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Victorian Naturalist 


of the 


VOL. 61 
MAY, 1944. TO' APRIL, 1945 

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

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

Melbourne : 
Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty. Ltd., 430 Little Bourke Street 


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The Victorian Naturalist 

VoL 61. — No. i ._ May 4, 1944 No. 725 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on Monday, 
April 10, 1944, at the Royal Society's Hail. Mr, Tvo C 
Ilammet, vice-presideit, presided in the absence of the president, 
and some 80 members and friends attended. 

Reports of excursions were given a* follows; Queen's Park, 
Miss Wigan (who reported noting five species of ducks, including 
die Musk Duck, as well as Moor liens, Grebes, Coots, etc.) ; 
Seaholme, Mr. J. H. Willis. 

The following were elected as ordinaiy members: Mr. and 
Mrs. .Burgess, Mrs. C\ W. Connery, Miss Nellie Stewart, Mr. 
Albert P. Dunn; as country members; Mr. A. Teesc and Mr. 
S* C- Nicul; and as associate member: Miss Valda Ralcy, 


Hie subject for the evening was "Quest Night/* wherein 
members were invited to submit queries that: were passed by the 
Chair for discussion and reply by other members. Following 
are the items (with rep/tes) that came before the meeting; — 


1. Have any subterranean orchids like the West Australian 
Rhimnlkella Gardneri been discovered in Victoria, or, if not, arc 
they likely to occur here? — Answer (Mr. W. H. Nicholls) ; 
None has been found to date, but it is quite likely that the New 
South Wales Crypianlhemis Slateri (first unearthed m J931 at 
Rulladelah, 150 miles N. of Sydney) may occur In soils favoured 
by the Hyacinth Orchid, Dipodium punctatum. 

2. Friends from England state rhat the Australian Acacias 
seem to resemble very closely the Mimosas that lliey know in 
Europe. What is the difference, if any, between an Acacia and 
a Mimosa? — Answer (Mr. J- H. Willis): Atocio and Mimosa 
are two superficially very similar genera of pod bearing plants 
belonging to the Mimosoidtut section of the family Lcrjummosae. 
Litmartis called them both "Mimosa," but modern botanists 
distinguish the former by its nuwicmus .<tamen.i (in each minute 
floret), and by the almost invariable occurrence of glands on the 
leaf-stalk or midrib; a true Mnnosa has 10 or less stamens, and 
rarely shows any leaf glands. Early colonists 01 lied many of our 
Acacia species "mimosa' from Iheir resemblance to that tropical 
genus, one of which has become naturalised in Queensland (M 

1 FL>td Naturalists' Club ProKtdbfit Lytf.t? 

pudica. the "sensitive plant"), and "Prickly Moses" for the 
common Ac&eta veriicillata is said to be a corruption of Prickly 

3. The New Zealand Looking-Glass Plant (Cofircsma repens) 
has small pils ia the undersurface of its leaves, at the junction 
Oi mid- rib and liit^ral nerves. What ts the explanation? — 
Answer (Mr. J, H. Willis): Apparently no one can explain 
the nature of the little "pockets" or rjnmatia which occur in several 
species of Coprosma. f J1ie late Professor A. T. Ewart frankly 
admitted that he did not know, and W. R. B. Oliver, in his 
exhaustive monograph of the genus (1935) made no attempt to 
account for Che leaf pits. Even the much larger and commoner 
glands in Acacia are still very imperfectly understood. Mr, Ivo 
Hammct reported having- noticed ants about the glands of Acacias,, 
where they were apparently feeding on some sugary excretion 

4. The family CafttifoHacecJ includes- elder-berries, guelder 
roses, honey-suckles, cinchona -bark, etc.. and is derived from the 
Latin caper, n. "he-goat./' .ind folium, a •leaf" What is the origin 
of the I1&M3 "goat-leaf"?— Answer (Mr. j. H. Willis) : The 
fannly name has been adopted from Tourneiort s old prc-Linnaean 
genu's C<tprijo!iuin t which Linnaeus (1753) and others after him 
included in Lonicera — the large assemblage of "honeysuckles," 
now numbering" nearly 200 species, Tournefon/s name (published 
in 1700) is a straight-out translation into Latin of the vulgar 
Erench ehcvre-feuxUc, by which "honeysuckles" had been known 
in France for centuries, the German equivalent being gdss-blatt, 
with precisely tWe same meaning. Strangely enough, no available 
French dictionary, encyclopedia, or botanical text-book attempts 
lo explain the term, but Loudon's English Encyclopaedia of 
Plants, 1855, says, "poetical name, signifying ... a leaf which 
dimbs like a goat." Nevertheless, Tourncfort's diagnosis contains 
the Latin equivalent of "with stinking seeds," thus alluding to a 
had odour in some parts of the honeysuckle plant r and as dried 
foliage of the related Viburnum species is truly offensive (even in 
old herbarium specimens), it is more than possible that ''goat- 
leaf" was originally associated with an objectionable goat-like 

5. Schomburgk, a prominent naturalist-explorer in South 
America during (he earlier part of last century, was afterwards 
director of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Did he accomplish 
any outstanding work in Australia? — Akswer (Mr. J H. Willis) : 
Dr- Richard Scliomburgk held the directorship of the Adelaide 
Gardens for 25 years until his death in 1890, and was therefore 
contemporary with Guilfoyle of Melbourne; the present fine 
lay-out owes much to his energy and foresight. He d»d not 
concern himself with pure botany, and the only noteworthy 

inuil AVrf/if- Maturfllix&r' Club PnwcedhlQ-s 3 

contribution m that direction was a Flora of South Australia, 
1875, being .a 64-pagc essay with list of species known to inhabit 
the Colony. In tfus 1870's be wrote many smaller papers on 
tobacco cnlture, grasses, (odder plants, and such-like economic 
subjects,, but nunc of them can be compared with the voluminous 
writings of the colonial botanists (Mueller, Maiden and Bailey). 


0. What are the latest theories regarding- bird migration?— 
Mr. A. H. Chisholm summarised the various types of movements 
among Australian birds, including' overseas, interstate, inlet-' 
tropical, altitudinal, and gipsy migrants and gave brief details 
regarding each uf the sections. -The subject was also discussed by 
Messj.s. Hammer, Medtingley, Colhvcr, Miller, and Mitfs Watson, 

7. What peculiarities has thu Lyre-bird that it should have 
a Natural Family almost to itself? — Mr. Chisholrn said that 
osteological study of the Lyre-bird had been intenuptcd by the 
war, and so it was not yui possible to "place" Hie group on a 
srrucUnaf basis, However^ sufficient regarding the nature of the 
bird's "make-up" was learned long ago to make clear thai it had 
very distinctive characteristics. 

6. What are the differences in the tree habits of Tree-runners 
and Tree-creepers, and how* can they be recognised ? — Mr 
Clmholm replied iliat the clearest superficial point* of diffeience 
was that Tree-creepers worked upward on the trunks of trees, 
and Tree-runners worked downward. The Tree-creepers were k 
good deal larger than 1be other group, Mr, A, K. Mattinglcy 
remarked that there were also differences in voice and nesting 

P&w£kH irootoov 

9. What are the reptilian characteristics which ttnk the 
Platypus with the lower orders from an anatomical point of 
vfewf — Mr. Colliver stated that as far as he knew, the egg- 
laying habit would be the only trait. Mr. Chisholm stated that 
Prof. S. Sunderland, working on the brains* of monntrcmes and 
marsupials, found that the. impression previously held that both 
these forms were somewhat allied io the reptiles is now incorrect, 
and that the Monotreines arc much more closely related to the 
Eutheria. It bus thus been shown that the concept of marsupials 
being an advanced stage of the mono lx ernes is wrong, and 
actually there is no direct connection between ihem. A further 
question regarding differences between the Platypus and the 
Echidna, was answered by Mr. Colliver, and a question whether 
both these animals hibernated was answered by Mr. Chishobu, 
who stated that a short period of hibernation was common to 
both forms. 

4 FieU Naturalists CUtb PfiK<edi*$* Vv**ti 

10. We are told that ihe Koala has an appendix some 6 feet 
in length. Seeing that the appendix in man, a very muck larger 
animal, is only an inch or two long and can very well be done 
without, what is the function of such a long one in the Koala? — 
Mrs. Pioches suggested that it was probably due to The small 
Amount of nourishment in the large amount of food taken, 
stating further that Ambrose Pratt gave this as a leason in his 
book on the Koala. Mr. Chisholm said that Sir Colin Mackenzie 
Was so engrossed by this appendix problem that he studied the 
Koala io apply the lessons learnt to humanity, but up until the 
lime he left for Canberra he had not reached any definite 
cXMiolusion.s. Mr r Colliver understood that Sir Colin had at least 
proved the organ to be functional. 

11. Miss Watson stated she had been told of a large turtle 
being seen dose into the shore at Portland, and asked whaf gfltfl 
it would be? — Mr. Mattingley stated it was the sort thai was 
occasionally found in Bass Strait. Mr. Colliver stated that several 
records of the large leather-back turtle occurring in Victorian 
waters were known, and that just prk>r ro the war ho had seen 
a very large specimen that had landed alive on the beach near 
the mouth of the GleneJg River at Nelson, Victoria. This one 
had apparently travelled from die Indian Ocean. 

12. Wc* arv Told that fbe ronrmnn Earth-worm aerates the soil 
and benefits it. Hew is audi a soft-bodied creature able to 
burrow into hard ground? What particular mechanism does it 
employ ?— Mr Colliver stated that worms generally had 
masticatory jaws, and weie not found, as the. question seamed to 
suggest, id particularly hard giound, but rather m damper 
portions of soil. The soil was passed through the body* and 
food panicles extracted in the process. Slime (as well as 
salivary secretion) was no doubt used to help soften Ihe ground. 
Mr. MaUingley remarked that worms fed on decaying vegetation.. 
which separated the earth as eaten, and that the worms were 
helped in their travels bj r bristles, which made sufficient noise 
lo attract the attention of birds hunting for food. Mr. Colliver 
slated thai Ihe giant worms of the Ras.s Valley had their 
burrows nearly filled with liquid mud. and the gurgling sound 
the)' made was- easily heard by the human ear. Mr H. V Miller 
reported that lime- water poured over the soil would bring out 
worms very quickly. 


13. A few years ago a resident in one of the Melbourne 
suburbs put up a wail in which a large number of "Dendrites 1 ' 
were visible. These have now almost entirely disappeared, 
Where have they gone? — Answer (Mr. A. C. Frostick) i Most 
likely weathering of the rork surface caused the disappearance 

*™ J Tfw Chamid-h\tkd Cittkeo in f jttW« 

ot" llit; dendiile^ ; ;ts they had he.en formed from solutions .(here 
was iiij reason that he could see to prevent their being removed 
by solution. Miss Wigan stated" that the dendrites at one I tine a 
feature on the fence around fhe property of the Intc -Sidney My a 
in Toorak had disappeared, 


Mr. C, J Gabriel remarked on the living species of Victorian Teredo, 
and also a species nnw to him that may he Victorian or an inirr»diiced 

Mr- Matlingley exhibited some >eeds oi iHti sweet Qoandong, and 
$$kcd if they line! ever teen propagated m Victoria. Mr Willis staled 
thai the seeds were often germinated btff tbrir future lite was a problem 
<rwnac to parasitic habits: The roots developed suckers which entered 
ether roots. Mr. Hammer stated he had a plant growing, now seven 
years old, and he attributed bis surces* to Ihc undisturbed growth p! 
gw>* and weeds around the tret- Mr Mattingley ^aid that -people it! 
Central Australia believed the seeds would not ^row until they were 
eaten and voided hy an emu. 

; Mr, ColUver displayed a seTie? ot the larger forms of Victorian fo&til 
sh.trkV teeth, and "icniioned a theory that was recently put forward 
that these teeth were not shed but were permanent and had a certain 
amount or movement due to conscious muscular action Slides of a 
rOMutarion of fhe jaw oi a giant shark ( fobsil) CtircltQttidon- itttgrtodati-, 
displayed in the Amcncan Museum of Natural History* and several 
showing views of the recently discovered Goelac&nthid n>h {mm the 
African Coast were also shown, and with, this last ihe importance of 
•he discovery was emphastied and the ixlenVion of the evolutionary 
'■■:.' Ic mentioned 

To the discussion which resolved around the question of the occurrence 
hi Victoria otlhe Channel-billed Cuckoo iScyiJirofis vcvat^hothmdnu'.) at 
a ; recent F.N C.V. meeting' may be added John Gould's quotation of a 
■description of its habits hy Dr- Bennett, of Sydney, in 1K58: "When the 
young Scythrops (Channel-bill J was introduced into Mr. Denison's aviary 
it wjw placed in a compartment already occupied hy a Dacdo ptgns (Kooka- 
burra), and doubtless feeling hungry, immediately opened ifcs mouth to he 
fed, and its wants were readily attended to hy the Kookaburra, whoj, with 
great kindness, took a piece of meat and, after sufficiently preparing it by 
beating it about until jt was in a tender And pappy state* placed it carefully 
m the gaping mouth of the young Sr.ythrflfa; this feeding process continued 
until m bird was capable of attending to its own wants, which it now 
do**s, feeding in romparvy with the Kookaburra in the usual maimer. When 
J saw it in the morning it was perched upon tltc most elevated resting-place 
in the aviary, occasionally raising itseff, flapping its wings, and then 
•Quietly Sell] t Ofl down again after the manner of Hawks in confinement. 
and presenting much the appearance of a member of that tribe of birds." 
This aecount indicates an extraordinary ms-tinctiee dependence on an equally 
Instinctive response of another Iiird not famed as a friend in adversity. 
Ts there any record of the Chamiet-buTs e££ having been found in a 
Kookaburra's nest? 

* JNo.— Ed.1 


6 MAVriNCLipY, Pico for aiihll of'Srienrc VtybW 


By A. H. E. Mattincley, Melbourne 

More than 30 years ago, nn 26th August l9il ( I advocated 
in the Melbourne Argiis the institution of a HaJT of Science as 
part of the Melbourne Public Library building. Subsequently 
a meeting was held at the home of Mr. R. D. Elliott, when (wo 
of the Public Library trustees (the chairman, Or. Lecper, and 
Mr. Elliott) commended the scheme, and Eh*. Lecper indicated 
Thar the time lor establishing such a hall woufd be when the 
present Public Library block of buildings became Overtaxed fur 
suitable space— probably after a lapse of 20 to 30 -years. 

The time has now arrived for reconstruction on more spacious 
lines, and, since the site for a cultural centre for Melbourne has 
been selected near Prince's Bridge and approved, it behoves the 
Victorian Field Naturalist* Club, in conjunction with kindred 
scientific societies, io approach ihe Minister of Public Works 
before plans of the prospective buildings are drawn up. The 
desirability of incorporating a wing" specially designed to house 
m separate rooms all the small libraries, belonging to struggling 
scientific societies and scattered throughout the city and suburbs, 
is apparent. 

The propped wing should also have a central hall, open to the 
use of each society and for the purpose of giving educational 
lectures to the public and students, Above all, the libraries would 
be centrally accessible and, it the building were fire-proofed, the 
valuable collections of reference books and documents 
(unprocurable elsewhere, but at present exposed to the risk of 
fire) would be safeguarded for the nation. 

Most of the natural history societies, owing to their slender 
finances,, are now occupying unsuitable rooms, whilst others 
cannot properly utilize their literature for want of shelf- 
accommodation. In several instances valuable and irreplaceable 
papers are deteriorating for -want of binding and shelf-space. 
The money at present dissipated in high rentals could be saved 
and utilized in publishing the results of research by the societies 
— -results which for want of sufficient funds now gn unrecorded. 
The labours of skilled naturalists are of a national character, and 
the community cannot afford to lose them. 

Great credit is due to the Council of Education, heretofore 
engaged in the national work of broadening the channels through 
whh'h scattered and disconnected rivulets of the nation's education 
flows. Why not; then, give the societies engaged in other 
branches of education (which for obvious reasons are outside the 
jurisdiction of the Council), the opportunity to organise them- 
selves- for the public weal? The facilities afforded by such a 

JJJJ'] Matonguy, ! J lexx fora Halt of Science 7, 

scheme of centralization are manifold. Scientific attainment would 
become more popular by a reduction in expense to club members, 
whilst the membership itself would increase by virtue o/ the 
greater comforts and facilities provided for study and research. 

Compared with many countries.. Australia is deplorably lacking 
in scientific outlook, as witness ihe researches into our unique 
fauna and flora which are avidly taken from us and dealt with by 
Government-aided foreign scientists and investigators — a galling 
fact to those worthy Australians who could accomplish such work 
admirably but for financial disabilities. 

In Uiis manner Australia loses her prestige, and other nations, 
far better organized scientifically in their arts and crafts, outstrip 
her. The national importance of the arts and sciences to our 
country cannot be over-estimated. If these [anguish, so does the 
country also, as history bears ample testimony. 

Our American cousins, with clear perception and true patriotic 
unity, have established such useful State-subsidized departments 
as the Smithsonian Institute, a society that lias materially helped 
her citizens to develop the arts arid crafts of their mighty 
confederation, and is still enabling them -so to do, by equipping 
them mentally in their struggle for international supremacy. 
The comparatively small amount spent in maintaining this 
institute has returned untold wealth to the coffers of the United 

As our Victorian associations, without any thought of fet* or 
reward, and at considerable pecuniary sacrifice, are rendering 
public service and making for national prosperity by the 
researches of their members, is it too much to expect from the 
Government a building for such work? 

The time has surely arrived when it behoves our State 
administration to help build up that portion of her national 
edifice which, at present, is being tediously erected by devoted, 
but unorganized, bands of enthusiasts. 

The Field Naturalists' Ctub of Victoria, as an old and strong 
body, is the logical convenor of all societies with this laudable 
object. Let us seize the opportunity now offered to mitigate those 
difficulties so. long .suffered _by the champions of natural science in 
our State, 


On the Nullarbor Plain -there was a telegraph line where spiders at times 
made webs which connected from the wire lo the pole. When the- wclis 
got wet thej Vearlhed" the electric current until there was not enough to 
operate the telegrams.— A t.f.x McKtNzrE, (iJenhuntly- 

8 Im.kaV, Breeding nf tha PMyp'us ft* Cii/ifrwfy [_ Vol n 


Pv David Fleay, BSc. ; Dip.Ep., 
Director, Badger Creek Sanctuary, Heaffc<.ville 

For nine years — three in the Melbourne Zoological Gardens 
and six at the Badger Creek Sanctuary — I have striven to 
bring; about 'conditions conducive to the laying of eggs and 
successful rearing of young by our shy and temperamental 
duck-billed platypus. It was obvious that many interesting 
little details of intimate habits denied to Mr. Harry Burrcll 
during his very thorough compilation of platypus lore could 
only be revealed when a truly domesticated "duckbill'" consented 
to perform her duties as a mother. 

In this 1943*44 season, alter years of trial and error, high 
hopes and great disappointments, Fortune really smiled, and 
1'JilV mate of "Jack." made history by hatching and rearing 
a splendid young female platypus. 

Before proceeding t would like to acknowledge the debt owed 
in these investigations to Mr, Karl Byron Moore, of Melbourne; 
a member of the enthusiastic Sanctuary Committee who, know- 
ing the tremendous expense involved in procuring the necessary 
quantity and variety of food for the pair of platypuses, has 
assisted financially each month throughout" the difficult years of 
this war. In days when even our butcher's ordi-r had to he 
dropped in favour of using up ancient horses, it is doubtful 
whether the platypus experiment could have been carried on 
but for Mr. Byron Moore's very practical help. - 

- There must also be remembered rhe steady conscientious 
assistance of my deputy, Mr. Cecil Milne, who has never spared 
himself in the many and varied duties involved in caring for 
the welfare of our Qrnithorhynchus family, Mrs. Jemima 
Dunolly, too, last of the old aboriginal people at Coranderrlc, 
supplied us consistently in all weathers for years with the 
jrnportant platypus food items until practically the day of her 
death in early January 1944, at the reputed age of 102, 

In the Victorian Naturalist for March 1943, the ways of 
"Jack'* and "Jill,"' their places of capture and many vicissitudes 
were described. On this day of commencing my further record 
(February 19. 1944), "Jill" has completed six years in captivity, 
and as she began her life in the Sanctuary at the nest-leavihg 
stage, her age on this date is roughly* but fairly accurately, six 
years, three and a half months. Thib fact, plus her bright aleit 
ways and excellent health iltspite the constant demands of her 

tSiJ ft**** Breeding of the Plains in Captiy&j' 9. 

youngster, are clear indications that the life of h platypus is a' 
lengthy one. 

"Jack," whom we captured as a half-grown youngster in 
Badger Creek a year fate* than "Jill," is approximately the same 
age as his mate, and this big, richly-coated animal. 20^in. in* 
length and weighing 3)4 ">s. t now has more than five years in 
a platypusary to his credit. 

i With the object of providing a suitable smalt-scale "river 
bank" ■ wherein "jWV at **er ch°sen time, could excavate a; 
breeding burr.ow, bard-packed earth and logs had been arranged 
ifi an enclosed area at the western end of our Badger Creek 
platypusary since early 1939. Variations in the mode of entry 
tc this section from wooden ''tunnels" running to the swimming 
tank had to be devised from time to time; the excavated earth 
had to be carefully removed as "Jill 7 ' brought it out, and the 
relations between the lady and hei mate- (who was almost double 
her weight) had to be most carefully watched. 

With all our well-intentioned architecture and experimentation 
with the all-important balanced diet, it seemed that only during 
the winter of 1943 were conditions brought to such a state that 
they met with "Jill's"' unqualified approval. 

Small even for a female platypus, "Jill" measures 16]4' 
inches (average, 18 inches) and weighs a bare 2 lbs. in her 
fattest condition. Her extraordinary tameness is largely due 
to the fact that, for some unknown reason, she left the nesting 
burrow at a very immature stage, being then no more than 
10 inches long; — the smallest young platypus in the free state that 
I have ever seen. (Compare this with her own youngster, which 
at the length of 13^ inches was still in the nesting burrow.) 
Thus ™JhWf* early impressionable weeks and momhs were our 
own to instil into her the necessary trust and confidence. Little 
clid Mr. Vince McCrohan of HeuJeSville think, when he picked 
up the tiny and very weary "Jill'' ambling down a hard mountain' 
road three-quarters of a mile from water, that she would later 
<reale a stir even jn wartime London ! 

' The happy result of "Jill's" early "education" is that she has* 
absolutely no fear of human beings even when they crowd 
about her *?n hundreds, and, unlike the general mn of platypuses-; 
she is little, inhibited by the traditional temperament- In fact, 
when I recently tied her up in a bag to ascertain her weight, she 
resumed feeding immediately afterwards as if nothing had 

"Jack," the male platypus, who was captured after months 
of free life, became very quiet, and accepts food by hand r hut 

[Vict Vat 

he has never been the -friendly and frolicsome little pet lhat 
"Jiir is. i 

* In (he ca$es of both animals the success in breeding was not 
brought about by shutting them away and leaving them strictly 
alone. The daily exhibition, with a general alternate day appear- 
ance "of each {unless "Jiir happened to be hibernating) went 
on much as usual right until the famous October day, when* "Jill" 
actually gathered nesting material under the eyes of spectators 
and began to construct her nursery. Naturally thereafter "Jack" 
had to represent the family at 3.30 p.m* each day* but even so 
"Jill" appeared on many occasions in succeeding weeks on 
daylight* foraging excursions, and "Jack" was able to enjoy 
periods of well-earned rest 

Normally crepuscular and nocturnal, platypuses in Victorian 
streams are rarely seen during daytime unless flood-waters are 
high, food is scarce or females are engaged in caring for infant 
families. The usual thing is to find the animals slipping out 
into the streams during the evening light and swimming 
continuously up and down stream practically the whofe night 

Three years ago, while I was engaged in procuring five pairs 
of platypuses for liberation in the streams of Kangaroo Island 
by the South Australian Government, it was particularly instruc- 
tive at night to illuminate by means of a powerful spotlight the 
shallow rapids of such Healesyille streams as the Watts River 
and Chum Creek, and observe the underwater "'swim past* of 
a number of otherwise unseen duckbills oft their various lawful 

The most usual indication of their presence when one is quietly 
sitting on a river bank at night is the sudden ''splash dive" — 
an almost double sound characteristic of the platypus alone.- 
This alarm signal, like that of a rabbit's or wallaby's "thump/?, 
conveys its meaning almost simultaneously to any other platypus 
in the vicinity. 

In view of the typical nocturnal habits of the species, the 
behaviour of "Jill," which has been most consistent over the past 
two seasons, is of exceptional interest, "Jack/' not being 
concerned with procuring food or preparing himself for 
incubatory duties, broke his nocturnal emergences on but a 
single occasion during the pairing month of October 1943. 

Skipping then the notes made over several past years'. I -shall 
describe "Jill's" movements from the <i^y they departed fron* 
normal in 1943 just as they did in the preceding year of 1942 
In the winters of these two years, and in fact at odd times even 
before that, "Jill'' had disappeared for periods of several days 

XSiJ Fleav, Breeding of the Plaiypus-in Captivity II 

at a time deep in her burrows. There is little doubt that these 
absences were stretches of hibernation or sleep during the coldest 
and bleakest periods of the year, and they may be-in the case 
of the female animal part of the preparation for the incubation 
period fa come.. At such a tirne^he -plugged up or blocked, off 
her camping chamber from its connection with the water, "Ji)t" 
is. not the only platypus I haveiaiowrt to hibernate. 

Harry Burrell (the Ptotypus,.,P*g£ 164) says: "Although, 
Bennett has made the suggestion that QrnUhorhynchus hibernates, 
tny investigations do not bear him out. In the New England 
district of New South Wales, the pairing season commences in 
July, which is the mid-winter month on those cold highlands, 
The platypus lives on active life the whole year through/' 
Bennett's statement read: "These creatures are seen in the 
Australian rivers at all seasons of the year, but are m&st abundant 
during the spring and summer months, and I think, a -question 
may arise whether they do not hibernate." 
. Robert Eadie {The Life and Habits of the Platypus) recorded 
periods' of hibernation during the months of June and July for 
his famous pet platypus, "Splash," a male animal. There is 
no doubt whatever that in Victoria platypuses do hibernate for 
greater or lesser periods, and my field observations agree exactfy 
with those of Bennett. Unless a platypus in captivity has access 
to earthen burrows of its own construction, it will not *!ways 
hibernate. Since it is possible that such periods of retirement plus 
ensuing stretches of ravenous eating, in the case of the female, 
are correlated (as suggested) with the nesting period, I have 
tabulated the following account of "Jill's" winter behaviour in 
194.3. The summary indicates the dates and periods of time. 
Apart from ordinary nocturnal emergences, spent inside the 
1/urrowing bank with the animal "pugging" or sealing herself in 
; — to use the mining term so appropriately adopted by Mr. 
Burrell. ' -;.-:,' 

i Another interesting thing was the fact that from This period 
on for the first lime in 1943, the end of her tail tonic on the 
bare and patchy appearance that so commonly develops each 
year. This, of course, was a direct result of using the tail in 
back-pushing soil to close off unwanted passages and working 
up blocks of pugs. On emerging from her various absences, 
° Jill" became definitely diurnal and couicl usually be seen feeding 
ravenously all day long. It was a cornrnon si^ht on such 
occasions to watch her working away in patches of mitd below 
water with her ever-questing bill, and when on a good prospect 
flailing hard wiiH both "fore paddles" in unison to stir up small 
delicacies from 'obscure crannies,. - 


FrrAY, Brt'i'il'ot!) i>j tin' Platypus :u Cnpiiv\ty 


\n\. SI 

; /pate;— 

Approximate Time 


Spent in Retirement 

May 28 

One night and day — 


24 hours.. 

May 31 -June 1 t > 

Two nights and a day 

■ * " 

— 36 hours. 

June 4 

Que day and night— 


24 hours. 


Two nights and a day 


. — 35 hours. 


156 hours. 


36 hours. 

June 28 July 3 

120 hours. 

Jiity 6-Julv 12 

132 hours. 

Jt Will he noticed that the hibernation periods began towards 
die ■end /of /May and ended just before mid September: — 

Ensuing Feeding Period. 

Out at night. 

Out two succeeding days all 

day and sJeeptHJg at night, 
Out all day. 

Out two succeeding days ah* 
day and sleeping at night 

Emerged for half a day— 12.30 
p.m. until dark. Fed all next 
day and for several days' 
with nights in retirement. 

Fed all day for two days— 
away at night. 

Out all day for four days. 

Nights in retirement- 
Feeds all day for five days. 
Away at night. Extra hun- 

Emerged in early afternoon- 
Fed Sh days consecutively, 
and away each night 

Emerged 4.30 p.m.. Fed until 
well into night. Out in after- 
noon? for several days and 
for several other whole days 
— away at night. 

Appeared 3 p.m. Fed into 
ni^ht. Out with little varia- 
tion for seven days, running. 
Away at night. ' Three' more 
half days staying in to night 

Out all day three days run- 
ning. Away at night. 

Fed m daylight, two following" 
days. Away at .night, emerg- 
ing after mid-day in each? 

Emerged 4 p.m. Out most of 
day for three foMowing days. 
Away at night. Fourth and 
fifth clays out from 3.30 p.m. 
Away at night. 

"Jill"' out each day all day and 
away sleeping at night. 

Jitlyl7-July2l 102 hours. 

Ju)y2K-Aug. 2 120 hours. 

Aug.B-Aug. 13 . 120 hours. 

Aug; 25 
Aug. 29 

24 hours; away dur- 
ing a day and night. 

One night and day — 
24 hours. 

Sepil-Sept.3 92 hours 

Sept. 10 

to Sept. 15 

From September 15 onward "JhT- gave no -further indication 
of r any periods of hibernation, but her appearances in . day- 
time ^continued, more regularly than . previously.- \ With few 
exceptions, she now appeared in' the afternoon , (from 3 p.m. 
onwards) and fed into the night 

[R "jj J Fleay, Breeding of the Platypus in Captivity \t 

'In the 1942 season, when no pairing was observed and evidently 
none took place, "JiUY* habits returned to normal in late October; 
and from the 23rd of that month onwards (the end of Hie 
mating season), she became once more a nocturnal creature, 
sleeping by day and appearing at dusk to feed through the night 

The most interesting observations in this J 943 season, a-s in 
the preceding year at a corresponding time, lay in the prodigious 
spring appetite displayed by the vigorous creature Following 
her three months of on-and-off hibernation, during the intervals- 
of which she die very heartily indeed, she now (from early 
September on) devoted herself to banqueting of a -much more 
intense nature. From ihe lime of her afternoon bow to the 
public (corning out of her own accord) until far into the night 
she devoured grubs, yabbics, beetle larvae, worms, and tadpoles 
with little pause, coming out each and every day. In view of 
the story yet to be told, it will l>e seen that this performance 
was a preliminary storing-up in preparation for the domestic 
activities so close at hand. 

Throughout all these months, "Jawsfc. 1 had inhabited the same 
home and swimming \wo\ H$ "Jill," but he had not been permitted 
to enter her bank of earth. He showed no inclination to hiber- 
nate, did not come out to feed during daylight, and fed as usital 
throughout the nights. I am not inferring that the male platypus 
docs not indulge in periods of winter hibernation. "Jack" ha.v 
never done so, but it must be remembered that he has not been 
permitted' to excavate his own burrows. 'The adult male platypus- 
is also (<& more difficult to observe in the wild state than the 
female, for these big "ol<l men M arc far more suspicious and 
retiring than the females, 

In a long period of observing and capturing platypuses iu 
various Victorian streams ranging from the Western District 
to Gippsland, I have only once managed to hoodwink a fine big 
fellow like "Jack, 71 whereas young males and immature anil. 
fully-gTOwn females are fairly easy game. 

Returning, then, to the mid-September period of 1943 (by 
which lime "Jill" bad ceased her bouts of hibennHion but still 
continued tn feed by day), it happened on the 14th of that 
month, during an afternoon show featuring 'Jack" (who had 
been brought from his "burrow" for display) that ''Jill" slipped 
forth from her tunnels and began begging for special items of 
food. This she 'does by waving her beak jerkily al»ovc the water 
surface and repeatedly emerging from underwater dives in thc 
corner nearest the hand holding the food. Accordingly some 
beetle larvae were proffered to "Jill," who re-acted eagerly by 
clinging to the hai>d that approached her and levering itsAfingcts 
apart with her bill. f* ' • I 

14 FtEAY, BretHinff if the Fi<s4yptu tin Captmly [ y ul G1 

After a lew minutes it was noticed that "Jack" -seized "Jill's" 
tail in a firm grip with his bill and the two animals swam slowly 
in a processional circle. The period between mid*SeptemL>er and 
mid-October was evidently the pairing season, and several 
instances of courting actions with the two animals swimmirvg 
in a processional circle were noted during that lime, '"TflP (as 
previously mentioned) continued her daylight feeding sesstcm>^ 
occasionally varying the procedure by appearances at night. 
Apart, however, from the rather interesting evidence of this 
piay at courting, the first true act of mating was observed on 
October 11. 

During the afternoon fairly heavy rain fell, and at 3.30 p.m. 
"both animals were in the water of their own accord — "Jack" of 
his own volition in broad daylight for the onlv time noted in his 
five years at the Sanctuary. In view of- Mr. Harry Burrell's 
notes .and theories on one use of the platypus spur as a means 
of holding the female during copulation (Burrell, Chapter 7), it 
is worth recording that dunng this act when the animals were 
fast for nearly 10 minutes no spur grip was noted. A good deal 
cf splashing and floundering about occurred, and in the first 
place the male animal doubled his body under while maintaining 
his grip on the female's tail with his bill. 

"Jill" fed on ravenously each day — if anything coming out even 
earlier {about 1 p.m.). On October 18 it was decided to remove 
"Jack" and give him the run of a new eastern section or wing 
£f the platypussary, which was shut off • from "Jill's" western 
quarters. "Jill" became more andmore hungry. She was often 
seen now at 9 am, feeding continuously right through to 9 p.m., 
and for hours after that. Down she would dive time after time 
to weave her blind way about on the bottom seeking palatable 
items, rising then to the surface for a leisurely chewing and 
continual bulging of her cheek-pouches. I supplied her with 
aquatic plants, thinking that green vegetation might he in demand 
at this particular time, but all to no purpose. 

On October 22 her actions were decidedly restless. She had 
for a week or more beforehand changed her entrance hole from 
the water to one leading out on the northern side of the platy- 
pussary, and had excavated a fresh entrance-burrow high up m 
her burrowing, bank. On this day she emerged at mid-day, 
disappeared again at 3 p.m., re-appearcd at 4, and again 
. retired at 6 p m Possibly, in view of her further -activities 
and the amount of earth thrown out, she was working cm the 
nesting chamber at the burrow terminus. ■ ■ , : 

Weighty support for this theory developed on. the following 
d(iy .(October 23). "Jill" was ready to build a nest? ; > 

(To be continued) - ! - -•'; :'.*'. 1 

JJjJ ] C K fc&ftflLU . -Birds ot the ■ Mistletoe i 1$ 


By A. H, Chisholm. j 

Members of the large family of Australia's Honeyeaters (some 
70 in number) manifest among them considerable varicly in size, 
voice, and genera! behaviour. Some are distinctly "unorthodox." 
But the most singular species of them all, perhaps, is the one 
known loosely as the Painted Honeyeater, Grautiella picta, the" 
sole member of its genus It is curious in its distribution, its 
movements, its voice, its general conduct, arid above all m the fact 
that it has forsaken nectar as food — if indeed it ever ivos a 
honey cater — in favour of mistletoe berries.- 

I discussed this singular little bird — it is rather less than six 
inches long — in die Vic. Nat. for December 1940. In that 
article it was shown that John Gould •encountered the 'species 
nesting in the interior of N.S.W. in September 1839, that 
Kendall -Broadbent shot a specimen near Melbourne in the 1850's; 
.and ihat a 'break of many years' duration occurred before the bird 
was again recorded. Eggs were taken at J^athurst in N.SAV. 
ott December 23, 1899, and near Sydney in January 1903, and 
in later years the species was reported spasmodically from some 
few parts of the inrertor of N.5.W., (Queensland, Victoria, and 
(he Northern Territory. It thus became dear that the bird was 
-distributed; but only sparsely, over a wide area of the sub-interior 
of the eastern portion of the continent; ■ 

The points in Victoria where the species has been seen, either 
in small .flocks or pairs, are Carinya (far north-west), Fanvah 
(28 miks north-west of Melbourne), Elihani (15 mdes notth- 
•east of Melbourne). Bendrgo and Maryborough. At Ehh'atri 
Mr. W, C. Tonge first saw a pair and found a nest in 1923/ 
*inrl after that there were two breaks of six years each (to 1929 
ittd 1935) before h$ again saw the birds. At Bendigo the species 
appears to have been first seen in 1925, and since then it has 
been uoted in various springtime*, though not consistently. At 
Maryborough the bird has been seen In several/years since !937> 
not 1939 as stated in my previous article. 

The date oi the first Maryborough record was October 25. 
"Two birds were noted and both were very restless, as though 
in strange country ; moreover they were chased by other birds. 
Whether any members of the species reLumed to Maryborough 
in 1938 I cannot say (1 was abroad then), but two pairs were 
seen there, about two miles apart, -hi November of 1940. 

In the following spring (1941) r as earlv as September 21; I 
.again heard the Painted Honeyeater at Maryborough, by which 
time T*:begat4;Ca regard it as a confirmed,- if 'inconstant, visitor 

!<$ Chismoo.m. Uhds of the Mistletoe lyffifi 

to the district. . Cut- the visitations clearly were only of recent 
occurrence, for certainty the species was not in the district when 
I lived there years ago. Probably, indeed, Ihe restless pair of 
1937 were pioneers in the area, and possibly they were an 
extension of the little colony that had discovered and adopted', 
the Bendigo district in the 1920's 

. Curiously, however, during ten days spent in the Maryborough 
region jh October of '42 I neither saw nor heard a Painted; 
Honeyeater, and this despite the fact that the season was good, 
and many birds (notably the erratic migratory Wood-swallows) 
were breeding. 

A very different story is to be told in relation to the spring of 
'43. In that period a remarkable irruption of Painted Honey- 
eaters occurred near Maryborough Within a week I located at 
least six pairs of the birds at various points close to the town,-, 
and in the same period I found no fewer than six nests nf that 
other lover of the- mistletoe, the brilliant little red-and*blue 
Miattetoe-bird r Dkaeum kirundinateum. (Incidentally, in the* 
same period and the same area I inspected about 30 other 
nests representing IS species, and saw in all some 80 species, 
of birds.) 

To begin with, on October 31 1 wandered on to a hillside near 
the East Maryborough State School. Many years previously, 
when the Mistletoe-bird was uncommon in the district; I had*. 
found my first nest of the species being built in this spot, but 
had been denied knowledge of the complete nest (after having 
sought an example for several years) through removal from 
the district. Other nests of the species had been found in. 
Queensland and N.S.W. in the intervening years, but it was- 
at least refreshing, after a lapse of about a quarter-century, to* 
find my first completed nest of the Maryborough district on the 
site of the original discovery. The nest was situated al a height 
of about Sft. in an ironbark sapling. It was found through the 
activities of the female, who when 1 sat down to watch her 
soon made it clear that I was "parked" fairly alongside the: 
nesting bush. 

Presently, from a spot perhaps .100 yard* away there floated 
through the morning air the voice of a Painted Honeyeater; 
ftnd "Soon afterwards 1 iound the bird upon a hillside thaL carried 
only goats, jam-tins, and ironbarks festooned with mistletoe. 
"Georg-EEE, Georg-EEE, Georg-EEE," the Painted Honeyeater 
called, and then it broke into a rapid "Kow-kow-kow-kaw" and 
notes suggesting the prattling of the Brown Flycatcher. 

After feasting for. a time «n a mistletoe cluster the bird sprang" 
into the air, shot upward, and began its,. wavy, erratic, inconse- 

'UK YKTOkl.W NATURALIST \'«-l. 'j1 

Puytk II 

May. 1W 

s I 


■ ■ < 

Cjmshojlm, Birds o\ the Muthtoc M 

-queniial flight; and as it did so I imitated the "Georg-EEE" 
whistle, upon which it turned quickly and flew to a tree near by, 
vhere the morning sun played upon its dean black-and-white 
body, (lie gold bars of the wings, and the pinkish-red bill. Each 
tfmc the bird launched itself into space, or even after it had 
alighted in a tree some distance away, it came at once in response 
tn an imitation of its call- Evidently it was a solitary specimen 
and was seeking a mate. 

When .about to leave the spot 1 heard again the call of a 
Mistletoe-bird, and, following the flight oi the female, found 
another nest situated at a height of 5ft. in a small ironbark 
"bush. The pretty little purse-Hkc structure contained three, eggs. 

