ww). 

Vhotn. l>,v H. I". Reeves. 

i*«] Sm-.w»hv Bowtfol J'nmhn .m C«tt)r-rxn? .A 

Desolation causal by the forest fires itldlffl llic next mile was 
most grievous. Erosion oi the inclined track was assisted by the 
comings and goings of cattle. The way was the well-trodden 
link tot animals, connecting the Reservoir Valley and the Long 
Plain. Consolation was sought in trying lo hud signs of 
^generation after the fire*. Gmiimefttt appvessv ( ,c W<ixberry"), 
Victoria's choicest fruiting shrub, and one of the only two 
itp resei natives of Jinccccac in the State, originally abounded 
along this track. Mn seedlings have appeared, and bushes not 
entirely burnt have vanity tried coppice growth, which was soon 
discovered by the enterprising cows. The "YVaxberry" of the 
illustration grew in a steep ravine in another part of the mountain, 
inaccessible to cattle. 

Burnt-out forest a teas were seen opened up for the easy access 
of four-legged vandals that nibble at the arboreal seedlings spring- 
ing tip in Thousands. Even baby plants of Eucalyptus Mucftelkam. 
the rare Buffalo Weeping Gum, were found uprooted or trampled 
upon, if not. eaten. Surely every encouragement should he given 
to guaid the new growth, which on account of the sparse soil and 
climatic conditions is extremely slow, 

What prevailed near the Chalet obtained to a worse degree in 
the distant parts. The Crystal Brook vegetation, a marvellous 
example of the development: of a homogeneous alpine flora, as 
well as an aesthetic delight at flower-rime,, is threatened with 
extinction The natural relationship of plants in the snow-grass 
tundras and along the watercourse is upset by the gradual deci- 
mation of such species as the Long Podolepis {Podoicpis fonip- 
f'cdfiln) or Dr. Sutto"'s Orchid (Prasophylhwi Swttoitri). the 1 
kilter exclusive to Mount Buffalo, and by the ttsttfcnclhnay of the 
Mountain Gentian (Ccutio'ia dietim'sis), a perennial wit'; drug 
properties. Cattle avoir 1 the poisonous Gentian, consequently it 
had blossomed und seeded copiously in the tufts of grass Below 
the reservoir the only example on the. Plateau known 1o flower 
hi recent years of the Alpine Botile-bmsli {Cullislcmon Sifbcri) 
had been heavily pruned back by bullock greediness. Seed was 
sought -from the bush for propagation. (For illustjation of the 
plant in flp\v& see l^rrf. Nat.. Vol. LVl, No. IK page 582 ) 

Above die weir the spectacle of three bullocks wallowing in the 
moist fringe 1 ; of the Reservoir tjsmda the barbed wire: Riiclosure) 
aroused suspicions regarding the purity oi the Oalet water 
supply. The hoof tracks all around rhe margin of the water 
indicated die beasts had been there for sevej^l davs And yet 
the notice board prominently displayed forbade .-.vvimmiiig, boat- 
ing, skating, and fishing to mere humanity! Mention of this 
incident nn return to the Cbale* elicited the iiiFotmrttiou thnl 

SI STMVAKr. tt'jttvucKl Po'vfac 01 Cn<tU-i<"i'' 

Vii:l. Nut, 
Vol. I. IX 

neither the ranger nor his assistant had horses to police the park. 
Jii the small disused horse enclosure at the ranger's cottage the 
Long Podolepis blossomed. Outside, on the wide caitle-ridden 
spaces, the plant? were present but beheaded of their tail golden 

The once glorious slopes or Eucalyptus gigo-ntca, the .Red 
Mountain Ash, seriously depleted by flame (and also by the 
v-oud-c hopper), were now thwarted in regeneration. 'A very 
valuable tree;' to cjmilc Professor A. J Ewan's Handbook of 
Forest Trees, "of rapid growth, and seeds freely ; although superior 
to messmate. (£. obiiqu-a) for timber, the tree is less resistant to 
fife and injurious agencies excepting frost and snowfalls, but is 
less easUy killed Ivy fire, than E. -regwivs, and re-aft'ove-sts readily 
IjjJI seedlings if protected." 

A whole day was devoted to a ride to Goldic's Spur, along the 
Hack by which the Plateau was ascended from the Bucldarid hi 
the early days. On the return journey, just near where thr. branch 
track leaves the new road, a mob of at least sixty bullocks were 
(encountered, all with heads turned to the high elevations. The 
damage observed in the vicinity can be guessed by those concerned 
with forest conservation. 

What is the attitude of visitors to the Buffalo and die authorities 
responsible for its control ? Guests generally condemn the gracing 
and the Railways Chalet administration admit dislike of the 
cattle, especially on the nearer areas, as their presence depreciates 
the Cour'Sts' altvaciions. The committee of the Park, 
a separate authority from the Railways Department, also seems 
lo he unhappy over the agistment f|uestiori Except for an 
occasional dilapidated fence in (he Crystal Brook valley and 
bairicrs against motorists, the Park is untenccd, and, as already 
indicated, rattle find it easy to reach the Plateau. To police the 
whole Park effectively is therefore difficult- Tln> problem is 
accentuated at the present time by lack of fluids and of mau- 
lwwcr. To rely on the lessee to keep the whole arieS free, from 
stray cattle, and his own cattle under control, has proved wishful 
thinking. In a 23-years knowledge of the Buffalo, the number of 
cattle noted n»1 fjTis last vi.«,it wao o record, and their destructive 
effects were never before so apparen;, 

is there to be s tragic repetition on the magnificent Buffalo of 
the fate through fires and grazing lhai has befallen Wilson's 
Promontory? The cattle, in rhe interests at their own welfare, 
will be taken off the mountain before winter sots in. Arc we to 
sit and bemoan ihc devastai'.in that Will be resumed when next 
summer comes round? 

rt4«J WakI'Mmj? A ,V«i' Spfcirx n\ Cvnlliat ,ij 

By J\ T . A. Wakefield, Genoa, Victoria 

Cyci-fhi'a warrcsrens sp, wiv. Flutitn pleiumqiie 6-9 in. nlla; 
caudcx crowns $<cpf lolrtlitcr vitfrodis frmidibus pendciltibus 
ccla-hts, frondivvi- bi%,ws robiuhr mgr<\~ IcrwisHme papulosa 
iqiuwiostc gyactts pci.vstciihxsiiiM- xtptaifux fusawitHr wtegr<? 
alata futfjeuttu cutrum bases ova-tar upiccx fttttormes; rachises' 
fayhws<v s-upw infra a-ignc lubcrculake ; piwuv secundaria; 
pimtauc vil phnwiifidar .ujiianux nwllibus infra: pimndce glabra 
l-obata femtftss nmJtos ioros liscnatos; son' vndi : involucrmn^ 
parvuin pltMu-.n sctictum. 

Distribution : South- East Australia (Croajmyolong). 

Trunk up to JO ft. high and 1 1ft. thick, normally clothed right 
to the base with hanging masses of dead trends : frond butts 
illicit, blade, shiny, pimpled, scaly, erect, persistent: basal scales 
dark brown, shiny, broad, long, entire, somewhat wmgeH, tips- 
filiform; fronds up to 20 ft. long and 5 ft broad, dark green, 
somewhat flaccid, thrice pinnate; racluscs. sparsely pimpled and 
clothed with a somcwhal deciduous meal* vestitnrc below: second- 
ary pinnae about 5 in. long, lower part pinnate, pmnatind above, 
with small soft scales on the midiibs: ultimate pinnules over j, in. 
long and y in. broad, stalked to adnafe, conspicuously lobed with 
often the basal lobes larger, when fertile bearing up to 14 son in 
uvo row;, one sorus on each lobe on the upper arm ol a. forked vein ; 
SOli subtended by small, irregular, flat, incomplete nitlusia ; recep- 
tacle stalked, spherical ami bearing weak entire ban-like scales 
between ihe sporangia. 

Localities : Mount Drummer (Karlo Creek and "The Spring''), 
February, 1941 ; and Combienbar (Rungywarr Creek), August. 
1941 . N. A Wakefield. 

'"Giant Treefern" would be a suitable vernacular name for C. 
■iiwaxcens , for not only does the crown of fronds often develop 
to an enormous size, but the hanging dead fronds may form a 
dense mass over 20 feet high and several fcer in diameter, giving 
the fern a truly remarkable appearance. 

The new treefcrn was first noted by Mr. Frank Robbins, who 
wa< die firfct botanist to explore the Moiuit Drummer area to any 
extent. Mr. Robbins noted two unusual trecferns lielnw "The 
Spring ' and one was identified as Cyothea> Cninmiyl/auiii. but as 
no fertile specimens were collected from the. other, its identity 
remained unknown until early in 1941, when the. author investi- 
gated ie and found it to lie a species unknown to science. 

Cyt+lhco- mai(e.<;ceus belongs to a group of species which pre- 
viously constituted the gams Hmtetelia: which along with die 
former genus Ahophih is now combined w r ith C with, o. Four 


V'AKKnvi.n, A \V;iv SpP&tS ") Cyi't'lh'u. 

rviot. N«t. 

I. Vol, Ujf 

(V.JK.- ,/«iuv l»ll. 

Pig. 1 Ondcr-fiffc of ■^•['owlafy pinna and tiart of prifliwy raclii* (namral 

Fig. 2 Under- side ol ninmi'e (tertiary pinna) (twice natural *i».cj. 
Fig. 3, Involucre and reccrit:« !c (much c"!axR«lV 
Fit;. 4. Involucre in position un vein; wit!'. ecn)iiwr<it!vi; iicu 'if ^iirns and 

receptacle indicated (much enlarged), 
Fig'. 5 Typical scale from frond-liutt (natural sue). 

members of the present genus are known from Victoria — Cyathco- 
Lcicltlwrdriaw (K MueF.) Copel, C Cvvnivylwmii Mk.V.. C. 
/mstralis (p..Br. ) Domin. and C. vwrctscens. There is no 
authentic Australian or T'asmnnian record of C mcrfullarit, our 
records having been based on -wrongly determined plants of C. 
Ciwiiinghamii . 

The Slender Tree-fern (C. Cunmughmuii} is found in several 
places in Fast Gippsland (Youngs. Cr., Orbost ; Gungwarr C'r, ; 
and Mount Drummer); and the Rough Treeferu (C\ nitjirolis') 
and Soit Treetern (Dicksom'a nnbtirctim) are common ;md 
abundant throughout the district. 'Hie Prickly Tree, fern (C. 
LeichJwrdticiia) is very; abundant, in most of the ''jungles" of the 
Mount Drummer area, but is not known from elsewhere in 
Victoria. In several places about Mount Drummer the five Vic- 
torian Irceferns can be seen growing together. 

f^'l Nll'KTMl. tlffttlf /•7vni oi Ndl> XfoJaitfi 35 


Bj .V/ira. J.oriTUK .Melbourne 

(jStimmary tif irtMfwr* ,V -Vio mrctiihi r} F.!\'.C\) 

Rora-- of Australia .mtf New Zealand have only one character in common. 
Lt, the lntrh peftXlltSKC ni endemic Joini?. otherwise, despite tlteit- proximity. 
these Iwo countries IW5S4M totally Uutim.t floras. Ami nowhere f;? the 
differences between iIkts-c floras more «iii]}h?sizud than ill those oi the 
alpine regions. 

Australia, wlulst possc-ssim; a rich and varied flora, approximating 15.000 
spe<ics iirolvtbly cannot claim mure than Ave per cent, oi this number to 
Tie alpine. New Zealand, on the MliCi* haill vvilli a WflJl 6i GwflC 1.800 
species, can show that flvef 50 per cent, ore alpines. ie. found only over 
2,500 H Tf|t; high pcrcrntajfc of ntpincs i.v not sa surjirisinjj when Ke 
remember that nearly half <rf the South Island is over t'.'iat height. The 
majority of the ranges and spurs which go tu make up the Southern Alps 
arv usually from 5.000-6.01)0 II.. whilst peaks over this fiuure rind tip lt> 
50.000 ft are by no means tare. 

Km only arc high altiMdes common In the South Island, hut .,1-n ttv 
latitudes are low: these produce the two environmental fmces caiablr oi 
iorminc it flora which can withstand the severity of climate. Such a flora 
is ".ailed "Alpine.'' "Arctic." or ''Antarctic." 

' As most of mi v liuic wa* *-pi!iit fP Hie Soalh bland, the follr.'ivfiij; rv-nMrk» 
refer only to this region. 

From the sira^slands »F (he plain wc rhanirc miickly inio beech forest, 
which descend'; to rtezrljr sea-level in places, wtvlst it is- not uncommon 
elsewhere 2t 4.000 ft. When hcee.h is pure the denr,e canopy marly prohibit' 
the prowth of .-.mailer herb*, but when broken or nn.xed many plain? and 
ferns m*ke tbcif apiwmice. In some part' of the island rOtiif , Westlmtrj) 
Instead -of the typical beech forest, one of New Zealand's most beautiful 
ffowctinjf tre.-s takes its ufafce. Probably rivalling" the Rhododendron torests 
«il tlir- Himalayas, the ^«w Zealand .Rata { .il'frfni siV'"'"-"'*' hunt") e'ive? u 
scarlet display beginning in DootlBbw al low levels and proceeds ti> climb 
mountain *idc-i until it fails to withstand the rigours ftf die weather at 
3.500 ft Tn this dbtricl it is nnt impossible fo fee hundred! of acres flowering 
al one time, extciuliiu? for 50(1 U> 1,000 fl up the side cif mountains It 
prohably ranks as one of the lareest forest displays by a sino;fe species to be 
seen, anywhere. 

Mount-tin shrubs make it almost impossible to force, -i track, and as 
the sub-alpiite scrub lg from 2,500 1o 4.000 fl„ the difficulty -n reaching: the 
hi.cher levels is often considerable. Tf is in this region we first meet the 
magnificent, ftainntruhut Lyallii, with its pure white flowers up to two and 
h half inches i;i diameter, and ils peltate saucei -shaned leaves, sfi that once 
sren it k oeve^ fotRniien Sraiiilme *wo ro rbrce (eet -hcIi it is common 
alone 1he sides of siih-alpioe aoi! alpine lakes, streams siii.1 waterfalls in 
open area* between 2.500 and il.fflO it. levels 

\t c, milar levels. althouKh rarely assMuatiiig wl'.h the above C-lniisin 
ri'nV<'fr. "die finest daise in the world." can he seen Words fail to cvnrcsr, 
the exr.tement raustd when, hv siintinnntins an obrtac!c. ten to fifteen 
olmlt> svi!) come into view Ou Joinr statks. whkh arc eovcrvJ A'ith woolly 
tnmcttliim. iif hu,3e «T|ite H<>wet5 slaud Otd Ttvm (lit surrotindinp; foliage, 
and with its larycc silvcr-frosled leaves, one forgetf ihe trouble experienced 
in reachittp. ibis plant. CW'ut.o'ff eiynr.iltmta — a near relative to our own 
f. hthpjA/h- C, frftinlo'a and one or two other species at""' to be vcm hoi 
wfien one finally arrives on to lilt mCOtluW and i oclc-ledcjes above, the 
wealth in soecies of this qQ\l\fi c'lips^S »ll orhi is 

One of the niosl inlcrt.stiuB SLih-sectio - r: of tliis reRJon i> to l>e. found 
nlon? tlv iTOtiiins of ponds and lakes, v.ihich stijiport a vegetation peculiarly 

36 Tjotiiiah, /tifine Ifnra of ;Vrw Xmlmd [ v'ni.'iix" 

their own. Another ecological .%ioup is iouuti in the plants which inhabit 
river nnd iwSc beds, shingle (atis and margins of moraines, usually between 
2,000 atl-d 1*50(1 ft Plant* inhabiting ;ivcr beds are nearly all dwarf- 
growing Jierbs, cushion np mat plants, wilh one or two shitibs scattered .tt 
irregular intervals. 

Shingle plant? always overiie clay .toil on Sleep slopes nnd ^ujiport certain 
jieculiar plains which have become rt) adapted to this habitat that ihey arc 
nruuited to any other AH have a tenacity tor liie. which can be best 
illustrated by dm luiig,', penetrating root iy»te»is. udl ta he, found) in any 
othei plains of the same size. Rammrulits Htxasli^ which conld be taken as 
the type for flic sbmi?lr slip plants noMessc<; in addition 10 its largt 
rhbttime thick r!e.ihy rooty '.vtiith iitvu ■p euc t v - l * e Upgrade for a distance 
ol facet feet or more. 

In alpine/ tt.ll field grassland oi' meadows — *.00C» to G.OOG It.— one rinds 
the wealth ol New Zealand's alpine flora. Veronicas, Prapcrc-s, Pimelea, 
Cehnisia, Gentians, Scnccin, Onrisia, Anise/tome, Aciphylla, as well as 1'oa, 
Danthonias, J.uzula. Carex, Jerus and tern allies, are all present jii more 
t>r less quaiilitv. Celrnisias are in numbers. usually Javniu ni)j open situations. 

High alpine nlants— 6,000 II. io perpetual snow — rlcvpife the action o£ 
high winds and snow whicb mako< plant life, difficult, constitute quite a rich 
Bora. Nearly all arc cushion-bin.' in form, while many of the shrubs which 
may Ijc I'n'it in lower region* or more congenial situation. - . Iiere assume a 
OCltVipfctG pronralc habit. From crevices and rock faces grow (hose l^cojliar 
formt of liiaoulia. \R. nwta), more euimtionly known as "vegetable dicey.'-' 
Untii quite CloSD toe resemblance is remarkable To a lesser degree 
R motffilfavis *nd R, hry«t,1cs assume this form. Fcronwa pnlxrimrit, 
Hef.or<i}(t ronsphom, Phyltaclms Calenxot. and C.'oMinmUxix nciailai%t ait 
make- cushions one to three iitefrvs Ixifth. and lorm A great nail Of the flora 
at ihif altitude. 

On screes and b.tsms be.'OW very high ridges serera.1 remarkable plants 
grow. H(l(t,lha Sincliirii. with its foliage covered by a woolly toinentum, it 
perhaps 'he must unurual. t'ertmica Huaslii. Dracephfltum Khlm and 
Pimohn proxtrntiim ali manage to obtain a Jiving nndei such sever* 
conditions. Many ecu be found inhabiting varied situations <*g' Veronica 
Haaflii, Dv<t{,if,U\<)htui. Khkii and iUcchmriu femtn- marina wfiich not only 
a row in M'ree* and alpme meadows, but also m crevices .md rock IccIrc*. 
at altitudes between 8.000 1o 5,000 feet 

By the lultioation of alpine': one usually means Tvuropean and Asiatic 
plaiu;. bur it is honed that one da;r we will follow N2.'s lead and srew 
our nwit alpine.* at louver levels for Lite benefit ol lliosc who arc unable to 
climb and who would like the pleasure of $ecing them in their tufuval *rat*. 

VAtyfi of 'toiA^'aA' 1 

Ts iher?- any rlirrapentir. value in "Manna," 1be sww1 rwidatinn or some 
sjiecii-s of ..iur l£ucalypt< f Mania, which *el I Iroin flit! tret* in tlic form oi a 
white pclle'.. was readily sought for and caicn with relufi when I was a 
ehil'l. The ilKtharue of itaiuw from our (i.uiii lr>jcs is due M an iii.tuiy lo 
tnem and is akin to the cAiidatioo or the sap of llic rnbhei hees of commerce, 
which is induced tn llnw fjy the deliberate cuttin.e of the bark in a scientific 
manner ao a€ i»l to destroy the iter.. In Canada a nvect syrup is obtained 
"Mm the nvapic-frce <•>' eating pittpotCE Car »ti<li i<t oOtoiaed from sonw- 
jfieeiet o( o;ir Ivuca'.yTits? Arrnri'>l.K M/mtim-.ut. - 


Under ottiliiu sltnwti br Mrs. Fr«ame, as listed in the hist issue of rbe 
PiWiVflMI Nbtamhiti tl wor.ld scn.m ftni I scries -ol coloured sca-ancntcmc? 
were exnibiteil wlten actually all tbe bMlntWfc as li'twl M-erc in rite one 
.'•pecimeu. an uiiamal l).apiieitfns> and well worthy of heina; noted 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LI X.— No. 3 July 8, 1942 No, 703 


The Annual Meeting of Lhe Club was held on Monday, June 8, 
1942. The President, Mr. P. Croshie Morrison, presided arid 
about 80 members and friends attended. 


(a) Letter from Mr. T. A. Robinson, of Dutson, Sale, thanking 
members for good wishes sent on his 90th birthday. 

(b) Mr. Melbourne Ward, "Pasadena," Cross St., Double Bay, 
Sydney, staring that he desired to obtain native Australian and 
South Sea Islands weapons, etc. Members interested can write 


The following new members were elected : As ordinary mem- 
bers, Miss Ina Watson, Miss F. O. M. Curuow, and Mr, G. A. J. 
Parrett : as country members. Messrs. C. Beauglehole. and William 
Perry. 9 


Reports of excursions were given as follows: Studley Park, 
Mr. F, S. Cohiver (for Mr. A. C. Frostick) ; Botanic Gardens. 
Mr. H. C. E. Stewart. 


The annual report was presented by the hon. secretary and was 
duly adopted. The balance sheet was read by Mr. A. S. Chalk 
(auditor) and was adopted after discussion. 


In a ballot, Messrs. H. C. E. Stewart and Ivo C. Hammett were 
elected as vice-presidents. 

The following were elected without opposition; President, Mr. 
P. Crosbic Morrison; hon. editor, Mr. A, H. Chisholm; hon. 
secretary, Mr, F. S. Colliver; hon. assistant secretary, Mr. Noel 
Lothian; lion, treasurer, Mr. E. E. Lord; hon. librarian'' Dr. 
C. S. Sutton; hon. assistant librarian, Mr. P. Bibby. 

An election for the committee was necessarv and the ballo': 
returned Messrs. A. S. Chalk, G. N. Hyam, J.'H. W r illis, P. F. 
Morris, and H. P. Diekins. 

J8 Field Naturalists' CM PvoccfJUu}.! [ Yoi; 




(a) Forthcoming Excursions. — These were spoken to by their 
respective leaders. 

(b) Thanks to Retiring Officers. — The President referred to 
the past services of Messrs, G. Coghill, J. and \V. II. Ingram, 
and S. R. Mitchell, who have found it impossible to carry on in 
office. He mentioned that Mr. Coghill had been in various official 
positions for approximately 48 years. The President also paid 
tribute to the work of Messrs, L. W. Cooper and G. N. Hyam. 


Miss Florence Smith reported on the numbers of Silver Gulls 
in public gardens. Mr. P. F, Morris stated they were feeding 
on the grass grubs that are very common at present. 

Mr. R Lee reported that a Pallid Cuckoo was heard in his 
district on Sunday, June 7- 

Mr. F. Salau reported that a Koala had recently been seen 
at Clarinda, 


Speaking under the title "Escape to Reality," the- President 
said that in these times everyone needed rest for the mind at 
intervals, and suggested that one of the hesl means of "escape" 
was an interest in natural history. Tn Ins own case this had 
taken the farm of experiments in photography in natural colouts. 
A series of lantern slides that followed showed how successful 
these experiments had been. Mr. A. D. Hardy returned the 
thanks of members to the President for Hie highly interesting 
address and illustrations. 


Master Leslie Woolcock — A series ol beetles. 

Mr. R. Dodds — Scorpions. 

Mr, C French — Native Fuchsia (Correct rejiera var. rubra), 
Coolgaidie Gum (Eucalyptus turquaxa), Tea-tree (Laptospcr- 
mum scoparium-j double flowers), all garden-grown. 

Mr. E. E. Pescott — Collection of polished stone dishes, including 
agate, Cornish serpentine, and stone inlaid with black marble. 

Mr. H. C. E, Stewart- — Specimens in flower of Corrm rubra, 
Grewlha rosmarinifnlia. and Melaleuca iiRSOphito, from the Baron 
von Mueller memorial plantation at St. Kilda. 

Under Nature Notes in the Victorian, Naturalist for June it was stated that 
a cormorant had been seen to eat 71 lbs. ot fish each day foi 3 week. The 
figure, of course, should have been 7 lbs. 

fjjj ] Swty-fcco*d A>>>wj1 Retort & 


The membership is as follows; Life Membets, 2; Honorary 
Members, 16; Ordinary Member*, 214, Country Mcmbcr>, 7S; 
Associate Members. 31. This is an increase of 10 on the figures 
of the last report. 

Considering the present circumstances, attendances at the 
meetings have been well sustained and excellent displays of 
specimens have been made. . In this respect we congratulate 
Messrs. I. C. Hammctt and R. G. Fainter on the continued 
display of garden-grown native plants. 

The excursion hst this year, owing to further drastic restriction 
ot transport, has been practically confined ro localities reached 
by tram and train ; one exception was a week-end excursion to 
Bendigo, where a number of club members took part in a night 
meeting consisting of a, series of lecturelies on the natural histmy 
of Bendigo. 

Volume 58 of the yictorian Naturalist has been completed, and 
here again war-time restrictions ttave been Fek; a limit to the 
size of the journal is still in operation. Nevertheless many paper* 
of scientific, value and popular interest have been published. That 
the journal continues to hold its place in scientific literature is 
proved by additional requests for exchange. 

War conditions have prevented matters affecting better pro- 
tection of flora and fauna from being followed up as we would 
wish, but the following matters have been enquired into and 
information passed on to the authorities concerned : Cleaning up 
of Sberbrooke Forest, placing of koalas in Ararat Park, proposed 
slaughter of seals, grazing at Mt. Buffalo National Park, and the 
proposed preservation qi an old apple tree at Greensborough. 
We record with pleasure that the "Bell Rock.'" an unusual outcrop 
of quartz at St. Arnaud, has been proclaimed a ''reserve." 

Further assistance in connection with an exhibition ol natural 
history photographs in South Africa has been asked for during 
the year, and we have as usual assisted kindred societies where 
possible. The Emily McPherson College of Domestic Science 
asked for assistance by lectures; die C.S.I.R. asked for drug 
plants to be collected; and wc co-operated with the Brighton 
Council in matters pertaining to tea-tree along the foreshore We 
are still in co-operation with the Department of Information, and 
expect to continue throughout the duration. More than usual, 
members individually have given lectures to various bodies and 
particularly to groups from the fighting forces. 

Our assistance in determining by vote a flower to be used as 
Victoria's Moral Emblem was sought by the National Herbarium, 
and a ballot for this purpose was held. Opportunity for every 

40 Sixty-second Annual Report (_ ^& L "^ 

member to vote was given and the result showed the (lower of our 
Club badge, Correa- rubra, to be first choice. The Common Heath 
(Epacris impressa) and, Btac Pincushion (Brtmoma anstraUs) 
polled second and third in order. 

Business relating: to the Australian Natural History Medallion 
is still in the hands of the Club, The recipient of the last award 
was Mr. F. Chapman, a valued m«?tl)cr of the Club and one of 
world fame for his researches in palaeontology. Presentation of 
the medallion was made by Sir Frederick Mann at the August 
meeting of the Club and representatives of most of the allied 
societies were present. 

From time to time we have heard from members at present in 
the fighting forces, and on occasions we have been pleased to 
welcome to mir meetings members home on leave. 

The annual Wild Nalure Show was not held this year, but in 
its. place a Wild Flower Show was staged. Displays, mainly 
cultivated, and one of material collected during the Bendigo 
excursion, filled the Victorian Horticultural Society's Hall, 

Owing to an illness of the hon. secretary, Mr. Noel Lothian 
was asked to act as secretary and he filled the position in a very 
satisfactory manner for six months. 

The Fungi Book, by J. H. Willis, was duly pubhshed and 
favourably received. A large number has been sold and the remain- 
ing stocks form a valuable addition to the Club's property. During 
this year it was found necessary to increase the price of the Fern 
Book to 2/-. and a considerable number has beai sold to the hook 
trade for disposal at the new price. 

To bring the Club's work before a greater number of young 
people in Melbourne, the committee has been considering the 
formation of junior branches, and at present the possibility of 
such a branch being launched at Hawthorn is being discussed. 
Another innovation to assist junior members was the appointment 
of a junior leader on each excursion, and this seems to be very 

During the year the Club received the offer of some pra]>erty 
in the Sale district and the committee is at present considering 
what would be best to do in the matter. Owing to legal difficulties 
were are tillable to own such a property, and we hope to find 
some means whereby the native garden concerned can be preserved- 

During the year wc have welcomed to our meetings overseas 
naturalists and members of interstate clubs, and have been pleased 
to see some of our own country members from time to time. 

A comprehensive expression of thanks is extended to all 
members and friends who have helped to advance the Club and 
its activities. 


s & 


Late Dudley Best Fund , , . . 

Subscriptions paid in advance.. .. 
Special Trust Account (in Savings Bank) 
E.S. &. A. Bank Overdraft 


21 5 7 

12 IS 3 

29 6 

£113 1 4 
Balance, being surplus of Assets over Lia- 
bilities 1,410 1 8 

£1,523 3 


Arrears of Subscriptions — £90 
Estimated to realize 

State Savings Bank — 

General Account . , £260 7 9 

Special Trust Account 12 15 3 

Investments — 

E.S. & A. Bank Fixed Deposit 
"Best Fund" £50 

E.S. & A. Bank, Fixed De- 
posits ; . • i 50 

Commonwealth Bonds — Face 

value 450 

(Market Price on 30/4/42 
was £478) 

Library, Furniture and Epidiascope — 

At Insurance Value . .' . , 

Stock on hand of Books and Badges — 
At valuation — 

Fern Book £23 

Club Badges 200 









£1.523 3 



Audited and found correct on 5th June, 1942. 

A. S. CHALK, \ 

Hon. Auditors. 

JOHN INGRAM, Hon. Treasurer. 




Subscriptions — 

Arrears £32 4 6 

Current 165 5 6 

In advance 21 5 7 

£218 15 

Cash Sales of — 

Victorian £3 16 1 

Shell Book 16 

lent- Book 26 1 1 

Census o) Plants ......... 76 

Fungi Book 75 8 7 

Badges 18 

■ 106 12 

Donations 5 tl 

Advertisements in Naturalist 3 

Native Plants Show — Net Proceeds ...... 4 10 

Interest Received — 
"Best" Fund, Fixed Deposit £50 

@ 3% ■ £1 10 

Fixed Deposits ,.-- 3 8 

Commonwealth Loans . . , , 23 8 9 

Savings Bank Current Account . 5 4 5 

33 U 2 
£372 1 

Balance at Bank on 30th April, 1941— > 
E,S. & A. Bank Over- 
draft .. £105 9 9 

Less Savings ' Bank 
Credit . .." 81 14 7 

Victoria u Naturalist — 
Printing . . . - . £164 15 

Illustrating 59 4 6 

Despatching 6 13 2 

£230 12 8 

Reprints .. ,~ , , 426 

Postage and Freight . . _ 8 15 1 

General Printing and Stationery ... 18 47 

Library 12 17 6 

Fungi Book i 104 

Fern Bonk, cost of over-printing . . 5 10 
Royal Society's Hall . £16 

Royal Society's Care- 
taker • . . I 10 

Committee Room .. 2 15 

20 5 

£23 IS 2 






Commonwealth Bonds matured 15th November, 

1941 ' ; .■ 150 0. 

Fixed Deposit, E.S. & A. Bank, matured . . ... 150 

£672 1 0' 

Donations — 

Advisory Council for 
Flora and Fauna . . 

A. & N.Z. Council 
for Advancement of 
Science .■ ' ... 

Comforts Fund - . . 

General Expenses . . 
Interest on Overdraft 

il. 1 


7 .0 
3 10 



Ea lance at Banks on 30th April, 1942 — 

State Savings Bank Credit .. .; £260 7 9 
Less. E.S, & A. Bank Overdraft , . 29 6 

416 18 7 

231 7 3 
J672 1 



Audited-and found correct on 5th June, 1942. " 

• • - A. S. CHALK,') 

- . - . ' : , ' .' . A.G. HOOKEj 

Hon. Auditors. 

JOHN INGRAM/Hou. Treasurer. 

44 MoRitisON, Escap* to Reality [ y" ' f j X 


A nature talk for war-time, delivered as Presidential Address 
to F.N.C., June 8, 1942, 

By P. Crosbje Mokiuhon, M.Se. 

Psychologists have esiabMslied a definite relation between mental 
stress and apparently irrelevant activities. The business man who 
loses himself and bis worries momentarily by spending a night 
at the theatre, the over-wrought individual who drowns Ins 
consciousness in alcohol; the little scullery -maid who brings a 
tattered novel from under her apron and identifies herself lor a. 
few .spare minutes with the poor little heroine who is destined to 
marry the handsome young peer in disguise — they are all doing 
the same thing, really. They arc obeying the instinct of psycho* 
logical escape. They are transporting themselves for a time into 
the world of make-believe where, if dreams do not actually come 
true, there are at least none of the nightmares that form part of 
the everyday life of so many of us The psychologists not only 
recognize the existence of this habit of mental escape: they declare 
at to be a necessary part of tlie intellectual hie of any human being 
who is required to bear prolonged mental strain uf any kind — 
anxiety, planning, worry, m even boredom; it is the mental 
equivalent of a physical holiday. 

Granted an occasional escape, the nund retains its keenness. It 
is able to arrange things in their proper perspective. It is able 
to bear anxieties and worries with fortitude. It enables us to 
"meer with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors 
just The same." Withour it, the mind quickly reaches breaking- 
point. To seek such an escape is not an act of mental cowardice; 
it is, rather, the tational act of a person who is determined to 
face things with his mind kept as rit as possible. 

Now the types of escape I have, mentioned are of a very common 
type. They mc obvious — almost too obvious- They represent an 
escape from the real to the unieal, and that means that sooner 
or later we must come back again with a bump, to realities. But 
there are rypes of escape which luve not this disadvantage, and 
it is of one of those that 1 want particularly to ipeak to-night 
Many of ynti will remember a remarkable address given by the 
Vice-Chancellor of the University (Mr. J. D. G. Medley) at the 
jubilee meeting of the Chib. in which he said: "You mutmilis-ts 
arc to he congratulated in your choice of a hobby. The things 
that most of ns are engaged in are subject n> change and shock; 
no one knows where they are going to lead us. or what will be 
left when it is all over But one thing is certain. When it is all 
over, the flowers will still bloom . . the birds will still sing , . . 

j^jjj MoRtst-sON. Esc&pt t« Reality 45 

the bees will still be carrying on. their successful experiments in 
communism. The things in which you are interested, and to which 
you are devoting yourselves, are the things that are permanent, 
and the things that are real . /* 

Those words were &poken when the world was under the shadow 
of war. And now the war is in the middle of us. There can be 
scarcely a home in Australia that is not directly represented in it. 
The newspaper headlines shriek it at us twice a day The radio 
blares it at us in our homes, and if we go out into the street to 
get away from 't we are Itarangued tor miles through bunches 
of loud-speakers on street corners, and they even put the wretched 
things on motor cars and chase us down the road with them, until 
we feel we must go mad. The things, that we had lived for are 
being broken; beauty is replaced on every band by ugliness. The 
stark reality o£ the day has got us in its grip.. 

And then we, look for our escape. The pictures? They are jio 
longer satisfying. Their drama is too unreal, unless it is of war. 
and then it is too real. The theatre? It seems to have become 
tawdry, and out of place. A drive into the country? Petrol 
restrictions have put that out of the question. 

But in every suburban garden, however humble it may be: in 
the city parklands (and every suburb has its park) ; even in the 
stones Of the gutters of the meanest neighbourhood, there is 
teeming life waiting to be observed, and studied, and enjoyed 
Here, then, is pur escape. A man with a mqdest garden might 
easily find within its boundaries enough of nature, both plant and 
animal, to occupy the whole of a life's span without knowing and 
understanding it all. As you come to know it better you become 
more absorbed in it, lose yourself in it, and so achieve your escape. 

The pictures which will follow, then, arc a few samples out of 
a naturalist's bag to illustrate how varied our choice may be in 
this vast field of reality. Incidentally, they will serve to fill one 
of the requirements of a presidential address — tliat the president 
should give some account of himself in the field of specialty which 
he has chosen My chosen field for a hobby has been to record 
by color photography as many as possible of the natural history 
objects of the Victorian seashore, town, and countryside, and in 
that respect, too, these pictures are submitted as samples. 

(At (his stage a number of natural colour transparencies were i->rojeeted 
on the screen and commented 0:1 briefly by the speaker. They comprised 
examples from shoTe and marine life, botany, entomology, birds. . a»rl 
mammals of Victoria.) 

These, then, with the stories that they can tell us. are the escape 
for us — an escape, not' fram reality, but fa a deeper reality in 
comparison with which the worries- of the day and the year aic 
shown in their tiue light as transitory things. 

At Coixmax. Notts. m (im>( Jbtottm, StklMiiuct [Xoi'lix' 


TJy KniTn Gileman, Blackburn, Victoria. 

P^k-j- I — DKvei.oPMjr.NT of Eccs and Young 

Jn 19.32 a large female Stick-insect {Great Brown Phasma), 
taken at Hcalesville, was given tic freedom of a room in my 
garden. A branch of eucalypt, standing in water, apparently filled 
all her requirements. She grew apace, reaching a length of nine 

She fed at night, in the daytime resting motionless on the 
branch. Never once was she found without search; so cleverly 
had she disposed her limbs that they followed fhe lines as well 
as the colour of the twigs to which she clung. I think she not 
only selected a twig nearly of her own colour, but changed her 
colour to match the twig. Her camouflage, however, was not 
proof -against spider-cunning. One morning, although doors., 
windows and fireplace were screened with fly-wire, I found a 
Huntsman spider with her fakes buried in the Stick-insect's 
abdomen — a meal that lasted for many hours Considering their 
relative sixes, it was a prodigious feat, even for an intrepid 
Huntsman. The insect had apparently left her branch for a wall. 
Such wanderings occurred only when rain was about, or when a 
fresh gum-branch was needed. 

On January 3rd, 1940, another large female Stick-insect was 
domesticated here, this time within the house. Her gum-bough 
stood on the floor in the corner of a large bathroom, a room 
visited so many times daily that few of her habits should have 
escaped notice. She, too, fed at night; and at night, like her 
predecessor, sometimes wandered if the door was left open. She 
was always discovered resting on wood (architrave or picture- 
rail) of her own colour. When alarmed, or touched by an 
inquisitive finger she rocked from side to side, seeming to realize 
that a rocking insect was more likely to be taken For a swaying 
twig than a motionless one. If resting on a rigid surface she 
remained motionless, except when touched, or when a puff of 
wind swept through her doorway. 

As I had been growing ettcalypts from seed, I was able to vary 
her menu. Messmate (£. obHijua), manna gum (E. viminatix) . 
and Prumi.1 spp. were preferred. Tender young foliage was not 
essential, although the hard leaves of blue-gum (H. globulus'). 
alpine gum {E. alpina), and bushy yatc (E. Lehmcmm) were 
not eaten, nor was the juvenile foliage of blue-gum. Large "bights 
and bays" eaten on leaf margins were evidence of her well-being. 

It was a pleasure to watch at such close quarters her remarkable 
camouflage attitudes. Usually she rested with her legs so far 


1'j.atk V 

1 .1111. mil. na- altitudes "f itlv Stn 

■{^jj , Coleman, Notes o" Gfnat Rrimni Uricli-imccr tf 

apart that the}' resembled tiny branches of a twig,- growing in any 
direction She would swing, hammock-like, by her I wo posterior 
pairs of legs, het foreleg.": fully extended and parallel, so that her 
head and tclHafc eyes were completely hidden between them. 
Viewed from below, it was seen that the inner- side of eacb foreleg 
was hollowed, like a split quill so chut hex bead was entirely 
enclosed within tbr pair of them i • 

A favourite attitude was with forelegs and enclosed head 
making one line, the two posterior, pairs of legs sloping backward 
at various angles. She might hold thi* pnse for hours, perfectly 
rigid, with perhaps only one posterior foot attached to a support. 
She could move her legs simultaneously in various directions, to 
simulate a twig, or to look, in the fashion of Kipling's leopard, 
"like nothing in particular " The lay mind shies at the word 
"mimicry,'' suggesting as it sometimes docs a conscious imitation ; 
but, watching the Stick-insect dispose her limbs irj their twig-like 
order, one might he forgiven for thinking that here, at least, is an 
insect which does consciously adopt lief protective attitude. Cold 
science will insist that she is responding to inherited experience: 
that her attitude, because protective, has been developed and 
strengthened by slow degrees along evolutiosiavy lines. 

On June 1st, 1940, I noticed her wings, I must have missed 
her two final moults, for T did not see her wing-pads. Thi'. 
wing-buds are certainly very obvious to one who is expecting to 
see them. 0» the other hand, they arc easily missed by an 
unpractised eye. The adulr wmgs fit' so closely to the body that 
1 should probably have missed these, too. had she not planed to 
the ground when I was photograplring her. 

Of many Srick-in.sects now under observation, only one (male) 
has at this date (April 28th) passed through its final moult. A 
fqw of both sexes have wing-buds, I think it must be assumed 
that, unless she was more than a year old when captured, the 
final moults of my Stick-insect took place jn captivity. Having 
eaten her east skins, she left no obvious evidence. 

On July 2nd, 1940, there were two egg-capsules on the sheet 
of paper beneath her bough. Probably earlier ones were shaken 
off the paper with excrement, which dicy rather resemble. From 
that time until June 10th, 1941. egg-laying piocceded steadily. 
The eggs were gathered up and placed in a box of humus, 
although in the circumstances they were not expected 1o be fertile. 

One. is perhaps too ready to seize on such biological implications, 
but, having regard to all the before-mentioned circumstances, :md 
the fact that her eggs ha\'e since proved fertile, parthenngenesis 
is suggested, hut not confirmed. 

My daily entry of the number of eggs recalled Masefield's story' 


if t. Nut. 

Vet LEX 

of the grains of wheat — ;i story without cud. On April 2nd, 

I y 4 1 . when newspapers reported that the winner of the Burnley 
eug-laying competition had created a new record of 340 egg*, in 
twelve months, my Stick-insect had reached ;i total of 477 eggs 
in less than nine months — and showed no signs of slowing down. 
On June 10th the total reached 594 eggs, ni Jess than a year! 
She probably dropped others on the occasions of her wanderings, 
and some, no doubt, rolled off the paper and \vere swept up. 

The daily record would make tedious reading. The monthly 
totals were as follows: — 1940: July, 26: August, 13; September, 

I I j October, 39: November, 55 ; December. Ill: total 255. 1941 : 
January, 87; February, 96; March, 49; April, 41; May, 56; 
Jtaae, 10; lotal 339. 

M seemed a haphazard kind of motherhood compared with the 
beautiful maternal solicitude of so many creatures, yet how wise 
a plan it really ts? Considering the long period of egg-laying 
(July. 1940, to June. 1941), during which time the insect would 
be wandering from branch to branch, from tree to tree, it is 
obvious tliat her eggs are not all placed in one basket. A better 
rhance of survjval is offered to some, at least, of her great 
number, which secure suitable conditions. 

The egg-capsules, hard and impervious to rain, were the colour 
nf earth and brown leaves on which in normal circumstances they 
would have dropped, perfectly adapted for survival They were 
like tiny, uusymmelrical vases, pilled and carved in curious 
patterns, each with a tiny lid waiting to be lifted by the emerging 
insect, too un-egg-1ik-e. to appeal to egg-eating creatures of any kind. 

The mother was now rather less active, remaining immohile for 
longer periods. It was obvious that she was feeling the approach 
of age. She died on June 18th, eight days after egg-laying ceased, 
leaving me with a box full of eggs — and a most inleiesling 


The committee of the F.N.C. has unanimously decided to nominate Mr. 
David Flcay. Director of the Hcalesville Sanctuary, lor the current 
Australian Natural Histufy Medallion. Mr. Flcay, a native of Baliarat. 
is 35 years of age, He began Hie study of natural history in boyhood and 
continued it into his days as a teacher on the staff of the Ballarat Grammar 
School and later in the Education Department. Meanwhile, he gained the 
degree of B.Sc. and the Diploma of Education, Melbourne University. 
Tn 1934 Mr. Fleay Jeft the Education Department to take charge of the 
Australian section of the Melbourne Zoo, and in 1937 he tetame Director 
of the Healcsvihc Sanctuary. In both positions he did highly useful work- 

Duriilg about Iwenty years Air. Fleay has written a great many scientific 
and popular papers on Australian zootomy, mainly relating to expeditions 
and 1o research on mammals and bink under his core. Many uf these 
have appeared in the Victorian Naturalist, 


1'J-ATK \T 

July, 1942 

Stick-insect camouflam' aiming leafy twins, leafy appendages at 0111I of 
ahdnmcn swaying. (Lens set at l/,Wth sec. tailed tu record moving "tail.") 

(li'i'al I'ii'Wii 1'!i;imii;i. adult iciualu. whit's expanded. Thcis.. tun small fur 
lliiilit, serve fur planing truni branch to branch. 

l'hutus. : Edith Cult-man. ; 

?642 3 Wicak, SydtttUam Met w lite Aulmmi 49 

By (Miss) M L. Wigan, Melbourne. 

After a very dry summer and copious rains in March, a trip 
to this district, in south-east Gippsland, was full of interest and 

The country visited consists of Sydenham Inlet, a lovely sheet 
of water with low-lying swamp areas surrounding it, except on 
the southern side, where high sand-dunes divide it from the sea. 
Westward, these sand-dunes continue, flanked by Banksia and 
Eucalyptus ridges. Running parallel with and north of these 
ridges are large treeless plains of grass-trees, interspersed with 
areas of stunted tea-tree, hakea, and low-growing bushes and 
plants. Farther inland these give place to thickly-covered hills 
and valleys, and finally to open forest country. 

The Bemm River enters Sydenham Inlet on its nurthctn side 
and turns eastward on its way to the sea where its entrance to 
Bass Strait is hindered by a sand-bar. After heavy rain the 
Betnm River come* down in such volume that it floods the 
low-lying country of the river's banks north of the Inlet and the 
waters encroach on the flat country surrounding the Inlet itself, 
causing considerable damage, The heavy rains in March, although 
not overflowing the river's bank*, had flooded the low country of 
the Inlet, and on the day of my arrival the sand-bar at the mouth 
of the river had been cut to release the banked-up waters. 
Gillawhccn, where I stayed, is on the north side of the Inlet, bo 
I was able to watch the waters recede to their normal level, a 
process which took about 3-J days. 

Birds, with the exception, of Black Swans, were not numerous, 
and well away from Ihe land, but gradually Pelicans, Grey Duck, 
Silver Gulls, and other water-loving birds returned and began 
to haunt the normal edges of the Inlet as soon as they were 
exposed. When the waters were fast receding fairly large fish, 
mostly in shoals, and not. far from the edges of the Inlet, were 
leaping in and out of the water in all directions. The noise they 
made was truly remark-able. 1 was told that these fish were poddy 

A visit to the jetty with a torch at night revealed myriads of 
small fish scattering in all directions. A tiny tjarfish outnumbered 
all other kinds. It was possihle to catch by hand small fish left 
in the pools as the water drained away. Yabbies and small crabs 
were in evidence, and a long-legged or spider crab left high and 
dry was almost dead when captured. 

A few day r s before the sand-bar was cut some fishermen were 
near the entrauce catching prawns. They reported great numbers 

Sfl Wigan, Sydenham- ■ 1 nkl vi the Aittwim [ vol. I IX 

of large eels banked up there.- The fishermen, said the eels were 
"lira wiring." I suggest thaf it is likely that these eels were nuking 
their way to their breeding grounds in the sea. 
■ Plant lite had responded to the favourable con di1 tons. I was 
astonished to find so many in hloom. The following are some 
of the most striking plants seen in flower ; ... 

Sunshine Wattle {Acacia bohyccphaln) in showy masses oi 
light creamy flowers, the only species showing bloom being the 
Sweet Acacia {A: iucwt>olei\s). Epacris impresta was in i'ull 
bloom, a fine sight in shades of red and pink — no white, Two 
other species uf the Epacridacete were Prickly Broomheath 
(Monotoai scoparia) and Rough Beard-heath (Loucopogon 
coUinux, var. ciiiaJns) , the latter, with reddish stems, dark grccu 
leaves, and small white, flowers, is a rare eastern variety and was 
last collected at the Genoa River by H. B. Williamson, 1908. 
Among the compositae were Grass Daisy (Brachycoma granriuca) 
and J crsey • Cudweed (Gnaphalitm hurnaUmm) . Legumes beside 
the Acacias were represented by Variable Tic-trefoil (Dti.mi-odhon 
varktris), Twining Glycine (Glycine clandcsthta), a small graceful 
bluish er<H:per which was making lovely splashes of colour, and 
the very showy Dusky CnmlPea (K eime&W rubirunda) climbing 
over the dense flora on the Bemm River banks. 

In the family Gondcniacca* were the Panicled Goodenia 
(Goodenia pamcufotit) and Fairy Fan-Flower (Scaevotn raino- 
sis&ma). Confined ro the cast, a very beautiful and interesting 
five-petalled flower m shades of blue and mauve. The Fraicaceas 
was represented by the Banksja (Bonks-ni. j errata) and Coast 
Banksia (B. intisgnjoliit) : the Rutarex: by Boronin nutettavi, on 
the large bushes of which could be seen a few flowers, but the 
small plants, some of which were only six inches high, were 
covered in bloom. Umbillifcrae — Shrubby Trachymeiie (Trachy- 
mevc hillardicri) was plentiful ; its dark green, rounded foliage 
and white flowers were a feature ot the landscape. 

Drascracea: — Forked Sundew (Drotem. binaht), a very 'fall 
variety with a peculiar growing habit. Pnmnlaceae — Geeping 
Pjtonkweed (Samolus repens). Campanulaceae — Angled Lobelia 
(Lobelia miccps), Restionaceae — Slender Twine-rush (Lepiocar- 
pus fenav) , full of bud. 

Orchidacea: — Parsons' Bands (Enocliitus citcidla/in), and 
Autumn Bird Orchid (L'kiloghttis influx/}), named for me by Mr. 
W. H. Nichnlls, who says this species has not previously been 
collected in this district. 

Selaginellacex — Swamp Clubtnoss (SehgindUi uNs/imsa) and 
Bushy Cluhmoss (Lycopodimn rccruum). \cry fine specimens up 
to 28 ji). high. (See' //if, ,Vn/,. vol, tvm, no. 2.) Saiitalacese— 

^]j] WicaN, Sytlf>nfKHii -Inki ■■in the Autinmt .51 

Sour Currant Bush (Laplomcria . acidii/a), not in flower; a rare 
plant, confined to eastern Victoria; was first collected by Robert 
Brown on the N.S.W.. coast in 1802. 

Apoceynacea: — Sea Box {Aly-xia huxifolia),. on the sand-dunes; 
was full of bright scarlet berries on which (he birds were- feeding. 
IlHacee — Wombat Berry (Eusfrephu.i tatifolia) J • very pleniifiu, 
these beautiful golden berries, with pale green leaves, oould lie 
seen twining, round both living and dead limber. 

(I am indebted to Messrs. Morris and Willis, oi the Nariimnl Herbarium, 
for lh« naming and data of nearly all r>laill* in the above lis I.) 

Fungi were, in great variety and vied •with the flowers for 
colour and interest. The Agarics or Gibed Fungi were the most 
plentiful It was impossible tn go any distance without being 
arrested by hosts of these wonderful plants, the colours of which 
ranged through browns, yellows, whites and pinks to reds anil 
matives. Coral fungus was making bright patches of pinkish- 
yclluw colour. Bracket Fungi were numerous. Great scarlet 
patches on dead wood, especially Mdokuco (abundant round the 
Inlet), Were a lovely sight. Rainbow fungus WW) also festooning 
dead timber, but tbe most outstanding specimen was a Invelv 
horseshoe-shaped fungus on a fallen tree which had been burnt, 
It was pale yellow iu colour, like an English primrose, with a 
delicate pale green transparent under-surfacc- • ' 

Butterflies were numerous and varied. The Cabbage White, 
unfortunately, was everywhere in large nurnljers, and may already 
have established itself as a serious pest, The Wanderer was the 
largest and most handsome amongst a large and hrightly-colourcd 
group, mostly browns. There were smaller species of white* and 
yellows, and a tiny pale blue one. 

Targe Dragon-flies could always be seen in the vicinity of the 
water. A small damsel-fly, pale blue in colour, resting on a 
grass-stem and reflecting its image and surroundings in a clear 
pool, was a most pleasing picture. 

Spiders were., plentiful. I^arge orb-webbed and curl-leaf spiders 
were, about Hi almost equal numbers. A wonderful colony of 
spiders lived round one of the tank-stands of the house; it was 
just a mass of web {\ery untidy), with innumerable sm;dl grey 
spiders occupying it. On one early morning walk over a flat 
covered in rushes 1 saw a lovely sight — the rushes were clothed 
in sliders' webs, and these in turn were Coveted in dew which 
sparkled like myriads of jewels as the rising sun nutlined thei r 
fairy structure, -The spider itself was quite small and greyish in 

Ants were enjoying this delayed touch of summer, and termites 
were numerous in certain areas. One large Euealypt had been 

52 Wigan, S.vitothoiu Inlet in the Antww [ v«.i. t-iV 

broken off over 30 fee* from the ground, and the whole surface 
liad been covered in their home-making by these busy creatures. 

Snakes had been numerous during the summer, but I only saw 
one hlaek snake near the river, although I was conscious of several 
rustles of the creatures whilst among heavy plant life near the 
coast. Water-dragons could be seen, but were more often heard 
flopping frtan logs on the banks of the Bemm into the river itself. 
Smaller lizards (one very dark species) and skinks were in 
evidence- I was too late to sec the fruit-eating bats, (which visit 
this area annually) but saw the result of their work in the orchard. 
Only one insectivorous bat was seen. 

Kangaroos were to be seen iu the country near the coast, and 
the Black-tailed Wallabies could always be seen quite close to 
the house, and their tracks were most marked near the wvampy 
inclalenca areas. A Ring-tailed Possum lived in the. roof of my 
room and could often be heard before dawn moving leaves and 
grass about, presumably fixing his or her nest. 

The seashore did not reveal any good specimens of shells, but 
there were quantities o& damaged sponges and on two occasions 
several Jead fair-si/.cd octopuses. 

Aboriginal specimens were scarce. One fine axc-hcad had been 
dug up in the garden- 
Birds held my attention of the time, and although I was 
out most days before sunrise and rode home after sunset, the days 
were aJl too short for this fascinating pastime. In such diverse 
country v and excellent conditions, it is not surprising that the 
bird list contains over 300 species. The first morning I listed 
the calls of birds commencing at dawn and continuing in order 
till sunrise. They were; Spur-winged Plovers, Black Swan, 
Kookaburra. Grey-backed Silver-eye. Whip-bird.. White-backed 
Magpie. Magpie-Lark, and Australian Raven As the sun rose 
there was a wonderful paean of song, it seemed, from ali the birds 
in the neighbourhood. 

During the first two days large numbers of Welcome Swallows 
(which built all round the verandahs) and a smaller number of 
Fairy Martins congregated on a wire structure near the house 
Flying around were also a few Tree- Martins. On the evening of 
the second day most of the Welcome Swallows and all the Fairy 
Martins had gone, but the Tree-Martins remained. 

During these two days hundreds of Spine-tailed Swifts visited 
the north side of the Inlet before noon, staying about an hour. 
Flying in from the north-cast and north-west, their flight was at 
times only a few inches from the ground, and the noise of their 
wings cutting the air and Ihe snaps of their mandibles us they 
caught their insect food were most remarkable. 

jgjrj Wicas, Sydenham Inlet in the Auivnm 53 

Sea birds were not numerous, and die only Tern seen in any 
number* was the Crested Tern. 

Birds ai prey, however, were present in numbers and specks. 
Whistling Eagles were the most plentiful, and I saw many a 
wonderful display of aerial acridities by these Ijird^ in the early 
roomings. Such birds as Jardine's Harrier, or Spotted Harrier, 
Australian Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, a"d Little Falcon 
could all be studied at fairly close quarters. 

Colonies of Little Pied Cormorants could always be seen in the 
trees on the river banks, but other members of the group were 
scarce. Only our Black Cormorant was seen. Dusky Moorhens, 
Eastern Swamp- Hens, and a small patty of Black-tailed Native 
Hens inhabited the river a few hundred yards from the The 
last-named bird is rather a rare visitor to southern Victoria. 

Farrots were well represented, and the King Parrot (which 
had not been seen for some time) returned during my visit in 
numbers, as did the the Rainbow Lorikeet, which previously bad 
been seen only in small parties. Musk, Purple-crowned, and 
Little Lorikeets were also plentiful and made a great screeching 
noise whilst feeding on the nectar of the blossoms of the tall 

Dead specimens of the Tawny Frogmouth, which, by the way, 
was a very dull dark grey bird, and the Barn Owl were picked up, 
The Frogmouth was comparatively rare, but the Barn Owl was 
numerous, as was also the Boobook Owl. 

Amongst the smaller birds the gentle cun of lhc Peaceful Dove 
could always be heard in selected areas, and 1 was most interested 
in seeing the Yellow-throated Scrub- Wren in the same habitat 
as that ot the White-hrowed Scrub- Wren. 

Honeyeaters held pride of place, both for numbers and species. 
I have never heard such a din or seen such flitting of wings and 
general movement as occurred amongst the species inhabiting the 
sand-dune and Banksia country, as well as the edges of the Inlet, 
where many species congregated. These species were : Red Wattle- 
Bird. Little Wattle-Bird, Yellow-winged Iloneyeater, Crescent 
Honeyeater. Eastern Spinebill, Yellow-faced Honcycater, and 
White-eared Honeyeater. 

In the tall Eucalypts of the Bemm River, with Salin Flycatchers 
and Eastern Shrike-Tits, were the Brown-headed Honeycaters 
Black-chinned Honeyeaters, and Whitenaped Honeyeaters Here 
also was a colony of Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters. which gave mc 
many an hour of pleasure. 

On one occasion on a trip to the coast I stopped at a point 
where the green and burnt scrub met. and where hah a dozen 
Saw BanWas were m bloom. Here the. Red and Little Wattle- 

5+ Wi«ak, Sydenham Met w the Avtmmi [ vottix* 

Birds were feasting with the Yellow-winged and Crescent Honey- 
caters, In a few seconds there appeared a pair of Whip-birds 
from the green area, which chased and called to each other round 
my. horse's legs. Then I heard a faint cricket-like note, and 
suddenly, on lop of the short green Melaleuca, were several Emu- 
WittiS-' Soon there was a louder note and out came a parly 
of Bine Wrens with some Brown Thombills. then followed a 
scolding note and three White-browcd Scrub Wrens followed the 
previous birds into the burnt area. All these birds kept flitting 
from the green to the burnt areas and singing all the time, My 
head would have required a swivel to follow till their movements. 

On another exclusion I saw a party of Emus, several Tawny- 
crowned Hoi ley eaters.' and a party of Emu-Wrens all within a 
short distance of one another: in fact, they were all to be see" 
at the same time. 

I feel I must end with a note on the devastating effect of our 
bush fires. Here, unfortunately, were large areas of forest with 
the black boles of giant trees pointing their ruined majesty to the 
sky and crashing at intervals in this warm weather to the blackened 
and scorched earth beneath. No sound of bird or beast or insect 
in all this waste space of ruin! To save our wonderful heritage 
of fauna and flora from like holocausts I would suggest that Nature 
Clubs in Victoria take some practical steps' to help the suppression 
of bush fires and Hie making of sanctuaries on private properties. 
Country members of clubs could be of great help in this respect. 


This Ditirii species appears as a nomat midmv- h> R D. FihtGeraliV* 
uu published work in the Mitchell Library', Sydney. To comply with the 
recognized rules of nomenclature, appertaining to such uHdcrscribcd forms, 
the description of this Diuris now apjiears hi Latin undeT our jcuit names ; 

Dimis hrcvissima, FttzGerald-NkhnlU. • 

Plmtla gracilis, circa 35 cvi. alia. Falia phrtHuqitt din) ' Una aria, 
catutlictddla, circa 20 Cw. Idnga. fitores 6-9 (in speriuiimuvs meis), racema 
flc.rnasa, cxiguis pcdiccUis, flal'i iiuniifcste tnacwari. viaciriis rubit ia-fuseis, 
stent D, maadata, sed in D. brevii.Huia, color est semper sfilcndentior, 

Scpalum aortitis. 8 mm. to I cm. loiiau-m, lato-ovatmu: sspalu foterahd 
brcvMsima, lato-livcaria. por&tlcta J -9 cm. longa. Pctola pe.dicellala Itiitiina 
p!u.<;-iiii\ws ort>iciilaH.<!. Labelhim clrta lem, lonc/iim, iiavious quant cilia 
segmento Claris rubid-o-fuscts, mocnlis; lobi laleraks ablintie-dblmicji; lamintt 
duobtnr clcva-tis, parallclis, ve! incumatu. fowWs. 

Dinris brirvis^m-a was. fully described in the Victorian Naturalist (in 
English) Dec, 1W. pp. 125-127 tl plate)). 

W- H. NicMtiixs. Melliourui-- 

lUi. ] Nicnoci-s, Ceriam Species of Catiulcnia iS 

By W .11. N»i:uou.s, Melbourne 

The critical article on (.aladcnta in the April issue of ihe VielorioH 
NaUn-abtt calls for an answer, smee some of Ihe statements therein — T say 
Ihti without disrespect to my friends Mr. Rwpp and Mrs, Coleman— do not 
aglet with my reading o< the tacts. 