On the following day (Nov. 1) I went to the western fringe 
of the town and immediately found a third Mistletoe-bird's nest, 
(his time a half-built example placed about 10ft. up in an 
ironbarlc sapling. Here, as in the earlier instances, the tell- 
tale factors were the high-pitched chatter of the brilliant little 
male bird and a sighl of the female going to the nest, In this 
spot, too, ! heard and saw another Painted Honcyeater, but one 
lacking; the enthusiasm of the bird of the morning — it only 
occasionally cried "Georg-EEE H and it refused to acknowledge 
imitations of the call. 

» Later in ihc day three local residents accompanied nie o« a 
-visit to the. first "Georgie." and when the bird appeared in 
response to a whistle they greatly enjoyed seeing, with the aid 
-of field-glasses, the dainty little form and the pretty plumage 
lit by the evening sun Subsequently we went on half a mile 
•or so to the Maryborough cemetery and there (through following 
the distinctive., deliberate call) saw another "Georgie' — two in 
fuct, for the first bird was soon joined by a second one and 
they disappeared in company 

Here ii may be .said that the .season was very dry, su much 
?o that agriculture was suffering ("as badly as 1914," said one 
farmer) and not a single orchid could he found flowering in 
the district. As for birds, a fair number of sedentary species 
and Some few visitor* were nesting, buc the two Wood-swallc/W* 
lhat had been abundant m the previous spring— -the White- 
browed and Masked species — were conspicuous by their absence. 
To what extent these conditions affected the Mistletoe-birds and 
Painted Honeyeaters is problematical. The fact «s, however, 
that either in spite or because of the prevailing dryness there 
was an abundant crop <*f berries on the many examples of 
mistletoe, and trie berry-loving birds had rallied to the feasl. 

During the next few days (Nov. 2-6) I encountered at least 
ithree more pairs of Painted Honeyeaters and. found three more 

18 CKrsnncw. Birds «trf ihe Mixttctct [ Jj ti 

nesrs of the Mistletoe-bird. All of the nests were placed in 
tronbark saplings at from 5ft. to 1 Sit Jn one instance the 
huildirtg material was mainly woo), but for the most part it was 
soft vegetable fibre. In all instances the nests were ornamented 
externally (either for camouflage or decoration) with the browi* 
castings of wood-boring caterpillars or the brownish dried fig- 
ments of dry heads of flowers. The colour- fancy of little 
Dicoeum, it would appear, tends strongly to brown, since 
decorations of the kind ate freely used by the species. 

A. question that puzzled me was this ; Why were the Mistletoe- 
birds nesting in advance of the Fainted Honeyeaters? Was it 
because the bulk of the berries were not yet ripe and the supply 
was not sufficient to satisfy the needs of the larger birds? On 
the other hand, it is possible that snnie at least of the Painted 
Honeyeaters were breeding. Close searching, >t is 'rut, failed 
to reveal a nest, but discovery is much more difficult in this 
rase than that of the Mistletoe-bird. 

In any event the failure did not trouble me unduly ; there 
was sufficient recompense in watching the beautiful ttltle- 
VHoneyeaters" feasting and preening and flying, and in listening 
1o the "Gcorg-EEE" and other curious calls. Almost every 
example located was right on the fringe of the town (in one 
instance the bird flew over houses in West Maryborough to reach 
a: cluster of mistletoe in an ironbark growing in a bade yard), 
and so the making of visits was an easy matter. Indeed, when 
news of the birds' presence was circulated quite a number of 
Maryborough citizens — Otherwise more or less normal — 
discovered themselves to be potential ornithologists- So did 
ceiraiu visitors from Melbourne, including three resolute women 
who serve as Manpower officials. In these excursions it was- 
the "Georgic" first found — the bird that always responded to a 
call — together with the pretty Mtstletoc-bird\s nest near by, that 
provided most entertainment. The Manpower ladies offered atv 
assurance that the sight and sound of "Georgie'* afforded a 
pleasant and novel contrast to their usual experiences! 

The first definite indication of breeding on the part of the 
Painted Honeyeaters was gained on Nnv. 6. We (a few local 
residents had joined in the hunt) inspected two Mistletoe-birds' 
nests on the south-eastern edge of the town and heard Painted 
Honeyeaters in the same paddock; and then we went on a mile 
or so to a spot where I had heard "Georgle" in November of 
1940. Sure enough, the familiar cry arose again and two birds 
were seen flying to a large Yellow Box in wTnch they (or others- 
of their kind) had been seen disporting four years previously. 
Although very restless they returned to the tree again and 

*" ] CuisitflLM. Birds 0} the Mistletoe 19 

again, and each time the female entered a cluster of pendulous 
leaves at a height of about 30ft. and squatted there for a white- 
When the birds were at a distance the "Georg-REK" cry and 
the "Kow-kow-kow-kaw' v were freely uttered (I cannot say 
whether both birds or only the males use these calls), but tfhea 
the big tree was approached a strange purring note was added 
to the repertoire. 

Using two pairs oE strong field-glasses, wc peered up at that 
IcaTy duster uniil our necks ached. BttL wc did not see a nest. 
It scerr.ed clear that the little cradle was not yet built or was 
so flimsy as to be indiscernible from, the ground. At this stage 
I had to return to Melbourne, so 1 asked Mr. S. C. Nicol, town 
clerk of Maryborough, to waLch developments. . 

Two months later (Jan. 5) Mr. Nicol came to Melbourne with 
a report that in the intervening period the nuihbers of Painted 
Honeyeaiers in the district had increased, possibly through the 
emergence of young ones, ''Georg-REF/' he .said, was the 
dominant note in bush areas on the outskirts of the town. He 
said, too, that Mistletoe-birds were still abundant, but of the six 
nests wc had found only one survived — one or two apparently 
were wrecked by boys and the others had been torn open at the 
back, presumably by bird-raiders of some kind, ft fate that often 
overtakes the builders of small suspended nests. 

Moreover Mr. Nicol brought with him a neat of die Painted 
Honeyeater, the first example found in the district It was 
recovered from the spot on the Majorca Road where we bfrd 
acquired neck-aches on Nov. 6, The birds had been seen at 
the site frequently in following days, and, after allowing ample 
time for the young to he reared, Messrs. Nicol and PheJan had 
climbed the tree, cut the nesting branch, and lowered it -with 
a rope. 

The nest surprised me. Joint Gould, who found an example 
containing young in September, L839, hail described it as "the 
frailest structure possible'; later observers bad made similar 
comments, and a nest- which I saw near Sydney in 1932 had 
seemed very flimsy. This Maryborough example, too, was 
very sketchy — a remarkable contrast to the closely- woven purse-, 
like nest of the Mistletoe-hird — but it was by no means frail. 
Suggesting lace or net-work in general appearance, it was a fine 
little cup consisting of- numerous fibrous threads attached to no 
fewer than 22 branchlets. The binding material was mainly 
spidcr-webbing. but here and there a glutinous spot suggested 
lhat, either deliberately or fortuitously, the jelly from mistletoe 
berries had also been used^ In all instances the supporting' 
threads 'were firmly attached and at the base of the nest fibre 

had been woven into a solid foundation for the eggs and young. 
,i Possibly this nest improved on the average (Mr. Tonge says 
that his specimen of 1923 consisted -merely of a few dry grass- 
stems and two or three small dead leaves), but certainty tt was, 
in spite oi its "open-work" nature, a strongly-built little cradle. 
Incidentally,, a glance at this nest showed clearly the reason 
iSpJty Fainted Honeyeaters always build among pendulous 
branchk-ts and slender leaves, such as the "needles" of Casuarinas, 
the fine. leaves of- Melaleucas, and the slender leaves and twigs 
of Eucalypti? of the type of the Yellow Box, Situations of this 
kind arc necessary for the weaving of the delicate nest. 

This history of the Maryborough irruption of 1943-4 ends 
with summer Mr. Nicol tells me that he examined the environ* 
of (he town thoroughly at the end of February, but, although 
Mislletoe-birds were still to be heard, he could neither see nor 
hear a single Painted Honeyeater. 

"Where have they gone?" Mr. Nicol asked: and I could only 
reply, in the modern phrase, "Search rue!" I assume, however, 
that all those "Georgies 1 " of the Maryborough district reared 
at least one brood to each pair, and that when the suppJy of 
berries became exhausted they collected their young and made 
oft towards some indefinite point in the northern interior. 

Thnr. aside, there are other questions relating to the Painted 
Honeyeater that I cannot answer. Here are some of them: 

Assuming that the species was once a true .honeyeater, what 
caused it to turn to mistletoe berries? Bearing in mind thai 
Gould saw specimens catching insects on die wing, and that this 
practice has not since been reported, is it to be supposed that 
the mistletoe-caring habit has developed, or at least become more 
confirmed, during the last century? Where does the specie* 
spend itsr'mc when not visiting southern N.S.W. and/or Victoria? 
What causes- it to be so. erratic in its movements and how arc 
those movements regulated? Assuming* that the fruiting of 
mistletoe is the decisive factor, how do the birds "know" from 
a distance whether the season is or is not favourable? 

Additional questions arise from reflecting, upon the behaviour 
of the Other eater of mistletoe-berries, little Diaieum, Firstly. 
in view of the fact that this specie?; may be seen in Victoria 
during winter, should it be regarded as more adaptable in its 
food-rastes than "Ccorgie"' ? Secondly, recalling that the 
Mistletoe-bird's nest is the more accessible and open to danger, 
why is the tiny bird the better stabilised and more* widespread, 
of the two species? - Should we assume, that the semi-migratory 
movements of the "Painteds' affect their chances : of survival? 
Thirdly, what significance, if. any, is to be. attached- to. the fact 

jJ5Jj CiuSHot.M, Birds of the Mistletoe 21 

that both these caters of mistletoe berries arc amongst the most 
heautiJuf of all our birds? 

Other questions again arise From recent events. Since the 
"Pamteds" were not in the Maryborough district until about 
1937. and then only scantily, what factor or factors caused them 
to discover the district as a good feeding-ground tri 1943, and 
what factor or factors caused mistletoe to flourish to a degree 
sufficient to warranl a company visit of the kind? Further to ihe 
same point (;ind possibly botanists can answer this question), fn 
view of the fact that " Paint eds" were not at Maryborough in the 
hi«h springtime of : 42> but were in record abundance in the dry 
springtime of '43, arc we to assume that mistletoes fruit best in 
dry seasons? 

Finally, there is the question of a name. John Gould called 
the bird "Painted Honeyeatcr" because of its pretty colouring 
snd because its general characters (noted in skins seen before 
he left England) showed it 10 be related to the Honeyeatcr 
family. But Gould did not know — although he suspected the 
species to differ in some respects from true Honeyeatcrs — that 
the bird was an eater of mistletoe berries; and now that the 
point is well established the. term "Haneycater" becomes 
anomalous. What then should the species he called*'' "Mistletoe 
Honeycater" will not do, "Mistletoe bird" is preoccupied. In 
fact, if the word "Mistletoe" is to be used in the title of the 
"painted" bird, it will probably be necessary to find a "Christian" 
name for the present Mistlctoe-binl 

Arc there any suggestions to be offered? For ils Own part, 
the gay little Grantiella pkta, like the bird that "tells lis name 
1o all the hills/' is quite assured on the point — it calls itself 


Tsow a word to the Australians, particularly to those who are interesunfr 
themselves about acclimatizing animals from other countries — wishing for 
things they have not and neglecting those they possess. At Avhat cross 
purposes are we playing both in Europe and Australia? — in England a 
ptioe is put upon the head of the Sparrow, while in Australia rewards arc 
offered lor its introduction; but on this subject I must content myself bv 
praying that protection may be afforded to that noble bird, the Emu, fin 
order that it may not he extirpated from the con tin en t 4 as H nearly has 
been from Tasmania, where, I hear, it would require a month's search, in 
the most remote parts of trie island before one could sec any of the few 
that arc still living ther-ron. How much will the loss of this fine bird be 
regretted by every right-minded person who daiin* Tasmania as his father- 
land r*t handbook t>t the Birds of Australia, Vol, II, p. 202, published 1865. 

22 "7%* Orchitis o\ New Swth Waits" Pvd/eY' 


The Rev. H. M. R Kupp has eclipsed hi* handy Guide to the Orchids of 
New Sowh lV(dts (L930) by a much more pretentious work bearing the 
above, .title and the date December, 1943. As ajt honorary member ot the 
Sydney. National Herbarium staff, to Mr. Rupp has been entrusted the 
honour of producing this first pan of the projected Flora of New South 
W'tites. We warmly congratulate both the author and the Herbarium en 
what is probably the finest piece of monographic^ botany to issue from 
an .Australian press this century. 

The honk is a 368-page octavo volume in red cloth, obtainable from the 
Chief Botanist National Herbarium. Botanic Gardens, Sydney, for 9/6- 
It* set-up- <s excellent, the introduction being informative hut not unwieldy, 
the* headings of genera and species in bald, heavy type, the keys simple. 
well spaced and, abovt all, -workable. Full citation and synonymies accom- 
pany every 3pecies described, and "there is date on the known distribution 
within New South Wales, with flowering times indicated anainst each 
locality collection Occasional notes as to pollination are given, and 
intricate problems in nomenclature are discussed throughout The final 
section of the book is- devoted to a dictionary of impersonal specific and 
varietal epithets, a sfossary of botanical forms as affecting the Orthidteeae. 
and- a complete index embracing synonyms. 

The systematic arrangement follows that of PfitzeT in the main, which 
iv a reversal of the order usually adopted in Australian floras (with 
epiphyte* at the beginning and the tribe Nccttibtoc last J. Most of the ?4 
full-page line drawings are the work of Mr. G, V. Scarnmell and attain a 
very high order of merit, recalling those lithographic masterpieces of 
Elume and contemporary Dutch artists. 

Out o$ a total fll 2S3 species (25 iri excess of what Bentbam described 
for the titkblt of AvSir&lw in 1873). there ace only two at which we feci 
inclined to level criticism, viz., Plervst'ytis sqwntntix and P. Boonnonii 
sp. nov. The description under the former name applies to what we regard 
as typical F. rufn. whereas the latter is surely a re-description ot true 
P. SQUOwuifa. Specific nink lias been £tven to certain entities which Vic- 
torian orchidoioguts would merge with older species as mere variants, but 
that is where the individual tastes of specialists will always deviate, and so 
lonjj as a group oi plants can be recognized as different, even under 
varying edaphie Conditions, w« shall not object to their having a distinctive 
name, panicularjy if so designated by one of Mich lung neld experience 
and outstanding ability as Mr. Rupp, 

The O/tmds of Nzzv Smith Wales is likely to be a scientific reference 
work for generations to come and an indispensable asset to the serious 
student of Qrchtdac?ae anywhere in Australasia- 

W. H. NiciioLLS and J H Wtu,is. 


Twice while staying: at Sorrento we saw a larc-i? number of starlings 
flying high over the dunes, with ^. hawk in pursuit. Massed into a 
living balloon they flew as one bird. Occasionafly the hawk dived into 
and scattered the cluster, winch re- formed again and again. EvcrUu.oMy ( 
his object probafclv acliic-ved, he was shaken oft and tve lost litem in the 
Wue diswnce. Is it possible that the starlings first united to attack 
the hawk'' In the garden one often sees small bird* in force attacking the 
frogntoiMh or the kookaburra and even the magpie. — EtirrH Coleman. 

uw< J Kwskaw, John fjfiadbnaU^i of iht MnisonarMiwam 23 


T read with much interest the account of John Leadbeatet's ear]y histoty 
as given-by H. M. WhiUell in the March issue of the Viciwion-N.atiaviilxxr, 
and as I was associated wait him for a few years prior ic* his.dcariv m 
1888, the following facts may be of additional interest 

Just when Leadbeater arrived in Melbourne .is uncertain, .but m a 
Melbourne- Directory- ior 185*>7 appears the firm, -of Williams- & •Jkiud- 
beater, Natural bts t 107 Queen Street. The- firm was apparently .short- 
hved as it did ncit appear in later issues. 

John L^a<\b«tler was appointed taxidermist to the Museum .in tSSfi and 
held that position ior about 30 years. He was recognized .as an excellent 
taxidermist ami keenly interested in hit work, the result* of which were 
to lie seen in the: iuie collections oi mounted raanutfcib;, birds, fLihesv. «tc, 
then on public exhibition. Many examples of his skill may dtfIL be; seen 
in the gulfcrics and cabinet ?Win collection*. Although from Major 
WhitteU's account he collected "for the London House" in all branches of 
natural fustoiy, he did not appear to have undertaken much, H any, active 
neld work during his association with the Museum. He was, however, 
instrumental in acquiring for the Museum numerous r^pec inif ns, many of 
which at that time were little known or new to the collections 

I- think I am correct Irt statinc- that he married a Miss Peters, whose 
father lived for malty years at Western Fort, and tc was through the latter 
that he obtained from time to time many of the smaller mArnrnVis ( and 
particularly hirxk, from that locality, including the hitherto unknown and 
still very rare marsupial GymtiQbelidcu'; {ciidhc&lcri. His chief hobby w*$ 
birds, a luunuet* of which he kept in his aviary, and among these he 
succeeded in breeding the kmg and swamp quail. 

My recollection ot John LcadbeatcT is of one of good appearance and 
oi a genial and kindly disposition. 
^Thomas Leadbeater, a relative, was appointed assistant taxidermist in 
1882. His health was very unsatisfactory -and he died oo 22ad September, 
1884.— Jas. A. Kershaw- 

Alter reading the article 'ibout John Lcadhealer ~in the Wc AM. for 
March, 1 examined a case of birds we have had »n ot»r pf>sse5$ion for 
some years. On the tack is a >w»U advertisement meas>iriuc '3- x 4 inches, 
* fating under the Royal Coat oi Arms: "John Leadbcater, Ornithologist 
to Her Majesty and the Royal Family," followed hy his address, 19 
Brewster St.. Gokltn Square, London. On the left are the words:' "Birds 
preserved, eolteetiows arranged"; on the right; "Manufacturer of orna- 
mental cases and cabinets" Across the top is written in neat handwriting: 
"John 1-eadheater, Mtlh.< Australia," and "son of' is written between the 
Royal Coat of Arms nnd the name John l.eadbeater. The case, which 
js very heavy, measures about 4 feet hiffh— 2fl x 38 inches wide, and 
ronubis 29 birds, 2 nests and eg£S.— M. £. JB. I/reame, Glenferrie. 

While on a visit to Portland recently- fnend of mine was fishing 
oft the pier when a large turtle warn into v*pw- ft was accompanied 
by several black-and-white striped fish, which ket>t the satire telarive 
positionv whenever the turtle altered its cotitse, i.e., lo itach side and 
just below It. its width was estimated at at least 4 feet. Surely this 
is* an unusual record fo: so far south?.—!*"* Watson. 

24 .SVtViWV Conference in H*c \ vU. jtn' 


Tlit F.M.C.V., iu conjunction wilh fifteen other representative scientific 
societies has patdcipatcd in or^anizinp a four-day conference on the 
"Planning or Science.'* to ha held, at the University Union ThcalTu on 
June 6, 8, 30, and 11. Admittance to one or all sessions is 2/- and 
ai tendance is open to the general public. 

The aims of the conference deserve your warmest support and aie 
briefly ; — 

1. Critical examination of science in Australia, 

2. Policy for organizing science lo meet immediate and t>ost-w£tf needs. 

3. Ways and means for implementing 1l"»c scientific utilization of all 
out natural resources. 

4. Promotion of applied science for the common R-ood. 

5. Provision of a unified voice to etpftjfa conclusions and an 
organisation to achieve the above aims, 

Some \6 addresses and lecturottrs will be given by scientific specialists; 
followed by discussion periods, and will embrace such topics at the 
structure of science in Australia, the making of n scientist, the planning 
of research, post-war reconstruction, and the application of science to 
primary and sticondary industries, Simultaneous conferences are to be 
held in New South Wales and South Australia. 

Further details may be obtained from the secietarv or assistant editor 
of the F.N.C 


Mr. C J. (VabrloL — All 1hc Teredo specks of Victoria 

Mr. A. H. Mattiaffley. — Fruit of the Qoanrlongr, Santalum acmmnafam. 

Miss Lyndon —Skull of the hawlcsbill turtle from Whitsunday Is. 

Mr. A. N. Cartel^— Specimens of molluscs from Western Port showing 
various parasitic marine growths; also specimens of the cow fish, 
{Araaina flavigutfra) from Flinders, Vic., similar to those featured 3q 
Wild Ufa for April, 1944. 

Miss G- Auchteilunie. — A number of ffarden-grown native plants, 
including BlUardinra longiftora (purple apple-berry), Solatium avieutanc t 
tpaens lottyt flora and Melaleuca nesopkih. 

Mr. F. S. Colliver. — Specimens of the Target Victorian fossil sharks' 
teeth, including Carcharad&n megahdon, Isurjis hastalis; Lamna afriwfata, 
Isurux rettoflc.ra> etc. (All Tertiary in ase.) 

Messrs, H. C. E, Stewart, J,.H, Willis, Mrs. M. EL Freame and others, 
— Object* from the Easter Saturday excursion to Seaholmc. including 
live spiders and crabs, sbcJU, and plants of the salt-marsh ; with flowers, 
breathing roots, and a scctJHng' ni White Mangrove (Aviecnsiia mitrina). 

Mr. Owen Singleton. — Fronds of Victoria's latest' fern rec0.rd> 
Drybpietis pennigerdj from Sherbroolce River, wesL oi fcfie Otways (Jan ( 

Mr; Frank Kitchen, a Boyanup farmer, reports that-lwo large Wedge- 
tailed Eagles (evidently from a distant district) some two or three 
weeks ago visaed his farm and carried off one of his sucking pigs. The 
meat was evidently acceptable " to the birds' palates for despite Mr 
Kitchen's constant vigilance they returned from time to tunc and carried 
off seven more of hi3 young pigs. — West, Perth, 29/3/44. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 6 j. —No. 2 June (s 1944 No. 726 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on Monday, May 8, 
1944, at the Royal Society's Hall, where the President (Mr. 
P. F. Morris) and about 300 members and friends attended. 
Among other visitors, Mr. Hanson, of New South Wales, and 
Staff Sgt. Reynolds (U.S. forces) were made welcome. 

Excursion reports were given as. follow. Frankston, Mr, P. 
Bibbv and Mr. A. C. Frostick; Balwyn Wild Life Sanctuary, Mr. 
A. S. Chalk. 

The following; were elected as ordinary members: Mrs. Pratt, ' 
Mrs. A. E. Holland, Miss Violet Fletcher; a* country member: 
Mr. G Ashmore; and as associate members: Mr. H. ft- Shaddock 
.and Mr. Bruce Salau. 

Nominations for office -bearers, 1944-45, were received as hcre- 
undei I — President: Mr. Ivo C, Hammel. Vice-Presidents: 
Messrs. H. C H. Stewart, J. H. Willis. Hon. Editor r Mr A. H. 
Chisholm. Hon. Secretary: Mr. F. S. • Colli ve.r. lion. Asst. 
Sccrcrary: Miss Nance Fletcher. Hon. Treasurer: Mr. E. E. 
Lord. Hon, Librarian : Mr. D. Greenwood. Hon. A sit. 
Uhraiian: Mr, A. Burke. Members of Committee ; Messrs. A. S. 
Out Ik. H. P Dickins, P. Crosbie Morrison, R. G. Painter. G, N f 
Hyam, H. T. Reaves. Hon. Auditors: Messrs. A. S- Chalk and 
A. G. Hooka 


An illustrated lecture was given by Mr. P. Bibby, who dealt 
with the ancestry, distribution, classification, habits, and economic 
importance of this large .southern group of plants. Typical repre- 
sentatives of the various tribes and sub-tribes were portrayed by 
a fine series of coloured slides, and many instructive and interest- 
ing facts imparted to the audience. Following are some questions 
raised at the conclusion of Mr. -Bibby's (address: 

1. tMr. H. C. E, Stewart) What are tlie largest and smallest ineml>frs 
nl Myrta<rcae in Australia? Answer: Etuaiyphts r<:c,M}i's fa the largest 
tttfl probably a species of Bacck<>a would be lite smallest. (B, rricaca of 
ftUt V"ictnn<ui Mailer is a midget plant, often only 3 inches high,) 

2. (Mr. Gates.) What is the oldest type of Euralypt still living* 
Answer: "Pos-sibly one of chviocro^setosa group, occurring in North Aus- 
tralia, bm confirmatory foafol evidence is required, 

3. (Mr. C. J. Gabriel.) What is the difference between CW/ufvwon and 
ji/rautftirftf Ansnw: Both, genera often exhibit the 'ViUle-bntsh" tyf»c ul 

26 Notes on Scrubwcvs Uv***' 

iufivrescciKx, but hi the tanner the vctj long stamens are always ttH\ 
whereas In Melaleuca iltey arc shorter and united m five bundles opposite 
the petals. 

4. Would not some species of Kunzca be better classed under LcfiiC' 
sfwriHtim? AllSWtfA Kvnsta is distinguished from LcptospctmuT^ by its 
exscrtrri stamens and closely sessile flowers, but Certain sureties lave 
intermediate characteristics and botanists arc yet l>y no means in, agreement 
js to then* systematic statu?. (As late as December Ja$t Mr, Edwm Chcel, 
former Government Boiiuisr o( New Soitth Wales. transferred the common 
"Burgao" from Kunrca to the genus JLc plotter mm ti ) 


iMrs. E. E. Ffeame: Young stages of Goby, Cobbler, Gaiumarus and 
Shown from Allona, 

Mr. Owen Singleton: Fossil frtflfc from the open cwt •M Yallourn 

Mr, Eric Muir: Olccnia rmmtlosa, 0. florUrunda and a Leek Orchid 
(Prostphytium fmco-vmdc) from Dimboola, Vic. 

Mr V. H. VI tiler Magnificent specimen of Cyuthidium Trra-cyuHtttH with 
three flowering spikes. 

Mr. Alan Carter: Specimens of Victorian marine shells of the lamil.v 

\1t. C J. Gabriel. Marine shells (Cmdium testatum, Linn) from Cbnta, 

Mr. Tom Griffiths: W a tern Fern, Asotfa ffl teutonics, yftfli ?tlbN( f from 
Victoria. (Species also found in all eastern States and Nr-w 2can»nri.) 

Mr. A. H. Matttngley: Edible fungus, 'Inky Cap" (Cvprintts atxawcnt~ 

Mr. P. Fiscii; So-called 'Petrified T^a-tree" from Black Reach at Rye. 
shells (King's Macrocallista, Circular Doskiia. Frilled Ventrxd) from 
Kusdmd ; variations of common mushrooms, and a small Garlic fungus 
(Marastnius alhahts) from Kooitung Creek, Doucastcr 

Mr.J H Wills (I) Coral Lichen (Cindmua rcUfutra) and lata autumn 
witdflowers from Ccrirnadai district, including Ihe five orchids Pterosty-ttx 
parxiflara, P. rvvalnla. P. MirfwM, Atfowlhm ctsct'tus and EriachHui 
a*r.uflQhtt. (2) Nvrorifa, a parasitic, fish louse, common On the gills of 
fiat head. 


It is nsualK supposed that the mam material of the lies) qE the "Dcvil- 
bird" {Yellow-throated Scrub-wren) iS black rootlets, but it is really the 
hatichair fungus. 1 mentioned one dity to my son thai ) did not know 
what the rootlet* belonged to because on many kinds of plants these 
black horscbair-like growths could be found A few days later he came 
home fTom the jungle and said the material was a fungus, and l«c 
brought some minute, mushroom-tike heads on the black roots. Under 
Ihe microscope they were perfect little mushroom lieads w<lh gills, but 
about the size ot an ordinary pin's head and btown in colour, 1 took 
a nest and some of 1 1 »c rootlets growing on twigs into town to the 
Naturalists' Clyb meeting, and was told thai the material was horsehair 

The other day I found in tin: jungle three nests of the "Devil-bird'' 
and two were occupied by Large-billed $crtuV wrens, Serirornu 
vwfjmroslfrs One was cherishing three pretty grey eggs and the other 
was feeding three babies. These ladies certainly arc getting worvc in 
ilieir lazy housekeeping ways. But why waste a. good Jiome? SliouW they 
build homes of their own when ready-made ones were available? — Hilda 
Cu*7is> Tamborimr Mountain, Queensland. 

J une '1 

1944 J 

Coleman, The Mountain Grasshopper 



By Edith Coleman, Blackburn, Victoria 

During the past few years it has not been possible for me to 
visit the haunts of the Mountain-grasshopper {Acridopcza reticu- 
lata), whose life history I have previously described (FJV., June 
and Nov., 1938). Having recently spent three weeks at Sorrento 
in close proximity to large numbers, I am able to confirm my 
suggestion that they feed on ragwort, which is all too abundant 
in the locality. 

One finds isolated specimens in other parts of Sorrento, but 
they are numerous only where the ragwort abounds, and here 
one may see them actually eating out little bights and bays along 

the margins of the leaves. 
Indeed the ragged appearance 
of the ragwort betrays their 
presence. In a natural state I 
have seen them eating no 
other plant. 

Although late in the season, 

there were many males — once 

thought to l>e rare. I counted 

Adult female, resting on the ground, 35 Qne evcn ing. I saw onlv 

elytra closely folded over her body, 1 1 1 __ " 

resembles a clod of earth, or crumpled one ^V^S and t1() larvae ' 

leaves, (Protective coloration.) Most of the females appeared 

heavy with eggs. I watched 
closely, but saw none deposited. Only two adult females were 
seen on tea-tree stems, where one might expect to find eggs, and 
these appeared to be merely sleeping. Scores were basking, or 
roaming on the ground. It seems probable that eggs may be 
dropped at random among leaves and twigs. 

On the other hand, they are covered with viscid matter which 
suggests that they should be found glued to stems or twigs, just 
as they adhere to the cage of domesticated specimens. 

The ragwort had fruited, its hairy achenes had all dispersed, 
leaving great masses of straw-coloured corymbs of empty disks, 
on stems up to 4 feet in height- Here early one morning were found 
many females, at an hour when bird appetites are sharp. I found 
a few specimens with the fleshy abdomen missing. Yellow robins, 
grey thrushes and other insect-eating birds frequented the spot. 
At a footfall, or the gentlest touch on the ragwort, the insects 
dropped to the ground. This beetle-like dropping must be of 
great survival value. One touch by an investigating bill and the 
insect is lost among the debris below. Unless the bill is open 

Coleman, The Mountain Grasshoppe 

fVfct. Nat. 

L voj. a 

widely enough to get a good grip, I think few birds would succeed 
in taking them. Doubtless some are caught when moving slowly 
over the ground. If motionless they are almost invisible. The 
males were usually low down on the stems where leaves were dead 
or dying, and harmonized perfectly with their colours. 

It was interesting to note in the females great variation in 
colour, some being g reen wi th grey , others grey with green 
markings. It seems possible that the insect is able to change 
her colour to fit changing environment. 

Among the females were five without any trace of elytra, the 
wasp-like colours being fully exposed. They seemed just as 
comfortable as the others, merely dropping when alarmed in the 

manner of the rest. There is 
rnever any hopping or leaping 
a! any stage of their develop- 

• »ne is impressed by the 
pcrlevtion of the mi- pro- 
tective adaptations in this 
foflOCt, perhaps rmc f M 
i -i remarkable in the world. 
Motionless on the ground, 
v^ uti elytra closed over her 
UTriiVing colours, the female 
jp | » r. ictically invisible. At a 
touch, up go 

touch - me - now - if - you - dare 
chaUuige, which of course is 
Elytra raised to show wasp-like P«re bluff— no more harmless 
colours, threatening to use a sting creature exists, 
which she docs not possess. (Mimicry) t ^ w some straw-coloured 

lusni one iti Iter 'ear/' httl l«rlnw the _.- i, - ca ^^ „^ „ QP . OJ ,j ir 

stick-insects so perfectly 

camouflaged on the corymbs 
of empty ragwort disks that 
they were only betrayed by movement. I brought some of the 
scapes to Blackburn and placed them in the cage with my stick- 
insects. Next day every "stick" resting on the ragwort disks had 
changed its colour to harmonize with its new surroundings. 

From Ca&sells Illustrated Family Paper, 15th October, !859: — 
Three hundred sparrows, carefully selected from the best hedgerows 
in England, have been lately sent to New Zealand, The food alone put 
on board for them cost il8. The necessity of small birds to keep down 
the grubs that devastate the crops in that colony has long been felt 
The farmer is beset by myriads of caterpillars. Should the sparrows 
become acclimatized and multiply, the greatest benefit will have been 
conferred on the count ly. 

aST] Fi-eav, &raedi*Q of ibe Ptatyfiu* in Captivity » 


By David Fleay, B.Sc v Dip.Ei>... 
Director, Badger Creek Sanctuary, HeatesviUe 

Part 2 

That day of October, when "JilT showed so clearly that she 
was intent on nesting* was a memorable occasion. A considerable 
number of visitors was present at the time, and what a treat was 
afforded them! However, probably not one spectator realized the 
unique nature ot the proceedings. 

"Jill/' clearly, was not inclined to teed. She appeared to be more 
interested in making* repealed snatches at a leaf fragment in 
the water. I gathered a handful of dry eucalypt leaves and 
dropped tli em in the water. Immediately the lively little animal 
seized upon them with her bill. With feverish energy she ducked 
her beak below and under her body, at the same time bending 
and tucking her tail forward so that the leaf became held tn a 
neat tail-grip almost identical with the mode employed by both 
nesubuiioing ring tailed possums and possum-gliders of the 
genus Petavrus. 

Again and again leaves were transferred below water to the 
grip of the tail, and as the bulk grew the platypus's hind feel 
were used to kick the bundle back into a more compact roll. It 
was a most ania2ing sight, and I have often, figuratively speaking; 
kicked myself since for not talcing photographs. All thought of 
food forgotten (which, in a platypus of ** JilVs" calibre, was 
unprecedented), the little nest-builder swam towards her northern 
burrow entrance again and again with her tightly-held leaf 
bundle, and scuttled inside, There was no hesitation. She had 
a job to do and she went straight to it Through the wooden 
burrows and then up the burrowing bank she could be heard 
rustling along with her loads., and then in a few minutes out she 
came for more. From 3.30 p.m. until goodness knows what 
hour she worked a continuous "shuttle service.'* Food was 
disregarded entirely. We had provided a veritable floating raft 
of leaves- 

I saw her a number of times during the evening; and when 
last inspected at half an hour past midnight she was still nest- 
making! Leaf material was her object, but -wisps of grass in the 
water also were gathered, A second important habit, tcvealed 
at this time, apart front the actual method of gathering and 
carrying material, was the fact dial all of it was taken from tire 
water.- Wooden burrows through which "Jill" travelled con- 
tained leaves and grass, bul this was entirely by -passed. Even 

30 Flea*. Breeding of she Platypus m Captivity (_ v<A. ei 

leaves dropped from her tail-bundles in the burrows were not 
picked up. All nesting material was chosen thoroughly wet 
in the water. This fact has definite significance. Burrell (Page 
180) Quotes Kershaw as saying that mere exposure of platypus 
eggs to dry air produces denting in a few minutes. Mr. Burrell 
also suggests that it is the necessity for a moist atmosphere 
over the incubation period that is part of the reason for the 
pugging of the burrow. 

"Till" has shown that the nest itself is made originally entirely 
of thoroughly wet stuff, and it can be. imagined that leaves and 
<tfher materia! collected by wild fe^aJe platypuses would be in 
<m even more thoroughly soaked state than those we threw in 
for "Jilt" on the afternoon of October 23. The thickness of 
the nest in a platypus nesting chamber, plus its damp nature 
and the pugging habit, would undoubtedly provide, for soine 
little time, the moist atmosphere mentioned by Mr. BurrelL 

The afternoon and night of October 23 saw the beginning and 
the completion of ?f JilPfl?* nesl-buiJdmg— a typical example of 
ihc restless nervous enctgy of our duckbilled oddity. On the 
following day she emerged at 3 p.m. with l>o further leaf- 
gathering ambitions, and chewed away continuously far into the 
night. This and the following day were the last two days before 
retirement. It should be understood that a very special diet had 
been accorded her for some time, consisting of prodigious 
fjuantities of beetle Tarvae, tadpoles, young yabbies (fresh-water 
crayfish) and earthworms of several species. 

Again on October 25 "Jitf- appeared— on this occasion at 
10.30 ajn. — to feed ravenously and continuously. On both these 
days she appeared shy and disinclined for any form of frolicking, 
which was so frequently her custom when I paid her a visit. 
At dark on the 25th,. after an all-day feeding session, she 
retired. That was her final disappearance for the incubation 
period, and it seems reasonable to assume that the first at least 
of her eggs (one or more in number) was laid during that night 
—for her period of preparation and feeding had ended and 
now £he was reatfy down to business. It should be recalled at 
this point that just a fortnight had elapsed since the only observed 
instance of mating had occurred. 

At the time of her withdrawal from public affairs ''Jill 1 * was 
both fat and well. The number of pugs placed in the burrow. 
thus Mocking the brooding animal in her nesting chamber. cOuW 
not of course be ascertained, but that she was in the habit of 
carrying out these activities was revealed later when finery- 
worked dry earth (which, as Mr. Burrell remarks, slips through 
the fingers like flour) came to light along the course of the 
opened burrow. 

ImJ VutAY, Brtcxhng of the f fol^tf k C&ptknty 3t 

Day after day r passed by and night succeeded night .will) n£ 
sign of "JiBF — no food was touched and the water of her long; 
swimming poet remained as clear as crystal. Imagine our 
excitement' 1 could feel it in my bones that at long last, after 
all the years of endeavour, luck had turned and "Jill" was curled 
up below ground in die peculiar upright ball so typical oi" her 
kind, White reposing in her lap were the precious eggs (one, two 
or three) comparable in sue with those nE a sparrow. 

The earliest sign ot a re-appearance by rr JiBL" was evidence 
that during the early morning hours, of October 31 she bed 
pushed away grass arranged in the nesting burrow "doorway," 
She had defaecated in the water, but no food had been touched, 
nor was the water stirred up. -The animal was not seen, and 
evidently she had simply rome in and out for the purpose of 
wetting her fur and defalcation. This emergence was on the 
sixth night following five full days and nearly six nights of 

- On the next occasion "Jill" appeared — Novanber 1, at Z 
p.m. — she stayed out for just half an hour She appeared 
unusually timid* For the whole of this tune she rolled and swam 
about in die water, making no definite attempt to feed, but con- 
centrating stiongty on toilet-scratching of her fur with her hind 
fce.f, and combing her flanks and lower hack; an<l fur the first 
occasion in the many times she had been watched at this process 
her combing extended i»<0 the abdominal region in what might 
he termed the pouch or mammary area. ' Perhaps this region 
was matted owing to the stickiness of the eggs when- first laid: 
or, again, perhaps the stimulus of developing milk glands caused 
"Jill" to scratch so continuously at this spot. 

During the brief half hour of her outing, she kept her beaJ< 
"pointing anxiously towards her burrow entrance and was never 
far from it. Her outing obviously had a four-fold purpose: 
(a) a wetting, (b) exercise, (c) a cleansing of her fur, (d) defal- 

Following her rcuirn she could plainly be heard scratching 
through arid replacing pugs in h<?r burrow. Hei third outing 
took p];jcc during the early morning hours of November 3 r 
sometime between 1 a.m. and dawn. There was little, if any, 
evidence of ■ feeding — and again the excursion was almost 
certainly a matter of defaecation, fur-wetting, and brief exercise. 

On' account of the considerable loss of coudilion noticed in 
tht- animal over this period, as distinct from her appearance- 
following winter absences,, added to the forerunning preparatory 
pe-riod when she built up her reserves, I think it most unlikely 
ihat she passed irito any state of torpidity or low hody-temperaturc 


Fleav, Breeding of the Platypus ui Capivuily 

[Vict. Nat 
Vol. 6 


peculiar to periods of hibernation, On Hie other hand, Rurrcll 
(The Platypus, page 182) writes: "I am convinced that daring 
the three weeks or more which elapsed between the laying- of 
the egj^fi and the. onset of lactation the female not only does not 
leave the nest but also passes into a condition of partial 

In order to convey some idea of the period of incubation, 
which must necessarily be somewhat uncertain but is definitely 
much shorter than was supposed, the fallowing tabulated obser- 
vations are set out \ — 

No. and Date Time Duration from 

of emergence 

1 31/10/43 

2 1/11/43 

Date of Retirement 
(7 p,m. ( 25/10/43.) 
Five complete days 
and nearly six 

Sjx and a half days 
and seven nights. 

3. 3/11/43. Eight days afld nine 


4. 6/11/43. 1J . day* » n d I2 nights. 