The Writer of the notes, Kev H. M. B. Rnpp, writes in rej?ard to C. 
FaUrxtmti, 14. Br., "a species which for over 1O0 years has been marked by 
the specific cliaracreT, sepal* nonr.lutvile."' The late Dr. R. S. Rogers, how- 
ever, tci<irds (in 1909), C. PaUrsomi, from Kangaroo Island (S. Aust.) 
with "strongly marked red-clavate ixjints'' {Trans. Roy, Soc, S. Ausl, t 
*>-. lii. p. 15.) Further, hi", remarks concerning this polymorphic species 
aTe of interest (/W v xliv (192(1), pp. 350-551), and corresponds to those of 
Mueller, who suggested the comprehensive litle * pxtkhcrrinui." A title de- 
signed (probably in sheer desperation), to cover the myriad forms to which 
this Caladrnio is subject. Kofeers writes. ''Brown's description (of C. 
Paiersami) is unfortunately of loo genera! a nature to exclude certain other 
filamentous CuloJcnios, which should he known under a. different name. 
Natural hybridism is undoubtedly responsible for some of tins contusion, 
perhaps for more than is suspected." 

Undoubtedly tlie typrcal form of C PaJt-ticmii does not possess claiwte 
sepals, bur Bemham {hhna AMtrntiensis. vi, p 381 ) says, "Sepals more or 
less dilated m the lower part, lapennj? into a Ions point lomctimc* dila'.ed 
again towards the end.'.' Ai vnr-d\lu(»tt> (C. d'.hlata R.Br.) is described 
separately, it is safe ta assume that this form is not also nicltided Iti his 
jjcIicm) description. 

And why. ) ask. should we not include a (so-called) clubbed form within 
C PitUrtonixt C. Hitatota has both the clavate and the non-clayate sepals; 
so have- C. cte'i'5'Ta, Curnl., C frtmilit, Rogers, and C. poUniu, Ldl. Also, 
Rogers records C reticulata, FiuGcald, from Western Australia showing 
"no departure from tvpc, except that die clavate points were missing . . . 
three s)Kxamcuj were found close together, two hail clavate pomls to the 
sepals, one had not.-' {Ibid, xliv (1920), p. 349). 

Rogeis, |ti Ins later dcstripiions, in Black's FL>m of South Australia 
(1922). dne= not include therein aH the known variations to which some 
species are subject For example, in his description ol C. dilalato, he writes 
"scjmIs clavate", yet most of us arc aware that this feature is sometimes 
absent. And in his description of C. /Htmila (JVaiir. Roy. Sec, S. Austr., 
xlvi (1922). lie refers to ihe segments as being "non-eaudnta" (By ittijiiiou 
oj dub points) ; yet "clubs" are sometimes in evidence. The present writer 
state;, the above examples to show that the published descriptions do not 
always embrace all known variations found in a particular species, ior tft&t 
is 7hi eni to them. 

(Concerning these enlarged points i 1 consider distinction should be made 
between the true club-point as is found (for instance) in C. ctnvigira, and 
the acuminate lance-point of C. t'atersomij var. hastato-) 

In regard to the last -mentioned varietal terra, to which Mr. Rupp takes 
exception, I can. only say. it is human to err I However, this, error is not 
altogether a misnomer. It refers to the spear or lance-like points, found in 
this particular variety, a feature here more strikingly marked than in other 
"Spiders: - But, ailer all, it is merely a variety and not in ui>- opinion, «i 
species (see Beuthanvs description of C. Patersonti), for the only really 
important variation is the presence of the prominent "clubs.'- 

For the above reason I would not bracket thus variety with C. trtirulala, 
and C. kmyntamtOj Coleman, is 36 far removed, in z morphological sense, 

56 Excursion to Betanic Gardens f Vo 

V»£«. w»u 

as are the respective habitats themselves. (For respective figures, see this 
journal, xlv. (1930), p. VX>. it lviii (1941), p, Lj£J 

la reference to C rfci'igeW', Cunn, (C. coniifn-rwiSj Rogers), my own 
experience witti litis. "Spider" proves that, dubbed riegttienis are present just 
as often as nor. Vet on the Brisbane Hilla (Vic.) Ihree years ago every 
flower seen (27) possessed clubbed segments — iu four specimens all the ■■-<■£- 
mutts possessed these points. 

The omission of the won! "noC from the December artictt' (to which 
Mv, Rupp fca'crs) was umorumate ; slill, that something was amiss could 
plainly fje seen try the general conrevt. As it stands this sentence is a. 
coutradlctoiy one. 

Finally, concerning FitzGerald's figure over C, r.lavtgera, I consider it wist 
to await iuIUt investigation before finally deciding the status oi this nruch- 
discussed form. 


A to lite Melbourne Botanic- Gardens is always a delight The one 
on May 30 was not M'JierhiLeci to specialize iu any particular botanical 
detail, hut i.riihAd'ly to study how Australian trees enhance some or the 
lint landscape vistas in these famous gardens. 

Ten representative Australian trees were selected for attention by the 
80 odd visitors who attended the excursion. These comprised : Willow 
Myrtle (/]</iwv'.v ficxwi-w) . Princes* Alexandra Palm (Atrtioutoplioenix 
Alexandras) , Apple Gum Mwr/p/i/imt. floribmidn) ; Gray Myrtle (Baek- 
huH.<iu Myrllcfolia) ; Drooping: Trec-myrtlc {Sysyimm Ifgntenatii) ; Grass- 
tree (Xainthnrrhota rcsino-ia) ; Sydney Blue-gum (llmalyplus saligva) ; 
Mahogany (ium (ttualyi'lM hmryditfes) ; Cypress Pine {CaMtris 
axenosa) ; Prickly-leaved Paper-bark (Melaleuca sf-yptielioides) . Seven 
of tJie species belong to the Myrtle family nbicf among arboreal vegetation 
in the Australian continent. Broadly, the links connecting the genera 
.-.eltcled and the differences separating them were puintecl out. Their 
rtO'ionilc and ecological importance were also briefly mentioned. Special 
emphasis, however, was placed on their decorative value. Sonic of the 
Myrticeac and other .species examined arc among the finest trees grown 
in the 'Gardens. 

It was noted that improvements arid additions tiad been made to that 
part of the Australian section traversed between Gates "T>" and "H* 
Thrsc included plantings of species of Victorian tcrrcslial orehid-i, winch 
should appeal to naturalists when flowering time comes round. 

H.CE S. 


Description of a new species of. Tree-fern, whidi appeared in the 
Vistaritm NatM-nlixl last mouth, has prompted a reader to ask several 
questions which can, probably be answered hy Mr. >T. A. Wakefield, author 
<>t the :>pe*ics, who. however, is at present in tl;e military forces: 

"Because the new Tree-fern, a djscovcry of fjreal interest, appears to 
l>c iarc, and having in mind the: great depredations made- among Tree-frrns 
in the past, the following questions arc asked: (a) Are the new terns en 
Crown latifls ? (h) What special action should fee taken to ensure their 
-•absolute protection? (c) Can those who cultivate Australian plants obtain 
sporangia to raise further plants and so guard agaiusr. the possibility cA 
its extinction?" 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. UX.— Nn. 4 Augusl 5: 1942 ^'- 7<>4 

The monthly meeting of ibe Club was held on Monday, July I J. 
194?. The President. Mr. P. Croshie Morrison, presided and 
about 00 members and friends attended. 


This was a symposium on ''The Majestic Emu." Oiscussmnb 
were opened hy the President, who reviewed the classification of 
the Emu and mentioned rue various iwints upon which ornitho- 
logical classification had been made. Other large birds of the group 
were briefly mentioned 

Mr*. A. H. Chisholm followed with a discussion of the habits nf 
ibe Emu. Hi; pointed out that the. idea or the loss of the power nf 
Right was questioned, some authorities, doubting if the bird had 
ever been able 10 fly. Other points brought bat in the remarks 
were: Time of breeding, April to November; size of clutch 0* 
eggs. 8-10 normally but clutches o< 17 and more had 'been reported, 
in which cases it was thought that other birds had used the nest; 
speed of the bird. 24-25 m.pJi, commonly, up to 28 m.p.h. at times, 
and in short hursts 40 m.p.h.; enemies of the Emu, the black- 
breasted buzzard had learnt to break the eggs by dropping stones 
on them from a considerable height; destruction of the Emu: in 
two years the Queensland Prickly Pear Board had paid 2/6 per 
head for 131 .768 birds destroyed, and during the same time had 
paid I/- each for 109,341 eggs destroyed. , 

Mr F. 5>. Colliver spoke on fossil Emus Ir was mentioned that 
Kangaroo, Flinders and King Islands, besides Tasmania, each 
had its own species of Emu, which were now extinct. Some at 
least of these species had been exterminated by the early sealers, 
and so quick was the destruction that very little material from the 
island was in any museum. The Flinders Island species (A). 
pooiii) is known by two Stuffed specimens and one skeleton in 
European museums. The King; Island species (AT minor) is fairly 
well known From sub-fossil remains, tbe first extensive Collections 
of which were made on an excursion of the Field Naturalists' Club. 

A Queensland species (D. fxifictos, de Vis), of possible 
Pliocene Age, was described in 1888 from tw'o odd bones (tibia 
and coracoid) and in 15)05 a pelvic fragment was described as 
possibly belonging to the same species. Altogether some 12 species 
of fossil Enms have been listed, but these have been reduced now 

S8 Fhld Naturalists' Club Prnecrdinot. \ v" LiX 

to the four known as follows : Dronmus patrkh'.s. De Vis, from 
Queensland : D. mitun, Spencer, from King Island ; D. dicmcnvnsis, 
Le Souef, from Tasmania . D. perovi, Rothschild, from Flinders 

The following were the main points in (he discussions : 

Mr. A. D. Hardy repoited Kmns swimming in the sw at Spiuin 
Whale Head, a clutch of 1.6 eggs, and the hints attaining a speed 
of 40 m.p.h. 

Mr. A. H. Mattingley mentioned that Emm often swam over* 
.the Murray Fiver, and stated thai many years ago he had written 
to the Paris Museum in an endeavour to have the type of the 
Flinders fsland Hunt returned bo Australia. 

Miss R. Chisholm asked why the Emu had such a laige eye 
(reply by Mr. A. H. Chisholm, who suggested they were for sight), nnd where did the plume* come from that 
were used for soldieis' hafs ? (ieply by Mrs. Freaiue, who staled 
they came from skins taken in Western Australia) 

JVliss R Chisholm. for Mr A S, Kenyon, asked w&s it a fact 
that Emuo gathered in iimbs at certain times to change mates. Mr 
Mattingley stated that in his opinion this gathering did lake place 
for the purpose meiUfoned, 

Mr. R. G. Fainter discussed Emus feeding on the flame heath.. 
and on the duplication of the name "emu bush" in several States. 
Mr Ivo Hammetl suggested that the name "emu bush' was coined 
on it being noticed that Kmu droppings contained seeds of the 
bush concerned. 

Mr. A. G. Hookc asked how it was possible for the young bird 
In break out of the egg. f Reply by Mr. Morrison, who stated that 
the egg was built on a common engineet ing principle, the arch, and 
was thus ^trnngly resistant to external forces: hut it was aUo like 
the arch, weak to an internal force, and further the young bird 
had a hard knob on its beak to use in breaking its. way out of the 

Miss Florence Smith asked did the eggs change colour ; (Reply 
by Mr. Chisholm: A clutch of Emu's eggs varied in. colour with 
the number of eggs in a large clutch, apparently owing to diminu- 
tion of pigment available. He also stated that a Iwsh tire passing 
over a nest of these, eggs would entirely bleach (lie upper parts and 
leave an egg half normal colour and half white,) 

Mr. Morrison mentioned an ptd bushman's. story that the Emu 
laid one sterile egg, which is broken after the young hatch and 
used as a source of food for them, sometimes used directly A^d at 
other times allowed to become infested with fly larvae, which are 
used as food for the young. Mr. A. H. Chisholm suggested that 
this tale could be dismissed ten beine hevnnd the bonnets of reason. 

Jgjj] iFictd N<t<Hrotis>s> Chb PtatccAings S9 

Mr, J. H. Willis mentioned the possibility of there being a 
southern centre of origin for the Australian flora and fauna, and 
further stated that the filmy ferns are definitely making a northward 
migration. Mr. H. C E. Stewart stated that Prof. Wood Jones 
stressed this soulh to north migration. 

Miss R Chisholm asked regarding the ability of the Emu to 
swallow pebbles. In reply. Mr. A. H. Chishohn stated that the 
Emu used the mechanical action of grit to help in breaking up 
the food, and as the bird was of large size, quite large pebbles 
were used. Also, the Emu did have rather queer tastes in food ; 
he knew of a bird that swallowed the contents of a tin of green 
paint and the tin itself shortly after. He also remembered seeing 
a tame Cassowary swallowing stones, almost as large as a fiat, 
as often as they were given it. 

Letter from Mr Hunter slating that most of the specimens 
of the recently described new species of Tree Fern were in a 
forest reserve, and that when opportunity offered he would try 
raising plants from spores. 

Reports of excursions were given as follow: Ivanhoe, Native 
Plants undei cultivation, Mr. Ivo Hammett; National Museum, 
Ethnology, Mr. F. S. Colliver, for Mr. A. S. Kenyon ; National 
Museum, Fossils. Mr F. S. CnUivcr. 

Dcrtruclion of Kangaroos. — Mr. A. D. Hardy stated that 
applications were being made for an open season for kangaroos, 
owing, so it was alleged, to the damage they were causing to 
crops. He further stated that such applications always were 
made on these grounds when skins were high in price, and be 
moved that inquiries be made from the Fisheries and Game 
Deparlment. This was seconded by Mr W H- Ingram tum\ 

In iny experience the .Rough Tree-fern (Cyoilieo ai<stra!is) grows rather 
quickly and sonn develops an upright trunk, hut Mr. V, Miller has shown 
me fronds of this species from a plant in his fernery which has not risen 
above ground-level in the twelve years since he obtained it as a young 
specimen at Bass River; fronds are periodically sent itp from the original 
short stem, yet no sign of a trunk has appeared 

J. H. Willis. 

(30 Rl.pp, Corybas nr- (.'orysanllict? [ v'ul'.WX 

Hy Rr.v, H. M. R. Rupp, Northl .ridge, N.SW. 

This is an old question, and ic is by no means the first time it 
has been raised la lliis journal, ll was discussed by Mr. E. E. 
Pescolt in the issue of May, 1926, and he there alludes to an 
earlier note of his own on the same subject. 

The present writer, in collaboration with Mr. W H. Nicholls, 
contributed a in-tew of the known Australian species of the genus 
to the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of N.S.W. (Vol. liii, 
Part 2) in 1928. The authors retained Brown's name Carymviltcs, 
and gave a reference to Mr. Pescott's article mentioned above. 
Subsequently, in the same Proceedings, Vol. liii, Part 5, 1928, I 
gave in detail our reasons for having adopted Brown's nomen- 
clature, at the same time tabulating Ihc Australian species as 
they would appear if Salisbury's generic name Corybas should 
be insisted upon. 

Australian botanists in general appear to have upheld the point 
of view Iben expressed, and Cory-SMthes has prevailed throughout 
the Commonwealth. But it seems to me that the time has come 
for us to realize that the question en-mot be settled by ihc 
preferences ni Australians alone, for the genus extends from the 
Himalayan foothills in India throughout the archipelagoes between 
tliis continent and Asia, and as far as New Zealand, where there 
arc at least ten species. Australia has only eight, while the total 
number for the whole area now exceeds fifty. And the weight 
of international botanical opinion is heavily in tavour of Salisbury's 
name and against lirown's. Ihc rule of priority, ir is declared, 
cannot be set aside unless the consent of the recognized inter- 
national authorities is expressly given in favour of the later 
name; and that consent in this particular case has been refused. 
We may regret the fact, but we must: either accept it or become 
a law unto ourselves, in which case we cannot expect our 
decisions to receive international recognition. 

I do not think that any good purpose can be served here by 
repeating the reasons which have influenced Benrham and other 
botanists in their rejection of Salisbury's name in spite of its 
priority of publication. Bcntham's remarks in PLAuslr. vj, p. 
350. still appear to mc to be very weighty, and I frankly admit 
fruit I dislike the idea of substituting Salisbury's nomenclature 
i for Brown's Thai, however, cannot justify me in declining to 
accept the decisinn of the international authorities, made alter 
full discussion of all the facts of the case. 

In a recent letter received from Mr. J..M. Black, the well-known 
South Australian botanist and compiler of The Floret oj South 
Australia., be writes: "Dr. Spraguc wrote to me - . that the 

JSSj Rapp, Ccrvl/as or Cofnsa>ntlic.sf . 61 

International Council of Nomenclature had considered the con- 
servation of Cory wit he* and had decided against it." Mr. BlacW 
ndds that if the U.S.A. botanists and the great majority of 
European ones favour Corybas, there is now little chance of 
Cnrysautlins being conserved. 

We may feel sorry that, to use Benthanrs term, there was 
something surreptitious about the publication of Co;yba.<, and 
that Brown had good cause for his rather caustic remarks on the 
matter ic his Prodrome's ;. but after all, there ran be no denying 
the fact that Corybas was published earlier thun Corysdnthcs. 
And since the International Cnuncil has decided that, the argu- 
ments in favour of Corysairthcs are insufficiently strong to warrant 
the setting aside of the priority rule, I think wc must loyally accept 
that decision, and in future adopt the generic name Coryhm. 

From a practical .point of view, Salisbury's name is. actually 
the better of the two. Not only dues it express the. same, meaning 
(helmet) in a shorter word, but it avoides entirely the risk of 
confusion with the South American orchid geuus Coryanthes.- 
Such confusicm has undoubtedly taken place m the past; e.g., in 
Darwin's classic fcrttliurtion of Orchids, p. 281. the New Zealand 
Cory-tanthcs triloba- appears as Coryanthcs triloba. Only the 
difference of an "V in the name; yet the two genera belong to 
widely-separated tribes of the Orchidaccae. and have little in 
common beyond the broad family characteristics. 

Under Salisbury's nomenclature, then, the eight Australian 
species will appear as — 

Corybas Salisb. 

C. fimbr'ialus (R.Br.) Rchh.f. 

C. dic-memcus (LMI.) Rupp and Nichol|> 

C. prmnosus (Cunn.) Rupp and Nicbolls. 

C. drtotatm Rupp and Nicholls". 

C. undkhMus (Cunn.) Knpp and NicholU. 

C. acomtifiorn.'! Salish. (Corysa-mhes bicaleamtn R.Br). 

C. imguirulatus (R.I3r. ) Rchb f . 

C. Fordhamii Rupp 

. I am in agreement with Mr. Rupp on his adoption of Salisbury"!: 
generic tide Corybat: but only for reasons which coincide with 
his own. The overwhelming weight of overseas opinion lias forced 
the issue; thus there can be little to say on the matter, other thau 
useless words of regret. Thar Corylm Salisb. would eventually 
supersede CorysOMlhes R.Br, had long' been anticipated in Aus- 
tralia: still, we hoped for the reverse. Now we bow 10 the 
inevitable 1 

62 Coleman, Notes on the Great 5rtw» Shck-iHtM L Vol, 1,TX 

By Edith Coleman, Blackburn, Victoria. 

Part tic — Dkveuh'mf.nt of Ec.cs anti Nymphs 

The egg-capsules of the Stick-insect were sprayed from time 
to lime to simulate, as far as possible, natural conditions; but 
when no change was noted in that were dissected, they were 
thought to be. infertile, and were sprinkled at longer intervals. 

Unfortunately the last interval was too long. When I opened 
the box on November 29, 1941, the unexpected had happened — 30 
baby "Sticks" bad emerged, to die through my neglect Hatching 
had. apparently commenced 10 or 12 days earlier. Next day 
4 more emerged, and from that time, except after very cold 
nights, 2 to 5 emerged daily. Sixty emerged in December and 
46 in January, 1942. At this stage 1 grew alarmed, having visions 
uf 564 nymphs to care for. However, the last one appeared on 
February 1, 1942, giving men family of 107 lettuce -green babies 
to feed and study. When a sketch nf the eggs was made on 
February 4. four capsules were dissected. As these contained 
developing embryos, it is probable that another brood will appear 
in summer. 

An interesting feature of the developing embryo, shown in the 
sketch, was the swollen appearance of die limbs, which suggested 
absorbing organs. A$ each tiny green baby pushed off the lid 
its amnion was shed, and left, like a little white shroud, within 
the brawn capsule A few were unable to tree their long legs, 
and these dial gjill attached by membranes to the inside of the 

Alter emergence each baby "Stick" rested for perhaps. 20 minutes, 
then climhed to the perforated lid of .(be box. Emergence took 
place in early morning, a wise provision, affording a chance for 
the delicate creature to gain strength before exposure to winds 
and warm sunshine. 

It was under an inch in length, measured from the tips of 
outstretched anterior legs to Ihe end of its abdomen, Like many 
creatures that spend a lengthy period in the egg stage, the 
nvmphs were active as soon as they emerged, When less than an 
hnur old they curved their "tails" over then - backs scorpion-wise, 
at a finger touch — a delightful show of "ferocity" in such tiny 

When the box was shaken, or the tightest breath reached them, 
they rocked from side to side as expertly as their mother bad 
done. When transferred to some guru twigs, they ran under 
lea'tes of their own green colour and were at onre lost (o the eye. 
One wondered how many in natural conditions would have 

failD ax. Not** uit iks <jtmI Broivn Stick insert <53 

survived the firsi weeks in January, when we experienced hot and 
cold winds and torrential rain— hnisterous winds that broke off 
large bouglis from our gum trees and littered the paths with 
leaves and twigs. Nature banks uti numbers. "Of fifty seeds 
she brings but one to bear.'" 

Giowth of the nymphs was remarkably rapid. On December 
19 sortie of them were. 2 inches in length. On December 24 1 
Wvf one moult and eat the exuvia. After that I saw the process 
many times. Sometimes several would moult simultaneously. 
One nr two died during the ordeal, being unable lo withdraw 
(heir limbs. 

On December 25, one nymph had changed from green to brown, 
while two were greenish-brown. On January 3, 1942, there were 
some with brown bodies, but the gTecn pigment had not left the 
limbs. Three nymphs were now .24 inches in length , and by Ihe 
end of the month five had reached 4 inches. At this stage it was 
interesting to note how surely the green ones still sought shelter 
under green leaves, while brown ones adopted camouflage attitudes 
on twig or leaf-stalk. Many of the brown ones would ding to the 
rool of their cage, like tiny sticks tossed into a heap, or a mass 
of brown thorns. 

On March 16 there were still a few green nymphs, one of them 
being 3 inches lung- 
It was fascinating to watch the shedding of out-grown coats. 
The insect hung from a twig by its posterior feet, or perhaps 
hammock-wise with the end nf its abdomen curved upward into 
a half circle. Head and legs emerged first. Reaching out a 
forefoot to grasp a support, it pulled itself forward, literally 
Walking out of its skin. It remained motionless for about 30 
minutes, gathering strength, and allowing the new skin to harden, 
then., grasping the cast skin with a forefoot, it turned head up 
and commenced to eat it. changing its position occasionally to 
facilitate holding its "meal" more comfortably. 1 removed one 
exuvia to examine, and later suspended it a few inches from its 
owner. She soon discovered and devoured it. 

When disturbed, the. nymphs move easily and rapidly, climbing 
from twig to twig before a following finger, or dropping to the 
ground to seek cover. Even when walking over the floor they 
cover the distance swiftly, albeit with the wavering gait of an 
inebriate. The long, thin legs have a stiff, Dutch-doll action. 

Just how swiftly they are able to move I came to realize when 
transferring nearly 100 lively "Sticks" to a fresh cage. One would 
Cast itself to the floor and become so rigid as to appear lifeless. 
its legs standing out "every which way at once," like the. spines 
of Kipling's Stickly-prickly. I was tricked by this attitude as 

64 Cm.rvAK, Niif* mi the Grctit llrmvn Stick intcet [ vui'ux 

one lay on (he floor. Jt remained stiff, like a real twig, when 
1 lifted it out o( the cage; then, as I gently attempted to straighten 
it out tor measuring, it "came to lite" and made off rapidly 

It is surprising how long (hey can hold this pose. One might 
lift the insect by -a leg only, while it maintained the same rigidity 
of body and contorted legs 

I think there hi lit lie doubt that Stick-insects are able to control 
the body pigment to match the supports to which they cling. 
Their preference for the roof of a cage, whether wire or wood, 
suggests that in normal conditions they elimb as. high as possible. 

The male Stick-insect has longer legs ami antennae than the 
female, and his body is very much .slenderer- 

At the beginning of April, 1942, many males and females had 
revealed wing-buds. On April 21, at 8 am. one of the males 
was suspended in 'moulting attitude. Two hours Jater it bad 
emerged — the. first arluli of the brood. His long wings, perfectly 
fitted for flight, are quite unlike the short broad wings of the 
female, which permit only planing leaps. They reach almost to 
his second last abdominal segment 

Uis antennae are 2\ inches in length, almost as long as his 
anterior legs. They sweep out independently in any direction, 
suggesting that they serve an important function. They probably 
catch emanations of scent, or sound vibrations, and serve a<; organs 
of touch. 

This emergence of a male late in April, while as yet nn adult 
females had emerged, seems proof assumptive that there would 
have been no adult male Stick-insects on the wing at the time 
whjn his mother was at liberty. 

It is possible that adult males had ovcr-wmtcied. but 1 do not 
think so. for they sce-m more delicate than the females, and do 
not appear to eat sufficient to store enough energy to tide them 
over a severe winter. They are moie timid than the females, 
which seem to have little concern for anything but food. 

To-day (April 28) at 8.30 a.m., 1 found that a female had 
completed her final eedysis. The c.Mivia was suspended bv one 
foot 5 inches distant from her. She. was very sensitive and rocked 
violently at the slightest 1onch on the cage, at a footfall, or even 
die lightest breath. She occasionally waved her legs and exercised 
her wings, then remained quiescent. So far (4 p.m.) she has 
not attempted to eat the exuvia. She seems huge, and measures 
ai least 10-jr inches. (1 he male is 8 V inches long.) Her antcouae 
ate only 1 inch in length. 

The sexes appear to be evenly distributed At the picscnl 
lime there arc in one cage eight male nymphs awaiting final 
moult and one Inlly adult male. In another cage arc nymphs of 

THK VICTORIAN NATURALIST Vol. t.ix .-inyusi. 1V-12 

Platk VII 

K«R-cap5ulw ol flreal Bmwn SticW-irwert (enlarged) 

Newly-emerged Stiek-insect nymphs. 

Phut".: Edith Coleman. 

*J£] l.»rs. ,\' ( ,l,\i mi Australian Eels OS 

both sexes, of all ayes. In a third cage are five females, four of 
which should soon moult for the last time. The fifth one moulted 
to-day (April 28), chc first adult female of the brood These will 
remain alone ro answer the question. '"Docs parthenogenesis occur 
in such large insects as ihe Great Brown Phasma?" 

Later- — On May 14 another egg hatched. The tardy newcomer 
is growing apace, the only green insect in the brood. 

June 8: Another male passed through the final moult. Then; 
ave now two adult males. 

June 19: The only adult female dropped 3 eggs. To date 
(July Id) she lias dropped 33. She is 10^ inches long 


By F Lewis, Chief Inspector of Fisheries and Game, Victoria. 

(Portion of address to April meeting of F.N.C ) 

The life-history of the common freshwater eel has been shrouded 
in mystery throughout the ages, and it was no* nniil early in 
the 20th century that this mystery was solved, mainly by the 
researches carried out by a Danish scientist, Dr. Johanu Schimdi 

One writer has said that of all the well-known fish none can 
compete with the common eel for the amount of superstition and 
prejudice which it has engendered. Aristotle said eels sprang 
from mud. Pliny considered that small pieces of skin rubbed 
from their bodies on stones turned into the young. Helmont, a 
disciple of Paracelsus, gave the following recipe for raising eels 
"Cut up two tints covered with May dew and lay one upon Ihe 
other, the grassy side inwards, then expose them to the heal of 
the sun, In a few hours there will spring up numbers of eels." 
Similar beliefs were common in the Highlands of Scotland years 
ago, and even in England to this day it is a common belief ist 
countjy districts that horse-hairs placed in a stream will turn 
into little eels. The air-bladders of fish, including eels, sometimes 
have small worm? therein — examples of the gordius worm. These 
have been sent to me as proof that eels do not breed in the sea, 

Kaup. in 1S56. described a little fish which had been taken ist 
the straits of Messina; it was perfectly transparent like glass, 
leaf-shaped, and had a narrow head. He called this Leptoccphahis, 
which means "narrow headed." This specimen was about three 
inches in length. The Italian scientist Grassi in J 896 demonstrated 

66 Lewis. Nous dh Anshohmi E.'fc [ vij, u'x 

that this fish was not a new species, but the larval form of the 
common eel. 

That, however, was only the beginning of the problem. It was 
known that in the autumn the adult eels leave the rivers of Europe 
and disappear for ever. Occasional specimens are picked up hy 
the trawlers,, but the great majority- are never seen again. In the 
spring millions of elvers come up into the rivers. Where do the 
mature eels go and where do the elvers come from? Thai was 
ibe problem that Dr. Schmidt set out to solve By tow-neUing 
;inrl dredging across the Atlantic he .■secured eel larvae ranging 
from three inches to half an inch in length, until at Jast he 
discovered that an area near the West Indies was the place whet* 
the eels bred. Close hy and overlapping it to a certain extent 
was the breedmg-plaee of the American eel 

Further experiments proved that it took the European eel 
larvae three years- to make the journey to Europe, which they 
reach in the autumn of the third year after hatching. At this 
stage they are about three inches in length and leaf- shaped, and 
are perfectly transparent, liVc the Leptocephalus described by 
Kattp in 1856. These larvae remain in coastal waters until Ihe 
following spring, gradually changing into the. typical eel shape, 
and in late spring they make up into the rivers in millions. 

There are two species of eels found on the eastern Australian 
coast. In the spring and early summer months, millions 0/ liitlp 
elvers enter the streams, but it is only when they are Wricked by 
fall* or similar obstructions that their ascent can be seen. There 
are several places in Victoria where, given favourable oppor- 
tunities, the ascent of the elvers can be seen. Chief amongst them 
are the Hopkins Falls, near Wamiambool. 

The terse eel so common in Gippsland streams, and known 
locally as the "conger eel," is a tropical and sub-tropical species 
which range* from Cape York to Wcsteroport Bay It grows 
to very large sizes, the biggest winch I have on record being one 
taken in the Maeallistcr River on November 5, 1932. it weighed 
32 lbs., was 5 ft 4 in. in length, and had a girth of 2QJ> in. This 
eel is known as Aiujuilia reinhardti, in the vernacular the long- 
finned' or spotted eel- 

A. further species found on our coast is a much smaller eel 
which ranges from the Richmond River in northern N.S.W. then 
southerly and westerly to the Glcnelg River in. Victoria. This 
is A. austrahf. the short-finned or unspotted eel. Tt docs not 
grow to such large sizes as the long- firmed ecl, hue specimens 
ftrojti Lake Rnrrumbeet, near flallarat, are known to have Ttaehed 
a weight of about seven pounds. Usually, however, this specres 
does not exceed two or three pounds in weight. 

wis] Wtllis, Noift on Victoria* Fhamnocetc—Por* 2 67 

• By James H Wiu-is, National Herbarium, Melbourne, 


Since describing this species in the Victorian Naturalist for 
March, I have acquired further useful data on its extent ami 
distribution from Mr. W. Hunter, our chief exponent of the East 
Gippsland flora, and have his permission to record them. 

Mr Hunter has not found the new species at a higher elevation 
than 2,500 feet and so challenges my statement of its occurrence 
at the "headwaters" of north-eastern streams. Admittedly, 1 
would have been nearer the truth to have sard "upper reaches," 
but Mr. Hunter first located the plant by the lower reaches of 
Buchan River, near its junction with the Snowy, in September 
1936, and recognized it as distinct from any Victorian Pomaderris 
known to him; there, in a good rainfall area, it extends along low 
spurs or stony bluffc close to watercourses, but is not ripcn<xn 
(as stated iu my article). On slopes toward the finibarra River 
(Buchan-Ensay road) many small patches and isolated plants of 
this attractive silvery shrub may be seen: here would have been 
a much better type locality than the Ovens near Bright, where 
Pomaderris velu-tifia. is apparently quite rare. At Suggan Buggan 
and Ingeegoodbee (the easterly limit of occurrence) it is also 
rare and grows in "fairly open forest country on sandy and/or 
stony soils of granitic, sandstone, or porphyritic formation." 

It is most regrettable that I was unaware of Mr Hunter's 
detailed observations in the field when preparing my paper on 
the new species ; his Buclran and Ingeegoodbee records were 
inserted on the proof sheets only at the last moment and then 
from information kindly supplied by Mr. T. S. Hart. Tn Mr. 
Hunter's experience, late September to early October is the 
flowering season ; he considers P. velu-tina to be much more closely 
related to P. phiUyrcoides of N.S.W. than to P. laiiigcra, despite 
the narrower, dorsally glabrous leaves of the former, and I believe 
he is right — the flowers of both species are hardly distinguishable. 
Since vehitim has been variously referred to Spyridmtn- parvi~ 
folium, Pomaderris vaccimifolia and P. cinerca (on the superficial 
likeness of foliage., no doubt), it is a wonder sonie botanist did 
not appreciate the affinities with P. pkillyrcoides, My remark 
that velutinc has "none of the coarser, rust-coloured hairs so 
conspicuous in P. lamgera" was not intended to imply that it 
entirely lacked ferruginous hairs; they are indeed present on the 
veins and petioles, but finer and less noticeable than in P lanigcra. 

Stewart's Creek just north of Bruthen is the probable locality 
meant by Howiti on his label "Stuart's Creek. Tambo." Near 

58, Nnlnx on yirinriiw Klwiimaictc — Part 2 [ , 

id Nut. 
Vol. l.l X' 

here occur the congeners afctala and [ti'lulma, while at Monkey 
Creek (Bruthen) and Wibcnduck Creek near Orbost our rarest. 
Pomaderris is located — only one or two individual plants of P. 
lujusirina have, been observed at each place (the first record by 
W. Bimter, September, 1937). 


The Southern Anchor Plant is sHdom collected and must be 
regarded as one of our uncommon shrubs. First mention of its 
occurrence in Victoria amies irom the Journal of Major Thomas 
Mitchell (Septembei 27, IS36), in the following words. 

Mere we saw /or the tirsr time the. Distant* mistralh, a remarkable 
preen, leafless, spiny l>ush. resembling in a niost striking maiiutr tlie 
CoIIctias of Chile, 

Mitchell's expedition was at that time traversing basaltic grass- 
land in the vicinity of the Lotldon River, near present-day Shortly after the initial fold rush, Baron von Mueller 
came to this rich upland plain, and he seemed specimen of 
Discana from "between the Lodclnn and Creswick Creek" (Ian.. 

While living in the Creswiek district from 1928 tn 1932, the 
possibility of re-establishing a Mitcbelliau and a Mueller record 
lured me to explore 'he uncultivated volcanic iracts stretching 
;iway north, and at last I succeeded in finding several plants in 
the. narrow rucky valley of Birch's Creek (befnw Gunes reservoir, 
a few miles west of Newlyn). so Discaria has here survived a 
century of agriculture and probably still flourishes among remnants 
of the original flora along Joyce's Creek and other streams toward 
Moolort. Lang found it many years ago at Mount Warrcnheip. 
and H. E. Williamson some thirty years since at Lai Lai falls 
on the Moorabool River. I have also seen an occasional Anchor 
Plant on the plains adjoining Middle Creek, near Mount Culc: 
hence, from records at present aavilable it would seem that Ihe 
species is confined in its distribution west of Melbourne to the 
basalt region within thirty miles of Ballarat. 

As for the east.. occurrences are more widespread ! Mueller gives 
Delatite River, and Mrs. McCann tlie upper Ovens, while Mcebokl 
collected Lhscaria on the upper Mitta Mitta Williamson found 
giant examples, up to ten feet high and three inches m diameter, 
near Cohungra (at about 4,000 feet), and many of these had 
unusually short spines. Mr. Hunter reports the following stations; 

I Close to Livingstone Creek, Omeo — 2,000 feet 

'-'. ftlack Mountain Plateau, Wiilgulmeraug— 3.000 i'cet 

3. Ingcegoodhee. near die fiver. 

4. Monaro plateau" hetween" Detegete and .Bombala. 

M«J Wiu.t-., ffatei an Vnloniw fthamnacca—I'mi 2 69 

lie has found Discaria onMnttis invariably »t upt*n grassy country, 
the individual plants being scattered an<l up to two feet in height ; 
very occasionally a plant will consist of one single upright stein. 
Judging from the quantity of material in the National 
Herbarium, Anchor Plants would seem to have been abundant 
in the New England district of New South Wales, and to lie more 
frequent in Tasmania than through our State. 


Subsequent to the last meeting 01 the F.N.C., a mteincm appeared in 
the Melbourne Hrraid setting out knit the Club opposed the proposed open 
season for kangaroos in the Bairnsdtdc Shire. The agitation, it was suggested, 
was larjrcly political and probably was prompted by a desire lo obfairt 
the animals' '.kins. Landholders, it was added, were already sufficiently 
protected by being ptratiueot to have licences to kill kangaroo* on their 
jiropcrly if need arose. 

To this statement Cr. Cameron, of Bairnsdale, replied with a denial that 
the agitation was political, lie did not discuss the question of licences, but 
claimed that the kangaroos were very numerous and destructive-. 

The F-N.C, in further comment on the matter, accepted O Cameron's, 
denial of nolitical motive fas far as he was concerned), but pointed out 
thai he had again avoided explaining why, if kangaroos reallj were trouble- 
some, landholders did not apply (or individual licences lo kill on then own 
property It was MiKfSCSted, therefore, that the Bairnsdale Bginihm "must 
iv>t feel aggrieved if rhr poblir. in urncral — and naturalists id | articular-- 
view their complaints with suspicioti.'- 

By a^reemciil between the various clubs relating lo the presentation of 
die Austialiau Natitrar History Medallion, the Bjrd Observers' Club and 
the Leach Memorial Club' jointly are arranging this year's function. The 
presentation is to be made in 1he Victoria Banqueting Hall, on Tuesday, 
Aosust II, at 8 p.m. The cost of the refreshment 1 , is to be 3/- each person. 
Trie joint Secretaries axe Mrs. F. E. Howe (61 Doncaster East Road. 
Mitcham) and Miss N. F. Fletcher (Chalmers Hall. Parliament Place, 
Melbourne) and it is necessary to reserve seats not later than August 8. 


Mr. C French — Krivstrwaii uluwalis (Fairy Wax Flower) with double 
flowers . Tea-trees (Lepttispermum scofmriwtt- var. SmtHcrlt, L. MOfarilwi 
■vat. Walkcri, L seoparium var. KratUyi), all garden. -grown. 

Mr. M. P. Dickius— Orchids {Atianlh'is exserm*, A, rmifnrmis) . 

Mr. J H. Willis. — Tiny Duckweed (living specimens ot the urtalleit 
fiowcriuft plant in the world, collected from a pond ui the Flagstaff 
Gardens) : also Flax Lily (Dioncliu cotrula), which has developed c-vic-likc 
sienis as hig-lt as a man. 

Mr. R. G. Painter — Garden-grown naiiw plants, including Aemcva 
Sitritliii, Coirca rejlexa, C- rfflcxn var. rubra, Upacris nnprcsso, Grevillcn 
Diilhfltiaita, G. tempera, G. otecrdes var. diworpha, G. rosiitarvitjolm. G. 
TheJemanuiaiKt, Jinhcn scriceo var lufvspcrma, H<irttciihcnji<i iDOHopkytttt 
var. tuseit, and Fiula hcdiraitra, 

Jri) Wakefield, Bird Notts from Croojinflolowj [ vn'.'i.tx 

By M A, VVAKPPiFt.n, Genoa, Victoria. 

Since an article on this topic was published in the I tftminn 
NeHitraHst ol July, 1941, further investigation has brought to 
light some interesting records, and observation has added much 
to the information available on the birds of the far eastern comer 
nf our State. As before, the common bird.s will not be mentioned 
unless there is something of particular interest to remark in 
connection with them. 

During trips fo MaHacoota, the blue futin of the Reef Heron 
was seen twice, on the Bastion Rocks and at the mouth of the 
Betka River; a few Little Terns {Sternu otbifruns) were generally 
flying afiout the entrance of the Inlet ; and on the Goodwin Sands 
in the main lake there were a number of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers 
In the coastal heaths, ahoul dusk, the mournful whistle of the 
Little Grajsbird was often heard, and over the upper reaches of 
the Inlet a single White-breasted Sea-Eagle was .sometimes seen. 

The Pink Robin was observed twice in the vicinity of the water , 
once, in a densely scrubby gully, a fleeting glimpse was caught 
of the. Pilot-Bird as it fled from a clump ol ferns; in the same spot, 
the Brown Warbler is often seen feeding in the foliage of the 
lilly-pilly trees; and the OJive-backcd Oriole has been noted at 
times in the eucalypts on the hillsides. 

At an isolated farm at the head of the. Wingan River, a mimlier 
of Hooded Robins nested last spring ; and at Genoa, on a timbered 
slope, several Brush Cuckoos were seen once ill company with 
their two larger relatives, the Pallid and Fan-tailed Cuckoos. 

Like several other lovers of the open country, the Dollar-bird 
sometimes crosses the border from Monaro, and pays a visit to 
the Genoa and Cann Rivers; and the White This does likewise 
in very dry weather. 

It is interesting to note that two of Victoria's commonest buds, 
the White-plumed Honeyeater and the Noisy Miner, though 
plentiful about Bairnsdale. have each been recorded once, only in 
the distrrct under discussion, and then only about the mouth ot 
the Snowy River; and probably they never peneirale farther into 
the area. The Golden Bronze Cuckoo can be placed on record 
for Orbosr, for in tlie spring of 1935 its bronze-coloured egg was 
fomid in the nest of a Yellow-tailed Thombill, in a black wattle 
'ree. near die Snowy River. 

Sonic interest mg records have been supplied by Mr. B. II. 
lluckland, a native of MaHacoota and at present a resident of 
Genoa- Many years ago, a single Cape. Barren Goose was shot 
on the rapper lake at MaHacoota ; the Plumed Egret used to 
frequent the same locality: and on one occasion the Topknot 

hm*'1 WAKiJflKLu,' jSiVrf Notts Jrom CroQjingolong 71 

Pigeon was seen in the vicinity of Dowell's River (la 1917 
Miss E, Dcuran, of Mallaeoota, sent local specimens of the Topknot 
Pigeon, the Rose-crowned Fruit Pigeon and the Koc1 to the 
Melbourne Museum,) 

Among the sea-birds reported from outside Mailacooia is the 
Greater Frigate-bird, a rare visitor from more northern waters; 
and in dry seasons the Blue-winged Shovcler and Pink-eared Duck 
come down from the northern plaint to the Genoa district. The 
Beautiful Firctail, Black-shouldered Kite and Peregrine Falcon 
are rare visitors to the same locality ; the pretty Regent Honeycater 
is to be found at Mallacoota in the coastal scrubs; and the 
numerous wading-birds include the Grcensbank reported from 
the head of the inlet, near Genoa, and the Whimbrel from the 
mud-flats near the mouth of the Wingan River. 

Mr. Alf, Ah Chow, a fanner of Orbost, reporfv the Eastern 
Golden Plover as often visiting the flats of the Snowy River, and 
he has seen the Fork-tailed Swift about there, too. but more 
remark-able is the report that a Bustard was shot manv years ago 
in timbered country at Mossiface, in the lower Tambo Valley. 
The Bustard once used to visit southern Monaco Plains and 
probably sometimes used to cross the border into the Bendoc 
district, but why a single bird should have been found so far from 
its natural habitat is beyond explanation, A similar report from 
the same source is of a pan- of Black-hacked Magpies nesting on 
the Orbo&l flats. Recently the Red-capped Robin was photo- 
graphed at Mollaroota — and that is a typical inland bird. Similar 
cases of isolated wanderers crop up from time to time. A few 
years ago, Mr. H. R, Wakefield identified a Black CurrawOug 
(Slrepem futiginesa') right in the Orbost township ; and he tells, 
too. ol "a smatl dove with a red wing round its eye" — the Diamond 
Dove — seen recently in the same locality. 

In 194), Mr. H. Mead, of Genoa, observed a single Royal 
Spoonbill in swampy country near the head of the Wingan River ! 
and Mr. Tom Jones, of Wonboyn, N.5.W., tells of a pair of Pied 
Geese which stayed a. few months at Wangrabelle during the 1919 

Three uncommon hirds not already mentioned, the Swift Parrot 
and the Leaden and Black-faced Flycatchers, were reported by 
the RiA.O.U party which visited Mario hi 1935, and in 1914 a 
similar expedition to Mallacoota recorded thirteen specie? which 
Itave not been reported since for any part of the district, These 
include the Arctic Skua, Curlew-Sandpiper, Collard Sparrow- 
hawk. Powerful Owl, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Little Cuckoo- 
Shrike, Jardine Caterpillar-Eater,, and a number of sea-birds 

A few corrections are necessary to bring the article of July. 
1941. up to date. The record of the Osprey was based on. 

72 Waksmeuj. ifird fyt/let tmn Croadnaol \mv E^LlSS' 

incomplete observation and has not been coiinrmcil, and (here is 
off other evidence of the bird ever having been seen in the 
district The case id the icccnd of the Little Quail is tlit same: 
Ihe specimens observed were probably females ot the King Quail. 
It is very likely that (be report of the Plumed Tree- Ditch really 
referred tn die Wliisthng Tree-Dnrk, and it is almost certain that 
die Australian Ctcav mentioned was Only a young phase of the 
i:ommop Australian Raven. 


fn the exploration and mapping of little known, it vast, tram of wumtry, 
ft is only too possible for a visiting scientist to be swept sway by the constant 
thrill of new ditcovories and tn forget the mass tit accurate data accumulated 
by others before him; bnt when a proiesior ot botany in a greal university 
■ ushcs- recklessly into print, iht fruit oi hi; indiscretion is die more, sper- 

The fir*t llnra af Hip Af nrlliij u. Tc-nitury, embracing .1K7 nclasn pages, 
appeared in 1917 under the joint authorship of Professor Alfred ,1. fcwari. 
il.Sc, Ph.D., F.L.S., and Olive B. Da, vies, M.Sc. Fn il tour genera are 
delineated and described as new to science, vi/.. — S'PATillA rind SETOS'A 
(GrumiHCtr), C/lRPCMTI.l (Convalviihcca) and HOSS1TT1A 
(JZwotm). OF these, S. T Blake (Australia's lending informant on the 
(tluniiflorne) says that Sfxtih'm. is Apparently valid, though be draws 
attention to its strong affinities' with Dit-hitiitJiitmt, whereas Pilgcr (in 
NottibfaU. Berlin. 1928) has shown Setinta to he identical with Robert 
Brawn's old specie* Oionxtcrophis lu)fdeMca-~-i name winch Hwart himself 
also retains in anotbrr pari of bis "Flora." ■ 

P. T. Morris and P. R. TT. St John critically evamincd (1957) the type of 
Carpcsiliu and iailed to distinguish it from the world-wide and well-known 
Or wit crcrkii. L.. of ttie same family. 1 have followed up their examination, 
comparing Pw*r1's tyue figure of Carpcittra. jloyibunda with H. G. Keichen- 
back's illustration nf <7i/.<r.T> nrlint in FffrWtV Flvrrc GenHMiirnr, clc. Vol. 
XVIlt (t. 13.15) and the two cannot be ^epaiatrd, Hwatt's, 
"distiniiiiibJic'J from Bn-iccriii and Cvcsin by the in Florescence which is 
solitary and terminal wnd by the variable number of styles with discoid 
Stigma*." h discredited by the (act thm many plants ot Crcttn crcticu :bow 
solitary, terminal flower* and have discoid siigtiias, whilst he adrniU that 
there 2rc "usually two" of the latter in Carpcntis. 

Cortccming Rossittia, a new and remarkable nemr* of RutacwE, ihe fall 
from [rracc IS still more profound. Wherein does the figure and description 
of fiosi'illia xcabi'a differ a hair's-brcadth fioni those Of Robert BrOwU's 
TliliherliH Jepido'tt iDilleniacere) ? li wart's ty|ie might have been gathered 
from the same, bnsii as RrowflS type (both in the National Herbarium, 
Melbourne) and I haw no hesitsrinn m pronouncing Ihem identical. The 
presence of up to 20 stamens, located ptiiuipaliy on one side of ihe two 
■bi-ovnlalc earucls, the large deeply separated, and unequal c»r>*- lobes. 
likewise the absence of pcltueid odorous oil dot* in ihe foliage, are criteria 
Which combine to brand tlic ostensible new nenus as thoroughly un- 
Kutaccout, and I am at a loss to know jtist why Ew»rf ahsooated, ii wilh 
EripJlemoii and Pfcbaliitni. 

'I fins, thn'c out of four 'new" genera must lapse into synonymy, and one 
Is naturally constrained to look upon the remaining 2fi new species wilh 
certain mi?.=rfvine;s until their validity or otherwise be attested. 

F.inr.s 11., National Herbarium of Victoria. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX.— No. 5 September 9, 1942 No. 705. 


The ordinary monthly meeting of the Club was held 011 Monday, 
August 10. 1942. The President (Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison) 
presided and about 60 members ;md friends attended. 


An illustrated lecture on "Eyes of the Bush" was given by Dr. 
Kevin O'Day. A series of lantern slides illustrating the anatomy 
of the human eye was first shown, and then a large series showiug 
the structures of various Australian nocturnal and diurnal animals. 
Comparisons between these animals were made and differences due 
to environment pointed out. One interesting comparison made 
was between the platypus and marine turtle, two animals entirely 
different yet having eyes closely allied, no doubt due to similar 
habits. Another interesting point made was that whilst lizards' 
eyes might be termed typically reptilian, the eyes of snakes were 
so different that they could not be classed within the same group 

At the end of the lecture a series of slides showing the animals 
whose eyes had been dealt with were shown and discussed. 

The President conveyed the thanks of the Club to the lecturer. 


(a) Proposed Open Season for Kangaroos. — A letter from the 
Chief Inspector of Fisheries and Game giving information re the 
methods of policing pennies to shoot a limited number of. animals. 
(Reported by Mr. G. N. Hyam. in Committee, that an open season 
was not sought.) 

(b) Wildflower Picking and Radio Announcing.— A letter from 
the manager of 3 AW. stating it had been noted that most of the 
wildflowers were protected, and (hat any wrong impressions given 
by the announcer would be corrected. 


Mr. F. S. Colliver reported on the recent excursion to' the 
National Museum under the joint leadership of Messrs. S. R. 
Mitchell arid A, C. Frostick. 

74 Pitld NatMalhtt' Club Praceediiw [ v'uux 


The following were duly elected as ordinary members of die 
Club: Miss N. J, Fletcher and Messrs. G A. Thomas and A P 


(a) Forthcoming Excursions. — These were spoken to by their 
respective leaders. Mr. H C. .E. Stewart said that another of 
the quarterly visits to the Botanic Gardens would take place before 
ihe next meeting, and Mi'. F. S. Colliver stated that the proposed 
planting at Mabng's Quarry would take place as soon as the 
ground was prepared. 

(b) Questions by Members. — Question: Why do wading birds 
wade? Are they denizens of swamp or seashore because of their 
long legs, or have their legs evolved by their habitat? Can jabirus 
and brolgas lie regarded as trtte waders? Answer (by Mr. E. S. 
Hanks) : It is suggested that the legs of waders gradually evolved; 
jabirus and brolgas are not classed as waders. 


Mrs, M. E. Freatue— Curios from Tonga. 

Mr. Chas. French — Flower* of Leptospermum scoparium, van 
rosea (double-flowered form) with three varieties, violet, pink 
and white. Hardenbergia monophylla. GrcvMco asphnijoli-o and 
Clematis nwcrophylla: all garden-grown. 

Mr. j. H. Willis — Water-colour drawings of eight attractive 
Victorian berries by the late Mr. Malcolm Howie; also Astelia. 
nervosa var. aitstraiiana, Victoria'.* largest and probably most 
localized native lily. 

Mr. R. G. Painter — Gardeti-giGwn native flowers, including 
(jtevillea rosmarini\olia, 1 G. olcolirtes, var. (titnorpha, G. Tlwlevum- 
niam, G. Icnwndulacea (red-flowered form), (7. lamgera,, Harden- 
bergia nwnophylla, H. monophylla var. oi>ata. H. monophylla var, 
rosea, Bachysema lanceolatns, Correct refiexn, Hakea scricea var- 

Mr Ivo. Hammett — Large collection of garden-grown native 


The Owen Stanley Range, Papua, is .-it present Australia's chief bastion 
in the war against the Japanese, That fact revives interest in a ps\Kr on the 
■subject published ill the Victorian- Mahuahsl m January of 1907. Writlc-n 
by C. C. Simpson, it describes a journey from Port Moresby to Kokoda, 
and it gives a great ileal of information regarding t ! ie nature of the country, 
and in particular its birds-of-paradiae, 

j$j£j ChisHoi.m, Birds of u Melbourne Park 7S 

By A. H. CnisHOLM 

Melbourne bird-watchers arc, or were, fortunate in having 
Wattle Park, an eastern suburban area of considerable extent, and 
one well supplied with gum-trees and wattles, accessible by train 
from the city. I say "were 7 ' because the most bird-haunted portion 
of the reservation has recently become cluttered up with military 
tents, by reason of which it seems probable that nests in the area 
during the spring now at hand will be relatively Jew. 

The portion of the Park to be discussed here is a strip of 
territory at the eastern extremity. It is only about 600 yards 
long by 300 yards wide, and its trees consist of "natural" eucalypti 
(mainly box) and planted wattles. Except for a few shrubs at a 
point where the Park adjoins a vegetable-garden, there is no under- 
growth that would readily accommodate blue wrens, scrub-wrens, 
etc-, but grass grows abundantly enough to provide cover for at 
least one ground-nesting species. The only assured diversion is an 
eroded channel that sometimes carries a little water and thus occa- 
sionally adds to the bird-list by accommodating a passing wader. 

Having in mind the smallness and uniformity of this particular 
section of the reservation, and recalling that many common birds 
that might well be there are not there, ir is remarkable how many 
species were recorded for the spot last spring and summer, and 
how many nests were found. The total number of species recorded 
during twelve casual visits extending over six months (August- 
January) was 38; and the number w species found breeding in 
the limited area in that period was 19. Neither of these figures 
Includes introduced birds, of which six species are found in or near 
the reservation. 

Taking the immigrants into account, it is always possible to 
record 20 to 30 species in the restricted area under notice (the 
East end) within an hour or two on any bright day in high spring: 
lhat is. in a good season such as that of last year. Mr. A. S. Chalk 
(who was my companion on most of the excursions) will recall 
that he and 1 usually recorded more than 20 species on each visit in 
Octoter-Kovembcr. and found most of them to be nesting. This, 
it will be agreedj is a healthy achievement for a mere section of 
a Melbourne park, particularly one that lacks shrubberies and which 
carries a considerable volume of human traffic. 

Several of the species which bred last year are birds whose nests 
are not often found within the gates of a city. They include the 
Regent Honeycater, Scarlet Robin. Rufous Song-lark, Oriole, 
Shrike-tit, and Bronzewing Pigeon. On the other hand, several 
Common species which might have been expected to visit the area 
have not been seen, and certain others which "looked in" tailed 

C Vict V«< 

76 Chishoxm, Birds of a MelbnnrM Park [ Vo ," * Llx 

to nest there. For example, I have searched Vainly jd the Park 
(on the hnntett acquaintance of two seasons) for the TaWtiy 
Frogrnouth, for Pardalotes. for Siitellas, and for other common 
birds which should be suited by the trees of the area. But the 
absence of certain birds which tie&t in hollows (e.g.. Treecreepers)-, 
together with the fact that certain others of the same habit (e.g.. 
Kookaburras) do not breed Sir the reservation, is not surprising, 
the point being that the few hollows available are monopolized by 
starlings or sparrows. Nesting-boxes were erected in the Park 
a few years ago, but these have been allowed to fall to decay. 

Here, then, are notes made on 38 species recorded in the Eastern 
section of the Park in 12 visits |>aid dunng last spring and 
summer, together with one or two notes obtained on a few visits in 
the previous year: 

P«rrote, — No Parrots are kuown to breed in lite Park, bin four species 
•live licen recorded as casual visitors Crimson Roscllas I'Lowrics) am) 
Red (Eastern) Rpr.eltas have been sejen once or twice; on Novemhe.r 26 I 
was surprised to see four Budgerigahs shattering their way through the 
trees, and in January of this year a number of the pretty Swift Parrot* 
were in, the reservation for srme days. Doubtless one or two species of 
T.orikoets also are occasional risitors to the gum-trees. 

Flycatcher*. — Sereral pairs of Wagtails are constant to the art*. In 
September they begin to weave their dainty nests, oti boritontal branches 
of cither wattle? or gums, at heights varying from about 10 to 40ft. Seven 
\j€ eight nests were found last spring. One pair appeared to have tour bniods. 
Our second most familiar flycatcher, the Grey Fantail, is always present 
daring winter, but hat not been known ro breed in the. Park. Curiously, I 
bxve ii'j record of cither the Brown Flycatcher (Jncky Winter) or the 
Restless Flycatcher (Scissors-grinder) Possibly tlwre is ralhcr much 
grass for Jacky Winter's purpose, and ft may be that the human traffic is too 
constant to allpw the low-flyins Restless Flycatcher to work in comfort 
Tn any event the Brown Flycatcher is uot nearly as common In Mellxiutn.c 
as in Sydnev. 

Rnbins. — Two species are recorded- The Flame-breast frequents neigh- 
Lourin? gardens 3nd the fringes of the Park during winter, but disappears 
in spring, whereas the Scarlct-brcast, which strikes a brilliant colour-note 
against the gold of the wattles, stays to breed. At early as August 3 last 
year we were surprised to find S female Scarlet-breast sitting on three eggs 
in a nest situated about 30ft. aloft in a gum-tree. This pair nested again 
(in a wattle-tree) during September, but the nest was wrecked when the 
authorities, with their usual blindness to the righJfl of birds, decided to 
elinu'nate a tmmher of trees. f.-ack of shrubs or undergrowth is probably 
the reason why the YeHow Robin is not found in the Park. 

Thornhills.— Two species, the Yellow-tailed »«iri Little Thornbills (Tits). 
appear to be "perrnanents " The ares is in fact one of the few places near 
Melbourne where it is always possible to find the dainty Little ThornWll. 
One of the customary "double-decker" nests of the Yellow-tail was found 
(buih among pendulous leaves of a gum) in August. =ind several of the 
smaller nests of the Little Thornbil! were found in wattles during September- 

Honeyeaters. — Five species of Honcyeatcrs arc known ia breed in the 
Park.. The Red Wattle-bird (fairly common), tho Brush Wattle-bird ton 

5£j-] Ciri«li«.M, Birdt of a Melbourne Fork ?? 

COMsmon), and th* Noisy Miner (common) nest in the forks of tall irum- 
trees, and the White-plumed Honcycsttcr or Grccnic (perhaps the commonest 
hird to tlic arcs) suspends its fragile mat amid the leaves, of either gums 
or wattles The fifth member of the group, the beautiful Regent Jlomey- 
ealcr, was an unexpected visitor; we found hs lark nest, on September 2& 
nf last year, situated at a height of about 12 ft. in the fork of a sapling, and 
in the "CSt wee two Regent's Cggs- together with one pf the Pallid Cuckoo. 
I removed thr Cuekoa's egg and also a tell-tale piece of calico attached to 
the outside of the nest, and in d<ie one cluck cmrryed, Ihe .second rgg 
being addled The lards nested twice more, after that, hi ench case at much 
higher elevation'.. T larl saw them on January 21. 

Prosibly one or two other Houeyeailer.;. such :is the Yellow-wine. Spineb'U, 
and Black-cap, .also frequent ihe Park at times, but lb<3 five named are *c- 
only ones I have *een there to date. 