5. 7/1 1/43 It days and 13 nights. 

<5. 9/11/43 

14 days and IS nights. 


Time Spent Out ^ and Notes 
on Behaviour 

Out during early morning 
hours for extremely brief 
wetting of fur and defaeca- 
tion. No food eaten. Ani- 
mal not seen 

Observed 2 jxm.-2.30 p.m. Fur- 
preening and considerable 
scratching at mammary area. 
Animal raising her body side 
on to reach tins abdominal. 
region. Exercise and fur- 
wetting ^pointing'* anxiously 
with brak at burrow en- 

Not seen. Out between times 
of 1 a.m. and dawn. Evi- 
dently same as before — 
simply a wetting, preening 
and def aeration. Extremely 
small evidence of feeding 

Seen 11 a.m-11.45 am. 
Looked rather miserable. 
Feeding; ate a few small 
yabbies and earthworms. 
Exercising a lot. Up OH 
landing board, concentrating 
on turning side on and con- 
tinuously scratching "mam- 
mary area" with hind feet 

Seen 5 p.m,-5.45 p.m. Swim- 
ming actively, feeding, and 
again scratching "mammary" 
orp-i while on landing 
board: "Waving" her bill 
anxiously at entrance of bur- 
row as seen on previous 
occasions. Once she made 
up her mind there was no 
hesitation about returning. 

Seen 12,30 D.m-1 30 p.m. Same 

J unc \ 
J»«4 J 

Tmxav. ftrecdmr/ of iht Platypus m Cofiliviiy 


7. 10/11/43, 

8- 11/11/43 

9. 12/11/43 

10. J3/J1/4.1 

15 days Tincl Ifi riis*hK 

16 itayif and 1? niRhu 

17 (really 18) days 
and IS nights. 

Actually 19 days ami 

J9 nights. 
Nearly 20 days and 20 


Sern 3.30 r>.m.*6.30 p.m. Very 
little fur-p reciting. Feeding 
very vigorously. 
Seen '3.30 ii m -0 30 p.m. Feed- 
ing hungrily whole lime, 
Looked well though usually 
thick tail hati now become 
Seen 7 p.m-10 pft). Very 

hungry and lively- Feeding 
Seen 4 p.m. -8 p.m. Behaviour 

similar to last. 
Seen 3 p.m.-(>.30 p.m, Feed- 
ing vigorously- Much food 
consumed rtow. 

Ta arriving at a fairly reliable, though naturally somewhat 
approximate, estimate of the incubation period (which is my 
main purpose .in giving the above table) t it is as well to bear in 
mind Mr. BurreH's chapter on "Nursing habils of the Platypus/' 
On page 184 he says: u 'fhe most remarkable and mysterious 
feature about the baby platypus is that" ft is not suckled at all 
by the mother for some days after hatching:, ffat the very good 
reason that the maternal mammary glands are not yet actively 
functional. Investigations of this extraordinary phenomenon 
have advanced far enough to pface the matter beyond doubt, . . . 
The delayed lactation which I have observed may be due to the 
hicornplete development of the necessary stimulus in the early 
yaung. How (he young platypus is nourished in the meantime 
J do not know/' 

From the notes in the table it will be observed that "Jill" 
concentrated in each of her early outings on an oft-repeaied 
■and entirely new habit of scratching vigorously at the area of 
the mammary glands. It was no mere preening, and probably 
may have been brought on by stimulus from within requiring 
a type -of external massage- In other words, it is possible that 
thz mother animal may stimulate herself in order to bring about 
■the supply needed by the very tiny helpless babes. Hearing this 
in mind, and the fact that the mammary glands are not 
functional for several days after hatching, and the important 
■observation by Caldwell that the egg of Ornithorhynchus when 
ready to be laid contains an embryo already in approximately 
the same stage of development as a thirty-six-hour chick, ft 
seems chat ''JiJlV* activities indicate a very short incubation 

The mere fact of a three-quarter hour absence from the nest 
on 6/11/43 (her fourth outing), her feeding on that date, and 


FtjfcAV, ttrccdvif) of the Ptatvpn-v m C<if>tivi?v 

I, Vol. <\ 

practically daily appearances for increasingly lone; periods there- 
after, are strong evidence that hatching had occurred at least 
several days previously. In view of the evidence set out it iff 
tiot unreasonable to suggest that die longest possible period for 
egg hatching was ten days- and the shortest perhaps slightly less 
ihctn a. week. Tt is. of course, quite possible that her first and 
even second excursions, brief as they were, took place before 
the.ha*chin# point had arrived, and had as their aim the bringing - 
in of Additional moisture. 

Definite evidence of demands upon the mother's resources 
appeared from 6/1 1/43 onward, when her mammary glands were 
evidently functioning;. She began to feed vigorously and appear 
regufafjy for longer periods. An interesting observation was the 
fact tha.t the times between her outings became progressively 
shorter. No further scratching of the mammary' area was noied 
after 7/11/43, when the busy little animal spent her whole water 
periods in continuous feeding. 

Carrying on with the tabulated and systematic summary of 
"Jill's" activities from the last listed date, 14/11/43. we have 
the following: — 


Time Spetil in Water. 



11.30 a.m.— 3.15 p.m. 

Fed vigormi&Iy. 


12.30 p.m.— 4.30 p.m. 

Feeding very keenly on yah- 
Ines. worms, srubs. 


11.30 a hi] — 4 p.m. 

Snme as above. 


10.30 am.— 4 .30 p.m. 

"Jill" now 'eft baby or babies 
in nest for .six -hour stretches 

and was with them for ap- 


8.30 a.m..— 2.30 p.m. 

proximately 18 hours. 


Out early morning- horns 

Hours in nursery steadily de- 

—11.30 am. 



"fill" out during night. 

First time out; twite in 24 

Out again 5 p.m. on- 




Ont 2 p.m. until dark 

Her appetite greater than ever. 


Our early mommg and 

(til day until dark. 



11 a.m — evening. 


12 noon — still Out at \0 

Had been out 10 hours con- 


tinuously feeding and still 

goitiR strong when last seen, 


1 put- until for into 

Condition of "Jill" herself 



vastly improved. No longer 

at all worried about uestinp 
burrow. Resuming her r*1d 
playful ways and leisurely 
preening of her fur on land- 
ing-board at night. 

J |ft!u] Ft.r*v. Breeding of the Platypus m Coflmt* 3& 

27/11/43 Out $ p.m — most of Exhibited each day. 


28/(1/43 0»it 4 p.m — onwards- Exhibited tich ilay. 

through iir^ht. 

29/11/43 Oct 230 p.m ..onwards Exhibited each day. 

* Uiitmeh ni.trhr 

30/1 1 /43 3 45 p m.— t h rou gh great- 

er p.irr of m?hl 

"Jill" now had reached her pesk as far as maximum foraging" 
periods were concerned — spending as long as fourteen consecutive 
bouts iu the water, feeding with very occasional visits to landing 
platforms foV a little fur-preening— while her baby fa single One 
as we discovered later) was safely tucked away in its nesting 
chamber behind safety .pugs in the passage-way. However, iti 
this process, largely performed by the mothers tail, no further 
abrading of the stiff hair on its extremity — apart from that lost 
in the winter period — occurred, 

With the coming of December, ^Jilttg? excursions took ifcOM 
of a nocturnal turn. She appeared round about 7 p.m and 
stayed Out all night There was also evidence on December 2 
that she had pulled grass from hti wooden "burrows" into The 
water and then probably transferred it ai fresh material up the 
tvuiruw to the nesting chamber. Wisps of wet grass were strewn 
over the water-surface in all directions, and also about - the 
entrance to her burrow. 

According to calculations about the incubation, period, tfie 
single youngster was now (2/12/43) aged four weeks. Jitf* 
was very consistent in her outings, appearing each evening 
between 7 and S p.m. (CS T,)> and leaving the youngster 
tu its own devices id the nest all night. She was quite back 
to her normal outlook on life- -gay and carefree in behaviour. 
Naturally, however, any shortage of food supply on a particular 
evening would cause her to emerge hour* earlier on the 
succeeding day to make up the leeway 

On the night of December 7 I caught her for an inspection. 
noting that her condition was comparatively fat, while the* 
abdominal mammary area showed the typical slight indentation 
with a median-growth of rusty-red fur differentiating it from 
the rest of the ventral surface. Domesticated and trusting as 
"Jill' 1 is. she objected most strenuously to such indignities as this, 
so. although I "made an attempt to express milk by squeezing 
.the mammary area, I had to desist almost at once. 

On December 13 a test feed was given to ascertain the quantity 
and weight of the assortment of items the little animal was now 
\\\ the habit of devouring during her nightly banquets. The 
list included the wirewonn larvae of click-beetles, chafergrubA, 
stag-beetle larvse, earthworms, and land yabbies (furrowing" 

J6 Flkay. Breeding of the Plet$(to* %n Captivity [^jf 

crayfish). The youngster at this date was nearly five and a 
1ial£ weeks of<L 

Tt was found that "Jill" in this one nigh* consumed a typical 
meal of the following items: — 

Worms (Native species, te?ger than European earthworm) 400 
Grutw (mainly chafers) . 338 

Yabbies ,i , , , , i • i - -18 

The total weight o! ail these items (without soil of any kind) 
was 2%y 2 o7. or 1# !h.! Considering "Jin's" mere 16^4 inches 
length and her own body-weight of 2 lbs when m her fattest 
condition, this test gives some idea of the amazing appetite of 
Ornithorhyndius— particularly during some phases of the nursing 
period. What a terrific lime of it mother platypuses most have in 
their wild state! Lrftle wonder (see later) that some baby 
animals leave the nesting burrow too soon. Naturally, an animal 
weighing 2 lb. could not hold a meal of another 1J4 lb., and *t 
follows that the nursing platypus mother must assimilate the 
food as she swims and build up her milk supply to full capacity 
over the extremely long hours (up to 14) of continual foraging. 

Energetic "Jail" actually found time away from her hours m 
busy mastication to drive into her nesting chamber from an old 
side-burrow which she cleaned out — this was now used as an 
entrance-passage while the original doorway hich up on the north 
side of the platypusary was abandoned. From December 19 
onward, with the youngster then approximately 6 r A weeks old* 
there was a noticeable falling off in **JBufl v appetite. She ate 
few earthworms and concentrated mainly on grubs and yafabies. 

This, together with the abandonment of her former mode of 
entrance to the nesting burrow, plus the fact that now for the 
first 1kn£ since the pre-nesdng period she had commenced 
working soil out of the old living burrows on the south side of 
the platypusary, seemed to me a very ominous state of affairs, 
To make my worries worse a family of Swainson's phascogales 
(large pouched "mice" of insectivorous and occasionally 
carnivorous tastes) had taken to living in and about the platy- 
-pusary, and naturally I imagined that perhaps they had even 
tasted tender young platypus. 

Beyond a good appetite "Jill" gave few signs that she had any i 
family responsibilities. She was to all intents and purposes an 
ordinary platypus "citizen. 1 ' As we discovered later, her labours 
on the southern side of the platypusary, where suit would 
occasionally be pushed back for 18in. by 6in. by 6in. into wooden 
'*hurrows° connecting with the water, were devoted solely to 
the purpose of making pugs for yet a third route of daily egress 
4rom, and entrance to, (he nesting chamber 

*u*l Filay, Breeding of the Platypus in Captkity 3? 

f could sometimes watch her at work blocking up the passage* 
— a small creature of marvellous strength and industry. In view 
of later knowledge, the comparative falling-off in "Jllftf appetite 
was probably connected with the stage of growth attained by the 
youngster. Burrell (page 189) remarks: "A rapid rate of growth 
an the early stages, but such rapidity is explained by the fact 
that when once the young commence to suck, their appetites 
increase rapidly. The quantities of food found in their stomachs 
on dissection are surprising." 

It is indeed very probable that once having attained a 'certain 
size, with fur beginning to make an appearance, the youngster 
inters a quiescent phase, requiring less nourishment than 
previously, Tn any event, it was true that leading up to the 
Stage oi 5-6 weeks, "JiH's" baby required a phenomenal amount 
of nourishment. However, in our general ignorance at the 
rime of "Jill's" late December activities — or shall I say lack of 
•extra activities?— time dragged and I became an impatient and 
"badly disappointed observer. 

The days went by until the calendar registered January 3, 
which would make the inmate or inmates of the nursery at least 
8j"2 weeks to 9 weeks of age. It seemed that "Jill" must have 
failed, particularly in view of Bunnell's statement (page 188) i 
"Ahout 6 weeks after hatching the young will have reached a 
length of twelve inches. By this time their eyes are open, 
their *fur is a quarter of an inch in length, and they are able 
lo crawl freely about the burrow.' 1 

In any case it now seemed that, in the interests of finding 
some record of "JuTs" underground activities, the nesting burrow 
should be opened. With great care, then, we began this delicate 
operation on January 3> carefully removing the firm ground 
from the extreme hack of the platypusary so as to avoid as far 
as passible interference with any tunnels leading to the nesting 

Rather high up near the passage-way used during and after 
the incubation period, we found a deserted composite nest of 
grass and leaves. Possibly this was a nest from the previous 
year, though we had r.ot seen her carrying in the material. At all 
events it did not improve our prospects. We dug on — not so 
carefully now — and found we were following a burrow that ran 
well below the surface on the southern side of the burrowing 
hank. On its floor was a good deal of the well-worked bone-dry 
floury earth that tells of frequent working and pugging 

Then things began to happen. 

(To be continued.) 

3S Mjsssmi*. ftflj Nnv Specie* o} Divris t. V %SS^ 


By Ifetat R. Mfjwmbr. Landheld, N.5.W. 

Oue day'* work does not often yield horn a locality some two hundred 
yards lone; and eIic width of a Hiad 9M$M specie*, of a gtmus, four of tybtch 
.art new to science. Such was my guod. fortune on October 19, 1943, wheti 
I went to Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains (o procure more material 
of what appeared to be two new species oS Druri*. ] had received dried 
plants from my son Bruce (lie previous spring. 

Upon investigation of the locality Inst year, Diuri.% ttJkWWujfa SlfWj including 
the dark southern Sornt. was found to be very plentiful, D. pedmciiiata 
R.Br., D, pohchih Rogers and 0. phtitkihm Fit* moderately so> }Jat 
only the two species hoped fnr. hut aUo two additional «ew species, were 
plciUiftd enough to establish their just claims to- fit&cli rank. 1 have called 
thi^m Ditcris •Vtcffrriruxijr, 0- fiiWi'tpnrpurvn, Jj, pntyyw^pho and D, hncafa, 

and have published tny original descriptions in Ttir Orchid* of Nttju Smifh 
Wales, by Rev. H. M. R; Rupp, Dec, 1943. 

Between these four outstanding ftpecie& there are, so many variant*. 
"intermediates- .w>d indeterminate forms, thai one h forced to come to the 
conclusion that, in this locality, hybridization has taken nbee to an onu^uuf 
extent, which, when lite confined area of the locality and the dose 
proximity of the various specie* is taken mto ronstdexatinn, may not he 
so remarkable Some intermediate forms show so many constant charac- 
teristics- namely. label Jum markings, shape, etc., that, upon iurther mvcsti- 
.gattOD next ycvir. they may mci'tt specific or at legist varietal rvtnk. 

Tlic Reason being almost at an end t on the date of my visit, furtiier work 
las-t year was vnlorlunaiely impossible. 

In addition to the four bpecie* from Mount Victoria, 1 have also- 
described a new species of pmrit which I collected in small numbers, on 
the slopes- of Mount Jerrabomberra at Qucauhtyau, N.S.W., in O.toljer. 
1V42L This was submitted to Mr. W. H. Nichotls for* examination and he 
Suggested (hat T should call "it O. si;mii(r on account of its affinities with 
D. mnntloto, but the half-moon shape pi Lhe large side-lobes of the labeMirm 
and tlit. dorsal sepal are so distinctive thai T considered D. xnnihmuiai/> 
more descriptive In many respects this species approaches P. inaattato 
. Sm-. but differ* in. the shape and proportional of the labclhwi, in lhe length 
of the column wings and the anther and in the general aspect of the more 
tobttSt and waxy (lowers 

In the private herbarium or the Rev. H M. "R. Rijpp nre two sncciineji* 
which I would refer to D. McitYrtfiws: one collected by -himself near 
Launceston, Tasmania, Sept., 1922, and labelled "doubtful D. potorh'tb. 
but. probably a hybrid between D. nuicnltXtu and D. pcffn aruUt a!' and the 
viiher collected by Mrs. F Peirin in the Victorian Grampians. Oct.. 1922. 
and labelled "possible hybrid." A specimen in the N.SAV". National 
Herbarium was collected by W F fclakely, -Sept., 10.12, and labelled 
"indeterminate," but rt seems to tally with some of my intermediates or 
hybrids between A fiar-o-pwpurco and />. htutafa 

Would orchid enthusiasts keep a close watch in the Grampian and also 
the north-east of Victoria for specimens which accord villi any of these 
five new speews (aj* described in delail in Mr Knpp's recent work) r 

The accotopanyiiiLf plate httfi been prepared from linc-dra^v-iug.^ by. the 
Rev H. U. R Rnpp and will «rve as a useful guide to recognition of tlur 
four Mount Victoria Dttifw Spp- 

PJ44 J 

Mbssmer, Four New Specits of Diuris 

Fig. A: Diuris inctorie'nsis {], dorsal sepal; 2, labellum; 3, column 
from rear ; 4, column from front ; 5, column wktg ; 6 t crenate ridge on 
labellum). Fig. B: D. lineata (1, labellum; 2, crenulate margin of 
dorsal sepal). Fig. C: D, polymer pha (1, labellum; 2, column from 
rear; 3, column from front). Fig. D: D. flavopurpttrea (1. 2, and 3 as 

in preceding). 

40 "Willis, Excursion to Seahalmr [/v*^i 


A fine burst of summer weather added much to the enjoyment of forty 
excursionists who visited Seaholme on Easter Saturday (April 8th), and 
it was encouraging to number in the party half a dozen children of club- 
members whose keen interest in wild life and alertness throughout the 
afternoon is surely a happy augury for the future F.N.C.V. The previous 
part-botanical outing held here fourteen years ago registered an attendance 
of only fourteen (for report by the late A. E. Rodda, see Vict NaL f Vol, 
46, p. 220, March, 1930). 

The sandy cliffs and heathland scrub, so familiar on the opposite eastern 
sea-board of Port Phillip* are here replaced by a seemingly bare and 
monotonous lava plain which meets the sea at dead-level. Evidence of a 
recent slight uplift, with recession of the shore line, is provided in the 
raised shell beds and ridges of sand that overlie newer basalt immediately 
west of the railway; otherwise the local gcotogy is not particularly 

Between railway and beach is a tidal flat, subject to frequent inundation 
by high seas, and on this saline swampy area is developed a luxuriant 
salt-marsh flora. Right at the Seaholme station one steps out among 
halophytes (salt-loving plants), both native and introduced, ' and these 
extend in a more or less continuous belt to the mouth of Kororoit Creek 
(1| miles north-east) where they attain their best development- Including 
the few sand-loving plants of the narrow elevated zone between marsh and 
sea <e.g., Stipa elotior, *Lagutus ovaius, *Agropyron junccum, Atriplcx 
cinerenm, Saholct Kali, Cakile edmtuta, i: Mclilotus indica, *Lycium fero- 
cissinxum, and * Solatium sodomaeum, which are only marginal to the marsh 
proper, the indigenous and alien species total about 50 species each and 
blend agreeably in a fairly stable population — no aggressive weeds are 
conspicuous. It is thus apparent that, although the salt-marsh is densely 
populated with individual plants, the number of species is not large when 
compared with a heathland association or even that of the adjacent but 
sharply differentiated basalt plains. 

The leader briefly explained the peculiarities of halophilous vegetation: 
how it exhibits much the same physiognomy with the same contributing 
genera the world over, for only a few groups of plants have become 
adaptable to high salinity in the soil (sea water is about 3i% salt). As in 
other coastal marshes, as well as inland salt-pans, dwarf shrubs of the 
"Goosefoot" family (Chenopodiaceae) were found to predominate at Sea- 
holme (viz., Arthrocnentum arbitscutum, A. kalocnemoidcs, Salicamia 
austral^, S. Blackiana, Suaeda maritima, and Hemichroa> pentandra of 
doubtful affinity). "Physiological drought." due to the difficulty of 
moisture absorption from salt water, is overcome by a rising saline con- 
centration in the cell sap itself; this attains an osmotic pressure of more 
than 50 atmospheres in the two SaUcomia species ^'glassworts"). 

The late season precluded any chance of viewing those tiny ephemeral 
plants which flower in the marsh during spring (Triglochin •minuiis&ima, 
T. mucronata, Sagina apetah, Hydrocotyle capiltaris. Sebaea albidiflora, 
Angianthus Preissiaitus, Cotula filifolia, etc.) and only occasional blooms 
were noticed on the Sea-heath (Frankenia pauciflora) and Rounded Noon- 
flower (Disphyma australe), which are such a riot of colour in early 
summer. However, the exquisite green to rosy-amethyst transitions in the 
foliage of Sea-blite (Suaeda maritima) were some compensation for floral 

'"*j Willis, lixcursim to Scaholmc A\ 

Holding close to the shore, members were afforded a variety of attrac- 
tions in the arthropod, mollusc,, and bird life to be found hereabouts: 
excellent examples of the "bird-dropping" spider (Cclaenia) and spiny 
spider (Gastercanlha) were examined; the Port Phillip coral (Plesi- 
ttstraea) and numerous shells were collected, notably PhasianelUt australis 
("Pheasant Shell" or "Painted Lady") and a sample ot Alurex triformis 
with colour beautifully preserved; gulls and black swans (several hundred 
on off-shore sandy shallows) were plentiful, while a flock of the Little 
Stint or Red-necked Sandpiper defied custom by remaining" there when ail 
such birds should have migrated northward, 

Tlie culminating interest of the excursion was an unbroken line of healthy 
White Mangroves (Aviccnnia marina), stretching along the southern bank 
of Kororoit Creek for a quarter of a mile from its mouth, Strange indeed 
it was to gaze upon a strip of distinctly tropical vegetation, so far removed 
from its usual association with palms, epiphytes and the like and so near 
the heart of Melbourne (6J miles away). A, E. Rodda said, "These small 
trees were once abundant around the mouth of the Yarra" Baron von 
Mueller frequented the Yarra mouth in the 1850's, but if he ever collected 
mangrove, it is not now represented among his specimens at the National 

Just as the term "malice" is used to denote a certain habit of growth 
among eucalypts of diverse affinities in arid parts of 'Southern Australia, 
so "mangrove" is applied to an assembly of small trees favouring tidal 
mud flats throughout the torrid regions. Mixed mangrove forest is a 
feature of North Australian coasts, eight species in tour different families 
occurring near Darwin ; as one comes south along the Queensland and 
New South Wales coastline, the components of mangrove forest gradually 
decrease until Awccmiia marina alone enters Victoria, penetrating as far 
as South Australia but not crossing Bass Strait; records for Chatham 
Island (on latitude 44*. 400 miles east of New Zealand) are quite erroneous. 

White Mangrove (family Vcrbenaceae) always occupies water-logged' 
soil which is inundated by every high tide, but iL will not endure exposure 
to tin. 1 wind or ocean breakers. The roots are aerated by singular vertical 
branches or "pneumatophores" which project several inches above the mud, 
like a crop of asparagus shoots; these structures arc brittle, with spongy 
texture and abundant stomata. (The northern Black Mangrove, Rhizo- 
phora mtt-cronatii, bears large aerial "stilt-roots" on its trunk, but these arc 
never developed in Aviccnnia.) Another noteworthy feature is the 
viviparous habit, seeds germinating on the parent plant and the young 
embryos dropping off into the mud or sea water for dispersal. 

The timber is bad-smelling, coarse-grained and difficult to dress, but has- 
been used for mallets, boat-knees and bullock-yokes; it yields an ash that 
will cleanse cloth and has been used in soap manufacture. 

At the time of our visit, most trees were in full bloom (though no fruits- 
were observed) and the small golden four-lobed flowers emitted a sweet 
perfume, suggesting pollination by insects. Several specimens of the agile 
mangrove crab (Graphisura sp.) were taken alive from burrows among 
the "jmeumatophores." So ended this very pleasant afternoon, and all 
participants were back at Seaholme station in time for a 6 p.m. train. 

By virtue of the great scientific interest attaching to the mangrove* 
survival along Kororoit Creek, it is desirable that negotiations for a 
guarantee of adequate protection be made with trustees of the Williamstown? 
Racing Club, which leases from the Crown that triangular flat of some 30 
acres between the eastern fence of the course and the creek mouth. 

J. H. Willis. 


Sketch oj Basalt Cave at Panmure 


L vol. ai 








Fig ure , X ■ 
Sketch plon ofTocolity near RflNMURE 
showing posit/on of quarry from which 1h* 
basolf cave is entered. 





Fig ure . 2 . 

Sketch plan of &ASMLT CAVE at Panmure, 

i ; — 

Basalt Cave at Panmure. The illustration above is sunpferrtentary to 
an article by the Rev. Edmund D. Gill in this journal, Vol. 60, p. 167 

(March, 1944). 

*£'] Rndw* Rays 0Ui F-mJ Bchnwotir 43 


(To The Editor) 

Sir, — Two letters appear in your issue of March, 1944, nam McRW». 
A, A, Cook pud A. H. H, Mattiiigtey, respectively. 

With regard to the term ''radial tty" iliis appears to be just a< 
intelligible a! "luminous Ji^ht," ''musical music/' ''painful pvn,]' etc. I 
am unaware thai any physicist lias ever used such a term Vsbo coined ill 

As a specialist in roentgenology I am, of eoui*sc> well conversant vitli 
l)te various electromagnetic waves from the longest wireless right down 
to ll*e cosniK rays of MiUikiiu 1 am also aware that a satisfactory cause 
for lite discovery of beetles and worm? by certain wasps, as beautifully 
illustrated "by Fabie, has not yet been obtn.ned. Moreover many KOatpgiMs 
regard the aniennae ot certain insects, etc., as sense organs, perhaps lor 
tlie reception of electromagnetic waves nf certain quality, and they have 
good reason in doing so; but, as far as 1 am aware, such waves although 
suspceicd have neve* been actually demonstrated. B*:t even if these 
were actually demonstrated, it is surely not logical or reasonable to 
attribute numerous other operations such as the flight ot birds to ificse 
without further proof. The Spanish experiment quoted is surely vague 
mid absolutely inconclusive! 

The remarks quoted about ibc impulse lo seek for food depending on 
environment is not suj^oitcd b;< proof and iv absolutely unconvincing, 
and vague- The fact remains t"'ial the ue\vl_v*hatcbcd $pider can spin 
a miniature web Just tike Us parents without any previous experience! 
No other explanation than instinct — of this phenomenon, n1 pveseni vtJy 
little, understood — can apply unhl satisfactory proof of the ictual cause, 
based upon experiment, can be adduced mid zoologists will continue to 
use flit term, "instinct" until further information is available ta justify 
the application of a more satisfactory cause. 

The bram is not peculiar in providing electronic JmjtylsoSj for such «rc 
present ui many other tissues, notably muscle, heart. gtauo. etc-, and h 
merely a function of Uk activity of These- These facts arc not at »H 
relevant to the tmeslion at ntssue. 

Re directional guidance Although this may be suspected for insects 
w'ifb special organs, there is no evidence of the existence o£ any such 
guidance in -"birdF, nor is there any indication of lite presence of any 
such *en!iC organ. 

The dogmatic statement "what is certain is that some form of ray 
in rite environment surrounding the turd acls upon it in directing- its 
ceurjL and must motivate its action, v 15 absolutely unjustified by the 
facts. The behaviour of tlie reef heron can be easily explained by 
simple means well known.— .Yours, etc., 

H. Fleckki*. Caitns, Queensland. 

"Many beginners sweat needlessly after tnc rare- Common objects 
hav-e ihe widest and deepest significance, and there 15 never any c"d 
to what you can learn about them- Instead of the rare, go after what 
is new to you; you get the same thrill.*' 

"Some people think of nature only as *omc1hmg 10 collect. Alas [or 
the bullermcs, birds' e^gs, ferns and orchid?. A collection, of course, 
c*u be scientifically valuable, but the collecting mania is not related to 
science or to the>meni Ol nature; the utRe tc ltave 
nohady ctsc has breaks ihe fir^t rule of honest science."— Don f vui C 

44 ChrsfCfW at W'flflrf-SWWf [*¥«*•? 

On 26ih February 1944. ai 6 p.m., my daughter called mc to sec a 
c'ustei of wood-swallows jii one of our, gum-trees at Blackburn. TJkc a 
swarm of great bees they clung, almost encircling the stem, where throe 
forks meet at about 15 reel from the ground There must have fojCTl #*> or 
more in the swarm judging by the number of hills or tails I managed 
to couut- 

Tbi-y suggested a pill-box b^sthng with guns or a night-mare cluster of 
saw-fly larva?. Scone were head up, others head down, while the Test 
citing horizontally or at varying angle?, so that tftH# and hilk protruded 
like spines of an echidna. When motionless they resembled a dense 
mass ol mussels clinging to the pile of a pier. For a time there, was 
much "talking" and fidgeting as they pushed in and out of the cluster. 
each seeming: to seek a cosy spot, although the evening was warm ;md 
MiJtry- When one fell out of the swarm it merely clutched the bark 
2 or 3 feet below and clambered back instead of flying, while all the rest 
niadc eiKouriiK«ng little sound* At about 8.30 p.m. a magpie flew into 
and dispersed the cluster We. did not see them re -assemble again that 

Next evening they clustered again in the same place at the same 
time, and remained all night, As there were no droppings on the ground 
j| was obvious that faeces were retained dining the period of clustering. 
We left for SoTTPnto on February 28, but my husband noticed the swarm 
in the «»tne tree for another week.— Edith Colkmak 


On the edge of a palli through the jungle I found h very prctly bower 
qititc unlike am I had ever seen It was small and Very neat *nd the 
depression inside was completely covered with the lavender flowers from 
the kangaroo-apple bush, Thcic were no ornaments at all outside the 
bower. I did not sec any bird. This wa? not a Satin Rower-bird's 
bower (it was too small";, hut I have never seen a Regent BowCr-bird's 
bower decked with lihte or lavender. I think il must have been a 
Regent's bower {what else could it be?) but it alters ail my records of 
bowers of tjte species. 

A Regent-birds' picnic was held in an ink weed just outside: our flower- 
house one morning. There were three fuJly-plumaged males at the 
ViiiM, and they made a very lovely sight with I heir xkli colours of 
black and gold. — Cithtts, Tamboriue Mountain, Queensland. 


Mr. Charles Spencer, of Fitzgerald, reports having seen a 'hue specimen 
of the Tasmanian tiger in the Styx River Valley about five miles Ironi 
Kalista, at the terminus of the Dcnvcrtl Valley line Mr. SpetKcr says 
the tiger was beautifully marked and would measure at least 6 ft, from 
tip (o tip. Mr, Spencer, who is an experienced bushman, was engaged 
cutting a track from the Styx to the Franklin' range, and had a good 
opportunity of seeing the animal. Jt was not aware of bis presence until 
he spoke, and then it only went leisurely away. Mr. Spencer also states 
that he saw the tracks of a female tiger with cubs at Adatns field last 
Marrh. In the days tvten there was g price on the hear! of the tiger. 
Mr. Spencer had considerable experience in hunting It in the Swansea 
district. J< is now very scarce. — {hi chart Mercury.) 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 6f — No. 3 July 6> 1944 No. 727 


The annual meeting of the Oub was held on June 12. 1944, ;ik 
the Royal Society's Hall, where the President (Mr. P. F. Morris) 
arid about 100 members and friends attended. 

The Hon. Secretary announced the recent death of two Club 
Members, Miss K L. Keartland and Mr. A. Underwood, and a 
tribute was paid to their memory. 

The following matters were reported on by the Hon. Secretary: 
Conference of scientists at the Melbourne University with an 
attendance off nver 1,000; a meeting of combined societies in 1hc 
matter of the proposed Cultural Centre; receipt of a letter from 
Prof. W. E. Agar thanking the Club for congratulations on his 
being presented with the Clarke Medal; receipt of letters from 
Ueut. Noel Lothian (past Assist. Secretary), now in charge of 
the 3rd Army Farms Coy. ; and Cap!*. Lee Burcham, of the U.S. 
Marines, sending good wishes to the Club. 

An excursion to Mooroolhark was reported on by Mr. R. G. 
Painter. Mr. H. C E. Stewa-tt reported that the Kalorama 
excursion was cancelled owing to train restrictions, 
j The following were elected as Ordinary Members of the Club ! 
Mr and Mrs, Savage, Mrs. Robertson, Miss Latham, Miss C. 
Clark; as Country Members: Miss Lorna Hansson. Mr. R. A 
Hansen- as Associate Member: Miss E. HilL 

Mr. H. W. Davcy was elected as an Honorary Member of the 

The Annual Report was read by the Hon. Secretary and its 
adoption was agreed to on the motion of Messrs. V. H. Miller 
and E, S. Hanks. Mr. Gates spoke on the work the Club had done 
over many years. 

The -Balance Sheet was read and explained by Mr. A. G. Hoofce, 
who proposed its adoption. This was seconded by Mr. A. S, 
Chalk and carried. 


Mr. P. F, Morris, as retiring President, called on Mr. Ivo C. 
Hammet to take the presidential chair. Mr. Hamrnet thanked 
members for the honour done him. 

•46 Sw*h Australim Cork £ Yafcti 

Other officers elected were: Vice-Presidents, Messrs. H, C E. 
Stewart and J. ft, Willis; Hon. Editor, Mr. A. H. ChishoJm; 
Hon. Secretary',- Mr. /F S- Colli ver; Hon, Assist, Secretary; Miss 
Nance Fletcher ; Won. Treasurer, Mr. E, E Lord \ Hon. Librarian, 
Mr. D. Greenwood: Hon. Assist. Librarian, Mr. A Burke. A 
bailor for Committee returned the following:; Messrs. A. S. Chalk, 
H. P. Dickjns. P. Crosbie Morrison, G. N. Ryam, H, T. Reeves. 


Mi. R. G Painter a^tced why Honeyeaters ("Gfefctites") chat- 
tered and attacked a Black-faced Cuckrxi-Shrjlce. Mr, Miller 
suggested if was mistaken for a Pallid Cuckoo or a Hawk. 
Mr Chisholrn said that small birds often attacked large birds that 
were strange to an area, and that Greenies were naturally aggres- 

Mr, V. H. Miller asked whether the Blackbird or the Thrush 
was the first to begin singing. Mr, Chisholrn replied that the 
Tbinsh was usually about two months ahead of the Bfackburd. 
Miss. Wigan stated she had heard odd Thrushes- in April, and 
that Blackbirds were now beginning to sing. 


Mr, Ivo C Hammct: Gardeu*grown native plauts (Uiplotacna grartdi flora t 
ffatea pctirtnru, //. sulcata, Co?rea- rcflexa, Viola hederacea). 

Mr. Tarn Griffiths: The Tree Cricket (Posoprylfagrh cwlwsto) . 

Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison; Egg of the giant Gtpf>slan<l Earthworm {Mega- 
jcotidei (jippsltmtfirus) showing the unhatched yowtg. Specimen from 
Korumburra, Victoria. 

Mr. J. H. "Willi*: "Red Stink-horn" iungus (fthypkallus ruhiemdus) , an 
uncommon ami remarkable specks, occasionally appearing on Buffalo-grass 

Mr. C. French: Corrva reflexa, var, rubra, from Anglesey. 

Mr. K, U. Fainter* Right specie* or garden-grown native plants. 

Mr. F. 5. Colliver : Three skulls of Koalas and a skull oS a domestic goat 
from Quail Island. 


We have been shown (reports thcoVl, Kcgixtcr) by Mr. A.- Hardy, M.P., 
3 W.rrrpTe of cork, nearly an inch thick, stripped from a cork tree tfrown by 
Mm near Mount Lofty, al an elevation of about 230*0 feet ahoye the sea 
level. In 1854 the then Government obtained from Spain a number of aooms 
of the genuine cork cree of commerce. Many of these were distributed 
through Dr. Schombtifgk, and Mr Hardy obtained 2$ plants, of which 20 
are now in a nourishing' state. Trie tree from which the bark referred to 
wai taken is over \Z feet hifrh, and is 1H inches in drcuniferetice at one foot 
above the ground. The sample will be sent to Philadelphia, and will no 
doubt form a noticeable addition to the list of our products. It is evident, 
too, that the cork tree could be profitably Cultivated here on a target scale. 
(From a Sydney newspaper of January, 1876), 

fjjjj Annual Rejtort 47 


The Membership is as follows: Hon. Members, 15; Ordinary- 
Members, 253; Country Members, 54; Associate Members, 18. 
Total Membership 380, being ian increase of 41 cm figures for the 
last report. 

Still mare of our members are on service with the Forces ami 
we note the following: Messrs. K. E. Ash, E. V Barton. R S. 
BeMingw, J. L. Bignell, J r A, (W/O) Blackburn. T, H. (Major) 
Brumi, C A. Burley. A. Carter, A. Coulson, W. R. Cover, G. J. 
Dimgus. J. FSrth, H. Futtbri, M. Furze, D. C. Geddcs, W. (Dr.) 
Geroe, D R Greenwood, Keith V. Hately, R. ft Kent, M. F. 
Leask. N. (Lieut.) Lothian, R, G. Matthews, C C. Ralph. B. M. 
Slo£gett, N. A. Wakefield, and J. W.tfterhousc. Possibly there 
are others and* the committee would be glad to have their names. 

We record with sorrow Ihe death of the following members: 
Mr A. F. Fullard (1901-1943). Mr. F. Chapman (1902-1944), 
Miss fithd Bage (1921-1943), Mr. George Aistoti (1927-1943). 
Mr. A B. P. Underwood (1935-1944), Mr. Lance Le Souef 

Attendances at meetings have averaged about 90 and a series 
of interesting lecturettes and symposiums was held during thu 
year. The displays of exhibits have been well maintained. 

Excursions this year were subject to minor alterations only, 
and the several dose-by localities gave outings of good general 

Volume 60 of the Victorian Nrnxtralis^ has been completed, and, 
notwithstanding paper rationing, the standard of publication has 
been maintained. 

War condition* have again prevented matters affecting the 
protection of fauna and flora- irom receiving the attention that is 
their due, but we have considered many items and contacted the 
rdevant authorities. Matters in which the Club was called to 
collaborate included : Investigation into the high price of scientific 
books; Provision of accommodation for Allied Societies in the 
proposed new Cultural Centre or vacated National Museum build- 
ing; Control of Sherbrooke Forest; Save the Forests campaign; 
Proposed Memorial to the late Mr. F, Chapman at Maranoa 
Gardens, and the Conference of Scientists convened by the Aus- 
tralian Association of Scientific Workers, 

A syb-commtttce for the Cultural Centre project arranged a 
meeting of interested kindred societies and further joitu meetings 
aie anticipated- 

Owing to the fact tiiat many of our kindred societies are in 
recess, we were not asked to assist so much at displays, Wul on 
the other hand several of our members have been prominent in 
lecturing to the Forces and other organizations, 

<8 AnmtxU Report £ VM. U 

The Junior Club at Hawthorn was successfully inaugurated this 
year and we hope this will prove the forerunner of other such 
clubs and feeder societies in the suburbs. To stimulate interest 
among the juniors a small show was staged at the Hawthorn, Free 
Library from October 4-9, 1943, and proved very popular. 

The Australian Natural History Medallion was awarded this 
year to our fellow-member Major H. W. Wilsoiu recently of the 
Teachers' College, and the presentation was made by the Director 
of Education, Mr, J. A. Seitz. 

No Wild Nature Show was held this year, nor does it seem 
possible to stage one for the duration of the war, but we look 
forward to days when the Club can again bring Natural History 
before the general public in this popular way. 

The Plant Names Sub-committee has made slow but definite 
progress with its revision of the Census and findings have been 
published in the Naturalist with a note asking for comments by 
interested people; these arc in turn carefully considered and desir- 
able alterations made to vernacular names. 

The successful breeding of the Platypus at Badger Creek 
prompted one member to offer the sum of £25 toward a fund 
for Mr. David Fleay, if the Club could raise a similar amount. 
Mr Fleay would not accept the' money for himself, but agreed to 
use it in, the best interests of the Heafesville Sanctuary. 

An Author Index for the first 60 volumes of the Naturalist has 
been commenced and the work is progressing favourably* although 
more slowly than at first anticipated. This will be a useful p:ece 
of work and the Committee is hoping to make arrangements for 
printing it in due course. 