Olive-backed Oriole, — K earing the railing note of an Oriole near tfic 
eastern fcotx on Nuvembex IS. 1 lollotved the sound and wns astonished to 
fiud a nest, eooiainmg two pretty eggs, suspended in a drooping hranrh 
only 7 ft from the ground and within a few feet of a path. This was the 
lowest situation tor an Oriole's nest wilhlu tny knowledge — and yet the bird 
hud a choice <>f nuny lofty trees. On November 29 there .verc two newborn 
chicks in the n,esr; and within a week or so both youngsters were well-grown 
and very noisy, calling incessantly in a curious high-pitched tone and opening 
thvir Le8ks at a touch to disclose gapes of bright maroon. Four Jays later 
one young osrd was sitting up and railing loudly; the other boae had 
vanished. A week later i.e,ain (DeeembtT 20) the remaining voting Oriole 
had left the nest. irpon which an examination of the cradle explained the 
mystery nf Hie missing babe. — it was crushed into the holtvm of the nest, 
apparently having been smothered by Us brother The irest when taken, 
apart was found M be constructed ,,f fibre rind string, Incidentally, during 
the brooding period the rolling call of one or other parent was ircery btaTd. 
bti* fr>im the. time the chicks appeared the only parental note was a harsh 
"charr." The family disappeared soon after the young bird left the nest 
A cutkiu* sidelight was that in spite pf the semi exposed condition of tlte 
nest neither of ihe parent-at Oiiolcs ever became at all reconciled w humanity | 
they flew away, and stayc-d away, whenever the nc*t was approached- 

Bofons Song-lark. — Although you might expect to see an occasional Quail 
or Pipit in the area, the Rufous Song-lark seems to be the only grmrid- 
nciiiiim bird u> bteed in Die Park. Two or tfcrco pairs arrived hi the spring 
nf 1940 arrl stayed ncvera! month',-, but all searrhing failed to revest a nest — 
the trrale bird was restless and noisy (apiarenlly acting as a decoy) while 
the -female was stealthy tflf? silent. Eventually, on Notetnhcr 24, T followed 
a female carrying fool and found a fledgling — by stepping on it 

In mid-September of 1941 Sony-larks reappeared in rite, grassy eastern 
portion of the Park and soon the place was ringing with the lusifteut song 
of the male lard as he flevr from tree to tree or irom tree to ground. On the 
evening of October l u , as I was watching Wood-swallows, my wife betrsn 
sauntering across grass near a path and when a bird rose a few yards 
away she searched about and found two young Song-larks in a cosy nest 
built o| fine grasses and lined with horse-hair. This was the first nest of ihe 
kind f had seen tor many years. Five days later we found the nest torn oil 
and the chicks lying mutilalcd and d'.:sd. Possibly the culprit was a Magpie 
In later visits 1 watched a female Song-lark more than unce, urn! each time 
sfte misled me by descending from a tree to a profitless Tpot. A very canny 
bird, she was also distinctly versatilc-^apart from seeking food on the 
ground, she sometimes caught flics, in the air, and several times she clung 
to the sides of trees and also scampered alone- horizontal branches. The male 
descended neat by on two occasions ami darted at her, hurt did not attempt 

?8 CftisnOLM, Birdt ol « Melbourne Park' \_ volt.ix 

lo do any work. His chief domestic service scents to be akin to that id the 
lyrebird— singing. 

On November 15, after finding some 10 occupied nesls (of various species) 
in the trees, we capped the performance b> stumbling upon two nests t& the 
Song-lark. One contained three and the other two young, new-bom ill each 
case. Both nests were extremely well hidden in grassy detiresRions and wc 
should not have found either Silt -fat the hurried flushing fA the parent. 
Tbv sec/>nd o> these two nests was only about 20 yards. from the spot where 
the first nest fof October (9J had. been found. Ah Car as could he aster-- 
tained, the chicks in both of the laier nests came to grief, but as late as 
December 13 there »vcrc still two male birds singing lusbly and one was 
observed chasing a female—apparently nesting was- still m progress. Indeed, 
on January l r between 8 and 9 pjn, (summer-time) a song-lark was still 
to be heard in Moderate song and two females were noted carrying food 
and uttering irritable charring notes. These calls, by the way. appear to 
l)c more or less constant with ihc female Song-larks, and, like the continual 
crutter of Che male ( which is distinctly refreshing wlien lirst heard) they 
can become very tedious I last saw SoiiR-Urks in the urea on January 10. 

The larger Black-breasted Song-lark (that bird with the extraordinary 
rattling voice) should also be listed for the Park, since it oenfrred in an 
adja«tic vegetable-garden in 3940 and crossed the knee at times. Tin's 
Urge Song-lark is known to be a poiygamist, and I sometimes wonder if 
the same practice prevails with the. Rufous Suog-Iark- 

With ihe addition oi the British Skylark in open fields elm by, tfiree 
larlos are recorder! tor the area. 

Wood-swallows, — Three species of Ihcsc graceful "skimmers" frequented 
iht: Hark last vear The Dusky Wood-swallow, most sedentary of the 
gtoup, was to be seen at intervals diinnu, the cooler months, and during 
springtime, both in 1040 And '41, several pairs wove their flimsy nests into 
forks and bark-crevices of various gum-trees ; one nest .among bark jtiiiing 
t'rxrtn the side o( a tree was only .ill from the ground A fc-iv pairs of 
White-browed Wood-swallows apocared in the area in November of '40, 
hut apparently did not nest there. In the spring 0J '41, however, both the 
White-brewed and Masked Wood-swaHows Honoured the Hark with thelf 
nrcxence and the White. hrows rrmaincd to breed. 

1 saw the beautiful visitors first on October 19 — some 50 Wh'te-broWS and 
prrriapa 20 of Ihe Masted species. A quaiter-cenlury a^n both of thtsc 
birds used to he regular October visitors to Virtona. but llieir movements 
appear to have changed considerably of late. At all events, this wa* the 
-first time I had seC'i the Masked birds (handsome in their soft-greys and 
blacks! for about 21; years, and I rejoiced accordingly. Yon can never 
depend, however, on lite movements of these capricious birds — four d.iys 
after their arrival all the Masked Wood-swallows bad disappeared and only 
on<! or two ixv t -s of While-brows remained. A week later a fair number 
ot Wliite-hmws returned to the area, tofiether with one pair oi the Masked 
birds. By mid -November the White-bTows began to breed (placing rheir 
flimsy nests at various heights from perhaps 12 to SO ft) and one pair or 
atlutkvir continued into the new year Possibly 10 pairs nested in tbc Park 
between mid-November and the end nf January, after which all disappeared, 
1 regret the inconstancy of the elusive Masked birds-, but it was at least 
refreshing to have seen the graceful forms and to have beard again the 
scolding chatier, 

By the ISSfy, on the eveninp of Jaiinaiy 10 this year I beard Dusky Wood* 
Swallows calling" plaintively and saw two clinging to the. rough bark in 
IreR-frjrks, as I hough making tfurmielrbs the bans of one of the bee-like 
"swarms" of Ihe species. Do the male birds tamp in this manner in Ihe 
href ding season? 

if>4Z J CiitSHtflAi. Birds ot a Melbourne Port ft 

Crested Shrike- til.— When paying a harried visit »o ihe Park on tHe 
first "official" day of spring (September I) last year, I casually imitated Hie 
•whittle of the yellow^hrcasied Shrilce-lit, with the result thai a bird was 
revealed sitting cm eggs in a nest some 20 ft. up iu the top of a sapling- Thts 
meant that building began about mid-August, the earliest record i hare 
tot ihe species When the chicks left the nesi vie had it cut down and 
lound it to lie the usual finely-woven structure of shredded bark, fibre, and 
spider-webbmg (the very model of a trec-iop cradle) with 1hc tips of 
hranchjets nipped off above it, apparently far the purposes of light. In 
raid- November a pair of Shrike-tits, possibly the same Couple, was seen 
with young on the wine *"d on November 29 I found .mother Shrike-tit's 
nest in a 25-foot-high tree-top; the spot was about 200 yards from the 
earlier one. A week or so later the ietnale was again seen to be silting 
on this nest and the male was tending two well-grown young in a tree nearby. 
The nest was still being lended on December 13. I am inclined to think 
that all these observation..* relate to the one pair of Shrike-tits, which would 
mean that they had lltccc or perhaps four broods, beginning in August and 
continuing to December 

Whistler*, eU- — I have not known a Whistler to breed in the Park, but 
the female of the Golden-breast, which has a habit of wandering in solitary 
fashion during winter (see MaKikip With fiirdi). is sometimes to be observed 
among- the wattles in (be cool months. Curicusly, on August 3 of 194! I 
saw a female of Ihe Golden-breast and a female of the Rutous-brcast in the 
one Irce — close to occupied nests of Hie Scarlet Rubin and Yellow-tailed 
Thornbill. The White-winged Triller has been reported from the area, b«it 
I have not seen it there. Nor have 1 known the Grey Thrush to breed in 
the Park, although a pair is sotuctinws seen and once (in August) a bird 
was observed squatting in an old nest of a Miner and singing; softly mean- 
while* The Blue Jay (Cuckoo-shrike) is another visitor to the spot in 
late winter and spring, and doubOess it breeds in the lody gum-trees. 

Crow-fihrikes. — Several pnirs of White-hacked Magpies are more or less 
permanent 'ovier-lords" of tlic area. They do not seem to molest humanity- 
even small boys— lo any extent, and they themselves are not molested in 
breeding-time, possibly because iheir slick nests are always situated near the 
tops of the loftiest trees. Together with the Yellow-Jailed Thornbills. the 
Magpies are the earliest breeders, beginning- ai the end of July- Their 
smaller and equally assertive relatives, the Grey Butcher-birds, are alto to 
be found in the Park throughout most of Ihe year Early iu August of 1940 
we watched a pair of Butcher-birds that appeared to be buiMing two nrsls 
al the one time. They were wrenching s-mall dry sticks off trees and 
discarding those ihai broke off short. The male bird sang »n a melodious 
gurgle while sifting in and shaping Ihe nest of his choice. Assuming that 
there was a difference of opinion between Ihe pair as to which site should 
be selected, the male bird won the argument, for a week or Iwo later tl» 
female was seen brooding eggs in the nest which he had shaped, the other 
nest being; left unfinished. 

Qlher Species,— 'Birds not discussed in the foregoing notes may be men- 
tioned briefly, as follows . Several pairs of Bronxcwing Pigeons inhabit the 
Park and nesis may always be found in spring and summer j ihe bird lias a 
habit of "freezing;" when sitting on a branch, but sometimes it bobs its heart 
and emits a curious staccato "doming" that suggests a mochaiikal e«i' 
rrivance The only water-birds noted were a White-necked Heron *mt 
I once) a pail of Landrails thai scampered along the channel. Several pain 

* Dp "tqutttUnu" ill tllyimeil nests »ppe«lli to be practiced a8»»»Jty 

ln wty ayrime, hy vhrtotja VJrdn. In a,.,p".[. litis, I aaw ki If n doten Cr<x*i« 
climb Into rii aln nwt of <*>« Matrp(<-I«.rk. one »[t*r (he ottwr, »n< muot there for 

* lew »«U<rtl<tp 

8(1 Towi.k, Bnro< Ground Near Ruby Crffk [_ Vol. ux 

of Magpie-larks are constant to the area and tlieir shapely mud nests may 
always he sct-n in springtime. No Ginkoos have been noted, but doubtless 
the little Bronze species and the Fanuiled Cuckoo occasionally pay calls,* 
and the fact that the Pallid Cuckoo docs so £| indicated by the finding of its 
egg. in (be nest of a Honeyeater. At various times the high-pitched call vl 
1he tiny Mistletoe-bird is heard, and on« iit August a female was observed 
feeding oti mistletoe berries which we had not noticed until catching: sight 
of her; the species has Dot, however, been kiiowu to build its dainty nest in 
the reservation. 

Other birds on the list for the section under notice are the Kookaburra, 
Welcome Swallow, Silvereye, and (at the south 'eastern boundary) the Blue 
Wren, Members of the Hawk group have been noted flying over, but I 
have not seen one alight The list could he increased, no doubt, by ohserva* 
tions in the more open,, western portions of the Park. 

'Since this «»i Written 1 have &e«u (AijgUBt «'" i a .Fnnlailed Cm m-i in the urea. 
)t had atizcd A tare* c&torplUar and wm caRtdnsj wlwl, my comjmniim, Mr. L. G. 
Lu«hs, •described aa "a linV.Jaw. job." This record brinxe Ihc li»t of Hi>ericq observed 
at the Eaitern end of the FarJc to f.9. 

By C. C. Towr_K, b.a., Eastwood, N.S.W. 

A Bora, ground or the aborigines lias been located near Rnby 
Geek in flte extreme north-eastern part of K.S.W. (Parish ot 
Ruby, County of Buller). It is situated partly on the western 
end of a ridge around which Ruby Creek meanders and partly 
On the low ground near the creek. The road from Stanthorpc, 
Queensland, to Amosfield. N.S.W., crosses Ruby Creek two nailer 
easf of the gate on the boundary between live two States. The 
ridge on and below which the. Bora ground is situated is one 
milt: north of this road at a distance of otie and a hah miles from 
the boundary gate. Stanthorpe, the nearest important town, is 
six miles to the westward. 

The Bora ground consists of two circular mounds of earth 
connected by a path approximately 6t)0 yards long (Fig. 1). It 
has been arranged in an almost due north-south direction. Both 
circles are in a good state of preservation, although they have 
not been, used for very many years. Each has a well-formed 
opening from which the connecting path leads straight out towards 
the circle at the opposite end. This path, which is about five feet 
wide on the low ground, may even now be followed from the one 
circle to the other without any great difficulty for almost the 
whole of its length. It runs for a considerable distance in an 
almost straight line and then deviates slightly to avoid granite 
outcrops on the hillside. I am unable to state whether the width 
of the path is the same throughout. 

The mound of earth forming the larger circle at the northern 

i»« J 

Town:, Bant Growid Near Rnby Cn'd' 


end of the arrangement is on the low ground half a mile from 
Ruby Creek, It is one foot in height and eight feet across. It 
encloses a circular area 49 feet in diameter which has been 
scooped out. saucer-like, to a depth of 18 inches below the level 
of the ground. The opening in the mound is 10 feet wide. 

A short distance from this circle the path begins to ascend a 
gentle slope for 300 yards. From there it climbs more steeply 
to the top of the ridge, 300 feet above Ruby Creek. It leads 
straight to the entrance of the smaller circle, which has been placed 
on some flat ground immediately overlooking the ascent. The 

! 1 . 

> *$& - 

- • - _-' •'.: 

. -' : ■■' ■ ' 


', .' ' ■" — „. M< -I 



• : •: 



'::■:.:■■■■■■.,-:■ :-■-;-■ V -.-.r-^-f ■■-..■-■■ :'- ;::.■: ■■ : :- : ■■■■■ 

- '■ ■'■ . 

- \ 


- •' " -■--*■ - -1 


1 ^^BBP 

Fig. 1, Diagram showing the arrangement of the Dora Ground: a, b, circular 
mounds of earth; c, f, trees from which bark was removed; d, e, smalt 

dusters of stones. 

mound of earth forming this circle is one foot in height and six 
feet across. It encloses a circular area 41 feet in diameter, which 
has been scooped out to a depth of one foot below the level of the 
ground. The opening in this mound is nine feet wide. 

Within this circle there were until recent years two small 
clusters of stones (Fig. 1, d, e). About four years ago a rumour 
spread locally that the skeletal remains of aborigines rested in 
the ground under the stones. Thereupon someone removed them 
and dug two small holes in the ground. The stones are still 
lying near the holes. Skeletal remains were not found. 
■ A few feet from the circular mound and in line with the stone 
clusters, a sheet of bark, 6 ft. by t£ ft., has been removed from 

82 Tfl\vi.r., Born, Cramul Near Huby Creefi (_ y^ L ] X ' 

ii tree. (Kig. 1, f.) The exposed surface of the wood, which faces 
the north, has now almost rotted away and it is not possible to 
state whether any sacred designs or other markings had been 
cut into it. On the opposite side of Ihe circle a knotted piece of 
bark has been removed from a tree, (Fig, 1, c.) It would have 
been a suitahle receptacle for holding liquids. Mathews 1 states 
that amongst the Kamilaroi hark vessels were used at the Bora 
ceremonies for holding human bloud. No other trees in the. 
vicinity of the Bora ground show evidence of having been touched 
by the aborigines for any purpose. 

In tin's brief description of the Bora ground at Ruby Creek, 
we can, I am sure, recognuc a well Laid out ground of the kind 
which was widely used by the aborigines for initiation ceremonies 
over a great part of south-eastern Australia. Several such 
grounds have been located in extreme south-eastern Queensland. 2 
Although the ceremonies held al surh sites had much in common, 
they varied considerably in di-tail from one locality to another. 
Many years ago, when the Bora ceremonies were held regularly, 
several eye-witnesses described in .more or less detail the use made 
of the Bora grounds. Some of these descriptions are applicable 
to the ground at Ruby Creek. 

The larger circle below the ridge is situated in the open furest. 
The ceremonies winch took place there were usually attended by 
all members of the tribe present for the occasion. The path up 
the hill passes by many granite masses, some, of which, because 
of their peculiar shapes or tor other reasons, may have liad 
significance in the ceremonies To the aborigines rock-masses 
frequently had significance in their myths or in their secret life. 
The circle on the top of the ridge is surrounded by dense bush, 
and there are some large granite outcrops in the vicinity It is 
in every way a secluded place, At this circle, the secret ceremonies 
connected with initiations took place. 

I doubt whether the two small clusters of stones in the circle 
on the ridge (Fig. 1, d, e) should he regarded as ceremonial 
objects in themselves. Each consisted of about half a dozen stones 
lying close together on the surface of the ground. It seems mure 
probable that they were placed there to prop up ceremonial objects. 
They were lying in positions where it was customary in some 
localities to place such objects as decorated saplings. A drawing* 
of a Bora ground at Moreton Bay, which was made by Surveyor- 
General Oxley in the year 1824; shows that objects of some kind 
were placed in the same relative positions. Unfortunately, it docs 
nut show clearly what the objects were, but they were pruliably 
the trees referred to in the drawing as being "fantastically crowned 
at the summit." Mathews 1 in 189S stated that be had sect: 

fj£ ] Towxr.. Bore Ground Near Ruby Creek 85 

upturned saplings with their roots intact placed in similar pactions 
by the Kamilaroi and adjacent tribes. Tom Petrie 4 saw the same 
practice amongst the tribes near Brisbane and Moretou" Bay i" 
the early days of the settlement. He stated that there was one 
upturned tree placed in the centre of the circle. 

All that now remains, at Ruby Creek is, however, only a part 
of the tola! arrangements made by the aborigines* for the holding 
of the Bora ceremonies. In preparation for such ceremonies, 
many sacred <lesigns w«re drawn on the surface of the ground : 
sometimes they were cut into the trees nearby; mounds of earth 
of great size were formed in the likeness of the tribal heroes; 
and other mounds were formed to represent animals and objects 
sacred to the tribe. Mathews 11 records that during the intervals 
between ceremonies, the younger initiated men went the rounds 
of the Bora ground. They examined with care the different 
ceremonial objects, the significance of which was explained to them 
by the old men, 

Finally, as to the significance of the ceremonies which took 
place at the Bora grounds, Mathews* says: "The Bora is a great 
educational institution for the admission of the youths of iht 
tribes to the privileges, duties and obligations of manhood, , , 
The youths who aie initiated are carefully instructed by the old 
men in their traditions — their moral ftrjd religious codes— and 
the laws of consanguinity and intermarriage. . . ." 

So far as I could ascertain, the Bora ground at Ruby Creek 
was used for the last time almost 50 years ago. At the present 
time there are trees 40 feet in height growing within the circular 
mounds. The soil of the locality consists of a disintegrated 
granite and the surface of the ground is well covered with grass. 
Perhaps these conditions may account to some extent for the 
]j reservation of the two mounds over such a long period of time. 

Many ground-edge, stone axes have been found in the neighbour- 
hood, but not in close proximity to the Bora ground. 

Acknowledgment,—] desire to thank Mr. Henry Simpson, of 
Amiens, Queensland, who drew my attention to the existence of 
the Bora ground, and who assisted me in many ways 


1. Mathews, R. H.. "Aboriginal Initiation Ceremonies," Sciaif.> of Man 
Vol. f, No. 4 N S., 1898. pp. 79-80. 

2. Shirley, J.. Pr>>c. Ko\. Soc. Queensland, 1910 (1911), Vol. xxin, pt. 1. 
pp. 103-5. 

3. Cambridge, R. H., and Selkirk, H., low. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., Vol uv 
1920, pp. 74-78. 

4. Petrie, Tom, Revr'itisvenccs o\ Early Queensland, 2nd ed., 1923. p. 49. 

5. Mathews, E, H-, Jour. Rev, Soe. N.SW.. Vol. xxvni, 1694, p. IIP 
and p, 99, 


M Mokris and Wiu.iS, Confused Tavtmimiy [ v'oi.lix 




By P. F. Morris and J. H, Willis,, 
National Herbarium of Victoria. 

I. Introduction 

The tall shrubby Australian "everlastings" referable to Robert 
Urown's genus Qzolhamims have some 30 representatives in the 
Commonwealth; one- fifth arc restricted to mountain and/or 
alpine stations and this group has proved a stumbling block 10 
more than one investigator — the manner in which species have 
been variously reduced, resurrected, synnnymised or otherwise 
juggled is ample evidence of the endless transitions which connect 
diem all, making positive delimitation of species extremely difficult. 

The whole is apparently a complex still actively evolving, and 
it would seem a question either of considering the principal 
entities as valid species or of lumping them togerher as variants 
of a single one : in the latter instance we are still faced with the 
problem of what to do with those forms which grade insensibly " 
into several other species typical of the coast and lowlauds. 

Wk think the most logical procedure is to retain specific rank 
for five of the six montane Ozuthumni as described in L. Rod way's 
Tasmania*, b'lota (1903), viz., Qsolliamnns thyrsoideus, Back- 
Itatm, anlentutria,, Hoakcri, and sclayindides, keeping up ledifolivs 
(the iixth) a.> a. variety of the lowland rosmorimfolms, which was 
done by J. R. Tovcy and P. F, Morns in Proceedings of the 
Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 34 (1922), p. 21.1— although 
iedifolius has in general shorter, suffer, smoother leaves and 
wider flower heads than rosmarimjolius, we find the type specimens 
of each too similar for specific separation — and giving due regard 
to correct citation when these epithets arc transferred to the genus 

TJ, Names to be Rejected (Later Homonyms, etc.) 

In 1923 Tovty and Morris published in the above-named 
journal four alterations to the nomenclature of the Opotfwmmes 
group, as follow: 

1. Hcticltrysum Bac.khou.riij F.v.M. 1866 

to 11. curieifoliu-m (D.C.) comb, nov, (based on Cassinia 
cunei folia 1837). 

2. Hetichrynum baccharoides, F.v.M. 18S6 (misprint for 1866) 

to H. lepidophytlum (D.C.) comb. nov. (based on 
BaccJiaris lepidophylla 1837).- 


(jjjjjj Mwtws anu Wuxis, CotifKi\'d Tiivouovry -85 

3 H dir Itrysum amcijolium, FiV.M, 18G6 

to H. obtongtjolium, comb. not', (misprint for "now. 

MOV ."), 
4. Helkhrysm)\. L-pidophyUum, Fa'.M. 1866 

to H Sttetzianum, coml?. nov. (misprint for "norn.nov,"). 

Admittedly., the 1905 Rules of the Vienna Botanical Congress, 
upon which the authors based their findings, did not give such 
patent direction in the matter of homonym* as article 61 of the 
1930 Rules oi Nomenclature, which unequivocally states that later 
homonyms are illegitimate and must be rejected if the original 
combination were validly published. 

In cases S and 4, the epithets "cuneifolitnrt" and "lepidophyiram"' 
(West Aust.) were quite validly published and applied under 
Hdichrysmn by Mueller iu Bcnthain's Flora A\tstraliensis ; vol. 3 
(1866), and they must on no account be. superseded; the new 
names of oblongifolium and SteeUianum respectively cannot be. 

In case 1, the new combination of H. cunajolkan (D.C.) Tovcy 
and Morris is a later homonym of the properly published H. 
cnwijoiium, F.v.M. (an entirely different plant) and must be 
dropped in favour of H. Rackhouxn (Hk.f.) F.v.M. ex Bentli. 

In case 2, the position is similar and the later homonym, //, 
lepidoph-ylluifi (D.C.) Tovcy and Morris, cannot stand. This 
plant was published in Flora Amtralicn^'s as H. bactfwroides 
(norn.nov.), but there is a still older epithet available, viz.. 
"Hookcri" (from Osotlwmmis Hoakeri. Sond. 1852). Druce 
made, the correct combination HdichryMivi Hookcri in 1917 and 
his binary must be accepted. 

113. Discussion of Certain Species and Specimens, 
with Description of a New Variety 

In the Melbourne Herbarium there is only one sheet which 
agrees perfectly with the type fragment of Labihardicre's "Eupa- 
toru<m rosmarintfolimn!' housed there (cobwebby rugulosc leaves 
and narrow heads); it is a C. Stuart (185?) collection from 
Recherche Bay, Tasmania — not far from the actual type locality 

As one ascends Mount Wellington from the Dei-went estuary, 
there seems to be a gradual transition from Helichrysmn rosmarini- 
foHum to variety ledijoiinm at the summit, where climatic 
inclemency may account for the thicker and more rigid foliage of 
the latter. We have no true tcdijolium in Victoria, aud material 
so determined at the State Herbarium is referable to the almost 
rouncMeavcd II. Backhousii, which is frequent on Hotham, 
Feathcrtop, and most other high alps, although the first record 
(188^) was from the head of the Lnddon River in western 

»S HfORkis and Wilms, Confused Taxonomy [ voi.lix 

Victoria, at a considerably lower elevation. Despite Ewart's 
amission of Backhousii from the Flora, of Victoria (1930) two 
forms occur here, as well as in Tasmania — the typical with rather 
broad heads of pale woolly bracts, and a form With itarrOw 
gfabrcseent heads of ruddy purple hue. 

Osothamnus encijalius was reduced to a variety of 0. rasnmrim- 
folius by Rodway (1903), yet the Mount Wellington specimens 
which he forwarded to Mellwuriie, as typical, are the counterpart 
of type var. ledifolium ; Hooker's figure of O. ericijolius in Fiora 
Tasmania* (1860) also appears to be no more thau a rather 
short-leaved form of Icdifoliuiu, and we therefore feel justified in 
merging the fotmer with the latter variety. 

Common in southern Tasmania, whence Stuart secured excellent 
materia) from Southpnrt district {Nos. 1430 and 1431, Feb., 18S6), 
is a variant of rosmavintfolmm, with smaller heads of a beautiful 
rosy -purple shade and very narrow, scahrid leaves. Stuart wrote 
"var. roseus" on his label, and his plant is unquestionably the 
var. brnnfotio, well portrayed in colour by josqih Hooker (plate 
54, Flora Tasmania*), who states: "may be the Osothamnus 
purpurascc.Hj- D,C Prodr IV. 165, but the leaves are not described 
as minutely hispid." Hooker's caution impelled him to create a 
new qiithet, "brevifohV rather than accept De Candolle's pur- 
purosccus, the Gunn type of which he had apparently never seen. 
We have not seen Gunit's collection ejther, but are convinced that 
it was the very purplish form which Stuart and Milligan discovered 
later — De Candolle could easdy have overlooked the leaf asperities. 

In Victoria the same scabrid variety occurs at Lilydale, Curdie's 
Piver (Otway), Genoa (W. Hunter, Jan., 1942), Delcgete River, 
and probably other Gippsland streams near the coast, but with 
us leaves are longer and the purple colouration of the involucral 
bracts seems entirely to be lacking; nevertheless, our only choice 
is to keep up the varietal name putfmrascens (D.C.) Benth., even 
though inept, for the representative of Helichrysum rosmanm- 
fofium in this State: what we have been calling "variety pur- 
pnrascens" here is a mountain colour-form eithet of H. thyrsoidcunr 
or of H. Baekhousii (mentioned already). 

We now establish the binomial Hclkhrysum thytsaidemit (D.C.) 
comb. nov. -. this plant is recognizable on account of its smooth, 
linear, dark green leaves, drooping habit, copious snow-white 
lateral flower clusters which tend to be secund, and long, petaloid 
tips to the upper involucral bracts (quite half the length of each 
head is white and petaloid). H, thyrsoideum is widely distributed 
from lowland stations to the highest alps in Tasmania, Victoria 
(being the "rosmarinifolium" as generally understood), and New 
South Wales, where it extends at least as far north as Jenolan 
Caves ; the trusses of blossom carried to the very tips of gracefully 

^JJj ] Mobris Amu Wiu.ix, Cimluscd Ttunmauiy 87 

weeping branches suggest "Cascade Everlasting 1 '' as an appropriate 

Helickrysvm Hookeri (Solid.) Dniee, "Alpine Everlasting." 
is frequent above 4,500 feet, in the three south-eastern States, 
but on Tasmanian mountain?, occurs a curious lorm with slightly 
larger » less apprcssed, and decidedly woolly leaves, a. sheet of 
which from Sieber's Herbarium (collector Theodore Siemssen, 
V.D.L. 1838) carries the following handwriting . 

"proxmui Osothamno icpidophyllo, Ilk.f., u quo diffcrrc 
vidctur: folius paidto majoribus, minus arctc apprcssis." 

Here we have an adequate Latin diagnosis for a new variety i>f 
H. Haokori, to which we give the name var. exfxwsijolutin. on 
account of its more spreading leaves; as type we choose Dr. C, S. 
Sutton's collection No. 26(il from Cradle Mountain, Feb., 1919 — 
incorrectly labelled //. rosmarinifolinw var. erktfoliwti in lUr. 
National Herbarium of Victoria. 

A particularly interesting sheet at Melbourne bears specimens 
from Munyang Mountains (N.S.W.), Bugong and Mount Wel- 
lington (Victoria), though from which place Mueller collected 
which sample is unfortunately not indicated. He called them all 
"purpurascens," but one is undoubtedly H. Backhousii, while the 
other two bear a strong resemblance to //. Hookeri, var. cxpansi- 
joltum (var. now) from Tasmania (albeit with prominent ventral 
leaf-ribs) : we wonder if lhey represent a condition intermediate 
between Dackknusii and Hookeri} — only further observation in the 
field can settle this. 

Yet another problem : what to do with Hcticltrysum Gumih, of 
northern Tasmania? Rodvvay keys out the "Coast Everlasting" 
H. anerenm from II. Cumin on the criterion of "bracts without 
■whits spreading tips," but many true tincrcum collections from 
Victorian shores exhibit quite prominent petaloid extensions tn 
the inner involucral bracts. Hooker remarks: "much resembles 
O. turbinates D.C. (nuw relegated to synonymy under If 
cinereum (Lab.) F.v.M.), but capitula are smaller and narrower, 
the leaves sharp-pointed, and the radiating apices of the inner 
involucral scales longer," and we cannot avoid the opinion that 
a critical examination of Giivm's type (sand hummocks at George- 
town) would reveal this species as- differing in no essential detail 
from the abundant and variable chwrcum, 

The only specimen labelled "if. G'«««n" (by Mueller) at Mel- 
bourne is from Southport; the leaves are by no means ".sharp- 
pointed," and the small heads definitely remind one of rosmarini- 
juHum — it is probably another of those innumerable transition 
forms which are most difficult to place. 

88 Morris and Willis, Confused Taxonomy [ v'c^tix 

We feel thai the foregoing remarks should help to clear the 
way for a more accurate tabulation of the section Osoihamnus. 
ami (lie corrections necessary in Ewart's Mora of Victoria, p. 1139. 

1. For HeUchrysmn oblongifoiimn Tovey' and Morris, read 
H. ftwcijolimn. Fv.M. 

2. For H. lepviophyUum (D.C ) Tovey and Morris., read 
H. Hookrri (Sond.) Druce. 

3. Add H, Backdown (Hki.) F.v.M. ex Bcnth,, "Round-leaf 
Everlasting." (Alpine, often with purplish capitula.) 

4 Add H. thyrsoidewn (D.C.) comb. nov,, "Cascade Ever- 
lasting " (Hitherto passing as rosmwimfalium in Victoria ) 

5 Restrict H rommrinifelium (Lab.) Less in Victoria to the 
variety pwpurasceus (D.C.) Bcnth. — a lowland plant, which 
is rarely "purple" this side of Bass Strait. 


Recent paragraphs in Melbourne newspapers indicate 1'wt Northcole 
anglers are planning a drive on Cormorant* along the Yarra upstream 
from Heidelberg, and are to approach the Fisheries and Game Department 
tor assistance in obtaining ammunition. "There is very little doubV Ihe 
anglers jay, "that Cormorants are taking a heavy toll of Fish." 

The trouble about all such charges Is that they arc based merely on guess- 
work. It js high time that fishermen gave over these slipshod methods anil 
examined the Cormorant problem in the lighl of actual research, They might 
tvell begin by stud>iug the report made on (he subject by Mr. G Mack, of 
the National Museum, in No. 12 of the Memoirs of the Museum. After 
examination of a large number of Cormorants' stomachs and consideration 
of other factors, Mi Mack reached the conclusion that neither the Cormorant 
nor any other particular organism (apart from man) is responsible for the 
deterioration of fish in the Gippslaild Lakes. It all gets back to an upsetting 
of the natural balance "So long- as we continue in otir ways," Mr. Mack 
says, "tinkering occasionally with effects instead of dealing wilh <-'<usC.v 
so long will we continue to reap disaster for ourselves and those who follow." 

Having ntudicd Mr. Mack's report the anglers might then turn to ail 
article published by Dr. D, L. Serventy in the Emu oi November, 1938. 
In this they will find detailed records of the results of an examination of 
the food of Cormorants in W.A, In all. 441 birds (representing (our specks) 
were examined, and it was found in almost every instance that valuable 
estnarine food fishes were not preved upon, but ihat the birds' food con- 
sisted very largely of the uon-edible bnt abundant smalt fishes like the 
percoid jgobblejsuts (ripoaon), llie gobies, hatrlyhcad, small cobbler, and 
bullrout. This, of course, is not due to conscious- selection on the pari of 
the birds, but to the fact that they take the species which arc caught with 
the least effort and which arc present in the greatest abundance. Having 
shown that fishes which lorm the mainstay of the Cormorant population 
in the area examined arc not of economic importance. Dr. Serventy adds: 
"It is possible thai the birds arc doing material good. This is quite apart 
from the function which they may perform as scavengers in removing weak 
or sickly fishes." 

Such evidence, it may he suggested, is rather more substantial lhan lite 
airy charges of Northcotc anglers. A.H-C 

^] . WAtSfttlg. A WW S/rn>.« ^ ScM:,v« & 

By N A. WAKBnBi.n, Genoa, Victoria. 

Schisturv ospcruln. xpunv. Frnndr.x feriilrs mdivisac vet /jwto'iic v! 
dichotomac, 1-8 capita jertitia; froudf.r sUriies taupe dn'MQrct. Frondwvt 
■'■effWitQ Haw aspcrnla, Pimi-ulae sorifera? trcthc pfipf)--fsnt V\fii0l*' 
linrures tttwlao 

l>islribulton : New Soulli WjdeS, Virtori*. New Zealand; and reported 
from Tasmania, New Otoconia and South Australia. 

Typical plant about 9 inches high, densely tufted, with several short' 
dichotomausly divided fiw-shaped barren Ironds (with up to 16 lips), aiid 
a lew longer somewhat linear fertile fronds which arc lwi<e'or three bifid 
so as to bear up to eight sorifcrous beads. Frond segments flattened, armed 
with numerous tiny short upward-pointing whitish prickles, especially on 
barren fronds Swiferous heads | to 4 in. long and J lo i hi, broad: 
ioriferoilS pilMlufes few (5 to 10 pairs), entire or rarely bifid, erect artd 
oppressed in two rows and friiujed with long Hue cilia SpOraugia small 
and numerous. Rarely, Hauls ar* reduced Id a few undivided or bifid 
fertile fronds with larger, more irregularly-formed heads 

Fairly plentiful throtwboui southern Cioaj ingolong on fiats covered with 
Xantharrhaca httsHtik (Genoa. Betka, Wingan, Thiirra and McKenzfc 
Rivers, Newton's Creek and Mario) ; and at Bens Cr*ek, S.E. N.S.W. 
N. A, Wakefield, 1938-41. (Tart of this type collection lias been lodgicrt 
at the Melbourne National Heibarinm.) Also— Victoria Port Phillip. 
Howitt. 1887; Brighton, Mueller, 1852; do., 18K4, C. French; Sanrlringliam, 
June. 1IW5. and AncleKca, Mav, 19.15, C. French, Jnr. ; Mcntcme, Render. 
March. 1885 ; River Yarra. Minchin; Mount William, D. Sullivan. 1882. 
N'ew South Wales: Towards Twofold Bay and Mount lmlay, F. Mueller, 
Sept., 1860; Pivri Jackson. Sicber, R. Bruwu: Clarence River, T. Wilcox 
New Zealand: Nurth hh"d, Andrew Sinclair. (See nh>i below,) (Tbe- 
above records are based on Melbourne National Herbarium specimens,) 
South Auslmlra: Reported from Encounter Bay. 

From Sydney National Herbarium, Miss A. T. Melvaine wrote in March. 
1941 : "A number of other specimens rabelltd bifida in our collections ate *l 
good match lor your uncertain specimens, and their range is from Tasmania 
to Sydney, and in New Caledonia and New Zealand." 

Synonyms : "Sch<£aea< dichotomy var bifida" P. Mueller, jig.. Key hi 
llw Svrtem of Victorian Ptantu, vol. 2 (tR8S), p. 132; and listed or. p. J? 
a« ".V. bifida (S dichatoma nartly) . . . stalks of the fertile fpjnds once, 
twice or oftener divided into linear rather flat sejJiments." "Sekizoeo bifida^ 
fronds rough and forked," A. J. Ewarl, Fi'ira of ViOoriai (1930). ".S".. 
bifida, • fronds more ot less rough . . . unbrfuiclteu specimens distinguished 
from S. jistuhysn by the rough feel of the 'stalks','' iV.'w Zealand Ffiiis, 
by II. B. DoMne. p. 35fi. fie,, p. 357; Checseman, Manual /V.*w/ Zcntntul 
Ffora. "S. bifida (partim) Rodwoty in Flora- of Tasmania, r 'S. bifida" 
N. A. Wakefield, fig., VU. Nat, i.vit. p, 66, July, 1940. Not S, bifida 
(Willd.) Svv.. nor S 1 . Dicbotoma (L.) Sin. 

The true identity of i". bifida is discussed hereunder: 

The earliest description avaifabfe. in Australia is in Synopsis Filictmr 
(1806), in which SwartJ 1 wrote; ".?. bifida, ffoiide mtda filifnnnc rmiiprfixa 
bifida, paribus appttutknlornm sfcuttdis erectiiuniUs xubquiudenti ; WilM 
sUmstirhuM di<l«>t\>"tnm Cav fra.'l. 1801. no. 584. Willd. (Act, el. Manual. 
F.rj. 1K02) t-3 f-3 Novo HoUandM." Btntham enlarjecd on this outline fit 
vol. '/ Of Flora Aiutrolifiish (1877), in winch he described 5 1 . bifida as 
"Fronds terete, 9-lS in. high, once forked at or below the middle or rarely 
undivided. Spike of Ihe fertile ones $ to •$ in. long, the soriferous pinnules 
very numerous and closely packed, narrow-bnear. 3-4 long, fringed 
with lone; rill?. Sporecases often 2(1 pairs j mailer than in S. fittnltno" 

90 Wu-us. The WwuJcT-Hh o! Bcriwk [^ 

ml. Nat. 
Vol. L1X 

and numerous. Rarely, plants are reduced to 8 few undivided or bifid 
S". bifida ranges from. Queensland ilirough New South Wale?- and Victoria 
to Tasmania (and possibly South Australia), ntustrated under its right 
name by Bailey in IJtliofjraphs of Queensland Ferns, and as S. futxiosa b>- 
N, A, Wakelicld, V\c. Nat., July, 1W. Western Victorian and Tssmanian 
specimens of 5" bifid* have fronds only 2-i ins. high a«d undivided, while 
hi more congenial conditions, fronds are up to 2 it. high and sometimes 
twice bifid. Both 3pecies are very variable throughout their respective 
ranges, hut can be identified satisfactorily by the above descriptions. (Sec 
also fir. !<lal., July, 1940.) 

Mueller apparently considered the rweserti J?, asfcrnla as a form of 
5. dithatoKia, which is in some ways very similar but has slightly smaller 
sonferous heads an,d Hatter irond segments ; the two are very distinct 
in habit and range. In discussing the new form, Miss Mel value wrote: 
"At first I regarded it a* a depauperate southern form oi .5". frchnl ihnn f 
hut the occurrence of typical dichotama as well as this uncertain form 
both in the suburbs of Sydney discredit this opinion." 

The Australian S diehoioma (as figured in "Lithi. of Q'lartd Ferns" and 
as described nr. Fl. Awtr.) ranges from Sydney to Queensland and North 
Australia, and has l3rge fan-shaped fronds repeaiedly dichniomotis sc as io 
bear up to 100 odd sonferous heads when fertile. The Other Victorian 
species, S. fisivfosa, has tine terete undivided fronds with long narrow heads 
hearing numerous short denticulate-fringed pinnules. (See /•'(- Atisi. ior 
description and Debbie's N. Zenl. Ferns for figure.) 

By James H. VVijlts. National Herbarium, Melbourne 

"Old Beenak is a basket npude down," sings Mrs. Olga Waller in her 
Ijooklet oi the Dandenoug aboriginal legends., and |mly enough naturalists 
have picked up more th*n one treasure I'rare plants and precious stones) 
.scattered around the edge of tli? "basket." Becnak Parish sprawls over a 
granitic mass, dividing off the Yarra. Latrohe and Bunyip waters, ten or 
more miles north-east el Gcmbrook. Ttie rainfall is high (about 50 in.i and 
the whole area dissected by steep gullies which, until the tragic fires of 
1926. 1932 and ts>39, were covered with magnificent stands of latge-s'zo 
•eucalypti — Ash, Silvtrtoji and Messmate. 

Even to-day relics ed former grandeur survive in sheltered pockets. Here 
flourish venmbfe old beech trees WftfkjfaP'Wj draped to the ground With 
epiphytic mosses and hepalics, their massive truuks supporting half a dozen 
ivniarkablc fungi that 1 have seen upon no other host — e^ , spongy Poiypurut 
pukhcriimus is a gem of fieriest crimson, while Cyi'urio Gimmi hangs like 
clusters of white grapes from the smaller branches ; here also, on wet sand, 
spangled with mica flecks, near the becch-shaded margin of streams, grow 
pygmy forests of the palm-like, mosses, Hyfiutdcndriju and M imdendroiij 
heightened dOw and again by fronds of the uncommon Hairy Shield Fern 
(Pohslichum Imfiidinn). Our one tree Grovillca (G. Barklycma) is a 
rarity endemic along the Btniyip tributaries just StM of Beenak, while the 
lovely Mountain Beauty. Balm Mint-bush, Fairy Fan-flower, Ficldia, Trun- 
cate Phcbalium, and Pink Boronla (loftiest in the genus) are all found 

Small wonder that my pulse quickened when a Forestry appointment 
brought mc to live and labour near these mountains for three years I Every 
trip out Beeivak way i night, yield a botanical surprise, and most of them 
did: but all my excitements- fade in comparison With 1ne discovery of 
ASTELIA NERVOSA. Ijwckad away in cool boggy heads of a few myrtle- 
beech gullies, colonics of this big tily had for almost * century eluded the 
•eye of botanists, Mueller included. Our only other Asfclfa is ji higb alpine 

*£ J Wiujs, The Won<Jrr-lily of B«enck 91 

of insignificant proportions, but the BccnaV plan) someuroes attains a tietglu 
c> six fact, its broad-channeled, bright green foliage invested beneath will 
silvery wool. At berry time, as 1 first came across it in MtCrae's Creek 
(near Hie Bccnak tin OiilftJ, it is indeed d glorious spectacle, the persistcru 
flowers enlarge during fruition and when the ripe, vivid orange hemes lull 
Ihcy reveal fleshy chalices— pale yellow and "eyed" like primrose blooms. 
Excepting the arborescent CiraSs-trces {Xaullwrrlxaa), ho Other member 
of Victorian Lilutcea can approach it in Staturc- 

Kealixing the affinities of my plant with the larger Amelias inhabiting 
.New Zealand iii-.mhI. ■.; rasslauds, I forwarded ample material to the 
Dominion hotanist, who pronounced it distinct from any form known lo 
him. Dr. Skottsberg, Swedish monographer oi this crrcum- Antarctic genus, 
latex handled dried specimens and wrote "should lie classified as a distinct 
variety of A. ncrvfiso, not as a new species"; he also drew attention to the 
cla<e connection between, the new Victorian record and A. nervosa Tar. 
cJiBthowAtn — a long call from Chatham fslxtids to lkcnak! and there is 
«.ertainl>- 110 other Australian locality on record. Out may be forgiven for 
entertaining a suspicion that the plant has been introduced iron) its true 
New Zealand home and is now an escape in our mountain forest, but such 
a possibility is countered by the distinct morphological characters fchiefly 
in female flowers and seeds), the definite habitat in separated colonies, and 
the fact that old settlers of Bcenak Parish remember it as being abundant 
m virgin gullies when they pioneered Hie area last century. Nevertheless, 
«idi a very isolated outpost of a predominantly New Zealand type, denes 
explanation and is in truth conducive 10 wonder theru remains the tan- 
talizing <|etcry. "Whence r" 

Altogether 1 have located colonies in six different creeks, the most im- 
pressive being high up in the vicinity of "F-aere rock'-' at 2,300 Icet. After 
much deliberation, f published an account of the Tall Astelia in Kcw 
Bulletin (No. 4, 1939), ascribing to it the varietal epithet of "aiislralumt"— 
apparently the only large species in the Commonwealth. The type specitnrn, 
description, a photo Ml jftti. and a good water-coluur portrayal Irom nature 
were exhibited at the August meeting of this Cub 

The Dcyut? -Director, Posts and Telegraphs, urges readers to post Christ- 
mas mail to friends nod relatives in the British Jslcs as early as possible 
and not later than the fir«t of October. Particular rare should be given to 
the packing nl parcels lo ensure arrival in good condition .'iral the address 
should be prominently Written on the wrap|».-r. G'l't parcels to civilians in 
the British Isle> must nor exceed 5 lb. in weight and not nor* than 2 lb. 
of any one foodstuff ma; l>e enclosed in a ivkrfel. A Customs declaration 
must accompany each parcel and complete details of the contents, such as 
weight and value of each item, inns* he given. All packets and parcels ior 
oversea.* destinations must be handed m at a. Post Office counter. 


It is not generally known that dingoes (like foxes) arc partial lo |>oulti;. 
Mrs. William Hill relates tlie following incident: — 

Ducks w're penned in an enclosure containing a spring door: that is to 
say, if the door was shoved in and Ihen released it would, instantly sUm 
shut One morning a dingo was discovered curled up W n comer of the 
enclosure with several dead and vomc partly devoured ducks scattered about 
therein. Needless to say, Ihut dingo did ik>1 come out alive. I have heard 
of dingoes killing calveS: and have ako been informed of them attacking 
cows when calving 

Hakrv BuMtKLt., Sydney 


Lisi of Exclusions 

[Vict. Nat. 
Vol. LIK 


1942 Place. 

Sept- 12— Botanic Gardens 
' ., 26— North Balw\i\ Sam-niary 


10 — Franksloii-Lanjjwarriii 



17 — Bayswatcr-Rinywixxi 

Flora and Birds 


31— BitTrtley 

Grasses (combined 
with 8.0,0 


'. S— Lilydale-Mt. 
dalc • 



l4— North Kcw 

Pond Life 


21— Eltham 

Birds CB.O.C.) 


6— Rickett's Point 



12 — Botanic Gardens 

Australian Dwarf 




9— Fcrntree Gully 

Ferns and Birds 


? — Altona 

Shore-life, Wading 
Birds l.B.O.C) 


6— Lilydatc 



13 — Domain 



20 — Blackburn Lake 

Birds IB.O-C.) 


6— -River Yarra 

Sociaf Afternoon on 



20— Botanic Gardens 


Subject. Leader. 

Wattles and Legumes Mi. P. Bibby 
Birds, Mammals. Mr. W. R Maughait 

Mr. A- S. Chalk 
Mr. C. French 
Dr. C. S. Stttton 
Mr. N. Lothian 
Mr. A. S. Chalk 

Mr. P. F. Morris 
Mr A. C. Frostick 
Mr, R G. Painter 
Miss J. W. Raff 
Mr A. S. Chalk 
Mr. P. C. Morrison 

Mr, H. C, F. Stewart 

Mr, A. J. Swahy 
Mr. & Mrs. J. J. 

Mt. F. S. Colliver 
Mr. C ) I. Shewan 
Mr. A. S, Chalk 






-1 — Sth. Moraiig-IIurstbridge General 
24— Keilor 

1 — Melbourne 
13— Sherbrooke Forest 

22— Royal Park 
5 — Sherbrooke 
12 — Botanic Gardens 

26— Zoological Gardens 

3— Herbarium 

17 — National Museum 

24 — National Museum 

7 — Notional Museum 

21 — Frankston 

Geologv and Birds 

Building Stones 
Fungi and Lichens 

Mr. H P. Dickins 
Mrs. V. H Miller 
Mr. F. S- Colliver 
Mr. N. Lothian 

Mr. A. C Frostick 
Mr. A. H. Chishulin 

Mr. A. C. Frostick 
Mr. J. H. Willis 
Mr. P. Bibby 
Mr. F. S Colliver 
Mr. A. H. Chisholm 

Lyrebirds . 

Australian Arboreal 

Classification of 

Preservation of 

Botanical Material Mr. A. W. Jessep 
Anthropology Mr. A S. Kenyon 

Conchotomy Mr. C. Gabiicl 

Bird Classification Mr. G Mack 

Mr. H. C. E Stewart 
Mr. P. C Morrison 
Mr. F. S. Colliver 

General Mr. J H Willis 

Mr. P. Bibby 

In addition, two evening excursions dealing with Astronomy will take place. 

*Deliotcs a full-day Sunday excursion. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX. — No. 6 October 7, 1942 No. 706 


The ordinary monthly meeting of the Club was held on Monday, 
September 34, 1942. The President (Mr. P. Crosbic Morrison) 
presided and there was a good attendance of members and friends. 


Air illustrated lecture, "Beneficial Insects at Home and Abroad," 
was given by Miss J. W. Raff, M.Sc, F.E.S. Miss Raff's, address 
was cordially appreciated. (A summary appears in this issue.) 


(a) It was announced that short paragraphs of general natural 
history inlerest were required. 

(b) Attention was drawn to the note in the current Naturalist 
regarding cormorants. This note was published by request of the 


(a.) Letter from Mr. D. H. Fleay, thanking members for kind- 
nesses shown to himself and Mrs. Fleay at the presentation of the 
Australian Natural History Medallion. 

(b) Letter from Mr. G. N. Hyam. thanking the Club for floral 
tribute sent to the funeral of Mrs. Hyaro, 


Reports of Excursions were given as follows: Clarinda, Mrs. 
F. IT. Salau; Ivanhoe. Mr. Ivo C. Hammett; Botanic Gardens. 
Mr. P. Bibby. 


The following were duly elected; As Ordinary Members, Miss 
June Jeffress, Dr. F. Coran, Mr. S. Chambers; as Associate 
Member, Owen Singleton. 


Forthcoming Excursions. — These were spoken to by their 
respective leaders. 

9t Field Natimlists- Chd> ProcecMw 


Mr. R. G, Painter — Twenty-three species of garden -grown 

lanccQiaia, uvoaia witjcnia, urfivuica mmgmi, i/. wvavuwtum, 
G. ohoides var- andvlncM, G. ros-iu-mini folia, G TkeJcniOiimaiUi, 
Hardenbergia Comptomona H, vwtwpkyHa-, Micromyrtus c.iliatus, 
Qlsarii fbivesecus, Phubalimn ^guam-enm, Pttitcna*\i Guuitn, P. 
relitsd, Pimrfca fla-va, P. jfaui, P. spathulatii, Rubus rosacf obits 
fiorepkito, Eugenia myrtifolia variegata, 

Mr. C French — Seven species of garden-grown native flowers, 
also original water-colour drawings (by C. C. Brittlebank) of 
insects belonging to the genus Tragoccrm, and including T. tcfii* 
doptiVH-s, one of the finest Victorian, insects from the Alps. 

Mr. H. P Dickins— Paintings of native flow-trs grown by mem- 
bers ol the Club. 

Mr. J. H. Willis — Sefifobasidiwn Clchmdii. a remarkable 
feathery fungus growing on scale insects imbedded under the bark 
of the common Tea-tree or Manuka. Two new "Vegetable Cater- 
pillars" for Victoria; the first {Coniyceps Robcrtm) previously 
known only from New Zealand and Tasmania, (be other apparently 
new to science. (Both collected by P, Fisch and family, DoncasWr.) 

Mr. V. H. Miller — Orchids in Bloom: Dcndrobium Bccklen, 
V. elvngattum, D. falcorostvum, D. 1i:tyjgouiim, Cypripcdhtm 
H arris -icmuni. 


The excursion to the Cariuda hcatblands on Saturday. August 27, was 
attended by about sixty members and friends. The day was reasonably 
fine. Acacia provi.ittcu? ill lull bloom was very attractive, other varieties 
being less advanced. Kwisca pedmuudaas grows -abundantly here, but was 
no', yet in bloom. A fungus-covered [line log and stump were much admired. 
While traversing this heathlaitds several varieties of wild flowers were col- 
lected, although it was roughly a mouth too early for a comprehensive 

The main species found in bloom were J-ii'jI/ertia jasciciilntti, H , scriu'ti, 
Corrca rubra var. virens', ffttVOO hetcrophylln, Epocris vitprsssa. PfoiyfojHMU 
obtttsmiguluw, Helichrysum seoparhnn, ff, sr>mip(ipf>n.(ui)t., C-fiiipidin RirJicn, 
DaVcsia-nl-icina; Kamedya prof'.mla, Kicinocarpux piuifoliiis, Piwcl'm luniti/is, 
P phyluoides, MrffOttrii scupif/era, Acacia hnqifoha. A. saficiiia A. slrida, 
A. diffusa, A. vertictitata. And Isafoooi), crnilopliyliiis. 

Orchids were represented by f'lcrcsly/is vtiltms, P, roiniwui. Aciitvflms 
■nniformis, and Coiybas cticitu>»iitit. 

On the damper section of the collecting ground Glciclwuin circzmia— 
<oral fern— is growing we'd, but only a small portion was examined by 
«©»nc members. 

F. H-, 

™jj ] Ratf, Bcntficiol Jtucds 95 


(Portion of address tn September meeting of F.N.C.) 

By Janet W. Raff, M.Sc, F.R.E.S 

A geuera] idea among many is that all insects are destructive 
anil therefore must be regarded as non-beneficial. This idea is 
due, no doubt, to the great losses that have at times been sustained 
by growers of orchard trees and crops, as well as by holders of 
small garden plots. 

Let us loolc, however, at insects, as they are in nature in an 
undisturbed condition, and one will soon Tealizc how far from 
the truth this idea is. 

Immense numbers of insects are used as food by birds and other 
animals, and the aquatic larvae of many kinds form the chief food 
of fishes. It is to man, however, that insects have been and still arc 
of direct use. Our aborigines knew the value of such forms as 
bogong moths, honey-pot ants, witchcty grub*, marina-producing 
insects and many others. Civilised man, in times gone by, lias made 
direct use of more than one kind, as for instance th« cochineal 
mealy-bug. a sucking type of insect feeding naturally on Prickly 
Pear. The dried bodies of the females, when crushed, yielded the 
cochineal colouring matter used for culinary purposes. The lac 
insect, a type of scale insect infesting certain trees in tropical India, 
was at one time used for the production of sliellac, thi* particular 
form yielding more waxy material than most other scale insects. 
Cantharadine, another insect product, lias been used for medicinal 
purposes, the material heing secured from the crushed bodies of 
the cantharid beetle, Chief among insects used for man's benefit, 
however, are, of course, the silkworm and the honey-bee, the 
latter of major importance not only for bone)' production but for 
its value in pollinating flowers. 

The orehardist is indeed indebted to insects for their useful 
habits in more ways than is at first realized. This may be illus- 
trated by quoting the work of the minute fig-wasp (Bhstophaga) 
in the cultivation of figs for the dried fig industry. Blastophaga 
is a minute chalcid wasp that feeds and spends its life within the 
fruit of the wild fig or caprifig in the Orient, and! the story of how 
it came to be used in America and other countries is one of great 

In developing the Smyrna fig industry in California, it was 
found that as the trees began to bear, the fruit fell before reaching 
maturity. It was then reculltctcd that in the Orient the custom 
was 80 have branches of the caprifig tied to the commercial varieties, 
so Smyrna was visited, and caprifig trees were obtained and taken 
to California, where they were established. But still the com- 
mercial figs dropped. On further investigation it was realized that 

M Raw. Bctufcwi Imrttt [ "*%*£ 

the capriftgs were of use only if they contained the fig wasp. Now, 
to appreciate the use of the wasp, it is necessary to be aware of 
the fact that the Smyrna fig contains ill the interior of its fleshy 
receptacle (the edible portion of the fig) practically female flowers 
only, while the wild or caprifig contains both male and female 

The wasp carries out its whole life-history in the caprifig, 
actually developing within the little female flowers which are 
grouped, incidentally, near the stalk end erf the fig. Tire wasps 
emerge from the flowers in the receptacle, move about the inside 
of the fig and endeavour to escape through the opening at ibe 
"eye" or apex of the fruit. On doing so they brcome o»verevl with 
pollen from the staminatc flowers which are grnuped near the 
apex. On leaving the fig they fly about and enter Smyrna figs, 
.vjarehing for a suitable place in which to oviposit. In this way they 
naturally carry in pollen and so effect fertilization of the fig 
flowers, although these Smyrna flowers are not suitable for the 
wasp to oviposit in. Pollination is. apparently essential for the 
production of large fleshy fruits suitable for the dried fig industry, 
so when the fig wasp became established in California, there was 
no further trouble in the production of fleshy figs. Blastopfuiga is 
therefore of inestimable value to the commercial grower, and most 
countries, Australia included, arc now using »b 

Another illustration of a wasp being of importance to the 
orchardist is the case of die chalcid parasite of the woolly aprus 
of the apple. As is well known, this aphis is one of the worst pests 
wherever the apple is grown, and it is one of the most difficult to 
control by spraying, on account of its woolly covering. In American 
orchards, among the beneficial insects that appeared to be naturally 
assisting in reducing the numbers of this pest was the minute wasp 
Aphclhms. It was therefore introduced, about 1922, into New 
Zealand and liberated in the orchards; there it became established 
and has exercised a wonderful control over the woolly aphis. The 
wasps lay xheir eggs in the bodies, of the aphis, and the young feed 
there, reducing the hosts to mere hardened black "shells." 

j4phclii\us was later brought from New Zealand to Australia 
with similar success. The apple-grower lias now only to apply to 
the State Agricultural Departments for the parasite, stating the 
number of trees in his orchard, and the extent of the spin's infes- 
tation, when apple-twigs carrying parasitized aphis will be for- 
warded to him. These twigs should be btrug or placed in tins 
of damp sand about the orchard, and in due time Apkclimis adults 
will emerge from the dried bodied of the aphis. They fly about 
searching for fresh woolly colonies on which tn ovaposit and so 
begin another generation. This minute chahid wasp has proved 
of great value to the apple-grower. 

When we come to consider the types of beneficial insects gene- 

Jjjj; 1 Raff, B<«if/ii-ial Viuccw 97 

rally seen in gardens, orchards, or forests, we can place them 
roughly into two groups, vi7., the predaeeous type and the truly 
parasitic type. Of the former, one immediately thinks of such 
forms as the hover fly or Syrphid, the ladybird, the praying mantis, 
and the green luce-wings, of the latter, ichneumonids. bracotu'ds, 
and chalci<l9 such as Aphslinus. The prcdaceous forms are among 
the most useful in destroying large numbers of destructive insects. 
Thus the common hover-fly (the brown- and yellow-banded fly 
seen hovering over plants in the sunshine) lays its eggs among 
aphis colonies. On hatching, the maggot seeks out the host and 
sucks it dry, and in this way takes toll of large numbers of harmful 

The ladybird, both in its adult and larval stage, also reduces 
considerably the numbers of aphis, mealy-hugs and scale insects, 
and entomologists have taken advantage of their useful habits by 
introducing them into foreign countries to assist in the control 
nf orchard pests. The introduction and establishment of the Aus- 
tralian ladybird, Crypt nlaemus, into California to cope with the 
citrus mealy-bug pest, met with great success, and ihe rneJftod* 
adopted to breed up large numbers of the ladybird for liberation 
in the orchards may be mentioned here. The requirements for 
such breeding would be fa) large supplies of available host plant, 
(b) (utilities for producing heavy infestations of the particular 
pest, and (c) quick breeding methods, with mass production of 
the beneficial insect which is to feed on the pest. 

It was found in California that potato sprouts acted as a suitable 
host plant for the citrus mealy-bug. Long rooms were fitted with 
rack? on whirh were placed trays of sprouting potatoes, these 
rooms being kept at the necessary humidity and temperature. When 
the sprouts liad readied a suitable stage, they were infested with 
the mealy-bug, which was allowed to develop, and when the infes- 
tation was considered sufficiently heavy. Cryptolaemus ladybirds 
were introduced. Tlicsc immediately laid eggs among the host 
insects, and the larvae, on hatching, fed on the mealy-bugs. When 
full-grown they found shelter for pupation in hands of hessian 
malerial that had been provided for the purpose: these were 
attached to the Front of the trays and other suitable positions. 
IX-velopment continued successfully, and when the beetles emerged 
from |be pupai stage, they were attracted by light to a cloth-covered 
window wlicre they were easily collerled, For distribution to the 
orchardist, gelatine capsules were used as containers, each holding 
ten Ladybirds. The numbers liberated would depend upon the 
number of citrus trees and the extent of the mealy-bug infestutinn. 

This mass production of CryploUuvms has proved extremely 
successful and has given the citrus growers in California valuable 
aid in combating the mealy-bug pest. 

98 Simpson, Atratt i V <3tw« Stanley Range [ ]£!**•, 



By C. C. Simpson 

The chief object of my journey into the bush from Port Moresby 
was to pais over rbe Owen Stanley range of mountains and reach 
Kokoda, a Government station in the Northern Division, The 
Owen Stanley Range separates the Northern Division from the 
Central Division of British New Guinea. 

My party consisted of twenty boys from rhe Sogeri and Moroka 
district*, who accompanied me through the whole of my travels. 
I had ako, when marching, thirty carriers, whom we obtained 
locally in the different districts we visited. The carriers were 
chiefly women, some of whom carried a baby, in addition to a 
load of thirty pounds, over steep and difficult hills. For the first 
few days we bad about fifty people, in addition, following us for 

On October 28, 1905, we started into the bush from Mr. Balfan- 
tinc's coffee plantation in Sogeri district, about thirty-five miles 
east and slightly north of Port Moresby, and 1,600 feet above sea- 
level. Our destination was a cave at the base of Mount Oriori, in 
a north-easterly direction, the cave probably being about 3,500 
feet above sea-level. By taking this direction we kept well lo tlue 
east of the track in use to reach the gap in the Owen Stanley Range, 
and as tax as the gap we were on tracks ot which little is known. 
Our march to Mount Oriori wa.s chiefly through the Moroka district, 
the track at first passing through country consisting of blade grass 
and low scrub, and then uf high scrub and successive ridges. We 
travelled slowly, stopping one whole day at a Moroka village on 
the way, and reaching Mount Orion on October 31. The villages 
in this district consist of five or six houses on a cleared .space on 
the sides of the hills, and were e»I the same type as those seen 
about Port Moresby — a hut on poles with a verandah in front, 
the hut being thatched with blade grass. Physically, the nanves 
here are ot a lighter build than those met with at a higher elevation. 
Tbty have prominent abdomens, and many have enlarged spleens, 
due to the malaria, winch is prevalent in this district. My shooting 
boys brought in good specimens of four species of birds of paradise 
— PcraJisca raygiava. Port Moresby Rifle-bird, Ftilorhis inter- 
cedens, The Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Diphyllodes twgnifica, 
and King Bird of Paradise, Cuinnnrus regius. 

The birds of paradise arc tracked by their cry, the native follow- 
ing up the call till be is right under a bird. They arc not olten 
seen flying about, with the exception Ot the roggiana, which is 
frequently seen in the high trees in this district, and whose loud 

*ThU article in abritlicedt irom u paper read before the P.N-C. on November IS. 
J406, and published In the Victoria* Naturaliol fur Jativitry. 1907. ft 19 reprinted 
here because oX the Keen intercut now beOiB taken iti tke O^en Stanley lUngc— 
Editor, ' 

**'• ] StVFSott, stcross the Owvk Stanley Range 99 

cry dominates the forest. Besides tbe birds of paradise we got 
three species of pigeons — a large blue pigeon, Carpoplutqa. rubiensis, 
and a large and small bronze-wing pigeon. 

We arrived at the cave in Mt. Oriori October 31, but only 
remained one night, and did not go to the top of the mountain. 
as we were anxious to push on while the weather was fine, and 
intended making a longer stay in this neighbourhood on our return. 
leaving the cave, we proceeded up the Anoki Moia ridge, and 
camped on this ridge alter walking 2\ hours in a westerly direc- 
tion. We remained here till November 3. I think at an elevation 
of about 4,500 feet. Between this ridge and Mount Oriori was a 
rich valley with lofty trees, and quantities of wild fruit lying about 
on the ground. In this neighbourhood, in addition to the four 
species of birds of paradise already mentioned, we got five new 
ones— D'Alherti's Bird of Paradise, Drepnnotttis alhertui, the 
Superb Bird of Paradise, Lophorina saperba, Southern Six-plumed 
Bird of Paradise. Parotia teww.w, the rare and beautiful Prince 
Rudolph's Bird of Paradise, Paradisornis rndolpiti, and the large 
longtail, Bpimnchns m<tyeri The cry of tbe Southern Six-plumed 
or Sixpenny Bird of Paradise W almost exactly imitated by the 
native, so it is easily secured, the bird answering the call of the 

Farther up the ridge I had pointed out to me the dancing 
ground of the Southern Six-plumed Bird of Paradise. It consisted 
of a space, on the ridge cleared of moss and dead leaves, across 
which were three, tbiti tuanche.s within a foot of the ground and 
bare of leaves. The birds hop to and fro from the branches to the 
ground whilst displaying their plumes. We found three bower- 
birds' play-grounds within a quarter of a mile of camp, of which 
I was able, to get good photographs, Tbe play-ground consists of 
a dome-shaped mass of twigs, with two rounded openings which 
communicate within. The space between the two openings is 
occupied by a finwer garden, the bed of which is formed of ihe 
fibre.taken from the stems of the tree ferns. Into this bed the bird 
sticks flowers, berries, bright-coloured leaves, and beetles' wings, 
renewing the flowers as they fade. In front of the two openings is 
a yard enclosed with twigs and strewn with large scarlet fruit. 
This type of play-g round seems to be confined to an elevation of 
3,000 to 6.000 feet, and is usually situated on a slope just below 
a ridge Above this elevation the play-ground is differently con- 
structed In these play-grounds T have never seen the feathers, 
shells, and pebbles common in the play-grounds of some of the 
Australian bower-birds. 

Od November 3 we proceeded up the Anoki Moia ridge till we 
got to the summit, and then down the other side to Oregenumu 
village, in the Eafa district. The valtey above which the village 

100 Simpsom, Ati-ow ih< Own SiaitUy F«wa< [ v v '"; *£ 

is situated is watered hy a tributary of the Brown River. In this 
day's march we went about fifteen miles ih a N.N.E. direction, the 
summit of the ridge being, I think, about 6,000 feet above sea- 
level. We wove walking most of the time on mots and mosses 
some distance above die actual ground. 

The Eafa tribesmen, who met us half-way to take us to their 
village, are a very sturdy lot. being short, but with big bones and 
muscles and strong features, and there is great breadth between 
the eyes, contrasting with the more slender Morpka boys. These 
men wore che short kilt peculiar to the mountaineers, composed of 
plaited native string or of strips of bark taken from trees grown 
in their gardens, the kilt being about: a foot long. Oregenumu 
village is prettily situated on a ridge, with handsome trees and 
tree-ferns resembling the Norfolk Island variety growing close 

The arrangement of the. dwellings in this village is peculiar. At 
one side of the clearing are the bachelors* quarters, consisting of 
two houses with a covered-in space in front. On the other side are 
quarters of the married people and children consisting of a num- 
ber of tiny huts, in a row. completely separated except for a common 
roof winch spans the sj>aces between the huts and extends for about 
sixty yards, 1 believe this type of building is uncommon in Now 
Guinea. The gardens here are very large, and contain quantities 
of taro, which appears to be much the most nutritious of the native 
foods. The natives say they can go all day on one meal of taro, 
but cannot do so on yams and other foods. Where taro is plentiful 
the natives generally have a fine physique.' 

On November 7 we started for ICage, crossing the river (a 
tributary of the Brown) and ascending the' opposite range Before 
reaching the top of the range we passed tin. nigh some low scrub 
and bamboos,* reported to be a good hunting ground for the P. 
rudolphi. Oil reaching the summit we travelled in a north-east 
direction along ridges through scrub country, keeping the valley 
we had crossed on nur left, and reaching the chief Geve's homse 
in the Kagc district on the evening of November 7. The second 
day's inarch was very severe, being up and down a succession of 
very steep hills. The chief distributed food to my party. With 
natural courtesy he served first of all die Moroka boys, who came 
from a distance and were strangers to him; then the Eafa people, 
who were friendly neighbours; and last- of all his own inv?ted 
guests in the garden house. He presented his white visiinrs 
with a roasted cuscus or opossum, which I was hungry enough 
to enjoy. I -saw no real villages in this district, but there seems to 
be a large, population. There were wooded ridges everywhere, 
which were studded' with cleared spaces where there were gardens 
and native huts. 







Mr. L. W Cti : r President, IWfl-41. 

Mr. P. C. Morrison, Pri-aident, 1941-4J. 

J** ] Siki-son, Attest the Ovom Stanley Range H>1 

The next day, November 8. we rested in camp lo arrange dur 
thp over the Owen Stanley Range, the gap m the range being 
close by. We started the next day, November 9, with ten oi our 
boys, three local carriers, and Gcve's son,, having with us a rifle, 
a shot gun, and revolver. We intended trying to reach Kokoda. 
station in two days. On approaching the Iuroa River, which flows 
through this part of the range, we descended sharply through 
groves of bamboos, the cut ends of which, sticking up on the track, 
wc had to be careful to avoid, as they cut tike a knife. On crossing 
the river we climbed a mountain and then came ou the river the 
other side. We were able to cross the greater part Dt the river 
here by rocks, there being little water. Where the water was deep 
and flowing swiftly there was a small bridge, about a fool wide, add 
composed of thin saplings loosely held together at the ends by 
loya cane. A false step on this bridge would probably mean a 
broken leg. As it was too late to get to Isurava village that night, 
we camped, and reached the village at 5 the next morning, 

The natives here almost all blacken their faces, rtfth the excep- 
tion of a line down the centre of the face. Many wear their hair 
in little, short ringlets. The tail of the tree-climbiug kangaroo is 
a favourite article of adornment. A piece of bamboo is placed in 
the hole in each ear, and through this the end of a tail is thrust, 
presenting the appearance of a whisker on each side of the face. 
We now found that Geve's son had never been further than Isurava, 
and did not know the way to Kokoda, but luckily an Isurava 
native with a huge cassowary plume head-dress and forbidding 
blackened face consented to act as guide. The first few miles froui 
Isurava were terribly rough for rapid walking,, the track being on 
Ihc steep slope of a mountain One was continually tripping or 
slipping over loose stones, slippery rocks, logs, creepers, and roots 
hidden on the track, and where the Scrub was low one's hat or 
clothes were frequently caught in the tendrils of the wild raspberry. 
The streams were spanned with slippery logs, often some height 
above the water, which 1 ltad to cross with gieal circ, though the 
nalivcs got over quickly enough with their bare feet 

Wc bad been travelling at a great rate in our desire to reach ihe 
station before nightfall, hut without result, the Rat being covered 
with lofty trees, which excluded all view of the country, and we 
were obliged to camp for the night. The boys were knocked up 
with sore feet from rocks and leech-bites, and disheartened at not 
reaching the station, all finding themselves, in a country unknown 
to them. After some trouble- wc found the track th« nfxl morning,, 
and readied the station at 1 1 a.m. 

Kokuda station is situated about 1,000 feet above sea-level, on 
a slight elevation above the surrounding flat country, and has a 
very large garden, beautifully kept, and containing chiefly taro, 

lOi Simjsok. Across the Ow* Sionhy Range 

?UL Mil 
Vol, UK. 

We were very kindly received and assisted by the officers of the 
station. I wished I had taken my trade and stores through with 
me, so chat I could have travelled about this country. There were 
more birds and butterflies than on the other side, and the Marquis 
Raggi's Bird of Paradise and the Goura Pigeon are slightly dif- 
ferent. The country on the way to Koltoda was strewn with fruits 
of various shapes and st2es ana of the most brilliant colours, very 
tempting to the eye, but all those I tasted had a disagreeable flavour, 
and many made the sputum froth. 

We only remained at Kokoda one day, starting hack on Novem- 
ber 12, and reaching Kage by the same route on November 14, 
where we found the stores and trade safe, Tn our march over the 
main range, I think the highest point we reached was about 8,000 
feet above the sea-level. The ridges at this elevation are still 
covered with trees, which are smaller, and there is not so much 

When camping at this elevation and having our tea, there were 
two females of the small long-tailed Princess Stephanie's Bird of 
Paradise, Aslrapia stephtoiia\ feeding over our heads in a pandanus 
tree, and I have seen in this locality as many as six of these birds 
feeding in a single tree. They are easily seen, but make very little 
noise, not more than a twittering. The large longtail, Epimachus 
mcyeri, met with at the same elevation, is not so common, but is 
easily tracked by its cry, which somewhat resembles the roll of a 

I saw here a bower-bird's play-ground, which differs from the 
one already described. It has the shape of a saucer, about a yard 
in diameter, and composed of mass. In the centre of the saucer 
and round the stem of a bush is placed a bundle of twigs. I have 
seen three of this kind of play-ground, all being, I think, over 
6.000 feet above sea-level. 

Geve killed a pig the night after our return, and mere was a 
feast, the Kage tribesmen, who have fine voices, singing far into 
the night — gardening songs, I think. Their voices are powerful, 
and messages are carried a long way very cjuickly by calling out 
from ridge to ridge. The distribution of hair on the bodies of some 
of these mountaineers is peculiar, there being little tufts of hair 
all over the back. I believe thi$ distribution of hair is extremely 
rare amongst the races of man. 

On November 20 we left for Oregenumu Village, returning by 
a different route to this village. Going in a southerly direction 
we reached Argulaugau, an Eafa village situated in a rich flat 
with hills all round. There ts a palm tree here remarkable for its 
height, being nearly twice the height of Oie forest trees, which are 
large here. 

We heard here for the first time of the massacre of Ekiri Village. 

^ 4 l j ] Sjmpsok, Across tin Owen Stanley Rongt 103 

30 miles in land from Port Moresby, nineteen people being mur- 
dered. The massacre had taken place about two weeks previously, 
but had been concealed from us by the natives amongst whom Vrc 

On reaching Oregenumu Village we camped for three days on 
a ridge above the village, chiefly to see if we could get any more 
specimens of Prince Rudolph's Bird of Paradise, Paradisornis 
rudolphi, There was a loc of low, thick scrub on the ridge, and 
dense masses of bamboos, with larger trees on the slopes. On the 
last day I crawled into the thickest part of the scrub, and to my 
surprise the female of the rare Prince Rudolph's Bird of Paradise 
came flying round my head. We found the nest on a small tree 
hidden by the lower scrub. If the bird had not shown the way it 
would have been quite impossible to have found the nest. A native 
climbed the tree and brought down a young bird almost ready to 
leave the nest. We replaced the bird. The boy said the nest was 
composed of twigs. I believe this is the first time the nest has ever 
been found. The young bird almost exactly resembled the adult 

During the wet weather, of which we had a good deal at this 
camp, the boys would employ themselves making arm bracelets from 
the fibre taken from the stems of ferns, which are very neatly 
plaked. The particular fern they were using grows to a height 
of 20 feet in the scrub. They usually put into the bracelet in 
addition a few strands taken from the stems of orchids, the orchid 
stem being first baked in a piece of bamboo till it turns the desired 
golden colour. 

On raiching the neighbourhood of Mount Oriori -we stopped 
for three days on a sugarloaf-sbaped mountain in a ca\-e formed 
by a huge overhanging rock and commanding a fine view of a 
gorge and of a mountain on the opposite side. Tbe Moroka boys 
were very glad to be back in their own district, but were not so 
energetic as they had been, preferring to sit about and chew their 
beloved betel nut, which they had not been able to obtain in the 
Eafa and Kage districts, or to recount tales of their doings on 
the main range. 

In this district we got five Tree-climbing Kangaroos, which were 
larger than those in the Melbourne Museum. To secure this 
animal a native climbs the tree and drives it out to a far-out 
branch, and as the native keeps approaching the animal drops to 
the ground, where it is clubbed, We got here wallabies, cuscuses, 
scrub turkeys, Manucodes, a Cat-bird, a hornbill, five different 
species of parrots, and a Cassowary's egg. 

On leaving the cave we travelled to Barikoro. a small village 
six miles north-east or Sogeri Corlfee Plantation. From thts village 
there was an extensive view of a valley extending to the north- 

104 Simpson, Stress Ihc Owen Stanley faw$<? [ v ^', JJjjj 

cast, watered partly by the Laloki River and partly by the Kemp 
Welsh, beyond which were densely-wooded ridges as far as the 
maiti range We remained here for one week, chiefly to get some 
more specimens of the commoner birds of paradise met with at a 
lower elevation, hut all were out of plumage, so we gave up shoot- 
ing them after the first three days. 

We arrived safely at Port Moresby December 13, having been 
away in the bush for nearly seven weeks. 

We had shot eleven species of birds of paradise, eleven species 
of pigeons, six parrots, and many other birds, among which the 
following have not already been mentioned : Lorius erythrothora^, 
Charmosyna stelle, Peltops btoinvi-llei, and Hmuopkaps albijrons, 
I collected thirty-one species of birds' eggs, and seventy species of 
butterflies and moths, most of which were large and bright- 

As there appeared to be a difference of opinion amongst people 
1 had spoken to in port as to the nature of the food of the hi ids of 
paradise, I opened the crops of each species we shot and examined 
the contents. The Raggianas had pulp of an orange-coloured fruit, 
called by the natives varvio, in their crops, sometimes other fruit, 
and occasionally a tree grasshopper. The crop of a King bird con- 
tained wild banana pulp and seeds; that of the Rifle-bird contained 
in one case vety hard, large seeds, and in another soft fruit and a 
tree grasshopper. The other birds alt had various kinds of fruit 
in their crops and sometimes a tree grasshopper, with the excep- 
tion of a large longtail, Epumciius tneyeri, whose crap contained 
what looked like moss. Another large Iongtail had berries in its 
crop almost exactly resembling the common English blackberry. 

The Raggiana has a special tree where the males congregate to 
dance. The Six-plumed and Magnificent have dancing grounds, 
which I have already described. 1 believe the other species of birds 
of paradise im this district dD not congregate in one tree, but dance 
and display their plumes in any tree, 

Many of the rarer birds of paradise appear only to have one 
egg. Anthony once found in a paudanus tree the nest of the 
Twelve-wired bird, .Seleucidcs nigricans, which contained only one 
egg The nest of Prince Rudolph's Bird of Paradise, Paradisornis 
rudolphi, which we found contained only one voung one. One of 
my boys, Marria, ones found the nest of the Magnificent contain- 
ing only one egg. which the bird hatched, I believe the Raggiana, 
which is very common, has three eggs. We were fortunate in having 
a drought while in the mountains. 3S these regions have a terrible 
reputation for rain. 

COLiiMAS, I'oliinatian oj Satinet rcyeliQria 105 

By Ecrm Coleman, Blackburn, Vjc. 

Whether grown for their bright colours, as bee or bird hires, 
for culinary use, or as neat border-plaotSi Salvias pay a handsome 

A happy garden friendship with Salvia reqetiaua made me wish 
to learn somerhing of its history, for it is certainly one of the most 
interesting plants in an important family. It is not listed in any 
seed catalogue (English. American or Australian) known to me; 
nurserymen of whom I have made inquiries do not' know it. Mr. 
Willis tells ttie that there is neither specimen nor description of 
it at the National Herbarium ; but a reference in Index Kewemi-i 
places it as a native of the Caucasus, first described in 1866. 

Yet it is a Salvia which merits a place in any garden, not only 
for its beauty, but for the ease with which jib marvellous pollinary 
mechanism may be followed. Without the use of a lens one sees 
the movement and changed positions of sramens And stigma which 
effect cross-pollination. 

My seeds of S. regeliana were sent to me from Chelsea Physic 
Garden, London, by the Director, Mr. G. Robinson, (now of 
Oxford), who knew of my interest fit pollination, Since watching 
the flowers for several seasons 1 have, realized its usefulness to 
Chelsea Garden, which is no longer the "Apothecaries Garden," 
but, lor the last forty years has functioned as a Botanic Garden 
attached to the Colleges, Polytechnics, and schools of London, 
supplying teaching and examination material. It is a Salvia with 
attractive amethyst flowers of about the same size as those of the 
well-known culinary Sage, but productd in greatly larger numbers, 
covering stems 2 feet in length— flowers that are very attractive 
to bees. Over a long flowering period they are visirerl for lioth 
nectar and pollen, from the opening of the first ftnwer to the last. 

One cannot fail to note that visiting bees have a patch of pale 
pollen on rhe thorax, As an insect enters a flower, with effortless 
ease in this Salvia, anthers are clearly seen to descend from the 
hood, sinking into the bee's hairy thorax, ft is just as though two 
fingers of a hand reached down to hold her firmly while she drains 
the nectar that lured her into the flower. As she backs out, and 
the "fingers" rise, one notes that more pollen lias been left on 
her already well -ducted thorax. 

One may see her now enter an older flower in which the forked 
stigma has grown downward toward the throat of the flower When 
ihe pushes into the opening the receptive inner surfaces of the 
stigma are brushed hy the bee's pollen-d.usly thorax and cannot 
fail to gather up the vital grains that are to ensure lerttle seeds. 

One sees the same thing happen in a hundred flowers — not one 


Coleman, Pollination oj Salvia rcgeliann 

r via. Noi. 
L Vol, X. IX 

will she miss— and as a result of her good work every flower will 
set seed. There could be no finer plant for bee-pasturage. Not 
only are nectar and pollen produced in abundance, but, more im- 
portant still, the stores may be harvested with a minimum of wasted 
time- Instead of flying from plant to plant in search of the colour 
she is exploiting the bee has only to work from flower to flower 
on the same stem. Usually nectar-gatherers do not collect pollen, 
but sometimes, as one may see, a bee combines both offices. 

Salvia regcliana stamens striking bee's thorax. Right; Section of 
flower showing one stamen in "ready" position, and »s moved by bee- 
Many pollen-gatherers appear to enter the "taverns" for refresh- 
ment, and probably bear away full sacs of nectar for the hive. One 
may see them at white heat scratching away at the spent ambers 
until not a grain of pollen is left, pausing for a moment on a leaf 
to moisten and pack it into pollen-baskets, smoothing it into the 
rounded heaps which are such a familiar sight in flowery gardens. 
No one can fail to remark the beauty of a contrivance which 
ensures that pollen may only be scraped from the anthers after 
the stamens are spent and no longer spring back into the hood. 
The pollen is so abundant that the bee does not always trouble to 
smooth her heaps, but carries them away "in the rough." 

As one tries to follow the movements of her legs in removing 
pollen from her hairy coat one is ready to believe that they far 
surpass the human hand in the range and perfection of the work 

^Jj ] Colkmaw, Pollination oi Salvia rcsttfiaita 10? 

they perform. To watch it is "to live in the very spirit of wonder." 

The bee is often so loaded, cither with pollen or nectar, that she 
rolls over in attempting to "take off" for the hive. Seeing her 
eagerness and tireless expenditure of energy one feels no surprise 
that her life is so .short. 

Salvia regeliam is a perennial which may be increased by root 
division as well as from seed. The stems, hS well as the petioles, 
midribs and veins of leaves are Unted grape-purple. A beautiful 
feature is the cone-shaped growth of the budding inflorescence, 
also purple tinged. It is certainly a charming plant to bavc in the 
garden, especially where there are children to learn something of 
the marriage of flowers. 

In this garden it forms a background to a line of lavender, kept 
low by clipping, in front of which is a border of catnip. The three 
make delightful summer pictures. 

As Salvia regeliana is not procurable through Ihc ordinary 
sources our seeds have been donated to the Red Cross, They will 
he supplied at 1/- per packet, plus l£d. postage. 


Tltc current (August, 1942) issue oi Mankind, the official journal of the 
Anthropological Societies oi Australia, announces a commendable project 
for the preservation, of a fine series of aboriginal rock-carvings in New 
South Wales. At a time when so much destruction goes on, this news will 
arouse a grateful interest. The plan, which deserves a wider publicity, 
follows a splendid gift of ten acres of ground on Mangrove Mountain, near 
Gosford, where the extensive group of carvings is situated. The owner 
of the land, Mr. Peter j. F. Howe, has generously agreed to revert it to 
the Crown, free of cost, so that the permanency of the native carvings can 
be assured. Steps are being taken to vest the land in the "Peter Howe 
Trust." The reserved area will also serve as a survey base for other rock- 
cor^ings in the locality to he adequately recorded and protected by members 
of the New South Wales Anthropological Society. Visitors will be per- 
mitted access to the site. 



Three pipefishes captured at Port Melbourne gave birth to families oi 
26, 16 and 24 respectively. Attached to the last-born, in each case, was a 
long, narrow, transparent envelope, divided in a double row of tiny COflH 
parttnents, in one nf which a dead baby fish was neatly coiled These sheaths 
were drawn around for about an lirtur before bemg detached. 

M. E. Freame. 

108 Biddy, Victorian Lichens [ Vn'arx 

By P. Bibby, National Herbarium, Melbourne 

OtK first record of lichens' being collected in Victoria occurs in 
1354, when Dr. Ferd. Mueller made h collection from the vicinity 
of Sealer's Cove. These be sent to Hr, Hampe for naming A list 
was subsequently published in Luwa'ea. as well as by Dr. Mueller 
in bis report to the Victorian Council. Some 31 lichens were 
named, many of which arc in die National Herbarium, Melbourne. 

In 1880 a furtlter list of 122 names was published by Dr. Krem- 
pelbuber in Der Verhandlungcn ctcs Kais. Katn. Zool, Bot, 
GcseUsch, Wien. These, sent by Dr. Mueller, were composed of 
collections made by various Victorian botanists, The same lichens 
were later inspected by Prof. Jean Mueller (Mull-Arg), who 
changed many of the names. Professor Mueller made a thorough 
examination of lichens in practically every country throughout the 
world and his deliberations constitute a wealth of literature on the 

Others who have made collections of Victorian lichens are Mr. 
Hugh Paton, Mrs. Martin, F. M. Reader, C. French and Rev. 
F. R. M. Wilson; the last-named contributed more to Victorian 
lichenology than anyone else. His descriptions of new lichens 
appear in the Pror. Ruyal Society of Victoria and the Victorian 
Naturalist. R. A. Bestow also made an extensive collection, but 
his chief study was mosses. In Vic, Nat., Vol. XXX (1914), Mr. 
Bastow published his "Notes on the Licheri-rlora of Victoria." 
which seems to be the last work attempted in this State. 

General Morphology. — Lichens have a very remarkable -struc- 
ture as, unlike most other plants, they have neither roots, stem 
nor leaves, although some of the Pamtelias and Cladonias have 
Jeaf-hke thalli. They are the union of two distinct and dissimilar 
organisms — fungal hyphae, which are usually a species of Ascomy- 
ce lc, and an alga, which may belong to Myxophyceac {blue-green 
algae) or CMorophyceae (bright green or yellow-green algae). 
Each of these, file algae and the fungal hyphae, work for the 
benefit of the other, commonly known as symbiosis. 

Ii we cut a section of the thallus. the vegetative part of higher 
lichens, we shall see it is composed of an outer layer or upper 
eone.x, an algal layer of green algae gonidia, the medulla consisting 
of hyphal threads, and the lower cortex, from which grow hair-like 
structures, the means of attachment; these are called rhizinae. 

There are two types of fruiting hodies: 
(a)Peiithecia in Pyrenocarpaf., 
(b) Apothecia in GymnocaxpuB. 

The perithelium is a small globose body immersed in the thallus, 
opening at the top by a pore. It is composed of an outer wall, 



Bibby, I iclorian Lichtnj 


For Key, see page 110. 

110 Bibb*, Victorian Lichens [ v ^ £'£ 

enclosing the hymenial tissue, asci and spores; the paraphyses or 
long sterile cells are very sparingly produced in a perithecia. 

The apothecia is an open concave or convex disc, made up as 
follows; the thalline margin or amphithecium, which may be the 
same colour as the disc (lecideine), or the same colour as the 
thallus (lecanorine). Inside this, at the base of the apothecia, is 
the hypothecium, which may be hyaline or brownish ; and situated 
on this is the hymenium, consisting of the asci with their spores, 
and the sterile paraphyses which act as a protection to the asci. 

The spores, usually eight in number, are produced in the ascus 
by the fungal organism of the lichen, and on liberation can only 
produce a new lichen thallus by coming in contact with the par- 
ticular species of alga which was in the parent lichen. Spores are 
the means of identification of all lichen genera; some are brown, 
some hyaline and with various septation. 

Lichens may also be produced by soredia, which are masses of 
hyphae and algae occurring in foliose and fruticose lichens. Soredia, 
when carried by the wind or other means, find a favourable 
environment and commence to grow into a new lichen thallus, 
Fragmentation is another means of reproduction — a piece of the 
thallus breaks away and on finding suitable conditions also pro- 
duces a lichen thallus. 

The uses of lichens are various. Some are used for dyes. 
Cladonia rangiferina is eaten by the reindeer, hence the name 
"reindeer moss." Some were used for medicine in the fifteenth 
century. Several lichens are used for food; Sturtevant, in Edible 
Plants, mentions Lecanora affinis and L. esculenta. Errera regards 
the latter as the manna mentioned in the Bible. Cetraria islandka 
is used by the people of Iceland and Norway; and Gyrophora 
muhlenhergia is regarded as agreeable and nutritious by the 
natives of the Arctic countries. However, it would seem they are 
used only when other foods are scarce. 

(AH Figures greatly enlarged) 
1. A perkhecium. 2. Mazaedia, the type of fruiting bodies in CaJicium. 
3. Section through apothecium, central parts enlarged. 3a. Paraphyses. 
3b. Asci containing spores. 3c. Thalline margin. 3d. Hypothecium. 
3e. Upper cortex. 3f. Gonidial layer. 3g. Lower cortex. 

3h. Rhizinae. 4. Lirellae fruiting bodies in Gra-phis. 

4a. Section through a liretla. S. Thallus and apothecia of Parmetia. 

6. Thallus and apothecia of Lecanora. 

7. Podctia and squamules of Cladonia. 


In October, 1938, fruits of Cyathodes acerosa (Crimson Berry, fam. 
Epacridaceac ) were obtained at the Field Naturalists' Wildflowcr Show, 
and were planted the following month. They germinated in the spring 
months of 1941, taking three years to germinate. p q_ p A!NTEB , 

«j£j ] "W*KKmvo. Shot Sfil'eonwrtx of Vieliff* 11 J 


By N. A. Wakefield, Genoa, Victoria 

Among our most unusual ferus are the two Shore Spleemvortj 
•which arc found on rocky coasts, and are never away from the 
influence of salt spray. 

The Shore Spleenwon (AsplcnUmi scleroprium) has Large 
whitish-green fronds 2 feet Or more long, with iarge piunae about 
3 inches long, pointed and deeply toothed with the oori lateral on 
the edges of rhe iceth. The Small Shore Spleen wort (A. oblu- 
satK-m) is dark-green and comparatively small, often very tiny, 
with short, blunt, obtusely toothed lobes on which the son are by 
no means marginal. Younger fronds of A. sclcvoprmm, show an 
approach to the state of A, ohh*$<Num\ and, conversely, some large 
fronds of the latter are often somewhat toothed as id the former, 
so that the forms are both variable and seem to be connected' by 
intcrmediates. This would normally indicate that we have but 
two varieties of rhe one species; but such an arrangement is not 
possible for reasons which can be gleaned from Cheeseman's 
discussion- of certain forms of Aspfoniwn in New Zealand: 

"The New Zealand secies present exceptional difficulties to the itudent, 
cu nccoui'.l at their extreme variability ami (he manner in which several of 
them arc connected by Intermediate forms. Thus. A tilHtttmmu and A. 
Iixiidiun not only run into one another, but are connected by transitional 
■varieties with A, hiilbifcniw and A. flnrafltttu. A, Jiiclinrdii almost merges 
with A. paeddum on the one side and A. Hooltsnonum on the other, while 
A. (tuWijerioit. and A, /iorrirfini/. distinct enough in theit ordinary states, 
arc almost united hy some of Iheir aberrant varielie.3. Willi- such a comi'dex 
network of variation it ir, not surprising that the specip.s are difficult ot 
delimitation and their characters arbitrary " (A/<w. .V.,?. Ft.~) 

Hooker considered A. stlcropnvm iawklaxdkum) as a \arietv- 
of A flacddwin : Moore placed it as a variety of A, lucidnm ; and 
Christensen put it as a variety of A, obtusatum, as it appears to be 
in Victoria and Tasmania. If any one of these combinations is to 
be accepted, then by similar lessoning all of the species already 
mentioned (and several others) must be combined under* the one 
.specific name. This combination did m fact constitute Mttellei's 
A. nxtriunm: but that arrangement was not approved of hy any 
subsequent botanist or fern-lover. 

A paragraph from Debbie's Nctv Zealand Fcyns could A eH be 
quoted here. 

"Some argue that if two species are connected hy a scries, of JnlcrnlediaUK 
ilicy should lie classed as one and rhe same species. Thai is to say, they 
should be dilfercnlly treated from Uvo oilier jtpectet where the intermediate 
have disai'n>eared. This s?«im to he harking back to the original &catfdji 
theory. VVhal we require is a convenient division of the genus info certain 
tidily recognized R rutins." 

So the best course is to deal with A. sctrrnpr'nni as Cheeseman 

Ii2 Wakefield, Shore Sfilrcnumrts of V id aria [ ^ 


did when he wrote : "Its unusual appearance is so distinct . i . that 
1 now consider the better course is to treat it as a. separate specses." 
Thus, just as the Bass Strait Island fishermen recognize two Shore 
Splecnworts, :no must Victorian and Tasmanian botanists do so. 

Both species were originally described from New Zealand; hut 
when A. scicropnum- was Hound at Wilson's Promontory in )S85. 
Mueller listed it as A. inwivum; and Bentham did not mention 
the former name hi his F>*Va AiutiroJicmis, So in 1923-28, the 
F.N'.CV Census. of Victwian Plants incorrectly listed the main- 
land plant as A oblusQJvm. In 1930, howevei, Ewail indicated 
this error by referring it to A. sclera prium, and in 1931 the 
F.N.C.V. Plant Names Committee fell into line with this correc- 
tion. In 1934, fu ihc-F.N.CV. book on Victorian Ferns, we have 
the first inkling 1 of an addition to onr fern flora, tor a second form 
is mentioned as found at Snake Island, though it was simply put 
down as 1 variation of A, scleroprium, Ewart, in 19.16. was the first 
to recognize the island form as A. <)b(usalum.. Which he added to 
his Flora of Victoria. 

A. schropriwn, Homb. ct Jacn. is found "in sheltered rocky 
crannies near Biddy's Camp, Wilson's Promontory (1927, 
A.J -&)"; and in New Zealand it is "abundant, on the margins nt 
woods near the sea." It is recorded also from P>a=.s Strait Islands, 
and some Tasmanian specimens seem referable to it. 

A. cbtu solum, Forst. was first reported lor Victoria from 
islands of Bass Strait, near Wilson^ Promontory, and was next 
discovered dining the McCoy Society's visit of 1935-6 lo Lady 
Julia Perry Island near Portland. An addilional record — die first 
for Hie Victorian mainland— was made in January. 1942, when the 
writer found a patch of some scores ot rather small plants on cliffs 
overlooking' the sea along the coast a few miles .south of Maibieoota 
Joilci Otherwise the species is known from New South Wales. 
Tasmania and New Zealand, where it is. abundant though always 

The two forms are excellently described and illustrated by 
Dobbieas A. oMmatuM (p. 232-3), and as A, htcidnm var. sclero- 
prium (p. 220-1). 

Last December, at Altoni, on an incoming tide the rork-pooU WWC 
swarmino, wilb million 1 . of smalt, greenish-brown worms about an inch 
IfDW The iurrouiiding »'itirr w'ai discoloured with egu^. Sonic specimen'.., 
en being- taken home, were merely shrivelled sldiiS, jiol Willi jirwet vj»u.. 
I .tan only C4tu$AlG the worm* — on a smaller ^eale — wild lite visiiolton of 
the Pnloh worms of the South SeBS, winch are eagerly awaited each 
October and November by the natives, who consider Ihcit) a great delicacy. 

M, E YmAi\f.. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX.— No. 7 November 5, 1942 No. 707 

The ordinary meeting of the Club was he)r) on October 12, 
1942, The President (Mr. P. Grosbie Morrison) presided and 
about SO members and friends attended. 


The President announced the death through an aeroplane 
accident of Mr, Chas. Fletcher, a country member, who was on 
active service with the fighting forces. Members stood in silence 
as a token of respect. 

The recent marriage of Miss Dorothy Sarovich, a well-known 
member, to Mr. Frank Sides, the interstate cricketer, at present 
on Commando duties, was announced by the President, and good 
wishes from her fellow-members were expressed for their future. 


The subject (or the evening took the form of a symposium on 
"Outstanding Natural History Features in the Suburban Area," 
and was divided into three sections, Geology, Botany and Zoology. 

Mr A. C. Frostick led the discussions with a review of the 
general geology and physiography of the area. Mr, S, R, Mitchell, 
dealing with the minerals of the Melbourne district, mentioned 
in paiticular the famous zeolites of the Chiton Hill quarries, Mr. 
F. S. Colhvc-r discussed the iossil deposits, mentioning the Silurian 
series and the tertiary red sands, and stated that two specimens 
cf outstanding interest, a fossil jellyfish and a crinoid, were 
recorded from the Silurian beds of Brunswick. 

Mr. Ivo Hammett Jed the botanical discussion and dealt with 
a remnant of Mallee flora to he found on the Saltwater River 
between Keilor and Sunshine. Mr. J. H, Willis mentioned the 
principal plant communities and dealt in particular with a salt 
marsh area near Williamstown. Mr H C. E. Stewart spoke 
on the Sandringham flora and the coastal tea-tree, and in passing 
mentioned the small plantation recently planted in front of the 
Public Library. 

Mr, Morrison spoke in the zoological section on a living fossil 
type of crustacean recorded from Koonunga Creek. This animal 
has apparently been destroyed now as its old haunts have been 
made a concrete drain. 

Several members took part in the various discussions. 

114 Field Naturalists' Club Frocfrtinifn; [ v'oVi.tx' 

The. Bird Observers' Club wrote seeking assistance in clearing 
foxes from Sherbronke. Forest. Members interested arc iiiviied 
to write to Miss Fletcher, Hon. Sec, at Chalmers Hall, Parliament 


Excursion., were reported 011 as follows: Balwyn Sanctuary, 
Mr. Morrison, for Mr. Chalk; Frankslon, Mr. C. French. 


Mr. R. M. McKellar was elected to ordinary membership and 
Master Ian McKellar to associate membership. 


Mrs. C French — Bouquet of native flowers garden-grown 
(12 sp.). ' . 

Mr. C, French — Large flowering specimen of the Snake Orchid 
(Dinris pcdu-naiteJo), also small flowenru* specimen of the same 
ipecies. Collected by Mr. Fairhead at Frankston, 

Mi. f. H. Willis — Anel roots nf the White Mangrove Wi'i- 
cenn-ia marim), Kororoit- Creek; also two East Gippsland plants, 
Poranlhcra corytnhaso and Fawnx umbHlmta, found for the first 
time west of Melbourne, by tht-: exhibitor, in the Brisbane Ranges, 

Mr. S. R. Mitchell — Minerals from the Melhournc suburban 

Mr. A. A. Baker — Minerals from the Melhournc. suburban area. 

Master Leslie Wool cock — Venus flower-basket [Euplocielln), 
a glass sponge from Japanese waters. 

Sir Edmund Tcale write* from [.anion under flute July 12, ]942 : 
I desire to express my very sincere appreciation to the committee and 
members of the Tb'e'd Naturalists' Club of Victoria lor the honour they 
have conferred Ql? me. in my election 1o honorary membership of the Club, 
Tt i* now more, than 34 years since 1 left Victoria to take, up service in 
tropical Africa. My close personal association with the Club wa.-j then 
broken, but my interest in its activities and tine very pleasant memories, of 
excursions and meetings continued. These were revived at inlervah by 
an occasional visit to Victoria, and Ike friendly welcome by many of the 
members on these occasions was always much appreciated. The C'kIj has 
mud certainly rendered a very vaiuahle. service to the community in 
fostering a true love of nature and in its constant endeavour to keep before 
the public the need ior vigilance in the preservation of nlSPy uimrar and 
beautiful forms ol animal and plant life which are indigenous to the 
country. May these activities continue to extend their valuable influence 
and bring /oy and pleasure to many in (lie future as they have done to 
so many, including myself, in the past. 

Ji^'l .V<w«Mf/ NislMj of Melbourne 115 

19*2 J 


A symposium ou outstanding Natural History feature?, nf ih, Melbourne 
district was held at the October mcetitij.; of 1hr I'NU Hen- follow 
summaries of the gieolouieal contributions to the discussions' 

By A. C pHOiTicv. 

The particular phase o( genet al geology lieu Melbourne of most interest 
to naturalist* is f»rob<ibl> lite effect of rock formarfor.s upon the type and 
distribution of vegetation. Within the area enclosed by a circle of thirty 
miles' radius from Melbourne, three such formations show a marked effect 
in this regard' To the west at the city Hie Newer basaltic lavas of the 
Ke'lor plain are typified by grass lands; the bedded Silurian rocks, occupying 
mast of the *rei east of a line from Melbourne to Whirtlcsca ore charac- 
terised by forest, scrub and pasture, wile the Red Sand's of the Sandringhani 
area to the south-east provide- the dwarf ;ctu1> so well known to Melbourne 
bounces. Of the three scries, the Silurian sediments ami tin: Basaltic lavas 
arc of mtmt importance ideologically, and both extend far beyond the 
arbitrary boundaries set down above. 

The lava flows of the Newrr Volcanic period, for uisuikc, cover an arc* 
estimated at nine to 1*"n thousand square miles, mainly west nf the inrridi.«u 
of Mplhourne, but not exclusively so, They have been extruded at numerous 
widely-distributed points, over a period ranging uom Pliocene to Recent 
times, and show some penological variation. Some flows have been confined 
within the s.'ones ot old river valleys, but the existence ot extensive lava 
plains indicates that copious, or wealed, extrusion has also resulted i.i t'.it? 
complete submergence of former hill and valley. 

The Silurian sediments are considerably older than the previously men- 
tioned lavas, being, 111 fact, tlie oldest rocks outcropping in the Melbourne 
area, and consequently referred to as forming the "bedrock" of Melbourne. 
They r.on5i;i of bedded sandstones, inudslones and shales, shown 10 be of 
marine origin by their fofsil contents, and were laid clown dtirjng ihe 
Melbourttiau stage of the Silurian system, As may l>c noted in the 
numerous Oliairies and road cuttings exposing ther.c rock/- mar Melbourne, 
the oner horizontal bedding plane: have been iitdined by earth pressure, 
and in some cases even thrown into s series o' folds. An es-ecUeii'. t*anrp!c 
of such folding, together v>i*.h faulting, may f>c examined in the crush ?ono 
exposed in the section along the road to Dight"s Falls, at Studley t'ark 
Neighbouring section^ also show tlut these ancient sediments have been 
Subsequently intruded' by younger igneous rocks in the farm o$ dykes or 

Like tlie Silunan rocks, the Red Sands are sediments, but otherwise have 
few -characters in common with them They ronsisl in the main of sand<, 
sometimes srnU and gravels, cemented by a mixture <it day and red-brown 
iron o.xidc, though near the surface this cementing material is almost 
invariably leached out. Near the coast these rocks contain marine fossils, 
but farther inland the absence of fossils other than freshwater sponge 
spicules and the increased proportion of gravels indicates that they were in 
part .spread over a land surface provided by Ihe very much older Silurian 
rocks planed down during 'the long period of erosion preceding: the deposi- 
tion ot rhe Red Sands. Along the then established rivet valleys the 'Red 
Sands have been in turn stripped by erosion to ' expose the •underlying' 
Silurian Toeks. their northerly p.?. tens ion bcinc. now largely indicated by 
Isolated hill cap? though, along the coast, their vOfltinvity remains unbroken, 

Jlf. Natural Wstoy ol Hfclbtmme [ v»';uV 

In the c»se or the valleys formed by the ancestral Irarebin ami Merri 
Creeks, two streams in part responsible for tlie removal of portion of 1he 
Red Sands, invasion has taken place by; XcwCr Basaltic lava* issuing from 
vents in the neighbourhood ol Bevcridgc. So that the new valley cut by 
the Merri Creek shows, neai Clifton Hill, the lavas resting upon dipping 
Silurian bed? instead of on 1ho Red Sands which should normally occur 

Though other rocks of geological importance occur close to Melbourne, 
notably the Older Basaltic Uvas. Cainwok sediments, and the younger 
sediment* of the Yarra Delta, tlteit restricted area mitigates against tbeir 
inclusion, in these brief and rambling notes, which in any case arc merely 
intended to outline the main features of the Ihrce series of botanical 

By F. S. Colljvee 

Within the suburban area the two outstanding deposits for fossils are, 
first, the Bed Rocks, consisting oi Silurian sandstones, slates, shales and 
mudsloues which outcrop in practically all districts. Two outstanding 
places are Studlcy Park, Abbotsford, and Moonee Ponds Creek, Fleming-ton. 
Collecting at these two places, representatives of all the invertebrate animal 
Orders may be obtained and a good series rewards the time expended. 

The most outstanding specimens obtained irom die bed rock withiu the 
suburban area came from Brunswick; they consist of a wonderfully preserved 
example of a Stalked Star-Fish or Crinoid (Hclicocrimw pimunsus), with 
tbt stem terminating in a helical spiral process for attachment purposes and 
the feathery 3rms perfectly defined, The other specimen was a fossil 
Jellyfish {Discoph$lhim niirabil-e), so well preserved that even the thread- 
like processes around the mantle are to be seen. These two specimens 
are among the treasures of our National Museum and were described by 
our well-known member, Mr. F. Chapman, A-L.S. 

The second depofit to be mentioned is> the Tertiary Red Beds, consisting' 
of iron-stained sandstones and sands. At the famous Royal Park culling, 
representatives of all the invertebrate groups, fish and cetacea in the 
vertebrates a.s well as plant remains have been recorded At Beaumaris a 
somewhat younger series contain; numerous fossil sea-urchins and sharks' 
teeth, whilst at Fascoe Vale plant remains are in the finer Hands. 

By S. R. Mitcheu. 

The mineral species occurring in the sul>UTbau area are comparatively 
few. due to the nature of the rooks prevailing, which with the exception of 
Silurian mudstones and -sandstones comprise sprfpcG deposits and lavas of 
late geological age. 

Three members of the Zeolite group occur abundantly in the olivette 
basalts common in this area. These are — 

Phacolilc : A liydrous silicate of a)unn'na> lime snd potash which cryslalliaes 
ih the hexagonal system. It is found in the cavities as colourless or c!oudy 
twin crystal t of mostly hexagonal form, being a combination of positive 
and negative rhombohedra often modified to b:- lenticular in shape, whence 
ihc name frctm "phacos," meaning a "bean" Complex twins and groups 
occur often with, one or more associated species. 

Phillipsiff A hydrous silicate of alumina, lime and potash crystal liritig in 

Nov. 1 


Nalio-al f-fixloiy cf Melbourne 11/' 

the monocliuic syitcm is found as clear, colourless, or cloud) penetration 
twins simulating rhombic or tetragonal (orim ; nearly square pri.;ms 
terminated with wlial appear to bt pyramidal laces. These usually occur 
crossed or in complex clusters. 

Mesolit,' \ hydroa's silicate of s-himina, lime and soda, crj'staltiring in 
the mmindiinr system, «:• urs. invariably :ls small white Kn'mps or lufte 
with i radiating fibrous structure and silly lustie, like arains o( sago 
scattered over 1ne surlace of the cavities. 

These ^oolites have formed in the steam rarities and Highs of the basalt, 
crystallizing from heated solutions which have dissolved some of the more 
soluble constituents of the basalt ft is remarkable that two or more distinct 
mineral species, with llttir chstacteristie crystal form and structure, 
definite r/temical composition, and physical properties omld .ic-pararc out 
from one solution. On lhc floor of many of the 'arger vughs is a clay-like 
substance, probably llallnysite which represents (he e.xcess hydrous silicate 
of Alumina after the crystallizing of the zeolites 

These zeolite.-* are only found in the deeper portion of ihe lava- flows 
which infilled the ancient river courses, where the cooling was slower and 
more prolonged.- Prior 10 this .volcanic activity, two tributaries coming 
In. I/om a rioilherty diicc1>on juactioned with the old Vat't'3 somewhere in 
the vicinity of Clifton Hill, one following; much the same course as the' 
present Mcrvi Cffrk, and tHe other trending south and somewhat W6W of" 
the present Darchin Creek. The course of the former Yarra. was revealed 
by a number o£ deep quarries; (now filled in) Irnm which atone was- 
procured for road-making, it followed a southerly direction from Clifton 
Hill through Cothngwnod ^qd Burnley (dose to the present station) ; thence 
the direction changed west and the stream entered the sea in the vicinity 
of Princes Bridge. The lava overflowing this river valley gave nsr to 
the flats thil can be iollowed from Burnley to beyond Coburg and north 
beyond Fairfield. 

In the large quart;' at Clifton Hill, worked by the Melbourne City 
Council for over seventy years, well over Iflfl feet of basalt was exposed 
overlying river silt with occasional logs and tree roots. From "his quarry 
a remarkable number of beautiful specimen.* have been collected, l-ormrrlv 
a quarry at Burnley ind Chamber's Quarry at Richmond also yielded fine 
specimens. Hercki'Hte was described by Olrich itom the latter, hut was 
Jftlcr determined ns Phaenlite. Another mineral plentiful in the basalt' is 
Aragr.vilc, 3 carbonate of lime crystallizing in the rhombic system, This 
also has formed from hot solutions and occurs as aeocuiar crystals usually 
radiating from a centre, resulting in globular, liotryuidal or inammalatef} 
fi>rms Occasionally individual crystals or group;., transparent, cloudy or 
deep brown in colour, are found also associated at times with Phacolite, 
Phillipsite and Mesofite. 

Calcite. — The common variety of calcium carbonate occurs as iucrusta- 
tions in the cavities Of as concretionary masse* often distinctly handed, in 
botry'jidal, rcniform, inammilaled or spherical forms with smooth surfaces, 
varying in colour from white to lircwn. This mineral has formed from 
co'.d solui)o>-S -iJiU is common in almost all the quarries, 

Maym'sitr, — A carbonate oi magnesia ii found in white or yellow masses 
or aggregations of small grains in the surface Roil or clay that rejulta 
from the decomposition of the basalt. 

yivwntc. — A phosphate of iron is occasionally tonnd as a blue film lining 
some of the smaller cavities. 

A few other minerals of no great beauty are to be found m the suburban 

118 Tht */>-■< Tree-Urn Vvmux 

Gypsum in small brownish groups occurs in the nraterial excavated in 
the Yarra delta at West Melbourne, usually in the interior of the patlly 
decomposed valves ol the marine bivalve. "Area trapezia." 

Slibnitc, a sulphide of antimony, was plentiful at the F.ingwood antimony 
mine, and occasional specimens are to be found in the spoil heap, often 
coated by the yellow oxide nf antimony, Cervtmtiie. 

Psilomelane. — Hydraled oxide of manganese if. often found as dendritic 
niaikings on (he beddiufi or joint planes of Silurian mudstoues and sand- 

Silicified Wood, with doubly terminated quart?, crystals of a brown 
colour, from the brown beds tjf the Altonn Bay Mine, has been found 
on the spoil heap, 

Limonite, the brown hydraled oxide of iron, and Htimniifc,. the red oxitlc 
of iron, are found usually as a colouring medium in some of tht Kedimenlaiy 
rocks of this area, particularly at the Royal Park cutting. 

Riiittif, — This silicate of magnesium, aluminium, potash ami iron occurs 
or. six-sided black plates in a decomposed dyke just below the Melbourne 
High School building at South. Yatra, 

Kaolin. — This more or less impure silicate of aluminium is fouud at 
Greenvale, underlying tertiary sands, and at Bulla, either as a pneumatorytic 
serration of a granite or an altered iclspathic rock. 

Mr. W. Hunter writes from Bairnsdale to Ms. N. Lothian: 

1 do not know whether I gave a wrong impression of my ideas in my 
recent letter about the new rree-fcm, Cycttea mwccsccits, or whether the 
reference to it in the Club journal is not (ju-ite accurate; but what 1 
intended to say was that if any member of the Club wished to try raising 
plants oi this trvc-feni, 1 would do my best to obtain spores next lime 
1 am in those part*. I have never intended to try growing the plants 
myself. My wandering life puts any stteh idea out of the question. Also. 
the Mount Drummer area is nut, strictly speaking, a forest reserve, ui the 
sense of a State forest a timber reserve under the control of the Forests 
Commission, It is reserved as a park (officially known as Alfred Park) 
for the preservation of natural ieatures, the flora of course being the 
feature chiefly in view. So. in theory at least, the Government has already 
fully protected that aiea. 

I have already given you my opinion that, for some generations »t any 
rale, the only menace to be feared is an exceptionally severe bush-fire. 
A letter which I received a few days ago from Norman Wakefield (iww 
on military service) shows that he has more reassuring views on that 
point This is what he ha-, written lo me about it "You can assure your 
correspondents that the new Cyalhco- is safe from extermination. At Mount 
Drummer the majority of the. specimens arc far from the road (heads of 
Karlo Creek, etc.), and at Combienbar they are three or four miles Iron? 
the nearest '..elected properties Both areas have been severely burned 
several times, and each time the patches of 'jungle' along the creeks have 
escaped and the rents survived. So they arc safe from fire and settlement." 


Vol. lix 

November., 1942 


$£ ] Caniih.w, "]>«r <md "7i>." tin Ryfiifl Phohiujm 1 !9 

By ft. E, Carthew.. Portland, Victoria. 

Four in i J Q half years, ago a hush fire swept through the forest 
at Ho-vwood, situalecl in the south -western portion of Victoria. 
Considerable damage wa% caused, not pjjlj to the forest, but. to 
the fauna as 'well. 

li happened that whilst Mr. J I. Aldiidge. of Heywood, an 
ofhnal in the Fore-siry Department, was walking tluough tlic 
forest nfter this ripe he came upon one of our prettiest little 
mammals of the hush, the Pigmy Phalanger, or, as the. bush folk 
sh'l! commonly cali it, the Flying Squirrel. The Jictlc animal 
apparency was completely lost. It had volplaned to earth, and 
as the only way these creatures can "fly" is by reascendittg 
another- tree, and a> all of nearby were still on fire ov burnt 
down, it was easily caught by Mr. Aldiidge. He took it home 
and gave h to his -daughter. Jnsic, who although delighted with 
her quaint little pet-to-be was nevertheless somewhat mystified 
as to what 1.0 feed it on. No text- hook was available. 

''Jim," as he was r.amed. was placed in a box. where he remained 
cuddled tip by day, but at night he became very lively Bread and 
pun, milk and honey appeared to fit the hill excellently; then 
one day a startling disrovery was made. "Jim ' was perched on 
Jnsie's shoulder near the window when suddenly be volplaned 
on to the curtain and commenced tackling the blowflies, and in an 
Incredibly short space of time had cleaned them all up 

About twelve months ago another Phalanger was found and 
Josie took it to provide company for "Jim" and namted it. "Tip." 
on account of a white tip to it 1 ; tail The two animals lived happily 
until one night a big moth came into the room and settled down 
near them. Instantly there was a commotion aud in the scriin- 
mage the moth was trim to pieces. Josic had discovered .some- 
thing- -they must like gratis, why not try thftml? Next day her 
father brought home a few of the big white grubs loimd in forest 
timber and similar to those used by fishermen on the Miuray 
River. 1'hcso were devoured by the Phalangcrs with evident 
■delight No matter what else is on the menu, these grubs are nnw 
given first preference. (Thus- we know why they pull the. hark off 
troes and why they have such sharp teeth.) 

"Jim" and "Tip" arc very fond of the wireless; they will sit 
and listen for as long as an bnm- at a time alongside the set. In 
summer-time they both have their bath in a special tin. after 
which they are taken out and dried. 1 personally lost one n) a 
bucket of water, during a drought, but until Josie toiye 1h« 
information to mc I did not know they could swirm. Still when 

120 Wtit-is, The 'Correct Nome o} Our Alpine Podrdcpis [ \>oi. r.tx 

you look at the web-like construction of their whole lwidy this is 
not surprising. 

These liule pets have become well known in the township of 
Hey wood, for Josie often takes them out £nr a stroll perched on 
her shoulder or in their box. Car riding upsets them and they 
become very nervrms for a day or so afterwards They rarely 
attempt to bit*- kindness overcomes most things, It is safe to 
say this is a record for a Phalanger lo have been kept in captivity — 
four and a half yeais. 

Xote — Since the above w;is written "Jim" lias given birth to 
twins — and thus has been ie-rhn'srened "Jemiyn" ! "Tip," the 
ninle parent, assists, to cuddle the babes, but he is not nearly so 
domesticated as "Jeinvvil." 

By Jamcs Hi Wiuis, MWtiwbI Herbarium, Melbourne 

One of the showiest flowers on Buffalo, .and around peat bops at other 
high levels, is the- Long PoJolcnis, which is, a« T-wart remarks (Ploro of 
I'ulorm, 1930), "confined to alpine reRions ot the north-east." This seems 
incongruous, in View of the type location of P, lenQipcdoto ut Morcton Bay 
and the coastal distribution of mftij r\'.f>.W. and Q'la'ud material preserved 
in the Melbourne Herbarium. Maiden and Betchc (Prix. Lm«. Soe. NS.W-, 
Vol. 23, I89R, p. 12) had described a plain (torn the Kosriuskn-KJandra 
mountain chairc N.S.W., under the name Podnhpk hitgipcdata, A. Cumv, 
var. robu'ia. Their type is identical with Victorian collections from Buffalo. 
Horham, Oubbnras and \ft. Wellington, but is this stout, woolly, large- 
hended mountain Podol^pis referable to hmi/ipedata at all ? 

Benthani distiivruishcs Imirjipedatn from iifiitnwvta in its having: Ihc 
laminae of the interrnalialr involucral bracts much shorter than their rfitroj; 
tlie innermost bracts would naturally flare still shorter laminae. Now Maiden 
and Bete lie describe (he inner laminae of their new variety as 'only slightly 
tonne r than the claws" — a feature which should at once exclude var. reiotufo 
from the specific concept nf I'ndnh-pii hutfjipcdota. Moreover. HYnrham 
appreciated the affinities of the Cobboras and Mt, We Kington district speci- 
mens with P. acuminata and unhesitatingly cited them wider that species. 
1 l>eb'eve the alpine form it> Ik worthy of varietal rank, but since it appears 
to have little in common with typical, constat P. longipt&Utb sod much in 
common with /■'. tiatmirmla (claws concealed by the long laminae, Af in 
Kolie-rt Brown's type .specimen.), 1 transfer it to the. latter species, and 
sojrfesi the vernacular of "Alpine Podolepis," sc^PODOLBPIS ACUMI- 
j\/)T/t. RBr, vai. ROBVj&TA f Maiden et Betche), comb. mm. 

Other fiipp.sUiwt collections of o^ensible "P.. I'Vlfjipedala" fioni lower 
altitudes iDela'itc arid Macnllister Rivers, etc,) arc characterised by dense 
cluvt.'is of short-stalked hendv with the laminae of median bracts some- 
times CQtial lo the claws -in this they also approach as closely to the type 
cWmiiitinala as to its congener, rind may indeed represent a condition inter- 
mediate between the two. Ta my knowledge, typical Pcdolepk hngipedoi&. 
with elongated peduncles nud long exposed claws to the bracts, has not •<$ 
yet been -collected in this State. 

fuz] Rw, ' , '• ^"** Section Gniaplcsinm fa the Gauif PwWfty/fclW 121 


Descriptions of seven new Species., with Observations on the 
Section, and Notes and New Records of established Species. 

By the Rev. H. M. R. Rupp,. Northbrirtge. N.S.W. 

Pant 1. — New Species, 

Some introductory remarks will doubtless be expected in order 
to explain how u comes about that so many new species, ail hut 
one of them from the central-coastal and Blue Mountains areas 
of New South Wales, are here presented simultaneously. The 
exception is a Western Australian plant — the first Prasophyttum 
of the section Gtnoplesium to be discovered in that State. The 
remaining six really owe their appearance in public to the 
researches and industry of Mr. Erwin Nubling, of Normanhurst. 
near Sydney. 

Some years ago, at the instance of the present writer. Mr. 
Nubling sent to the late Dr. R. S. Rogers, of Adelaide, a large 
assortment of specimens, accompanied by very numerous careful 
drawings and notes, of these small orchids which he and his wife 
had discovered in the N.S.W. areas mentioned above. Dr. Rogers 
told me in a letter that there were perhaps a dozen undescribed 
xpeeies among these plants, and added that he hoped to be tible 
to publish them ail. Pressure of other work, and later the 
increasing infirmities of age, prevented the accomplishment of the 
Doctor's purpose. 

In May ihis year (1942) the writer approached Mr. Nubhng 
with a view of ascertaining, if possible, whether certain forms he 
was then investigating were identical with any of those sent to 
Adelaide. It transpired that the originals of all the drawings and 
notes sent to Dr. Rogers were still available, and that ill most 
cases specimens in formalin had also been preserved. Mr. 
Nubhng then put the whole of his material at my disposal, suggest- 
ing that I should prepare for publication descriptions of such 
forms as seemed to me to merit specific rank, and also notes on 
other forms which I considered should be given publicity. 

It. will be dear, then, that to Mr. Nubling is due the credit for 
the discovery (and indeed for the description also) of nearly all 
the new forms dealt with below. The wealth of illustration with 
which his notes arc embellished lias greatly lessened the difficulties 
of my own task, I may add that he has paid special attention to 
a point discussed in Part II of this paper — the possibilities of 
altered appearance in floral details at different stages— so tbat the 

122 KOrp, T'k' Section fffff^cHVPt I* ilif OVinK I'ra.tnfhxlluiii [ 

Vtei. Nat. 

rjsk ol* unnecessary "baii-Nulitliug" baa, in illy opinion, I>cgh 
entirely avoided. 