The appeal for old pamphlets, members' lists, newspaper cut- 
tings, etc., made some time ago has yielded a few items, but the 
material to hand is not very representative. Members are asked 
to keep this matter in mind, since the Committee desires as complete 
a collection as possible of these interesting relics. 

We have welcomed to our various meetings visiting naturalists 
and members of the Allied Forces stationed here, and from rime to 
time it has been a pleasure to sec some of our own country 

To Mr. MacCrae Howitt we tender our sincere thanks for con- 
tinued use of Ms rooms as a Committee meeting place; to Mr. 
Cooper for his onerous work in addressing wrappers for the 
Naiurolisi; to Mr. Fi A. Cud more for completing our set of Wild 
Life; and to Mr. J. A. Kershaw for a good series of early Club 
meeting notices. A comprehensive, expression of thanks is ex- 
tended to all who have given of their rime and energy toward the 
advancement of the Club and its ideals. 



Balance at Banks on 1st May, 1943 — 
E.S. & A. Bank .... £23 8 10 
State Savings Bank 57 16 6 

Subscriptions — 

Arrears .. _ £32 17 

Current 202 11 6 

In Advance 

31 2 7 

Cash Sales of — 
Victorian Naturalist 
Publications , . . . , 

£266 11 1 

Interest Received — 
"Best Fund" ,..,.. 
Fixed Deposits . . 
Commonwealth Loans 
Savings Bank ,-, .. 

£2 10 15 
4 8 
3 5 

£14 9 

U 3 

25 5 10 

17 2 

9 16 2 

28 9 

Fixed Deposits Matured — 

"Best Fund" £50 

General -„■ „ ....,.,..:. .. 50 

"David Fleay" Testimonial 

£81 5 4 

304 16 3 


£514 1 7 


Victorian Naturalist — 

Printing £188 15 

Illustrating .... 40 8 

Index , , , . .V , , . . , . . . « , , 3 18 6 

Despatching 7 12 5 

Reprints . . . . »j . . , . , . . . . , . . 
Wrappers for despatching Naturalist . . 

Postage, and Freight 

General Printing and Stationery 


Rent and Carfctaktng 

Affiliation Fees r 

General Expenses 

£240 13 11 

1 2 6 

12 18 

6 3 

Invested in Commonwealth Loan — 
"Best Fund" .. ... ;. ., .. .. 
General .. 

Balance at Banks on 30th April, 19 

&& &. A. Bank 

State Savings Bank 


£70 10 
3 2 



17 10 


5 3 




£290 8 9 

£440 8 9 

73 12 10 
£514 1 7 





Late Dudley Best Fund > 

Subscriptions paid in advance .. .. 
Special Trust Account - - - - - • . - 

31 2 

12 15 

£93 17 10 

"David Fleay" Testimonial ., ,\ ,< .. 
Balance, being surplus oi Assets over Lia- 
bilities 1,553 10 

ajsrs s i 


Arrears or Subscriptions- 
Estimated to realize .. 
Advertising charges due , 
State Savings Bank — 
General Account - . 
Special Trust Account 

£3 2 
12 15 

E.-S- & A. Bank- 
General Account 

Commonwealth Bonds: 
Late Dudley Best Fund 

*t ■:■ 


Library, Furniture and Epidiascope — 

At insurance value .* '* 

Stock on hand of Books and Badges— 
At valuation; 

Fern Book . . *39 

Fungus Book . , . . : 19 

Club Badges 1 


15 17 8 

70 10 5 




£ 1,675 8 1 




Audited and found correct on 25th May, 1944, 

t 6. HOOKb} Hot ■ Audltow. 

E. E. LORD, Hon. Treasurer, 

Jm*] ■f**Bi ^^» */ (V*W SooetUs to JJm State 51 



Summary of Presidential Address to the F.N.C. by P, F. Morris 

It was a momentous day for Austni Hans when the ship 
Endeavour hove-to in Botany Bay on April 28rh t 1770 Accom- 
panying Captain Cook was a party of skilled naturalists headed 
by Mr. (later Sir) Joseph Banks, who Ifad (XxsonaJly subscribed 
£10,000 towards the scientific work of the expedition A duplicate 
set of the specimens collected by Banks and Solander is now 
housed in the Melbourne Herbarium. • 

As the nrst settlers arrived native pastures were! located and a 
rapid development in the pastoral industry followed, Wheal 
breeders and plant hybridists gave to the new Australians suitable 
plants f<>r their country, whilst the merino sheep breeder founded 
Studs which produced the finest wool on the world's market to-day. 
The pastoral pioneers were sound practical men. thinkers in their 
own line of research, and to-cfay we must realise the value of their 
endeavours. These men and women may be styled our first 
naturalists. : 

It must be borne m m»nd, when reviewing social progress in a 
new country like Australia, that any comparison with the wore 
serried European communities-, living and working under different 
conditions of climate, geography, geology and ethnology is entirely 
futile. The isolated position of Australia, the sparseness of its 
population, the forbidding character of its forests and deserts, 
seemed to conspire against even the most strenuous efforts to 
extend to the pioneer the benefits of modern social institutions 
It was just here that the early scientist* were able to help, by the 
establishment of martural history societies and the publication of 
suitable literature. 

Naiural history societies contributed to w? welfare of the 
community by bringing members regularly together to share 
observations and express opinions ; excursions were held to the 
seaside or country for studying the fauna, fTor;i and geology of. 
each State. Such contact with nature soon develops a lively 
interest outside the ordinary routine of city living. These interest* 
we know to he worth while; they are educative, curative and 

Education is fundamental to social progress. Nature is a great 
teacher when she comes in contact with a keen and receptive mind. 
True knowledge does not come from books, but from practice; one 
gives us information, the other familiarity -with an object, which 
is permanently imprinted on the mind. Our conversaziones, 
exhibit nights and field excursions enable us to practice what we 
choose and knowledge so gained is passed, on from member to 


$2 McmKi.s,*'V>v ri Nrturt Saeittics So the State Pvui.fll** 

The successful business man is very often .self-made. His know- 
ledge and success have been gleaned along the hard road of experi- 
ence. He has learned Ins work by applied science. The, fact that 
man's very existence upon earth is due to vegetable matter is often 
disregarded by the multitude. 

Students of nature arc lovers of the earth, the skies, and their 
products, and join together to protect (he natural features of thei 
native or adopted countries. The earth is a loving mother to all 
plants, animals and men. She give* us the chemicals necessary 
to build our skeletons, our bodies and brains; the sun and air 
provide the rest. Our chief aim is to preserve a balance of nature, 
knowing well its significance to the present and fmurc generations. 

The present world condition of war places upon us all the 
necessity tor special cure of our collections. Destruction to scientific 
institutions abroad is constantly enhancing the value of our own 
collections; military occupation and despoliation of wide natural 
areas makes replacement of .scientific material in many cases 
impossible. 'Hie material we have* bolh living and preserved, 
must not be neglected; it is a trust which we must bear for our 
fighting men and women and for the culture and life ot future 
generations in our Com mun wealth. 

Natural laws guide the earth kindly, but man tear^ and bums- 
He over-crops the arable laud, over-grazes the pastures, destroys, 
the forests, and erosion take* place; the birds disappear and insect 
and mice plagues harass agricultural communities, which trek ro 
the cities. The knowledge of, or ignorance of, a few facts of 
nature may mean the difference of millions of |>ounds to us. The 
recently introduced cabbage or white butterfly has laid waste our 
cruciferous crops; a fungus disease recently introduced may prob- 
ably wipe out the daphne growers, while St John's Wort is still 
costing Australia many thousands of pounds yearly It is useless 
to expect the trained orc.hardist to keep his land clean when every 
cottage garden in his vicinity is a breeding-ground for the pests 
against which he is battling in fear of die law. 

There is a notion that a naturalist should be u recluse, one 
unfit for hard work. This could apply to so-called highly educated 
classes, but it is uot my judgment of fellow-members, who seem 
to be drawn from all ranks of Society. Many of the leading 
scientific workers in Australia are self-taught. 

There are at least two types of study in natural history: 
(1 ) original research or the thorough study oi a branch nf natural' 
science in detaiE, with all necessary oliservirtiuns, experiments and 
calculations; (2) the study of .scientific facts without a mastery of 
rho methods or processes by which they have been ascertained — a 
form of study which may be compared tn wandering on pleasant 

ijjjj Mcitfis, Vahu* of Nature Satieties ttt the State 5£ 

by-paths beside the regular roadway. The latter methods generally 
lead lo the former mote important phase. 

Of all the attractions of rural life, probably none is more 
interesting and profitable than the study of the periodic phenomena 
associated with plants and animals, and to persons engaged in rural 
pursuits they ;are a concern qI great moment. (The germina'.ion 
of seeds; the blossoming of flowers; insects and their laivae; the 
migration, song and nesting of birds; the habits and instincts of 
animals ; all are phenomena largely dependent on seasonal and 
meteorological conditions, and therefore correlated.) 

During the (sresent century, study of natural history has altered 
much, both in methods and in character. It no longer consists of 
merely collecting, preserving, classifying and naming plants, insects 
or animals; but embodies the development liie history and periodic 
phenomena of such objects and the relation they bear to each 
other and to the pleasures and wants of man. What a wonderful 
change has been produced during our lifetime by the discovery of 
radio, radium and the germ origin of disease. fl should be clear,, 
too, that the life history of stock diseases must be given most 
serious consideration, as many »re transferable to man and are 
probably the cause of high infant mortality. 

Educationists realize that impressions giwned in childhood are 
the most vivid and lasting and that knowledge must be flavoured 
with something different from the daily class-room routine. Let 
our children acquire the habits of close observation and the added 
power of reflection upon, the fact? observed, so that what is studied 
becomes theirs in very truth and must out in character and deed. 

"N&ure study is learning those things in Nature that are best 
worth knowing, to the end of doing those things that make life 
most worth living." This statement by Professor J. Hodge 
expresses admirably die whole purpose of nature study and the- 
value of natural history societies to the, State. The association of 
workers in natural history as, in fact, no longer a matter of choice, 
but of necessity. Collection, classification* and publication by the 
various societies throughout Australia is an essential element in 
modern progress. 


Mr. Melbourne Ward, well-known as a naturalist, who has recently oocitod. 
a "Gallery of Natural History and Native Art 1 ' at Medlow Bath in the* 
Blue Mountains of New South, Wafcs, is anxious to secure specimens of 
insects, preserved lizards and snakes, shells and similar objects of interest. 
He is prepared to buy or exchange and wilt bs gtad to heat from 1 collector*. 
The address is Gallery of Natural History. Medlow Baths, N,SW 

The Editor acknowledges receipt of several uaoers that have had to be- 
held over, togctheY with two letters on the interesting subject of radial rays. 

a FLLtff.. Breeding of. the Platypus m Captivity \_ vVl&t!" 


By David Fusay, B.Sc, Dip.Eo., 

Director, Badger Creek Sanctuary, Heahisvillc 

Part 3 

Suddenly, in a bend of the burrow dry leaves showed up — 
there was a shrill sustained growl of annoyance (like that of a 
broody hen) and "Jill's" beak and head poked out. To our 
delight, and horror al'A there bulged out and was pushed out 
— as *'jiir in her rage turned her back and began to throw out 
nesting material and earth to block ovu the daylight — a blind, fat, 
wrinkled babe with satiny short fur forming a very thin coat. 

The baby creature had a tiny stubby "milk bill/' aptly likened 
by my assistant (Cecil Milne) to the beak of a Cape Barren 
goose. Here at last was actual proof that wc had really bred 
the platypus. It seemed also that we had wrecked all our chances 
of complete success by unwittingly breaking in too soon I At 
eight and a half weeks this youngster was only nine inches long 
and entirely helpless, its only utterance a kiss-like sucking sound, 
and its only movement (hat instinctive lifting of a hind foot lo 
#0 through the characteristic motions of scratching the fur on its 
flanks. On the ankles of its hind feet tiny spurs were visible. 

A frantic few moments folloAvcd with the camera recording 
half a dozen hasty pictures. What would "Jill" do? She had 
already thrown out part of her nest and blocked the way b> 
which we had disturbed her. We thought at the lime that in 
with her was another infant, or perhaps two. but later observa- 
tions proved the baby we photographed to be the only one. I 
scraped away her hastily-constructed "pug" and endeavoured to 
replace the bahy. However, she persisted in her "back-shoving" 
and buried the baby with earth. I repeated the performance, got 
the baby fairly well in, and then built a "pug" of my own, so 
as to block it in. Then we fitted a hollow log over the spot 
jattd filled up with an overburden of earth and old bags. 

Tt can well be imagined that our feelings were very dubious. 
What goad all the notes so far if "Jill" did no! rear this little 
fellow? I called back that night after dark to see if "Jill" had 
pushed the baby out into the loose soil in the hallow log, *nd it 
was slightly re-assuring to find that she had . not done so. 
Evidently, however, she was in a considerable turmoil over the 
event, for an hour after we had replaced the youngster in the 
burrow at mid-day "Jill" appeared in the water in obvious 
agitation. And hers was not the only disturbance of mind! We 
tiad staked everything on a successful, issue with the platypus 

njl*] Flbay. Br^dino trf iht Platypus in Captivity 55 

— even to almost ruinous expenditure from slender Sanctuary 
financial resources — in purchasing food that cost at least £1 
per day, and in dry summer months 22/- to 25/-, It seemed 
lhat it was this season or never, and, in spite of all, this season 
it was! 

Following several weeks of doubt and worry, subsequent to 
January 3, it was found that "Jill" had re-established her quarters 
and maintained her youngster in spite of the general upheaval. 
Considering that (his small mother animal is a member of such 
.an exception ally nervous species, with probably no temperamental 
-equal among the world's furred animals, no tribute to her 
mothereraft can be too high in view of her actions following 
the breaking-up of her home. Here, in the survival of her 
helpless youngster, is noteworthy evidence of a strong maternal 
instinct in the platypus — one reason, perhaps, why this ancient 
species has managed to survive and, even thrive in modern days. 
Why, even a tame doe rabbit would probably have deserted 
her brood had the nest been interfered with as Fiad 'Jill's." 

For several days after the disturbance I could hear her towards 
•evening, through the walls of the dwelling, excavating passages 
and also pugging up the outlet near her entrance Xo the water 
as she prepared tor the night's feeding activities. Actually, it 
was not for two days after the inspection of January 3 that 
"Jill" got back into her normaf habits of feeding. The night 
following the excavation of her nesting tunnel she spent within 
the burrows, evidently keeping the youngster warm* for later 
inspections revealed that in thoroughly pugging up the original 
entrance that I had ruined she pushed out her whole nest and 
much soil beside. Then she dug a new entrance and exit burrow 
to the nesting chamber on the opposite side from the original 
one which we had unwittingly destroyed. For weeks, then* 
the youngster was entirely without "bedding" of any kind 
until on the next inspection I provided a new collection of 
leaves, which "JUT* accepted quite gratefully. 

On January 3, then, it was found that the youngster, whose 
sex at that time could not be determined, but we now know by 
the disappearance of its spurs to be a female, had attained a 
length of nine inches and was blind and entirely helpless, with ft 
very short growth of satiny fur, at the age of eight and a 
half weeks. 

Such observations, and others to follow, do not agree entirely 
with Burred's notes on incubation and adolescence, but, as I 
mentioned previously, this is not surprising, for throughout his 
long and careful work resulting in the classic book on the 
platypus, Mr. Burrell did not have the good fortune to keep a 

56 Fi>uy, Breeding af tltc Flaiypu-i «« Captivity [ vJi.'et " 

breeding platypus where he could watch it. He had to make 
his estimates from laborious fields-study over long years, for 
Which valuable work naturalists the world over* and I particularly,, 
are grateful to him. 

From mid-Janrtary onward "JiflV furry coat took un a very 
sorry appearance. This was partly due to the arrival of the 
moulting period. Each year in southern Victoria towards the 
end of January ;md beginning of February platypuses Jose their 
old. coals and rapidly grow new ones. Worn patches on tails 
are covered by a fresh growth of hair in a very short period, 
and il is no time before a platypus is clad in a new and glossy 
eoat nf superb fur. 

"Jill," with her domestic cares, was terribly "moth-eaten" find 
ragged, but extremely cheerful, with a streaky v/orn patch front 
shoulder to hip along the left side of her body. This was 
evidently due to some position adopted in the burrow or to 
some activity on the part of the baby. About the middle of 
February her new coat began to cover these marks of wear 
and tear. 

Evening after evening, when I arrived at the swimming tSflfc 
before her advent in the water, her progress along- burrows could 
be marked by careful listening. The? digging and scrambling 
noises as "Jill" dug through earth-blocks in the burrows and 
pushed them back again after her, were unmistakable. The 
fairly frequent dog-like shakings of her body to rid herself of 
loose earth during these operations sounded at close quarters- 
like distant thunder. 

The second inspection of the youngster (when all doubts as to- 
rts safety were dispelled) took place on the evening of January 
26. It was obvious that by now the youngster should have made 
considerable progress, and since mid-January the mother's 
appetite had increased until she was demanding almost as much 
as she did in late December 1943. On the evening oi the 
second parade of die youngster, "Jill" had already journeyed into- 
the watcr r where she was "splash-diving" in mock alarm and 
rolling 1 and twisting between submerging lor food items. 

Now aged eleven and three-quarter weeks, the youngster 
measured eleven inches in length: its fur had grown longer on 
the body regions but not on the tail. .Little development of the 
short stubby beak had occurred. 1(5 eyes had not been long* 
open, probably hot more than four or five davs, so that it could 
be reasonably assumed (hat the young creatures spend at least 
eleven weeks in a state of blindness. The striking thing in the 
absence of the mother on this occasion was the almost reptilian: 
coldness of the baby. 


Plate I 

July, 1944 

*4fr ' > MP* 



Baby Platypus when first seen. Jan. 3, 1944. Blind, wrinkled with fat. and 

having a scant growth i>f satiny fur, she measured V in + in length ami was 

auetl &i weeks. Note the short "milk hill." 


9 " •*> 

fc' "^^ 


J^m^jt^SJZF/ tm... ^ 


Baby Platypus mi h'eb. IH. Agt: now IS weeks and length 1.51 in. Note hm^ 
glossy fur. She did ihjI make her first exit until a fortnight later. 

jMtl Furty, needing j>j the Watypus in Captivity S? 

Generally speaking, the Iftfle creature was much less fat 'than 
when first seen, its tail now being more flat and platypus-like 
than the roly-poly, sausage-like appendage noted on January 3. 
.Also, though no longer Wind the young animal possessed no 
-power of locomotion and again wenl through the curious 
instinctive action of scratching at its flanks with its hind feet. 
When roy wife nursed it, it pushed its short stubby beak down 
o\\ the skin of her arm. Its only reaction to the disturbance 
was to growl shrilly when first touched in the burrow. In the 
absence of a nesr, a position that was soon remedied, dry earth 
from the floor of the chamber had caked into hard mud over 
the doubtless oft-wetted bill and nostrils of the baby. This 
was removed. 

"JitlV feeding periods were regularly from ten to twelve 
hours in extent, commencing towards evening and extending 
through the night. The evidence of various faecal deposits in 
the water (the pools being* cleaned daily) indicated that, as 
usual, she masticated and assimilated food continuously through- 
out the nights in order to build up the all-important milk supply. 

The third inspection of the baby was made easy by. the fact 
that I had a bag ( *plug" in the back of the nesting chamber, 
this in turn being buried under, a weight of soil; for it is very 
obvious that in some mysterious way a platypus senses the 
thickness of soil between itself and the surface. "JiU ,J evidently 
became more or less reconciled to these visits, for beyond a 
little shrill growling, she was not unduly upset. The date of 
the third visit was February 8; the baby now was 13 inches long, 
its eyes were quite bright and alert, and its age was I3J3 weeks, 
or slightly more than three months, The youngster was three 
inches longer than '"Jilt" herself had been when picked up— 
six years ago, on February 19, 1938. 

On scraping away the soil immediately adjoining the leaves of 
the nesting-chamber "bedding" when opening up for each, of 
these inspections, it was extraordinary to feel the intense warmth 
that had emanated from the closely-curled mother and baby. 
This in itself^ even before sighting the animals, proved a certain 
indication that they were at home. 

The baby was now a young platypus with a fairly straight 
-though short bill and long and very handsome fur. It was 
•definitely a female, for the small spurs on the ankles of its hind 
feet had shrunk away to mere hard stubs. Remarkable to 
.-relate, the animal still did not show any sjgn of activity, 
remaining curled up in the typical platypus bail in the nest. 

(To be concluded) 

58 Frexcu, Insects Attaching Introduced Plants [ x*\,nl ' 


By C. French, Retired Government Biologist, Melbourne 

It is remarkable how many of the native insects are dunging over from; 
their natural food to that offered by cultivated alien plants which they 
find to be as palatable, or more so. The familiar "Emperor Gum Moth/* 
whose natural diet is eucalypt foliage, turned first to the Peruvian pepper- 
tree (Schwas motte) with a very different sap; it has since gone on to 
roses, apple, plum, apricot, and many lantL* of street trees (Tristaniay 
Eugtttia, Kirch, Plane, Elm, etc.) — a highly varied menu. 

All of the following records have come under my personal observation- 
and ^>mc have not been previously published. No doubt members of lh* 
Field Naturalists' Club could augment this list of insects and/or hosts, and' 
I would suggest that they register their observations m this journal, $$, a 
matter of economic interest. 

I have adopted a systematic arrangement (based on the work of R. J. 
Tillyard) and am indebted to Mr. John Clark, entomologist at the National 
Museum* Melbourne, for kindly checking the scientific nomenclature, which- 
\-as been subject to much recent alteration, 
Locusts and Grasshoppers t 

cereals, vegetables, flowers, fruit trees. 

Order 1S0PTERA— 

Catotirmes Jacteus ("White Ant"): 

from diet of native timber trees to wood ot vines, apple, apricot, - 
peach, also potato. 


Nysiits vimtor ("Ruthcrgtcn Bug 1 ") r 

vegetables, Cereal crops, fruit trees of all kinds. 
Dtitdytitus versicolor ("Harlequin Bug''): 

fruits (pomes, drupes, berries of all kinds), greens, potato, tomato, 

flowers (esp. dahlia and hollyhock). 
Mictis profana ("Holy ot Crusader Bug'*): 

from eucalypti; and wattles to lemon, orange. 
heryo. pnrchosi ("Cottony Cushion or Fluted Scale ') : 

from wattles to cypress, pine, pittoaporum, lemon, orange, rose, 

gorsc, grasses. 
Eriococcus coriaceus C'Eucalypt Scale") ; 

from eucalypts to pear twigs. 


Bosftyckopsis jesitAto ("Auger Beetle") • 

silky oak, tamarisk, elm, fig, orange, lemon, apneot. 
Xytion eolhris ( "Ap£le-tree- Beetle**): 

Lagria growlis ("Bronze Apple Beetle' 7 ) : 

ripe fruits of apple, pear, apricot, strawberry, etc. 
Utm prima ru-tiltvts ('"Golden Stag Beetle"): 

from decayed eucalypt wood and leaves to apple, cherry, and other 

fruit trees. 
Diphncephala colaspidoides ("Cherry Green BeetV*) : 

from tca-trce* and wattles to cherry, plum, iieach, 'apple, haw- 
thorn,' quince, rose. 
Anheopharti flRwM (hiiaris) ("Pumpkin Beetle"): 

all members of the pumpkin-melon family, also vines;, cherry^ 


«] fwarcu. Insects Attackuig htirvditced PlMs 

plum, -peach. .> . , 

iiahica paomw ("Metallic Flea Beetle"); : 

from Sheep's Burr (Acam) \o rout crops (carrot, hoe*, etc), 

also parsley; strawberry. 
Lcptops sqitatidus (topci) ("Apple Root Borer") ; 

from wattles to vines, citrus- trees. apple, pear, peach, plvmt apncoV 

rose (buds). 
OtVhorkinvs cyUndnrostris ("Elephant Beetle of Orange") : 

from eucalypts and wattles to orange, lemon, apricot apple, qttirtcer 

plum, vines, tamarisk', elm, pine trees. 
Qrihorhims klugi ("Vine Weevil") : 

from wattles to vine stems. 
Bdus hidentatns ("Apricot Beetle") : 

from wattles to apricot, apple. 


CEitetus (Charayui) Npftfa&ra ("Smaller Green Wood or Apple Harm- 
ing Moth") : 

from tea-trees, wattles, young 1 eucalypti etc., to apple, pear, citrus- 
Xylcutes iZcittara) wtalypti ("Wattle Goal Moth") : . 

from wattle; to apple, peach, plum, 
Maroga xttipunttaHt ("Cherry Borer Moth") : 

from Acacia, Bankste, Cassima spp. etc. to brambles, fruit trcc8f 

and many kinds of street trees (oak, elm, plane, willow, etc.) 
Tortrix posivittana ( rr Li^ht-brown Apple Moth") : 

from wattles to fruit trees, street trees (pine, cypress, oak, silky 

oak), vegetables, and garden flowers, 
; Meeyna polygonalis ("Tree-lucerne Moth") : 

tree-lucerne (Tagasaste), cape broom, weeping willow. 
(L-yciicits XMctara) clctngatits (''Saunders* Case Moth"): 

orange, lemon, and other fruit trees (young foliage and bark). 
Hyalarcta hitbneri ( r 'Leaf Bag Moth' 7 or "Hubner's Case MotV) : 

from eucalypts and tea-trees to pines, oak, quince, vines (leaves anrf 

grapes), rhubarb, chrysanthemums. 
Crania (Entomcta) ignobitis (''Faggot Case Moth" or "Stick Moth 
of Orange") : 

pines, cypress hedges, vines, cherry, plum, apple, quince, orange* 

lemon— young foliage and fruit spurs. 
T hyr idoipteiy-r hcrrichii ("Ribbed Bag Moth") : 

from eucalypts to apple, cherry, quince. 
DoraUftra spp- ("Cup Moths") : 

from eucalypts to apple, pear, cherry, apricoL 
Pinara cwia ("Pinara Grub of Apple'') : 

from wattles to apple, pear. 
Nyctemtria arnica ("Ivy Moth") : 

aster- cineraria, carnation, Begonia Re*: 
Orgyia (Tcia) amrtcides ("Painted Apple Moth") : 

from wattles and eucalypts to ferns, fruit trees, street trees, garderT 

flowers, cabbage, cauliflower. 
Phalaettoidcs glycines ("Vine Modi") ; 

vines, Virginia creeper * fuchsia, appl e ( 1 ca ves ) . 
.Agrotis spp. Hctwlhis spp. etc. ("Cutworms") ! 
1 cereal and vegetable crops, garden flowers, apple, strawberry. 

1 Diaaisut cancsrtrns ("Tiger Moth") : , , 

cereal crops and garden .flower* (esp. violet* pansy, caiaaiwny 


60 Onx. J&tt the tresis ^w?' 

Hippotiou celerio- ("Silver-striped Vine Hawk-moth 11 '— may be an early 
introduction) : 

vines, morning glory. 
Lophodes sinittr<nH* ('"White-shouldered Looper") : 

from wattles to apple, pear, apricot 
Phrissogonm spp. etc {"i-ooper*'*) : 

pities, cypresses, fruit tree3 rose, fuchsia, pelsr2oniuirj r ct<: 
Aether®* exualypti ("Emperor Gum Moth" J : 

from euralypts to ptpper-trees, fruit trees (apricot, plum, apple), 

and many street trees (elm, plane, birch, etc)- 
Anaphtsis iavct-teHtonia ("Caper Butterfly") : 

from Capparis spp, to citrus trees, fuchsia, Virginia creeper. 
.Zisma labntdns ("Bean Butterfly") : 

from native and introduced legumes to garden beans 


By R- H. Croix. 

' Jt looks as it the Age of Destruction of our most valuable asset, thfc 
forests, were really passing. The present Save the Forests Campaign is w 
wide and so definite in its appeal, it is so richly backed by earnest people 
and powerful organizations, it is broadcasting &o many reasons, both logical 
and. sentimental, for better treatment of our timbered areas, that one feels 
that this effort, of all the many that have been tried, cannot possibly fail. 

There are some forty societies and institutions, government departments 
and municipal bodies, united in the campaign. Together they represent, it 
is calculated, over 200,000 citizens. The objects of the movement are! easily 

To (troupe public interest in forestry; to enlist public assistance in pre- 
venting and fighting hnsh fires; to take action to ensure that the timber, 
.zuatitr <md soil resources of the State ore conserved; to build up an oryoni* 
nation tc ensure conthwance of active public interest m owr forests. 
- A club such as ours needs no reminder, or should need none, that forest 
products enter into practically every domain of human life, especially the life 
which we call civilized, From the cradle to the coffin we use timber in a 
multitude of ways, it may astonish some to learn that it takes ten million 
super feet of timber every year, in Victoria atone, to produce the matches 
we use here. And we carry our dead to the grave (or the crematorium) 
In another million super feet annually, 

Apart from such utilities how could animal hfe exist in the world without 
•the necessary vegetation? That point is too obvious to need dwelling upon 
Our water supply, even the retention of our food-producing soils, largely 
depends upon our care of the forest cover, 

Those" are general statements— what about our special interests as natura- 
lists? Again it is stating the obvious to point out that the green covering 
.of the earth (all of it so readily a victim to fire), from the tiniest growth 
*hat scarcely casts a shadow to the tall tree that overtops alt living tiring*, 
that covering is our happy hunting grounl in itself a study and at the same 
tunc the home of the creatures in whose lives we are interested. Even the 
geologists needs are met, for the dead forests gf the past live for Him. 

This campaign deserves the full support of every Australian, for both 
national and personal reasons. An informative booklet entitled ForetX jFtfftP 
has been issued by the Campaign Council. Tin's may be obtained free of 
•Cost from Mr. J- S. Owens., Town Kail, Melbourne. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 61.— No. 4 August i*o> 1944 No. 728 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on July 10, 1944, 
at the Royal Society's Hall, where the President (Mr. Ivo C 
Haminet) and about 120 members and friends attended. 

The Hon. Secretary announced the death of Miss Ewings, a 
Club member of some years* standing, and a tribute was paid to 
her memory. 

The President welcomed lo the meeting Lieut. A, G. Yonug 
(on leave from New Guinea), a member of the Queensland 
Naturalists' Club. • . - 

Excursion reports were given as follows: National Herbarium, 
Mr. P. F. Morris (for Mr. Jessep) ;• Botanic Gardens, Mr, 
II C E, Stewart. 

The following were elected as Ordinary Members ■ Mr. and 
Mrs. D. K. Hill, Mrs. M. Murphy, Miss Eileen McGlynn," Mr. P. 
Wyatt; and as Associate Member, Master R. Barron." "'" " . 


1. What are Greywackes? Answer (Mr. F, S; CoUiveT) t The 
term is rather loosely used according to the country and the 
author. (a)_ A sedimentary rock of a, particular kind 'altered by 
pressure (dynamometainoTprnsm) has been termed a Greywacke. 
(b) A slightly felspathie sandstone slightly altered- has ' h^efi 
referred to as a Greywacke. (c) The term has been revived for 
a complex rock with grains of quartz felspar, and other minerals 
and rocks united by a cement ustially siliceous.- *- ••• - • • - 

2. What is Oolitic Limestone? Answer (Mr. CpUiver) ; Many 
shallow- water limestones, of all geological ages, contain spheroidal 
grains built up of successive coats of calcareous material; and 
these maybe so numerous as to make up the chief btdk of tbt* 
rock. Such rocks are called Oolitic Limestones, Oolite*, or 

3. What are Permian Sequences, and are there any in Aus- 
tralia? /UiS-ii'vr (Mr. Colhver) : The term Permian is applied 
to one of the ages of the geological Time Chart, and Permian 
Sequences would refer to a series of rocks somewhat' different 
from each other but of the same age, e.g.* Permian, The order in 
which chese rocks ate to each other would make up the sequence. 

«| J ft- ■} 

62 Nalnre QkcsHom and Notes P'voVo*'* 

Such rocks do occur in Australia, n.% $i the coalfields of N.S W. 
and the -Bacchus Marsh area ill Victoria., but they h&ve not been 
zoned to the extent similar sequences in America have. 

Mr. R. G. Painter stated that lie had noticed Swallows m Box 
Hill on July 2. (Mr. A. H. Mattmglcy commented that some 
Swallows remained in Victoria ail the year round.) 

Miss Wigan reported having seen two Pied Currawong* near 
the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne). (Remark by Mr. A. H. Chis- 
bolm: This is chiefly a bird o£ the mountains, but it is usually 
wandering at this time of the year.) 

Mr. H, C. E. Stewart commented upon the early flowering 
nf almond trees, and stated that a very dry Summer, then rain and 
absence of frosts, explained it. He had noted some trees flowering 
in June. r 

Mr, V. K. Miller said he had observed a Rlaclc-faced Cuckoo- 
Shrike eating cheese and fat from his bird-tray at St. Itilda. 

Mrs. Pinches reported that the Zoo's colony of Koalas had four 
females each with young.' 

Mr Rps Garnet stated that a Grevillea had seeded and young 
plants had appeared for the first time, probably due to climatic 

Mr. Hamrnet drew attention to the fact that a new bee had been 
named by Mr. Tarlton Raymem after Miss Lynette Young, who 
found the specimen in a post close to her home. 

Mr. F. G. El ford reported having received a country paper con- 
taining an account of the capture of a Wedge-tailed Eagle jxi a 
rabbit trap haired with a rabbit. The article stated that the bird 
was available for exhibition. Mr. Etford said he had written to 
•the paper concerned, and he suggested that the committee discus* 
the matter with a view to educating the people of the district 
concerned as to the economic value of Eagles. 


Slides and a motion picture with a commentary given by Mr. 
C. M. Ewart, of the Forests Commission, afforded insight into 
problems of erosion, soil conservation, proper care of watersheds, 
etc., besides the varied aspects of forestry and the use of timber 
in industry. Stress was laid rm protection qi forests from fire, &vid 
"safeguarding measures were shown. Above all it was urged that 
forests were an invaluable national heritage, and not something to 
be erased as soon as possible. 

A vote of thanks to Mr. Ewart and to Mr, Thompson <lan- 
•ternist) was expressed by the' President and' carried by acclamation. 


Mr. V. I-j. filler; Seven example* of native" Queensland tmihm, wl&o 
red jpWI from Kenny's baths at St Kilda- (portion of a pile that had been 
immersed in sea-water for upwards of ?Q years') and Banksia wood .being 
used as fuel by the cook on the Western Australian Railways. Specimens 
were all hand-polished by Mr Miller. 

Mr, T. Griffiths: Pressed ferns, including twelve species of Maiden Haii 
(native and exotic), Cyrlirtmnm jakainm from Japan, and Wcctwuvi pfiiwo* 
nwumt from the Victorian Alps. • '. 

Mrs. M. E. Freame: Termites and wood bored by them: wood bored f>y 
Teredo; large burrows containing Crustacea, and also ant mounds. 

Mr C .Frendi") 'Forked 'Comb Fern * f 'Schisam nspenila) collected at 
Anglesea. , „ , t 

Mr. R. G. Painter : Six specie* of garden-grown native plants. 

"Mr. C ]. Gabriel: Marine shells, including Chlnmy.s paHium* Mald&rt 
Is. ; C., Vic; C. Icafiardus; i J c , etv\t uovae-sefondhe, Vic,; P, 
vtoxiitws, Britain; P. keppetliaiia, Cape Wdc Is.; P- sicsac, W. Indies. 

Mr. Hatnmet: Wrappings from, a mummy at one time on show at th>- 
Exhibition Ruifding. 

Mr. 5. R. Mitchell; Examples of aboriginal stone 'Wm'ves, "some fipecimens 
lieiiig ha f ted. - ' ■ 

Miss Wie,an Albino form of Flame Robin (Petroica phoaticcn) collected 
iji the Mansfield district over fifty years ago hy Mr. J. O. Edwards; also 
Delicate Owl <Tytt> albn) collected by Serg t - Major Toone at Cap^ Otway, 

Mr. F. G. FMord: Gmwdcrtna afipldHatwtt (Giant Lacquer Fungus), a 
polyporord fungus found growing on the trunks of Eucalypts and other 
trees, specimen from Shorbroolcc Forest, Crested Grasshopper (Akctoriu 
supcrha) from bailee Meran, -Eastern Mai lee, and also the Smaller King 
Cricket {Avt>.$tostmn& rrhtnc<>nx) from Red Hill South, . Morning-ton 
Peninsula. . : , - 

Master A. B. Conn;. (Omitted from June list) — A collection o1 mounu-d. 
fern specimens recently gathered in the Mt. Dandenong district. 


Members of the F.N-C will join in sympathising warmly with Mr. 
W H. NichoHs,' Victoria's chief student of Australian orchids, whose wife 
died suddenly on July 29, Airs. Ntcholl;* was a woman of competence and 
-junny nature, and gave her husband considerable .help in hisAvork., Several 
officers and members of the Club attended the funeral at the Fi>^sr.ray_ 
Cemetery on August 1. Native flowers were a feature of the floral tributei. 


"Master ArUiur B. Court, of Child's. Road, Kalorama, Vic, "desires -to 
make Den-friends- who are interested in 'botany,* preferably ajhong residents 
fn .the Grampians or north-eastern Victoria^ -• .-• * — " . 


.By H. N. Beck, Hon. Secretary Gould League of Bird -lover*. 


The seasonal movement of animals from one legion to another 
is a mattci of common interest to all students of nature, bur, it is 
the migration ol birds .that .makes the strongest appeal, because 
so much is liiddeu from us that we can only theorize on the 
motives or principles guiding those movements 

Of course, one can- hardly doubt that it is mainly a matter of 
food that drives the creatures from a region of lessening supply 
to one where Hoc requisite food is increasing in quantity, ur t ;t. 
any rate, where it is more abundant. Tins would adequately 
account for much of the limited migration or seasonal wanderings 
of 'many birds that we might class as nomads rather than as 
migrant? — for example, Robins (Petroica) and Thrushes (Col- 
luricmch Iwrw.onica), which during the cold season leave the 
shady forest and mountains for the more open fields, and Lori- 
keet^ which follow the blossoming of the eucalypts. 

Probably, too, many of the buds that have spent Ihe warm 
months in the district move away with the sun, whiJc their place 
is taken by others of the same kind that have spent their summer 
further south. There may be much more of this sort of migration 
than most of us suspecl. Two species I have in mind that piohably 
do this are the Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike and the Bronze Cuckoo. 
Observations of many. persons remove any doubt that these birds 
move to the north in winter, yet every year during the coldest 
months they arc reported to be seen around Melbourne. 

A most remarkable feature of the true migratory birds is that 
some species in their* wanderings completely by -pass regions that 
one would imagine could supply them with all they needed. The 
gicat problems are* How, why, and when did they acquire these 
habits? One can assume the habits to have been gradually 
evolved. If such is the case, might -not the evolution be reversed — 
and the once-migratory bird become one of stationary .habit ? This 
thought is occasioned by the fact, that of the birds credited with 
migration to distant lands the Welcome Swallows. (Hit undo 
ncoxftta) are bringing themselves to the notice of observers 
by remaining hi their summer liabjtat throughout the year in 
increasing numbers. 

How wonderful it would be if. we were being privileged to 
actually observe a step in evolution! 

l*he thought that this might possibly be, so stirred the imagina- 
tion of'Bruc^ Fleer and other members of the Gould League of 
13ird*lovers of State School Nq. 1601, Oakleigh, that from early 
April, '1941, they made regular counts and kepi records of the 

number of Welcome Swallows found perthing at night on wire* 
stretching under a shop verandah — "like clothes-pegs on a. line." 

This record r in the form of monthly graphs, shows a maximum 
of 260 birds early in April with a sudden drop to 80 on the last 
day. The count rose to 150 for May 1, and next evening again 
dropped, this time to 50. A steep rise is shown for the second 
week, and the last record for May was 228 birds. For June the 
count fluctuated between 160 and 220, and for July between 183 
and 236. August shows 236 as the highest count. This was in 
the middle of the month. Then there was a gradual fall to 160 
on the last day. On the 6tb of September 176 was the score, 
then the number decreased till the count was 108 on tl>e 30th, 

From this on we have u declining chart right through October, 
when the last week shows counts down to .30. This was a steady 
month and gave the lowest average record. November was also 
a steady low month with gradual rises to 80. From then on the 
birds 'came along in increasing numbers, 210 being reached in 
the last wee): in December. 

January shows a limit of 308 on the 25th, and the maximum: 
for the first twelve months was reached on February 4th with a 
count of 316. January and February were months of greatest 
variation. March also showed cotKsicierahle fluctuation between 
ISO and 300. The graphs for die remainder of 1942 mark similar 
conditions, wtth somewhat higher numbers for most mouths. 

Records for 1943 arc not available; and now has' come mis- 
fortune — the perching wires have been removed. The Gould 
Leaguers are keeping a lookout, hoping to find that the Swallows 
have located such another convenient roosting place. Fina* record?. 
wt- re taken last May. The count was about 200, 

A remarkable feature is that -such a very small percentage of 
the .birds, frequenting this particular locality moved away for the 
winter* that one would scarcely imagine them tr> be a migrating 

The -notes do not give : arty reasons (perhaps they were ijpt 
known), for the extra low counts on two or three dates in April 
and May but possibly, at, riiatiy people pass that way, the birds 
may have been disturbed on these occasions. However, Bruce 
records: !'On stormy nights they sometimes amount to 200 or 
over. Towards oe*tiiig-time they gradually decrease; .and in 
springtime there are baldly any. . In summer when breeding has 
ended they begin to- increase gradually to their normal" 
J Adults also reported the occurrence of these Swallows'— "about 
400« M , one man reckoned 1 ; but no doubt the. boys' counting was 
more accurate. They had set out to do- a definite job. ( : . , 

/\t the foot of Mt. Arapiles in western Victoria, where the 

<A Beck. Non-Migtatimx of, W thorn* Swotfom £*$? *?' 

writer spent the winter of 1942, Welcome SwaUlows were so 
plentiful that "familiarity bred contempt/' or »E any rate ted to 
the following instance of careless and therefore worse than useless 
observation 5 

On August 23 the children of the Grass Flat School came H''lI» 
u>e *o a nearby little freshwater Jake mainly to study Little Grebes, 
'.'Swallows" were hawking over the water as we had seen them 
on other" days throughout ihe winter. It was a bright day and 
we casually remarked that there was a Rood number of Swallows 
and that insects were (airly plentiful. The children had just left 
fur school when a flash of white caught my eye as a '-Swallow" 
slcimmed the water; and to my surprise, and disgust at my lack of 
care, F found that more than half the birds were Fairy Martins— 
prohahly 40 or 50 were in sight. We had witnessed the return 
ol the Martins from their northern flight. The .incident ''pointed 
a moral and adorned a Lale" when next I met the children. 

Regarding the graphs. 'Hie boys were very interested in the 
task and T have confidence that they carried it out with commend- 
able care and that the many counts were substantially correct. It 
would give me pleasure to submit the graphs for inspection at any 
of the Club meetings. 

So many observers have noted the rapidly increasing number 
of Swallows to be sttn in winter during the past decade or so 
that the possibility of the movement being a stage in evolution is 
woulxy of serious consideration; and for the guidance of future 
.students definite data of the incidents originating the idea should 
be recorded in official publications., then later generatinus might 
be able to prove or disprove the snggestFon. 


' l>e5Jo'fUaines original description of this genus {Mvm,Mnt.D*HhilNot., 
Vol. V, p. •», 1819) plainly sets out the spelling: as CHAMEI.AV'CfVM 
The error In writing (7H A M AI1LAUCW M appears to br have been made 
6y ' Sprengel in his Systems VegeUihilwnt {No. 1622, 1825) and ha* been 
followed carer since by botanical ( writers." The apparent derivation of the 
two genera is interesting: Chamoe-laucium derived front the Greek' C/iamac 
(dwarf) luitchis (poplar) : Chamclaucimn fromChamelaio-, nicaning & small 
evergreen shrub of the olive or daphne kind. Desioniaincs probacy had 
the latter in mind, as some of the Mediterranean species °^ Qophne resemble 
Cfiamfiimirinm in their cricoid foliage; no Chain* lauaitm bears the slightest 
resemblance to a poplar Mr, C. A, Gardner, Government Botanist, Perth, 
is in complete accord with the above views. \ • * « . . 

1 1 can be assumed that Dcsiohtames knew Greek sufficiently; well not to 
make a mistake in .writing Chame, and to keep on Writing rt. when he 
mean! CtovmtK The international Rules ot Nomenclature, 1930. Art.. 70, 
stale thai the original spelling must he retained, unless it carr be' proved 
thai cither a typographical or an orthographic error has been made. : ' ! * "' 

'-:: ' -*--'• -*'* - -P.'BtirfV. 

■ iqu- J Do* null, Oil-building by f> Mqmk Wasp 07 


By F. O. Donnell, Newbridge/ Victoria. . - : 

Most of us are usually glad to receive visitors, bur ic is doubly 
interesting when the visitor is a °lady ,f and is dressed in shining 
orange and black. Such a one — of die wasp family- — arrived at 
the school* Poowoug North, Gippshmd, on April 15, 1943. 

She examined waifs, posts and other objects, with the idea, I 
hoped, of building. Later I was able to watch the whole procedure 
of cell-construction and note every action that. she made. My 
first rhoaght was to capture her and rriount her beauty/ but the 
urge to know more about her actions led me to act as an observer. 
In size, form, and colour, she answered the description- of Ewugugs 
latreitlu a Queensland wasp. Gippsland seemed a long way from 
Queensland and the climate perhaps is not so inviting to a sun- 
loving insect. ■ • 

A start was made on the side of an old desk, but this did not 
seem to be satisfactory. Another cell was begun on the north side 
of a verandah post and it was completed. As it was placed about 
fat feet from (fa ground, 1 -was able to watch every movement 
from a distance of six inches. She flew within an inch or 80 of 
my face but did not seem to -resent my presence. With long legs 
folded close to" the body, she hung poised in front of her work, 
her wings seen only as a thickening of the air on each side, her 
sensitive antenna touching all' work with a touch so light that it 
seemed a caress. 

The first cell- foundation began as a crescent and gradually 
grew into aii oval. The walls began to rise, taking the form of 
a dome. I could not but admire the dexterity with which the clay 
pellet was manipulated.- It was spread evenly, hut thickly, on the 
lop of the growing wall, and then with the underside of her head 
against the inside of the cell wall, and the tarsus of both fore-legs 
on the outside and opposite, she began to draw the clay up to ari 
even thickness. This was done in the same manner as the potter 
who draws tttfi spinning clay into shape with one hand on, the 
inside, and one on the outside of the growing vessel. Work was 
carried out on a different section each visit, thus allowing all work 
to dry thoroughly before being added to. 

The dome rose slowly until only a narrow aperture remained 
at its apex, and this was finished off with an outward curling lip. 
I thought at first that she had seriously miscalculated the size of 
the aperture, but she soon disproved this idea by inserting her 
abdomen through, until at its thickest it was a neat fit. She 
remained in this position for about two minutes; and later,, hy 
flashing a mirror and lighting up the inside of the cell, I could 
see a white sausage-shaped egg suspended from thc-top by a short 

6g Donwr.LL. Ccll'tmldinn by n Mosm Watt Vjm^ 

silken thread. ti$r next task was to cany three .paralysed smooth- 
*kinncd caterpillars, ami stuff them into the cell, Jaymg them 
horizontally. After this operation the opening was dosed and 
another cell was begun at the side of the first 

During the building process she made occasional visits 10 a 
nearby gutter, resting at the waters edge, apparently drinking. 
Then she would disappear for a time, reluming later with a hall 
of elay. Enlisting the aid of the children, a line of observers was 
formed an the direction of hei flight from the site of work. It was 
fourjd that she alighted on a path of hard-packed, clayey gravel 
She set to work, tearing at it with powerful manebbfes, kneading 
the clay intu a moist ball, discarding the sand grains and leaking 
•a smooth mixture So engrossed was she in her task, or So amiable 
was her disposition, that I was able" to kneel and approach my head 
within about 18 inches of her. The moisture that she used to wnrk 
up the clay was supplied from the mouth, and perhaps had some 
adhesive quality. One pellet that I saw her make up came from 
a patch of white gravel. It was difficult to understand why she 
should change her place of gathering material, especially as tins 
was her only lapse for the whole of the time. 
1 When the second cell was finished, an egg was suspended from 
the top as before, but r a period of bad weather kept the builder 
away for two days. When she returned she seemed to have lost 
interest in her work and we did wot see' her again 

' , '-• EMUS A>3D "INDUSTRY" 

' J At an* emu drive in- this 'district last Sunday over 400 emus were *hot. 
representing about two ions, of good meat which, if tttttJKfcm in the corrett 
way, cannot bc-distinguishcJ frAm wild turkey/* writes D. J. 0,'Leary, of 
Walsroolnn, ".in the West Australia* (Perth) lor July tO, W4, 

"Duriug'a short visit to the city' this wceJc; everywhere I went i>eoplc 
were complaining 6$ the very inferior meat supplied to city consumer* arid 
• it occurred to rac that perhaps something 'could, be done to *cnil supplies 
of emu meat to -the meat hungry r<x>ple of Perth. 

"f believe that a very lucrative industry emild be established not only 
iVthe rnarkcling of emu rttfiat but by the sate of emu eggs and feathers. 
"Offers have l>een received from Perth buyers Tor blown emu «?grgs at 10/- 
eaeh, for sale as souvenirs to Allied servicemen ; and the WaJpaolan Emu 
Destruction Committee has already sold £26 worth of emu feathers to^au 
•eastern States buyer at 10/- per lb. An, average size emu yields about 4 lb. 
weight, of feathers, 

? . *'Emu oil h considered by old 'tubmen as an infallible remedy' for 
rheumatism and no better dressing could 'be used for the preservation of 
harness jaunil other leather Kuods. •• , : \\ 

.*"! want to make* 't perfectly clear, however, thai farmers 'haven't | time 
to \aVc ndvanta^e of tlic opportunities outlined above. They are enfcjged 
in a fight against ihe emus 'for survival and have to neglect iTnuortant jobs 
'just to shoot down aft many as possible on Sunday drives, the carcasses being 

"iu'l Srr.WAtn. Btrd l.iU fa MrutU fluff %\h '/'• 


Hy PL C. E Stewart, Melbourne 

Apart from the Lyre-birrR the Ba&alo Plateau is not renowned 
tor its avifauna. One reason may he that the native bfrds fdttttd 
there, almost without exception, can he observed close to 
Melbourne Sflwi «" the words of Viscount Grey of Fallodcn, 
we feel a '.'sense of privilege'! *to.:observe n wild thing free of all 
restraint. Common birds am |>e an attraction when we are in 
holiday mood, amid magnificent scenery, aiirl breathing the 
rarefied atmosphere of over 4.000 feet! 

The most pleasant feature of a stay by a regular Buffalo visitor, 
from 8th to 19th January last, was evidence that the birds, seem 
to be "staging a comeback" after the fores of 1939. This was 
■particularly noticeable -with the. Lyre-bird*. The former well- 
known domain from the Chalet to the Haunted Gorge is again 
tenanted by Mcnura- after a vacancy of some years. On one 
occasion at dusk a family party of male female and heir, was 
*#en and folio wed for some distance. At other, times .the female 
•and chicle were watched as they .scratched for provender in the 
forest debris. Both fed with an ajr of proprietorship, disdainful 
of pxyrog" e^es, Lyre-birds were also to be seen and heard in 
other areas,, and Lyre-bird Hill once again enjoys the reputation 
implied by the name. The Lyre-bird commensal, the Pilot-bird, 
too, has returned, Right in front of the Chalet, hy the Guinea-pig' 
Rock, one was momentarily seen. A little later. his presence wa$ 
Confirmed by his distinctive call. i ' ' ; 

Some seventy species of birds have been reliably recorded on 
the Plateau, at varying altitudes of 4,000 to 5,600 feet. These 
may be broadly grouped as (ft) permanent residents known to 
-nest M the vicinity; (h) regular spring arid summer visitors 
occasionally nesting on the mountain; and (c) birds observed as 
accidental or transitory. The last group contains the largest 
number of species. The Victorian tree-line limit, approximately 
5,000 feet, determines, the bird population. Therefore the Jaw -of 
.representation amone Australian birds laid down by John Gould 
can be properly applied only to species m the first. group. 

This year the commonest htrds'were <he Fohtns^- Flame Robin* 
predominant near the Gorge. ;arrd SearJeto Robins at tlie more 
exposed elevations towards. thcJ Horn* .■.: Both kinds had-. 'bred 
freely, manifested hy many nests. located-hy. members; o.f. staff ^nd 
hy the prevalence of young h'tr&s. \ Ths Rrise and IJqoded R^bitis 
included :in Mr, P R, H. .St.-johnVlisUat the^ialet. must. , be 
rt'ow.rded as rare visitors. ._■ One .^ate;jEj.o^m 1 *;^»ther' a.jFIarnj^.nr 
.Scarlet, was witnessed •b^tteriedjfco j4^a,thvby] a Kookaburra ,/i,- r . 

70 !i**w*iii\ fS$r<i UU onMomt ISuffafu Vvli^' 

Hlack-backed Magpies have multiplied.- In -Frank Williamson'* 
phrase, 1heir "wmd-blown music came ringing down the mountain" 
frequently. On the wooded eminence of Lake View a pair .had 
bred, and the fledglings had but recently vacated the empty iiest 
seen near by. The White-backed species thai had paired during 
u previous season had vanished. 1 More of a. feature are the Grey 
Currawongs, often erroneously referred to as Jays. These are 
generally' seen in small groups of at least three, with a minimum 
of one young bird. They possess a strong territorial -sense, and 
jealously preserve their sdected are* from encroachments by other 
pairs. Of large sue, Uieir querulous notes when questing for 
insects on the trees or ground, but tuneful note on the wing and 
when alarmed, also their approaehability, make thean the subject 
of most bird inquiries by Chalet guests. At odd times a Pied 
Currawong may be lighted, but no evidence of ' local nesting of 
the species is recorded 

In the Alps, flora and fauna associations are conditioned by the 
snows and low temperatures of winter Yet, consistent with the 
Australian scene, the Buffalo preserves with eucalypt, wattle end 
tea-tree an appropriate bird representation of Parrots and Honey- 
eaters. Among the Parrots, Crimson Rosellas, Gang Gangs, and 
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos appear regularly each summer. 
The dominant species, the Crimson Rosellas (Plaiycercus elegavs) 
remain on or contiguous to the Plateau throughout the year. 
Common in many parts of the State, familiarity tends to "make 
their delightful attributes pass without comment John Gould 
remarks of them: "When six or eight rose together with outspread 
rails of beautiiul pale blue/ offering a decided contrast to the rich 
scarlet livery of the body," I never* failed to pause and admire*the 
splendour of their appearance, of 'which no description can give 
an adequate idea; the Pt&tycerci must, in fact, be seen in their 
native wilds before their beautiful appearance can be appreciated,. 
or the interesting nature of their habits at all understood." 2 

The "joy-flights*' of Crimson Rosellas appeal to both eye and 
ear. They piss through tKe air in a succession of undulations 
close to the ground, with accompaniment of gay conversational 
chatter. As they feed or move in company among the trees,* their 
deportment suggests for them the title of playboys of the avian 
world. Sometimes down the" precipitous gullies they rest and 
softly whistle one to another, hi" the clear distances the' tinkling 
"sounds are ofteii mistaken for Bell-miners. John Gould presum- 
ably bad no opportunity to observe Rosellas" in flight formation 
over snow -covered country. Many Buffalo visitors do." In the 
sunlight their brilliant plumage flashes daizlingly by, arid vies 
with the colourful movement of the gaily-clad skiers over tfie 
snow-draped slopes. 

j*4(T'] Stewart, Bird Lilt m Minmt Bufofo 7\ 

Of the lovely Rose-breasted Cockatoo. Captain Stun, live 
explorer, writes: "It is a bird of low country entirely and limited 
in extent of its habitat, never being found in any gTcat number 
on the tank.* of the Darling, or rising higher than 600 feet above 
the level of the sea." 3 Slurt's observation is generally true, for r 
unlike the Crimson Rosella.i, the Rose-breasted Cockatoos do not 
seem to visit the higher ranges in company. However, the Rusc- 
bteasted was noted on the Plateau by Mr. St. John in 1939, and 
this .summer a solitary specimen was sighted at rest on a dead 
tree dose tu Pulpit Rock. 

Gaug-Cangs can be readily located by their raucous cries as 
they congregate in favoured meeting-places along Lhe forest fringe^ 
of the- Long Plain above the Lake, or of the Crystal. Brook area's. 
Eastern Rosella?. abound in the Auckland and Ovcus River valleys, 
but apparently avoid the heights. Very rarely, when the snow and 
other gums are in Hower, the social Lorikeets (Purple-crownccl. 
Little aiul Miak) come to banquet on nectar and strew the ground 
white after orgy with- the hlossoms. Other occasional parrot 
records are White Cockatoo* and the Superb Riverina Parrot 
(Polytchs swecinsoni) . 4 

Honeyeaters vary with the season of flowers, fruits, an*! insects. 
Wurtfcnhirds and Noisy Miners arc among the larger .species Uiat 
are re-established to a limited degree. Spinebillis and White* 
plumed Honeyeaters have always been common, and with .the 
not-so-common White-eared, Lewm, Whitc-napcd *nd Crescent 
Honeyeaters, are fairly constant denizens. All breed on thr 
mountain, In a bush of Acacia phlebophyllaon Reed's Lookout, 'a 
Yellow- faced Honcy-ealcr 1 * nest showed by constant observation 
that the female was solely responsible for broodiug and Feeding 
the three callow young. The pensile nest, was composed of soft 
grasses woven with green moss, the latter oi a species that must 
have been carried by the bird from a considerable distance down 
the mountain. In fact, the vivid colour ut this rnoss, which does 
not occur on the Plateau high-level attracted the botanist's eye 
in the search for seeds of the acacia, and led to discovery of the 

Those distinctively- Australian small birds of the tree-tops, the 
Pardalotes, arc permanent residents, and their monotonous double 
call-notes ute « characteristic Buffalo sound on warm still days. 
Until recently no indication was given in records of the particular 
species iii residence. The Chalet list includes the Spotted, Yellow- 
tailed, arid Striated varieties.' The hard granitic formation -is 
generally Unsuitable for nidtfication of the Spotted P.^rdatote,; who 
rmsst needs fly to (he lower Silurian levels to burrow- the nesting 

7Z -STfcWAKT, Bird Ltie m Noun* Bt\$a\<f L'Vcitt 

tunnel. A record of the Spotted species nesting on the Plateau, 
however, was made early in December last by Mr. Si Swarbrcck 
a Club member, who watched a pair Utilizing a burrow in excavated 
.side of Ihe Lake road. The Yellow-tailed Pardalore h more readily 
seen because of the habit of intermittently descending to the lower 
branches of trees after insects. Observations by the sw^F show 
that this and the Striated Fardalote nest in the hollows of trees 
dose by. The discovery of a dead bird on the tennis cnurt by 
Miss N, Taylor of the Chalet office, on January 12th, establishes 
ihe Red-tipped Pardulote as an addition to the list. 

Rather sparsely represented on the Plateau, but particularly 
welcome for their calls, arc the Harmonious and Mountain 
Thrushes, with the ■White-throated and Evown Tree-creepers. Is 
there any other Australian bird that surpasses the Harmonious 
Thrush in the exquisite timbre of its voice? If the musical bird- 
lover is fortunate 'to hear hvo birds ot this species phrasing 
simultaneously in proximity to each other, he would detect that 
not only die principles of harmony but also of counterpoint arc 
being demonstrated. . . 

Among the small fry inhabiting the Lcptospcniwwt. and other 
undergrowth, mention may be made of the Thorubills, chiefly the 
Yellow-tailed, Striated, Little and Brown species, all purely 
insectivorous. The Grey Fantail tan be relied upon to give 
animation to the thickets that skirt -the running streams, shared 
at infrequent intervals with the Rufous Fantail. White-browed 
Scntb-wrens make rather erratic appearances, and Silvercyes 
visit the Gorge .environs; but both suddenly flit away without 
rhyme or reason. . In the summer of 1942 an interesting first 
observation was of, Satin Flycatchers. These engaging little 
creatures returned this season and showed a preference for 
-eucalypts on the edges of Lak? Catani. 

In a primitive rugged setting of granite mountains, birds of 
prey naturally come into, the line of vision. The many kinds of 
lizards, large insects, and small defenceless leathered folk attract 
-even Ihe largest of Raptores,* The most majestic of all tins alk, 
the Wedgetai) Eagle, is invariably at home.. A report of a:pah* 
that roosted near.Prngo Dell caused a visit to the spot. Sure 
enough^ (he Eagles soared overhead; also a Swamp-harrier was 
disturbed, recognised through field-glasses by its manner of 
flying low over the boggy ground. Other ditirnals to be seen 
are.. Brown Ha\yk$, Nankeen Kestrels and .Peregrine' Falcons. 
The only 'Jermite nocturnal, 'located bv- its calls, is the flbobobfc 
Owl, , • • _ »,; 

The more or less level and open tundra expanses on the Buffalo 
-Plateau ar* thickly clothed wfth low-growing x£rophiloif$ ilpihe 

' MM '- S-rttvAin*, Bird Life <w Mount. BuffaU 73 

plants, grasses and sedges, with sphagnum bogn intersected with 
tortuous watercourses, in winter heavily mantled with snow and 
ice. In the summer, despite the wealth nf inflect /ind reptilian 
fauna, the seeds and fruit of the luxuriant flora, bo distinct types 
of bird, migrant or stay-at-home, have evolved hi association 
Consequently the arrival this- year, for the first time in twenty-five 
Y&9T&, of a pair of Spur-wingcd Plovers was an event. The pair 
made their abode adjacent to the ranger's cottage, and their 
strident alarm notes fill a gap in the strange silliness of the 
tundra expanses. 

Disappointing, too, are the aquatic birds. The fine stretches 
of water in the artificial LaVe Catatii and the Reservoir, with the 
many natural pools along the streams, carry practically no endemic 
water-bird population. The almost sole exception is the Blade 
Duck, which undoubtedly breeds locally, but judged by the 
continual diminution of numbers, absconds freely. A Little Cor- 
morant may he sighted, sometimes a lone Coof, and two years ago 
a White-necked Heron waded along the margin of the Lake. 
Miv Fred Chalwell, a trustworthy informant, cites the unusual 
.spectacle of a Little Orebe, (Dabchick) on the water How thi< 
bird, with its limited power* of flight, overcame the difficulties' of 
altitude and distance is an unsolved mystery^ Upon' the construc- 
tion of the Lake over 30 years ago, Black Swans were liberated. 
One eked out a solitary existence fen* a season or two, and then 
the ram wri-$ in terris became a legend. 

The- complete absence of foreign birds is noteworthy. The 
Plateau is now one of the few localities the overseas visitor <£n 

be assured every bird he .sees is a dirikum Australian. I r \ 

* - ' > . . • * 

\ Vic. Afa<„ Vol. LVIII, No. 12, t April, 194£ti. 1%. • | 

J2. timdboo-L to ttjp Birds. <?/ /f%*tra?m, Vol. JX j>. 4j. 

3 Handbook tb me Birds of Australia, Vol, 11. pj 9 

* Vic. Not.. Vol. XX, No. It March, 1904. r». 150. 



Mr. E^ Le G. Tfoughlon's receipt presidential address to the TJnnacstn 
."Society of New South Wales covers fifteen pagva in the May issue of that 

Sorici.y's Prowtdh'-gs and commends itself to the attention of all who have 

the fate of our Australian fauna and flora at heart. Tn an effective way, 
'the <.aLse is summarised for Federal control of wild life conservation 

.and -the' immediate institution of Commonwealth-wide biological survey's. 
..Staggering statistics are. quoted of marsupial slaughter ill Cbc s^veraf States 

a-T»d it is patcut how th& lack of uniform State laws encdurag^s the illicit 
'trapper 1 . Government ignorance,, apathy, arid muddling, while ra're.i>janis 

aim animals vanish for ever from Australia, are, shown r(i stark cotitra&t 
.to the wise conservation measures adopted' in the United States.;" : * •'■ 
«<:».- ;'',;•„ , ... -. ;.:j ir.' -:: ■ . -'=- - - '• ■*•: . $3Sm\ l 

74 Tub ay, Breeding of the Platypits in Captivity [ Vol. 61 " 


By David Fleay, BSc, Dip.Eo., 
Director. Badger Creek Sanctuary. Healesville. 

Part 4 - 

Friday, February 18, was the date of a fourth visit to the 
baby Ornithorhynchus. "Jill" wa$ now showing definite evidence 
of her new coat. The bare patch on her tail had grown over 
and her general appearance was much more neat and tidy. The 
youngster now measured li r /* inches' at J 5 weeks of age. Its fw 
was long and glossy and its beak better developed, arid now its 
powers of movement were much more pronounced. JJJ1" seemed 
fonder than ever of her almost adolescent child and refused to 
.move out of the nesting chamber at all. Her mammary glands 
were obviously still 'functioning quite well, for she still stayed 
out all night consuming quantities of food as" huge as the tested 
meal of December 13.. Once again the baby's nostrils and upper 
beak were caked wiih hard mud. Attempts to express milk 
from ° Ji"' s ' 4 mammary area were unavailing, as, quite 'rightly, 
she objected most straiuously, and it would have done harm 
10 have held her by force. 

The fifth appearance of the young Onithorhynchus was a 
notable one aud took place on February 22, when it 'was aged 
just over 16 weeks. On this distinctive occasion, Herald-Gne- 
sound News-Reel photographers came by arrangement and- filmed 
l he baby (not in ibe water, of course) and both its parents. 
"Jill" rose to the occasion in a most spectacular fashion. Thfc 
youngster was noticeably active on this date, and when placed 
temporarily in a large tin filled with dry grass, it tried repeatedly 
to crawl out over the top. When replaced in the nest it crawled 
out of sight into the burrow, but a further peep that n;ght 
revealed that tine comfort-loving little creature had returned to 
curl up on its bed of dry leaves, while poor "Jill" was out as 
usual hunting for its nourishment in the water. " 

On this occasion .(February 22) when I was feeling for the 
baby in the nesting chamber, it had grown to such a bulk that 
T almost confused it with its mother. '"Jill/ 1 by the way, gaye 
in this instance a remarkable display of mock ferocity. Each 
time my questing- fingers entered the burrow she seized them 
in her rubbery beak and endeavoured to remove them from the 
nesting chamber. Indeed, she "ran" me oui of the burrow to 
the accompaniment of shrill growling.! , 

There was now little doubt that the young platypus could, 
if irwlshed, enter the water and eat adult food. Its weight was 

1$M F'.t-w. Br*edm$ of the. Platypus in Captkdty 75 

just >4 ,oz. off I lb,, and. its length 13J/3 inches. For the past 
fortnight '"Jill" had made no attempts to png or block off the 

There is apparency a dehnitc relationship between the amount 
of food that it is possible for the mother animal to procure arid 
the particular time at which the young ones depart to make 
their qwa way in (he world. Over the past six years I have 
noticed that a number of very undersized and miserable baby 
platypuses ("JllT among them) have been discovered in alt sorts 
of odd places in the Healesville district during the weeks of 
late January and mid-February. Some have been in a dying 
condition when caught. Two that we found in Lake Yumbunga f 
Giura Creek, HealesviHe, were so weak that they were picked 
out of the water* by hand. 

Evidently then, unless something happens to the mother, or for 
lea-sons of a diminishing food supply, when the young platypuses 
are forced to move out prematurely, they stay in the nursery 
for a long period (in this case 17 weeks), and when finally 
taking to the water at 13-14 inches in length they are thoroughly 
well grown and ;ible to care for themselves. In the case of 
"Jill's" baby the mother herself lacked for very little in the 
way of food, and she had no distance to go and gather ft, so 
that the young one, itself the sole member of a family which 
in the wild state usually numbers two, enjoyed conditions of the 
very best kind. 

It left the tunnels tor rrs first observed outing in the water 
at 5.15 p.m. (E.S.T.) on February 2b; unattended by the, 
mother, and immediately commenced feeding sparingly upon 
small yalibi'O, beetle iarvs, and other item.s of adult food. It& 
length was still !3^ inches, its weight 1 lb. r and its age, 
corresponding to the length'- of time it had 'spent ih the nest, was 
/ weeks* , ... 

In fact, the date of its* debut was just a <lay over foot' complete 
months since the notable October 25 when 4f ]i\\" retired to fciv* 
and commence her period of incubation: There is little doubt 
that for at least 16 weeks the young animal remained immobile 
in the* nesting chamber, feeding from its ■mother during Kcr 
presence at home, hut otherwise curling up and' spending" its 
•entire time asleep in the nesting chamber. ■,•-.-—* 

The excursions of the little animal into the Water, beginning 
in the. Tate afternoon of February 26, by no means ushered/in a 
new phase of independence, though doubtless many Y&jf»% 
pJatypiiscs— particularly those found wandering some distance 
from water — lose contact with their mothers at this v stage, 
especially when the nesting-burrow entrance ts many feet troili 

76 Ki.i-.ay, breeding o\ the Platypus in C&plivitv [ vot'.tt ' 

the water's edge up a steeply sloping bank, I recall that all the 
well-grown young platypuses I have captured in HealesviKc 
streams during the month of March have oeen on the thin side, 
with strap-like tails, which seems to indicate that the good 
condition of norma] nest-leaving young is an important prerequisite 
towards the difficult early stages at enforced independence. 
• The young animal's activities over succeeding days to date 
of* having these notes typed may be summarized as follows: — 

Date Time Spent in, Water- Activities of young animal 

and mother. 

Feb 2$, 1944 First outing 5. 15 p.m la On each dale the mother ani- 

heforc 8.45 p.m. mnl appeared in the vicinity 

Feb. 27. Out 7.15 p.m. In before of 7 p.m., eating all night 

10 p.m. iliTongh as she had done pre- 

Fcb.28 Out 7 IS (n hefore riously. During daylight, 

. • p.m, she and the baby were curled 

Feb. 29 Out appro*, 7.30 p.m. in up together as usual in the 

)Q.1S p.m, lit-:, Ling chamber, As usual. 

Ma» } Brought out for firs* M J'0\" seized my fingers when 

public Mvirn, 3.30 p.m I opened the bag plug in 

No! seen in evening nest and endeavoured to 

"run u me out This maternal 
solicitude, her continued 
enormous appetite and the 
Tact that the youngster ate 
only a small amount during 
its two or three hours 
abroad at night indicated 
• that she was still nourishing 
it / on milk. The weaning 
! : period had evidently begun. ■ 

Jn the v/aler ;»t night "Jill" played with her baby, swimming 
about. if, and nuzzling it with her bill,- and once or twice she 
playfully pulled it oft landing-stages. There was no evidence 
that she masticated food for it or foraged for it in any way. 
Both animals -frequently splash-dived — "Jill' 1 in mock alarm but 
the youngster quite frightened on occasions, It was clear that 
the fat, healthy little creature became both fatigued and very 
cold after a three-hour swim in the evenings of those early days. 

Sure signs were a hprnping of her back and repeated attempts 
to scratch her flanks and batk with the claws of her back feet. 
These symptoms foretold an early departure into the burrow; 
" Jill" was rather an unsympathetic mother on various occasions, 
she levered her tired offspring back into the water once or twice 
before it was able to retire — and then pushed her head after 
it into the tunnel as much as to. say, "What! So soon?" It 
ivill be interesting to find out how long her maternal solicitude 
continues. I." J ~ -, : . f : -- — . - • ~ • 

iJ-U J Fmiav, Brvsiiintj oj ihr Ft&tjptfi itt Caftivtty 77 

Apropos of lias, it happcped that on March 6. 1937, I dug' 
out a platypus burrow in the banks of the Banvan River, south 
of Wiuehclsea, Victoria, and fcund in a nest a fine female with 
? young male duckbill practically the same size as herself. What 
he was domg in rhe nursery at that advanced stage has often 
ptuzled me, It seems, however, that he was still tied to his 
mothers "apron strings," 

Now thai: "Jill's" baby has ventured into the world, she 
becomes a personality; She is to be knotvn as Corrie, an 
abbreviation of "Coranderrk,' 1 aboriginal term fur the Creek of. 
Ihc Christmas Rush (Prostanthera)/ which is actually the name 
of both the Sanctuary and adjoining forest lands through which 
runs sylvan Badger Creek, 

Sad to sayv "CorrisV advertised debut before the ptiblic on the 
Sunday afternoon following her baptism proved a total fiasco. 
"JIB" look the stage in her usual scli-contaiucd fashion. "Corrie" 
however, became coy for the first rime and scuttled deep down 
into "basement'" burrows below the nursery. Instead of a 3.30 p.m. 
"Grand Show," "Corrie" was not unearthed until 5.30 p.m. after a- 
Sunday afternoon's heavy shovel work. Most: of our visitors had 
then gone home --but stilt we kept our word and showed "Corrie. 11 
"fade" and "Ji!P to the handful ot remaining enthusiasts. 

At this time, ;yi .fortnight after her first aquatic excursion, "Corrie 1 ' 
had become rather furtive and wild and now Stayed out practically 
the \vhole night long with "Jill," in the water. However, the fairly 
frequent; early handling and "Jill's" example ot fearless feeding at 
afternoon show periods (Sit which both baby and tnothev were 
now made to appear) soon bore excellent results. 

*'Cotrie'' continued to sleep in the same. nest with her mother 
and possibly was still stickled to a small extent until approximately 
March 25, following which date mother add baby "camped", during 
daylight in separate burrows. "CortieV appetite was now the 
gluttonous ojie of an adult. Her length at this independent age 
of practically five months — that is, a month following" her first 
visit to the water — waft 144 inches, anil so excellent was her 
condition that at first glance mother and youngster in the wiater 
appeared almost as twbns, VCome'.s" beale, however, was definitely" 
smaller than "Jill's/' 

Feeding vigorously whenever the occasion presents itself, rolling 
un her bads and playfully scr&tching herself, clinging with all four 
feet to any hand that approaches her, or playing, "chasie" by holding 
on to her mother's tail with her beak, "Corrie" at the end of 
March, 1944, had become. the most frolicsome, fat .and engaging 
Utile duckbill one could imagiioe. I am afraid that '"Jill's" star 
that has been in the ascendent for so long; will beectipsed, for lit 

7$. Flkay, Jheedhifijij the Plnlypus in Coftivtiy VvriM*' 

addition. to her. personality "Coirie" should grow to l)c a much 
bigger animal. 

JllF is already adopting stern measures for- the suppression of 
precocious daughters and in the rivalry for possession of food 
Sterns she iciatubers firmly upon "CorricV back seeing to it that 
her offspring's head is pushed wcJI below the water ! 



*(!) The rnotiier gathers all her nesting material seeking wet (foro the 
water and carries it in the prehensile grip of her tail. 

12) Her incubation i>eiiod when she remains in her nest i* probably ** 
short as one week and no more than ten days. 

(3) The maternal instinct is very well developed. 

^4) The mother's appetite in the early life o( naked rapidly growing young 
up to roughly six weeks o( age develops enormously Jill {2 lbs- 
weight) ate ort December 13 Ij lbs. food In one night 

(5) The youngster »s totally blind rill approximately eleven weeks of Age 
It is inactive in the nest for a further six week**. 

(6) It ventured out for its -ftm swim at the age of 17 weeks, or four 

O) Early aquatic excursions coinciding with the cruet of the iveafling 
pliase were of very brief duration, and little food was eaten, 

<8) The young- animal developed the typical gluttonous appetite of fin adult 
within three weeks of first nest-leaving, though maternal solicitude- 
continued for nearly a month after the first water excursion. Weaning 
period is evidently some three weeks in extent. 

From March 25. 1944, onwards with (he youngster's age almost rive 
months, the two 3nimals no longer inhabited Ihe same daytime nest. 
Length at totally independent stage on thin date 24J inches. 

This is just a sort of answer w a question that was- asked some weeks 
ago at the F.N. meeting regarding the swarming of the Dusky Wood- 
Swallow (Artcnus sardidus-) t As a matter of fact it is the usual habit 
of 'these bird; to mass together at night '-instead of perching as most birds 
■do. They will chog to a tree trunk, in a crevice or any suitable place where 
they can duster. I kept and bred these birds years ago In my aviaries at 
■Chftoo Hill aud I know that they always clustered at night sometiuKs 
clinging to a. rafter of the aviary. During the breeding season the "bird 
that was not sitting" on the eggs usually clung to the side of the nest nr 
nearby. The White-browed Wood- Swallows are not to gregarious but 
ibey clittg to the branch of a troe or on the trunk in preference to perching. 
Wood-SwaKows a*e interesting birds to keep as they are most friendly, 
t;ut' they need a large flight aviary, as I believe most birds do. 

H&rxx Bowie. 

Starling and* centipede 

A peculiar occurrence is mentioned by a contemporary i - , 

A starling flew* into Oie garden with something on its leg, and when • we 

taught" ihe bird W« found it to be a centipede about 4 in. lonjj. It* had 

trawled up the bird's leg and had it nearly eaten oft". We took the 

Centipede off and lei 4he bird go, and hope it will live 

A "'m*] Mai-tingle-; Radial Kays dfl£ fytifatt" 70 

(To the Editor) 

Sir. — The original discussion on llie subject of radial rays and instinct 
arose Ifirongh a habit attributed to the Reef Heron in which I maifttaiixd 
that us behaviour in timing the change of the ti<!e was due to the influence 
vi some form of ray directing it, such -as those which radiate or' aie 
emitted as distinct from oilier forms of ray. Also, that "instinct'* could not 
be applied sine* it was an indefinite and redundant word. Dr. Flecker has 
been unable to controvert either of my postulates. He Assumed that the 
sight of the bird enabled it to proceed to s*a at the precise moment, 
forgetting tltat. iii many instances, the curvature of the earth prevented, this. 
Tie further casts doubts on rays affecting the action of birds. 

When both my original points had beei> shown by me to he. fundamentally 
correct, supported as they were by facts of experiment* in Spain, he says 
that these fact* arc "vague and absolutely inconclusive," thus malting a 
dogmatic, unsupported statement. 

For the orderly arrangement of Nature's manifestations uonkntlatural 
refinement cannot remain static, and tue type of ray must be defined wliert 
dealing with it since there arc numerous rays associated with magneto- 
electric influences in the environment. All persons have the tight TO express 
themselves. For instance, the word "Radar" was employed to distinguish 
mis ray from others such as for instance the rebounding jay used hi 
navigation. Cottfrunted with established facts cited by me, I>r. Flecker 
has the temerity to state Hint the Spanish cxiKTimems are "vague and 
absolutely Jii66uCldMve." By ;fl doing- he denies facts unjustifiably "since 
many tests were made by the Spanish authorities and afterwards more- 
exacting ones by (^ernww, all of which established the eftect or rariiatm« 
rays on the oncptation of carrier pigeons. Thus .it has been 'conclusively 
established that the rays of the environment do affect birds. That which 
has been proven cannot be stigmaiitcd as a "dogmatic statement," but h 
acceptable evidence. ' 

Regarding the u^e of the word "instinct," no proper reply has been made 
ivl;**rein f itemized two well-known factors operating in conjunction, namely, 
that of the organic structure of animals and the stimuli uf the environment, 
both known factors of the evolutionary processes subscribed to by most 
scientists. To try to offset a bad position. Dr. Flecker has uieil mioic 
inappropriate sio>ilies- For instance, he stated that- the aisc of the term 
"radial ray** 1 appears to be just as intelligible as "nuisical music'* and 
"painful jwin-" The average citizen knows that there is harmonious music 
and discordant music and excruciating pain* and feeble nerve disturbance. 
However, the wmihes ate not Relevant to the issue. ' 

Lei me quote what Professor C J, Patten says ; "I cannot subscribe to 
the idea that *i>e desired goal reached by the' migrating' bird; and the home- 
coming of the trained pigeon, are due to- no other tlian 'unconscious vherrfftg 
instinct." The speed of ftiffhc, the keenness of visual observation, and the 
endowment of a retentive memory iorm the'ehier! but not the whole equip- 
ment through which birds have aojuired 'place memory.'- I might add 
that the other missing factor directing the Right of ruijrratinir buds is that 
of radial rays. 

Profovnr lMantk formulated the theory that the energy (vibrations or 
radiations) given off by any living matter,' whetiier H be a five cell or 
living animal, cuce slatted, never ceases to vibrate, even alter death of the 
cell or animal. This is in conformity with the ceaseless and perpetual 
motion of ray* of the environment as postulated by me, 

Yours, etc, 

Melbourne, Mihuu H. E. Matonclev, 


80 Coqk., Radial Rays and- Jhrd fy-havL>m |_ y j C1 * 

(To ihe Editor) 

Sir, — I note Dr. Pleclcer's remarks re "Radial Rayi and Bird Behaviour." 
GttitnmaitcaNy I agree with his criticism of "radiat rays,** but 99 out of 
IQO people will understand what is meant by thr- term — *.?-, t$&$ expanding 
in all directions Irom a centre, as against beam or directional rays. 
"Musical music" may be tautology, out the man in the street would under- 
stand its meaning, unless, he be liVc -the individual who recognizes but one 
air fcy name and that only lor the? reason that people stand with hare heads 
when it is played- 

However, with due reaped. this ill uj beside the mark*, The fact remains 
that sufficient evidence is cormvg- forward to enable u* to believe that the 
actions of birds, animals etc, are actuated' to a very great) extent by radtal 
waves- The Spanish experiment with pigeons, backed up as it was by 
experiments irt Germany* was neither/ Vague" nor "absolutely inconclusive/' 
These* tested experiments are very much, the reverse. The radio-location 
and. other instruments being; used in the. present war— rwhieh we will hear 
about in more detail after the struggle is over— w*ll be jwactical evidence 
of liow radial waves can be Uttsl in this direction. This evidence will assist 
us lo understand — backed up as it is by many natural examples — what is 
behind the behaviour of our 'feathered friends which we label "iinriiicV 

Yours, etc.; 

Walkerston, . A. A. Cook. 