). PRASOPHVLLUM HOttBURYJNUM , 0, nnv-Platda. 
gmcilimia, ui ipeamiuihns mrls circitm- 7.? an. nlta. 13nu:lrne 
hmiwt brffviSf prope xpicQtn. Phves- part'issiini, 12-15, fusci vd 
virides. in war lis promi)n:nHbi<x, Srpalum darsrde laic lavcvola- 
twit, jim,- 2 -»;/.w, Iniiqxm Sepida latcrnim tuujmUila, divrrtjailia, 
diriter 2% mm. kmya*. Petah f&fwh dorsoli brmiom, falco- 
lavceolola- Label ft (in lait-c coin turn, acuminatum, rc.atntum, ■ntar- 
yinibu.s hcvis, I'i.v 2% mm. lonijum Coin m-iuw. appendices 
innequaliter bilobali, Inbiis anterior hmissimtts. Antkcm 
ivj'pcndidbu!, alitor. 

A very slender plant, it» my specimens about 13 cm. nigh, free 
lamina of the bract very short, close to the spike. Flowers 
O'tremely small, }2'15, brownish or green, on prominent out- 
standing ovaries Dorsal broad-lanceolate or nearly ovale, 
wider 2 mm. Ions; lateral sepal* narrow, divergent, about 2{ mm. 
long Petals shorter dum she dm sal sepal, falcate-lanceolate. Label- 
Inm i» tbe dried specimen's much darker than the other segments, 
hardh as long as the lateral sepals and recurved between them, 
lanceolate-acuminate, with a relatively large cleft callus: margins 
entire. Column-appendages very unequally bilobatc. the anterior 
lobe very short, the posterior one scarcely as high as the anther. 
Stigma in my •specimens very obscure, apparently ovate. 

Kumarl. via Esperanto, Western Australia. 1., Horbury, 
5/VJ3S. (Type.) 

My specimens were received froini Lieut. Col. B, T. Goadby, of 
Mosnian Park, near Perth. The flowers arc the most, diminutive 
of an> species known to me. and it was only after softening out 
a whole spike that I was able to make out details by investigating 
about six individuals, F.ven so. careful examination of fresh 
material may prove the above description to be faulty, but 1 do 
not think it likely that Ihe specific rank of this tiny flower, the 
first oi its kind to be recorded in W.A., will be challenged. 1 have 
named it in honour of the discoverer. Mr. L. Horbury, formerly 
school teacher at Kumarl. where be recorded a number of interest- 
ing terrestrial orduds. 

2 PRASOPHVJ.LUM hLMAE. sp. >wv,—Planta moderate 
rob\t\fa, ,?-?<? riH,. alto. Hractcae lamina prafrf. spicam, inter ffore.s 
protrudens. /-'lores 4-30. vindes nmoiHs coccinrkt. Svpala fere 
aeqmtlia., rirritfir $ mi"., loar/a, ad nptce.s plerniiique ghmdnligcrrti: 
xepalum dorsatc falissitnrun.: sepaUt lateralin- late divergentia, ad 
bases macuh's coccineis, Pulala breviora, lanceolata. Labellum 
vmde in loufniccm cocuttcum; lamina oblonr/n, a.pir.nlata, mttri/im- 

f 9 *2 J Uvrv, The. Stction Gennplrsium in Ihc Gctms Puisopltylhim 123 

1ms laefibtos vol undulatis : callus lotus, cawlkulatus, Cohnnvoe 
appendices macgmliter bihbati; loin variabiles, anterior iticchieus. 
Jlnlhcra apice deflexo, rostellum pannun; stigma ad Ubram, 

A moderately robust species, 8-18 cm. high. Bract just below 
the spike, its free lamina often intruding among the flowers. Spike 
not very dense, but the number of flowers ranging from 4 to 
about 30; ovaries standmg well out from the axis. Flowers light 
green with crimson-lake clots and tints. Sepals all approximately 
equal, about 3 mm, long, the dorsal one much broader than the 
widely-diverging lateral?, which arc crini30it*clorterl at the base 
Petals shorter, lanceolate. Labellum green on a crimson -dotted 
daw. oblong, apiculate; margins entire or minutely and irregu- 
larly crenukte-mndulaie.; callus broad, channelled. All segment* 
usually gland-tipped : no cilia present. Column-appendages 
unequally bilobate, the lobes Aery variable in dimensions, the 
anterior one reddish. Anther with a deflexcel and shortly 
filiform tip. Rotcllurri rather small ; stigma horizontally and very 
broadly ovate. 

Mational Park, Port Hacking, K.S.W., Mr. and Mrs. E. 
Nubliug. 3/5/1927 (type); 6/3/1928; 10/3/1929. 16/3/1929. 
Same collectors, La Perouse 6/4/1929. 

This species appears to have affinities with P. wide Fity.g. and 
P. ciurcoi'inde Kupp: but the labellum is quite di liferent from that 
of the former, and it is a much more robut>t plant than the latter, 
which has flowers of a bright golden-green without any crimson 
markings. It was the intention of the late Dr. Rogers to name 
this species in honour of Mrs. (Elma) Nuhliug, who found ihe 
first specimens; and it is with pleasure that I carry out that 

Flanta P. longisepali Fitag. smtilis, 1.2-1.8 cm. alia, Bmcteae 
lamina longa, proxhne spkam. Flares pmci vel uuinerosi, 
fnscorubri vet fiwoviridt's, in ovariis lon^s ct proinhuuitibus. 
St:p(tfutn dorsalc circitcr 3 «w»». IviicjwtK ciicullalum, fere 
oblongnm, ad apicem gloitde lineari. Sepala, latemUa 5-6 ihm\. 
longa. talc lincaria, ad apices glandibus. Pctala hrevtora, lalissima, 
in medio plenimque vitta lota. Labellum angnste oblongnvx snbito 
ad apicem- contractnm; callus magnns. jxiScus, in diiuidiam parti-til 
■margimbws infiexis Cohmwac appendices olbi, l&ti, Inlnhali: 
lobns anterior angiislits, acuminahtS: lidmx posterior magnns, 
obtusus, aligt4iitnd(i emartpnatus. Anthem oblonga, ad sumnium 
plana cum filamentmu- lovgurn. Rastellum parvum, stigma late 

Plant resembling in habjl and genera! appearance P. Inngi- 

124 Rurp. I he Secliow Gruoplesiimi in Ihc Genus I'ia.iophytUim [ v*oi.l,lX 

stpalum Filzg. but the flowers smaller and the hbeilum and other 
details quite distinct; 12-18 cm. high. Lamina of the bract 
emerging at the base of the lowest ovary in the spike. long, 
sometimes exceeding the inflorescence. Flowers few or occa- 
sionally numerous, brownish-red or yellow ish-gieen, on long and 
prominent ovaries. Dorsal sepal about 3 mm. long, cucullale. 
almost ablong, with a short linear gland at the apex. Lateral 
sepals 5-6 ram, long, broad-linear., usually gland-tipped. Petals 
shorter, unusually broad, geneially with a broad band along the 
median hue and a gland at the tip, Labelluni nariowly oblong, 
suddenly contracting to an almost acute apex. Callus large, 
darker than the lamina, its posterior half with upturned margins 
which terminate very abruptly. Column-appendages whitish with 
faint red tints, wide, hilobate; anterior lobe narrow and acuminate, 
posterior lobe large, obtuse, sometimes emarginate. Anther with 
a flat top. oblong, a rather long filament emerging from the top. 
Rostelltim small: stigma broadly ovate. 

Loftus. near National Park. N.S.W., in sandy soil. Mr and 
Mrs E. Kubling, 5/1929. (Type,) 

The species is named in honour of Mr. W. H. Nicholls. of 
FoOt.scray, Melbourne, whose nrchidological work is so widely 
known and appreciated, and who has given much attention to the 
section CmopksiuM- The unusual form of the anther would alone 
suffice to distinguish this from other species. 

4. PRASOPHYLLUM UNIOJM, sp. vov.—Plonla giocUii, 
10-13 cm. alia. Braetcae lamina plcrumque brmiissiiva-, propc Plores 2-15, non- laxe patent cs, rubrovirides. Sepalnui 
dorsah ?. mm. longmn, non imgnopcrc cuculMuni, oblongo- 
(itmmndtixsiimim, plentmtptc inargnnbus incurvis. Scpala lat' 
eralia zrix 5 mm. lon-ga.. ad bases gibbosa: lanceolata, acuminata. 
Peloid nngustata, sepaio dnrsali brevtora, acmwtw.tissiwa. p/orix 
SOgmciila omnia ad apices glandnlosa. ■Lobellum carhlcarioidrs 
c-um apice fihfonm el inargmibus laevi-s, callus, Inpttrtilns. 
Columna obscura; appendices ac,uti, non. bilobati. 

A slender plant 10-13 an. high. Lamina of the bract usually 
but not invariably very short, close under the spike. Flowers 2-15, 
on ovaries standing well out from the axis, not widely expanding, 
green with reddish or yellowish tints. Dorsal sepal about 3 mm. 
long, not very conspicuously cucullate: oblong for more than half 
its length, then almost angularly nai rowing to an extremely 
acuminate or filiform point. Lateral sepals hardly 5 mm. long, 
gibbous at the base, lanceolate-acuminate. Petal* narrow, shorter 
than the dorsal sepal, finely acuminate or filiform towards the tips. 
AH floral segments (including labellum) usually giaud-tipped, but 

JSjiJ Ruff Tt\e Stcliou Gawflenum in the Genus Praxophy'HnDi 125 

the gland on_ the dorsal .sepal very minute. Labelluui spuon- 
shaped, but with a filiform apex; margins entire; callus thick, 
dark-reddish, bipartite from the base, the two segments parallel 
and not meeting anteriorly Column obscure, and very difficult 
to examine owing to it* protection by the petals ami tfiL irtturned 
margins of the dorsal sepal; appendages acute, broad below, not 

Normanhurst, near Sydney, in sandy soil and moss under 
Melaleuca trees. E. Nubling, 6/1942. About ten plants seen. 

I have named this remarkable, species "unique," because, it 
stands alone among all forms hitherto described, by reason of die 
filiform lips to the dorsal .sepal and petals, and the singular 
-structure of the labclUlm, which resembles one of those little 
wooden spoons used for ice-cream, with a filiform point emerging 
front the top of lire spoon. It would be difficult to surest its 
-nearest affinities. As will he seen from the date, this is a quite 
recent discovery of Mr. Nuhling's. 

tomparate robuslo_, 9-10 cm. alia. Bracteae lamina brevis, props 
spicmt- Flares pouci, contporoU magm, in ovariis cirritvr 5 wmi. 
fonais. .Sepahtm dorsalf. cirriter 5 »t*». lonaum, cucullatuM, late 
.vikUo-amminatitm, flavoviride cum- venis mbris. Scpaia laleralia- 
laneeotata, 7-9 mm. langa, patentia, purpurea. JPaMfl late 
Javceolala, sepala donah bretiora, flavovindia cum ferns rubris. 
LabcUwn u-ns/uiculatmn, oblongmn, atcHtttm: laimna rubra ami 
marflhnbns ciliolis; collns biparlihts, sagUtijormis. Columme 
appendices brcvitcr ei nounilril ittaeyunliter bih/bati; lobus anterior 
brcrdo-r, acutus, aliis mbrisj lobus paslerioi- pallidas, oIUhshs. 
dvthera nutans; rostdtmii orbkulatum; stigma ovata. 

Plant 9-10 cm. nigh, relatively robust. Stem-bract with a very 
short lamina immediately under the spike. Spike short, few- 
flerwered, Flowers relatively large, with purple, red, and yellowish- 
greeu lints, on ovaries about 5 nun. long, standing well out from 
the -axis. Dorsal s.cpul about 5 mm. long, not very deeply conrave, 
ovate-acuminate, yellowish-green with three dark veins, margitis 
and point red. Lateral sepals lanceolate, 7-9 mm. long, spreading, 
reddish-purple. Petafs broadly lanceolate but not narrowing much 
basally. shorter than the dorsal sepal, yellowish-green with red 
veins and margins. Lahellum oblong-acute, with an upturned 
point; lamina red wilh dark ciliated margins; cilia short near the 
base, lengthening towards the apex: callus V-shaped, dark red, 
its apex ooL quite reaching the labellum-apex ; 5 fine diagonal 
veins extending from it on either side nearly to the edgp of the 
labellum. Labcllnm-claw rigid. Column-appendages shortly and 
.slightly unequally bilobate; the shorter anterior lobe acute, dark, 

123 Raw, The Section Gcnoptesmm in the. Crilns L'rasoplwlluiu S Vul'.LiX 

ciliate; the longer posterior lobe obtuse, pale. Anther bent 
forward to a deflexed point. Kostelliun circular, large. Stigma 
ovate, pale with a dark centre. 

Road from Belt to Mt, Wilson. Blue Mountains oi N.5.W., 
Mr. and Mrs. E. Nubling. 3/1929 (type) and 3/1930. 

The specific name was suggested by Mr. Nubling from the 
arrow-head shape o> the rallus on Hi? labellum.. The affinities of 
this plant are perhaps chiefly with P. Archcti Hook.L, but they 
are very distinct. 

gracilis, 10-22 cm. alia. Bratteap lamina ■aliqmnto sub spicam. 
Floras 6-26, uulantes, jusconibn vel patlidiores. Ploris tegmenta 
omnia margmibus cit-httis, fimbriatis, pel dentolis, Scpalum dorsafe 
cirriter 2 mm. tongum, cmulfolnm, acutuin vel acuminatum. 
Sepala lateralis longiora. plemmque late patenlia, ad bases gibbuso. 
Petala sepala dorsali hrvviora., acuminata. Labellum utiguiai' 
latum, h<tc ovahm fljjfts apiculato ; vwrgines iwequaUter fimbrioli 
vcl aiiqimndo a-cqwiliter den-scque ciliati; callus variabilis, 
ptcruHKjitc anguslc bipartilus, atro-ruber, Colmwac appendkes 
variabiles, scd semper profunda bilolmfi ; lohux anterior fnscus, 
brcvilcr cilialus vet sermtvs Anlhera cordifm'mi'i: stigma- 

A slender plant 10-22 cm. high. Lamina of the stem-bract 
2-4 cm. below the spike. Flowers from about f> lev 26. usually 
conspicuously bent over, but the ovaries less prominent than in 
other species described here. Flowers dark brownish-red, or 
occasionally paler. All the floral segments with ciliated, fimbriate, 
ot toothed glandular margins. Dorsal sepal not less than 2 mm. 
long, cucullaie. acute or acuminate. Lateral it-pals lnuijer. usually 
widely divergent, gibbous, ar thp basi- Petals shorter than the 
dorsal sepal, acuminate, Labellum clawed, broadly ovate with 
an apiculate upturned apex, margins irregularly fimbriate or 
sometimes regularly and densely cihalc: callus variable, hut com- 
monly narrowly bipartite, sometimes occupying 1he gvea'ei' pan 
nf the upper .surface of the lamma, Column-appendages very 
variable, but always deeply bilobate. the anterior lobe dark and 
shortly ciliate or almost senate. Anther cordifowi; stigma ovate. 

Mr, Wilson, JJlue Mountains of N.S.W.. Mr. nn<\ Mrs. E. 
Nuhting, 12/1927 (type) and summer months ol several succeed- 
ing years. 

A very interesting species, with all the floral segments and the 
column- appendage;) variably decorated along the margins with 
different fringings. There is superficial resemblance to P IVonllsU 
F.v.M.j for which this might at first sight be mistaken, A coloined. 

lslVl Rr*p. 77ir Section Grvoptcshin, in //if 6>hm Prasopltylhtin 127 

plate beautifully executed by Mr. W. H. N'icholls was very useful 
in checking the details. 

7. I'HASOi'HYLLrM PLVMOSVM, sp. nov.—Phmia 
moderate robusta, 5-9 cm. aita. Bracteae lamina paulhtm sub 
spieniu. I'lores pattci, coii.ipicue deijicxi, Hridcs iwtationilrus 
rubris. Sepahtm dorsale late lanceolatum, aliquando apice fili- 
fonne. sed plemmquc cireiter 7 mm, loiujum. SepaJa lateralia 
loitf/iom. ad bases vi.v (jibbosa, late lincaria, patentia. I'chtla 
siniiliu sed pan'iora, acuminata. Labclliim brcrissimc unguicu~ 
latum, obinugHm vcl anyustc scutifonu-c, pallidum cum calhnii 
juscious; margincs prope basem laeves, dcindc cum eiliis longis 
densisque. Columnac appendices lobis conicis profunda bilobati ; 
lobus anterior piuiiccus, eiliis loiifjissimis densisque plumosus; 
lobus posterior pallidas laci'isque. Rostelluni crassinu et pro- 
trudens: stigma latissime ovafitnt. 

A moderately robust plant up to about 9 cm. high. Lamina of 
bract a little below the spike. Flowers few, at first extremely 
deflexed, later becoming almost horizontal, green with red 
markings. Dorsal sepal very broadly lanceolate, sometimes with a 
long filiform point, but usually about 7 mm. long. Lateral sepals 
a little longer, scarcely gibbous at the base, broad-linear, divergent. 
Petals similar but sniialler. acuminate. Labellum very shortly 
clawed, oblong or narrowly shield-shaped, pale with a broad 
darker callus; margins entire towards the base, but anteriorly 
densely fringed with long cilia. Column-appendages deeplv bifid 
with conical lobes almost equal in size: anterior lobe pink, plumose 
with very lung densely packed cilia; posterior lobe pale, not 
ciliate. Rostelluni thick and protruding; stigma very broadly 

Kurnell. Botany Bay. Mr, and Mrs. E. Nubliug. 1/1928. 
About a dozen plants found. 

The description of the labellum and column-appendages suffi- 
ciently explains the name given to this "plumose" species. 

There is another form among those discovered by Mr, Nubliug 
which appears to be distinct from any species hitherto described, 
but since only a solitary specimen was found, it would be wiser 
to defer publication under a specific name until further material 
can he obtained. In order to facilitate recognition, however, it 
may be well to describe briefly the salient features of this plant. 
It was found along Waterfall Creek in the National Park at Port 
Hacking. 1 leight of plant about 28 cm. ; length of inflorescence 
about 3^ cm. Spike very loose. Lamina of stem-bract 8 cm. 
below spike, floral brads apparently 2. the outer one very- 
narrow and elongate (in the lowest flower much longer than the 

128 Rupp, The Section Gcnophsiitm in Ihr Gnats P>asi)f>hyllmn [ y° ol ' L J X 

flower itself). Flowers very small, about 3 mm. long, not widely 
expanding, green with reddish tints, and a white labellum with 
red callus and red ciliated margins. Cilia on the dorsal sepal, 
petals, labellum, and column-appendages. Appendages bifid, the 
anterior lobe dark, the posterior one white. 

I ft 

m fi 

Prasophylium, spp. (Sect. Gcnoplcsium) 

A. P. Horburyanuut. sp. nov. 1, labellum, upper surface; 2, one column- 
appendage. B. P. satjittijcriim, sp. nov. Figures as in A. C. P. Elmae, 
sp. nov. Figures as in A. D. P. Kttppii Rog., var. menaiense, var. nov. 
1, labellum, upper surface; 2, one column-appendage; 3, column showing 
appendages crossed over the stigma. K. P. Wilsotucnsc. sp. nof. 1, 3, labella, 
showing variations ; 2. 4, column-appendage, showing variations. F. P. 
Nichollsiaiiiim, sp. nov. 1, labellum; 2, column-appendage ; 3, petal. G. P. 
phtmosum, sp. nov. Figures 1 and 2 as in A. 3, rostelluni with part of stigma 
below il. H. P, trijiditm Kupp. 1, labellum; 2, 3, varying column-appen- 
dages; 4, petal showing twisted flagelliform gland. I. P. unkum. sp. nov. 
1, labellum; 2, dorsal sepal; 3, petal. J. /', Bcmtulehotci Nich.. from Mt. 
Irvine. Figures as in A. AM greatly magnified. Drawings by Messrs. E. 
Nubling and W. H. Nicholls, and Miss C. Scrivener, have been freely utilized 
for this plate. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol LIX. — No. 8 December 9, 1942 No, 708 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on November 9. 
1942. The President (Mi. P, Cro.sbie Moni.son) presided and 
iibnirt SO members and friends attended. 

Mr. G. Coghill pointed out that the Club's losses over the three 
publications (Fern, Shell and Fungi Books) was only about £48. 
and suggested that the advertisement received was well worth 
that sum. He moved that the Committee consider the advisability 
of publishing a second edition of the Shell Book. 'Che motion was 


Ati illustrated lecture on "A Trip to the Kimberleys" was given" 
by Mr. S. R. Mitchell, the lecturer having recently visited the 
district (W.A.) in connection with obtaining supplies of corun- 
dum, an abrasive mineral. He showed by a scries of photographs 
the general geography and geology of the district. Mention was 
made of the flora and fauna and the ntauy. adventures sustained 
during' the trip. Conditions of travel were bad. The lecture gave 
to those present a good indication of the country in this north- 
western part of Australia. 

After a number of questions bad been answered, the thanks of 
ih£ Club were accorded Mr, Mitchell, 

Reports of excursions were given as follows : Bayswater- 
Ringwood. Mr. A. S. Chalk: Burnley. Mr. F. S. Colliver; and 
Lilydale-Mt. Evelyn, Mr. R. G. Painter. 

Tlw following were duly elected as ordinary members of rbe 
Club; Mr. G. P. Onyons, Mr. C. C Griffiths; as country member, 
Mr. R. D. Kent: as associate member. Master Keith Lea void. 


The President presented to those honorary members present 
certificates recently printed for this purjxise. 

Mr. Jenkins asked regarding the second crop of figs, and how 
they were fertilized. Miss J. W. RafT and Mr. Noel Lothian 
spoke on the entomological and horticultural sides, respectively. 

On the Club's behalf, the President presented to Mr. J. H. 
Willis a suitably hound copy of the. Fungi Book, as a token of 

130 Vield Xotiiraluls Club l>n>cn;1mit.-i ["vol. UX 

appreciation of (.lit work done by Mr. Willis as autlior of this 


Mi. V. II. Miller reported on sparrows eating bees. Mr. Xoef 
Lothian slated this was of common occurrence in New Zealand 
and further stated that sparrows ate a large number of aphis. 
Mr. Morrison statist that .sparrows would catch and eat cabbage 
white butterflies. 

Mr, F. S. Colliver spoke on fossil jellyfish and .showed a series 
of figures of the better-known species. 

Mr. S. R. Mitchell spoke on the plant Grewia polyyama, the 
so-called "dysentery cure," and read a letter from the C.S.I.R- 
re experiments now being made with this plant. 

Mr. Noel Lothian mentioned a large nest seen in the Dandenoiig 
Ranges and asked if the wedge-tail eagle occurred there. Mr. 
T. H. Willis stated that a pair of eagles had nested for years near 
Tom Tregelias's log, and were well known in the district. 


Mr. S. R. Mitchell- A series of specimens, including a crocodile 
egg, cotton-tree seeds, quart? Hakes and aboriginal implements 
from the Kimberleys 

Mr. V IL Miller — Orchids, including Cymhidiitm Loit>ii } C. 
Schroderi, Cypripedimrt Wrbissium , Dendrobium iwbile, and 
Coeloyyne Dayarta. 

.Mr. H. P. Dickins— Nine studies of Australian flowers. 

Mr. C. Prench — Garden-grown lea-trees; New South Wales 
and Tasmania!) waratahs from the nursery of Mr. Woolrich at 

Mr. C. j. Gabriel — Fau-shcll* (Cfdaiitys itspeirimus. Lam.) 
dredged in Western Fort Bay. 

Mr. E. E. Lord — Assorted collection of marine life from Middle 
Brighton; black snake (3 ft.) killed on a building block at 
Ringwood, close to the highway; galls on Goodcnia ovata- from 

Mr. J. w, Willis — Leafless shrub (Bossiaca Walkeri) from near 
Piangil, N,W, Murray. (First record for Victoria.) 

Mr, Noel Lothian — Acitcid tviptcfa, Bth. (spurwing acacia) 
from near Wangaratta, coll. Sejjt., 1942. 

Mr. R. G. Fainter — lirimonla- ttHSlrolis, Ccdlislfiuou tit-rivus, 
C. phocmceus. C. S'iclwri, Clmnwelmuinm axillaris, CalvthormiU.'i 
Giflie.tii. Cnxwia aiislnrfiv, Duwella tasuimtica, Eucalyptus platypus 
var. .purpura&ccns , Lcptospenmm graiidiflorum, Melaleuca defta- 
sata. rrostlumtlicm aspaMlwides, P. l-Vatkcri. Sollya JHsiformis. 
Sairticfiihis Fitzgcmtdii. Danvima atriodora. All garden-grown. 

5S»1 Notes from the Trcfricj Ul 

.'<: i 


The following uotes have been forwarded by a membei o( 1lie F.N.C., 
Pilot-Officer C. C Ralph, as a result of his- observations while on active 
»€Tvice in North Australia and Papua. 

In the Townsvdk area any uumber of aircraft taking the 
air at once disturbed the hawks, (large) or cables (small) in 
hundreds. They climbed high in the air and at a glance looked 
like fighter planes, Many newcomers were misled, thinking these 
were really aeroplanes. The small native doves were nesting 
everywhere, and I found one nest actually over the water in a 
nearby reservoit. The typical dove's; nest of dry twigs is flat, 
often saucer-shaped, and seems such an inadequate home for the 
two fledglings. We stayed there long enough to find them first 
out on a bough and then safely away. They arc very fond of 
nesting in. the hollows of a paw-paw leaf. In the bush away from 
Townsville there i* plenty of bird life. One bird in particular, 
reminiscent of our butcher-bird, made the early morning glorious 
with lus song, but I was never out early enough to identify him. 
Scorpions in the bed-clothes made us wonder how lung we. would 
go without a sting. Apparently they come for the moist warmth 
created by ns sleeping on the ground. 

Over the ocean, l>etween Ttrwnsville and Cairns, we could see 
miles of the red scum which arises, I imagine, from the coral 
reefs. This lay in streaks as far as the eye could see. In two 
places we saw pairs of the giant "ray, easily distinguishable front 
the height we were flying, and many sea creatures which may 
have been whales, dolphins, or even sharks. As they were either 
jingle or in pairs, 1 rule out dolphins, and I think they were much 
too large for sharks. The interest lay in the vast numbers — every 
minute or two wc would come into view of one, and we wouM 
be hardly over it when we came to another. Schools of flying 
fish also were easily discernible fronr the plane )f anyone wants 
the most spectacular sight irnjaginable, lei hiin take a flight over 
the coral reefs on a bright sunny day. All the fire of an opal. 
Slid something else besides, is there. 

Here at Moresby ! was interested to find small kangaroos or 
wallabies. The aeroplanes disturbed them, and more tittn once 
we have seen them bounding across the aerodromes. As in the 
south, you pick them up with car headlights. Here the kapok 
trees are in flower and the poinciana is just coming ouL They 
are ainaxing trees. Two weeks ago they were so dry as to appear 
dead, and now they arc sprouting green and are half covercsd 
with the brilliant red and yellow. Everywhere you find the 
barkmg lizard or gecko; it remains very still, hut is quick at 
avoiding any attempt at capture. 

132 A'olt* from the TrofKs Tvo'lux 

The road up the Owen Stanley Range, about which you have 
heard so much, is most spectacular. It passes the beautiful Rorona 
Falls (I notice the papers name it the Rouna) over which the 
waters pass fc'i Sapphire Creek, one of the main tributaries of the 
I^oloki The high country near where the Japs reached in their 
advance is indeed beautiful. Orchids, mostly Cyptipediums, grow 
very freely on the rubber trees, more freely, apparently, than in 
the natural bush The rubber trees, I feel sure, come from Brazil, 
and the question arises— Have these orchids found a host they 
prefer to the native growth, or is it that the even spacing of the 
rubber trees gives them light arid air more to their liking? In 
any case, the greater frequency of orchids on rubber trees is most 
noticeable, It is, of course, easier to see them among the rubber, 
hut this is not the only factor, as I have looked too closely among 
the natural timber to have missed many. 

ft is part of the day's proceedings, if ono has the time to spare, 
to sit under the mango trees and wait for the fruit to drop. What 
is the explanation for the fact that they will drop in large numbers 
about sunset and only one or two at a time during the other parts 
of the day? 

I was interested to see a coconut floating well out to sea. with 
a shoot on it standing at least 15 inches out of the water 

Here, while the mists creep upward, smoky grey 
Above the ferns that crowd the gullies lush 
And loud with bell-birds' chime and throb oi thrush, 
Here on the higher hills comes in, the day. 
Here hrecees teach the forest trees to pray. 
Set them a-tremble, breathless at the brush 
Of angels' wings, and bid the bell-birds 
Their chime, and steal the thrush's note sway. 
Silent we stand, the forest trees and I, 
(Gold of his voice and silver of his plume I) 
Worshippers at the Lyre-bird's display. 
How shall we have again the c-"»r or eye 
For bird or song of earth — or bush or bloom? 
A cod is dancing cm the hills to-dav. 


{The foregoing lines have been written, "in all humility," by a member 
of the F.N.C who "used to think an orchid the only thing in the bush 
worth looking at," but who changed hi? mind after seeing and hearing a 
Lyre-bird perform rm a wound in a mist-laden gully — this as late as 
October 20.) 

Tl»e vernacular name, "Greater Flying PhaJanger." used on an illustration 
in the November ftaturatitt, was erroneous. The mammal represented was 
the Yellow-bellied Possum-Glider, or Flying Phalanger, Petanrus atixtralis. 

By R. W. Bond, Melbourne. 


A teller which throws some further light or* (he subject of 
ferns growing in mine-shafts in dry districts (J- \A>'., Jau., 1W4) 
lias been brought to my notice by Mr. J. H. Willis. It was written 
on the 29th October, 1861, to Baron von Mueller by Mr. J. 
Fisher, o( Creswick, the district referred to in the notes previously 
published. The relevant sections of Mr. Fisher's letter are: 

i enclose for your inspection a specimen of what 1 Uk<: to in- a fern 
and beg to state that 1 am prompted lo do so on account of the somewhat 
extraordinary place in which it was found The plants are iound in a 
line of deserted shafts — which have been abandoned for itbuul tour years — 
from shout o to \i feet from the- surface; and I am somewhat at a toss 
to conjerturc the reason of its being found in such a position when I take 
it info consideration that there is not the slightest indication of the same 
plant and, so far as I could see, of any of its species on the. surface at or 
neat the place where it is found- indeed, so far as my memory guides mv 
1 have not seen the same description of flora growing in this Colony, ll 
grows with long straggling rools on the titles of the shafts in ., slratiun 
cl gravel and light loam, and it would be an interesting experiment to try 
whether the seed has been lying tit litis Mi alum for some considerable time 
and fierniiiiated upon ^.xpnsure to ihe atmosphere. 

Should you consider it worth your attention, I shall he happy to afford 
yoo an)'! assistance in my power, either in obtaining a portion of ihe 
Stratum for cxperimentalynnK upon or plants. 

It will he noted that the writer makes particular reference to 
ferrus in thr shafts which he has not seen above ground. Unfor- 
tunately, we do not "know the actual species seen., but it is 
probable that the plants were Folysiiclwm mruleatnm, Blcchmtm 
spp., or flititiopteris irwisu; which are at present to be found in 
shafts in the district, and could he found with "long straggling 
roots on the sides of the shafts in a stratum of gravel." 

The' chief point oi interest, however, is that the letter mentions 
Ihe rapidity with which ferns established themselves in suitable 
shafts — sufficient Lo evoke comment within ten years of the 
establishment of mining operations in this area — and offers proof 
that, us Would be' expected, these mine-shaft fern species were 
never found in the district under normal conditions, which they 
enjoy only in comparatively well-watered forest areas and under 
cooler climatic conditions. These conditions arc simulated in the 
shafts, which also provide good sites for rapid development of 
fern-spores which lodge on the freshly cnl, moist surfaces hare of 
other plant" growth and litter. 

The suggestion that "the seed hns been lying in this stratum 
for some considerable time and germinated after exposure to the 
atmosphere" must be regarded as out of the question. Fern- 
spores usually have only a short period of viability It could not 

114 SmvAKt, Poison Plants in I'lJinlia [^ Jjj£ 

be regarded as passible that spores should have Jain dormant since 
the last geological upheavals in the Creswiek area, a time of large 
streams which left deposits of boulders and gravel (and gold!) ; 
and if the spores have found their way into the ground from the 
surface in rain-water they must have come from other districts 
in the wind, only a short period before germination. 

Mr. Willis states that records kept after the g'eat Krakatan 
eruption of 1883 show that eleven species of ferns Occurred in 
the devastated area within three years, obviously the result of 
wind-borne spores from the nearest land. Java and Sumatra, both 
lying about 25 miles distant 

A further comment on the notes published in 1934 may be 
worth adding, even at this late date. During 1934, the writer 
discovered one vigorous, though small, plant of Stichcrus tfner 
(R.Br.) Ching. (formerly known in Victoria as Gltichmia 
flabelhta) in a shaft dug in a sluiced-out hillside south-easterly 
from Creswiek. near Humbug Hill. 

By H. C. E. Stewart, Melbourne. 

Considerable attention, wf a spasmodic nature, has been given 
by botanists to poisonous qualities in Australian plants. In the 
main this inquiry has been prompted by the toxic effects on stock, 
and to a lesser degree on human beings Results of past work 
are scattered in various records, but apart from occasional incom- 
plete books by J. H. Maiden, F. M. Bailey, C. T. White and 
other authorities, no sei ious attempt has been rciade to bring later 
discoveries with all previous work pa toxicity within the cavers 
of an up-to-date reliable volume 

The Poism Plants of New South Wales, compiled under the 
auspices of the Poison Plants Committee in that State, by Evelyn 
Hurst, BAgr.Sc, and recently issued, is the must important and 
informative treatise on the subject yet published hi Australia 
The publication is the outcome of laboratory investigations over 
some years under the direction of the Poison Plants Committee, 
together with the review and collation of existing Australian 
material on poisonous N.S.W vegetation (a large percentage of 
which is interstate) and the records hitherto unpublished or 
inaccessible to general use. , , ,/t 

Pasture plants have, naturally formed the widest field; of iuvesti* 
gation, and of these it appears that harmful effects are contained 
more in introduced aliens than in the native vegetation Many 
indigenous plants are shown by research bo have points of 
advantage over those from other countries. Field diagnosis of 


Svnw.wr, l'aixou Plnnls in Australia 13; 


plant poisoning is largely based on circumstantial evidence, but 
careful tests sometimes disclose that certain circumstances .is to 
state of growth, the season, the part eaten, and other local 
conditions determine toxicity. For instance, i rouble may be 
caused T>y the quantity of indigestible fibre eaten, or ingested 
ravenously. Exact knowledge is very far from complete, but the 
book shows the necessity for extended research into many 
suppositions. The book further emphasizes closer contact of the 
botanist with the man on the land. Signs can be seen of increased 
attention to drug possibilities in the naitive flora, and where large- 
scale synthetic production is nut practicable the present isolation 
of Australia will undoubtedly stimulate the epics! for new drug 
plants or substitutes. 

The average nature-lover will learn that many widely-spread 
indigenous species are suspect, notably BuJbine butbosa, Bttrcliordia 
mvbellata, Angidlhria dioica ("Early Nancy"), and Stypatidra 
spp. The Emu-bushes, Eremophila, are declared to poison sheep, 
but no reason U advanced as to why the fruits pf some species 
aie supposed to be innocuous to emu digestion. The. "Sugar 
Gum," Eucatyptu-j ctadiocalyx, is found to produce hydrogen 
cyanide (HCN), and the juvenile as well as Ibe mature leaves 
leave toxic effects, on stock. Several of the Acacias evidence 

Among other legumes, species of Szvamscma are credited with 
affecting the brains of sheep, one symptom being known by 
stockmen as "pea-struck" condition. Horse doping is alleged by 
the effects of Srvamsoiui hitcola. The Darling Pea, when eaten 
exclusively, excites the grazing animal with "a propensity to 
climb trees." Yet F. von Mueller regarded the plant as non- 
poisonous when cultivated, or eaten with other plants. The 
stinging nettle trees, Laportm, have spiny hairs which contain 
formic acid and arc capable of inflicting considerable pain when 

The Oriltitlasene seem remarkably free from toxicity; the only 
Apecies mentioned, Dipodiutn ptinctntmn. shows no positive 
evidence of poisoning. 

Experiments undertaken in respect to the "Kimberley disease" 
in horses of North-west Australia are given in some detail 
Pioducing the "walkabout condition" in horses, the disease was 
known to exist since early sctdemenl of the. Kimbcdeys, but the 
cause for a long time wav unknown Now it has Iieen traced to 
the saponin in the "Whitewood" (Alalaya hemiglauca) . 

Proved data is submitted on the Cycads, including Cycas, 
Bowenia, and Ma<rozamic Matrommia spimlis, common to New 
South Wales, caused such heavy losses of stock "that leases wetc 

|.V". SliiWAKT, t'okon /-Vim/.* h| Auilrnlui LVMtyK 

given up and the country affected by Zamia was cut off." Captain- 
Cook's .sailors were the first to experience, "hearty fits of vomiting" 
on citing Zamia-mits * The sagacious aborigines prc-treated nuts 
of the plant by soaking thc-scids to dissipate the deleterious 
principle, and they thrived on thi$ diet in the muting reason. The 
survival of the ancient iMacrozmma a\^y be due in part to its 
poisonous attributes. 

Of particular interest are the plants utili/.ed bv the blackfelltnv. 
The native chewing tobacco, "Fituri" {D'Uboixia Hopivoodn), 
was used by him in Central Australia "for poisoning rock-hole 
water in order to stupefy emus which drink there and render 
them easy to kill." Duboisw myol>oroidt:s ("Corkwood") was- 
early found by the white to contain mydriatic properties, 
and the plant is now one of lite important source* of byoscine. 
The sap of two unnamed species of Greirillva was requisitioned 
by the native to scarify the skin and form scars. The bark uf 
Acacia fatcata was one ni the mediums he had for poisoning 
fish. Acacia aneum ("Mulga") is now known to have a virulent 
poisonous substance, which explains the use it had in aboriginal 

These references to aborigines in relation to noxious plants are 
not general. They tend to indicate, however, ihat re-discovery 
has to be made in the. laboratory of qualities formerly common 
knowledge to the natives, Their "field work" and "gastrononucal 
research" before civilization came on the scene is now being 
brought to light by science. 

No serious investigation seems to have been carried out as W> 
the influence of toxic plants on the native fauna. The oil of 
Eucalyptus viminaUs ("Manna Gum") supposedly contains 
benz;ildehyde, The mysterious mortality of the koala years ago 
may be attributable to its presence in an abnormal season. 
Kefei-ence is made to the Fruits of the handsome Wc/w aacderach 
("White Cedar"), regarded as "distinctly poisonous to animals, 
I nit native birds uTe immune," 


Wit had a very successful afternoon on October 17. awl noticed \i'> species 
ot orchids in flower, including the rather rare Priisopltyllum Brahci, the 
Green Leck-ordiid and a fine specimen of the great sun-orchid, Tlwlyvtiiro- 
(jrmidiftori/, aJliUWt cxtiitet at Ringwood now. This is undoubtedly 
one of the most beautiful' of uur Victorian orchids;. The common ;.on- 
ofehids ( / htt/yinilra. nrsslttta) wtre also fine specimens. 

There were several youuit members present who were interested ift 
entomology, and some titne. wa« devoted to collecting native bees, wasp* 
and other insects. 

C. Frf.S-cH, 

5^3 ^v™- T i{ '' Sretfml Crnofih.uuni w lite Gtmu Pruaolthylluw 137 


By ihc Ri:v. H. M. R. Rupp, Northbridgc, N.S.W. 

Part U 

It >s generally recognized that few orchid genera prCM.ul more 
difficulties to the taxonomist than Prasophytlum, a genus of 
approximately SO species confined, so far as is known, to Australia 
and New Zealand. Nowhere within the genu? arc these difficulties 
so acutciy felt by orchid students aa in the section adopted by 
Beutham under the name Gcnoplcsium. 

Robert Brown hud created a genus under this name, consisting 
of a single species. G. BauerL Bentham remarks (Fl. Ansh\ VI, 
p. 344) that no specimen of this plant was known, and that the 
gentlS was founded on a drawing of Bauer's representing cither an 
alniormal specimen, or one in which the .segments had been 
confused. He transferred G. Batten, then, to Prasophylhtnu, and 
included it in Brown's P. ruUmi, at the same time utilizing Brown's 
name, Gcnoplcsimn,. for the section of Prosophyllum comprising 
the most nearly allied species. 

While he was undoubtedly right in transferring G, Batten to 
Praiophyltxtm, he was mistaken in his estimati: nf Bauer's drawing,. 
and in his supposition that it represented an abnormal form of 
P. vttfinn. Bauer correctly depicted the plant, and his drawing 
is reproduced by Fitzgerald in Aitstr. Orclt. II, 3. It is quite 
distinct from any other species., and has been collected in the 
central coastal areas of N.S.W. by Nubling, Scammell. Rtipp, and 
others. Fitzgerald restored it to specific rank as P. Raupn. He 
was apparently doubtful (I.e.) of its specific distinction from his 
own P. Deaneaitfiiiih, but subsequently recognized the validity of 
both, (Moore and Betel ie. Handbook o\ the Flora of N..S-W., }•■ 

The section Gcnoplesium consists exclusively of small, attenu- 
ated terrestrial orcluds. usually with a solitary leaf sheathing thr 
greater part of the stem, and emerging near (he inflorescence in 
a brad-like lamina commonly called the. stem-bract. The most 
frecjuenf form of inflorescence is a terminal spicate raceme (usually 
leierred to as die spike) of very .diminutive flowers: sometimes 
these are very numerous, but the number of individuals varies 
greatly, and is often reduced to two or three. 
• The height of these, slender little plants ranges from about 5 to 
35 cm. It has been observed that some species continue to grow 
higher even after the flowers have passed maturity, as is th*- cast: 
with practically all Australian .species of CorybiU and Cltilogtoi-tif. 
though the habit is not invariable, its puiposc in the case of 

13K lives, Tbt Section (irimplrMnm i>; Mr Gcmxi Prwphyilum [ valj* 

dwarf plants would appear to be to ensure, the distribution of seed 
by wind ; but that seems entirely unnecessary in the case of the 
plants now under discussion. 

It is impossible to become acquainted with the morphology of. 
'these diminutive Gvrwphsiutii dowers without flic aid of a powerful 
magnifier To the casual observer using only the naked eye, 
most of them; appear in be either entirely identical or so nearly 50 
that to give them separate specific rank is merely "splitting hairs" 
This charge of hair-splitting is all too frequently made hy people 
who have avowedly never studied the morphology 01 these- plants, 
stnd who appear to have curious ideas of what should constitute 
specific distinction. They cannot understand, for instance, why 
botanist.i include a number of tjnite differa-uS looking flowers in 
the one species, Dmulrohkiui icrctijaliu.\n i and at the same time 
insist upon splitting up these tiny Prasophylla, which "all look- 
alike." into a number trf independent species. Now it cannot be 
too strongly emphasized that size and superficial appearance are 
of litfle r>r no value as criteria of specific distinction. Morpho- 
logical differences are the features that really matter. It is true 
that certain forms of Dendrolrinm tiwetifoHwn possess flowers 
more than twice as large as others, and of different colour But 
the morphology of the flowers is identical in all cases, or so nearly 
so that the slight divergences are unimportant. Therefore all are. 
kept within one species. 

Turning now to the Gcnoplcsium Prasophylls. it may lie true 
that many (though certa>nly "ot all) look much alike to the 
naked eye — because fhc naked eye is incapable of detecting 
morphological details on so small a scale, J?J|( the diminutive 
;>izc Of those details has absolutely no bearing on their importance; 
in so far as their size is concerned at all it must be judged 
relatively to the dimensions of the (lower itself And if one flower 
has a shield-shaped labellum with densely fimbriate margins, and 
another has a narrow oblong labellum with entire margins, it 
makes no difference whatever to the importance of ihat distinction 
whether you can measure the lahella in decimetres or whether 
you have to use millimetres. Sixc is nothing: nwphnlngy is 

The "pygmy Prasophylls/' as ihey are often called, are of 
unfailing interest to those who will take the trouble to study them. 
Superficially, they seem so far removed from their robust relatives 
in Other sections of <he genus thai one can hardly refrain from 
asking. Why nm revive Brown's genus CenopU'.sinm. and lake 
them all out of Prasophytlum? The answer here also i» given hy 
their morphology, tinder the magnifier, then floral structure 
is seen to agree so closely lit essentials with that of the latger 

j£jj Jvt.n-f, Tllf Settitm Gfuoplcsiam in the fjcmtj, P\<isopkylh*\\ l.W 

forms that generic separation would be inadvisable ; and indeed, n 
few species of the section Fadochihis may be regarded as inter- 
mediate links. 

New South Wales appears lo be the home par excellence of the^e 
pygmies. Although we may confidently expect the discovery ot 
further' species in the other States (and perhaps m New ZcaJand). 
it does not seem likely that the New South Wales total will ever 
be reached elsewhere. If the sixteen forms figured by Fitzgerald 
are accepted as valid species (hut O" this point more will be said 
presently), adding to them the other eight species since recorded 
in this State, we have twenty-four, and die presenl. paper will 
increase this number to thirty. Victoria has eleven species, of 
which only four are not known in N.S.W ; Tasmania has five. 
South Australia three, Western Australia two, and Queensland 
four. Among those included in the Victorian and Tasmam'au 
figures, however, is Undley's P. brachyslachyum, which W. H. 
NichoUs and others consider tn be conspecific with Brown's P. 
de spec tans. 

But the question has been raised : Arc all the forms figured by 
Fitzgerald in Australian- Orchids really valid spfceies? Certainly 
a tew have evaded the eyes of the keenest searchers ever since 
they were published more than half a century ago. Yet how 
couid Fiizgcrald have drawn them unless they exisled? No one — 
certainly not the present writer — can fail to appreciate the mag- 
nificent work of Australia's first great orchidologist; but no man 
is infallible, and we know that Fitzgerald did make mistakes. 
Remembering how scanty were the aids to identification in his 
day, the marvel is chat he made so few. But the point is raised 
here, because those of us who have been concentrating a good 
deal of attention on the Genoplcsivw Prasyphyils have observed, 
at least in *ome cases, that the floral details undergo appreciable 
changes of jorm in the coarse of their brief existence, and arc 
particularly liable to do so after being handled or transported by 
post This makes one wonder whether all the species that have 
been described are really valid, or whether in any cases the same 
flower lias been dealt with twice at different stages. A shrinkage 
of the iabelhmi or die eolunm-appendages can materially alter 
the appearance of the flower where everydun^ is on such a 
diminutive scale 1 am not saying that this Has happened in the 
ease of any of Fitzgerald's forms, although I confess to doubts 
about two — P. tratisversmn, and P. eriochihrm But in view of 
what has just been said, it is most desirable that all students of 
these "pygmies" who can do so should make careful sketches, >yn 
an enlarged scale, of the floral details, and should then watch for 
»he possible occurrence of changes before the flowers wither. 

140 T ami* u.. '}!.;■ M- 'hi fistick h'ctmlrd V\M.UX. 

Dissatisfaction ifl often expressed at the inadequacy ot published 
descriptions: a specimen perhaps does not conform precisely to 
the description or illustration, and the collector complains of the 
difficulty of identification. But it should be realized that no 
description, however eminent its author, can teasnnabry be 
expected to he perfect. If Nature had turned out species each m 
a uniform mould, then they mlight: be described perfectly; hut. 
.Nature has done nothing of the Auid. The grouping into genera, 
and species is not but work, hut man's; and although he makes 
it as "natural" as he can, 1here will always he difficulties. livery 
species inevitably exhibits variability — some, of course, to a far 
greater extent than others — and it would be impossible to provide 
descriptions covering every variation to which a particular species* 
may be liable. All tins applies with emphasis to dimiuutive 
flowers such as are under discussion. 

(To be coiicliidcd.) 

By A, J, TnaaaXf Melbourne 

Oucc •" * while the Whips-tick Scrub, near fViidifto, excels itself lit. 
floral wealth. This .season is one ol those exception. 1 ;, hast year wus> 
droughty, but this i* the season of plenty arid abundance. In September 1 
visited the northern end of dus delightful forest and was rewarded with 
those glimpses of our Malice growth when Nature's garden smiles i»pmv 
you everywhere. 

My companion was one ol die younger ami new members of the Club- 
whose uncanny sense of locality and observation allow.? you to know where 
you are and to whose hush eyes and instincts nothing is lost. A bird 
flavhes by and instantly you are told its name and habits, or you arc shown 
its n«t of two eggs. Of course t miss sometimes as I am botanizing 
in the "mystery" paddock where there ii so much of interest to inc. Adding 
up Piy list I find I have collected 100 species of plants 

There is Piltospvrnm- phyltyrdeindcs standing like a sentinel 3gnimt the 
sky-line — ,ind what a pretty mottled bark I Myosin inn desctii is In flower, 
E;u-tr!yfitlis Frntigatti is a species we have heeu searching for. ami so is the 
Altlalnutu fubnicens (M. jrurviflora). We find Acacia i/rj-chybotryo also 
an obicct of long search, Cwsia Slurlit is in flower. While ws find 
Oodonaco- cvntntn in fnl) fruit, Dodomtn froatmbvrt.! (which is a rare 
find) has not yet shown any signs of flower oilier than its sticky loliage. 
Is it out of place? It is supposed to be only a hillside plant of the N.E- 
and S.W. of Vicrocw. There is a iiulavia, ofttn lowly, and spii»escenl, but 
here nearly 1hree feet high. Tt is rather late to find Caladcma cncniha in 
flower, with C. cariwa Proxhwthera asfi/ilotlicip'cs i$ not uncommon, and 
once seen is n.ot forgotten. 

This October 1 spent a happy Jay at the south end of the Whipstirk, 
whore the floral wealth |jert.ists. Here was lound by Mr. Perry, my 
companion, tne rare white form of iiormiia dniHgcru, lormci'ly called fi. 
nnemdnifoha-, while 1 was delighted to find the equally tare wliile form 
of Vaini>un-« taih'Colata, usually h beautiful and striking purple Nol Far 
distant I found Diwris breviw'ma, which Mr. W. H. Nicholls described 
recently in the N'aJuralisi as so IOv«;!y and closely approximating P, 
t'olaelula or D. macidata, 

^ 4 '.] 00/ v. The Eytt of ihc Bush .HI 


( Summary of lecture given io the FNC. hy Dr. Kcv»n O'Day; 

Yhc paper discussed only the eyes of the vertebrate family The usual 
•organ is present in a highly developed form itt a very primitive vertebrate — 
(|lC lamprey, its form and (unction depends largely on the habit* oi its 
Ijossessor— «n the lishcs, lor example, whose range of vision is restricted 
by the medium in which they live, tlie eye is normally Focused for near 
vision; thai is., the fish- is short sighted. Animals active in the bright light 
of day usually possess very keen visfon and an apparatus which will focus 
ide eye accurately. The nocturnal animal is not able to see fine detail,, 
im! is very sensitive to low degrees ol illumination. It has been suggested 
that some may have eyes sensitive to a wider range of wave lengths 
tlKin is the human. Animals such as the marsupial mole and the blind 
snake, couleut to live in a medium devoid of light, possess eyes which have 
lost most, H not all, of their usual visual function, 

In the eyes of ihc Australian fauna the field naturalist will find much to 
-interest him, Birds and reptiles, two allied groups, arc the greatest sun- 
lovers amongst the vertebrates. Vision with them is a highly-developed 
sense-. Their eyes are truly enormous in proportion to the size ol their 
heads and the rest of the body. The area of the clear part of the eye, 
ihc corner, which is visible, gives no indication of the sivc of the structure 
behind it. Most of them, like man, possess a central area of acute vision 
—the macula— ol winch some birds have two. Anatomically there is reason 
to believe that the vision in birds is more acute than that of man. In 
paving: it is of interest to note that the macula almost universal!) present 
in birds and reptiles is confined, amongst mammals, to man and a few 
monkeys. As a group, mammals shim the light of day. preferring the 
iwilight or the shades of night, when the visual sense it severely handicapped 
and subsidiary to olher senses. 

Sneaking generally, nocturnal animals may l>e recognised by tlveir 
prominent eyes. This definition >s a tittle misleading, as it is not the eye 
itself which is enlarged but the cornea in rclabun to the rest of the eye. 
The e»:f«lajiation is fairly obvious — the cornea or window of the eye is 
made targe to collect as much light <c* possible. For this reason the eyes 
of our marsupials are prominent features, as they are also in the geckos, 
one of our two families of nocturnal reptile*. So prominent arc they iu 
the latter ease that a camouflage is often adopted to hide them. The colour 
■of the iris merges into the coloration of tlie rest of the head, so that the 
large eye is not at all a prominent feature. This feature is particularly 
weM seen in some of the snake-lizards (Pygopvriidac), our olher nocturnal 
family of lizards. 

The smaller lizards are a very interesting group. Their eyes ane very 
well-constructed visual organs. Living- very close to the ground, Ihey arc 
-confronted with difficulties which they have managed to surmount in a 
lirillwut manner. Their eyes axe in constant, danger from dust ami sand, 
and the lids must be closed frequently to protect Ihc sensitive cornea. 
Many of them possess lower eyelids as transparent as the cornea itself, 
and can see as well with, the lids shut, as open. 

In the burrowing types of lizards the lids remain permanently closed 
aud transparent. The snake- lizards possess lids of this type (spectacles). 
as does the gecko. The spectacle, of course, is a characteristic fealt»ru of 
til* «nake's eyes, and gives M its baleful stare 

142 Zimjieh, Trtiitsccl Study of Plight of Seeds of Murray Pine [^ **£ 


By W. J. Zimmer, Dip.For., F.L.S., Wangaratta, Victoria 

• Parent Trees. « 

. Seedlings. 

Scale, I inch equals I chain, examples of natural regeneration of Murray Pine 
(CalKtris) in Victoria are so uncommon that an opportunity was 
taken in 1938 of recording certain information which was made 
available by such an occurrence near Mildura. 

It must be noted that rabbit- proof fencing permitted seedlings 

8«S ] Zimmhm.. 'Irnnscci Study of Plight oj Seeds of Mmroy Phtr 143 

to become established within the enclosure. Outside the fence, 
which was accessible to both, rabbits and hares, no regeneration 

The data collected in this study is of some importance because it 
reveals, among other things, the distance that primary belts of trees 
of this species should be established in any measures that may be 
taken to re-clothe denuded timber areas in the red-brown soils 
oi the Mallee. The conclusion to be drawn is that, where broadcast 
sowing is compelled by the total absence of seed trees, tlic belts 
should be about eight chains apart and placed to suit the topography 
and soil types of the region concerned. 

A plan of tlie area, drawn to scale, is presented and the ensuing 
summary of information should be construed therewith: 

Date of Study : November, 1938. Average height of seedlings : 
13 ft. Regeneration commenced ; 1924. Number of seedlings : 138- 

SU'illings distnimtcd as follows: 

Zone .1 (withiu 1 chain ot parent trees) 16 

Zone 2 (between 1 and 2 chains from parent trees) - . 63 

Zone 3 (between 2 and 3 chains from parent trees} .. .36 

Zone 4 (between 3 and 4 chains from parent trees) . . 23 
Area seeded by 3 parent trees, approximately 2 acres. 

Height Classes: 

The first figure indicates the height in feet ot the seedlings. 
The figure in parenthesis represents the number of seedlings 
belonging to that particular height-class. 

1 (1), 2 (1), 3 (1), 4 (2), 5 (1), 6 (7), 7 (2.. 8 (5), 9 (7), 
10 (13), 11 (8), 12 (15), 13 (15), 14 (16), 15 (13), 16 (5), 
17 (10), 18 (3), 19 (5), 20 (8). 

In connection with broadcast sowing, experiments conducted 
indicate that deep covering of the seeds is undesirable. It was 
revealed in actual germination tests that seeds sown at depths of 
half-inch, one inch, two inches and three inches, have sufficient 
energy to permit of the cotyledons reaching (be soil-surface, 
although the percentage of success falls away badly at three inches. 

The cotyledons of seeds sown at four inches and six incites 
failed to reach the surface and perished in spite of the fact, that the 
germination had been quite good. These experiments also showed 
that the average percentage-fertility of the seeds of the Murray 
Pine could be assessed at about one-third. 

Several botanical papers i\rc held over from this issue. At present the 
chief need is for more contributions, both articles and f>araftrai>lis. of a 

zoological or general nature. 

144 Natm'ttl History of Melhmirn,: J v ^ ^ j* 


A symposium of outstanding Natural HMorj - features ol llic !Siclb(>iirtTC 
district was held at the October meeting of the F.N C Here follow 
summaries of »umt of the botanical cOiWrwutiotts to the discussion. 

Mr. H. C. E. Stewart referred to the world-renowned. San<lr»na;l»ri>ii 
flora, very little of which survives within reasonable distance of the. city. 
The Coastal Ty-a-tree {Lcplo.tptrm,um la^vlgMuin) , once til? glory of ilie 
near bay foreshore, had declined until the nearest natural examples occurred 
at Point Ortnond The. speaker pleaded for more foreshore replanting of 
the tree by baysidc councils and its geifctal usi as a hedge plant by seaside 
, , -. I j 1 1 • i ; Allusion was also made to a fine Iree uf Em'ofypiitJt fuifvfia in 
the Brighton Cemetery, and the forma] plantation of Australian shrubs in 
front of the Melbourne Public Library. 


Mr. J. II. Willis emphasized the close affinity between the three Inajor 
geological formations around Melbourne — busiltic plain, red sand, and hills 
of old S'biriuii nv.l: — and the natural vegetation that the^c support There 
were, however, cither plant communities independent of general geology, e.g., 
tl»e distinctive flora on coastal sand-dunes (a result of sea and wind) 
and that of saline marshes which could arise on widely differing substrata. 
The latter form the basis trt Mr. Willis's contribution. 

Owing to a high concentration of salt in certain damp, low-lying areas, 
only those plants with peculiar adaptations can thrive in suclt a habitat — 
notably succulent members of the "goose-foot" family (Cfcnto/ioriWcir), 
winch impart a characteristic facics to Mich areas. There occurs, well 
within the four-mile radins from 1hr heart of Melbourne, an excellent 
survival of salt-marsh vegetation, vix. — at the mouth of the Yarra just 
west of Pott Melbourne. Here Ihc Baron von Mueller in ihe 
JR.SO\ and F. M. Reader in ihc 'nineties j-ach adding several interesting 
record; to our Victorian flora Naturalists are still assured of a profitable 
aiternoon's hunting in this close but neglected field. 

Municipal rubbish tips, are slowly encroaching on the swamps at Fisher- 
men's Wend, though it is doubtful if tbey will ever rcSch the Yarn mOulli 
ilseli, and if one would prefer a less testricted lielC, why not lake the 
1/1 J- return rail fare to Scaholme ? A mile walk hack along the beach 
id Kororoit Creek (Williamstown racecourse) leads one iiast >ir£in 
marsh where some HO different flowering plants may be gathered: more 
than half of these are indigenous, including most of the typical salt-marsh 
inhabitants to be found anywhere in Victoria, yet the little "piglace" of 
Port Melbourne is apparently absent To reach the Kororoit, one pushes 
through a waist-high forest of Arthrnrncinuiii and treads with a tpjeer 
Icch'tiK Oi\ the sti'iashy-yiclding carpet of Beaded Glasswort (Safrcvrnui). 
At the Creek bank a long line of healthy mangroves extends out seaward — 
the botanical highlight of the excursion! Mangroves are essentially li'onte 
by ■ ia{ur . and to have nn mil tier uf them flourishing within six miles Of 
Melbourne City >s surely >n\e oi our most outstanding botanic features. 

Time did not permit Mr, Willis to enlarge on the amazing /»i!c«wuvtr>- 
fihnrrs or aerial breathing roots, nor on the strange, square mangrove 
crabs (Craphisnrn) which burrow anions them. There is no clear-cut 
flowering season with swamp plants, which are independent of water supply, 
and he had no hesitation in recommending our suburban salt-marshes to 
fcllow-traturalists as a source of much interest al any time of the year 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LK.- No. 9 January 6, 1943 No - 7°9 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on December 14, 
1942 The President (Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison) presided and 
about SO members and friend!; attended. 


An illustrated lecture "One Antarctic Day," was given by Mi. 
C A. Hoadley, C.B.E., M Sc. The lecturer had been with Sir 
Douglas Mawson (then Dr. Mawson) in the Antarctic, and lite 
slides shown were from photographs taken at the time. A very 
fine scries showing ice structures, the various types of penguins 
and their rookeries, as well as other animal life and general photo- 
graphs of various members of the expedition at work, formed the 
basis of a running commentary that gave to those present one of 
the most interesting lectures we have had at Club meetings. 
On the Club's behalf a vote of thanks to Mr. Hoadlcy was moved 
by the President, seconded by Mr. E. E. Pescott, and carried by 


From Mr. F. Lewis. Chief Inspector of Fisheries and Game. 
stating that Butcher-birds are not protected and therefore killing 
(hem is legal. 

Letter from Club Member Les Fuaux, at present "Somewhere 
in Australia, '' containing remarks on mosquitoes. 


Excursions were reported on as follows: Botanic Gardens, Mr. 
H . C E. Stewart: Eltham. Mr. A. S. Chalk. 