Mackay, Queensland. 


Reports of Galah* atid other Cockatoos encountering electric wfcrts are 
not uncommon. What is probably more unusual, is for an observer to see 
:M 3tages of the encounter from start to fimsll, and also to see a bird 
survive the ordeal of elcctrtficarioti. Tins was my ^experience on a recent 
Saturday afternoon at Brighton. 

This particular Galali was Weft lo fly overhead and alight alK'Mt. two 
feet from a. pole, rm one of two high-tension wires. These wires were 
supported by a cross-bar at tlic top of the pole. With a few step* along 
the wire, liie fcjrd was soon testing the top of the. pole with \U beat And 
Ibcn commenced to explore the cros.s-bar. Finally, it reached one end of 
the bar and, 'in turning, -appeared to' lose balance. Stretching out us neck, 
it grasped the ticarm wire in its lieak. and immediately hecame fixer!. It 
was to remain in that position for the next twenty minutes. 

The instant the bird grasped the wire it* wing's commenced to droop and 
the tail feathers slowly spread out. A very slight, regular vibration* "of the 
extended wings and tail was noticeable during the period of capture. At 
one stage the bird emitted A number of deep guttural cries, which gradually 
died away : within a, few numues* - 

Within a fewnrunutes of trie Galon's capture a neighbour had telephoned 
lite Efecrn'city Commission, and about a uuarter of an hour later linesmen 
appeared on the scene. Just as their car was pulling into the Verb, the bird 
fell to tfit ground. 

The bird wa* scon on its. feet and, after staggering- around for a- few 
minutes, quickly regained its sense of balance — not to mention, its ability to 
draw Mood from the hand of one of the linesmen. . A sliglnly burnt toe 
seermed to be the only damage tt suffered from its experience with-, a" Wire 
carrying- 4,000 voles of electricity. -- Apparently its escape from incineration 
was" due to the /act that ,'it; had received only a few volts ofi the current, 
and-.lbe pole, -being dry, made a poor conductor with the earth. 

i u .' * ■ ' ii • F, G. Etronfc 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 6i-— No. 5 September 8> 1944 No, 729 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on August 14. 1944, 
at the RoyaJ Society's Hall, where the President (Mr. Ivo C. 
HammcO B&i about 100 members and friends aUended. 

The. President announced the death of Mrs. W. H. Nicholls* 
and Mr. P. R. St. John, two very good friends of the Club. Mr. 
St. John being a past President although not a member at the 
time of his death A tribute to the memory of these friends was 
paid by those present. 

Excursion reports were given as follows; National Museum, 
Mr. Ivo C. Hammer (for Mr. Made) ; Melbourne Streets, Mr. 
F. S. Collivet (for Mr. A. C. Frostick). 

The following were elected as Ordinary Members: VX82270 
Gr.T\ K, Slatter, Mr, E. J. Cope, Mr. Keith Winsor; as Country 
Member: Mr,- Geoff Huston; as Associate Member: Master R. 


Mr V. JE Miller reported on a BJackbird feeding young at Ihc 
beginning of August; locality, Brighton district, 

Mr.. A. A. Brim ton reported seeing a Platypus in (be Martbyr- 
nong River, near Keilor. 

- Mr. H. T. Reeves remarked that Platypuses were, often seen 
near the Foolscray Gardens, and Mr. R, S. Colliver stated he 
had a record of one being seen near Princes Bridge just prior 10 
the war. 


An illustrated lecture was given by Mr. 1* F. Morris, who 
mentioned a simple classification of the fish, differences between 
these and sharks, and also some interesting items 011 both marine 
and fresh-water cnistacea. Mention was made also of life 
histories and the lack ok- knowledge of some of the Victorian forms, 
problems due to introduction of foreign sporting fish, problems 
due to erosion and ,its effect: on the fish fauna of our streams, the 
necessity of proper fisheries- research, etc. Altogether a very 
interesting lecture was given by Mr, Morns, and much informa- 
tion was afforded rhosc present- ■ 


By II. VV. Davev, Melbourne 
If lizards, or indeed any of our Australian replies and amphibia, 
;.ie given suitable living conditions, they can afford great pleasure 
Ion naturalist. In this paper a selection is made from the numerous 
lixards I have kept in captivity, and >s dealt whU under five family 

The geckos arc well represented in Australia, and diligent search 
wouJd probably increase the present number of species recorded 
for Victoria. Several years ago the writer discovered a pretty 
Ufftfa gerko (HeteiutnolQ hyttoei) al Mildura and supplied the 
Melbourne Museum with specimens, but only recently has it again 
been taken in our State. This gecko apparently does not leave 
(he ground, but prefers to shelter under logs, etc, Other genera 
(e.g.. Gyvmodiiclylns, which 1 have taken only from beneath 
broken slabs of gnmit*0 favour stony country, while others again r 
such as Phyilodactyhts, are mostly found under the loose hark of 
frees, usually high up from the ground. 

Geckos are hardy little fellows and succeed in captivity; the 
writer still possesses, alive and well, a specimen of Gymnodactylus 
jniMnm ihat has lived in a small glass-sided case (2 ft. x 30 ins. 
n S ms) for over seven years, in company with two other geckos — ■ 
<7. tntliitsii for five and a Phyllotlartyhus waymtvatus for nvflr four 
years. These lizards arc extremely fond of spiders, which aie no: 
always plentiful, but they do equally well on the mealworm larvae 
of Tti-ncbno nwlitoy, a beetle which may be bred easily and in 
great qu.intity 

The most remarkable tiling about Gymn-odoeiyhiF milium i< the 
number of times it sheds its skin — never less than four per year, 
but some years as many as six times. After the skin is shed this 
species displays a pretty pattern, but just prior to moulting all 
geckos become quite grey in colour, due to a separation of the old 
from the new skin beneath. 

J have reared Phyllodactylus iMtvioraius ivum eggs laid in 
captivity (hard-shelled, unlike most other lizard eggs), and it is 
interesting to note the length of time it takes for the eggs to 
hutch, \\?.. y 207 days. Each year the female of r iRArfHdvsftif 
lays only two eggs r . which can easily he seen inside her body 
a* she crawls up the glass of her cage. 

In (lie Mnllee, 1 have also collected a specimen of Dipbniuclylus 
spimf/eivs, of which anoLher was later given me by Mr. Erasmus 
Wilson. While in the Wimmera district U wai my good forhmc 
to obtain />. vitiahts and D. stroplntrus. 


I'l.Air. II 

SqiUmK-r, l'J44 

A XurtluTii (k'ckn. 



IVardnl Dr:i.n<»ii { . iuiplnhnLmis I'urhnLus ) . 

Geckos lose their la lis very readily, but ri takes them a long 
Liriiti- to grow new ones. Most writers on this subject advance the 
theory that the involuntary movements in the dropped tail su 
attract a potential enemy's notice that the tait-less owner is enabled 
to make good his escape; this* in the wikerV opinion, does not 
appear to he a sHtiirifaetory conclusion, for he can see no reason 
why the predator that broke off the tail should lose sight of its 
lute ownei -by far the larger object. Then again, a gecko without 
a tail would have little chance of escape next time, in having no 
means whereby to intrigue its enemy, Many lizards of the 
Scincidtf part with their tails like geckos, yet other genera in rhu 
same family do not; thus, if losing the tail cam save* the life Ol 
one species, why should not .similar species in ihe s*me family 
he. Hkcwise favoured? The little snake-like. lizard* (in the family 
Pygopodidco) are "nearly all iail" and are very helpless creatures 
indeed if they lose it, which can occur readily enough. 


This ih a \large family, many of which thrive in capiiviiy Must 
ol the 4gnn\id€T are very active and their enclosure must be 
covered with wire-netting to prevent escapes, The Bearded 
.Lizards Amphibotunis barbattts -and A. muricatns, commonly but 
foolishly named "Blood-suckers/' arc well known but require 
reasonable space in captivity. A smaller species is the pretty 
A, pk*m. which is highly coloured, is fairly common in "blue- 
Intsh" country around Mildura, and makes a delightful pet A 
small agamid (Tywpa'iioctyptis limaia) that was once so plentiful 
nn the plains coward die You Yangs, never did well with tnc — 
probably due to the lack of a balanced spider and caterpillar diet. 
also to the fact that these Irards naturally inhabit holes in the 
ground, and it is difficult to imitate the right soil condition £0 as 
to prevent (heir burrows from collapsing. 

Tin so-called "Gippslaud Crocodile'* ^PhyngtuHhus lesuetim) 
is. q\}ite. at home near a small pond in which it can disappear when 
alarmed. It appears to sulk awhile *fter capture, but at the end 
f>f eight or nine days will eat inseds, as well as small pieces of raw 
moat. 1 am not likely to forget my fit fit encounter with this li-xar«:l 
at Dargo River, where it Is very numerous ; as soon as I realized 
their presence I was anxious to procure a specimen, but the 
problem was how to capture one alive, 

Phyidgn&thux doe* nut travel far from water, usually keeping 
the tip of its tail therein ami plunging at the blight est sign of 
impending danger. The banks of the river near Dargo township 
arc so high and steep that it would he quite useless attempting 
ro get near these lizards from the water's edge, but by means of a 

m DAVkY, Smitr Ltzards I jtffa fa«/tt [*{&-*?* 

long sfilch ;and a much longer piece of string I was able to snare 
one, ami v-efy shortly afterwards secured another -fine specimen 
•To hold the first reptile and take the second out ot the string 
noose, wirhout one or other escaping, was a problem, since these 
: lizards can scratch like any cat;. -my wrists told a sorry story 
when T eventually* gat back to die Dargo Hotel, a wriggling, 
scratching lrcard in each hand. \ subsequently gave one of (hem 
rto the late Sir "Baldwin Spencer. 

• The prickly "Mountain Devil" (Moloch hmrkhis) from the 
Inland is far from being horrid, either ifl appearance or behaviour, 
and is rather • prettily coloured I have kept af different limes 
several 'of these quaint little creatures, The first specimens I ever 
received were kindly presented by, Mr. John Clark (Entomologist 
at the National Museum, Melbourne) ; Mr. Clark was then living 
^n Perth. W.A. With the arrival of these ant-eating lizards, I 
wad perplexed to discover the insect species upon winch they 
would feed; many different ants were collected in the "bush" and 
tried out. notably Irid&mynmx delectus. L nitfdus, Eftatoiima 
nifitaUicMtti; MnnovwrlutJi^ Componotus, and l J heidole- species. 
"Moloch simply ignored them all At last I proffered the small 
wil-smelling ant Irid&myrm^x tufomqer vat. ihmesticu& and then 
the lizards' troubles — and mine — weic over. 

The average number of ants -eaten per lizard per minute ts 45, 
providing the .day be warm and ants plentiful, so that for two 
nxsals a day of about 15 minutes' duration each Moloch, will 
consume approximately 1.350 ants daily? These animals are of 
absorbing interest and, for a more detailed account than js possible 
here, I would refer readers to my special article in this journal 
(Vol. 40, .page 58) wherein are discussed Irnjjr drinking and sleep- 
ing habits, the hygroscopic nature of their skins, etc, 

Some years ago Mr. Norman .McCance sent me a very fine 
example ni the North Australian "Frill-neck" (Cittamydosauru! 
hitogii) which, like the "Gippsland Crocodile," refused food for 
several days alter arrival. To entice a sulky lizard, it is best to 
keep, the food moving, so I used a aliver of beef on the end of a 
slick and, by moving this in front of my ''Frill-neck,'* it began to 
take notice and later snapped .the meat off the stick, after that, 
it topic 10 mealworms and would cat m&ny in succession 
i. • (To W continued) 

* - - - PERSONAL 

Two leading AusfraUair zoological' scicntivts have terminated employment 
in which they .have rendered $0wkI service during many years— Mr. Johfl 
Clark has resigned from hrs position as Entomologist at the Nations) 
Milium, Melbourne, and Mn Tom bttfaftft has retired from the office of 
Conchologist at the Australian Museum, Sydney. * - - 

t!5| j Coi.kmak iL&nurttr plants as /fntiseptitv 85- 

By hlitmi Coukmak, Blackburn, Victoria. . 

Two interesting repons oi the use of aromatic herbs for neSliug 
material partly confirm my suggestion that they are o$grJ as insect 
re} id hints 

As related in the /'.A'. (Jan., 1944). in October, 1942. and 
October, 1943, leaves were stripped front a rare ryrethrum, the 
only plant of the kind )n the garden. A goldfinch's nest was found 
to be almost entirely constructed with the silvery leaves. An 
interesting note in Wild Life (March, 1944) relates - to a gold- 
finch's nest in a Northcote garden constructed with sprigs of 
Thyme, again taken from the only plant of the kind in that garden. 

The antiseptic theory was carried a step further when, recently. 
Dr. O'Snaughnessy told me of a sparrows nest built with sprigs 
of Rue {Ruta gnweolctis) . Some, birds, the yellow robin for 
instance, often place green leaves flat on- the floor of the uest. J 
had assumed that it was done as a hygienic precaution. Such 
leaves, if soiled, would be easily removed ; yet, except when parents 
(and young) are perturbed by the proximity, of observers, the 
nests of most birds are rarely soiled-. 

The of Pyre thrums as insect sprays and jxjwdcrs is wt\\. 
known. It is significant that Thyme contains thymol, a powerful, 
antiseptic,, which is official it\ pharmacy. From very early times 
dried Thyme has been used as an insect-bane and the -green juke 
as a. powerful deodorant. Both Virgil' and Ttiny refer lo its use 
as a fomigatnr. The use by ihe birds of Kueis even more 
significant. • This is one of Ihe oldest and most .interesting oi 
garden plants. Its grey-green, or silver, foliage is powerfully 
scented. "Kank-smcJIing" Rue, Spenser calls it.-with some justice 
Freshly rubbed on the hands, the smell' is most disagreeable, but 
ir dries with a pleasant, gorse-like fragrance. 

From Saxon limes until. the nineteenth century Rue was regarded 
as an antiseptic with almost magical powers to ward off contagious 
diseases, and to banish insects, Bue-watcr was sprinkled in. 
houses as a flea-bane. Gerard,- the Elizabethan, quoting both 
Dioscondes a,ud Pliny, tells us that wasps, bees, homers, elc. will 
nut harm a man who anoints himself with the juice of Rue. Its. 
very smell drives away the serpent, *o "when a weasel is to fight 
tire serpent she ^rmeth herself by eating Rue.'" He adds: Tw 
leave* are good against all evil. airs, the plague or pestilence, ami 
lesist all. poisons." J, . 

Pliny, who lisU.4S4 ills for which Rue was a remedy, writes of 
it as one of the most active of medicinal planfs. He is right when 
he says that large doses are harmful — they may eveti cause vertigo 

4*6 Coi-fiAlAN. ArOtmUic PWs IT) Attlitvh*h I [ '^.jf* 1 

— but his statement thai the juice of Hemlock aas as .an antidote 
mast be accepted with caution. 

It it fascinating to look back to those days when even physicians 
had such simple, unquestioning faith in the powers of charm- 
ing old herbs. 

Rue matceth chaste; and vke prexcrvnth sujlU; 
Infusvth imi, and jmtUth flats to flight. 

So rims an old rhyme attributed to the School of Salerno, (he 
oldest school oi medicine in Europe, which has been described as 
"uncontaminated by superstitious medicines " 

Rue (Shakespeare's herb of grace) was given by Opheba to 
Hamlet's mother, as a preserver of chastity. II wc jtfaj/ believe 
the old wnters, Rue banished insects more loathsome than the 
flea. Long before gaol fever (typhus) was known to be carried 
by the body louse, Rue was scattered in courts oi justice to protect 
officials from the terrible disease. A bunch of it was placed on 
the bench near the dock as a defensive against any infection 
brought by prisoners from the gaol. Says Or. Thornton (1810) : 
"Hue is supposed to be anti-pestilential, hence our judges have 
then noses regaled with this most foetid plain. "' 

It would be mteresting to leans whether Rue, natural or syn- 
thetic, lias any part in the new antiseptic used to treat garments 
issued to soldiers in the present war. 

There would seem, then* to be little question as to the antiseptic 
properties of the three herbs used as nesting material 

Accepting the suggestion that birds employ them as insect 
repellants, how do they recognize their antiseptic properties if they 
have so little sense of smell? When watching birds closely l\ is 
almost impossible to keep them unaware of our proximity. No 
matter how carefully hidden, how quiet and motionless wc may be, 
something apprises them of our presence. Structure of the brain 
would seem to preclude smell as the explanation ; but does it? 

A tame Krogmouth ivhich relished mice refused a baby rat 
which I could scarcely distinguish from a mouse. It was held 
above his hill where he could not possibly see it without moving 
his head, and this he refused to do. We tried for a long while to 
induce him to take it, yet a moment later when a mouse was held 
in exactly the same position he gulped it down at once. He- could 
not have seen it until he raised his bill to snatch. 

Many instances arc recorded of the fondness of animals, includ- 
ing fish, for herbs. "The hidden virtues of herbs is such that th« 
very brute beasts have fouud it out, 1 ' says Pliny, and from 
Theophrastus we learn that the sheep of one place will nut cat 
bitter wormwood, but the sheep of Pontus fall oh it— 'consequently 
they have no hile." Iz;iak Wattim'* friend Oliver Henry caught 

ME VICTORIAN' XATCRAUST Vol. f.l Somber. 1944 

Pl.vik J II 

Yttl<i\\ Ivoliin ,it N'est. 

Ph'itn. ; A. H T Cjtihhnlm. 

\\Ydj;0-UiilLiI E;i^k i hrin^in^ ^rtfii In;uieh tu ik-si, [imhahly lis {fisinlVetaiit 
J'hoto, : D. W. GaukrodyiT. 

^ST*] Cui.wvs-. /honmtir Plants as jiitm'piits *? 

more salmon and trout than anybody else, This wa* very pUfctlitlg 
to liaak and the, rest until it was revealed lhat t bfcfofe baiting ,hi.s J 
hook, Oliver's worms wore put into a bo* vvliich had been, anointed 
with a few drops of oil ot ivy rjetrie*. The worms, absorbing the 
odour., were, ir resistible:, to the fish- 
Birds love the purple-black ivy berries. The leaves were once 
worn us wreaths to prevent, intoxication during Bacchanalian 
orgies, and a bush of ivy advertised .good, wine, until some inn- 
peeper discovered that, good wine needs no bush. 

The fonduecH of dogs and other animals for anise is well known. 
and anise ir= said to be the rat-catcher's second-best bait. 

Bees love many herbs, which is why, from the time of Virgil, it 
was. customary to rub a new hive with Balm, Savoy, Melilotj etc. 
On the uther hand, a sling was the direct result ot rubbing a leaf 
<if Bergamot {M.o-iwrda) too near my bees! Many animals are 
at ti acted by Musk (natural and .synthetic) and. Lhc oiLs of. 
Lavender. Catnip and Rhodium. The latter, a kind 01 Con 
volvulus, is said to fie the finest of all rat baits. 

A few drops of oil ot Bcrgamot (Kergamoi-orange, not 
Mouarda) rubbed on the biJl is said to tame the wildest of birds. 
First catch your bird ! 

The passion of eal> tor Vnlenan. Catnip and Cat-thyme amounts 
•to intoxication. The lattei was once known ay Herha-catti. My 
own plants were destroyed by eats until a fellow-enthusiast told 
enc that his plants »vere enclosed with wire netting-- Each morning: 
I- had found them broken down, and the ground about them rolled 
smooth. Many members will remember a story told by Mr 
Charles Oke, for many years 'secretary of this club. He convulsed 
us with laughter while, describing the antics of a number of eats, 
as vhey roiled m contortions oi! ecstasy (or intoxication) over his 
rubbish-heap on which lK} had emptied dust and ant-debris from 
his collecting' case. 

Some research into the scent of those ants and a comparison 
with the oifs of Gat-thyme and other cat-favoured herbs might 
disclose a link connecting "anting" by birds and the use of 
aromatic herbs us nesting material. 

Catnip, when chewed, is said to make the most gentle annual 01 
person tierce and quarrelsome — which i> why a certain hangman 
could never work himself up to perform his office until he had 
<sateti some I 

Numerous plants are repellant to insects. One need only cite 
the oils of Citronella, lavender, and Cfoves Although many 
plants are called "flea-bane," onion juice is said to be the best bane 
of all. Arc onion leaves ever seen in birds* nests? I find that 
Pennyroyal, believed to banish fleas from a dog's kennel, banishes 
itae do£ too ! 

83 Can.tMw. rlitoflrfrirc I'/tntts as slutisrfiiu-,' L^Voi.e! 1 ' 

Giniphonvood and Sandalwood are I wo other well-known 
in5ect repel lanU. Arc their leaves notimi by bird.-? How mairy 
birds; line (heir nests with gMUi leaves? 

Birds arc saW never to touch Funnel, yet this herb shares at 
least one of tin: virtues uf Rue; hat unlike Kennel, Rite would win 
no commendation h;bin FaUtaff us an accompaniment of conger 

In this garden Tjfrds have shown a fondness for leaves and seeds 
of many plants, such as Marigold Elecampane, Helciiuim, Dan- 
delion, Koclcel.' Spoon wort, and even such narcotic herbs as Deadly - 
ni&tu shade and Henbane. It is passible that when exploiting the- 
plants lor food thpy discovered their antiseptic properties. 

For a further note on the rare Pyrethrum which £tftrt<H) this 
discussion I aru again, indebted to Mr, Willi's, it is referred to in 
Flora \nui Siho (April, 1937) as endemic U> the Canary Islands- 
Although discovered between 1836 and 1850. h was not found 
again until rcdiscirvcerd by Dr. O. Burcbard (who published au 
account ol the flora oJ the Canary Islands) growing among rocks 
at an altitude of 1,400. to 1,500 metres, on the island of Gran 

[A QtfC»tkw mark musr be placed ftg#hi|ft Mrs. Coleman's statement that 
"some bird*, ihtt yellow robin for instance, often place green leave* on the 
{jeer ol the nest.*' The leaves used by the yellow robiu, and by the pate- 
yellow lobins oJ the north a* tveh, *re always dry. and they appear to bCrvc 
otily as -carpets. No Other-birds tlut I can recall make a piacltcc of placing 
green leaves on, the floor of the nest, but some oE the birds of prey, and* 
in particular the wedge-tailed eagle, often bring green branchlcts to the nest 
when young*- are present, and apparently ibis is either to serve as an 
HNlisepn'c or to cover the portion* soiled by the younji- That point aside, 
a. good deal o£-su£gesti\e material is contained in the above snide. and it 
is hoped Hhat readers will endeavour to follow it up. At present one of the 
difficulties is to reconcile the use of aromatic plants with the apparent fact 
lhar moat birds are -poorly endowed with a sense of smell. — A.It.C.) 


"Cart you explain/' asks "R.W.L." (Gee-long:) how it is thai birds cfttl 
perch without harm upon high tension electric win*, while contact with- 
these wires' would be fatal to human beings?!' 

It-would surprise me to learn that birds are in any way immune. A F/ird 
might, of course, perch -unharmed upon a frfn#?c wire, but touched 
.another wire in the vicinity, at the same time completing tin* cmuit, tfiePt 
would be sudden trouble. Opossums, especially ringtail?, often use a single 
wire as a ri^ht-uf-way, but a t'Ood many have been electrocuted in getting 
in touch with n Vlv.wiJ wire. ''R-.W.L.'^has- evidently not 'heard the tdury 
of the old lady, who. sreing an eketrje tram -wire pn'.tho ground,-asked tlic 
repairer whether anything wuuM bajipcn to her it she put her foot on it 
"Oh; no. ma'am," be md t "not unless yuit reached up with y6ur otlur fool 
and put it on the overhead wirc-of the other train Hoc.'* (The At$tif.j 

By H, C E. Stewart, Melbourne." 

TM value- uJ -out Butactic Gardrns can perhaps he assessed by Club 
excursions such .15 took plate on 1st July last. About fifty member* anrh 
visitors atteudai amid genial winter ^vrjut. to study tropical and sub 
.tropical arboreal vegetation, types liiat nur Lroops would inevitably eucounter-. 
on service in the north- The Gardens are notably rich in Queensland tree- 
flora, and coutam many species not ordinarily found among the Queensland; 
trees cultivated elsewhere in Melbourne. The thirty species, chosen for 
miificciHin m?y seem a formidable list to adequately discuss in r brief space" 
of two hours., but thh was rendered possible by the convenient grouping? 
oil the Queensland lawn near Park Street entrance, by the Queensland herb* 
Midi adjoining ioutbern triugc of the Eastern lawn, and a -few subjects 
selected from the -gvueral Australian fecnion. Further, ibe system of 
labelling in the Garden* is a valuable timc-^aver in idewifitauon and. 

The major tropical rain-forest vegetation, comprising, cucatypts, wattles, 
tea- trees ui utcad$, fskus and pines, was pcuorcc set aside And concen- 
tration made oit four kind* of Ewnio-, five of Pxcut, three of Ft&jvrsm, 
a number of nut acid fruit-bearing trees, vivo of the stmgmg i ■ limits, (Nos. 
HJ and, 23), the curious bir<L-Cdtchiflg Pi$o*tia (No. 21), and .some plain* 
with toxic qualities (Nos. 9 and ]7), with several spedw haviuv* a timber 
or useful economic attribute. In addition, attention waS directed to oth: 
■0* two examples oi historic interest, No. 14, and No. tG 9 "White Beech" 
one of the last-named tttlttgf heavily laden with fruit clusters. Conuncm 
was niarie upon the timber with in* "White Beech" (or "Grey Teak," »*> 
termed by millers), on account of ant reststancy, difficulty to fire, and 
sintabihey for furniture, flours and finings, together with a modern use in 
hull plankings and floats of sca-plaue*. Indeed, the Wood has been 
favourably tested by Major Wack*ii, R.A.A.F., suggesting post-war 
possibilities in aircraft construction, 

Ho. 22 is another important timber tree, known as ''Australian Teak," 
or mpW rcnectly "Crow's Ash," which in a natural habitat attains a 
height of 130 feet, with straight clean boles of 80 feet. The borer-proof 
wood is admirable for boat decks, floors, skating rtnks, and as a substitute 
for Indian Teak. Aboriginals made u?e at the rough pods of the tree as 
i asps for surfacing weapons aittl scraping roots hence the frequent allusion 
to "Rasp-pod trees." Another of lite saute distinguished jjcnUs of FKndot'wx 
(No, 30, the "Northern Silver Ash'' or "Downy-leaf Rasp-pod") wa* 
udmhcci for its bingular beauty. N T o. 29, a deciduous softwood, the noted 
'Red Cedar" ot Australia was discussed at length in the (pur examples 
seen; a highly prized dark red timber, finely grained, durable. uneQuaUcd* 
for house fittings and furniture; it is now scare* and expensive. The new 
American legation building at Canberra is fitted with this "cedar." At 
Windsor, on the Ilawkesuury, a house was constructed fit 1796 almost 
entirely of the wood* and still stands tiMlay, Among many notable example"! 
of U$e- for interior woodwork, the skats and organ c^se of the historic St. 
James' Church, Sydney, can be mentioned The shelter-seeking "Queens- 
laud Jronwood," No. 3, is one of our finest hardwoods, called by the timber- 
getters "Bulk* Wood" because of its toughness; it is much in demand Jt»r 
fXJrquetry Hoots, and particularly machine bearings, as it polishc* well. 

Jlrrd and tree associations Were discussed with Nos. 10, II, 14, 15, 13, 17 
and 24. In Australia the- Pigeons reach their highest development, and the 
iropicAl Queensland region is generously supplied wM Meshy fruits- to 
form, the staple dietary tor a large population of Piilhiopns and other Frufl 

4lQ Stkwaht. 1'wt ffi KU'ibum-u/: Hnumw (V.tiv.Vtt,\ [ Vq\.s? 

Picons, ^ di*tiiKt from the Stiuatter, thr PhllWcd ami the llovk Pigcou.-; 
/if the North— seed-enters and ground-frequeot<srs\ Cassowaries Woiiipoo 
;ind Topknot Piseons, rig and Cat Birds faritft among the larger specie* 
*o need a sizeable Jruit. >io. 16. iVic "Silver Quandong/ 1 or "Brisbane 
iJuamloiig;" is not to be confused with the Virilism Quandongs-., whirl* 
4r* .specks, of Sflllftriwffrj •* *5 also styled "Till*: frig* or "Blueberry AsJi," 
due to the metallic blue fruits,. Quito commonly in the. natural bush, the 
ground arnanrt this tree is librrally strewn with the white stones after tin* 
fleshy iiart has been devoured by birds. The predilection of many Australian 
birds lor the colour blue is confirmed by then attentions t.i Urrs hearing 
bhle fruits. 

The most t cntarkabh: fivr 6{Vth* afternoon -(No. n) was tin- "Queensland 
Doitle-trec/' ihe first viewed a graceful sapling, and. the second a mature) 
specimen somewhat encroached on one side by a neighbouring. H not 
neighbour ly, More ton Ray Scirn-dccfduous the " Bolt I e- tree" grow 
.abundantly in the dry -.< mr- of North Australia — the specific name 
rttjwftisi >ij;innes "found in rOcky *fluath>ns." Impervious \o drought, the 
tree readies a height of 3D lo 50 fwf, whilst ihe peculiar bottle-shaped 
trunk may attain 3 diameter up to ft feet. The leaves and pithy interior 
xan be eaten by stcclc, Retwren the i>ith and the inner hark drinking Water 
is extracted, also a sweet edible jelly, wholesome and nutritious. The 
natives, were well acquainted with the provisioning dualities of this tree. 

Three examples together, constitute -No. 7, tike euphcrhiaceous ''Rivulet 
Tree," GfochitfifH* Ftrrfbiondt (named after Ferdinahd von Mueller). Tliese 
fine shady evergreen* act as host for species of Co'cofidas. or "froR- 
hoppers.!' The hopper:; subsist on the young sappy growth of the leaves 
and steals. Ants hi search of moisture, prey on the frog-hopper*, which 
throw out a iwe? of froth or "cuckoo-sptt/ The exudation fatting from a 
tree, when tenanted by many insects, giws rise to the vernacular ".Kain" 
r-r "Rivulet .Tree:" 

Common 10 tlie Kocl.hampton district, die Queensland "5iii"»wdrop Tier.'* 
No 2?. has flowers in panicles and egg-shaped fruits half an inch Inns;. 
The "snou'dropi." irruptions on the- trunk and branches, *rc a unique 
feature, accounting lor (he common name. The genus Uirociera, called 
after tk T.inncier: should not he mistaken for Lomccm (after A Loiiitw). 
the group nf honeysuckles from A>ia_ 

Of The more decorative, trees, No_ 12. the "Smooth h'ty." found mule 
...(ten in the islands north of Australia, attracted nolice. one specimen Wj« 
a! conspicuous picture cm the Queensland lawn, with light-hued branches 
of coppice-like habit and twrsiert buttress routs resembling octopus tentacles. 
Np. 28,. the "Fose Apple." is" one of the fincs-l tttfive evergreen*) gTaci&f. 
thr Gardens. Thick ffou* deep-gTcen foliage, symmetrical growth, clusters 
of small (lowers succeeded by rose-scented terries, should induce more 
widespread jiae of this Engcfua in packs and streets. 

A company of Mack swans vn flight formation overhead caused a ptcasant 
diversion, and some members later look dclftfhi in interviewing ihrec Capn 
fJarrcn C<?ese cjnite at home by the Ukeside. 

Beginners may wish to study in more detail" at flowering and other seasons 
the trees which are enumerated m the order of the iour_ Eooftt *»f reference 

A Synapsis 0} ihc QtuTTt.ilittuf, PI**™, F M. Bailev 

/titfiratum ff/it«r Ffnrxt Trees, W D. Francis. 

Tin*. Cahtu-ct Timbers of Australia, R. T, Baker. 

.Vatrw Trees af Australia,}. \V, A.uda*. 

In (he Bm(mh Gurtfetts, .Frank Cfarke. ' . , 

^J™*"] SftWWi J^Wl '" *tlA*p& Botanic Gbrftfa 91 


( (Fiurn the ,4 D*' Gate entrance) 

1. Luchmaun's Brush Cherry, £im/i»i*i Z.Hi7»tt*mm'i- Aust., border .to left.) 

2, Variegated Tllawarra Fig, /-Vimf rubitjitwsa .var. varict/ata... (Aum. 

border to right.) 
.1, Bennett's Alb, I'Undcrsui BfimcUianu. £/itt&£ border to right, off 

eucalypt lawn.) 
4. Slender Fig, Furs *jradiif\e$. ( A ust. border to Hi;Ut, off eucalyp' 

lawn. ) 
5 White Walnut, Crxptocarya obovato. (Aust. border to right, off 

eucalypt lawn.) 
■6. Queensland Bottfc-tree, Stercnl-ia rtfpcstris. (Sapling on Ansi. border; 

mature tree, Queensland lawn.) 
7 Rivulet or Rain Tree, Chchidion Fcrtlwcmdi. (Queensland lawn — three 

8. Queensland Iron wood, S'ntcro.vyhn ausiroU'. (Queensland lawn, etc). 
9 "Papajarnr' or Fftaralans Gardenia, Randia Fitzatani. (Queensland 

.lawn — dwarfed example.) 

10. Red Apple Myrtle, Eugcvia brachyandra. (Queensland lawn, by path.) 

11. Brush Cherry, Sjtgtiua pamentefa. (Queensland lawn, etc.) 
l£ Smooth Fig, Fjcus ytttbdta. (Queensland lawn.) 

1.1 Cluster Fig, Bittys glomerate (Queensland lawn,) 

14. Burdtkin Plum, Pleiogymtun cerntiferinn, (Queensland lawn and 


15. Grown Pine (PUim, .She Pine, etc.). Patlocavpns clttia. (Queensland 

lawn, Prince's lawn, Aust. border, etc.) 

16. Silver or Brisbane Qunndnng, Efoocarptts yrwutis. (Queensland lawn > 

17. Nutmeg Laurel, Cryptomrya lyiplinenris. (Queensland bed.) 

18. Queensland. Sour Pfum, Osvema vmnsa (Queensland bed — three «peri- 


19. Grey Carabeen, Elaarcarpuf ohavatus. (Queensland bed.) 

20. Giant Nettle-tree, Luportca OJfacn, (Queensland bed, also Ausl border.) 

21. Bird-citchinft Tree, Puvnitt iWrww. (Queensland bed, also Aust. 

border. ) 

22. Crow's Ash ("Aust. Teak'.'), Fdndcrsia mstratis. (Queensland bed. i 

23. Small-leaved or Shiny-leal Nettle-tree, T.aportca phntiniphylin. 

(Queensland bed-) 

24. Australian Scarlet Olive, Cassuie mtxtratc. (Queensland bod) 
.25. Sand-paper Fig. Ficttf iu> Pfutmtarpti. (Eastern lawn.) 

& White Beech, Gn&tfna Leiehhardti^ (Eastern lawn — two trees ) 

27. Queensland Snowdrop Tree, Liixtfcitira famifIora>. (Eastern lawn; Aust 


28. Rose Apple, Fityenfa Moorti. (Eastern lawn, near pMth.) 

29. Red Cedar, Ce'drata- tantui var. australit (Australian border- -four 

examples, also Prince's lawn.) 
•3D. Northern Silver Ash ("Downy-leaf Rasp-pod"). Ftfttdcsia pMbesctnt. 
(Aust border. ) 


At the August meeting of the F.N.C the following motion was carried: 
■"Thai the 'Field Naturalists' -Club of Victoria expresses itself -as being in 
full accord with the aims and objects of the Save the Forests Campaign jn 
Victoria, and pledges itself to support that movement by all means whhin 
its power." 

G\:jm.s\, /v/rvAiw/.* o} .S\U: [ y^*? 1 * 


Tvavelic-rs to Hcatcsvillc by the early morning nam of May 27t(k Js>44« 
enjoyed £ beautiful sight From Liiydate to Hie railway yard at Hcalcsville 
the country from within a few feet f>i the railway hue 1o a mile cTiMant was 
glurifled with drift? of spider-silk River-flats looked as if family washing 
hud been spread oul to dry. 

Tt was »ot the lacy network of spidcrtiiigs so often seen in the autumn, 
when tangled flying-cables form silky nteshes ou grass and bubh. It 
appeared to he densely woven sheets of silk — rafts and lawn handkerchiefs 
as it were, caught between, and on, tussocks md hushes One stretch about 
half u mile away shimmered like a frozen lake. 

The densertess of the silk suggested the close-woven fabric seen in the 
lining and door* of tunnels made by earth-dwelling spiders. One assumed 
thai flood conditions, present and impending', had driven counties* eartn- 
riwcllers to seek safer homes. Many of these "rags" had been carried by the 
previous high winds and had caught ou high bushes and trees. One might 
have gathered up jfrcat masses of silk of almost commercial possibilities. 

A similar spectacle was seen in many parts of Cippsland, especially at 
Sale and along the hank?; of the Thomson River. 

Gilbert White records a similar autumn story from Selbome on Sept. 
21*1, 1741, when, at day break, stubbles and ctover-gioiinds were matted, 
with a thick coat of cobweb, *o plentiful that the whole country seemed U>: 
|>e covered with two en- three setting-nets drawn one over the other. Dogs 
attempting to hunt were so blinded and hoodwinked that they could nor 
hunt, and were forced to lie down and scrai>e the web from their faces. At 
about 9 a_m. a shower of cobwebs fell ceaselessly until close of the day. Jt 
fell from elevated regions — not single filmy threads floating on tfuj air in 
all directions, but perfect flakes and rags, some nearly an inch broad fetid 
five or sis* inches long. "They fell with a degree of velocity which showed 
that they were heavier than air." 

According to' White, Dr. Lister ha* stated that spiders have a t-owcr 
of oojljiig and thickening their webs in the air. 

Other English writers- have described masses of *ilk on bushes amf- 
hedges so dense and white tWrt horses shy at them. 

Our Australian "fall" was certainly unusually dense, and suggests that 
conditions which brought it to pass wene similar to those in northern lands- 
It certainly gave a loncli of fairyland almost equal to an English snow 



In tlie $Q&k sb*$t 'ration Nahwotitf for June, 1944. Mr. H. Goldsack has. 
given a vtry excellent popular review of most of the South Auatra^ait- 
orchids^ omitting those that are, comparatively rare and such a<- require 
more technical descriptions for identification. The text is accompanied by 
four iulU(»ge plate*, containing accurate line-drawings of about 50 specie*. 
and >4r. GoIdsacU,is to be -congratulated ott making audi a wluabte cosuri- 
huiion to the literature of Australian orchids, for his illustrations will, be 
warmly appreciated by all serious students of the Orcfridbcatc . no lew than 
h> those iof whom they are primarily intended. In the same issue Mi- 
GoMsack gives definite records of the occurrence til South Australia of. 
Thrlynti(ra>' canwn R.Br, and Catiuhuia Fitsqctaldii Kupp 

<(To (be Editor) 

Si**. — h' is exceedingly- unlikely thn( Atony, iPwyi scientific people will 
he impressed by Mr. Mattmgley's inconclusive and quite unscientific AtiliflC* 
tions; nor ire they likely to use r 4ftft "wordy" word* "radial rajs-,*' its 
•coined l>y Kim- None is Nicely to abandon the word "instinct'* (which 
expresses tlie very imperfectly known hereditary characters dctenuiiiiufc the' 
hchaviour of all species) until more — much more — is known oC thisk 

I am reported to forget that trie curvature of the earth prevents a view 
of tile tide 30 miles away. It docs not do so — a bird can easily secure a 
view at suchj a distance* by rising to a not very great height. But, eve" so, 
■sutli a view is mmece*sary, for the bird — perhaps by observing the stale of 
the Hdc at its' feet— might surely estimate the state of" the tide some 30 
miles away! What is- to prevent this* 

What single fact is (here in support of Mf. MattinglcyV view? 