The President accorded a welcome to Dr H, Flecker, a one-time 
member of this Club, more recently of Cairns and at present wilh 
the forces in North Australia. In a short address. Dr. Flecker 
described work being done for the war effort by naturalists of 
the northern parts of Australia. This included search for timbers, 
mosquito control, prevention of malaria and dengue, investigation 
of native fruits as an emergency food for troops, collecting of 
specified native plants for investigation by the C.S.I.R.. and 
teaching of selected troops the uses of many species of our fauna 
;md flora. 

Wj j-icld Naunolisis' Cliil) PrrirtrritU't* [ v^.j. V,"x 


The following were elected as ordinary members of the Chilr 
Mrs. L. Cochrane. Miss D Murphy, Miss C, Codling. Mr A. L. 
fiiient. Mr. li. Preston; and as country member. Mi M. A. 

It was announced that the Altona excursion, listed for January 
•9 (1943), would be held on January 30, 1943, other arrangements 
being the same. 


Mr. V. H. Miller reported on mortality among small birds, and 
asked if it were due In the new pest destructors on the market. 
Other mernbers reported similarly, and it was decided that the 
Committee make an investigation. 


Mrs. M. E. Freatnc — Whale baleen, whale food, teeth of killer 
whale and $**» elephant; painting of Mounts Erehuv :iml Terror, 
map of Little America. 

Mr, R, G. Painter — Garden-grown flowers, including Boronia 
slatwr, Bruno-trio australis, Callistemon citrimts. C. ruguhsus, 
CalothamvM GMicsii, Melaleuca hypencifolia, M, pulchdh. 
Eucalyptus platypus var. purpurascens, Snllya fu.rif omits, Slciitr- 
, chilus nuuulitfus, Thonmia pi>t<docalyx f Tsotonra- pe.traeo-. WvJtlcn- 
bergw gracilis, Rl/indjordia grandiflora. Hilmcus Ilucgcllii var. 

Mi. A. D. Hardy — The hair-worm {G or dim aqua-lints). 

Mr. J. H. Willis — Some unusual Victorian timbers, viz. : GxjsI 
sallbush, samphire glasswort, scrubby blue-bush, tangled lignum,, 
dillon-bush, quandong, dark turpentine, bush, cushion-bush, thyme 
rice-flower, snowy mint-hush. 


The Brisbane Ranges {south-west of Bacchus Marsh) have been well 
worked by naturalists and frequently mentioned in this journal. Not least 
among their interesting features is the strange recurrence of an East 
Oippsland flora. Six shrubs, Grevillea chrysopluica, Bossiaea mictophylh, 
Pamadcrris j>>rr><gmea, bijlorus, Proslwthera dcaissata, and 
Olraritt ioil(iihfoa occur here, yet nowhere else west of Gippsland. On a 
rwent trip to (he area. 1 collected no fewer than 320 flowering plains, 
including two new records which conform to the above rule, namely. 
Poranihera corymbosa and Pomax nmticllata, both small East Victorian 
plants inhabiting barren stony slopes high up in the ranges. 

The above instances are too numerous to be a matter of chance, and open 
up an interesting field for investigation: are we dealing with some remark- 
able Conformity Of soil and climate, or is H a question of survival from a 
onoe mote widely distributed type of vegetation? — j. II. Willis. 

u\ n a] FcEfty, The Browt Snake W 


By David Kueay, Director Badger Creek Sanctuary, 


The following notes deal wilh some of the ways and peculiarities 
of the remarkable Brown Snake (Dempnsia tcx-tilis) which is a 
"non-conformist" in many respects so far us our common venomous 
snakes arc concerned However, a passing reference to Dr. C. H. 
Kellaway's conclusions on Brown Snake venom and its tonicity 
is as well to hear in mind. These are set out under four headings 
in the Medical Journal of Austria (Dec, 12, 1931), and sum- 
marized briefly they are. as follow: 

(1) The Brown Snake's venom i'k highly potent, though .somewhat inferior 
in this rcspert to the venom of lite Tiger Snake. 

(2) It is powerfully ueuroloxic (acting on the nervous system). 

(3) The thrombin (dotting agent) is also very powerful, causing death 
in experimental animals hy intravascular coagulation. 

(4) The high toxicity of the venom accounts for the mortality caused by 
Mtes in man, which is unexpected in view of the poor venom yiekh. 
and poor luting apparatus of this snake. It i> * fated, however, (hat 
even though the Brown Snake is a poorer vciiom-productr than 
members of other species, it must give cmisidernb'.y larprcr quantities 
of poison iti the. wdd state than it does in captivity. 

On account oi the disappointing results of "milking" in this 
species, the manufacture of a specific autivcnine has not been 
possible. However. I am informed hy Mr. C. L, Ricardo, of the 
Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. Roya! Park, that Tiger 
Snake ancivenitte may .be used to counteract the action of Brown 
Snake bites, though it is of little use. It is probably the neurotoxic 
principle of the venom that may be neutralized, thereby giving 
a chance of recovery. The clotting agent, however, -which is more 
powerful than that of Tiger Snake venom, would probably he 
responsible for death in the- case of unsuccessful treatment. 

Varying in colour irout olive through light tan to almost 
white, the lithe Brown Snake h readily distinguished from other 
well-known species hy its lon^, slim, whin-like form and small 
head. More particularly is it characterized hy its amazingly rapid 
movements, for the "Brown'" is a "racehorse" among snakes. 

Widely spread in Australia, the Brown Snake is a lover of dry 
open plains and rocky .sun-baked hillsides. Cut in the wide spaces, 
where the shimmering heat waves dunce across the fences and 
the ravens' calls- are heard, there the Brown Snake is al home, 
It shuns the swamps and iorcsfed marshy places dear lo the. Tigers, 
Blacks and Copperheads. Typically a snake of the inland it is 
unknown in Tasmania 

Very closely related to it is the Collared Brown Snake (Demansia 
m<cha!>s), the dominant form in Western Australia. D. nucholts 

148 Flmv, The Brown S*u>k<r VvZi.ux 

is also found in Soulh Australia. New South Wales, and occasion- 
ally in Victoria In Western Australia this Brown Snake is 
familiarly known as the "Gwardar." 

A study of our Brown Snake {P. ttxtitis) provides more thrills, 
than is usually associated with field observations in herpetologv, 
Having captured many hundreds of snakes in a variety of places 
during the past twenty-five years (and. helicve mc, it can be a 
sport par exctfl-.nw 1 ) I have no hesitation in placing tins 
fellow at the head of the list for downright ferocity, speed, ami 
lightning striking movements when chased and cornered Almost 
certainly all who know him will agree. Where the comparatively 
sluggish Tiger, the heavy-hodied Blark, and the shy, nervous 
Copperhead may be captured by the expert with a certain degree 
of ease, it is an affair fraught with grave dangei to intpifere on a 
hot day with an active Brown Snake. 

The four outstanding points of dissimilarity with its venomous 
brethren are Us curious striking position, its merhod of hunting 
and killing its prey, its egg-laying habit and its insistence on a dry. 
sunny, well-drained habitat Blown Snakes will not thrive in 
captivity, even in a large open-air park, should there be the 
faintest suggestion of lingering dampness ahnnt the soil. Shy and 
retiring, like most snakes until interfered with, a Brown Snake 
on the defensive is an extremely dangerous antagonist, providing 
a most spectacular display of action, Usually slightly more than 
a third of the fore-part of the body is raised exceptionally high 
off the ground, taking up a shape cnmparahle to a compressed a. 
This characteristic attacking attitude, with the wicked little head 
facing forward above the lateral S !>ends. permits a lightning-swift 
and extremely lengthy forward lunge. 

Quite unlike the Tiger, Black and Copperhead in this curious 
curving of its body, the Brown does not flatten its neck in anger 
and it is also unusual in striking with its mouth wide Open. 

Really large specimens, which have been measured up to seven 
feet in length, are thus formidable customers to capture. Striking 
from the typical elevated poise, they are liable to bite one ubovc 
the knee. 

Leaving their "homes" unly 013 very hot days to search for 
food, Brown Snakes move very actively, halting occasionally with 
raised heads to survey the landscape. Mice in the haystacks, 
young rabbits, rats, birds and occasional lizards are favourites 
on thr menu. Frogs are disliked intensely, I have had reports of 
Brown Snakes killing young hares and even taking fledgling 
Bee-eaters or Rainbow-birds from their nurseiv tunnels. 

This snake appear* to hunt more by sight and not so much by 
smell, as in the rase of other species. It is a -Striking thing to watch 
a questing Brown Snake raise its head and "spot" a moving bird 


Pi.atk ,\ 

Janihirv, I94. : 

A Brown Snake live Itvt h>nn Cufc] fiikiut her iri—lil \-1aid fjJjJSS. 
A sheet iif hark had to Ik- lifted in order to take this phi>ttij?T;inh; 

"Snakcliug.s" of Driuaiisit! fc.vlilis a few hours old and crumpled 
ejjK-shclls. Infantile hktck head-patches and cross-bars are 

Photos. : D. FU'ay. 

J™"] Fleav, The Brown Snake 149 

or small mammal fifteen or twenty feet distant. Galvanized into 
startling action, the reptile literally hurtles across the intervening 
space, and continues the chase even should the intended victim 
turn to flee. 

The climax of the chase reveals one of the truly remarkable 
actions of the Brown Snake, for no sooner has it buried its fangs 
in its quarry than it instantaneously wraps a series of tight coils 
about the victim and remains motionless, still maintaining the 
relentless mouth grip. Minutes may pass before the circulating 
venom has had time to complete its deadly work and all struggles 
have ceased. This python-like envelopment of its victims is 
unique among the killing habits of our venomous snakes. 

The late Mr. H. Pooley, of Barnawartha (V.), reported the 
discovery of a marauding Brown Snake neatly coiled about a 
pet Rosella Parrot inside the latter's cage. Another correspondent 
of The Arffus Nature Notes column, Mr. Peter Hammerlit 
(Geelong, V,), wrote describing the fate of a leveret to which 
he was attracted by its agonized squealing. Gripping it in its 
jaws and at the same time maintaining a "fire-reel" coil about its 
body, was a very large Brown Snake. 

When all struggles of its victim have ceased, relaxing of the 
encircling coils takes place and the snake investigates and considers 
the body with incessant flickering of its tongue. In swallowing 
its prey, the Brown Snake follows the usual head-first procedure, 
so that the victim slides in on a ''streamlined" course. A reversal 
of the correct engulfing procedure which may occur when a snake 
is ravenously hungry is liable to have unfortunate consequences. 
Several years ago Mr. W. G. Mackrell, of Strathbogie, came 
across a small Brown Snake wriggling about aimlessly. It made 
no attempt to get away, and on a closer inspection Mr. Mackrell 
found that the snake's head was enveloped in the wings and 
feathers of a bird. When this "Brown" was killed it was discovered 
that it had begun to swallow a ground-lark (pipit) legs and 
tail first and the wings projecting on each side of the mouth had 
obstructed further progress. Evidently the attempt had gone on 
for some considerable time, as the toes and portion of the bird's 
legs had been digested. Usually it is not difficult for a snake 
to disgorge an awkward meal, but in this case the entanglement 
must have presented unusual difficulties. 

As in the case of the Black Snake, evidence points to November 
as the mating month of the Brown Snake, and as in the case 
of the first-mentioned species, where rival males may battle 
fiercely in the remarkable "plaited rope" grapple, so do Brown 
Snakes fight when one has possibly infringed on the territory 
of another. Again, in its egg-laying habit — a feature at variance 
with the viviparous habits of Copperheads, Tigers, and Black 


Fleay, The Brown Snake 

rViet. Nat. 
L Vol. LIX 

Snakes — the Brown Snake shows another point of similarity 
with the pythons or constricting snakes. The elongated, soft- 
shelled white eggs of the Brown Snakes are usually found, if 
discovered at all, in the debris of rotting logs or stumps, or in 
burrows. Numbering from 15 to 30 in a batch, they must remain 
hidden in a sheltered position with some degree of moisture. 
The sun's heat causes them to shrivel very rapidly. 

In the only case I have observed of a female Brown Snake 
laying eggs in captivity, the reptile retired to a secluded position 

Rearing up in anger, a six-foot Brown Snake prepares to s 
forward with open mouth. 
Photo. : D. Fleay. 


among grass and sandy soil beneath a large and heavy sheet of 
bark. Here she was discovered, when her absence of several days 
caused a search, coiled neatly about some fifteen eggs. This 
python-like attitude suggests to me that it is possible Brown 
Snakes curl about their eggs for part at least, if not all, of the 
incubation period, which possibly extends from two to three 
weeks. In the case observed the "sitting" snake deserted her 
batch because of a second upheaval of the covering bark sheet 
for the purpose of securing photographs of the unique sight. 

In another case reported to me, a Brown Snake was discovered 
in a stump with eggs which were on the point of hatching. 

At the time of hatching and up to a 2-ft.-Iong stage, young Brown 

•'£"j] Vlkav, Thn Brown jfruft ISJ 

Snakes, arc prettily marked. They are yellowish or brown in 
general colour, while the top of the head is black except for thr 
snout and a yellow bar behind the widest part of the head. 
The ua|te is also black and the rest of the body or some part of it 
may be marked with narrow dark croaS-bars. As in I lie adults, the 
ventral shield scales are usually marked with pink or rust-coloured 
spots. This variable infantile camouflage, so necessary with 
kookaburras and many other bush birds constantly on recon- 
naissance, is gradually lost as the snakeling grows and sloughs its 
m;my mats. Newly -hatched Brown Snakes, being far too small 
to feed on even the smallest of birds or mammals, appear to seek 
out liny lizards and insects as an early source of nourishment. 

Sloughing of the skin in adult Brown Snakes, or m any 
venomous snake for that matter, takes place much more iret|ucntly 
than on the single occasion per season which is such a universal 
belief. In fact, as many as four to six sloughings may uccur 
between the warm months of September and March It is an 
interesting sight watching a snake, emerging with obvious relief 
from its old coat, vigorously heaving and jerking its ribs at the 
succeeding points of contact between the progressively rolling 
back old skin and its body. 

Skin sloughing in the case of an unhealthy snake may result in 
pieces of skin tearing off by degrees or in only (jartia) shedding. 
Mr. W. G. Mackrell records a remarkable case of a skin-shedding 
Brown Snake that brought about its own death. This snake had 
evidently begun the sloughing process in a patch of coarse grass. 
However, the skin slipping b;ick from the head failed to turn 
inside out easily. Instead it worked liatk in an ever-increasing 
and ever-tightening ropc-likc band with several grass stalks 
entangled in its folds. To these grass stalks the- snake became 
thoroughly fast with no chance of further shedding its skin or of 
moving away. There it had died a lingpiing and miserable death. 

As previously mentioned, the speed of the Blown Snake's 
mooements exceeds that of our other venomous species such us 
the Tiger. Copperhead and Black Snakes. In fact, it is no 
exaggeration to claim that the Brown fellow is ten limes as 
rapid in its movements as any ot its contemporaries, and for a 
short distance in hot weather, when it is in top form. I have 
found by experiment that a Brown can travel practically as fast 
as the average man can run. On snake-catching I rips to such 
places as the Stony Rises near Camperdown, the basaltic stone- 
wall country of Melton and Werribec. and the Riyerina plains. 
1 have many a time made futile dashes to overtake active Browns, 
but with cover anywhere near one rarely has much of a chance 
to overtake the fleeing reptiles baforc they reach a sale haven. 
Naturally if the retreat happens to he a small rabbit burrow or tflc 

152 Fixay, Tite Brown- Snake DvJi.ux 

cavity under a rocky slab then the capture of such specimens is still 

Another interesting feature about the Brown Snake's habits 
is the fact that it is strictly diurnal, loving the hot,, sizzling days, 
and unlike the Tiger and Copperhead it never wanders abroad 
even on the hottest of nights, Years ago, when camping at .Hall's 
Gap in the Grampians, 1 had.- reason to be thankful ior the Brown 
Snake's somnolence in the darker hours. I slept in an old bark 
hut on a pile of hessiau strips. In the morning I discovered a 
fine "Brown" there. He had been beneath me all night long I 

Several of the largest Brown Snakes I. have captured were 
collected with ease by the simple means of digging out Iters 
retreats m decayed root-cavities and rabbit-burrows after nightfall 
when the drop in temperature had considerably reduced then- 
fighting powers. 

One of the finest specimens ever added to our Snake Pari; in 
the Badger Creek Sanctuary, Healesville. was chased "to earth" 
at Strathbogie on a hot day in 1939 by Mr. W G.'Mackrcll. 
This enthusiastic naturalist carefully blocked up all possible exits 
to the system of old root-holes in which the snake had taken 
refuge, and then telephoned news of his "find"' to mc at Badger 
Creek, That same evening we made a return trip to Strathbogie 
— 170 miles in all — for 6| feet of Brown Snake. However, the 
long night journey (plus pick and shovel exercise) was well 
worth while, for this "grandfather" reptile, with numerous 'plate 
scale" scars, indicating the old wounds of lucky escapes in its 
past life, was not only 6 feet 3 inches in length but 9 inches in 
girth, which is an outsize for this comparatively slim species, 

FitzG. ok Fitzg, ? 

Recently many Victorian botanists have written, asking me my authority 
for spelling the name of the "father" of Australian nrdlfrlology, R. D. 
FitiGerald, with a capital G in a' biographical sketch 1 published in the 
Pie, /Vu(. many years ago. His eldest son, the present R, T> FiwGcrfilr], 
now well up in his "O's, is a valued friend of mine, and a call on his time 
invariably means a half-hour of merriment, So I asked him to tivc 
to the Victorian naturalists hi* authority for the apelfing of his name. 
The request called forth the prompt reply — 

"To be spelt with a capital CY 
Is wot it's got to be." 

Possibly, because the small g has been used for so long; the capital will 
take some accepting. In fact, one orehidologist went so far as to say that 
it will i'0t be popular because it will take M much longer to wrile when 
you are in a hurry! 

But if the family name is FirzCcraM, the capital G must be used in 
future, not only on a plea of accuracy, but out of respect for the name of 
a vtry great nature-lover whose memory is dear to all orchidolocisis. 

tetJtfL R. Messmfr (Liiidfield, TvS.W.). 

f",|J Mrtv-iieir, A Thfi >o the tiimhtrltji 153 

By S. R. Mitchell, Melbourne 

.A visit lo the VVesl Kimberley district. North- western 
Australia, was made by die writer and Mr. F. S. Fori nan. 
Government Geologist of Western Australia, last August aiui 
September for the purpose of investigating some occurrences of 
emery in the vicinity of Mr. Broome, and to arrange ior supplies 
to be sent Lo Melbourne. Emery is ail impure form of die mineral 
Corundum, Usually found as a granular rock, it \$ diiTk in colour, 
very dense, and extietnely hard and tough. Its chief uses are as 
an ahradent in grain ur powder lorm for cutting and polishing 
metal, stone and glass, and for the making of emery cloth. 

Leaving Melbourne by plane on August 23, at 6.40 am. Perth 
was reached that evening, and the following night we arrived at 
Broome — a total distance of 3,106 miles had been coyered in two 
days. An hour's journey next morning brought us to Derby, a 
small town close lo the mouth of the P'itzroy River. 

Our destination being some J 50 miles east of Derby, a start 
wm= made the Following morning with a 'truck heavily laden with 
petrol, food, water and five companions. The Mt. House track . 
was followed to Winjiiina Gorge, about 105 miles cast of Derby, 
which was reached that evening. The road first crosses the 
extensive marshes- or mud fiats of the Fttzroy River delta and 
then for several miles "Pindait" country, a .sandy coastal belt 
with a profusion of Acacias, Strychnine bnsfh, Cotton bush. 
Bauhinia. Baobab and Euralypta. 

For about 100 miles trtt_ flood plains of the Fitzroy and Lennard 
Rivers were then traxersecl. With the exception of an elevated 
rocky area near the Ktmberley Downs homestead, the country is 
flat and well grassed, with a sparse scrub of Bauhinia, Eucalypti, 
and a few Boabab. On the frequent cane-grass areas travelling 
was decidedly rough, with an occasional dry water-course lo 
cross. Several waterholes were passed, and owing to the lateness 
and dryness of the season waterfowl had congregated at them in 
large numbers They included ducks, pelicans, cormorants, 
jalrirus. brolgas and ibis, whilst on the plains bustards and cuius 
were plentiful. A species of wallaby of a yellow colour, and with 
a remarkable turn nf speed, was evcpprtonally numerous. 

Small ground pigeons and bright-pluuiaged kingfishers with 
raucous calls were noted, but as none nf us was an ornithologist 
a record of the many other species could not be made. 

Kimhcrley Downs homestead, some 65 miles from Derby, is 
close to Mount Marion, a flat-topped "mesa" of slightly dipping 
beds of Permian age., containing some interesting marine fossils. 
This mesa was originally part of a plateau, and has been isolated 

134 MtTcnrxc, A Trip in iht Kimberkys [ v "|' L [v' 

by denuding agencies. The only other hills seen in this section 
were Mourns Percy and North, many miles to the south, the 
latter a dissected volcanic plug of leucile basalt. 

Winjmna Gorge was reached at dusk. Later a full moon 
arose and illuminated the massive cliffs of Devonian limestone 
that rise sheer out of the plain to a height of 250 to 300 feet. 
These ;ire portion of the Napier Range, 3 limestone ndgc that 
mns in a north-westerly and south-easterly direction for about 
100 miles. The Winjmna Gorge, or Devil's Pass, is a break ni this 
limestone, about 100 yards wide, through which the Lennard River 
floivs during the wet season, hut was now a seiies of water-holes 
teeming with crocodiles. 

Fruit-bats (flying foxes') were seen at. dusk literally in hundreds 
ol thousands streaming through the Gorge and making for the 
open country. They evidently nest in the hollows of the limestone 
during the day 

A search near the Gorge, yielded several finked spear-heads in 
the process of manufacture, one being of translucent quarts; 
another a water-worn serrated example that had probably been used 
in spearing a crocodile was found on the shingle. The Lennard 
River is bordered largely with paper-bark trees and fig trees: 
must of the cucalypts close to the river have a white smooth bark 
like a ghost gum. 

The route follows practically the course of the Lennard River 
to the Napier Range, which comes in from the north-east The 
limestone of this range is largely of coral origin, white in colour 
and very dense; all truu:s of organic remains hav« been (fill iterated, 
partly by dnlomitization. The colour of the surface is a dirty grey, 
except where water has dissolved off the coating or stained it with 
iron oxide. Farther to the south-east the limestone becomes 
thinner bedded, and sbows many fantastic effects of weathering, 
particularly the solvent elTeci of water in the fluted columns and 
pillars are capped by flat slabs, together with tier after tier of 
weird shapes and isolated pinnacle*. 

The Gorge was left next morning and the south-west scarp of 
the range followed to Carpenter's Gap on Fairfield Station. We 
passed over a floor of limestone which is thought to have been a 
sea platform, and was covered later by more t£c*nt deposits and 
so preserved. Farther on, Permian deposits cover Ibis platform 
and these give place to a glacial till with facetted and ke-scratched 
pebbles and boulders present. Passing through the gap. the 
character of die country changes completely to a series of small 
plains one or two miles across, with sparse eucalyptus and 
haubuiia scrub and coarse grasses, .surrounded by low hills of a 
brownish colour elevated 100 or 200 feet above the flats. These 
consist of the pre-Cambrian Mosquito Greek series of tightly 

jjjjjj] MiTCBcu., A Trip to Ih? Khuberlcys 1SS 

folded quartriles, slates and chloritic schists, with numerous 
intrusions of a dark igneous rock identified in places as quartz 
gabbros and epidiorites. In the bed of the Rirhinda River 
staurohtc crystals washed Out of the sdiist were abundant. 

After many tribulations, including ear troubles, extreme heal, 
and difficult travelling, Ned's Camp, 28 miles, from Fairfield, was 
reached, with Mount Broome showing in »hc distance. Having 
found that it was impossible to reach the deposit hy car. the party 
returned to Derby. 

Arrangements wctc then made with the police authorities, and 
Constable Jensen, two blacks, and a plant of five mules and two 
horses were sent out to Winjinna Gorge. Three days later Mr. 
Fortran, old Ned, our guide, and I went out by car. Next day 
a start was made on riding mules, and 30 miles were covered 
over mwh the same dass of country, passing Mount Joseph On 
our left. The midday stop was made at the Rocky Waterhole on 
the Lcnnard River. This day a fine chipped axe, some spear-poini 
blanks, and one large chopper were found. Wc carried on till 
dark, with our guide obviously doubtful of his position. The 
natives were sent forward to search for the Turtle Waterhole. but 
as they were unsuccessful the party had to retreat for feed for 
the animals. 

That nightj being out. of water, we opened a can each of 
pineapple, pears and turnips and divided them among six mm, 
who drank the liquor, ate the fruit, and*— went to sleep fairly 

Up next morning at 5-30. we started back six miles, hut found 
the first waterhole dry, with a small soak made by a ihirsty 
wallaby. The second waterhole had a dead beast in it, and the 
next contained just thick mud, so we had to push on 12 miles 
to the Rocky Waterhole. where we bad our first decent drink in 
18 hours. Our arrival disturbed hundreds of ducks perched on 
dead trees, flocks of screaming cockatoos, some very large blaek 
cockatoos, cormorants, etc We passed many emus and one very 
large dingo during the day. 

That afternoon we resLed, and later the constable and blacks 
rounded up a bullock and we had grilled steak, which was very 
acceptable after salt and tinned food. 

Next day we readied Winjinna Gorge, after a very hoi day. 
Our aboriginal police boys found 20 crocodile eggs and 'later on 10 
more. Although they had had plenty of meat, they ate 12 eggs 
each — which was not a bad effort. One could nor wish for more 
cheerful or willing companions than these natives, who accom- 
panied us for several days, riding the mules bareliack" during the 
hottest part of the day and helping in eVery way. The aborigines 

15$ Mitchell, .4 Trip to Hit Kmberttys [ V v'ot'u* 

wc saw on the station also seemed well ted au<1 happy ; they appear 
to be properly treated by the station managers and employee"!. 

Next day wc returned by car to Derby. A visit of inspection 
was wade to the Derby Leprosarium, where 160 full-blood natives 
and ]7 haJf-casce lepers were being treated. There 33 a very fine 
hospital,, accommodation and gardens, and the inmates obviously 
are very well housed and looked after. Much credit is due to the 
organization, and particularly to Mr. and Mrs, Walsh, who arc- 
in charge. 

Three interesting plants were noted on (his trip, One is lTittcto 
pnlyyinms, a Small shrub known locally as the "Dysentery bush " 
A decoction made from its leaves has proved an excellent specific 
for dysentery, and this property was well known to the aborigines. 
The Strychnine tree, a member of the Euphorbiaccne.. is a small 
tree with very bitter seeds, which arc now being examined for 
anti-inalatial properties. The Cotton tree is a tall shrtib with a 
bright yellow flower and pleasant perfume. If has an ovoid seed 
pod about 2£ indies long, containing a cotton-like substance similar 
to the kapok of commerce. 

A couple of days waiting for the plane from Hall's Creek and 
wc were conveyed to Perth after two weeks in this very interesting 
part of Amtralia- 


An example of commensalism on the part of marine mussels (Mytihis sp,) 
and a soft-bodied pea-crab (Pmnntlieres sj>,J was Holed in specimens 
gathered at Rosebud on October 13. 1941. 

The crab lives inside the mantle cavity of the mussel, obtaining In food 
from the flow of water set up by the mussel. A crab loaded with egg's 
was kept in a jar. with a small quantity of water, which was nlten changed. 
Find consisted of eggs of molluscs— Dorids egg-girdles, jelly mass found 
on the sand, and whelks' eggs from off the rocks. 

The girdle was favoured as something to crip. As the two small himi. 
claws were held in the air (probably used to grip the mantle of the mussel)' 
the girdle was wound across the back and held by the two hind claws, (he 
ends occasionally being hold by the two front claws, which appear to be 
ieeble and not capable of tearing; anything. 

On October 29 the crab made a furrow in the centre of the egg* 9nd 
stilted them about. Many of the eggs fjsl] off in the process but were 
picked up later and eaten; also, the crab scraped underneath the broad tad 
for the food, which x>y now had reached the veliger stage of the molluscs 
After snrring the- eggs, the crab lifted the upper portion of the body, and 
•vith several heaving motions — expanding and contracting sharply, then 
resting for a minute or two — nattered the young "zoea" crabs to fend for 
themselves. Altogether this occupied four days. 

The tail of the yottng crab unfolds first. The tiny animal twirls 
furiouily around in ever- widening circles, flicking the tail to release tt:c 
membrane In which it is enclosed. 

On November 10 the mother crab moulted. 

M E Freamk. 

f" 4 n 3 ] Nicholls, The Leafless Bearded Orchid 157 


By W, H. Nicholls, Melbourne. 

In a paper on Calochilus campestris, R.Brown, in this journal* 
the present writer alluded to the finding on several occasions in 
two widely-separated districts of intriguing, leafless specimens of 
a Calochilus which appeared to have some connection with the 
presumed very rare and unique C. sapropliyticus, Rogers. "These 
particular specimens at that time were considered, through inad- 
vertence, to be valid C. campestris (= C. ctiprciis, Rogers), 
Reference was made also to some few abbreviated-leaf specimens ; 
these were considered to be "transitory forms." But careful 
examination has proved them referable to C". campestris: also, in 
one or two instances, of specimens collected recently, to C. 
sapropliyticus. The lower subulate bract in these instances of 
variation (and we must include also valid ('. sapropliyticus) is 
in reality an abortive leaf-lamina, f 

C. saprophvticus was described by R. S. Rogers in Transactions 
of the Royal" Society of South Australia, Vol liv (1930). p. 41 
This remarkable species was discovered in 1918. and again 
collected, from the same spot, in 1920 (two specimens only). 
Habitat: Cravensville. Tallangatta Valley, N.E. Victoria; col- 
lectors, Messrs. A. B. Braine and F. J. Supple. It is my pleasure 
now to record it from another part of the State, viz.. Portland, 
in the south-west, where it occurs in abundance. The present 
discoverer is Mr. Clifford Beauglehole. who, with the assistance 
of his co-collectors (Masters L. Devlin and W. Phillips), has 
systematically combed the district for miles and has established 
the fact of its being widely spread there. Approximately 270 
specimens have been recorded to date (December 10), some 
plants being of exceptional robustness. Habitats: Gorae West, 
Cashmere, Bridgewater (via Portland); in Melaleuca country; 
soil sandy, adjacent swamps; sometimes growing in water; much 
of the country burnt over early in the year. 

Mr. Beauglehole also forwarded the complete rhizomatic 
system of several plants. This is interesting, for besides the 
normal tubers (in C. sapropliyticus these are occasionally of most 
irregular formation) several extremely brittle, often attenuated, 
definitely jointed rhizomes were in evidence. The whole was very 
difficult to dig up intact from the tangled, compact mass of fibrous 
roots of shrubs which grow in the vicinity. 

"The Victorian Naturalist, Iviii, October, 1941, p. 91. 
tRogcrs' description says : "Leaf incomplete in my specimens .... 
apparently lanceolate." 

l. r 8 

Nicholls, The Leafless Bearded Orchid 

rVfct. Nat. 

L v<>i. ux 

Calochilus saprophytkus, Rogers. (For Key, see page 159.) 


Nic hulls, The Leafless tinarded Orckid 1S9 

Most probably C. saprophytics has been collected by others 
hut confounded with C, campcitris, for these two species resemble 
each other closely. The long, channelled leaf which features all 
other species of the genus is absent in C. saprophyticus. Other 
salient points of difference between them are confined to the floral 
segments; these, of course, arc not easily apparent unless a flower 
is dissected. However, the underground system is an additional 
and certain guide in the cast* of this anomalous form. This 
important find, therefore, lias enabled me to clear up a most 
perplexing and interesting problem. So once again our sincere 
thanks are due to Mr. Reauglehole for his zealous endeavours. 

Amended description of Cnloclnlus snprophytxevs, Rogers: A pate leafless 
(or practically so) saprophytic plant, often robust, 20-55 cm. high, with 
large thickened tuberous- rhizomes, beside*. a large, often irregularly-shaped 
tuber, (or tubers). Stem green or yellow isli, willi 2 membranous irnbt icale 
jhealbs at the baie. Bracts 2-4. yellowish pink, pale green or eoppcr- 
eoloured, subulate, about 6-7 cm. long — the lowest bract fleshy. Raceme 
1-15. flowered; flowers subtended by a subulate bract, from 1-5-4 era. lone. 
Uppermost, bract smaller than those towards the. base of the inflorescence. 
FlilwerB stalked, not larger than those of C campcslris (.which they 
resemble closely), pale green, segments suffused with saffron-yellow and 
marked with reddish- brown; labellum pale yellowisli-green, haits oil 
labellum-lauiina deep purple or reddish-purple. Dorsal sepal erect oi 
incurved, widely lanceolate, subacute, cucullate, 5-nerved; lateral sepals 
spreading, fali'o-lanceolalo, margins sometimes irregularly notched. Label- 
lum spreading, sessile on an oblong base, somewhat rhomb-shaped, very 
shortly ligulate at the apex, about 1-3 cm. long f without the ligulc. kilter 
2-4 mm. long), glabrous at the base, with two (sometimes more) nused 
deep blue metallic parallel plates, often bifurcated in front and produced 
mlo long hairs; the lamina and its margins covered with purplish or 
reddish-purple hairs, laleral margins at lamina (which is yellowish-green) 
strongly fringed (or combed) ; combings pronouncedly pruinosc anil 
sparkling til<e jewels. Column short, broadly winged (hut not so widet) 
a 1 ; in C r./impcxtris) , a dark purple gland at the base oi each wing, convex 
at Ihe back, hVshy. Anther rather long, incumbent, siibobtnsc, greenish- 
yellow. Sligma triangular. Rostellum prnininent. no caudicle present. 

Victoria: Cravcnsville, Anglesea, Portland districts. 

Flowering: Late October, November, December. 


CahcMm saprnphylir.w;, Rogers 

Figure A — A typical specimen, R, C — Lower portion of two plants, 
showing underground system. D, E— Lateral sepals from two flOwtrs. 
F — Hairs from die fabellum-lamina. G — Stij»ina, uhowing rostellum. H — 
Column, side view. I — Column, front view. I — Labellum from below. 
K — Labellum from above. 

(For natural size of Figs. A, D. C, see letterpress.) 

IW) Ruhp, 1 he Section Genoplesium in the Gfvus Prasophylhim [ y^ \^ 


By the Rev. H. M. R. Rupp, Norlhbndgc, N.S.W. 

Part ni— Notes and New Rkcokus, v:rc. 

P. Ruppii Rogers, vaii immunise, var. nov. — Labcllwu aimvm- 
ahim, rccurvum; collux breviter ciiiotux, C4&WWW? oppcuiiicium 
loin anteriorcs loni/issimi, prima pro sti(/m<Hc paroilcli, poxlca 


Labellum acuminate anrj recurved (in the type oblong-apiculate 
and almost straight) ;. callus shortly fringed. Anterior lobes of 
the. column-appendages very long, at first lying parallel in ironl 
of the stigma but not concealing it but after fertilisation crossing 
one anuthe.r and so protecting the stigma from intruders. 

Between Menai and George's River, south of Sydney, E. 
Nubling, 4/1928. The late. Dr. Rogers determined this plant as 
a form of P. h'uppii. To mc it seems that the features described 
above almost warrant independent rank; but in other respects 
it: is perhaps too close for separation. The type form was dis- 
covered at Bullahdeiah in 1923, and subsequently I found it at 
Patcrson, and at an altitude of about 3,000 ft. on the southern 
approach to Barrington Tops, 1 had not seen it south of the 
Hunter River, but I found in the N.S.W. National Herbarium <i 
-specimen from Chatswood collected by II C. Watt in .1923. which 
was labelled P. nigricans, but is undoubtedly P, Ruppii, Then 1 
learned that Mr, Nubling bad discovered it close m Wait's locality 
in J928, and again, in the form just described, near Mo.nai. 

P, (rifiditiit Rupp. — This species was originally described in 
V\(. Nai. i.vm, June. 1941. The description was made, after 
considerable delay, from two specimens found at Castlecrag. 
Middle Harbour, Port Jarkson. in 1940 In April. 1942. a number 
of plants came to light about four miles away, and examination 
proved that the description had been faulty. It had been stated 
that no segments were gland-tipped. As a matter of fact, in 
nearly all flowers the petals are conspicuously tipped with a linear 
slightly twisted gland. Mr. Nubling found this plant at Lji 
Perouse and Middle Harbour long before my own discovery, and 
he suggested to TV. Rogers a name descriptive of these flagelliform 
glan<js; hut I was unaware of this, and of course the* name 
Infidum, having been duly published, must stand. It alludes to 
the colu nm-nppendages, which are frequently but not invanahly 
trifhJ, ' 

J f 1. "l 

m«J Row, The Section GcHoplesium m Ihe Gctrut Prasophylliini 16! 

P. Bcaugleholei Nicholls {in Vic. Nat. ux, May, 1942).— Mr. 
Nicholls' description should be consulted About the time of Mr. C 
Beauglehole's discovery of this plant near Portland, Victoria, the 
Misses J. and G. Scrivener, ot Mt. Irvine, X.S.W., sent rne 
specimens of a small Prasufrkyllutn. which at first I believed to be 
a new species. It seemed very close to, if not identical with, the 
plant which Fit/.gcrald (Austr. Qrth. it, 4) erroneously figured 
as Stuart's P. mtruaium. Mter the publication of P. Bcaugleholei, 
1 made careful comparisons between this and the Mt. Irvine plant, 
Fitzgerald's "intricatum." and Hooker's Tasmanian ?• muhnn. 
1 came to the conclusion that these were all cortspecific ; and Mr. 
Nicholls has since expressed his concurrence in this view. P. 
Bcaugleholei has thus a much wider iange than was suspected. 
Priority in the matter of its discovery beyond Tasmania, however, 
must he awarded to Mr. Nubling, who found specimens at Mt. 
Wilson in March, 1929. These are precisely identical with the 
specimens sent by the Misses Scrivener from Mt. Irvine. 

P. Marmii Nicholls (in Vic. Nat, xlviji, Oct., 1931).— This 
was for many years known in Victoria as P. Arched Hook-. When 
Nicholls demonstrated (I.e.) the identity of Stuart's P. intTunlum 
with Hooker's species, he described the pseudo-/J r Jim as a new 
species under its present name. It was known to occur near 
Braidwood in this State (col). Boorman), where it was supposed 
to represent a mountain form of Pi fimbriolum R.Br. This 
determination may have been based on a specimen in the Deane 
collection at the National Herbarium (Sydney), which was 
labelled to that effect no doubt on the authority of Fitzgerald; 
no locality was given. The determination, however, is undoubtedly 
wrong, and cannot be upheld, P. Morrisii is now, known to extend 
much farther north than Braidwood. It is quite likely tbar Dcane's 
specimen came from the Blue Mountains, and that, like so many 
other orchids in his collection, it was obtained there by Fitzgerald 
himself At all events, it was found in the Blue Mountains by 
Mr. Nubling, who was unaware of the description of P. Morrisii. 
It was discovered near Mt. Irvine again by Mrs. C. A. Mcssmcr 
in Jan , J 941. and was sent to me from that locality by the Misse.s 
Scrivener in the late summer of 1942, A solitary specimen was 
found in 1938 by Mr. M. Moodic at Oxford Falls, behind the 
Narrabcan Lakes. 

P. Wooltsii F.v.M. — No definite record of this species was 
published, as far 35 I can ascertain, from Fitzgerald's time until 
1939, when in the Australian Orchid Rcinciv (Dec. and Jan., 
1940) Mr. Nubling contributed an account of the orchids of the 
N.S.W. National Park at Port Hacking, and among them was 

1<S2 Rinr, The St<iion Gewplrsimn in (he (knits Prasofihytlum [ V oi lix 

P, Woolhii. A .specimen of Fitzgerald's in the Dearie Collection 
at the National Herbarium was Labelled "Type," but this was 
obviously an error, ior the specimen was collected by Fitzgerald 
at Lane Cove, while the type was a Blue Mountains plant collected 
20 years before by a Miss Atkinson (Mueller, Fragm, v, p. 100). 
In November and December, 1941, Miss G. Scrivener discovered 
a number of plants of this bpecies near Ml'. Irvine. Mr. Nubling 
slates that he has also found it on the Blue Mountains. 

P, Mununalum Rogers (in TrtiuS.RoySocS.AHSlr., U, 1927). 
Discovered by the present writer at Hullahdclah in 1923, this 
species was later recorded at Patcrson, Weston, and Port M!ac- 
quarie. Critical examination of an unlabelled specimen in the 
National Herbarium, collected by an unnamed school teacher at 
Medowie, near Raymond Terrace, in 1910. has proved its identity 
with P. ocummaHim. 

P. filifm-mc Filzg. — A solitary specimen found by Mr. Nubling 
in February, 192"?, on Scott's Creek, along the fall from Chalswood 
to Middle Harbour, appears to agree with this species so closely 
lhal it had better be included in it, at least until further material 
is available. The only outstanding difference is in the column- 
appendages, which are much larger and broader than shown by 
Filzgerald. The lahellum, however, is so similar to Fitzgerald's 
that identity of species is probable. It may lie mentioned here rhal 
in March, 1924, the writer collected specimens at BuUahdeJah, in 
a rather advanced stage of flowering, which were suggestive of 
this rare species. Dr. Rogers expressed the opinion that they 
were "probably" /'. filtforme. Quite recently I softened one spike 
out, and after some difficulty was able to conclude definitely rhal 
this determination was correct, Fitzgerald'i> only locality was 

P. densum Fitzg— This species has been recorded by Mr 
Nubling from Normanhurst, National Park, Bell, Mt. Wilson, 
Mt. King George, and Mt. Victoria; by the Misses Scrivener 
from Mt. Irvine (3/ J 942). A specimen in the National 
Herbarium collected by the 'ate Adam Forster at Lane Cove, 
which was erroneously labelled P- reftesum Fitzg., belongs to this 
species. Tt is by no means always the pale green colour depicted 
by Fitzgerald, hut is often a dark hrownish-grecn. Other 
variations havp been observed, but they are on the whole of minor 

P. rufum R,Br — This species is very difficult to determine., and 
in tins- State at all events would appear to be very rare. Specimens 


i Ki.iM', 7 he Secfiuu Gouitteyium • iu l/w Gvtms frtuopkylitlm IrtJ 

collected at Collatoy Beach and Oxford Falls, which I was inclined 
To regard as /-\ rufum, are considered, by Mr. W H. Nicholls to 
belong to P. tnfidwn. and after further examination J am inclined 
1o agree, the flowers are almost past maturity, and aie not easily 
recognizable, 1 am extremely doubtful whether any specimens 
of Rrown's species are in the National Herbarium at Sydney. T 
understand that Mr, Nicholls is endeavouring to clear up the 
ohsenrity now enveloping tins species, and at is to be hoped that 
he will succeed. 

P lonffisepalmn Fitfcg- — Mr. Nubliug has recorded this rare 
species from Loltus, near Port Hacking, and Mt. Wilson. His 
drawiugs of the floral details leave no room for doubling the 
correctness of his determination. Loftus, 3/1928; Mt. Wilson. 
4/1928 and 4/1911. 

P. Inscmiride Reader. — I have received specimens from Lieut .- 
Col, B. T. Goadby, collected by Mr. Steedrrtan at Lake King, 
Western Australia. So far an I am aware, this is a new record. 
The date is uncertain. 

It may be considered by some students of these Genoplesinm 
PrasophyJls that m the descriptions of new species in Part I of 
this paper 1 have not been sufficiently careful to record with 
accuracy the incidence of glands on the tips of various segments 
of the flowers. My own experience is that tlus particular feature 
of terminal glands, which is undoubtedly a characteristic of the 
section Genoplesiurn in general, is by no means reliable when 
;ipi> to individual species. An analogy may he seen in 
Cunningham's Caiadetm ctavigera, which is frequently found 
(especially in Victoria) without any sign of "clubs" on the sepals; 
yet it received its nan^e from! this feature. So in the case of these 
Prasophylls 1 have caJled attention to the terminal glands only 
where it seemed desirable on account of their prominence. It does 
not follow that in other cases they are never present. 

I would also echo the warning which Mr, Nicholls has quoted 
from the late Professor Ewart, against placing too much reliance 
on the form of the column-appendages. In some species this ib 
constant in its outline so far as we know ; but in others it has 
proved to be variable, and as a definite specific feature its descrijv 
tion should he accepted with a modicum of reserve. P. trifidum 
was so named because in all the type flowers the column- 
appendages were trifid ; but when other colonies were discovered, 
't was found that this is by no means a constant featiue, and; so 
the name is not altogether appropriate. 


164 -S'taw of itawitwrn Im- Junior Na!ur<i>iirtx [ vo].x|j£ 


An important step in the tnrmalion of junior branches ot the Field 
Naturalists 1 Club was taken in November and December, with the co- 
operation of 1he Hawthorn City Council. A ■comprehensive exhibition pf' 
objects i«( natural history interest was staged in the hall of the Hawthorn 
Public Library, and the young people ot the district were invited to attend. 
A book was available ill the exhibition room, for children interested in the 
formation of a/ junior naturalist* 1 society in Hawthorn to sign their names, 
and addresses - 

Arrangements leading to the holding oi the exhibition were made by Mr, 
S. R- Mitchell, who interviewed tlje Mayor aild members oi Hie council, 
and gained their interest in the project. As a result the large library hall 
was made available, and the Librarian. Mrs. Carbines (who. incidentally. 
is a daughter of one of our prominent members of other days, the late Mr 
V. Spry) worked uiistiutiiigly with club members to make the exhibition a 
success Exhibits were provided by many members, but special mention 
should be made of the untiring- assistant?, given throughout the exhibition 
by Mr and Mrs. Freauie and Mr. Mitchell. 

Tbe opening ceremony was performed on the evcOing of Monday, November 
Ifi, by the. Mayor of Hawthorn (Councillor W C Pottcous), who was 
supported by the chairman of the Library Committee (Councillor Fowlc), 
other members of the council, and the Town Clerk (Mr. II. A. Smith) 
The President and Mr. Mitchell spoke on behalf of the club and outlined 
the proposals for the formation of a junior nMuralistx' r>re;aihz4lion in 
Hawlhoni district. 

The exhibition remained ripen fur a month, ai|d many hundreds tif names 
and addresses of interested youn? people were obtained It is proposed 
early this year to convene a ineetiujr of those interested, to formally in- 
augurate a ywme people'* society which shall he closely affiliated with the 
Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria. It is proposed that this society shall 
manage its own affairs, *nd piovide for irequenl members' nights al which 
the juniors shall give their 1 own accounts of natural history work. Excur- 
sions to <ie8rec points of inlcrcst, under adult guidance, will also be a 
feature. To provide for it> continued .success, however, it is essential thai 
the members of this Club shall give the youn# people all the support in 
their power, especially in the matter of providing talks Irom time to time 
and in leading Ihe excursion ■* 

The committee, seeing in this movement the mor.i fruitful source of lutute 
membership of the senior dui). has pledged the assistance of members in 
this dire.ctioci, and volunteers will he called for specific duties as soon as the 
junior society gets under way. 

Upon the success of the club in the Hswlftorn district will depend Hie 
extension <>f the plan to other suburban districts: Prahran. Brunswick, 
Heidelberg. Malvern, and Brighton Iwve already lieen mentioned as possible 
spheres for further activity within easy reach of the homes of many of our 
adull members. P.C.M. 


Members join irt congratulating Mrs. Frank Sates (Miss Dorothv 
Sarovicli) on her recent attainment of the degree of B.Sc 

Mr*. V. J I. Miller recently underwent an operation In a Molboui'lte 
liospital, Her many friends will be glad hJ learn thai she is making :» 
good recovery. 

Mr. Harry Burrell, O.B.H., of Sydney, widely known for his remarkable 
work on the platypus, was' married on December 2, at Kandwick, to Mrs. 
Daisy Ellen Brown, eldest daughter of Mrs. and the late W_ J. Mitchell, of 
Bmven Park. Trangie, N-S.W. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX. — No. 10 February 4, 1943 N o. 710 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held' on Monday, 
January 11, 1943. The President (Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison) 
presided, and about 80 members and friends attended. 


The President announced the deaths of Miss Bertha Keartland, 
a Club member since 1926, and two relatives of members, namely, 
Miss M. Iugram (sister to Messrs. J. and W. H. Ingram) and 
Mrs. J. A. Ross (wife of Mr. J. A. Ross, until recently living at 
Rochester ) . 


1'hc subject for the evening took the form of a symposium on 
"Living oft the J.and in Victoria." It was dealt with under three 
headings, with the following leaders : (a) Mallee and Plain, Mr. 
P. F. Morris; (b) Mountain and Sea, Mr. G, N, Hyam; (c) 
Animal Life, Mr. P. C, Morrison and Mr. A. H. Mattinglcy 

Summaries of the remarks of Mr. Morris and Mr. Hyam are 
given elsewhere in this issue. 

Mr. Morrison suggested that the introduced rabbit should be 
first on the list of food animals, and then such native game that is 
common, e.g., wombats, kangaroos and wallabies, and possums. 
This last was possibly the commonest article of meat used by the 
natives. Emus and parrots, among the birds, were good eating. 
Fish and marine shellfish (with few exceptions), crayfish and 
yabbics, snakes and lizards, bogong moths, larvae of the wattle 
goat-modi and of many beetles, grasshoppers, etc., were all eaten 
by the aborigines., 

Mr. Mattingley added to the list flying foxes, water-rats and 
seals, and stated that the commonest way of cooking possums was 
to cover with clay and roast them. 


The following were among the questions answered : — Was the 
quandong fruit used for food? Ans., Yes, both species Was sea- 
celery used for food by the natives? Aris., Yes. Were frogs 

106 Field NatWuIiit.C Cluh Proceedings [Voi.UX 

articles of diet by the natives? Ans., Yes. What gums other 
than acacia were used for food? Ans., Grass-tree. Is the river 
cat-fish poisonous? Ans,, No. Do fish caught by the use of 
poison plants being placed in the water retain any of the poison 
in the flesh? Ans., No; the effect was to stupefy rather than kill. 
Did the natives .eat 'blaekfellows' bread"? Ans., It is doubtful; 
possibly they used it as we use. chewing gum. Was not the nardoo 
a staple article of food? Ans., Not in Victoria. Was the plant 
known as pigface eaten? Ans., Yes, and similar succulent types 

Mr. A. D. Hardy emphasised that in the early days of Victoria 
the native foods available ouly supported a population of about 
6.000 ; and thus at the present lime could not be expected to suppovl 
any great number 


Excursions were reported on as follows: Ricketts Point. Mr. 
P. C. Morrison; Fern tree Gully, Mr. A. J. Swaby. 


The. following were elected ; As Country Member, Mr. F. J. 
1 -udowici ; as Associate, Miss Eileen Griffin. 


Mr. Ivo Hammett stated that black cockatoos were eating pine- 
seeds and doing other damage at pine plantations. 

Mr. V. H, Miller had reported seeing a blue, wren catching the 
cabbage white butterfly, 

Mr. A. A, Briiutou reported that the American squirrel was a 
pest in England, and was forcing the native squirrel out of its 
natural haunts. 


Mrs, M. E. Freame — Megalopa stage of shore crab, and Pedi- 
cel laria of sea-urchin. 

Master Leslie Woolcoclc — A series of butterflies 

Mr. F, H. Salau — Fi-ctu stipulate!, bearing fruit. 

Mr. C. J, Gabriel — Land shells from Queensland (Hedleyp&i 
fafewtari, Reeve ; and bipartita, Ferussac) . 

Mr. C. French — Prostanthera lastavthos (Victorian Christmas 
bush) with pink flowers, collected by Mr. P. C. Cole at Heales- 
ville (rare variety); also specimens of the twiggy heath-myrtle 
(Baeikca vitv/aJa) garden-grown, and specimens of the banksia 
borer (Cyria impcnalis). 

Viga&ilU Foods oi th-c I'Vimm'era nmi MaH-c 167 



By P. F. Muerts, National Herbarium, Melbourne 

At no stage of his existence did the'Victorian native show any 
realisation of horticultural or agricultural practices. Surely lie 
must have learned that part* of the many perennial plants which 
he collected^ such as the "Yam," may sprout and grow again when 
replaced in the ground. 

Our aborigines were perfect athletes, built for speed and 
endurance. They were well fitted physically and mentally to travel 
with the seasons and conditions oi vegetative growth. They often 
travelled great distances to other tribes in traffic or barter tor 
red-o<:hre,_sandstone and other grinding stones, and seed exchange. 
The natives found it quicker to travel to more bountiful areas than 
to wait for crops to mature. 

They were greatly handicapped by Nature in the native animals 
at their command. They certainly could not harness the kangaroo 
to a plough or use the flesh-loving dingo to drive home the ducks 
or wallabies- Tribal increase was regulated according to the area 
of land and food supply offering. They were therefore dependent 
foi food on whatever they could find readily at hand, and they 
were probably always omnivorous. In the arid inland the chief 
foods, however, were vegetable, principally the fruits, seed and 
roots which .were within easy reach of prehensile liands. 

Under more favorable circumstances, the native flora offered a 
wide selection of edible, though in many cases not very palatable, 
roots, tubers, berries, fruits, seeds, greens and gums. Fi*V>. flesh. 
wild-fowl, crayfish, yabbies, eggs, grubs\ and honey were plentiful. 
In these days of rationing and taxation it is appaient that the 
selection for a diet chart was well irt favour of the natives. Uy 
hereditary instinct, trial and error, and expert training from their 
creche days, they understood the nature of every vegetable product 
in their district and knew what to eat and wliat to avoid. 

Water. — Like the steam engine, man requires pure water, and 
if supplies are not at hand, both will soon disappear. In dry areas 
white men have died of tliirst where the natives have waxed fat- 
In such inhospitable places, Nature, as if to make amends tor 
the scarcity of water, provided a perennial supply in the roots of 
seveml trees. Many explorers, including Major Mitchell, record 
the methods by which water — "beautifully clear, cool and free 
from unpleasant taste or smell*' — was obtained. The roots were. 
dug from the ground, cut into foot billets and sucked as in the act 
of smoking, or allowed to drain into skin water-bags. The roots 
of the following were chiefly used: Eu€idyp!nx rjraalis (While 

168 Vtgtiable Foods of the Whmncnt and Malice Pv^.nx 

£gS£(Mfrfe")i £• *&&* (Oil Malice)., E. untinotaj Hooked Malice), 
;«r# .Mt'*.,) £. pelybfactea (Blue Malice), and .£. lAridis (Green Malice) ; also 
'f s V^4.Hakea lemoptem, the Needle Hakca.. 

Beverages and Sugar. — With water the natives frequently 

g» ^^^eornpourKJed liquors from several flowers and honey and gums. 

•'V£- £>«•!&'' Tins sweetened water was named "Bcal" by the natives of Western 

iffi^ Victoria and was much relished. The flowers of Hahea, Bwksia 

"?... ( /rr ?\ormta. and Xanthorrhcea- were used for the purpose. 

U fMA*£ ?StGtck Supplies. — After water, starch «u»d its component parts 

are the most important food materials lor life. The aboriginal 

found these in the grains of grasses, underground roots, tubers and 

bulbs. As starch is so highly represented in grass grains, naturally 

, first place was given to die breadstuffs, and with them were used 

/ the closely related seeds of sedges (Cypcra<cae) and rushes 

'" £' m, i^*- (Jnntaceae) . The grams were ground into oatmeal and flour and 

CZ_7^ ( cooked with honey and water upon hot stones— the flour often 

being used as a batter for grubs. 

(1) Crain-brarerj {Gramhw.oe). — Grasses used were Echtnoch- 
y^'^y loa Crus-gtllU (Barnyard Millet), Panicmn duompothum (Um- 
*tbf\ brella or Native Millet), P. proluium (Pallid Panic Grass). P 

v effusMtt (Hairy Panic Grass), P. aa-oanthum (Black-seeded Panic 
Grass), Eriochtca pmu'tata (Plains Grass). Setaria gfouca (Pale 
Pigeon Grass), and PcspaUdtmn gratile (Graceful Panic Grass). 

^-The seed of species of Scirpus, Cyfei-us and Juncus helped to nil 
the granary. These native grains give practically the same food 
analysis as the wheat grain of commerce. 

(2) Seeds and Fruits. — The seeds of the following were saved 
and ground into flour: 

Polygonaccae — Muchlc-nbcckia Cunninghami (Tangled Lig- 
num) and M. duivw (Slender Lignum). 

Chenopodiucca); — Atriplcx slipitatv.m (Kidney Saltbush), A. 
ttngiilatum (Angular Saltbush), Chenopodiwn iiitrariaicuni 
(Branching Goosefoot), C. airiplicinum (Purple Goosefoot), 
SalsL'ta Kali (Prickly Saltwort), Enchylaena tomenlomt. Some 
native species of Ckwopodi-accac have anthelmintic properties. 
AmararUhaaiTic — Altcrnmlk-cra nodiflora (Joy weed), AiTioMn- 
thus ntacrocarpits (Desert Amaranth). 
»«W$ / Aisoa-ceae — Mi?seinl>ryarttlittmum aeq-nUateroh (Pig's Paces, 
/.*jj j Karkalk or Berudur). The fleshy fruit was eaten by. the abort- 
's gincs and the leaves were eaten baked- During die "Karkalla 1 " 
( season, which fasts from January to the eud of summer, the 
> natives led comparatively easy lives. 

'I, 3 > ) Portulacaceac—Pfl'tid&ai vlsracctt (Pigweed, Thukouro, Or 
fiMrr, ) Purslane). Baron von Mueller, in his ''Report of the Matth Austra- 

r 9 ' 9fi V 

^" 4 b jJ Ves*t/ih!ef : nods nj tfur Wim/merm and Mallet- 169 

ban Expedition," states: "We had almost daily occasion to praise 

the value of the Purslane. The absence of other anti-scorbutic- 

herbs in the north and the facility with which it can he gathered 

entitle it to particular notice." The seeds were largely used by the 

natives during the dry summer months. One would suppose that 

so small a seed would scarcely repay the labour of Collecting. Thfc 

plains were piled in stack? and constantly turned and the seed 

later collected from the ground and ground into flour. The 

same method was applied to grasses, which were cut or pulled 

and allowed to dry in cocks to shatter the grain. 

( Cruciform? — Several cruciferous plants are recorded an being 

mi /used for greens, hut few of the seeds were used on account of their 

'*"* /pungent taste. Rwipa, idayuika (Yellow Swamp Cress) was 

[eagerly sought. It has* medianal virtues in digestive troubles. . 

The seeds of Acacia (iiwur<!. ( Mufga) were soaked for some days 

before being cooked. The stem and leaf "galls" are said to be 

very welcome to thirsty travellers; It is supposed that t?te seed 

of other species of Actuta were used as food. 

Rnots mid Tubers — Microsern- scapigera (Mnrrnong or Daisy 
Yam). This plant has a small tuberous root rich in starch and 
l a form of sugar attel was very plentiful in grass land. It was eaten 
, raw; when roasted it has a very pleasant taste, not unlike the 
1 -sweet potato. At a very early stage the children were taught to 
use the "yam stick" for gathering the root Buckley, the "Wild 
y\V hite Man." mentions the plant as one of the commonest eaten 
Orchids, tfk\— - Tubers of various terrestrial orchids, principally 
the flowering species, were collected by aid of the "yam stick."' 
Among them were Pteroxtyiis ruja, P. -eyenocephaia, P. WMtt'aO 
P. conciittia. Calcn'ema Patersoni and J*, dilalata; the swollen roots! ■^•nvt'4 
of various liliaceous plants, such as the Fringe Lilies (Thymtotusf & *x% 
P-dtSfitnii, T. dicltotomus, and T. tubcrnsus) and Anjirillariaj 
doica (the Early Kaucy). in the Amaryllidaceae we have record? 
of the edible qualities of the large bulbous-rooted Cn'mim ftaca'dum- 
(Murray Lily) and llypoxix glcdtetta. Crinum flour was used 
commercially by early settlers iij times of scarcity. The natives of 
the Lake Hat t ah area cooked and made flour of the icois and 
route of Calo-itvwma purpitrei'm (Garland Lily). Scirpus mari-'i . 
timux (Marsh CUih-rnsh) and Geranium pilti.yitm supplied small \ ^"'^.jj 
tuberous roots rich in starch, and they were great favorites when f 
roasted. The young shoots of Typita angustijolia (Bulrush or I 
Cuiuhuugi) are edible and resemble asparagus; the fleshy root is' 
excellent -containing \2 5 parts of starch tu 73 pari* of water 
and a smaller percentage tfi a saccharin-like material. The nnllen 
is also used as a food, being made into cakes: it contains IS 3 
per cent, of sugar. 2 per cent, of starch and 2 5 per cent, of 

i?0 V( s<!M()/(r Feeds .1/ tfic [•{ / «'«i'«f'3 anrf Mnlice [ J^t L "x 

y, < magnesium and potassium phosphates. The starchy underground 
'rUv/'»««— roots of Phragmttes communis (Common Reed) wert dried and 
ground into flour. 