The Term •'radar'* is used hy specialist for a particular purpose But 
there is no useful use for the words "radial ray." Mr. A A. Cook should 
know that directional rays do not -differ essentially I rem other electro- 
magnetic waves (Mr. MaUtngley call* them magneto-electric). They are 
directed ui one particular dtrcction by physical 1 weans^ 

Re the flight of pigeons. UK "Matttngley omits the most important 
Tphys'tologienl basis for their homing- instinct — the semi-circular canals, well 
understood by physiologists for if century ; past, in which these uracil'; are 
particularly well developed. 

The brief account of the Spanish experiment quoted is, 1 again repeal, 
vague and absolutely inconclusive. I know touting of the original experi- 
ments except what Mir. Mattingleyriuotes. If\ as alleged, the Spanish and 
Germans established thc : effect of radiating rays on the orientation of 
carrier |i>jzeons, the evidence on which such is based should certainly he 
published, if It is at ali convincing. 

To apply to birds Ok- various applications hi wireless— M used in the 
•war. and still On the secret* list — is absurd until such h available for prneral 
information, which information Mr. A. A. Conk does not possess, ft is 
..!■•■ ilutcly unscientific. 

Yours, etc.. 

Cairn.*. - ; !-T_ Fi.iscKKK. 

Queensland - - — - ■ , 


In No. 955 of the Journal of Botany, published last April, attciuiutl i* 
drawn to a Swedish newspaper which reports the total destruction of the 
famous Botanical Museum at Daolcm, Berlin, during an AHicr) bonrfvng 
raid on March 3rd. 194J-. Apparently all that escaped were the ferm and 
fungus collections and a veiy few valuable BgtedtntiUS stored in cellar?. 

Australian botanists will ioiflt with their fellow-scientists throughout ll»e 
world to mourn this iragrc and irreparable damage, in which we also share 
by virtue of the many Australian type specimens housed .at. Berlm 
Bocckler's sedge types were there, and, among recent collection*, L. Dicls* 
.4660 Western Australian sheets,* JPritecl's and Mcebnld's. &pet,iii>eus, ;md 
the many hundreds of Wortbcrn Territory plants slithered by A Bleexer. 
oi Par win. . . ' . 

Comparatively' few duplicates exist in local herbaria, .and the task of 
selecting iteo-rypes to "replace. those tost will l>e long; difficult, and in many 
instances impossible To the .'average man such a loss is trivial, if not 
meaningless, but "it is smell .as to" impose a grave handicap on critical. hnl-iuic 
research for decades to come.". '-'",. ", 

, . " ...... J. R 

94 UMfer. Vmprk ffita fariltarJ fviui^ 

(To the Editor* 

Sir, — 1 read with much interest Mr; R. H. Crolfs article m * recent 
issue of this journal, and commend hun lor the optimistic views expressed;, 
one is impressed b>\. the fine- record of activity being carried Out by, the 
"Save the -Forests" Campaign Council. However, I regret iku T am 
unable full> to sharo in these sanguine expectations regarding the future. 

The destruction of Victoria — limber, soil, scenery, and wild life — 
<h cede rales atari alarming pace, and more devastation has occurred in the 
last two decades than in all preceding history. Who can stop at now. and 
what will posterity think of us? Many of the cattlemen (our chief offenders, 
who draw revenue as. a result of the fires) arc apparently immune from 
correction. Utterly disrcgardful of the present or future national value ot 
forests, they think only in terms of personal .gain. Contacting one of these 
men m East Gippsland recently, 1 was able to sum up his attitude when lie 
said. "Those Mokes who arc kicking up so much dust down in the city 
have got hold of the wrong end of the- slick, the only way >o a¥0m big 
/i tea .is to have small creeping fires early in 1he .season" 

Wei nave "creeping'* fires indeed i J had an opportunity Usi reason o£ 
judging what they will do when ^rown up—the. innocent b'ttlc loddlerst 

Just heforc the clo«c of 1938 I had occasion to visit Warragnl, and 
counted about a dozen separate fires on the distant foothills as i drove 
along the highway With temperatures soaring into the nineties, the 
yfospecl ahead was menacing, to say the least • 1 spoke* to two fanners 
about these fires. The first man said, "Oh, they're <juite a common thing 
down here at this time of year; it wouldn't seem like Christmas without 
them." The second man remarked in similar vein .and seemed quite uncon- 
cerned. My bitter retort was a warning against the holocaust that must 
n*eviUbly conic, and almost the whole world knows the segue) to that 

Some country newspaper reporters aggravate the pmbtem hj having 
inserted in their columns such deplorable palliatives as, "The fires are now 
confined to the hrllr and limbered country where they can do no harm" A 
statement like this is distinctly liarmful, implying a resignation to bush fires 
unless they happen \o come out of the forest. 

I am convinced that so long as we allow graxtccs and cattlemen to remain 
jungle-minded, just so long will the law nf the Jungle prevail in and blast 
uwr once glorious land. 

Yours, etc., 

Toolern Vale V I? Davis v 


Wc have before us (says the Melton Express ol July 22) the original o( 
a letter written by an apiarist ol Tooborae, Central Victoria, who has given 
up bee-keeping lot* reasons, combined with drought, which lie sets nut thus: 

"Insect pesis have completely ruined the forest areas round this district. 
firecn trees on the roads and in private paddock?; are similarly aftecied. 
The cup-moth caterpillar will be hero again next spring, causing further 
ruinous destruction Eggs of the cup-moth are already hatching and there 
are countless millions more to hatch out, as well as millions oi the moths 
flying about at present, Mind you. this will he the third visitation of the 
c«|xnoth caterpillars in three successive years. 

"A<Med to the destruction of eucalypti by the caterpillars *n<l borers is 
the damage caused by bush -fires and soil erosion which, in- certain forest 
guDics, has to Ik seen to be believed The prevalence of" insect pests' i* 
explained by the destruction of our bird-life during the past 20 years 


IVrcy St. John, who died on August 12, was bom in Melbourne on May 
11, 1872. liis father .was -a -tRXWC'ttiist in ftourke Street and supplied 
/.oological specimens it>*The-mii*ctims of Europe. 

Incredible a< it now xcerus to tnc, it was from up in a tvee in Hie Botanic 
Gardens (hat I first faced him. I was the culprit in search of the* eggs of 
the tree sixjiiow. an uncommon bird forty years ago, when F was- a 
fledgling of eight years- As the years drew on there, has been a, certain 
parallelism m our careers anil T have Iniown him ft] play and worlc, and 
deeply regret life death. 

ft is recorded in llic Victorian Government Gazette that P.- T< H. St. John 
commenced duties in the Botanic Gardens at the tender age of eleven vear.< — 
July, 4883- He was apprenticed to £gP~ and label-writing, in which he 
became fatuous Even as a child his love of natural history made itself 
aj*(Mr*nl, and his parentage and position in the Gardens tended to fnstar 
ifiis tnstc. He grew tin in an atmosphere charged, with the very science 1 
he was to tin so much to advance. 

Pew Victorians ever have known, 01 ever will know, the names of plants 
as he did. Side by side tviltt his self-education Jn botany, he became a« 
artist skilled in black-and-white pud waier-colnur. He was expert in the 
determination of birds and a skilled mimic of their 'CaKs, He bad 
developed an uncanny sense oi direction and was expert in bush-craft. As 
a youth he supplemented his. meagre salary by collecting for the benevolent 
Ha rait von Mueller, who |taid him fov diied specimens and seeds collected 
«tn his earious botanical exploration*. Wiih the Melbourne Walter^ Clwb 
lie travelled thousands of miles, even a* far as Cape ISverard 

He specialized in horticulture, "sutfvc plants, and their *-oinoinie value 
to the public. W*ith the late Dr. Weber Green he did valuable researches 
Oil Eucalyptus and other essential oiU; with Mr. Rnsscll Grimwade he 
studied the species most suitable for garden planting In 19J0. in company 
with J. W. Audos he mode n botanical survey of WifeottS. Promontory. 
Articles appearing in this journal during Hie years 1910 and 1911 were the 
outcome of hits researches, whilst the material hi .set aside in the National 
flcTharium a.s a special colJecttott 

lie joined the field feblUgaJntS 1 Club in 1?0S and became President iiv 
1929-1930 Here be will he remnmhered for his artistic arrangement of the 
SpeciaJ native collections staged by tlx*. Botanic Gardens at our flowt'i' 
shows. Under the direction of Ihe late J. Cronhi, he greatly increased Uir 
extent of the Australian l>ordcr at »be Botanic Gardens. He was promoted 
to the portion oi Head Gardiner m July, 1917, and lattr became Classifier 
-and was in charge of the Economic Museum. Alter an extension u f service 
lu- retired in 1938* thus concluding- a faithful public career of 55 years. 

The cumulative result of ftJS kuowlcdge, which he $74* ever ready Vf 
|UHfi on. ihoueli quid. wa« far-r<acliina and deep-. V F Morris. 

Mij C l : rcnch Buitdi of nntlvc flower* (ft spp.) gnrdciv&rown at 


Mrs. J. J. Frcarue Marine specimens, and dim wing showing (he claw* 
Mr- Tom Griffith?) Rooks of pressed ferns, including Dryoplcris 

Akcphtrdii. Poh'slichnftt adinntifannc, Doodia caudnta, O. wedi'a-. AxflittUum 

obiHsatum ami many others. 
Mr. Ivo C, Hainmet . Garden-grown native flowers, 
Mr. T1. T Reeves * Coloured photograph* of native flowers. 


fixcurxionsj .$>#.. / J.MS 

rvict. Nut. 

L Vol.61 


J944 ^Locality f 

Sept. 9 — Hurstbridge 

Wattles and Birds 


]/l — Doncastcr General 

23— East Oaklcigh (B.O.C) l-Xeaiiilaiid Flora 

7 — Moni_morency-Kltbnni Biro's and General 

.. 21 — Ring ;\vood-Heatbmont 

i, 29*— JJIydatc-Mt. Evelyn- 

>3oV. 11 — Botanic Gardens 

„ 25— Beaumaris- Fire area 

Dec. 9^-Coburg Gardens 



Family Myrtaceae 

Rehnbilitalmn of arcaM' J. TT Willis 


Messrs Ivo C- Ham- 
met & A. 5J. Chalk 

Sty P. Fiscti 
Mr, F. Salan 
Messrs. A. S- Chalk 
& G. K. Hyam 

Mr, A. J. Swaby 

Messrs. R. G. Painter 
fa A. C Frnstick 

Mr. P. Bibby 

Marine Biology 

1945 . 

Jan. I.^RickeU's Point 

4 2?^-East Kew (B.O.C) 
Feb. 10- Badger Creek SancLuary Australian F;uma 

24- Heidelberg Swamps Pond Life ■* 
r (B.O.C) 

;Mar 3 — Yarni "River Trip 

,, 10 — Upper Ferutree Gully Femft 

» 24 — Croydon (BOX.) General 

Apr. 7 — Zoological Gardens . Australian Fanna 
\ ., 21 — Muoroolbark (BOX.) Autumn Foliage 
May 13*— Kalorama-Mt. Danrie- 

'nong-Olinda ■ General 

„ 26— Queen's Park (B.O.C.) Birds. 
) irac 10*— Kallista 

t , 23 — Botanic Gardens 

:-- ' • (B.O.C.) " 

~f— Zoology Sdionl 
July 7 — Museum 

Messrs. A. C, Fros- 
tick Sc W. Hanks 

Mr. P. C. Morrison 
'Miss I. Watson 
Mr, D. F1c»y 
Mr. -A. J Swahy 

Mr. II V, Dickins 

Messrs. A. J. Swaby 
- & T. Griffiths 

Mr. X S. Harl 

Mr. & Mrs. Pint Iks 

Mr. R. G. h Painter 

Mr. H, C ii: Jtawnrt 
Miss M. L. Wijran 
M. p. Ribby 
Arboreal Vegetation Mr, W. C B, Slesvart 


„ 21— Museum {B.O.C) 
Aug. 11— Wattle Park 

Fossils. Rocks and 

Birdb i" i 

Wattles mid Bird* 

25-'-El*:l)atn-GreensboronRli General 
-<* (BIO.C)" P .* 

Pro?- W. Ajiaf 

Messrs. F- S, Oli- 
ver, A. C Frostick 
nnd S. 1?. Miieiicll 

Mr, G- Macfc 

Messrs. A. H. Chts- 
finJm.Kt A. S. Chalk 

Messrs. A. S. CbaBc 
& G. N. Hyam 

, ^Sunday— all-day excursion. 
.jDate 10 tie fixed. - . 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 61.— No. 6 October 5, 1944 No, 730 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on September U, 
1944., at tile Royal Society's Hall, where the President (Mr. Ivo 
C. Hainmet) and about 100 members and friends attended- 

The President announced the death of Mr j: Wilcox, an 
Honorary Manber of the Club, and Mr. G. Coghill announced 
the death of Miss Amy Fuller, stating that she was well known 
for her wild flower paintings and suggesting it might be possible 
for the Club to purchase some of these. As an indication of their 
value, Mr. Coghill stated that the set of paintings of South African 
flora had been purchased by the Kew Herbarium, England. 

Excursion reports Avere given as follows: Black Rock. Mr. T, S. 
Hart; Heidelberg', Miss Fletcher (for Mr. and Mrs. E. S. 
Hanks); Hurstbridge, Mr. Ivo C. Iiammet. 
. The following were elected as ordinary members. Miss T Scott, 
Messrs. R. T. M. Pescott, N, A. Hansen, C. Grant; as Country 
Members: Miss A. L. Laycock, Messrs. A. W. Cleaves and R. 
McKinnon: as Associate Member: Miss Ruth Hart. 


Mr- and Mrs. Savage reported that the Boronia at Bendigo is 
doing very well this season. 

Mr. V H, Miller reported having noted a Black-faced Cuckoo- 
Shrike feeding on the ground at St. Kilda. 

Mr P. C. Morrison reported that Bandicoots were plentiful in 
the Garrnda-Clayton area. 

Mrs Freame reported on and exhibited a starfish that had 
naturally broken into halves, 


A Wild Nature Show will be held at the Hawthorn Town Hall 
on October 23 aaid 24. Proceeds will go to local charities, and 
helpers are required for setting up and watching the exhibits. 

A "Save the Forests" Exhibition will be held on November 
27-29 at the Melbourne Town Hall. The Club will participate in 
this exhibition. 

*ui i- j -t -. TVirt Nat. 

Mr_ S. R Mitchell repented thai (tic Hawthorn Junior 
Naturalists' Ckib recently celebrated its first birthday This vlnl> 
inctts at tbt Hawthorn Free Library on the last Friday in each 


An address on Kijumunya.. (.W.A\) and Mu^rave Ranges 
({'.A.) aborigines and rheii crafts look (he form of a aeries of 
•motion pictures taken and 'Commented' on hy Mr f< IT. Balfour. 
Special attention 'was paid to the manufacture of weapons, making 
of fire, spinning, tood-galhemlg, etc. .and a fine ^evitts of action 
IfictiutN uT the children at play was shown.. These aborigines 
are- practically untouched \tf wliite cordacr *md l he films wrie a 
valuable a<ldit»on to knowledge of: our native rare Of special 
interest was the short film in- natural colour ai il portrayed the 
wonderful lines of the Central Australian -area. A I: I he conclusion 
of fhe films u sole of (hanks \vas r Carried by acclamation, 


' Mr^ J- J. Froamr ; Starfish* that broke in half 

Mr. T. C-irifTith^ : Pressed- ferns — Shining. Filmv Fen* (Jfymvjwphylfam 
flabcltftium) % .Austral Filmy; Fern (//. ffitw/roAr). 

' Mr V. II. Miller. Three aative -orcn'idt in blwm — Denthobmm /g/<i>- 
//>.(/f»7>r, D, <jnu:ilhwiwi; and D. It'tragon-nnt 

Mr. C. J. Gabriel: Marine Mollusc (Stiiqttaria australix, £>. and G.) icn a 
large dump. Specimen iroin Ba;;s Strait. .,..,. 

Mr. H. P. D\cU'tm: Twelve paintings of Australian wild flowers, ganten- 

Mr. C. Fiend): FnlU'ndca ty pS$fa$G$ JJsyi&vtM Bush- Pea), A,\i%troht.ria 
Mnp.Urri (Lemon Star- J&ish), both from near Ml. Evelyn; EriosU*mon 
ohovaUx- (douhfc .form;) , from Haxfour.t... PtfyxfmiJhero tx<s/*ifoihnhhs t Sear- 
la Mint-Bush) and Thryphmwtie cttfycina> (Bushy H rath-Myrtle 1 ) with 
pjrjk* flowers., from Grampians ; all garden-grown at Canterbury. 
"Mir. F: G El ford: Austral itc of- the Core type (wei£hr approximately AS 
Kims.), found at Myamyn, Western- pistrict ?VYsjnentine value- spoilt hy 
being flaked by. the finder) ; pcb'bfcs fronVflltvnrile gravels in. -New Guinea; 
and T .one-tailed Wasp (Mcgalyra sp.). -• ,:.,•■ 

Miss E. Col line, Chugg, Water^polout drawings ot. (]), Drooping Mittte- 
tric (AniyevM paidnttt), showing" see'ds, pollen grain*, (sbaped like caltrops) 
and flnwcis in groups of three with the cefrtl^TdnC! typically sessile; (2) 
"Pink Fingers" Orchid (Cnhd^nia cawa). with enlargements of the hairy 
v<stiture and labellum glands; (S);laTV3 of .1 fine-hopper (enlarged) ; f4) 
gall-making scale insect (An fits) found on cncalypt foliage . 

- ?- -- PERSONAL 

■ -Tlie-oai))es<if Messrs. 1) .Dickison ahd U. AJ Dunn' (ordinary members) 
and, Sgt. gL A. Nixon (country member.) were omitted from -this lists of 
tleited * members in the Naturalist Proceedings for June .'hkI September 
respectively. The oversight is rtgretted. 

THE VICTORIAN" NATURALIST Vol. 01 October, 1944 

Platk IV 

°7o«Tl MjM** ftf&1$A trOw tVcw 6nmtr Notebook W 

By Woki, Lotuian (on Service) 

Hotakical.— Leaving the coast and Lidal mud-Hats with their 
depressing mangrove vegetation, one find* on higher flat** (he 
common Molasses Grass and after the sun has been shining a while 
?fs odour is- very pronounced. Kangaroo Grass is also in plenty 
and many other grasses that I do not know, Cyca* is often 
present in great numbers ; along the north coast there are seem- 
mgly endless acres oS this fern -palm. Odd specimens of B&nksiit 
occur, and much of a Crvtdaria, which I think was used in the 
past as green manure, but is now gone "wild" Quite a number of 
plants had escaped from cultivation in pre-war days and it is often 
difficult to decide just whether a tree is native or naturalized in 
any area. 

Hill spurs arc often' grassland* but, Oil the inoister lee sides, 
thickets of semi-xerophytie character spring up. Bamboos and 
bananas are frequently present, depending on the degree ot top 
shade- Six species of bamboo have been noted arid they are most 
attractive in their huge clumps; a black-stemmed and very flexnosc 
kind is to he seen at and above 6,500 feci 

Once in the mountains, extensive jungle vegetation is encoun- 
tered, i.ianes make their appearance, and a scrambling kind of 
grass. Impotiens is one of the outstanding ground plants, which 
also include ferns, clubrnosses, orchids and types of Mclasto- 
ma-ceae. The overhead vegetation is even more luxuriant but 
difficult to examine for purposes of identification Farther up the 
mountains pine forests abound and are almost homogeneous in 
places, with the exception of a few I nines, bamboos, free-ferns, 
staghorn ferns and lichens. J notice that these conifers {Arau- 
carta) carry very little epiphytic growth, so different from the 
rough-barked trees at lower levels which arc smothered with 
innumerable lichens, mosses, climbing ferns, orchids and at least 
two species of the extraordinary "ant-house," plants. C a s w dr ft w 
it to be seen, but not in great quantity, and then mainly along 
river courses. A mther interesting find, and quite unexpected, 
was a "horse-tad" (Erfuisdtunt sp.) which thrives in great pro- 
fusion along the stony banks of creeks ; I also observed it ascending 
to heyond 4.500 feet. 

Above 5,000 feet rhododendrons appear and are still found at 
7.000 feet. An arborescent species (10-14 (eel high) lias small 
dark red Rowers of no particular horlicullural merit, hut there are 
two epiphytic, kinds of intriguing beauty — one has large pink and 
white flower bells in clusters of four to six, it is not unlike our 
single Australian species ( Rhododendron Lochae from North 
(Queensland) and would be an acquisition worthy of any garden. 

100 LcmtiAX. Jotunijs from Mew Gwinoo N T vtc-book L iNter* 

Orkituolouical. — I have experienced the thrill of seeing a 
Bird-of-Paradise — a gold attd Vermillion creature with 15-inch 
plumes ; it was indeed a glorious and unforgettable glimpse, and 
I longed to have been doser. A general favourite is the noisy 
Black Wren, about the same size as our southern Blue Wren, but 
he is btock with white on the wings. The ubiquitous Willy 
Wagtail is here a*vd as cheeky as ever; he appears a little bigger 
than our southern bird. 

The very common Kunai Sparrow (so-called locally) is about 
the size of a small Blackbird — orange-brown with a white chest, 
black wings, and a long tail of the same colour It builds a nest of 
interwoven grass strands, not unlike certain possum nests, but only 
about six inches in diameter. 

The New Guinea Magpie is common and about the same size 
as a Mudlark, but with much more white than black and a. less 
pleasing note than its namesake, of the mainland- Azure King- 
fishers are very tame, and there appears to be 2 black species 
There are Kookaburras at Port Moresby, but they are very 
infenor to our popular "Jack." 

The Swallow &nd Spine-tailed Swift seem to be identical with 
the species inhabiting southern Australia. Wood-Swallows — 
present in great numbers — are grey and white birds about six 
inches long, with very characteristic notes. Then there are Chats f 
Dotterels, Ground-Larks, Pigeons, many turrets, several Hawks, 
and at least one type of Cockatoo. 


Captain L. T. Burcham (an American visitor to our club last year) 
writes, with feeling afcout (he natural beauties that lurk near jungle path- 
ways "somewhere in the islands." Here is hie appreciative description of 
Hiawta IVynnia, a luminous aganc that immediately captivates the interest 
of anyone visiting its habitat in North Queensland or the New Guinea area— 
strangely enough, the species was first tnade known to science in 1872 
frogs specimais appearing amongst Australasian vegetation in the hot- 
houses at Kcw, England. 

"3 must tell you o{ one of the most intriguing sights I've setn in many 
* day— trvly something you'd never expect to sec outside fairyland. There 
is here a small white mushroom, commonly found on pieces of very wet, 
partially decayed wood. It is a tiny, delicate thing, seldom more than ball 
an inch across the cap, the slender stem no longer. Its -chalky whiteness 
strengthens the impression of fragility. 

"Beautiful as it is by day, it is infinitely enchantiug by night, for then 
it becomes luminous with a pale green phosphorescence, so strong that a 
watch fan be read by its glow. As youngsters we wertf told much about 
fairies, and how the toadstools spring up as tiny seats wherever they wish 
10 sit. Having seen these, I wonder if there mightn't be just a little truth 
in that, and wish so much that every child could, at least once, walk (n 
darkness along a path bordered with these tiny, glowing, fairy jewels.*' 

0< W*T] Davry. Some JMardx i Have Kcj* 101 


By H. W, Davey, Melbourne, 

(Continued from September issue) 

3. SC1NCW& 

Australia is rich in members of this family, which is quite our 
largest in genera and species; the Blue-tongue and Stump-tail 
lizards are the commonest of- ihc larger species, although our 
Rock Skink {Egernia cunninghawm) — so plentiful in the You 
Yangs, Mt Alexander f and other granitic outcrops — comes a 
good ihird. These all do well in captivity, especially the blue- 
tongued, Ttliqm nigrolutea, which breeds freely, almost embar- 
rassingly when it cornes to disposal of the young ones ! I have 
turned numerous young loose in suitable localities as soon as they 
were old enough, but always far enough from the haunts of boys 
and motorists. 

Waite, in his RepHfcs and Amphibians of South Australia 
(p. 144) says in regard to the common Blue-tongue (Ttiiqun 
scinc&ides) that the young number usually about 10 in a single 
clutch, though, as many as 15 have been produced. This is an 
astonishing number compared with the very closely related 
T,,nigrotutca, which never produces more than five at a birth and 
more often only three or four. My RJue-tongues became extremely 
tame, and the only occasion on which I observed anything 
approaching maternal instinct was when 1 essayed to lift a newly- 
born from a tut&ock of grass where its large yolk sac had become 
caught. The mother immediately swung round and would have 
bitten my hand had T not moved it quickly away. At birth, the 
targe and still attached yolk sac is eaten by the young one almost 

Another viviparous skink is that delightful, agile little Himdia 
quoyi, so plentiful near water in southern Victoria; only recently 
1 saw a very fine specimen at Gardiner's Creek, Glen Iris, where 
this lizard would still be abundant were it not for predatory cats 
in the neighbourhood. IfinuJia is a bold little lizard and very 
numerous in the Cape Otway i orests r basking in the sun on logs ; 
it scurries into crevices when approached too closely, but will soon 
reappear if one remains still. 

1 recall an occasion when I was seated on a fog angling for 
black-fish in the Gellibrand River; a sudden noise at ray tin of 
worms suggested the unwelcome company of a snake, but my 
quick glance around revealed the culprit — a splendid specimen 
• of Himdia was struggling to b'ft a large worm out of the tin 
which, had I not grabbed it. was in danger of being upset into 
the river. This engaging sprite was determined to have his dinner 

.02 TUvp-v. Some ll'jn^s f Jinir Kepi P&tt* 

at my expense and soon came. luck, so I threw him his worm 
unrl, although promptly ducking out of sight at first, be presently 
emerged from a crack in The log and ate the juicy morsel. 

I have bred H quoyi over a number of year*. Ideal condition* 
were provided,, with a pond in the enclosure wherein lived also 
several species of European newt. The lizards would often take 
a. swim to floating leaves of aquatic pianfs, and would bask on 
small logs during daytime, sleeping in these at night. As far as 
1 am aware, they have only four young- at birth, but, where there 
are several adult females in the one enclosure, these may produce 
young at or about the same time and segregation would be 
necessary in order to determine the average family. 

Another fine skink is the West Australian Egewto.a st&fcesii, with 
habits much the same as R. cunninfffainiii ; it favours stony. country 
and is chiefly remarkable for if s flattened tail. Tins lizard did well 
with me during: the summer months, but failed to survive a 
Melbourne winter. 

The *tump-(ailcd Trachyscmrus rugows gives birth to only two 
young at a time and succeeds in captivity. Unlike the geckos, 
which shed their .skins several time*; during a year, this skink 
contents itself with an annual moult. One would -not expect a 
skin to be shed almost perfectly from a lizard having such large 
scales, but successful skin-casting in any reptile depends primarily 
on its condition of health. 

Rabbit-proof fencing causes the death of many Stump-tailed 
lizaids which push their heads through tlfce wire .meshes a.nd, 
unable to draw back again, die a miserable death. That times are 
often hard for rhem was brought to my notice on one occasion 
while driving in the vicinity of Horsham. Close to the road, in 
a paddock of stooked hay, was a Trachyixaurus- busily eating .se-mi* 
dung; curious, I stopped the car and went to investigate. To my 
great surprise, T found that the lizard was devouring heads of 
w-heaten hay, and, although not wanting one of this species, 1 
brought it back to Melbourne to ensure a more satisfying diet 
than Wimmera hay. 

These lizards frequentFy suffer terribly from ticks in their ears. 
I well remember a trip to Mt. Arapdes, when Stump-tails seemed 
to be unusually numerous. Upon picking one up for examination, 
1 found its ears absolutely crammed with ticks and many more nf 
its brethren were in the same pitiable condition. Jn those days 
I always carried forceps, so spent a considerable time that after- 
noon "de-ticking lr lizards., whose abundance 1 now attribute to 
deafness on account of the tightly packed ticks which blocked 
their ear passages — the basking reptiles were unaware of my 
approach until they actually saw me. 

4; PVQ0P0D1D7E 

Some of the snake-like lizards comprising this family make 
interesting pets, but as a rule they do not take kindly to captivity 
and keep oul of sight as much as possible. Unfortunately iot* these 
Fizards, they are often mistaken for snakes aud kilted at ouce. 
hut the differences between the two are easily discernible. Serpents 
have neither the eyelids nor ear-openings which are common to 
li/.ards: they have forked tongues and belly scales stretching 
right across the ventral surface., but these lizards possess flat 
tongues and seveni! mw-5 of small lielly scales. Nearly all snakes 
«xcepling the tree dwellers, have very short tails, whereas legless 
lizards have exceedingly long", fragile tails, calling for the greatest 
care in handling* them — when bereft of his tail, one of these lizards 
is a pnor-lookiug ohject indeed. Moreover, without a tail (having 
no legs) he lias little chance of escaping his enemies at all 


In Victoria we have only two species* but several other members 
of the genus Vammi-s occur in Australia These big lizards are 
most commonly catted "goannas," a name probably bestowed or* 
them by miners airjviug from America m the early gold-digging 
days, on account of a fancied resemblance to the large iguanas of 
their homeland. 

The Lace Monitor, V. ztarius. is Widely -distributed throughout 
Australia and was at one time very plentiful -in Victoria* but the 
£iant specimens are now more commonly found in East Gippskmd, 
the writer having seen some splendid examples about Nowa Nowa 
They do well in captivity if taken small the younger the" better 

The -second Victorian species is V, govlttii. smaller and more 
vividly floured than its congener. I can not recommend it as a 
•satisfactory pet, and it does not take ns kindly to captivity as dncs 

It is a great pity (hat such fine Fisatds as these are often killed 
by ill-informed or stupid people and so : called "sports." Both 
species do far more good than harm, and, having a sensible regard 
to (he economy of Nature, no person is justified in destroying 
thai of which he is ignorant. I once went to Port Fairy to W3lch 
ihe arrival of mutton-birds, and a local, overhearing my dated 
description to a friend at the hotel, came to the door of the 
'Commercial Room and said> "What a pity you didn't take a stick 
with you; it's great Fun knocking them, over." When T told htm 
I could see no fun in knocking over a bird that had come to feed 
its young, the local replied, "They ain't no good, are they?" 

104 CoJ.r.Mrt-N. sht f'.w^i'or Gum Moth Mystaty \ v'ni. w * 

By .Eiutb Coi^man, Blackburn. Vic 

On the eveniug of October 15, 194.1, I liberated an Emperor 
Gum Moth which had apparently emerged from an unnoticed 
cocoon among guin-lwigs on a wired-m verandah. On March 18, 
1944, twenty-five -nearly half-grown larvae were discovered on the 
stump-Sprouts of a Sugar-gum. On one leaf nearby were twenty- 
five eggs from each of which a larva had emerged — surely a high 

A$ the sprouting stump was only aboul fivtyyards distant from 
where the moth was released, I* assume that; even in the dark, she 
had found the right food-plant on which to deposit; her eggs. I 
found no more eggs, although there were two other sprouting 
Sugar-gum stunips in the garden. 

1 had often watched isolated captive specimens, but this was far 
more fascinating. The gum-shoots, with, their ilattened-spherkal 
juvenile leaves., reddish twigs and petioles, were at their loveliest 
stage. One could not fail to note how well the handsome green 
larvae, with their red, blue and yellow spines, harmonized with 
them, Most striking was their habit of clinging upside down 
under the twigs and petioles, clasping them with their fleshy, 
clinging ieet, so that, tu a bird's eye, they must have appeared 
like narrow green leaves with a reddish mid-rib. The yellow line 
along the sides of the body (the '''sunshine line" we have always 
called it) appeared like streaks of sunlight, serving to break up 
the outline, and completing the illusion of leanness. 

The larvae were practically invisible at a short distance and 
always had to be sought. Daily 1 visited them, watching much 
skin-shedding; never marvelling at their escape, even in a garden 
full of birds, for ihey seemed so wonderfully camouflaged. 

The larvae ate only the more mature leaves, never touching the 
tender reddish leaves at the tips of <he branches Voracious 
feeders, they soon became more exposed on denuded branches and 
moved along to leafy ones. 

On April 26. even after two days of heavy rain, there were 
still twenty-five larvae, now almost fully fed. Next, day two were 
missing, Had they pupated? On April 28 there were only eleven 
left, and these were in; the leafy shoots, as if they sought shelter 
as well as fresh food- A.s I fouuil no cotxjuns, nor dead bodies on 
the ground, 1 assumed that birds had discovered them 

On May ? there were still eleven fine, fat larvae. It seemed 
surprising that even eleven could have survived after such heavy 
rain and intense cold. I watched the rain dripping oflf the tips of 

^SJrJ Coleman, A* hmpcror Gmn Moth Mystery 105 

limp, reflected bodies. When it ceased they commenced to feed 

On May 8 they had disappeared. I found, no dead bodies on 
the ground , so they had not been washed off by heavy rains. 
It seemed that they must have been taken by birds, unless the 
eleven had crawled away in a company to pupate elsewhere. 

The larvae" of some moths and butterflies always leave the 
food-plant to pupate — a wise procedure when they pupate singly, 
leaving others still feeding, for these would doubtless sever many 
leaves to which they had anchored themselves. But in this 
instance there was not the same necessity for such precaution, as 
the cocoons arc usually fastened to the bark of a trunk, branch or 
twig. If the eleven larvae left the food-plant in a body to pupate, 
it suggests that the Emperor Gum Moth is gregarious to a greater 
degree than we have thought. 

An entomologist who visited the garden at once searched the 
bark of the stump and other trees, but we found no cocoons, and 
I have searched many times since. The chance of survival, there- 
fore, seems a very slender one. Of course it is possible that the 
moth had not put all of her eggs in one basket, and had deposited 
others which I missed, and that some of these survived. 

The name Emperor Gum Moth seems now a misnomer, seeing 1 
that the larvae are more frequently found in numbers on the 
introduced pepper-tree (Schinus mollc), and even on fruit trees. 
Why not Emperor Moth? As the moth existed in Australia 
many centuries before the white man introduced the alien trees, 
she has evidently evolved means of determining the edibility of 
alien leaves for larvae which she will never see. She herself has 
never eaten leaves, yet she deposits her eggs on only those suitable 
as food for her offspring, even on alien leaves. How does she 
recognize them? Inherited memory is out of the question. It 
is one more of Nature's inscrutable mysteries. 

We have deeply regretted the cutting of our Sugar-gum. With its 
slender 200-ft. shaft and shining crown it was beautiful at all times, but 
never more so than when "flowering" with king parrots, gang-gang 
■cockatoos or lorikeets, which foraged for unripe seeds, tittering the ground 
with rifled calyces, even dropping them on our heads. The tree had pruned 
itself of lower branches, rising above all the other trees; but it swayed so 
alarmingly in a high wind that it threatened the house- 
Two other Sugar-gums treated in the same way have sprouted into such 
beautiful branches that one wonders why they are not more often lopped 
to provide closer shelter than those seen round Western District home- 
steads, although a smaller variety is sometimes used for the wind-breaks. 
Apart from other considerations, these lopped trees have shed new light 
m their power of regeneration — such a great asset to Australian forest 
trees in admittedly difficult conditions. — Edith Coleman. 


Riji'I', A New Species of Ptrrostylis front Portland 

[Vict. Ka*. 
Vol. 61 


By the Rev. H, M. R. Rupp, Northbridge. N.S.W. 

P. celans t n.sp. 

Planta parva- graciiisque, circiter 9 cm atta r cum foliis basalibus 3-6, 

fetwlatis, orbictilaribtis vet ovatis, circiter 15-20 mm longis. Caxdis bractear 

Jatae, 2, superior fiorcin snbtendens sed distans. Flos solitarius, viridis, in 

ovarium aliquant** robu-stmn. Scpalum dorsale circiter 15 mm longum, 

/•rectum per £ longiUuimis, turn flexnm ad apicem acutum et pau-ltulo 

decurvum. Sepofa tatcralia erecta, ad petalorum bases adnata, et connata 

per 5 mm, turn divergentia et fdiformia, super gatcam extendentia, porra 

curvata : sinus ad jimcttonem 
angustissimus. Petala non ad 
scpatam dorsale adnata, latissima. 
circiter 12 mm longa, dimidium 
interims inftexum. LabcUum fere 
lane co latum, se*d cum apke trun* 
cato inter rttgas duos, circiter 
U mm longum, 3 mm latum, 
ftoris intcriorem celans: lamina 
longitudittalts alba cum nervo 
medio viridi: appendix fere obsn- 
lettts, a> base J mm. Columna 7 
mm lofiga, fere dirccta: alarum 
fobi stiperiores tereti, glanduhst, 
loH inferiores aliqitanto divcr- 
tjentes, 2 mm longi, infram cutn 
marginibus bretnler ciliatis. 
Stigma ovatum, magnum, latins 
qitam columna. 

A diminutive, slender plant 
apparently seldom exceeding 9 cm 
in height, with a basal cluster of 
,t-6 stoutly petiolate leaves, orbi- 
cular to ovate, up to 15 mm long 
including the petioles. Stem-bracts 
2, leafy, the upper one subtending 
the flower but distant from it. 
Flower solitary on a relatively 
robust ovary, green. Dorsa! sepal 
about 15 mm long, erect for *i 
of its length, then bent forward to 
form a galea with an acute and 
slightly decurved point. Lateral 
sepals erect adnate to the base of 
the petals for 3 mm, and connate 
with each other for 5 mm, the 
sinus at their junction extremely 
narrow ; their basal halves broad, 
then suddenly contracting to fili- 
form caudae extending above the galea and curved or hooked forward. 
Petals in all my specimens entirety free from the dorsal sepal for their 
whole length, about 12 mm long, nearly 4 mm wide at their broadest part. 
with a conspicuous median longitudinal nerve, on the inner side of which 
the petals are inflexed. Labellum almost lanceolate, but with a truncated 
apex between two minute marginal folds, about 11 mm long and 3 mm 

Pfcrostylis celans, n,sp. 
1. Labellum, upper surface. 2. Column, 
side view. 3. Column, front view. 
4. A petal. 5. LaMlum from the side, 
to show appendage, ap. appendage. 
s. stigma. 

° wTl Rf ci 1 , A AVw £f>ecm vi Ptt.romtv irom pDrthud l(>7 

wide at the broadest prut; wfrt* the inturned petals completely conwvtwtt 
th$ \#>U'fiw of *JW fiftW} * m " SWl membranous, Longitudinal hbidlar 
-ptate vvlritc, on both nides with a green median nerve ; appendage aliiidit 
ohsoicte, unbraitcbed, about 3 mm above the base of the labclluw, Column 
7 nun long, nearly straight, upper wing-lobes terete, glandular-transparent 
-near the tips, the jowei lobes broud. scarcely meeting hi front, shortly 
eilinte on the luwei ntsff&HU only. S*igma fcirge and conspicuous, ovate, 
-wider than lite column* 

Portland. Victoria, ID. 1943 and 10.1944, G. Bennett and Mrs K McllbWi, 
' Specimeus of this curious little Greenhood" orchid, discovered by 
■G. Bcrmitt in 3943, were SCflp to rnc by Mrj. M-cIlblonc Fls most obvious 
affinity is with I 9 turna R.Br, o( which I was at first inclined to think rt 
a teratologica! form; this was also the opinion at the time trf Mr W. H. 
N T icho1ls. Hut farther examination, and the /act thai 15 specimens ' were 
found, all agreeing precisely m the peculiar character of the flower, 
cuttvineed me that it could not be ineluded-iu P. hoik*. 

1 ani now gted tbafc circumstances prevented its publication Ah a new 
species in 11)43, because specimens of the 1944 season havo been received 
from "Mrs. Mcllblom, and they are identical in all ri'sprrt*; with those of 
the previous year, thus endorsing the right of the plant, in my opinion, 
to specific rank. The area upon which plants were discovered is unfor- 
tunately now being cleared for agricultural purpose*, hut Mr BcnnHt 
has transplanted as many as possible to safer ground 

The outstanding peculiarity of the flower is provided by its remarkable 
■membranous laJbelium,' which might almost be described a* petalojd l\ doe< 
tiot appear to lie irritable, and the appendage so characteristic oi species 
4>f Pterostyte at fie base of the labcllum is almost obsolete, neing repre- 
sented by 3 single short *'batr" oi about 3 mm Above the base. In 
P. mjtwi the labellum is very much shorter than the column ; it is thick and 
firm in texture, and has a branched appendage at the base. In the new 
species the labelling is at least 4 nun longer than die column'. The 
•pctnh also arc remarkable In aU my specimens -they are completely 
free frwn the dorsal sepal for their whole lengtrj. They are very broad) 
■with a prominent .median nerve> on flip" inner or anterior side oi which 
the petal is indexed .TJiese mflexed halves of the petals, together wttk 
the long, wide, membranous labellum,' completely conceal the whole interior 
of the flnweT. thus suggesting the name P cefons, 

T confess that I cannot even hazard 3 guess at the purpose of Ihu 
-concealment. In every flower I examined, oolleu was freely scattered On 
the stigma, proving that some pollinating a^ent had been at work. 1 do 
not think it possible for a Pferostylis flower to be_8etf-fertih>-in£ 

What is the agent in this case, and how does it go about its job? 
Here is a fine field for observation by oar Portland friends, who are to be 
-ccotrrarulatet! on the discovery of 3uch an uUcrestine Apecics 


Corporal R. D. Kent writes from New Guinea; "There is a very notice' 
able luck of sea-birds '-and in consequence the beaches here are very dirty 
and 'high, ,,r 

Mr, D. j. Mahuny, who retired recently from the position oi Director tv{ 
the National Museum, Melbourne, died on 'September 2T, An obiiuatv 
notice will appear later. 