Gmns and PitJis. — Xanlhorrhoea species (Grass-trees, Black- 
rttfflj Ijhoys or Yacca) Two species, X mmor and JC< australis, are 
/** ■ 2,/i 'native to the region. The bases of the inner leaves were either 
eaten raw or roasted. They have a pleasant nutty flavour, slightly 
balsamic. The centre of the stem contams about 5'/c of sugar. 
According to Ligar. about 20 gallons of saccharine juice may he 
obtained to die ton o£ the stems. On distillation, this quantity 
of raw juice yielded 4 gallons of proof spirit. In the year 1876 
an application was made at the Patent Office, Melbourne, for a 
patent for making sugar from X. Hftttihf. CaUilrii species (Mur- 
ray Pines) and Xanthr/i'Tltoca minor, X. attstratis, were used 
medicinally. The saccharine exudation or manna from Myopontm 
platycarpum (Sugarwood or False Sandalwood) was eagerly sought 
aiter and eaten. It has been tried commercially as a cane sugar 
'^SJa (substitute in diabetes, The fleshy pericarp ot the FvMmus acumi- 
' ' ' friatus (Quandong, Native Peach) has a pleasant sub-arid taste; 
the. spherjeal kernel is also edible, being very palatable. 

Crttt-nj. — Atriplex mtnmularmm (Old Man Sahbush) and 
other northern species of Chenepodiwn, Rhagodia, AmaroMttms, 
Portnlacca iih'rw;en. (Purslane). The food value of the seed and 
the anti-scorbutic properties of this succulent plant are already 
mentioned. Species of Claytoitw md Calmuiriaia hn-ve been put 
;«y# j(to sunilar uses. Raripa islandka (Yellow Swamp Cress), species 
^ ,x " (of Catdmninr,, Gcococcus, Blennodia and Lcpidium- are excellent 
substitutes for mustard, Trigonella suavissima (Sweet Fenu- 
greek). "The perfume of this herb," says Major Mitchell, "its 
freshness and flavour, induced me to tiy it as a vegetable and we 
found it delicious and tender as 6pinach." 

/Vo */.*T(V£ rtV/TS <rrt. t*i T«k>e«'zLLzj£L**r$' n * #.'fi/'> "*&* C4nry > &pJrrr 


Notes have appears':! ill the Vktoriwt Natit-mlhl -trow tunic to time 
regarding rhc riddle: of "anting" — the prac-iice on the parr gf certain birds 
0( picking up living ants and rubbing them under the., wings Apparently 
the purpose is to benefit by the formic acid, but what precise office: this 
serves — whether to rout parasites or to serve as a skiti tonic— lias not hcen 
Readers are invited to bear this subject in mind during February and 
March, since this is the period when "anting" has- tscen observed 10 the 

freatest extent, Combined observations may throw light pfj the problem, 
tarliugs, in particular, should be watched, li anyone cares to experiment, 
it may be well to note that lemon-peed, vinegar (on 1eavcs>, tobacco 
iuice and oihcr astringents have been use^ by birds at limes instead of 
formic acid.— A.H.C 

1 Hyam, Living Off the Ldnd i>t Victoria 171 

By G. N Hvam, Melbourne 

Hefore the present war, the study of native food plants and 
animal lood was only of interest to anthropologists m relation to 
the investigation ot the culture of the race which used them. Evom 
such studies, the reasons for the presence or alienee of any forms 
of agriculture; the distribution of population; their implements 
and utensils, were explained. The possibilities of Australian 
plants bring brought under cultivation, improved and added to 
European dietary had no doubt been tester! by the early settlers 
with negative, results, and there seemed to be no native plant that 
would compare with the ordinary cultivated European table 
vegetables in succulence. palatalnrky, and case of cultivation. 
Normally, it is essential that the foodstuffs of modern man m bis 
crowded settlements shall be capable of large-scale production 
under more or less intense cultivation, as he has neither the sfctfl 
nor the time to collect his requirements fr*?m uncultivated plants, 
however desirable, in a manner piaetised by primitive races like 
Om aborigines. 

The remotest possibility of. any white race having to live on 
collected rather than cultivated plants and wdd indigenous animals 
seemed to be out of all question. It is true that some mortem 
explorers — notably Amundsen and Stefansson — studied this aspect 
and developed a technique which enabled them to considerably 
induce their impedimenta on exploring trips. During his anthro- 
pological investigations in Ainhem Land, Donald Thomson also 
lived on native food over long periods, but such a necessity did 
not occur, even to our military authorities, until the present Crisis. 
In the past many explorers and travellers . perished through the 
lack of such knowledge. 

There have been many reports from Malaya, Java, Timor and 
Nt-w Guinea nf how members of the fighting forces have csca|)cd 
capture and have engaged in guerilla warfare hy taking to the 
bush or junglc.maintaming themselves by feeding upon indigenous 
plants and animals, but they often tell of illness or discomfort 
through eating some deleterious plant product which might have 
been avoided had they been acquainted with native food-lore, and 
they probably missed planes of far greater food value for the same 

The necessity of knowing something about the food value of our 
native plants and their preparation lor consumption has now been 
recognised by the authorities in connection with commando and 
guenlla training, and they are being studied to lhat end. Taking 
a far-sighted view and as ,x nrattcv of security during a possible 
grave emergency, this phase of food supply might be carefully 

[Vie* ^"t 
V«l. LIX 

studied by the civilian, who might conceivably be, at least tempo- 
rarily, cut off from notmal fond supplies, a condition which has 
frequently occurred in occupied countries. Even in England, the 
hedgerows and woods- are l>eing combed for substitute vegetable 
foods rich in vitamins to supplement the cultivated varieties. 
There, they are utilising the "hips" of the dog rose {Rosa cams) 
and the sweet briar (A', ntbiyinosa) for their vitamin content, in 
addition to some of flie herb* which in the remote past were used 
by our ancestors but whi v h had not been used for generations on 
accc-unr. of the introduction of choicer cultivated vegetables. 

It is known that the aborigines of Australia were able to maintain 
health and had a reasonably balanced diet from the plants they 
were able to collect (see "Vegetable Foods of the Aboriginal," 
Vic. Nat., vol. LVI. pp. 95-98 and 115-119, and "Animal Foods," 
vol, i-vit, pp, 1.19-124 and 136-139) and a knowledge of their 
technique of collection, hunting anil cookery, as well as their known 
food plants., would be invaluable ~>f\ the case of emergency. This 
is qualified by the facts that the aboriginal had the whole day at 
his disposal to colled his daily requirements, an unlimited range 
oi country, a sparse population, and a far greater abundance of 
native plants. Against these factors, a larger number of species 
might be used as we urdC'rstand cooking by boiling and steaming, 
which he did not. A Ijtrge number of alien plants have also been 
introduced since settlement which could be used as food and 
which are reasonably palatable and healthy. Widespread plants 
.such as the Nettle, Dandelion, Orachne, many of the Brassicas 
and the Cbenopods, some of the thistles, watercress and many 
others, are examples of alien plants which are edible and anti- 
scorbutic. Escaped garden varieties are not infrequently found 
even in remote places. Some of the cultivated fodder plants, such 
as lucerne, are actually being used ior human consumption, even 
the young shoots of some of the grasses are also being tried with 
promising results. 

In the closer settled States, such as Victoria, there would also 
be a fair chaucc of collecting grains and roots from sown or seff- 
.snwn crops, and it can he assumed that roving domestic animals, 
hares and rahbus would provide a, meat supply additional to our 
scanty native tauna. 

The question of the maintenance of health under rciugec or 
guerilla conditions is therefore largely the ability to identify edible 
plants and to be acquainted with their likplv habitats. Some know- 
ledge of their mineral and vitamin content is aiso desirable, si> that 
the best selection can be made from available supplies. Drought 
conditions would increase difficulties, hut a study of aboriginal 
me! hods under such conditions would at least provide for the barest 
necessities of food and water. The coHixtiuii 'of dried grass-seeds 


KflCHOU.S, Neur Grntts of Attslralian Orchids 173 

and plants found around swamps and water holes would all 
contribute, as well as methods of finding water itself. 

At the outset, it would probably be difficult to overcome our 
aesthetic inhibitions in regard to food, but hunger would no doubt 
help in that regard. The aboriginal methods of cooking, with the 
addition of our methods of boiling and steaming, probably allows 
the maximum nutrition and palatability to be obtained from wild 
food. These methods should also be. studied by those who might 
find themselves under the necessity of living off the country. In 
any case, might it not be considered a minor contribution to the 
war effort for naturalists and others to give some time and thought 
as to the best methods of maintaining life in the event of grave 
emergency, and to be in the position to act as advisers, if occasion 
arose ? 

A matter of interest to naturalists is what is going to be the 
effect on our fauna if such conditions arise. Any experiments and 
training in living off the country should be watched to see that 
there is no undue slaughter of any species which may be found to 
be specially edible, and that in such cases their use should Ik? 
confined to emergency periods only. Many of our birds were 
brought almost to extinction in the early days of settlement because 
they were found to be choice subjects for the table. 

By W. H. Nicholls, Melbourne 

DRYMOANTHUS. Gen. Nov. (From Drymos, a forest, and 
anthos, a flower; alluding to the habitat of the species.) 

Sepala ac petala sub-a-qualia, patcntia. Labellum crassum basi 
sessile, coiicavmn, sine calcare basali, tnarginibus integris discus 
sine callis vcl giandibus. Colnmna brctns, lobis duobus ante 
prolatione basal i car cute, Anthcra operculata: pollinia 4 paribus 
duobus: caudicida clongata. Herbce cpiphyiiccr. Catties breves. 
Folia oblougo-elliptica. Racemi axillares. Capsula angu-ste- 
oblongae. Cagnatus cum SarcocMlus , R. Br. 

Sepals and petals nearly equal, spreading. Labellum fleshy, 
sessile at the base of column, concave; without any spur at its 
base; margins entire, no callosities or glands on disk. Column 
short, with 2 lobes or teeth in front, no basal extension. Anther 
lid-like. Pollen-masses 4, in 2 pairs, caudicle slender, attenuated. 
Epiphytal herbs, at present represented by a single species. Stems 
short. Leaves oblong-elliptic. Racemes axillary. Capsules narrow- 
oblong. Allied to Sarcochflus, R. Br., but separated by a number 
of important features ; among these are the following — an entire 


Nicholls, New Genus of Australian Orchids [ y^',' ,* 



Drymoanthus minutus, Nicholls. 
For Key, see opposite page. 


J 043 

'.J KicHOLLS, Nctu Gems of AH-nralian Qrfkidi J?S 

lahcUum-, which is sessile at the imwetlutfe base of column : absence 
at anv callosities or glands on tin-, labellum disk. 
• DRYMQANTHUS MINUTUS, sp. now (The specific name 
is in reference to the diminutive, character oi the plant ) 

Phnta pusiljxt. irpifhylica. Cautis bwwssimMs circa J an. iangus. 
folia, oblongo-elliptka circa 4-5 cm. longa. Racemi breviorcs 
■guam \olia. Flares parvissimt sub-inritfex; sepala. tic pctaUr. pa-tentia 
linearis pal futtcita fakata concava obtn-Ur. Lohdlnm crassum tWWJW 
obovatum: marginibus hitegr-is. warsupium- basalt carens; loins oc 
longitudinal 'S canalis transit faminom: lamince pars anterior pubes- 
cess alba, lobus nwdms pane obsoletus: tamitur •marginem infra 
anicriorcin tfttnar fere glabosus. Columna brevis sine prolatione 
hasali. f/orens Decembri: (lores suavcolentes. 

A diminutive plant epiphyte. Stem very short, about 1 cm 
long. Leaves oblong-elliptic, about 4-5 mi. lung Racemes shuner 
than leaves. Flowers very small, greenish, labellum while. Sepals 
and petals spreading, linear-sputhulaie falcate, concave obtuse, 
margins entire, no basal pouch. Labeikim-lamina traversed by a 
wide longitudinal channel; anterior part pubescent, mid-lobe almost 
obsolete; below anterior margin of lamina is an almost globular 
eminence. Colunm short, no basal extension Flowering December, 
flowers fragrai»t. Habitat- Queensland (Nnrth), Ml. Fox (via 

The solitary cultivated plant irom which the foregoing descrip- 
tions were made was in the author's possession for more than WW 
years When received, four capsules were attached to tbe peduncle* 
(2) of the preceding season. Late, in December of che foilnvving 
year (1935) one raceme oi flowers was produced. (1 have depicted 
the plant in three stages.) The specimen now reposes in the 
author's herbarium. Tt ronsfitntes the type of the new gwms. and 
is allied to SarcochihiS, R. Br. 

Mr A. Clindenum. nf Brisbane, is the discoverer nt this 
diminutive, yet most interesting orchid. To this collector, who is 
well known among orchid-students, f am indebted for much rare 
•orchidaecims material from places difficult of access. In a recent 
lerrer he writes, in reference to the new plant; "I have seen a 
number of specimens of this small species, but unfortunately the 
habitat is in almost inaccessible oottTHTy, and an opportunity for 
a visit has not again presented itself."' 

Key to 1'latc 
Drymtianilms min-Hitifj s|>- nov. Figure A — Plant with capsule*. Figs. B 
and C — Typical specimens, about natural size. Fig. 1>— Itaceme uf flowers. 
Fitr. E — Flower expanding its segments. Fig. F— Flower from side. Fig C 
— Ftownr from front, Fig, H — J-abcllam from sidr. Fig t— T.ah'eJluin 
trfirn jfoovc. Fig. J- — Labellum irom lielow. t'ig. l<. — Columns, irtrn side 
*nd front (|,bi; frontal view shows the column with poliir/.n removed'). 

Fig L — Po'hnia, 

J76 Wuus, SfatitHrat A r flk? on The Mnttec Flora [ V or. Jr. 

By James H Willis, National Herbarium of Victoria 

In 1937 appeared Forest Inspector W. J r Zimmer'j; "Flora of 
the Far North-west oC Victoria", it was the consummation of 
nearly ten year*' research over a wide area, a masterly brochure 
co-relating Mallee plant covers with their underlying soil types 
and emphasizing iheir great importance in the prevention of wind 
erosion (sec review in this journal, vol. LV (1933), pp. 36 and 
147). Mr. Zimmer confined his attention to the country lying 
uotth of an cast-west line from Hattah Lakes to the South Austra- 
lian border (i.e , about fifty miles south of Mildura) — a wise 
decision, since the high sandhills of stunted Mallee eucalypts 3iid 
Porcupine. Grass near Hattah mark the absolute limit of numerous 
shrubs which are a feature of Mallee districts farther south, e.g., 
Ca.n<ariiia Mndlcriafta, Grczdllcj- ih'cifolio, Hnkca flexfiis, 
Cyrostcmon austrolujicus.. BilianliiTa tymosa, Acacia spinescens, 
Davifsitt ulicino, Aolus vMosa. Eriosicmcm gracilis, Phehalium 
hullahivh. Brt'dettwysra scoparium, Cryptandya amam, C. pro- 
pinqua, Hihberlia virqa-ta, Baackea Behrn, Loudonm Bchni, and 
Anthoc^rcis myosotidca all stop here, while many other species 
fnotablv of Chen-opodiaccaB) occur only to the north of the line. 

In three short visits (May. August and September) to tin's "Far 
North-west" sector I have seized every opportunity to botanize 
over as much country as possible, with the. Tesult that Mr. 
Zimnu-r's list has been appreciably augmented, chiefly through the 
addition of small seasonal plants (Oph-wglossKm-, Geococcus, 
Alyasam, Hydrocotyk, Toxanthus, Chtlwnoccphoivfj etc ) and 
several aquatics which could easily have. been overlooked. During 
a four-day camp at I-ak? Little Hattah, in September of 1941, the 
surrounding Kulkyiie National Forest of some 121,500 acres was 
combed in several directions, and I was able to bring the Zimmer 
list up to 490 species of- indigenous vascular plants. 

Recently a 20-page article by J. G. Wood, M.Sc-, of the Botany 
Department. University of Adelaide, has come to my notice; it 
is reprinted from Transactions of ike Royal Society of South 
Atutraha," 1929, and is entitled "Floristics and Ecology of the 
Malice." The writer stales at the outset that hi? paper "is the 
result of a study of the Malice scrub, extending over six years, and 
includes observations made in the Murray Mallee ( South Australia) 

. . and also in the Millewa and Wimmera districts of Victoria. 
Appended is a list of species, "as complete as is possible at the 
present juncture.'* Wood divides 0a> great Mallee. belt of South 
Australia. Victoria and New South Wales into three territorial 
elements — Eyre Peninsula. Yorke Peniusuia, and the Murray 
Mallee, which covers by far the largest area, extending hundreds 

MM*] VVitw, XtaHttkal Motes on (In Malke Flora 177 

of miles from the Flinders Range south-easterly to the Coonmg 
<oast and along Ihp Murray -River to near Echuca »n Victoria. 

The total number of species recorded lor the Murray Malke is 
WQ — exactly the same figure as died above for our Far North- 
west ! This apparently remarkable coincidence ted me to closely 
compare the individual names of our Victorian list with those on 
Mr. Wood's list, in the expectation i»f a very homogeneous flora 
throughout the Murray Maliee region. 

The outcome was surprising indeed : no fewer titan 200 oi our 
490 N.W. Victorian representatives are not mentioned at all by 
Wood! Their place is taken by 40 Composites, 20 Legumes 
(mostly Acacias), considerable numbers of Myrkiceoe, Ruiacett, 
Orchidacea, and a dozen naturalized aliens. It seems iticredihle. 
that such lypical and (in Victoria) widespread Malke plant* as 
Amfihipojon, Schacnus aphylhts, J^epi'dospcriM oisridum. 
Gahnia lanigem, i.omandra- leucocephaki, Tricuryne elatior, Trichi- 
nium obovatum. /tcacia ligulata-, A, homolnphylfa; Nl-fmria Scho- 
i>#ri, Eucalyptus viridis, Prostantlicra. chloranHia, Oli'wia rr*<ft'.f. 
tlcliptttntm Cotufoj Heikltryswi brocttatum, ere. etc-.., should he 
entirely lacking from rcimilar dry country west of flic South 
Australian border or that the most casual observer should fail to 
sec some of them while passing through Millewa district. 

Thirty-four species of Gramncac, 15 of Cyperm.Mc and 17 oi 
Chenopod-iaceae (including all species of the "glasswort" genera, 
Snlirornia. PachycOrnKi and Aythrocnevnuni) do not appear in 
Mr. Wood's catalogue for the Murray Malke; neither does he 
mention a single water plant., nor explain why the aquatic com- 
munity has been excluded from his treatise- — at least 77 specie's, 
half being monocotyledons, grow only on the Murray banks or 
upon low land subject to inundation {c.g,.Eut:a!yplus cawM-tilcri- 
sis. E. bkotor, the rare Crinum flaccidum and Catostrmma pur- 
pureum). Even when disregarding all inhabitants of the Murray 
flood pjain, the list of species- as drawn up l.iy Mr. Wand cfntld 
he enriched to the extent of more than 120 characteristically Mai lee 
plants. — : 

Mr*. Mtismer* note in the January Naturalist is wry i'i>1«eKtitlt?, Qnc. 
must, of euursc, give duo respecl to the great CTcliidologisri son— jf a man 
does not know his own nnme. who tints' But then- arc unc or two ptnincnt 
nueitions. Australian Qrthid? wns published under the author's direct 
liexsoual supervision. Why, then, docs his name consistenlty appear 
thrbughour that publication as Fitsycrafd. with the "<?" small? tf a mistake 
was made inth.e part, why did he never correct it? And w|iy did his 
intimate friend Henry Dearie perpetuate the error in the Utter pai t of the 
work edited by hint after the author's dtath? I confess that to tne jt savourr. 
a liulc of -pedantry that now. fifty >eats alter Fjtzg*rald's death, sn attempt 
should tie made to alter the generally-acrpptcd- spelling c>f the name, parucu- 
laily when <he evidence, is so strong thit the owner it the name and his 
associates, themselves ar'-cpted it, H. M. ft Riw (Sydneyl, 

178 Fxknch, T«hs Tnld in Club [ V y«Ii.m 

By Ckahlk* Fkknch, Retired Government Biologist, Melbourne 

I Mr. diaries French, one o( the oldest members of the Victorian Field 
Naturalists' Club, has a iuud of amusing and injunctive stories relating to 
the early days o1 the Club, and he has been persuaded to set some of tliero 
down — being wired, of course, that anything he may say will not be uted Ui 
evidence against him! Here is a first selection ol Mr. French's talcs.— 

Mr Hill's Family 

In the old days of the Field Naturalists' Club it was tl>e custom to give 
rimes to the junior members for the best collections of entomological 
specimens. One of the early members was Mr. G. Hill, a keen and capable 
naturalist. Mr. Hill's three ions also were very enthusiastic naturalists 
and won most of the prizes. One evening B;iron von Mueller was 
presenting the prises and the first to come atog was one of the three Hill 
boys. The Baron congratulated him. Along came another of the sons, 
and he, too. was congratulated. Then the third boy arrived and also 
received congratulations. Later on they liad each to receive a further 
prize The Baron, Whose sight at night was not good, failed to recognise 
the same hoys and again congratulated tlv? three. Then he turned to Mr. 
Hill and said, "1 must congratulate you on your family of six clever boys !' r 
Mr. Hill looked embarrassed ior a while, but I am sure he enjoyed the 

The Babon a*i> thic Savrlov Cart 

Baron von Mueller always attended the Fitld Naturalists' Wild Flower 
Shows and meetings, and named the plants tor the exhibitors. One night 
he was at the Royal Society's Hall, where some of the eailicr shows were 
Jield. It was, a dreadful night, with a howling wind and rain in torrents 
About 9.30 the Baron said, "Sharley ICharley), we will go home by a 
cab." Off we. started from the roam, and when we reached the front gale 
the Baron noticed two bright lights in a cart coming along the road towards 
us. The Baron thought it was a cab and prompily called out, "Hey there, 
hey there! Are you engaged?" The man in the eart came over and said, 
"How man), Boss?" The Barcoi said rt Two" (meaning himself and 
myself). The fellow got off his carl ->ud I had a lot of explaining to do-- 
to point out it was all a mistake The man was much annoyed and drove 
iff in a rage, m the jxwring ram. The Baron Corned to me and said, 
"Sharley, Ihal fellow seems in a temper '" I replied. "Yes, Baron, he 
certainly was annnyVd at having bad to stop and feet down from his cart 
in the rain." The Baron arked, "What sort of n conveyance was it?" I 
said "A savetoy cart, and, when you said 'Two.' the man thought you 
wanted two saveloys!" The distinguished scientist was a proud man. "My 
God. Sharley." be cried, "fancy Baron von Mueller going along the street 
eating saveloys!" 

A Geoioctcai. Orwurv 

It was once a custom to have geological excursions to the quarries on tltc- 
Yarra near the Botanical Gardens. (These quarries were near Brandcr's 
Ferry, quite close to the gate leading to the Temple of the Winds.) A 
certain member of the Club, who was interested in geology, led an excursion 
io the nuarries one Saturday afternoon, irv the early days of the CM). 
This member was not exactly popular with others, as he assumed a lordly 
manner when siring his knowledge a< meetings When l>e arrived with his 
fairly large jtarty he immediately put on an air of gieat importance and 
commenced explaining, in highly scientific language, Ihe various strclav 
and rocks of interest Presently lie saw, in the crevice of a large rock 

u^] Frxnch. Tahs Totd m Club [79 

which lie had ii.tended pointing out as auothqr interesting geological 
feature, a clay model of a man, about four Sect UIJ, which had been 
worked very Carefully into the crevice. When our geological friend came 
suddenly in front gf this, he flew into a rage (he was always bad-tempered) 
ainJ shouted, "1 wonder who would stoop so low as to do such a silly 
thing aj that I" Some "ftend" had modelled the "man'' as a praericil jolce. 
Turning to my father, who was near him. he said "H this wfU done l)y 
a member of the Club and ' find out who did it, I will move -to have him 
expdlrd from the Club. Whal do you think about it, Mr. French?" My 
father replied, "Yes, I fully agree with you." Years after the geologist 
had passed away, ttiy father "confessed" to having been the joker — but he 
was not expelled from the Club. 

Thx "Nbw" Parrot Hoax 

In the old days of the Club, one of its members — a tall, proud man wilh 
a large flowing beard and pieiting eyes, and wearing a big tic adorned 
with a large ornament— was greatly interested m parrots. One evening he- 
was reading Che description of wlial he thought was a new parrot sent to 
bdm by a correspondent in North Queensland. The sender stated, in a 
letter to our ornithologist, that the parrot sent was very rare and that 
there- were only a very few of them where he shot the specimen forwarded. 
Our friend was very enthusiastic and fully described the bird as a new 
species. He then sat down and seemed ouite pleased wi(h himself 

The President asked, "Would any of our ornithological iiicmbers like 
to say a word or ask any questions?" One of our lending ornithologists 

msc and remarked. "I regret to (Stt that Mt. has evidently been grossly 

misled fry his correspondent, as the parrot described is a fairly well-known 
New Guinea species." Everyone prcfem wni really ;orry. The correspon- 
dent who sent the specimen had evidently been deliberately mislcadin*. 

I well remember several similar instances of paid collectors sending 
Baron von Mueller plants said to have been collected in Queensland but 
which were natives of New Guinea and the adjacent islands. Beetles were 
frequently sent to try' and mislead my father, the collector stating that he 
found them in North Queensland. These insects were oommwi "jewel 
beetles" (Biipreslidj) from India, etc I am afraid my father's reply to 
the sender was an unpleasant shock for hint. 

Tt-rc Stoky cif Uracantiius 
When on an entomological excursion with a professor and some university 
students at Black Rock. I wa; engaged cutting off some of 1he bought 
containing the insects from the coastal wattle and Banksias (native lioin»y- 
snckles) when a man on the Beach Road called out, "Hey, what are you 
smashing the trees for?" f replied, "Tt's all right: I have a permit." 
Evidently he did not hear what I said, for in about five minutes two 
constables on bicycles canx along at a great rate through ihc tea-1 rec. 
They put their b;cyc!es down hurriedly and one askrd. "Well, what do you 
think you are doing 5 You know t)uitc well that you have no rij'ht to 
(fattroy the trecs. % Wbai are you s-niastiing the limbs for*'' As they both 
became very officious and asked me more questions, I coolly laid "I am 
looking ior UrMfliittlttA." (This is a Lotigicoru beetle destructive to 
wattles, banksias, etc) The constables stared. "Wliat's that you said?" 
one of them asked. ] repeated, "I'm looking for Uracavilws." They lonked 
at enrh other and one of them bartced again, "What was that ytm said?" 
Again I repeated "Uracanifau," and thn time I added, "It is a beetle which 
destroys some of our native trees. I have a permit from vour Council to 
collect specimens." I then produced the permit. ''Well, 1 ' growled one r 

180 V. A. V\dhr, Boah^man and NatHtaHs) [ V v,V. LIX 

•"why didn'i you tell us this at fit*l>" Tbai they left— without making an 

The profr-iMw and students (alter Hie departure of the two constable*) 
roared laughing, 'flu? happened years ago, but I often meet some of the 
nJtl siudenis who attended tlut excursion and they always ask, "Have you 
been to Black Rock lately for Uracunthns?" 


KHward Alexander Vidlcr. who passed away on October 28, 1942, in his 
Hoth year, was not a mc-mbcr of this Club, but was very keculy interested 
in nature Study, especially in later years, anil made constant efforts to 
popularise it, Moreover, from die tact lJtat Mr. Vidlcr wax the grandson 
of Dr. George Bennett, of Sydney, and that, as. a youth living in Loudon, 
be acted as a link with Dr. Bennett and the veteran Professor Sn Richard 
Owen,, it will be char that his early career is bound up w'th the natural 
history of this country. 

He was bom in Lsndon, and was a ton of Thomas Collins Vidler; ?iis 
mother, whose maiden name was Amelia 'jould Bennett, being a god- 
daughter of John Gould. Educated at & private school in Gravc.end, 
younj; Vidler, at 17, entered the publishing house of Cassell, where he met 
many literary celebrities of. that period, as well as artists and others. After 
eight years with Cassell, where he was later on the editorial staff, he 
came to Melbourne. Here, as well as i»t Geelong and Warrnamhool, he 
engaged actively in writing and publishing. 

It was fortunate that the Victorian Naturalist, in past years, secured some 
contributions from the pen of Mr. Vidler. Vol- xu', 1928, pp. 74-77, 
contains bis personal reminiscences of occasional visits to Professor Sir 
Rfcli Owen in retirement at Sheen Lod^e, Richmond Park. In another 
article be recalls the hasty visit of his grandfather to Loudon, in 1875, when 
young Vidler rnndlirted Dr. Dennett through Dickens' country near 
Chatham [rift Nat., vol. xlv, pp. 207-8). Mr- Vidlcr furnished Sw 
iHuMTation in the Naturalist a unique photograph for Charles Barrett's 
articles on John Gould, as he stood beside a folio volume of Tkc Birds o/ 
AttsftaKa (ibid., facing p. 42). 

Mr. Vidler produced, between 1950 and L*>1, four Nature books, well 
illuKtratwf. entitled Our cTwi Trees, Wonder Birds r>} Australia,, Wmtdt.r 
.Animals of Aus-halia. and Our Ount Birds o\ Australia. Although attrac- 
tively printed they did not achieve the sucec-ss they deserved, since at the 
time there was much competition in .iimilar work of an educational nature. 
There is also another book, Native Trees of Australia, by J. W. Audas, 
published 4 few years later, «n the initial piorlnriion ol which, J understand, 
Mr. Vjdler had a considerable share. 

For many years Mr. Vidler was literary adviser to George Robertson 
and Co, and in 1914 be produced a text-book on Australian Foinls, by the 
present, writer, which is now out of print, 

As a sincere nature-lover Mr. Vidler carried his studies of trees and shrubs 
into tlie Of>eii air, and in 1V32 he was appointed, with the present writer, 
as joint honorary curator of the Maranoa (native) garden, adioinlug Beckett 
Park, Balwyu. Ijv the Cambcrwell Council, One recalls, some years a?o, 
spending a bank holiday with him in mapping out the centre bed for 
special planting, where originally stood Watson's tool-shed, and which 
photographers have since acclaimed as to its favourable position It is 
inspiriting to the writer, whom Mr. Vidler often referred to as l«s "Cobber 
of the Trees, v to remember that our families originally came from closely 
adjoining home-towns in Sussex. F. Chat-MAF. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LLX.— No. ii March 3, 1943 No. 711 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on Monday, 
February 8, 1943. The President (Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison) 
presided and about 80 members and friends attended. 


An illustrated lecture oh "Birds and the Bush" was given by 
Mr. C. E. Bryant (editor of the Emu), The lecturer, with a 
fine series of slides showed nesting and other hahits of some of 
our native birds., and with his running commentary, gave an 
insight into the thrills, perils, and general adventures of a bird 
photographer. The lecture was greatly enjoyed, and a cordial 
vote of thanks was carried by acclamation. 


The following were elected: As Ordinary Members, Miss 
Margaret Sarovich and Miss Ruth Denny; as Country Member, 
Miss Nancy Trvine; as Associate Members, Miss Patricia Harris 
and Master Robert. Gwynne. 


The President, stated that the Committee, having received re- 
ports that the milling of timber was taking place in Sherbrooke 
Forest, had immediately moved in protesting to the authorities, 
and would take the matter up further. 

Mr. V. H. Miller and Mr. F. S. Colliver both reported on what 
■was taking place at Sherbrooke, 

Mr. A. A. Brunton stated that the effect of taking timber from 
portion of the Kinglake National Park was that the Lyre-birds 
left that particular area. 


Mr. R. G. Painter reported having located on Mt. Sturgeon a 
double-flowered form of the Red Correa which propagated itself 
by underground suckers. 

Mr, V. H. Miller reported having seen a large number of 
possums lying dead on the road to* Albury. 

Mr. Ivo Hainmctt stated that, a large amount of water was 
contained in the branches of Eucalyptus botrymdss. 

162 BhyajJt, Birds mut the ISitih ' Dvrt.KK 


By C. E Bryant, Melbourne 

ISunrmary of an Illustrated Lecture to the F.N.C. on February 8, 194,}) 

Bird photography offers sufficient exercise and out-of-doors 
infx-ccat la saLisEy anyone, requires patience and ingenuity iti the 
carrying out of subterfuges to deceive the birds, and involves just a 
dash of danger in scrambling around in the tr^e-tops, 

Swamps have always been a favourite hunting-ground of mine 
and a. number of pictures of water birds have been obtained. With 
most or the Rallidae, as instanced by the Moorhen, there has been 
an anticipation of man's invention of stream-lining, such birds 
having attenuated bodies which enable them to pass quickly 
through a labyrinth of closely-growing vegetation, Of this type 
of bird the young are precocial, as distinct from altricial, being 
able to fend for themselves from soon after hatching. The male 
Moorhen, however, is usually on hand to take care of the young 
as they hatch out, and the males of allied water-birds do the same. 
Often the number of eggs laid by the female Moorhen ts extremely 
large, and the provision of nature in arranging for rttdffuBOU? 
young is. in tins case, a distinct advantage, saving over-crowding 
in the nests. 

Grebe* — Black- throated and Hoary -headed- —have fallen "vic- 
tim" to my camera. Courtship ceremonies continue after die 
eggs are well incubated. The dexterity of these species in the 
water is made most apparent by watching them from a "hide." 
They will constantly return to and cover the eggs if the concealing 
material be removed. The eggs are large for the size of the 
birds, as is the case with practically all precocial birds, the shells 
are hard, and the vitality nf the eggs is superlative. 

Reed-Warblers and Crass-birds arc musicians of the swamps, 
the former with rich notes sard to be similar to (but better th:in) 
those of the Nightingale, the latter a melodist of more solemn 
harmony. The ability of the Reed- Warbler to draw together 
reed stems, as the mfiinstoy of the nest, is notable, and the in- 
clusion, in the great majority of Grass-bird nests, of a, curled 
feather of a Swamphen (usually) or Moorhen or Heron, serving 
as a half-dome, is a custom that may be partly utilitarian and 
partlv ornamental. Black-fronted Dotterels, with their pro- 
tectively-coloured eggs, their "twinkling" wanderings around 
lagoon sides, and iheir characteristic injury-feigning ''trances," 
must be mentioned in any account of swamp birds. 

Protective coloration is manifest in birds to a great extent. 
Eggs that are coloured as is the ground beneath them are note- 
worthy examples. Consider the Jacky Winter, a brown-grey 
bird that builds a iiiivijbrK -coloured nest on g like-hned branch 

JJ^] BtYAMT, Birds and the B*sU 183 


and has young of the same shade. It is safe from observation 
from above so long as it remains still. Examples could be men- 
tioned in do2ens. When the sexes are differently coloured it is the 
bird that does most of the sitting that is drab in colour. This is 
usually the hen, but in a few instances where the male does sdl 
the sitting he is the plain-coloured member of the pair Where 
(he blight ly-coloured bird eschews the brooding he often becomes 
assiduous in feeding the chicks, which appears to counter-balance, 
to some extent, the advantage of his staying away during the 
incubation period 

This aspect of coloration and camiouflage and that of mimicry 
are allied but not the same. Protective colouring is not neces- 
sarily designed to match exactly the plumage with the sur- 
roundings, for sometimes the protection is based on what is called 
disruptive, as distinct from obltteralive, coloration, the boki 
patterns, particularly of contrasting hlack and white, suggesting 
patches of sunlight aud shade. 

The best examples of protection are amongst the young birds— 
speaking generally That, the stippling and spotting is specially 
designed to protect the newly-hatched young, when they most 
need protection, is apparent from the alteration in plumage that 
takes place as the birds reach maturity. Take, for instance, the 
White-headed Stilt, the Pied Oyster-catcher, etc., whose young 
make far more marked changes than ever befel the Ugly Duck- 
ling. This applies, to nearly all groimd-nesteis whose young arc 
precocious. On the other hand young Crakes, and the ehicks of 
some other swamp birds, are jet black, and do not fit ill with the 
surroundings unless they be considered as suggesting spots of 
heavy shade in the swamp growths. 

More avian interest and variety exists (in Victoria) with 
Mallee birds than with many others. Centralism conditions come 
sweeping down to the Mallee and dry inland forms of birds exist 
with them. Budgerygahs swarm into fence-posts and kuot-holes 
to breed, Cockatiels are common. Parrots and Cockatoos gen- 
erally abound. The Crested Pigeon is so plentiful that the large 
numbers that are constantly shot "on the quiet" may not appear 
to matter: nevertheless the Passenger Pigeon of. North America 
was the commonest gregarious bird the world has seen — and it 
is extinct. The Superb Blue Wren is a gem indeed, but the Mallee 
country Black-backed Wren far surpasses him in the scintillating 
wonder of his plumage. He is a bird of the roadsides, but not 
the only denixen, for Mallee roads, drawn-out oases amidst deserts 
of wheat, provide board and lodging for hosts of others — Wood- 
Swallows (Dusky, Masked and White-browed). Chestnut-tailed 
Thornbills, White-browed Babblers, Trillcrs, Hooded Robins and 
others Fallow fields nearby produce Banded Plover, Pipits and 

184 Bryant, Bit 4s and the Bush VvXtjx 

Australian Dotterels, with White-fronted Chats, Stubble and Little 
QitaU and Bush-Larks in the grassy Cringes. * 

Of home site* there is no end of variety. Jam tins wired into 
trees have, been taken over liy Butf-tailcd Thombills. A kettle 
jammed in a crotch was used by a Grey Thrush; the spout, 
turned downwards, appeared as if a part of a drainage system. 
TLis point leads us to nest saturation. With birds in open nests 
tlic excreta is often exuded in a small sac. The adults take it 
away and clean up all traces from the nest. The young them- 
selves may be impelled to project the cloaca over the nest rirn 
in order to "clear'' the nest. With some birds that breed in 
hollows — owls, kingfishers, etc. — Hie matter is not so simple. A 
puny Eoobook Owl nestling of my acquaintance, far smaller than 
his brothers, uot only received no food, but lay at the bottom of 
the nest hollow covered with rejected food, pellets and droppings, 
The stench was overpowering. To this, hollow., and to that of 
nesting Sacred Kingfishers nearby, c;ime dipterous flies that 
"blew ''' the refuse, the larvae acting as a sanitary squad and clean- 
ing up the mess in a scatophagous orgy. 

Bird photography has produced some interesting, and, irtdeed, 
rcd-lcttcr moments, though not always caught hy the camera's 
magic eye — a Speckled Warbler displaying, with fanned-ouc tail; 
to his sitting mate; Grebes courting at a nesting platform; a 
Little Bittern struggling, unsuccessfully, to hold together its nest 
iji a violent windstorm: a Marsh Crake racing against rising 
flood-waters lo stabilize its nest; a Fantail-Warbler that, tamed 
by solicitude (or its young, allowed me to pick it up and handle 
it at will; Fairy Terns feeding each other in amorous ecstasy 

And the places wherein the birds dwell— parched Eyre Penin- 
sula with typical desert forms, the alpine regions 0) Victoria aud 
south-wese Tasmania, the flooded mlize of the Gwydir Water- 
course at Moree, the jungle patches of Queensland's Ftaser 
Island, inlets and hays aud swampy river mouths along un- 
frequented coasts, marshes, mountain-tops, fern-gullies, wind- 
swept plains. Birds and the bush, the bush and its birds — a 
definite correlation aud the whole forming a complete picture that 
should satisfy any naturalist. 

(The birds and places mentioned, and others, wCie illustrated by a 
number of oolour slides). 


"We were surprised by a large male emu stalking across ihc plain near 
our tetil. Our dogs, aiter a chase of !5 minutes, brought him down. At 
my suggestion our laconic gathered a quantity of the young leaves of 
Rhet-godiu (Sallbush), which they boiled and found co b? an excellent 
substitute tor a better' vegetable, which, with the emu, made us an excellent 
dinner."— From Allan Cunningham's Diary. May 8, 1817. 

Jjgj] FuHV, 'Jack" and "Jill" nf Badsfsr Cwek 185 


13y Davjo Fi.p.av, Director, Badger Creek Sanctuaiy 

On February 19 this year "Jill,'' the lively little female Platypus 
at Badger Creek, completed five years in captivity, being ttie 
first Platypus ever to do so. Some days earlier "Jack," her big 
mate, had in hit turn equalled the four years and one month pre- 
viously established ;is a world record in 1937 by Mr. Robert 
Eaclie's famous "Splash,'' so that considerable rejoicing attended 
the attainment of a double majority by this pair of very dis- 
tinguished "Duckbills." 

Try to imagine the colossal number of earthworms used up> 
over these years, calculated at 800 per animal per night and 
costing almost a £1 a day in summer months — this not including 
the countless young yabbies, grubs and tadpoles needed as an 
essential variation to the diet ! 

One of the chief results of the successful acclimatization of 
these two animals and a third ("Rebecca") —which after three 
years we were forced to liberate owing to war-time economy' — 
i.s the conclusive, evidence that the Platypus may ciajoy ;i lengthy 
life in captivity and at the same time appear daily before large 
crowds without affecting its own well-being. 

Secondly, it i.s obvious that the animals must live tor a fairly 
long time. Beyond a darkening of coat -colour neither "Jack" nor 
"Jill" shows the slightest sign of age. "Barwou," mi adult female 
Platypus captured and acclimatized by the author in 1937. was 
no! under two years of age at that time. Her death ;ir. her home 
in the Melbourne Zoo was not due to old age and it occurred 4 
years lOf months latrr. showing that the animal was then at h^ist 
seven years of age and most probably a good deal more. Con- 
sidering that a Platypu-. is not fully grown until aged two years, it 
seems reasonable to assume that the animals live for at least 10 
to 15 years or longer. 

Naturally, our success at Badger Creek has been built on the 
foundation of Harry Burrell's pioneer work and on the wonderful 
achievement of Robert Eatlie with "Splash''' (also of Badger 
Creek) — the first Platypus ever to thrive under captive conditions- 
A large part of the wurk of airing lor "Jack" and "Till" has fallen 
to Mr. C. D. Mihie, of the Sanctuary stall, and 1 wish here tr> 
pay tribute to his consistent enthusiasm. Our only disappoint- 
ment is that so far we have been quite unsuccessful in persuading 
our female Platypus to lay eggs and rear young ones. 

February 19. 1938, was. a very hot day and that afternoon two 
Healesville men met "Jill" (as she was to be known) shurttmg 
down the middle of the Ben Cairn road on the side of Mt. 

186 Fuvav, '•/«*" ami "Jill" of Badger Oft?* [^.UX 

Toolebcwung at Panton's Gap (V.) A furry baby object, able 
to fit comfortably on one's hand, she had either wandered away 
from a nesting burrow beside a creek, as baby Platypuses often do, 
or been carried and dropped by some marauder, possibly a fox, 
hawk or kookaburra. The nearest stream to the scene of her 
discoveiy was at least three-quarters of a mile distant. 

''Jill" took kindly to a ready-made home. It was evident that 
she had been away from a source of food for an appreciable period, 
for the first two days of her residence at Badger Creek found her 
out in the water feeding slowly but steadily the whole time She 
quickly became an excellent "show" animal, even attempting at 
times to crawl up my sleeve when worms, grubs and small yabbies 
were not forthcoming quickly enough 

On one never-to-be forgotten public holiday early in her career 
a thousand or more people patiently awaited "Jill's" late afternoon 
public appearance only to have a crestfallen demonstrator explain 
apologetically, at 3.30 p.m., after a frantic search, that the show 
was off Where "Jill" should have been (in her artificial bur- 
row) there was a neat exit hole in the moisture-rotted flooring 
planks! That! night the beam at a spotlight picked her out where 
she frolicked like a tmy hippopotamus among the tadpoles of a 
neighbouring lily -pond. She seemed rather glad to return "home," 
and suun ;i large and strong new "platypussary" was provided so 
that her disappearing trick could not be repeated. The new 
structure — which is the present home of "Jack" and "Jill"— was 
specially designed to accommodate at least two Duckbills. 

The second Platypus to share "Jill's" home was "Rebecca " 1 
caught her one bitterly cold foggy night (1938) in the Boggy 
Creek, which is little more than a chain of slowly-trickling pools 
running from Mt Toolebewong to join Badger Creek in the old 
ahorigiual reserve of Coranderrk Being fully grown and ob- 
viously a fairly elderly matron, she retained her furtive retiring 
nature though reconciling herself to the limits of her artificial 
home At the time of her liberation in Badger Creek, three vears 
later, she was as much the wild Platypus as on that hectic night 
when we played wet hide-and-seek in the fleering pool on Boggy 

"Jack," the male Duckbill, who might now he described as an old 
man Platypus, is a magnificent big animal nearly twice the 
weight of Jill."' Though not quite as confiding as "Jill," he is 
nevertheless a tame animal, eager at. show periods in the after- 
noons to accept offerings of beetle larvae by hand. 

We first met Jack then a half-gTOwn youngster, during the 
great bush fires of January 1939. In the course of a patrol at 
2 a.m. one stifling night, he was seen by the light of a torch 
swimming m a pool in Badger Creek. By means of blocking each 


Plate XI 

March, lW.i 


5 « . 


Vim,. UN 

Mun-li, 19-1.! 

'r.ATI.; XII 

Bird's iii- view "i "Jill" tioaihiK "ii lite surface ■! iU.n natvi ivhilc 
being hand-fed willi earthworms. 

Any jjrnlis about? "Jill" h;mys t-xju-iMniltly Uj llic lianil lli:it [tvils lutj 
1'hotos. : S. Alston PearJ. 

JJ"sJ Fleay, 'Jack" <t»d "hll" */ BhSffM Creek 187 

outlet 6l the reach with stones, "jack" was eventually picked up 
unceremoniously, Lint trafely, by the tail as he swam through the 
shallows searching for n way out. Jn the platypussary he settled 
do'.vn quite peacefully with the "ladies," aud within ten months 
had almost doubled his size. In his camping-box. the peculiar 
rank, almost foxy, odour of the adult male Platypus is generally 


As previously mentioned, the home of "Jack" and "Jill" is a 
complicated structure provided with a variety of "tunnels," so 
that the chances of two animals infringing upon one another's 
dormitories are reduced to a minimum. A Platypus is naturally 
very wet while in the water hut it becomes a miserable creature 
unless thoroughly dry and furry soon after entering its burrow. 
Thus the constant changing of moisture-laden grass "bedding" in 
the wooden tunnels is a highly important task. Incidentally, the 
entrances to Platypus camping and nesting burrows are situated 
ahovc notmal river and creek level, and not below as populmly 
supposed This slate of affairs permits the animals to .shed a good 
deal of water and comb and dry their coats before entering their 

The Platypus, with its numifokl idiosyncrasies, needs to be 
humoured to the greatest extent possible. Even the tamest speci- 
men hates to be handled, and when waiting one for a display 
period it is usually necessary to do ?o by degrees, allowing the 
animal to work its own leisurely way through tunnels towards 
tin: water. 

liven at night, which is its natural excursion -time, a Platypus 

will sometimes retire precipitately to its burrow should rain begin 

to fall — not that it could get any w<Hte> but because tiW drops 

•of water paltering on its highly sensitive hill cause acute 


So inured is "Jill" to appearances before the public at 3.30 in 
the afternoons that it is fdly three years since such a disturbance 
Itas caused her to express a protest in the only voice that a 
Platypus ever uses — a querulous growl exactly like that of an 
annoyed broody hen, 

M<vst of tis have observed birds of various kinds giving expres- 
sion to lh«?ir well-being and joy in life in erratic Swooping and 
tumbling in the air. A healthy tame Platypus dues very much the 
same thing in its watery environment. At night "Jill," who has 
no fear of lights or human intrusion, rolla, twists and loops in the 
water, -with every evidence of delight in being visited. Another 
of her performances, rather uncommon for a Platypus, is that of 
swimming rapidly over the surface of the water. 

As a rule a captive Platypus's coat does not long retaiu its 
handsome sheen and well-kept appearance unless the animal is 

188 ttofc ih Buthrflu-i L V v!!i'.ux 

able to bunow in soil and tetirc periodically into n b;mk- oi earth 
resembling' tlic natural batik of a rivci. In such a bank, provided 
tor rhe use of "Jack" and "Jill." the animals have c:Xeavate.d a 
veritable network of burrows. Unwarned exits and cross-passages 
art closed off or "pugged" up behind the duck-billed tunneUer* 
by mean? of bade pii5hiiig with their tads. "Jill" is particularly 
adept ai tliis type of scaling process, with the result thai, at times 
she wears the end of her in\[ quire bare of its stiff, bristly hair. 
However, in early January, when a very definite general moult 
takes place, the growth of a thick new coat of, glossy fur and tail 
bristle^ quickly hides the worn patches. 

[All members of die T.WC will oo doubt cordially endorse, the action of 
th* Committee, which lias written Mr. Fleay congratulating him fin his 
striking smc>o« with the Platypus — ?.nd a'so tcndcn'ng felicitations to "Tack" 
and "Jill"— Ed.tor.J 


At the present time biittortTies of the Trnp'-iifil-ljiite iJalmauia cvaaoras) 
ard emerging. These are especially interesting as being one oi (lie species 
which live tn a sta'e of commcrsnhsm with ants, The larvae live in small 
groups, a ijrotp.ctive measure which is increased by the presence of hundreds 
of small black ants. These, or the nearly black pupae, will be found attached 
to the food plant (Black Wattle ami possibly other slcucm spp.). They 
have secured Themselves to a little, web as in the case of the Imperial White. 
From a cluster of 9 pupae, brought from Eitbam on Sunday, 9 beautiful 
swift-winged, butterflies have already emerged (29/1/43) . " Enclosed in a 
tatBc, inverted clock-shade, the base covcretl with net, they have mated and 
deposited pile green egfts These are exnuishe, like piles of infinitesimal 
sea prelims, or the spiny pollen-grains of certain flowers. 

When discovered the pupae were smothered m ants which covercrl the 
hand that, gathered the twig. Haying exploited die sweet juice?, excreted 
by the caterpillars, rhey were still ill attendance 011 the. pupae. 

These lovely, swift butterflies are not easily seen when on the wing. In- 
side thd glass shade they have made a charming nature study. The wing3 
are erf a "warm bufV below, with Mack and orange marking*. Above, they 
are a dusky, velvety brown with large central patches ot. iridescent, silvery* 
blae. Tkehiud ones have patches of orange near the "swallow-tails." These 
'tails" move independently of the wings, and arc so like, the antennae of 
certain ichneumon flies that they are probably protective.— Edith an. 


Chairing to Mr. W. Philips, of Gorae West, through the week (says a 
wiiter in the Pottland Observer) he told Me that whilst cutting up a hay- 
stack recently (hey had only cut through one bench (a bench is really a 
>o.ti'rii cut out of tiie stack) when three white eggs were noticed together. 
O'W was put under a hen,. (Result not yet reported. ,1 Cater a second hole 
was found leading into the stack, and ihree more eggs were discovered 
Knowine. now llml they were kookaburra^ eggs, the men left them 
undisturbed, but that night a heavy storm came and lifted the stack 
-Uytvards and along with it poor Jacky's eggs. The nearest suitable tr«e 
svas some distance away. 1 have never heard o« Liu: jackass nesting in. a 
lurystcck befoi e. 

JJ,^ 1 N'lOiOu.S. Orchid Mold from 1'oriiimd 1*9 


(October-December. 1942) 

By VV. H, Ntcqolls, Melbourne 

(1) Caiadema orenaria, FitzGrrald. — Tliis attractive spider- 
orchid has been plentiful in the Portland districts, in South-west 
Victoria, duriug October-December. Collectors : Mrs. F, 
Mellblom and Mr. Clifford ficauglchole. The individual bloonif. 
of arenaria arc not consistently very large, as figured by FitzGerald 
in Australian Orchitis, and the odour vfuies somewhat ill the 
Portland flrwets, from the "typical" pale, yellowish tone to » 
beautiful olive-grc-eu ; this latter is a pleasing tone for a "Spider.'' 
The close examination of numerous specimens shows that the 
characters vary greatly and, for instance, the labella-margins do 
not always have the neat saw-edge fringe. Indeed., they vary from 
this to those, long calli-combings which are often quite a feature. 
of the larger specimens of C. P(i}.er.~mm, R.Br. Thus, I think 
FitzGerald's armaria should be considered a variety ot it- = 
Cahrfcnia Patarsonii, R.Br., variety armaria, n. comb. 

With variety smveolens, iNich., the above form hybridises 
freely: thus intermediates occur, but lypicnl specimens of both 
varieties are very different, outwardly and "inwardly." Variety 
suavealmis possesses a large stoutly-fringed labelluai and the 
perianth-segments are "heavy." and shorter than those of var. 
are I taria-- -the filiform tips almost black. Var. arcruina is exceed 
ingly "long-legged" but graceful, the label Uuu correspondingly 
small. Both forms are fragrant, stwevlcns being outstanding 111 
this respect. l 

(2) Caludenia reticulata-, FilzG , variety Validu n.var. Plctlla 
robusta and 30 f5« m - alta, Lamina folvi ad IS*™- lonaa r( 2 5""- 
fata. Flares 2-5, magni, fn-tei ei badii. 

The Leaf of this new variety is very large, more so than in sturdy 
specimens of C lutijolia-, R.Br. Specimens of this Portland 
'Spider" often attain a height of IS inches (45 cm ) j the stern 
thick (3-4 mm •). Flowers 2-3 usually, pale yellow, with the 
labelluin tip deep red-brown; sepals strongly clavate; labellnni 
more nr less, strongly reticulate-veined. Flowering September- 
October. Habitat : Portland. Collectors : Mrs. F Mellblom and 
Mr. C, Bcaugk-hole, by whom it is reported as "often in great 

(3) The Hybrid Spider Orchid (C. Patenoim. R.Br. X C 
dilaiata, R.Br.). Exceptionally' large-flowered and uniquely 
coloured — label I um snow-white except for the tip which is marked 
with purplish-red. Locality . Gorae West, Coll. : Mr. C, Beauglehok, 

190 Natural History Nomas Vvoi.UX 

(4) C, PfllersoHii, K.Br. Unusually fine examples with up 
to 3 flowers; length of lateral sepals 6 inches; petals 4£ inches. 
Do these measurements constitute a Victorian record for size of 
flower? Locality: Gorae West. Collector : Mr. C. Rugc. 

(5) Bimicllkt cuncala, Lindl. Sjweiroens with as many as 
.«.»• flowers. Lot alii y : Gorae West. Coll. : Mr. C. Beaugkhole. 

(6) Prasophyllum Hmti't, Rogers. Height of specimens 
60-80 cm '; plants in myriads. Locality. Gorae. West. Collector: 
Mr. C, Beaugleholc. 

(7) Pra.snphylhmi gracile, Rogers. Height of specimens up to 
//'-•"••; flowers 80-S4 iu a long extended spike of 10-12 inches 
(30 5 tm ). Locality: Clarence River. Collector: Mr C. 

(8) Microiix orl>h:uhris. RogeTS. Height of specimens 
24-44 cm '; plants very slender, almost wholly red-brown, Locality. 
Gorae West. Collectors: Messrs. C. Beaugleholc and W. Phillips. 

(9) Cakulenia pallida. Lindl. Luxuriant specimens 40- 52 c ■ , • 
high; leaf in some plants 25 c,n - long; all 2-flowercd, the flowers 
height yellow, tinged with green, tip of lahelhun dailc red-brawi). 
In sonic specimens the labella presented a new departure, the 
margins being ijuite. entire and narrowly lined with red, in lieu 
of the usual combings. In these remarkable flowers, the calli 
were restricted to 4 only in 2 rows-, at the immediate base oi the 
lamina. In Tasmania the sepals of this Caladenia are sometimes 
clavate, but not conspicuously so. This feature is embodied by 
Lindlcv in the original description 

To the Editor. 

Sit, — Reconstruction is the watchword of to-day. The Victorian Field 
Naturalists' Club an render a national service in an Australian-wide 
reconstruction of the vernacular or popular names of all Australia*) natural 
history objects. 

lit a vast number of. instances the same species or object is cursed with 
over a dozen popular names, and in others With none whatever. This 
leads to endless confusion and is a reflection on Australian naturalist*.. 
The popular name is lor use by Ui« many, whereas the scientific is for the 
few and rail he left to the scientists to determine. There should be o»1y 
one popular name for the same natural history object indigenous to 
Australia. The creation of so many different popular names for the same 
object has been due to the want of art authoritative name. 

In the interests of this refinement might I suggest that the Victorian 
Field Naturalists' Club approach die various natural history societies of 
the Commonwealth with the object of establishing an authoritative ropular 
name for all Australian nalural history objects? 

Yours, etc., 

ARrmjB H. B, 

gg] TWf.f Told t* Club 191 


By Charles Fw.ncu, Retired Ciovernmeut Biologist, Melbourne. 

[Mr. Charles French, one ai the oldest members of (tie Victorian Field 
Naturalists' Club, lias been persuaded to set down some of the many amusing 
and instiuctive stories lie recalls from the earl/ days of the Club. A selection 
of these tales was given in the Naturalist lor bebrtfary, and heie follows 
Uie second and (lor the tunc being) last sectiou.— Editor.] 

BoxAMtcAi. Excursion to Ringwood 

A certain university professor ol old, who acknowledged my existence 
only when lie wanted to know where certain plants could be found, liad his 
botany students at Ringwood one afternoon and I happened to meet them. 
Knowing some of the party, I stopped and had a shortjalk to there, The 
Protestor, as soon as he saw me, abruptly said, "French, where does 
Phyllcciiaisum Drumnwndi grow?" (This is line- pigmy club-moss, a very 
interesting and minute plant belonging to the Lycopodiaccae. closely allied 
1o ferns.) Now, T happened to know that about where the lordly 
professor was standing the plants grew in fair uumbers, and 0" looking 
on the ground I saw," much to my delight, a considerable palcli. "That 
plant," I said, equally abruptly, "grows at your feet 1 " 

Over many years I recall clearly how annoyed was the. professor and 
how amused were his sludents, They told me he had been searching for 
hours for this plant and was unable to find it. Recently I met one df the 
students (now a chemist) and he said. "Do you remember the Ringwood 
excursion?" I certainly do! 


A very enthusiastic early memhei of the Club, Mt. — — , an Italian by 
birth, who was keenly interested in the native orchids and beetles of 
Victoria, was on a collecting trip by himself to Sandfingham and Black Rock 
one afternoon, and had a rather exciting time. Juji p-rcviously there had 
been i big jewellery robbery in the city and the detectives were told that a 
man carrying packets had been ssen, in the tea-tree scrub digging in various 
places; this was thought to be very si*picious, as- the person was probahly 
digging tip or "planting" some of the sto!?.n jewellery! Detectives hurried 
to die locality and came upon ihe orchid collector. 

"What arc you digging for ?*' they asked. Unfortu;iatcl> for himscli, 
the collector (who spoke very little English and who had a fiery nature) 
said "1 am looking (or ice plant." One of the detectives asked in a sharp 
voiecv "What do you know about the plant?" "I dig it up" said the botanist, 
who had no idea they were inferring to the jewel robbery. 

The detectives could not make out what he was op to, so they siirl "You 
liad btller come along With us." and he was taken to Che police station— at 
this stage in a fine temper. After' a time, however, he calmed down and the 
detectives were able to understand him aiici to express their regret at the 
unfortunate misunderstanding. 

The botanist himself often, related the story to nic dorine our rambles 
together collecting natural history specimen*. 


It was on the first campout of the Club — at Olitlda CrCek near Lilydale — 
in November, 1884, that the first eggs of the beautiful Hclmeted Hor»ey- 
«ater (Meliplwga cas.ndix) were discovered. I happened to be a member 
at this excursion. Some ot the members arrived a day before me and played 

1?2 TaUs ToM m C!uh ['vlt.ut 

a joke which I will not forget in a hurry. When I arrived nt tltc camp "J 
the morning, with our lute member F, C. A Barnard, several members were 
Standing together gazing into a eucalyptus tree and one of (hem said lo tue 
"Did you sec that lovely buttctfly alight on die hough?" Of course. T looked 
up, saw the butterfly, surf said to my fri'civk "What a beautiful specimen! 
f have never seen anything like it before." ] am a very poor climbei hut 
.managed to struggle up the tree to about. .10 tect from the. ground hi an 
endeavour to rapture the Specimen, When 1 made a grali at it my friends 
saw 1 was properly "had," and they roared laughing. The "butterfly" was 
made of tfn'u, coloured tissue papet, aod the Strong wind made it appear as 
ii <juitc natural. 1 returned to earth terribly disgusted, but pretending lo 
■aijoy the joke. 


A member of the f.fv.C, who had a jcreat appetite, rame to my office one 
day and said, "I sec the Club has an excursion to the National Herbarium 
on Saturday next. I know rait were once connected with the Herbarium ; 
wlat do they do there on such an excursion?" 1 thought it wou'.d be a 
good chance to play a. joke on him knowine he was always on the lookout 
fen- a frvc mea!. 

T said: "Oh. yes, I know the pi ogt amine. -The members meet at the 
Herbarium at .1 p.m. The Leaders, Messrs. J. K. Tovcy and J. W. Alldas, 
show them collections of very valuable plants, some of them being among6t 
the first plants ever collected in Australia. This takes tiil 3.4S p.m. The 
members arc then invited to an afternoon tea where the best of food is- 
served; this includes turkey or fowl, cake, fnut, «tc., etc., a really splendid 
menu, After that they inspect, many rare and valuable books on botany and 
at 5 p.m. they disperse." 

About a w>vk later 1 $g*> my friend coming towards m«, and lned h> 
dodge hint, but he saw me and called out "I say," h^ said, "you told me 
they Rave a urcat -prcad to the. Club members at the Herbarium ; all Ihcy 
did was to show ua a lot of old dried up plants and some musty books.'' I 
looked sympathetic.. "What a pity!" J said. "They must have. forgotten 
the spread!* 

The- same man joined a K.N. Club excursion and r.ampout at the Haw 
Baws. Kachl membei , took enough food to last him for the lew days we 
were there. i£very day svhen we left the hut on top of Mt. Baw Baw our 
friend would stay behind, and w!heu we. returned a lot of our food had dis- 
appeared At last we had very little left and it was impossible lo get a 
further supply so far away from show. One day. a member of the party, 
a chemist, said "I'll stop this business! 1 ' He opened a tin of sardines and 
{rested them with some chemical. The food-stealer duly iell — alter we 
left again on another 1 outing he ale the; sardines. Very soon, then, he be* 
rarne ill and thought he: had ptomaine poisoning and was going to die. The 
chemist fixed him tip — after a suitable kiteival — and we lost no more 
food on that trip. 


With reference to the note on a parasite of the Huntsman Spider {isofairr 
jm»«i"is, Jan,, 1941), another specimen was brought to me tcceutly by reler 
and John Thomson, fn thus instance one end of the. huije parasite had not 
fully emerged from the hotly. Spider and parasite had fallen into a vessel 
cf water Both werr dead. — Editij Coleman. 


Waiujpxeu), .f&mf Victorian Species Of #'«"i-/iM>t>/t 193 

By N. A. Wakepuxh, A I.F., Somewhere >n Australia 

Blt'clmaii proceriun (Forst.) Swarti" (Synonyms: Ojt\nu>tda froceta 
For&t.; $icetm<t pr*ior<% and S. minor R. Brown;? LoMnria procera Spreng, 
Rodway;' Lomaria znpmsis (partim) Bcnlham, 1 ' Bailey; 13 ' Bhc'mwm eaten:* 
(partial) Christeusen. 7 EwartS). 

As can be sec" from this synonymy, this and the toll owing species hare 
■been somewhat confused. B. procoum has a short, thick, hut defirritefy 
•creeping rhizome; robust barren fronds up to 3 ft. high, hearing com- 
paratively fc-W, large (6 to 9 ins. long and 1 to 2 wis. broad), dark green, 
leathery pinnae. Fertile frond* have a few rather robust pinnae which often 
show an approach to the state of ew-Bleclmmn in having narrow green 
laminae outside the long indutuj. Illustrated by Lahillardiere 1 and Dobbie* 
(pp. 201 and 202). and in the FTn'.CV, hook on Victorian Ferns (photo. 
Facing p. 21 ) Distribution. Queensland, N.SAV., Victoria, South. Australia, 
Tssmar.ia. and from Kew Zealand to Malaya. 

Blcchmw\ capense (L.) Schlecht, {Synonyms: Omwula- fBjjCTXft Linn.; 
Lomaria taptnsis Walld., and (partim) of Bentham.f Bailey 5 anil others; 
Lomaria prociVA vat', paktdasw Rodway jfl Btcchnum capense (pnrtim) 
Ewart. 8 ). Rhizome erect (tufted) : barren fronds of large ionn up to 4 ft. 
high, bearing veiy numerous, long (6 to 9 ins.), narrow (* to £ ill,), tight 
green, lax. and often undulate, pinnae. Fertile tronds have numerous, narrow 
pinnae which are definitely Lomarioid in character. The smallest forms of 
this species have tiny tronds only a few inches high and with as lew as six 
tiny pinnae. Illustrated by Bobbie* t'pp. 19" and l9l>), and in Vicloiiin. Ferns 
(photo, p. 21). Distribution, same as ihc above species for Australasia; gen- 
erally singly or in chimps along exposed banks of creeks and rivers. 

Blechmim iHidimi (Libill.) ngv. comb- (Synonyms • 0»-)ciea «W(' Labi".; 1 
SteB&nitf 'nw/o and 5". falcate R. Brown; 4 Lomarta discolor B«itham, 5 
B'ailej-,'' Mueller,!' Rodway, 3 etc.; B. discolor var. wirfuw Christcnsc-it ; T 
B. Hiuolirr Ewart,* BlacltHi and othere ; not of Forster and Key).'.) Differing 
from B. discolor of New Zealand in the broader, shorter and more mem- 
branous fronds with more evenly tapering barren pinnae and straightcr 
ferule pmnae without dilated basal lubes. Figured by Bailey 6 and in 
Victorian Perns (p, 24). Distribution, Queensland, K S-W . Victoria, 
Tasmania and South Australia; the "Fishbone FeW' of Australia. 

Blcehn/nw fitifOT/w (A. Cunn.) Etc, "A species very remarkable for 
having two forms of barren fronds; the smaller with sharp-toothed 'leaves' 
4 in. by 1 iiV : oitCt> covering the ground for a considerable- area, no' accom- 
panied by fertile fronds: . . festooning lofty tree-trunks with innumer- 
able drooping fronds, and eventually putting forth those bearing 'seeds,' which 
have the threadlike appearance that suggested the name."' 1 Though this 
species docs net appear in ihe Victorian census cf plaots, Ihere. .are two 
records for this State, based on Melbourne National Hcrtarium specimens; 
-"Cheltenham Springs. Clin?. French," and "Healesvillc, P. F H. St. John. 
Feb., 191)5'' Possibly it is now extinct in Australia; otherwise it is found 
in Fin and Kew Zealand. 


1. Pto»Js of New H»H««S. bv Labillardleze. 1806 [PUu* £«. Ul\ . 

2. Prodromtii ■>( (A.o Flam of New Hotliini, by Rplitn Br»win, 
•3. 7710 Ttwma*ti<ih Flora, by Leonard Rudway. 

•1, Nf\v Z°aUw4 ^cnuj, by H B, r»i.i..>. 1.- 

6. Flora Australians., by Gworse Bpnthsm fvol. rill. 

6. Lttlutf-rame of QutCMKltul FMiiS, by F. M. Bkfley. 

7. J'tidcs Filicnm., by O- Cbrtstensen, 

. 8. Flora of Vi««»fo, by A. J. Ewart. 

S. K>w to Mlo SiMtcfli e> Victorian Fl<rn'.«, by T Milter, 
10. Flora 0/ South Axulralia. by J. Trf. blutt (vol. J». 

194 Chapman, FnTihet NoH ou Clwki Could Pvrtufe 

By F. Chapman, a.ks,, f.o.s., Melbourne 

Of the three sons of John Gould, the Birdnian. Henry was (He eldest. Hcr 
bctame a doctor, practised in Bombay and died at the early age of twenty-five.. 
Frauklio was t-hc third son; he was Lorn in HobaTt and nsmed alter S?r 
John Fianklin. He also became a doctor and died young. The second 5on r 
Charles, was left behind in England in 1838, when his parents went to 

In Ak:c H. Chishoim'j; recently published book. Strange ,V<w Warm, which- 
is of very areat interest to all Australians (and especially to litis "new 
chum'' of forty years' -standing) we- read that Charles Gould, 'one of the 
children left m England in 1B36. became a geological wanderer over the- 
face of the earth" and that "he died in South America." In the Victorlw 
!\'atw<%tist, October, l<W9, p. 99, wc further read in a note attached to a. 
letter published therein— "Charles Gould to John Gould," hy A. H. Chi&holm- 
— Uiat "Cfi3rlcs Could was a gcologiBl who worked in many land? f including" 
Tasmania and Now South Wales), and wai the author of a book entitled 
AfythUfi Mr/iijlfrj; dc d'ed, unmarried, at Montevideo, Ju 1B93, at the age- 
of about 6(1 years." 

The writer of the present, what in England nitd doing geological' 
work in Kent, had often to refer to tlie Memoir vi tiit Weald ol Kent, by 
Topley, in w|ueh Gould's fit-Id notes were included, and so was duly im- 
pressed with the name of Charles Gould, For the followiae facts 1 am in- 
debted to obituary notice of the Renter of the Foyal School of Mines, 
obituary noticr on Charles Gould in tlie Q.J.G.S., and "Systematic Account 
erf tlie Geology of Tasmania," ly R. M Johnston (Hobart, ISRfl). 

Graduating at the Royal School of Mines in 1856, Charles Gould joined. 
the Geological Survey of Great Britain in the following year In the 
Register of ihe Royal School of Mines of I896 the entry under Charles 
Gould shows that he attended the K.ii.M. between 1854 and 165<i, and passed 
in mining, metallurgy and geology, gaining the associateahip of the Royal 
School of Minc*^ Whilst attending the Royal School of Mines, Gould 
studied under Proiesbor Warington, W. Smyth and Rained the Duke of 
Cornwall's scholarship i" 1854, the Royal scholarship ia 1856, and the- 
Edward Forbes Medal in the same year: so that here we sue suutC9Sfu1 
peri>ctuatiuti in another branch of science, derived from hi? illustrious 

After a year or two oi) tlie English Geological SfflMty: Gould rvcnt to 
Tasmania, where lie. joined its Survey. His work thcrrc lasted from ISrtl to- 
about 1874 or 1S7S. During Ibis time he contributed nineteen papers as 
separate Ctovernment Reports, or as contributions to the Royal Society of 
Tasmania. His first work was ai detailed map of Ihe shales deposits 
of the Mersey district. A full list of Charles GcwWs Tasnwniaiv wortt is 
given hy R. M. Johostotl ill The iivobys ai TtlliwUHn-, ISH8. 

Charles Gould w*» elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London 
in 1R59, and gave two papers on Fossil Crustacea, published in its quarterly 
journal. He died at Montevideo, Uruguay, on April 15, 1R95.* 

*Documents in the possession of Gould's relatives give the year as 1 895- — 

The following exhibits were tabled al the last Angling of the F.NC: 
Mr. S. R. MitHielf. — A srrie.s Of Palaeolithic and Neolithic stone artefacts. 
Mr A. Baker. — A series of mineral specimens from the Cumberland Valley 
at Lome. Mr. Ivo Hammett - A series of gaiden-growii native flowers. 
Mr. C. French. — Flowers of Melaleuca wtsoPhiUa (W. Aust.) garden- 
grown. Mrs. R. G. Fainter.— A series of garden-gxosvi) native flmws. 

^YsJ Willis, Drlclion.1 irnm the Viclnriav I'lam ]0J- 


By J *mes H. Will's, Kational Herbarium, Melbourne 

As experts proceed with the more intensive mapping and moncurfaphme 
of indigenous plant life, it becomes necessary from time to time to correct 
tltOSC error* of the past which have inadvertently crept into our Census. 
Although they appear in Ewarl's Flora of Vicloria, (TWO), live following 
seven records should now be deleted from Victorian lists : 

1. LEPIDOSPERMA EKALTATUM, R.Br. The National Herbarium 
has long suspected that this, species is conspccific with /-. hnuiludiiwile, 
Lab. — their types can hardly he di*ttnguL<iltnM. Mr. S. T. Blalre now 
confirms this opinion, and regards exaltotam as no morn llian a luxuriant 
condition of longitudinals, 

2- r.EPWOSPF-RMA GLOROSUM. Lab. Mr. S. T. Hlaice relegates all 
Victorian; material so determined to L, cenf/extum R-Br. ; apparently 
we have nothing it! this Siaw to match Labilla'rdiere's firmrc of 

3 ACACIA CONTINUA, Benth Swart writes, "doubtfully recorded 
for Victoria . . . Murray River." .Since there t% no Victorian specimen 
extant, and W, J. Zinuner makes no mention oi the plant in his 
comprehensive flora (A the Par North-west of Victofia, we would" do 
veil to omit it from the Census. 

4. ACACIA ANEURA, F.v.E The Mulga is also a very doubtful record 
and I think Zimmer's statement is conclusive etiough— "dehnitety does 
not occur in this State; the place nearest to Victoria in which it 
occurs, in association with Br.t&r, rs Oak Tanks, N.S.W., some 18 miles 
to the north-east of Mildura." 

5. GEUERA PAKVfFLORA, Lindl. Again, there is not a Victorian 
collection to substantiate the record, and n' Wilga ever did grow this 
side of the Murray, it has long since been exterminated. Zimmcr says, 
"Comiderable search has not revealed' its yrcsefice in Victoria , . , the 
nearest locality being abouc 12 miles north-east ol Mildura," 

$. BERT Y A ROTUND1FOLIA, F.r-M. This is a Kangaroo Islacd 
endemic which apparently never did and never will occur in Victoria. 
Our only record is based on, the careless misreading oi an old South 
Australian label, vii., "Qurensrlifte to Kinch's," The QynfrHsrUffti 
obviously a local name lor a point on the. N.E. coast of Kangaroo 
Island, near Kinch's nation and having nothing In do with Victoria's 
jiOpular S&sida resort. 

7. OfEJRlA ERVBESCENS (Sleb.), Dipp. This seems la be merely 
a rohuxt form of Q, ir>sr.fiinoi<i«i — heads, bract*, ai\d vestiiure tiie same, 
but with longer leaves anil branches. T consider that both 
Mueller and Benthaui should he followed in classing it as a. variety 
oi tnyi-Mi fides .and nor a- a distinct species. 0. jfcnWi, Hutch, (of 
the Grampians — see Dot. 5ferjJ r 8)18) is ju?r an evolutionary step Jurihet 
away from myrwiridtJ, but here the more ''Manltcly" tomeiiluni of- 
foltagc and brandilet-j, the coarser bracts and peduncles, as well as the 
more inimerucji disc floret;, are sufficient to justify our retaining it a» 
a specific entity. Ewart is correct in regarding it js "more closely 
[Safari to myrsinnMcs Hian tc . drnlaln" ("the. latter common in parts 0f 

It may he observed that the erubescent character (particularly on 
young Shoots ) extends to several other TVmy-bushcx, notably ( > 
MWjlQlofchyMtb. which appeared in Mich astonishing profusion over the 
sub-alpine country between McVeigh's and Matlock tlttt tta?ou following 
1939's disastrous fire, 

W Concetimtg a Rare Parrot Pvol'.MK 

At various times during the past 3ft years I have heard of clutches ot 
towts' eggs fjfiug- found addled aftct severe thunderstorms, and have 
wondered as to the effect being <ine iij electric current or fa vibration, In 
<Jile cite, 60 years ago, the eggs jn a nest near a chaff-cutting machine, were 
affected *t the same liiue as the lightuiiig "«i"uck" the farmer (-who was at 
ihc machine) and left him crippled for lilc. 

About a year ago Mrs. V. Tremayne, near Frankstan, who had been very 
successful for years with an iucuhalor, undertook- to hatch by it? means a 
setting of 60 pheasants' eggs ^ent ro her front Woodeud. The eg^s were 
all right -until within a few d-svs oi hatching when heavy naval gunfire took 
place in the Bay. AH the chicks died in their shells. Mrs Tremaync slates 
that there was no olhcr attributable cause, The vibration was severe, all the 
window's jo her house rattling violently. 

J? thc-»e a possibility of the death of wild-bird thicks in rlie shell being 
due to violent electrical disturbances, wher<; abandoned iieut* wilh eggs liave 
occasionally beefi found and (hi; eaine attributed to a cat?— A. D. HARPY. 

Liwkr the heading, "London's Romh Craters May Yield Rare Blooms," 
the Melbourne Argus published the. following cable message txa February 24: 
Botanical «:xpe/ts arc hoping that this spring may bring fortls from 
London's bombed soil a flower that "has iwt heen seen fgr 271 yitars, since 
the great fir* of London. The flower for which ihcy are looking is named 
"'London Rocket 1 ' — Sitynilirimu h'ia — which, according to ancient records, 
grew in abundance in IW6. It is a whitish flower, and the plants are IS to 
24 inches tall. Expectations that il will reappear arc based c<ji the fact that 
already 95 types oi flowers and shrtths, many unknown; in London for years, 
are to-clay flourishing on the bombed site;, 

The "catch" about the I'eregoing item, it Mr. P. P*. Morris (National 
Herbarium) (joints out, is that the pUni. that has '"not been seCii for 271 
Vears" ia a reunion weed atound Melbourne and probably juvt as common 
in parti of Bntain. It appear* mainly oil rubbish and ballast heats. The 
reason it does not prow in the streets of Jjoudon. Mr. Morris suggests is 
probably because SiO'c streets am kept raoiJcntcly clean. Sisymbrium Irw 
is a relative of the cabbage and formerly wis used as a vegetable. It? strong 
odour caused it to bo known ii tlie false garlic-wort. 

Ha; the Giotmd Parrot (GcopsHiacus ocadentalts) been recorded from 
New South Wales? 1 n conversation with a friend, \fi. W, Roily, who spent 
mc)?t of his early |,f e on station pro|)ertics m soulhern Mew Soutli Wales, 
he informed me tfinl back in the 90 r s he had on sevvral occasion? flushed 
this parrot on a salt-bush plain, about forty miles from Oxley, between 
Oxlcy and Mosseiel on t<ie western tide of the Lachlao Kjvrr, Mr. ICelly's 
interest in this parrot was aroused by its short, eraric flight and its habit of 
always settling on the ground. His description suggested the Ground Parrot 
and on being shown a coloured figure he had no hesitation in identifying 
it. He furihcT seated ihaL in August. 1897. he found its throe white eggs 
in s .slight depression on the ground among what lie called "a kinJ of 
jKircupine grass." Later three yotnix birds were hatched. Unfortunately, 
Ope 07 the parent birds, being mistaken for a quail, was shot by one of |ps 
companions and the young birds died. From his 'description of the bird and 
its habits and his immediate recognition of it from the figure, there appears 
to be little doubt as to sis occurrence in That locality. Its confirmation woulti 
be mtereslmg— J A Kershaw 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. LIX.— No. 12 April 8, 1943 No - 7 13 


The monthly meeting of the Club w;i3 held on Monday, March 
3, 1943. Owing to the absence through illness of the President, 
Mr. H C. E. Stewart, Vice-President, presided over an attendance 
of about 80 members and friends. 


In the absence of Mr. A. S. Le Souel, who was to have lectured, 
an address on "Prehistoric Animals of Australia" was given by 
Mr F S. Colliver. Lantern slides and photographs of some of 
the larger forms of Australian vertebrate fossil forms were shown 
and a commentary given by the lecturer. Several questions were 
asked and some discussion undertaken, at the close of which the 
thanks of the Club were accorded to Mr. Colliver for his interesting 


Reports of excursions were given as follows : Domain, Mr. C H. 
Shcwau; Blackburn. Mr. A. S. Chalk; Yarra River trip, Mr. 
H. P. Dickins. 


The following were duly elected : — As Ordinary Members : Mrs. 
Blanche Dallas Scott. Mrs. Florence R. Vasey, Miss Diana Scott, 
Messrs. J. L. Warlow, F. G. Elford, and Lance Le Souef; as 
Country Members: Miss M. V. Walker and Mr. Edwin Rich; 
as Associate Members : Miss Elsbeth Newman and Miss Dawn 


Mr. J. A, Kershaw asked if it was a common thing for Lyre- 
birds to sing in February. Ans, : Several members reported that 
this was of fairly frequent occurrence, 


Mr. J. A. Kershaw reported on the visit of two unusual 
butterflies (Danai? crippus and Terias smilax) to his garden at 
Windsor, and also stated that a sparrow-hawk twice struck against 
the wire of his canary cage whilst he was standing within a couple 
of feet of the cage. 

Mr. V. H. Miller reported on a Wattle-bird eating lilly-pilly 

196 Golmver, Prehistoric Jnimah <>t Australia [vcJ.MX 

Mr NocJ Lothian commented on the appearance of the plant 
"London Rocket" in liomb craters in tlie heart of London. (See 
March Vu. Nat.) 


Mr. C. J, Gabriel — Marine shells. Efhippodonta nuwhritgnlli 
and E, htnata,, from South Australia 

Mr C. French — Flowering specimens of Physianlhus alhf.ns 
(kapok creeper, codling moth or cruel plant), the flowers of 
which catch various butterflies, moths and other insects. 

Mr. A. H. Steinfort — Collection of rocks from the Bacchus 
Marsh district, 

Mr. H. P. Dickins — Seven watercolour studies of Australian 


By F. S. Comjver, Melbourne. 

(Summary of lecture given to the F.N.C., Match jj, 1943.) 

As in every other country, the existing fauna of Australia had 
its pre-htstory, and the following arc notes on some, of the better 
known forms. 

In Recent to Pleistocene times an ancestral Platypus; (Ormtlio- 
rhyncitus ogitts, De Vis), an Echidna (E. Owemi, Krefft) and a 
Koala (Kouhmus ingens, De Vis) occurred in Queensland, and a 
Platypus (O. rmiximux, Dun) and Echidna (E, rnlnmta, Dun) 
occurred in N.S.W. The Platypus and Echidna were approxi- 
mately the same size as the living forms, but the ancestral Koala 
was a masive animal which, acording to De Vis, weighed upwards 
of 5 cwt. 

More widely dispersed gigantic prehistoric Wombats and 
Kangaroos also were a feature of the Australian landscape of that 
time. A wombat as large as a hippopotamus {Diprotodou avslralis, 
Owen) is known from Queensland to Central Australia and was 
very common around Melbourne, and large kangaroos (Pro- 
coptodon golioh, Owen sp. ; and others) upwards of 12 ft. fall had 
a more or less similar habitat. 

Lake Callabonna, South Australia, was apparently the most 
recent habitat of the Diprotodon. Many an animal was mired and 
lost its life in the great swamp, which preserved the skeletons $o 
complete in some cases that the complex bones of the feet were 
found in their correct position. 

The reason for extinction of these gigantic Covins was probably 
a failing food supply. Smaller types allied to existing forms 
evolved and survived where the large forms starved 

vf^D CorxiVER, PrMsiano /Udmal.t of s)iutratv> 199 

Remains ui the living Dingo (Cams dimjo, Bhuuenbach) are 
found in many parts, and are occasionally mixed up with the 
remains ftf undoubted prehistoric forms, e.g., the Wellington Cave 
deposits. N.S.W It seems possible that the last of some of the 
prehistoric types were still living when the ancestors of our native 
race arrived with their doys in Australia. 

Probably the most interesting of all the Pleistocene marsupials 
was the Marsupial Lion (Tltylacoko camifex, Owen), whose 
remain.? have been found in cave deposits of W.A., Vic,, Old., and 
N.S.W. Our knowledge of this animal is very incomplete The 
skull indicates an animal approximating vhc lion in size, but the 
teeth offer a puzzle to the zoologist. The last pre-molar in both 
jaws is an enormous chisel-edged tooth over 2\ in. in length, and 
'( is these teeth that are suspend of producing the incised hnnes 
occasionally found in possible association with remains of Thy- 
fo<;oleo. Other workers have suggested tliat these reeth do not 
restrict the animal to a meal diet, and list fruits and roots as a 
possible food also, pointing ont that the fox for example has been 
known to make large meals of fniit. 

Remains of the living Tasmanian Devil (S&rcophttus ifrsitius, 
Harris) and Tasmapian Tiger, sometimes called the Tasmania^ 
Wolf (TliyUttcinus cynocephalus, Harris sp.) occur in many cave 
deposits on the mainland, and of this latter genas an extinct species 
(?' major, Owen) is recorded From Queensland, 

Among the reptiles, a large lizard (Megalania priseir, Owen) 
upwards of 20 ft- in length is known from Queensland. Such a 
predator would certainly help to keep the increasing number 
of marsupials within hounds, and it. has been suggested that the 
paucity of human remains in these deposits may also be due to the 
habfts of this animal. 

An ancestral cjocodile. (Palliinwrchus pollens, De Vis) with a 
very massive jaw occurs in Queensland, as well as remains of the 
existing crocodile (Crocodile porosm, Schneider), and it is of 
particufar interest ro note that this first-mentioned form has been 
recorded from Cluncs, and the latter from the Loddon Valley, two 
Victorian localities. 

An interesting Horned Turtle (Miolama owni r A. S, Wood- 
ward) occors in the Pleistocene of Queensland and Xew South 
Wales, and other specie? occur at Lord Howe fsland, Walpole 
Island and Patagonia. 

Passing now to the Mesozoic Period, we find representatives 
of the Marine Lizards (Jchfhyosaurw; and Ples-iosaurus') occurring 
in the Cretaceous of Queensland, and a peculiarly Australian form 
of 'he Fish-Lizard (Krono.sauruj queen standi cus, Longman) also 
occurs in deposits of this age at Hughenden. This animal, by the 

200 Cotuvrot, Pvfhislotii Aniiimix iij AitMsoItu 

Vict. NAt. 

vol. tax 

way, is represented in .Australian museums only by fragments, 
and yet an American museum has a complete skeleton, 

Australia has several representatives of the great Dinosaui 
group, and of these may lie mentioned Rhctosaurus hrovjim, 
1-ougmatt, a gigantiq animal possibly 20 ft. high. Remains collected 
near Roma, Queensland, consist of numerous vertebrae, limb 
bones, etc.; unfortunately the skull is not known, Victoria, had 
a krgc_ carnivorous Dinosaur which is represented by a claw Ijone 
from Cape Patterson: this animal was possibly allied to the well 
known Megplosojmts of the European Mesozoic period. 

One animal possibly of Tertiary age, Ewysyfjomo duvnsc, 0c 
Vis ftp., is unique as being the only one known having a skull width 
greater than the length, Remains of this animal woe found some 
70 feet down when a well was sunk at Brigalow, Darling Downs, 
Queensland, and we owe much to the Director of the Queensland 
Museum, Mr. Hebcr Longman, for his masterly work ill the 
elucidation of (he pile of fragmentary bones found. The animal had 
a large extension of bony material from the region of the cheek, and 
it is supposed that these extensions were the basis of very large 

Going I'tnthei hack into the Mesozoic, the Triassic beds nf the 
Sydnev district have yielded a huge skeleton of an Amphibian. 
possibly a Labyrinthodout. The remains as collected were said 
to weigh two tons. 

To mention just one fisb whose history sfi gradually being 
unfolded. The Lung Fish, now living in the waters of certain 
Queensland risers, is represented by a perfect fish {Ceratodus 
jormosux. Woodward) from the Triassic of Brookvale, Sydney; 
by a scale (C, ? <w«,v. Woodward) from a bore core at Kirrak, 
Gippsland, and by teeth (C. ? aims, Woodward) from Cape 
Patterson, both localities being of Jurassic age. Retrains of the 
living species (C. josteii, Kreftt) arc also recorded from the 
Pleistocene to Recent deposits of Queensland. 

Australia has fossil remains of many large and interesting forms 
of animals, and it should be a national obligation that these he 
collected, properly preserved, aud made available to students 
for study. The magnificent' displays that are a feature of overseas 
institutions show what can be done in this matter, and in many 
<ascs these displays include material from Australia very much 
better than that in our own museums. 

This state of affairs is a disgrace to science in Australia, and 
we hope for a more enlightened policy in the future. 

km!) 1 ] .Viaiou*. The Uhc Hpwc .Sun-Orchid 201 

Thelymitru cyanca (Lindl.) Bentham 

(Willi references t(i (lie allied Th. venosa. R.Rr.) 
By W. II. Nicholls, Melbourne. 

The discovery on the Australian mainland of Thelymitru cyanca 
is of great interest to orchidologists, because some uncertainty 
has undoubtedly existed in the past relative to the differentiating 
characters separating it from the widely distributed, thus better 
known and closely related (yet distinct), Th. venosa, R. Brown, 
despite the fact that Lindley faithfully describes both forms (under 
Macdonaldia cyanca and Macdonaldia venosa respectively) in his 
work on orchids, which is in Latin. (,) 

Up to the present time this Thclymitra species has been recorded 
only from Tasmania. Rodway, in Botanical Notes (2) also outlines 
the main distinguishing features of both Th. venosa and Th. cyanea, 
but his line drawings of the column are not altogether satisfactory 
on account of their small size. These figures (Nos. 21-22) 
represent the only drawings illustrating Th. cyanca yet published. 
Rodway refers to Th. cyanca- as an "intermediate" between Th. 
ixioides, Sw., and Th. venosa. In the Tasmanian Flora (1903), 
p. 189, this botanist briefly describes Th. cyanca, including a 
character which is rightly embodied in descriptions of Th. 
venosa w as a salient characteristic, e.g., the bifid anther point. 
His description of Th. venosa. by the way, is very brief; here the 
anther is given as "much protruding." with no reference to its 

Bentham* 4 * describes a robust form of Th. venosa as Robert 
Brown's type; apparently this is Rupp's variety magnificat (?) 
And his description under Th. cyanca seems to embody the 
characteristics of both the typical form of Th. venosa and Th. 
cyanca. This view is apparent from a perusal of the description, 
also from the fact that lie (Bentham J refers to Hooker's (fil.) 
plate of 7V;. venosa, R.Br., in the Flora Tasmanica K) as repre- 
senting Th. cytinca. This plate, however, is a very good presen- 
tation of Brown's Th. venosa. 

Th. cyanca was discovered in eastern Victoria by Mr. W. Hunter 
on January 2nd, 1943. This is a new record — the initial find on 
the mainland. 

Mr. Hunter writes, from his survey camp headquarters at 
Bendoc (via Orbost) : 

It (Th. eytntta) invariably occurs with Th. venosa. I have not yet been 
able to find it in the places which Th. venosa seems to favour lhc most — 
the sphagnum moss heds of the swnmpv flats. I have found it only amongst 
or close to the helts of heath (Iifiacris microphylla) and low heath-myrtle 


NicHOtxs., The Blue Alpine Sun-Orchid 

[Vict. N»u 
Vot. t.n 


Tkelymitra cyanea, Lindl. 

A— Flower. B — Column from aide. C — Head of a column, from aide. D — Column 

from rear, E — Column from front. P — (S-oss-aection of leaf. 

Thelymitra venoea, R.Br. 

A — Flower. B — Column from side. C — Head of a column from side. D — Head of 

a column from front, showing bifid anther. E — Head of a column from rear, showing 

bind anther. F — Cross-section of leaf. 

(Figures A in both instances about natural size.) 

**j'] Nicimuxs, The Bhtt Alpine Smi-Orchui 203 

(;Baeeken Gtmnwia) that fringe Die wetter, parH of the flats or are dotted 
amongst them where the soil i.s comparatively drier and not at ail swampy , 
and then only where Tli. vl'hoso. occurs in numbers. My specimens of this 
Thclynvitra (Tk cymea) (13) arc quite uniform in all their main 
characters, while all the Tk, venoso have yellow spirally-mvolato appendacej 
to the column, and the long bifid point to the anther. There is no evidence 
nt any close relationship between Use two species, in spite ot their similarity 
in general .external appearance and their occurrence together 

Description' of the Bfin(J<K specimens ot: Th. ryonea: A very 
slender plant 2.1-61 cm, high. Leaf-Lamina usrruw, deeply 
channelled, shorter than the stem, but thinner at. the margins than 
in Th-vcnOsit, Stem-bracts 'usually 2, closely sheathing, subulate. 
Flowers 1-4 (usually 2), the slender pedicel often concealed by 
the floral bract, blue, faintly veined in a darker shade : perianth- 
segments varying in Jciigth from 10-16 mm. Sepals lanceolate; 
■ dorsal sepal broader llian the lateral ones, and cuculEate. Petals 
slightly broader (up to 8 mm.) ; lateral petals nearly ovate; the 
labellum mote nearly obovale or broadly oblanceolate. Column 
mostly of the- bluish colour of the flower, about 6 nun. long and 
4 mm. broad, widely winged and tri-lobed, the broad intermediate 
lobe produced upwards behind the anther and slightly hooded ; 
mid-lobe darker coloured, except for the narrow yellow upper 
margin, which is more or less intumed and usually irregularly and 
faintly .sinuate ; lateral lobes horizontal at the height of the anther 
and about as long as it, or slightly longer, irregularly toothed or 
jagged at the end. Anther horizontal, with a short horizontal 
apical point, but almost completely concealed by the lateral lobes 
of the column, unless viewed from directly above the flower. 
Stigmaiic plate conspicuous in t?ie lower cavity of the column, a 
small boss in the centre adjoining the disk 

Flowering December- January, Habitat: Bidwell Creek, about 
two miles above its junctiun with the Delegete TCiver (Rendoc 
district, about 3,000 ft. elevation). 

Sometimes the flowers of Th. cyanea are white. 

Svnonymy: Macdonaldia cyanea = Lindley in Bat. Rag., A pp. 
No.' 222; "Gen. and Sp. Orch./' 386 (1830-1840); Thelymitra 
tvanea = (Lindl. M.S.) = Benthum in Flora AxtSU'xi.i, vi.. 32? 

Distribution of Tk. cyanea (Lindl.) Benth. ; Tasmania. Victoria. 


<1> Hot. Reg , 4*fc No. 222; Gat. el Sp. Orch., 38G. 
C2> Hoy. Snc, Tas., 184, t. 3, fig*. 21-22, 

(3) See Fl. S. Ausf. (Orch. by R. $. Rogers), p U? 

(4) Ft. Avst'six, vi., 323. 

<S) Awt, Orch, Rev, Vol. 4. Pt. 3. Sept,, 1942, p. t?i. 
(6) K, 4, t. 10?a. 

Chisholm, Birds of a Mcibownt Park V*y\ ux 


By A. H. Chisuolm 

Various interesting developments, some of ihcm puzzling when 
set against others of a year previously, occurred during the past 
spring and summer amongst the birds of Wattle Park. For 
example, although the season generally appeared to be as favour- 
able as that of its immediate predecessor, certain birds present in 
1941 did not appear in 1942; and, on die. other Irand, certain hud* 
not seen in '41 visited tbc area in '42. 

When discussing at the end of last winter (I'V. Nat, Sept., 
1942) the hirds of this siihiuhinj area — or. rather, the eastern 
section of tine area — I suggested that nesting hi the reservation 
during the forthcoming spring would be severely hampered by 
the fact tliat a military camp had sprung up among the gum-trees 
and wattles That prediction was not fulfilled In fact, only 
three species of birds recorded in the area in '41 failed to appear 
in the spring of '42, and it cannot he said definitely that the 
human factoi was responsible for the absence of the birds in any 
or the three cases. On the other hand, Ihtce species not pre- 
viously recorded were noted in the .area in '42. and two additions 
were made to the record of nesting species. 

Thus the list of native birds for the eastern portion of the Park 
(an area about 600 yards long by 300 yards wide) now contain* 
42 Species, and the number known to breed in the area in two 
seasons, is 21 species, ft is a very healthy recotd for a restricted 
portion of a Melbourne park, and one carrying no undergrowth 
and very little water. 

In all, I found during the spring of '42 some 35 nests, belonging 
to 12 native species, in the area. None of these was seen before 
mid-September, for, curiously, although conditions seemed favour- 
able enough, the breeding season generally appeared to be about 
a mouth behind that of '41. At that stage I had begun to think 
that the numerous tents and the movements of men had hampered 
the birds, but was pteasantly surprised late m October (1 was 
away in the first half of that month) to find that several species 
were using the camp for their own benefit That is to say, they 
were filching fibre from ropes for nesting purposes and were 
feeding on scraps fairly in front of the tents And the men. on 
their part, were enjoying the presence of the birds, not only (so 
one of the trainees lold me) foi their grace and beauty, but because 
of the airy music that heralded the dawn of each day In short, 
a pleasant partnership had been developed, and it continued to 
flemish during the whole of spring and summer Indeed, when the 
camp was removed from the area (at the end of March) some of 
the birds seemed to be rather disap|K>inted ! 

*",',"] Cmsnw.M. Bints t\ a Melbourne Potk 20S 

Of: the three species that frequented (he grot in the spring of 
'41 an<l failed to do so In '42, ont:, the Scavlcl Rohin, was 
jipiwreiilK frightened away. Two nests o[ this bird hart been 
found in '41 in a spot thai became in August last a centre ot 
human activity, whereupon Lhe birds, disappeared, presumably to 
breed in a tjuieier aiea. They were not seen in the Park during 
spring and summer, but two pairs were noted there again or* 
March 14, 1943. The other two "failures" were the Masked 
Woud-Swaiinw (an erratic migrant that visited the Park in '41 
but did not breed there) and the Oriole, a pair of which nested 
in an unusually low .situation in '41 but did not appear at all in '42. 

Two other species which deserted the area last spring had done 
so also in rhe previous spjing. These were the Grey Pant-ail and 
the Golden Whistler. I. saw Whistlvrs (a radiant mate and twu 
unco loured hirds) m the area as hue as Septemher 20 and Grey 
Fantails as late as September 29. at 'which stage I had hope* thai' 
they would slay to breed Hoth species, however, had vanished 
when the Parfc was uknI visited (mid- October) and were not 
seen again until March of "43. Incidentally, whereas, previously 
T bad *f?en the Rufous Whistler (a female) in the. area only ill 
August, in November of '42 I saw a pair of cine birds singiug 
above the tents. Apparent)} - , however, thev did not breed in the 

Here iollow notes on sonic of the birds observed in the eastern 
portion of the area id the sprinjr-sm rimer of '42: 

Created Shrike-til. — Oiif or two flairs <>C *>»» «=. pretty sjiec'us .appear to 
Jrequcnt the Park throughout the year, and nests have been seen in three 
successive M-asonis. In '41 h nest with egus! was found' as early as September 
I (which meant that building began about mid-August), hit last Miring it 
was nnt. until September 35 that the bird;, were seen at work, and then 
they were tally commencing to blliM. The female was the chief worker ; the 
male merely flew arOitttd or sal by and piped lustily A second nesl, 
situated about TOO yards from the first one, was found on November 14, 
Both were placed at a height of about 25 fr. in the tips of trees.. Mr. D. 
nickison and t *\iic the nests dow Inte in January (this s'eaT) and found 
the September example to hr somewhat weather-beaten and the November 
one tn good condition. As is usual, both revealed thi: splmtlid artistry 
of the Shrike-tits '<it is astonishing how these birds with the hooked beaks 
can '.veave such sieat juul symmetrica! iiestj), and to each case braucfiU-K 
had been nipped off above the cradle. This practice itiay be prompted by 
a desire for more sunlight, but T rather think it is designed 1o lessen the 
swaying of the ue&i. The considerable depth of the little carp is .another 
precaiuion to safeguard the eggs in such breezy Situations. 

Ryfct'K. Soiis'-lm-fc. — As stated ill my aiticlr nl SV.ntembci last, seveial 
pairs of Rufou* Song-lark?, frequented the area in the spring of '41 (they 
were first noted in mid-September) and three ncstr- were t'oimd in Oclober- 
November. With a lush growth of grass olitajiniur again in '42, it was 
reasonable (o expect the wandering larks to reappear, ))ut this time tin 
resonant and persistent voice W3S conspicuous by its absence up (U as late- 

206 Cmisw.jl.a.. BfotiJ gfyi t^ifbmtm >:„k [ v ^;^ 

ru> November H Then, Jo my astonishment, a single Song-lark appeared 
(•ltd sang lt» way, somewhat .i|>oloj>ctically. about the Pnrk. A week later 
that bird hatt disappeared and no other sight or sound uf a SoniHark has 
Kince been gained Why did that solitary wanderer appear so late? Why 
did it vanish sp soon? Wl>ere diij it go? 

WVod-swullvwS. — The movements O f Migratory Wood-swallows arc 
always capricious and ptiiilingf. To "41 souk Jifty White-brows and abutrt 
twenty of lilt beautiful Masked species appeared in tlte Park in mid- 
Octobex, and a few days later most nt the White-brow* and .ill of the 
Maskcd hirdf disappeared A week later the area was again favoured hy 
the presence ol about twenty White-brows, ill of which nested there 111 
'42 no Masked Wood -swallow appeared at all (although they were iai'ly 
afHWdsnt up in Central Victoria), and White-brows werr not SpM until 
October .11 — thi*)" were not there live: days previously. In contrast u> the 
delay in breeding during the previous, spring, this time lliey commenced 
throwing their flimsy nests Together at once. But, somehow, the heart's 
of the pretly wanderers (there were five or *i\ pairs present) did not 
apprar to he really concentrated on family-raisinc, — ihey made le?.; noise 
•Uian usual and in general had an sir «f detaclimeiit. Eggs were laid in at 
least some of the nests but all were deserted later, tnd early in December 
all o( the birds disappeared. 

In contrast with the erratic nature of its relative;, the Dusky Wobtl- 
*wal)ow remains more or less constant to the Park during ihc year :mtl 
several pairs hrecd there. These dapper little birds art rcrnarkahlc acrobats. 
Tp Kovorabtr last 1 saw one fly to a. tree, turn upside down ml the wins, 
and cling ro a branchlet white in that posiUofl. 

WhHc-winged TriUer. — In my notes of September Ian 1 remarked dial 
I had not seen, the WJute-wingcd Triller (Lalage) in the Park. Thai teck 
was remedied on October 25, when I heard The familiar prattling chatter 
and followed a .spick-and-span male bird to a near, nearly completed, some 
12 ft. up in a wattle tree beside the eastern fence A week later there 
were three pretty eggs — green, with brown spols — filling' the tiny nest. 
Moreover, to my surprise three more pairs of Tollers were now seen 
nesting near hy, one in a wattle and the others in gums All four )iest<; 
were within a radius of 30 yards, and all were hard by a number of tents. 

Each ol the. malt Lalages was very vocal and very tame. One gathered 
fibie from mpes supporting a. tent. Another tat on -\ dry branch alnsvc 
a tent and gave a pretty display with expanded wings and Mil. its well- 
tailored suit »f black tnd white glowing in die sun. The quieter-coloured 
fetliiileS w»ire inticb inoie subdued. The.Sc birds, indeed, are. precisely the 
Apposite of rheii mates in tcniperarunf. Has snyonc ever heard a suggestion 
nt soug from a lady Triage — anydimg more than a faint charring note 
when disturbed nl the nestr 

On November 7 the male Triltera -always thoioiighly attentive and 
assertive- were sitting on thref eggs in each of the two w.iftlc-1ree nesu 
bat the other two nests begun in gum-trees had been abandoned in favour 
of new sites a short distance away. One ol these was on a horizontal 
branch, at a height, of about JO ft., fairly n> front of a tent; tltc ether was 
some 25 ft. aloft in a ragged gum, By llie end of November all four 
nests contained young, and at this stijre the volatile male birds, being busy 
feeding 'heir offeprbljf; were itHtCh less yocat, 

When I next visited the «rca r on December 12, not one ol Die Trillees 
was to tie seen. Why did they le^vp so suddenly ? Where did they go? 
Jiow dfd the immature birds contrive lo travel? 1 cannot answet these 
rjucsttints. The Trifle**, like Iheir fellow-migrants the Wood-swallows 

^'] CjMshOIM, liirdi of a MtlbOilrw Park 20? 

and Song-larks, arc Capricious birds, and you never know when or why 
they will appear or disappear. 

Possibly the movement was governed by food supplies liarly in October 
.a heavy irruption of caterpillars of the cup-moth develoi>ed in the area 
Mom of the gum-trees were largely decimated a>>d the spat generally 
presented un appearance akin to that caused by a hush-fir«». Presumably 
new* of tlu's development reached the Trclters (which used to be known 
as Catetf pillar-eaters) and caused them not only to breed In the Park, but 
to do so in a group, without any snggetuon of diction. As far as could 
(be seen, the birds subsisted largely on these noxious, highly-coloured 
■caterpillars, being rjUite untroubled by the "stings'' on the Insects' bark* 
•that have caused pain to marry a human hand. At any rate, I frequently 
•saw a Triller fly to the lips of leaves, seize a caterpillar, thrash it against 
•a. branch, and swallow it. Within six or eight weeks, however, the work 
•of the Trillers and the Cuckoo-shrikes seemed to have practically exhausted 
•the supply of caterpillars. By ihts time too the trees had made a remark- 
able recovery — before mid-December all were practically "full-fledged" 
again. Nevertheless, this does not seem to explain sufficiently why the 
Triflers should depart so suddenly (leaving' the Cuckoo-shrikes in charge) 
at a time when their young ones were scarcely fit to travel. 

On the whole, this visitation by the handsome and sunny-voiced Trillers, 
all nesting harmoniously within a small radius, was a very agreeable 
circumstance — agreeable alike to naturalist-visitors and to soldiers who 
watched aiid listened lb the oirds at intervals of each day. Incidentally, 
-the presence of the Lalagcs brought the number of black-and-white birds in 
;the area tn four, the others being the Magpie, Mud-lark and Wagtail. 

Cuckoo-shrike. — A suggestion made in my previous article that the Blue 
'Jay (Black-faced Curkoo-shrikc) would be found to breed in the Park 
was abundantly borne out last Spring. Passably the pretence of the cup- 
moth caterpillars was a stimulating factor. At any rate, whereas in the 
•spring of '4] I could not discover any nests of this species, this time there 
•was no speciil difficulty in finding three. All were situated from 25 to 
30 ft. up sturdy gums, and in each instance the next was the usual sturdy 
saucer of fibre One of the nests (found in October) waa more noticeable 
than is customary because the tree was almost completely defoliated by 
caterpillars. Apparently the liirds fed largely on these insects; they were 
frequently seen frying at the tips of leaves and then beating the catch on a 

More sedentary than their relatives the Trillers, the Cuckoo-shrikes 
•sometimes "stick around" in autumn and winter. On March 14 last I saw 
several of them frisking among tbe tents in company with Magpies and 

Other Species. — Aside from the Triller, 1he species recorded as "new" to 
the Park are the Brown Quail and the Narrow-billed Bronze CucVoa. I 
flushed a sinsrle Quail on October 13 and heard the Cuckoo there on the 
same day. Three species of Cuckoos (including the Pallid and Fantatled) 
are row recorded for the area. Other birds seen in the reservation during 
last Spring were more ar less common species, is discussed in the previous 

Any members having early copies of excursion lists, conversazione 
tickets, notices of meetings, etc., are invited to present them to the Club, so 
that the scries of such items kept as a record of Club activities may be made 
*norc complete. Such items should be handed to the Hon. Secretary 

20R L?v>sk, Geological RccMiuoissanee i'.i V (T. f^vol' lix 


By Maurice F. Lxask, A.I.F., Somewhere in Australia 

For some time I had the opportunity of examining tin; geologicaf 
features of portions of the Centra! Division (Papua), pail of which 
is- rn the "dry belt," In surface topography these ranges take the 
form of iairly abrupt but convex-sided ndges running in parallel 
rows on approximately north-south lines. The crests, arc a series 
of roundly serrated peaks. 

Closer inspection reveals that the summits consist of almusl. 
half grassy soil and half loose or projecting stones. This is, then. 
the residual arising from an annual rainfalf yielding an average of 
33 inches to 40 inches in the months of November to March ; the 
yield of ten inches per month at the end of the rainy season may 
be expected lo produce more serious erosion. 

Over the whole area, including the summits, the vegetation 
consists of eucalypt bush ranging to fifty feet in height, two species present: a white gum with silvery, rounded foliage resembling 
young blue gum, and a gum with narrower, more elongated k-aves 
slightly darker in colour. The undergrowth is made up of dwarf 
tree-ferns, indigofera futdj, (at- least in pre-war days) a dense 
growth of kangaroo-grass. 

For determination, specimens wen: taken irom an excavation. 
No. 1 Hole, near the top of a range east of Port Moresby. 
(Restrictions prevent a more precise direction.) Here- the topsod 
is black for a depth of four or five inches; in places, according to 
the lack of moisture, it is grey and brown. 1 Tins soil weathers: 
to the black dust so familiar to transport drivers. 

The subsoil is brown; in its lower levels it is reddish, containing 
angular gravel, with fragments of weathered qttartzite, especially 
at the greater depths, where the colour is more consistently reddish 
brown. This results in the persistent red coloration over any 
widespread excavations. One side of the hole showed subsoil 
extending for 36 inches; on the other side it. extended for 48 inches. 

In the lowest levels, from 36 and 48 inches downwards was a 
crumbly, friable clay, greenish to bluish 2 in colour, containing 
larger boulders of quartzite. one measuring 30 inches by 22 inches 
and another 31 inches by 26 inches. 

5. "Along the southern littoral alone there ;irc millions of acres 01 rich 
plantation soil." (Report of Agriculture, 1906-07 ; Papua.) 

2 "Pieces chipped from this (an ironstone: lode) almost anywhere riic 
stained with the green teachings of copper." (Report on Mines, JWi-O/'-, 

*{})"' 3 fjU*4K Gcologicn! Rccowtm-^Kicc t<* jV.G. 2<V9 

The following specimens have been identified : 

1. A buff to grey-coloured siliceous rock of uneven fracture, intermediate 
iii physical properties between chert and fine-grained rjuartzitc, the latter 
heing'perhaps the name best applied. 

2. Generally similar to the above specimen, but having a more even, 
flat fracture, finer texture, a greater degree of iransluceucy. and being in 
consequence more nearly akm to Chert, 

3. An opaque, smooth-textured, yellow-brown rounetion of _ resinnus 
lustre, best described as opal-jasper, with numerous thin, somewhat irregular, 
but roughly radiating veins of bluish-coloured chalcedony. These concre- 
tions weather out at the surface as boulders tra versed by light blue streaks. 

4. A siliceous breccia consisting: mainly ol ias|>er and opal-jasper, with 
blue-grey to pale vinlei coloured veins of chalcedony , distinguished from 
the specimen last described by the brecciation which, in the field, causes 
lliese somewhat brittle rocks to crumble into a pile oi fragments 
resembling road metal. i 

5. A brownish to pink-coloured i-iliccuus rock containiiiu, small. irrefiUlar 
patdie.i ot all indeterminate green mineral similar in general characters to 
prase and, in pari, to chrysoprase, In view of the present of copper ores 
fn Uic area, and the unexpected hardness ot this inincral, it was thought 
to be perhaps tin; hydrous cojiper silicate — "ehrysoeoifa." It laiJed to respond 
to the chemical tests for tlus species, however., and even after iiuion with 
sodium carbonate showed no trace of copper. Copper has been mined at 
Tupuselci Head, and close to the l.aloki Fiver nine miles to the north oi 
the; last-named locality. 

6. Giey to bltie-gtey chalcedony. 

7- Reddish, earthy, siliceous rock exhibiting a white, i>o)^hcd and 
striated, enamelled face, which is quiti- clearly a "slickcnsidcd" surface 
produced by friction between the opposite faces of a fault or shear plane 
caused to slide one over the other during earth movements. 

The determinations listed agree well with the description (in 
the Annual Report, Papua, year ending June 30, 1907), compiled 
by Mr. Gibb Maitland: 

Port Moresby Beds, Greenish sandy shales, limestones, Calrarco-siliceous 
b«U, with chalcedony and nodules of flint in the vicinity of Port Moresby. 
These extend alooft the coast from Hal) Sound to McFarlane's Harbour, 
longitude Hfi 10 vast, running inland Snr a considerable distance in (he 
vicinity of the Kemp Welsh River. 


Members who have noted the recent difference oi opinion re the spelling 
•of the name FITZGblRALD may he interested to turn up the obituary 
notice iti the t'ictt»r!m A'ufrtrtXMf, Vol. IX, p. 75 where the small g is 
used six times, Tlv editor at that period was Mr. A. H. S, Lucas. In, 
the annual report immediately following, the new editor, Mr, F, G. A. 
Bainaid, also spelled the n3me with a small g As butli of these editors 
were particularly careiul and painstaking, it would appear that the capital 
G was not used, at that lime. The earlier lists of members' names are no> 
helpful, as all Honorary Members had their names printed in capitals. — 
Blancrb E. Muj-ek. 

211) Win is. Deletion* from the I'ktcirifm Hora [ ^jjtjjjfc 

By Jmjes H. WiJTrs, National Herbanum. Melbourne 

Following iitmiedi-itely <sv» the mail dehvejy or cur March Naturalist, 
1 received a telephone Oil from Mr. A. S. Kenyon, asking why I liad 
deleted Wtlga {.GAjera parvijtora) from the Victorian Plant Census. To 
response lo my explanation that there was no existing herbarium specimen 
from this State and that the plant had not been ohscrved by recent workers 
in the far north-west, Mr. Kcnyou hastened to assure me that he had seen 
Cojera jjTOvrtnjt spwlraiieiMlsly this. >i<k of the Murray River and ixnilr} 
take me to an area of several square onles near Naming (between Piantfil 
and Enstgn) whercover the Wifg* still flourishes 

This valuable record impels me to thank Mr. Kenyan and to reinstate 
the .Species On our hits ; it nntsl be eafisiilered as a rare plant in Yictriria,- 
and Naming may well have been the very locality ("Murray Desert") 
from which Mueller rollccied it on his memorable iovirney up the Murray 
m iaS4. 

Residents of the Mallet between AnnueJlo and the river might jitrhsps 
locate other parches of Gcijcra fiariijlora, also oi Hibiscus Farrngci and 
pauiata Walkfiri. shrubs which arc confined in t'te State to this inteiestius 
but little known belt of country The National Herbarium would •welcome 
good specimens a( these, and particularly oi Wilga, to 'tihstanuafr for all 
time its occurrence with Ui. 

Here follow live mote specie;, which for variout reasons should imw be 
omitted from the Census .- 

i. AtitiROPOGQN APP1N1S, R.Br. The record U apparently hated or» 
a solitary specimen collect™! in the north-cast hy C Walter, but this is 
without doubt au untitled representative of BathriocMoQ. titr.ipistis 
(Duinin) Hubli. (syn. Artrfrofiogcn prrtusns Willd.), and we haw no 
authentic record oi nffinix from nearer than Ihe BJue Mountains. 

2. DANTHONIA VAUCIPLOJiA. ft.Br. This is a very small *nd 
distinctive grass confined to the high mountains of southern Tasmania. 
What has masqueraded under the name in Victoria war. given specific 
rank as D. nwtiflora by P. F Morris (5935 I'tc. Not.), bur he did not 
make it clear that the new siiecies must rcploci- D. paimflwn as listed 
for the State bv Bent ham, Ewart, and olhet'i 

3. KOCHIA ClUATA, F.v.M- All specimens so designated a< the 
.National Herbarium are referable tn the related species K. ptnUyjtma,* 
R. H. Anderson The true tiUola occurs along the Darluig Rivet an* 
may yet be found within the N-W. boundary oi our State, but illllil scuiip- 
nne actually finds it there, we wotdd do well to leave it nut of nur Census. 

4. CALUSThMON SALIGNUS.. (Sm.) D.C. Despite Ewart's remark, 
"widely .spread In Virtnria" (PI of Vir.,, 1030), no herlvwiuin material 
can be produced from nearer than Port Jackson. His description of the 
species is practically a repetition ot that %'nen immediately before for 
C. fialtulovis, F.v.M., and the localities Ewart Quotes ace precisely those 
which ate cited for Ihe latter species by Beinham (under the name "var. 
aittti-jfis" p. 121, PI. Aust., vol, 3). The examples of Victorian "taHijnns" 
housed in the Melbourne Herbarium all sort up into either (.". fmlinlusiiS 
or C. paMdiu. 

5. URACHYCOME TADGEU.Il, Tovcy and Morris. The type is inriis- 
tinguishable from that of li. i-aniiacvrpa, F.v.M., var. alpmu Benih., and' 
Mr. P. F. Moms now admits thai Jus description of the TW,7cWt achenes 
must have been made from immature flower heads. Tdis is imibahty the 
commonest daisy of our snowfields and is plentiiul on Lake Mountain,. 
near Marysvillc. 

*£V'3 <V»lw m* ?Ar iorflr Ganitn Spider HI 


Fur the past seven weeks wc have had under observation a female at the 
common Large Garden Spider (Ervirn prOthrtUu). This snidei \<s nocturnal 
in its habits, and we hasc found much interest in watching the building of 
the web. 

She has a single thread, stretched across the yard from the garage 10 the 
wash-house ; t|Ut is, a single line extending a span of 30 feet and S feet 
up Jroni the gronnd. At about 8 o'clock each night, hanging upside down, 
she walks out along the thread. Occasionally she inspects the whole 30 
feet of line, but nsu.slly contents herself with g journey of 6" or 7 feet from 
the garage. Here she will rest motionless for half an hour r>r more, then 
commence -weaving a circular web. 

The web take? between, two and three hours to complete and sometimes 
it extremely large. By measurement it was found to be 2 feet in diameter 
and by count was found to contain 1<> radial thread* *nc\ 1)5 circles. In 
addition the web it. anchored hy several vertical threads dropped to the 
ground. Sometime there is n small sionc hanging to one ol these as a 
weight; one such ston.c which we measured is a half, by a quarter, by art 
eighth of an inch; it wii suspended about two incites from the around 
The circular web rt completely gone by morning, supposedly either cut 
away or consumed by Hie spider herself. On two occasions it lias been 
loit Jntact tr> remain all day till evening, but each time was accidentally 
broken. ■ 

Dunn* the- peviod ol the night nip till 11.30) she has Ireeii under 
observation, the spider got very link prey. Once or twite some small 
moths were "netted. 1 " The spider left her position in the ccnlrc and ran 
down to the victim; she spun some web around it and then, clasping it in 
her legs, she swung out from the web and climbed hack to the centre by a 
separate line she had earned down with her. This lias been her method 
when the victim is below hcv. I have not seen frcr in action wheu tbc 
catch is above the ccrrtrc of the web. 

The web used to he placed about five feet from the ground, but w Hie 
last few day-3 tile S|/ider has taken to spinning a smaller circle about rate 
foot in diameter and placing it fllltcfl higher 

E- S Hanks 

A note in the Vic. Nat. for March, written by Mr. J. A. Kershaw, 
referred to "the Ground Parrot (GcoPs'ttacus occidentalix)" having been 
acen on a salt-bush plain west of the Lachlan (N.S.W.). It should be 
noted, however, that the term Ground Parrot belongs to Pcsoporus wclticus 
(sometimes called the Swamp Parrotl and that G. occidental™ U the Night 
Parrot, a. very rare species that has not been reported for many years and 
about which little is known. The locality mentioned, together with 1be 
reference lo g nest in porcupine gr,is*, suggests the Night Parrot, — A.H.C- 

A oushman at Donald says that while shuoting at Lake Bulldak the boat 
was brought up sharp by two bunches of grass tied securely enough to hold 
it. On looking about he saw the same thing everywhere, the rushes all tied 
together, On watching for the cause he came to the conclusion that the 
red-headed baM coot must have fastened them together as a sort of perch 
They appear ro get two lots of this wiry water grass about 1 ft. apart, and 
fasten them, securely enough to form a perch or platform feu themselves. 

212 Mci.uw m Mrtsntr? f Vto K * 1 

Vol. M* 


In Baron von Mueller's Second SysU-vHiiic Cen*us oj Aiair^tim Pfonis 
(1889) arc recorded (lie following: West Australian species: Atacia LeVmi., Adcnanthos Mcissufii Lehm, Rfliikiia Mnuiiert l.chm., 
Hakta Mct.isncrimut Kippist; also Cryfhmtryii- Mensncri. F.v M,, from 
Queensland, each obviously comntemoratinK one. and the same person, 
Ycl, strangely enough, our accessible thesauri of botanical literature make 
no mention of any botanist named Meissncv Ample reference, however, is 
made to works of the celebrated Karl FiiedTkll MFISNER, Onle-Ume 
professor of botany at Bas?e University (Switzerland) ant) worlrj authority 
on monochlamydeous plants, including our Australian Protearctr and Thy\»c- 
iatqcfiir. Consultation of the type descriptions of the four West Australian 
plants cited above reveals that they rtwtf originally speh will a single "s" 
and were certainly named in hououi nf Prnte^sivr Meisnrr. 

The incorrect spelling which appears in Mueller's Census was apparently 
initiated by George Bentham when describing- Acacia Masneri Lehin (Flora 
,4iMro.)nnsis, Vol. 2, 1864, p. 354) and is perpetuated throughout liis later 
treatment of the Pnoicaccue. not only in I be specific names themselves but 
in citation of's name — indeed, Bentham seems to have liecn quite 
oblivious of llic fart that Mcisner spell: his name with a single "s" (as 
«lid his contemporary Lehmann in Plantar. Pnri.i.timioe). 

When Mueller first Used the unfile Mciimeri in describing a new tjueens- 
land Cryptncorya. (Fraantenta. V, 1866. p. 170), he, too, inserted an extra 
"s" — surprising enough in view of Ms own German background and intimate 
acquaintance with, the published works of Meisner and Lehmann 

Roth F. M. Bailey and C. A. Gardner have blindly followed Bentham ht 
keeping up the ci mucous double "s," but tfie case for a return to the true 
spelling of Karf Meisncr's name k surely clear-rut and unassailable. 

Iambs H. Wjijjs. National Herbarium of Victoria 

A footnote to Mr. F, Chapman's HTtide on Charles Gould, m I lie March 
issue of the l-'tL. JV<r/\, gives the year of hjs death as 1S95. This is a misprint 
for 1893. While on the subject of errors, it may be mentioned that in a 
letter from Lady Franklin to Mrs. Gould, published m this journal ill 
October, 1938 (p. 99), (lie statement, 'Mr, Price has not f.;one to the uwvn'* 
should have read "Mr. Price has not gone to the Jluon." And ill the issue 
for June. 1939 (p. 23, second line from top), the references to Mrs- Gould's 
•stay in TJobart should read: "fiom her arrival on .September 19, [838, until 
August 20, IH.tO"— A.1TC 


We sometimes think of botanists in the h'arly Victorian era as a stolid, 
musty, academic race who wrote thwr descriptions ill dull Latin and gave 
us never a glimpse of (he Immunity helnn.l the man. The following note 
from Tasmania (Feb, I BS7 ) . in Charles Stuart's «mall neat hand, is attached 
to liis type collection of the little orchid Frasetihyllitm mtiictilio (now 
P. Archeri) and strikes quite a refreshing dumestic chord '■ "I am not certain 
ij I have mode an army hem . 1 hove li> write in a house htlt of children' ! 
— James. H Wilms.