108 WAKrj*IM.ii ( TrfVM flm-Q «j tlasi Cipf>sU\,*' Cv^r* 

By N. A, Wajckjiro-u, A.l.F. t formerly o* Genoa. Vic.) 

The district referred to here a* 'East GrppsJand' r is that section Of 
Victoria east of 1he western watershed of the Snowy River— fl roughly 
maqgnlar tr^rj eel land with ait area d about AMOO square miles. 

Most «f the country b very rough and .mountainous, and the main fern 
flora type is of Antarctic origin; Tor the district, this forms a group of 
about two-thirds, of the local species. Nearly all of these are common in 
New Zealand, and extend through Tasmania, Victoria and New South 
Wales into the highlands of southern Queensland 

In the drier western parts of the district there appear some inland 
species , *nd on the higher land to the north there are some which are 
typical of the Alps. In the eastern part there is an interesting extension 
of .sub-tropical fabric; which are. common to the towtaud brushes, of eastern 
New South Wales and Queensland, a group oomprrsing about one-fifth of 
the total for the district. In the southern coastal belt are a number of 
Jiltoral species, most of which range from Queensland to Western Australia, 
Of all Victorian vascular cryprogajns, 80 pei" *Htfc occur in East Gippsland- 

The Ooastai. will be considered first, for the sake of convenience. 
It is the southern tract of tow country* in some places extending well inland, 
and is characterized by sattdy soil with a covering of Eucalypti and Banksia* 
extensive patches of Spear Gr3sstree forming plains devoid oi trees, coastal 
heaths, peaty swamps, and in some places low granite outcrops covered 
with tea-tr*e. 

All the rial moisi pans show au abundance of Swamp Selaginella 
(Seta&ttetta nti$Uiv$o-) , Bushy Qubmoss (Z&foflr&fttt 4&*1ifr) and Sctcw 
Fern (Linrfsaya ihteratxs], all three of which, may be found, too, in hollow* 
amid the mountains, to an elevation of about 1,000 feel. 

In the patches a/ Grasstree, where the fcoil ts slightly peaty. Rough 
Comb Fern (Schtsatta aspiTti(u-) , Forked Comb Fern t£ bifida-} and Pigmy 
Clubjnoss (Phylh$los.Mm Dru*vtn/jndii) are plcntrjul in places. The two 
Comb Ferns grow to a fewer extent in the more undulating* sandy pacts, 
and Common Bracken {Pttridiunt aqwUinum) gTOws extensively beneath 
the lores t covering. 

Along many of the creeks, in the peaty bogs, Wiry Coral Fern (Gteichenta 
circt-tmata) forms extensive thicket*; and on their borders, and in l\w 
black-soil soaks- are Cornt> Fern (Schisa^a fistuhm) and Slender Cfubmoss 
\.Lyt#podii»n fatdftttfa) On the river-dats, where there is stagnant water* 
Ferny Azolla {Azolla pitatattu) form* extensive floating patches; and it te 
worth recording that the commoner species of other parts of the State {A. 
rubra} has not bceu found in this district. 

About the mouih of the- -Snowy River, near Ewmg's Morass and Nfarfo, 
on open grassy flats. Tiny Setegtnelta (5, Prassian*) grows; AddcrV 
tongue {Ophiogtossum conacewn) is plentiful; and there is a little Meadow 
Moon wort {Botrychiunt. otutrofr) to 6c found. The two last are scattered 
in mossy granite country of the southern parts, and have both becre found 
m sub-atpinc localities. 

Where the creeks have reached rock, they are bordered by Coral Fern 
(GUtchenia wii'-Mphylfo)) and King Fern {T&dca b&rbora) ■ each ol which 
extends \nland to the lower mountain valleys; and Fishbone Fern ffijftft- 
irwm vwitvm) and Soft Water-fero (J& ccpvnsi) which are plentiful along 
open streams right up to sub-alpine parts. On rock-cliffs overlooking the 
sea a few miles south of Mallacoota arc isolated patches of the Blunt Shore 
Spleenwort {A/pUmum obtujatimi), which has not been found elsewhere 
on the Victorian mainland. 

0< $u r ], Fern Ftera of fewt Gifitvtwid !09 


Ths InUnd Svecies arc Bristly Cloak Fern (Notholactia distant) and 
Blanket Fern (Firm osor us rulifotuis), bolh of art* tumman on the 
drier limestones of the fiiichan district, and on the granite of the lower 
Suggan Bueean ;*nd DecVttck Rircr Valleys. R r *cW Fern ( Qwhwlfctf 
1f*Htifo!ia) is abund iim litre too f but, unlike the oilier two species, it is 
t»tcn<ifal also on rock outcrops throughout Croajiiigolunfi. 

Stm-AM-iNi* Sn>ciT-s. — These are jnajnly in the north. In the In^ec- 
jor.1l.-ie, Bouang and Bendoc district, Alpine Water-fern (fticchnMM 
p.~nnv.~7Jiarino) is very abundant along the open streams, a.ru1 it tScRcemte to 
a* Tow as 2,500 feet in places. Mountain Cluhtnoss (Lyc^odivtn fasticia- 
inm.) »*rows on grassy Oats by the Upper Delegete River, and the 
Moonwort Cu3fHrjYJin»iw tauiri©) has been found on slopes at 
"Ingeegoodbee by Mr W Hunter 

In a stagnant pool among granite rocks of the Genoa Kiver, near 
Wangrabcllc, a siru»lc luft of the Quillwort (Jsoctcs hxtmiHor) ha* been 
fowl; and thoujrh this plant belongs to a typically alpine j^rrns, this 
habitat •$. at an elevation of only a tew hundred feet 

On the tops and slopes of the C-odbt Rang?, Gouumirk Rai'g«?, aiul nearby 
mountains, is a belt of country which h focaHy known as the "Big Jungle," 
afld which has a dense covering of Eiicalynts and Rcdfordia. beneath which 
Soft Trederti {Dicks&ma antatctico). Hard Water-Fern (BUchnwm firo- 
r^-rum) and Mother Shield Fern (Pofyslhfubm /rtftf/miw) are extremely 
abundant. These three cvtend, too. in fess aovndaiKC to the 'owcr mountain 
valleys farther v.inrh. 

Conjnicm Spleen won (Aspfrniuetn trkhomancs), usually found cm graiure 
mrlfj in sub-alpine parts, is, in East Ginpsland, confined to the Buchan 
and GHantioy districts, where it is often plenliful on foWstonc A. similar 
case t~s provided by the Variable CTubmoss ( Lycopodiim^ varium), which 
is usually alpine, but which grows on mossy din's at 1,500 feet elevation 
ncaT Genoa Peak, fn both cases ihc particular rock* seem to suit ihr- 
propQQi^ition of the plants despite their low altitudes. 

Ratm-fores!- Belt- -Where the predominant plants are Acacias and 
Eucalypts, on the slopes of the lower mountains, there jirows an abundance 
of Rough Tree-fern (Cya4hct» nustralis) , False Bracken (CnkUa- di*bio). 
Gristle Fern (Bkchnum. cartila#**ievm) and the ubfqukous Bracken. As 
«rcll as these, there are Conunon Maidenhair Fern (/f<fi/:ii/ii*i art hiotrieum ) . 
Sticky Hypufepis (fJyp&hpis punctata) and Common Rasp Fern (JD?o<fts 
media) \o the open gullies, and on hill slopes 

Commoti Filmy Fern (HynKno-frhvttuw. a*pre*?iicfwf). Kangaroo Fern 
iFrfy Podium divcrsifofam). Sickle Fern (Petto** fahatci) and NecWace 
Fern {Asplenia™ flolwttifoHivtit) grow plentifully on moist rocks in rno*t 
parts of the district, both in the gulltcs and on shaded ch'rrs on the mountain 
spurs. Narrow Filmy Fern (Mevodittm tamm), Weeping Splccnwcrt 
{A^temnm faevidem) ami Leathery Shield Fern iP')tysHeh*m ttdimri- 
fanm) are plentiful on mossy rock faces and in granite crevices at Genoa 

Tn the Oloisr suit in tl>e deoper gullies of the lo*ifer mountains are Bat'i- 
wing Fern HUixophfis jntisa), $tv*p Fern {Blcchumt Patcrsonh), Mother 
Spleen»N>ij (4sfilenhm bitJhxftrwti), Sh.ning 'Wood Fein (Dt'y&pferis 
Shepherd**), Tender Bracken (Pterin trenmta) and Rufous Hypolepis (rV, 
ruQosuia). By Hie larger streams. Gipsy Fern (Poi.VfoAVnc &ramiml%dis'i 
grows Iwth as ai> epiphyte and as a lilho|ihyte; and on the ground we lind 
rtypolepi-i {H. Muellett), Shude Snleeuwort (Dtplazistm- aKStrnle) t SilTcv 
Fan I'Vrn (StifhrntJ t(Hvy') and Creeping l,arc Fern (DfntutatdHi* davrat* 
iiftidtis), .ill in fair abundance 

In ihe gullies 01 the higher mountain country, ui the man> he&fU 
rif the Bennu Raver (Arte, Combicnbar, Ernnuiidra, ctc.1 the Antarctic 
type is well developed and is almost identical with that d the L>.*ndenong 
Rangei, though still lacking in some of (he snecics of southern Victoria 
(Fteris fo*mwi, Potysiv httm huptditvi. etc.) The additional species (o Ik 
found here are the Austral Filmy Fern {M^cad-tum (ttyjtfttfcY Shifting 
riltny Fern (.M-- fla'jirliatuw). Veined Bristle Fern (! J olyphtfht<ift imtff* 
turn), Long Fern Clubmoss ( Tmesiptcris Bithrdicri) and Finger Fern 
(f'olypcdmw tw&l*atc), all abundant as epiphytes ai> trunks of Soft Tree- 

The Slender Trcc-fcm (Cyvthea Cffitiring/MfHJO <lo>:1 Skutect Trec-fcm 
(C. -marccsrevs) are scattered through this part too; but, like many of ihe 
other species ahead; mentioned in thii section, they arc more plentiful in 
the Mount Drummer "jungles" Where the streams are more rocky, Lauct 
Fein (Btfchnum foncevhixun) anij Ray Water-fern (8. fluvuuiU') ate not 
uncommon; but,. except (hat the latter nearhy *vh-&lpine .streams, 
neither of these two is found m any other. pan nf the district, 

SoB-TWortcAf, Floha — TbU is in* the cast r>f the district -ind along (lie 
streams, and in some of ihe shaded hollows oi the Jower mountain's thene 
arc patches Qi vegetation often referred to as "jungles," with few 01 no 
EiicaJypis, but wiih a fciest M Kanaoka. Blackwood, Lilly-Pilly, Warata.h r 
etc '. icstooncu Willi liters and other creepers, 50 as to exclude direct 
sunshine, though it is unite open underneath. In such places, Giant Maiden- 
hair {/tdionUntt formosrim) grow? by the Cami and Spowy R»vC*S; and nv 
two localities the Small Shade Splcenwort (Diplczimn japonicinii\ ha* 
been recently found. The "jungles" are typified hy the occurrence of the 
terrestrial jungle Brake (PfrrM rtw^Oyo). and by Fragrant PotypooY 
{Poh'Pt'diuyn pusbitaium} Oil the trunks of Soft Tree-fern 

Prickly Kasp Fern (Do&dia- cspc*&) and Spreading Fan Fern (Sfkfrwfo 
(tfbutttf) grow on the hrjllafdc* in, and near the jungles- Here the Felt Tern 
(Cyclnphmus rupestns)' is abundant as an epiphyte on Kauooka ; and the 
species is frequently found too 611 rock outcrc*)? in other parts of the 
distrtO, even vs far north as Sviggau Biiggan. The Small Rasp Fern 
(Dftadin rftudatby is scattered from Genoa 10 Buchan, generally in ^noist 
granite crevices alone; watercourses. 

fn the Mount Drumnter area, m the heads of Karlo Creek and of other 
tributaries of the Winpan River and orl Che Howe Ranges, the fern flora 
of East Gippbjaiui (and indeed of Victoria) reaches its ixalc, borli iri the 
number of species pix-sent and in the extent of their growth. In these 
isolated islands of flora, almost all the specie* of ihe last two sections 
grow |yrofttocly. mainly in the nimstcr parts , and right smon£ rhem, but 
extending up the htfl$K!c&, are- large . patches 0* suh-tropical species The 
lithophytic species mentioned in the previous two sections prow here *& 
epiphytes on the Ka nook as. 

Prickly Tree- fern fCydiJk** Lrichhihfdiiaxa) is very plentiful, and the 
ground is enwed wilh Jungle Wood Fern {Dryopttns trnera) Even 
Rough Tree-fern here supports the growth of numerous epiphytes, includ- 
ing f]tianii|rC5 of Jungle Bristle Fern (AftfC*4gfc*0 £anda!a) , Soft Tree; 
fern is host to many species, -among which arc Blunt Fern Gubmos* 
i Twcsi pterin -ovota) and Small Fern Gubmoss (T porvu)- Near Karlo 
Creek is fhr onlv known Victorian patch of Lace Fern (Linttwya rmVfp- 

In the far eas<, about Genoa, arc ereat granite ouurops, and i>j one of 
Ihe watercourse? through them arc patches of Routh Maidenhair Fcfil 
\AdicttttHto\ UispiduhttM) &M Fan Fern ( $TruJl»criw jfabclfaHts) , the former 

IM?] Hawthorn Junior l-ieto' i\Utinf*h$ty Chtb III 

occurring also in the Howe Range*, while BCW WtaUacoota Jnlei. opposite 
Gipsy Point, i*. an isolated patch of Trim W.vni Tern ( [tryaf>Seti$ (fat#D»* 
posiia), auMlier rarity oi Lite extreme easl 

The Chinese Brake (Pficw cwwo) seems lo favour [Mjrous rocks;,- (or 
ihciiyh it i* * $ti1)-trt7pi«;*l s(Nvii •«, one must fto as far west as llit Buchan 
limestones heforr it is found. On the walls of one rtep ftramte rrrvire nonr 
Genoa thcte are a few plants ot the Willow Spleen wort- (Axptrv-imti 
adhnioiiics}, almost the rarest Victorian fern 

It iy remarkable that the sttb-trujnc>d sj>ceics f Dry&ptcris nyinphtiiij and 
DitvuHiu py.ridttttt, have not fuund in East Grppslaud. lor (hey extend 
through astern New South Wales into oilier part* ot Victors, apparently 
i>nsstr»K this district, although many localities hei'c >vould HiJiutraiily suit 
their jrrrwth. 

Mueller had DicranflpUrix lintaris and Afptenrnm- nuhts on Victorian 
lists; but though tbe laUcr, at least, occurs within 311 utiles ot the Victorian 
border, there »s no rtial Victorian record of cither lit addition to these, 
iher** are two other sjHHaes ( sir thro ptftis tewffo and Ftatyctriuni. £>l/»r- 
cuttim) which tome as far south as Mount Dromedary, -80 miles- from- the 

So, al!tio«i{h Rust Gotland has been fairly well explored during the 
IMSt few years, it is quite likely thai still further discoveries will be made. 
possibly in the Howe Kanges, which have not yet been thoroughly searched. 


Alter considerable preliminary work, and interview* with members of 
|jm Hawthorn Cotiacii and the committee, of trie Hawthorn Tree Library. 
«xmsent of the Council to ll*e foctnauon of a Natural History Club was 
obtained. An orgaraaing comnuttee was thereupon formed, Willi Mr. zild 
Mrs. J. J. Freame. Mrt Carbines, Messrs. i\ R Morris, H, T, Reaves, 
\... W. Cooper, H. P. Dickms and S. R. Mitchell as personnel, and at a 
meeting: held 111 the Free Library it was resolved to establish such a club 
under the tiame Junior Nattwalirts* Club (Hawthorn Branch) 

The inaugural meeting took place on August 6, 1945, and Mtice (hen niwr 
lectures have been given, two excursions conducted; and a "demonstration 
evening" arranged. The lectures, usually illustrated by lantern, slides or 
motion pictures, have hem highly educative and prrcatly appreciated. FiMMTi 
October 4lh to 9th, 1943, an exhibition ot varied interest was staged, the 
May<>r, Councillors and Town Clerk, attending. The club is indebted* to 
the Hawthorn Council Cor the continued use of a vcrw fine lecture room, 
and has received much help and encouragement from the efforts of Cr. J. 
Fowler in particular. 

I wish to register my appreciation of the work no effectively tarried out 
by Mr. and Mrs Frcame, the secretary (Miss L Edgelcv), Mr .P F. 
Morris, arid other members of the committee. To celebrate 1hc fir^t ann»-- 
versary, Mr and Mr&. Freanie arranged a birthday party gud R.merously 
provided aII the refreshments, the tectuire otr this, occasion being dehvered 
by Mrs. Froamc herself. Local support afforded the new club i* so far 
rather disappointing, but we hope to augment the preseut membership of 35 
wbwi the dub's activities become, more widely known However, the 
result* to date surely justify (his venture and emphasize the desnabihty of 
forming junior naturalist societies in other suburbs. Any assistance in the. 
Way of addresses by senior members will be gladly welcomed. 

S. R. Mi-tc/ikm 

112 Farmcri* !'>othcrM Prifwfx [ V yoi 



To anyone doubting the immense value to Australia of carriondeedw^ 
and imcctivuruus birds, or lb thuse who never thinV about the question at 
ell, the South Australian. Journal B/ ^farfoiwfttB for August offers ait 
illuminating article by Mr. P. J. Curuow, wider tht above title. The fact 
that many landowners arc utterly oblivious of the (good services rendered 
ihem by native birds Is deplored, while a credit balance is made out even 
for «V much-maligned white cockatoo anil wedge-raited eagje. Mr. Cur- 
txiw's plea for better bird protection must appeal to all nature -lovers. He 
*ays, intur aH& : "The greatest vandal in the world h the* while man. He 
comes into a new country clothed with valuable forests, strange forms ol* 
hird and animal life* and often aboriginal fife of a lower type than hit own. 
The first thing he thinks of is to kill off any living thing; he can eat, or, 
through the sale of furs or feathers, he can turn into cash. Before seizing 
n fiTfrt to Shoot aay bird that may be strange to yon, atlempl to find on* if 
it he a useful aperies before ytov Jake its bfe. The greater number of our 
birds are useful, from the tiny wrens that eat up aphis on our roses to the 
larger kinds that help to control blowfly strike by eating up fly larvae in 
dead carcases All have a place in our economy -ind art- worthy of 


lb* Bnttew* vf Ihr Imperial Inshhtte announces thfl death of thfc veteran 
botanist on March 16, at his borne in Whytclcatc, Surrey. England Sir 
David Prain. who attained the age of 86, was formerly director of the 
Botanical Survey of India. Returning to England; he assumed '.he director- 
ship oi the Uoyal Botanic <Wdens\ Kew (1905), a rwM that lie lield with 
conspicuous ability tor I? years. In 1V^6 he wa» appointed first chairman 
M the Advisory Council on Plant- and Animal . Products ai the Imperial 
.institute, retiring theTcfrom in 1936 at the age of 79, Sir David presided 
Over the Botany Section ot the British Association] for the Advancement 
oi" Science at Winnipeg (Canada) in 1909, and visited Australia with 
British delegates during 1914 Compared with those of his predecessors at 
ftcw, Sir David's hotanicaf writings arc meagre, bin he wn$ a world- 
renowned and excellent administrator-scientist, and one of the tnost Iikcah!c 
men it tia>- been nry honour to meet — P. F. Mohkis. 


A large number attended the outing on August 19. t ; je locality vUilcd 
being in Uic- vicinity of Bakomhe Road, from half tu otic mile vest of the 
Irani terminus. The eastern slope of the hill was 1irsf tried, but abundant 
growth Of Coast Tea-tree bushes made location oi other plants difficult. 
Knrnt-ovcr areas on the other side of the road were in various hfajptt ol 
recovery and gave better result;;. Many small plants *vcrc *^ n hcf-'t mchid- 
aug* the common Crassulu 5|jecies and Scented Sundew (flowering plentifully 
in placet) A low RTowth of Rmksio xvas siill flowering, and four species 
of .4fffdii displayed attractive Idnvsom?; One of the abnormal vrtjpgfe 
forms of the Acacfo fc*t$ifoiia group (small pbyUodes, and possibly a 
hybrid) was noted and it would be interesting to test the seed later on. 
wheie and if obtainable. Few oi\hid> were observed m flower, hot Hie 
feathery plumes of Blady Grass Jed to an examination of ils. underground 
method of spreading;. — T. S. Haht. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol.61. — No« 7 November 8, 1944 No. 73* 


The monthly meeting of ibe Club was held on October 9, 1944, 
at the Royal Society's Hall,, where the President (Mr, Ivo C 
Hairunet) presided and about 120 members and friends attenderl. 

F.xcur.$ion reports were given as follows ; Doncaster, Mr. P. 
Fiscti; East Oakleigh, Mr, F. H, Salau; Montmorency to 
Elthani, Mr, A T S. Chalk and Mr. Hammer. 

The following were elected as Ordinary Members ot the Club: 
Misses C. Q. Palmer, J. C. Burnett, Greta Scott, T-. Matthews, 
Messrs. G. Eraser, J- r£ Laver; as Country members: Cpi. R. D. 
Clarke, Messrs. G. H. Jennings and Edwin D. Hatch. 


Mr, Chisholm was asked why black and white birds 01 different 
species often nested close together. He said in reply that black 
and white birds (e.g.. Magpies, Wagtail, Mud-lark, etc.) appeared 
to be protected by their very prominence, and there seemed to be 
some protective value attached to the fact that the Mud-lark and 
Wagtail frequently nested in the one tree. It would be interesliug 
to' know from observation which was the first species in possession 
in such cases. 

.Mr. Gates mentioned having seen in Canterbury a black and 
yellow bird which he had never noted iu the district before. Mr. 
Chisholm said that the species was the Regent Honeyeater, and 
the bird.5 were possibly the same pair that had recently been 
seen at Wattle Park. 

Mr. Aj J. Swaby reported that two Spur-winged Plovers had 
selected a nesting site on a football ground, where three school 
games were played each week. The eggs were laid among Cape 
weed, and were soon taken. A second site was selected, this time 
alongside a concrete cricket-pitch, and the young were successfully 
"batched, fending for themselves at a very tender age, The old 
birds are again nesting in the same locality 

A note on a habit ot the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike was also 
f»rven. It was stated that as soon as the young birds had left ihe 
nest the parents had destroyed it. and had not attempted to iisc 
the material again. Mr. Chalk Mated that these hirds often used 
old nests of (he Mud-lark, and these were never destroyed. 

iU Mountain mid JJusk [*{Bufr 


The forthcoming Nature Show in the Hawthorn Town Hilll 
was mentioned and an appeal made for ladies to assist in ihc 
selling up, 

Mr. V H Miller reported that Mr. C. French had been 
appointed to Lhc curatorsbip of Maranoa Gardens, and said he 
looked forward to a continuation of the good work started by the 
lute F. Chapman. Mr. Miller further slated there were some 
magnificent displays in the gardens £t the present time. Mr. H. T. 
Reeves supported these remarks and congratulated Mr Bury on 
having such a fine display. 

Mr. G. Coghill stated that the collection of wild flower paintings 
of the late Miss Fuller load been left to the Club, and he. pointed 
out the value of than for the Club's purposes. 

The President remarked that the Barrier Field Naturalists** 
Club at Broken Hill bad issued art admirable booklet on Charles 
Sturt, and he exhibited a presentation copy sent to the Club. 


An illustrated lecture was given by Mr. Paul Fisch, who dealt 
with alpine scenes in Switzerland, sundry places en route to 
Australia, and Australian localities. A feature was the fine, series 
•of nature studies taken near his home at Doncaster. Giant fungi,. 
new and rare forms of Cordyccps, orchids, etc., were among the 
jl lustration s. 

Mr. CoIliYer asked if the lecturer could explain why many of 
the Swiss alpine plants were common garden, plants over here 
now, and yet alpine plants of New Zealand, in some cases at 
least, would not grow below the ynow-liue Mr. Fiscb suggested 
it was possibly due to the plants nor being so forceful in growth 
as the European forms. Mi. Hammet stated that be had grown 
the Alpine Lily (Rammctdus Lyaltii) for one year but it did not 
flower. Mr. Hyam suggested that the plant needed a long resting 
period, as in its natural habitat it is covered by snow for seven or 
eight month*. Mr. Morrison suggested that the isolated position 
of New Zealand did not make (he plants' struggle for existence 
3s severe as in the case in Europe, where aggressive types are bred. 

Mr. Gabriel asked what was the plant mentioned as having 
medicinal properties. Answer: Arnica, and a tincture for wounds 
was commonly made from it. 

Mr. A. D. Hardy asked if bush-fires in Swiss forests were ever 
caused by lightning. Mr Fisch replied that fires were not common* 
—-about two a year in the north — and after a thunder-storm such 
u quantity of rain fell that any fire would soon be extinguished. 


JM fii»A MS 


Mr, and Mr*. Paul Fisch ! Roots of Exocarpus cnpr£saformis, enveloping 
but not ;ienetrating those of a, cucalypt; garden-fcrown specimen of Olearia 
Htata; series of water-colour and crayon iirawiug<> of Victorian orchids and 

Miss L. Dvall; Large radish, weight when dug 3$ lb.. Rrown in Glen 

Mr. T, Griffiths: CnltectiOn of pressed Selagtriellan and Other menses 
in book. 

Mr. V. H. Millet *i Cultivated orchids — Detidrobmm- grpcilHhtuw.D *te*ett- 
jotium, Cytnlririium Beryl, C- Lawianutfy and CytTibidimn sp.; pot-grown 
specimen of Diuris punctata; also pot-grown specimen of Drown himta. 

W/O. J. A. Blackburn (pes O. Singleton); A perfect specimen of the 
giant Jossil cowrie Gigtmlacyprata Qt$as (McCoy) from B»lcorohc Bay; 
maximum dimensions of sample are 7 in. long and 54 in. hroad Collected 
by exhibitor. 

Mr. J. H. Willis; A rare pnrfball {Phe! forma strobUiwi) from near 
Tulla Station, Wakool Shire, Western Rivcrina, N.S.W. (coll. Major R S. 
Wright, 3/10/44). This is probably the largest example uu record: height 
above ground 28 cm .;. girth of peridium 17 cm, (Dr. G. H. Cunningham's 
corresponding measurements for the largest specimens he had seen, iip tn 
1942 was 18 x 11 cm.) The aperies is listed tor Victoria, South Australia, 
Queensland, and India, 

Mr. T. S. Hart ! Lspidospemui PMUpcrftfMi lately added to the lis* of 
Victorian plants; examples from HJgbctt, BJack Rock and Mormngtou. 
Pamaderris subre panda, a shrubby "Haael*' (s.n called) from North Croy- 
don; LvvcnUookia Sondcri, a Trigger -plant from North Croydon. 


Ahotit 45 members and friends attended the outing on September Ik 
Along Blackburn Road. Cottony Cushion scales were observed on wattle 
and flowering specimens of ITibbcrtia and Davtesia tatif/ilia. In .* cutting 
of the road, where roots of Exocarpiw cypress* formis and those oi a gum- 
nee were exposed, we searched for evidence o( the former's parasitical 
hajbtt, hut could not find any roots actually joined, although they were 
growing ver t y closely together, suggesting rather a symbiotic relntionship. 
Along Koonutitf Creek, where old Papcrbarks (Mt'talexua rricijnlw) and 
the Manua Gums provide sutnc very picturesque settings, several 'flowering 
plants were found : about three kinds of wattles, two species of Grecnhonds> 
a Bird-orr.hid and Diuris fongifolia, nlep OUaria Urata. The biggest speci- 
men ox Yellow Box tree u\ the district was also admired. A good view of 
a pair of Frogmouths was obtained, and later one of these Vtr&t was 
observed sitting on its nest — very well camouflaged. — Pauf. Fiscil. 

The Club's congratulations arc extended to Mr, C. French upon his recent 
appointment by the Camberwell Council as curator of the Maranon Gardens, 
in succession to the late Frederick Chapman. Mr. French, who has been 
an energetic member 1 of the F.N.C. for 62 years and wa& Ml assistant of 
ftaron von Mueller during the last decade of the grcal scientist's life, i* 
steeped in botanical tradition anrl brings a wealth of plant lore gardening 
experience, and enthusiasm into this responsible position. 

116 f^tfir, NoMrc Picttws Mete and Mi-aaA [ V yJ^ 


By Paul Frscn, Doncaater, Vic. 
(An address to the F.N.C on Oct. 9) 

Under this title I shall relate some of the rambles and observa- 
tions that my wife and I have made, both m our h curie country, 
Switzerland, and in this equally lovely land ut Victoria where wc 
settled down. 

Needless to say, I am very interested in everything that Nature 
ha* to reveal to man. Doubtless the fact thai wc grew Up in a 
most picturesque mountain valley, with plenty of unspoilt natural 
life around us. aroused an early interest in Nature, and both our 
parents and school teachers encouraged nature study. In our 
secondary school we kept a book where we had to enter each day 
an observation relating to natural history with sketch or diagram 
and text., and most pupils were very proud of those books. One 
of the most interesting observations was how the flora changed 
on differing geological formations, e.g., the saxifrages, certain 
primulas and clovers, favouring limestone country, would not 
invade the plant lite of sandstone and conglomerate. 

A unique flora is that of the high moors at an altitude of about 
1,200 metres. The pent-forming Sphagnum moss covers the whole 
level area and seems to thrive in a water-logged, sour terrain. 
Minerals are about non-existent, a fact that causes the extremely 
stunted growth of the few foi-est tress that germinate on this land. 
About three different dwarf bei ry-bearing shrubs, including the 
Blue-berry, nr Bilberry (Vaccimuni myrtitbts), do very well, alsn 
two insect-catching plants, one of them a sundew. All the shrub* 
and grass are continuously threatened by the ever growing and 
rising carpet of Sphagnum moss. Some of the grasses overcome 
this threat of being smothered by the formation of a new set of 
roots higher up along the stem every year, and one is able to 
trace many abandoned root sections right down into the sub-soil 
where the old vegetable matter k turning into peat This same 
Tundra-like country I have later fnconntrred in the Victorian 

All hough the rainfall of Switzerland is very substantia) and 
agricultural latida arc more than adequately watered, forests which 
enver about one quartet of the count jy axe very well protected 
and attended. What enormous assets these forest lands are to 
a country 1 — they shelter agricultural lands, homes and towns from 
storms, a\ r alanches and hail; they p'*ovide Ihe indispensable fuel 
for household and industries, the limber for building; they arc a 
natural warer-Teservoir, regulating fhe flow of springs: and la?t 

hut not least, are an everlasting beauty to the country. The annate slaughter of forests tu the mountains has been the 
cause ol disastrous landslides, with the formation of those uncon- 
trollable torrents whose yellow, or almost black, waters rear rocks 
and valuable soil downstream, wreaking great damage. 

The Swiss Fore^ I-»w of 1876 declared forests m the moun- 
tains, that is those id the catchment areas of the rivers, per- 
ssianentty protected and by 1902 all forest lands (privately owned 
as well \ were covered by the Federal Forest Laws, which are 
carefully worked out, based on experience, observation and experi- 
ment. Ha farmer makes a mistake in a seasonal operation it is 
avenged in a .short time and the following season it will be 
eliminated, ttut in forestry success or failure »3 usually manifest 
only decades afterwards, when it may be too late to adjust the 
matter. It has been found that the healthiest and most profitable 
type of forest is the one with a mixed population of conifers and 
deciduous trees, from which always the mature trees arc thinned 
out, so rhat no forest soil is exposed: a kind of self-regenerating 
perpetual forest. Yes, the forests tift worth protecting, in facl it 
is our duty to posterity. 

The forests of Europe once cut down are very difficult to 
replant, as the sod seems to change 01 lose its bactejial and fungus- 
life so beneficial and essential to the trees. After hearing the 
remarkable lecture in this Club, ''Making the Desert -Bloum/" I 
am inclined to think that Australian species of trees may be 
destined to reaftorcstate man-tnade deserts throughout! the world. 

It is believed that the treeline iinril, which is at about the* 
1.S00 metre mark, used to be about 250 metre?; higher up. In 
those regions, where now only the dwarf conifers and the glorious- 
"Alpine Rosses" {Rhododendron hirsntum and R. ferrugincum) 
grow* the remains of tall forest trees, canes and seeds have been 
found in the pealy soil, indicating, of course,, that forests once 
flourished there. Actually, it is believed now that the belt of 
Rhododendrons once coincided -with the treeline limit. 

And now a few words about the atyiue flora m general, i.e., 
plant life between 1,000 and 4,000 metre altitudes approximately: 
Yes, Ranunculus ghuialu is found as high up as that. 

The temperature of the air in those regions is reduced, the sun's 
rays arc uitcuser, the period of vegetation h shorter, the nnnfall 
greater, the change of temperature is severe and air currents mo'e 
pronounced, All these factors influence the specific character nf 
alpine plants With the increasing altitude the number of species 
decreases and the individuals grov* smaller and bug the ground 
for protection. 

ns risen. jVwfrp nfafmt tfw *wwJ $fa><wtf [ V voufi k ' 

Most plants are pcienniak. as the short summers very often 
prevent the maturing: of seeds of annuals. Owing to short seasons 
the flowers appear early, blooms of the Soldanelh often grow- 
ing through a thin layer of melting snow. Of interest are the 
felt coats of the Edelweiss and its relatives to hinder loss of 
moisture. Some of the mountain flowers have been successfully 
cultivated in the lowlands, such as a few gentians, primulas, saxi- 
frages, ranunculi, campanulas, etc., but generally it must be said 
that they thrive only on the high mountains where conditions 
created their very specific character and beauty. 

And now let as turn to Australia. It is rather significant 
that as a nature-lover I really made my first friendship here by 
the medium of a tree. On my search for a job, I passed by a 
garden where an old man attended his trees One of these T 
recognized as Abies pectitutia, the very extensively represented 
member of the Swiss forests. This I told the gentleman and, 
appreciating my interest in trees, he showed us over his whole 
garden and helped me to obtain employment. He thought it quite 
natural that I wanted to work on the land, in contrast to the 
young farm-worker I met (just discmharking at the port) who ? 
wheft I revealed my intentions to go on the land, looked at me 
very critically and asked, "Can y* miJk a cow, can y plough and 
with 'ow many 'orses?" 

A few years !ater, when it came to choosing a place of our 
own, we were again looking at the problem as nature -lovers, and 
never regretted having acquired a terribly dilapidated property 
with the bad name of being "played out/' and overgrown with 
couch-grass. We saw that the neglected building could be 
straightened up, and the walls (built of Silurian bedrock) looked 
quite dignified; the couch-grass also was a blessing in disguise, 
as it held the sot?, preventing it from washing away during the 
years nobody looked after the place. And then there were the 
few lovely old trees, planted perhaps fifty or more years ago. that 
now provide us with shady nooks around the house and are a 
-feature of the landscape. 

From this home of ours at Doncaster we have made innumerable 
rambles close by and farther afield* first alone and later with our 
children, to explore the bird, insect, orchid and fungus worlds. 
and whenever anything new to us is found the delight ls great. 
I suppose Australians find out amazement hard to understand at 
the first meeting with Podwgus, for instance, or the extraordinary 
plant family of Proteac$&, the quaint orchids, grass-trees and 
fern^trees, the Cordyceps or a fungus like Boletus portentous 
weighing 12 lbs. or more, to name but a very few of the amazing 
objects of this land. 

\ ul \ / Wim.i am;.. S&nw Bainmcat Curutxittes 119 

By W. L. Wtiuams, Melbourne. 

A chance reference to etiolation in native plants led me recently 
to look back* over a set of notes made from time to time between 
1930 and 1935 on the subject of outstanding colour variation, 
apparent hybridization, and tcratologkal formations in wild flowers 
of the Grampians district. I fear that the notes are not very 
scientific ; they merely record curiosities that appeared to be 
worthy of notice, and some of the observations, a mixed bunch, 
are offered as a matter of interest and for the sake- of recording. 

In the neighbourhood of the Terraces on a 1 north-eastern slope 
of the range (here is. or was, a large patch of the "nodding blue 
lily" (Slyfiandra (}laaca). which straggled over rocky ribs and 
spread in some profusion on every terrace of soil that lay 
The mass of blue colour in the flowering" season was a delight 
that I have never forgotten,- nor have I forgotten the shock of 
finding in the midst of it a splash of pure white — the flowers of 
one plant or clump of Stypandra which so far as could be seen 
were in every other way quite normal. Three or four of these 
white spikes stood side by aide among hundreds of blue examples. 

A white flower that ought to be blue, however, is nut so 
startling as one that ought to be red. and my notes record the. 
same peculiarity in two of the reddest flowers in the whole bush — 
"flame heath" (Astroloma rflnastfiphioides) and the "scarlet coraF 
pea" (Kcnmdya prostratd). A plan* of ibe former bearing while, 
flowers was found among acres of the usual scarlet-flowered heath 
in open country close to Stawell, while a runner of what must be 
incongruously described as "white scarlet coral pea" crept among 
the brush on the flat below Red Man's Bluff, 

Two orchids appear in the list too, though in neither case was 
-colour entirely absent, Beside the Western Highway, a few 
miles beyond Ararat, there used to grow a small colony of the 
""tall diuris" (Dinris longiiolia) of which every flower, instead of 
being orange splashed with brown, was of a uniform pale yellow 
without darker markings of any kind. In colour they resembled 
very pale forms of Dwris pedmculata, though the form of the 
orchids, even from a distance, shouted aloud Diuris tongifoHo 
Their constant pallor, however, was so remarkable that specimens 
were sent to Dr. Rogers in Adelaide, who was good enough to 
check the idenb'fication. The second orchid noticed was a fine 
specimen of the "fringed spider orchid" (Cafadcnifr ditotala) 
which was morphologically normal, but, lacking any touch of colour 
evert on the labellum, usually so brilliant, was of a uniform pale 

121) IVin.tAMS, Sum? tiuUmnal Citriv&itKt J 

lot. Nal. 
Vol. ffl 

cream, This specimen was not observed in situ, unfortunately,, 
hut was being earned in a bunch of orchkLs said to have been 
gathered at Pomonal. Whether the paleness was a permanent 
characteristic in the flower of that particular tuber and its descend- 
ants was there f of e never established. In none of the tSMi men- 
tioned did lack of sunlight appear to have anything in do with the 

No special reference is of course made lo the more commonly 
known colour variations* pitch as the pale and dark forms of the 
"homed orchid 7 * (Orifwcenu shictnm), the stout sun orchid 
(Thelynritra epipactoides), the "common spider orchid" (Cal&- 
denia Paicrsom) , or such leek orchids as Prasophyttnm Frcuchii 
and P. Brain si, of which extraordinary extremes were occasionally 

At leas! two examples of hybridism, both in orchids, are noted - 
Our of theae was a fine double-flow cred spider orchid collected by 
the Rev. Clarence Lang. It had the size and general appear- 
ance of Cdtadcvia Palcrsoiiii. but the pale,, labellum bad mingled 
characteristics of both C- Patersomi and C. dilaUUa, including a 
short but characteristically "dilatata" fringe. The other record 
involves two or three specimen* of an orchid lying apparently 
somewhere between Dittris tnaqtilata and D, palachila-, in all of 
which a broad but not entirely characteristic "palachila'' tongue 
seemed to have become accidentally attached to an otherwise 
typical specimen of the former orchid This form, which for want 
of a better explanation was written down as a hybrid, appeared 
occasionally in the same locality (near the, turn-off from the 
Pomona I road to the Terraces) over two or ibiec seasons. 

But the prize curiosity of . all was a .teratnlogical form of 
"blotched sun orchid," Ttutymrlra f , mcc-ln1ca f one of the most 
beautiful kinds, and one which gives me always a slight lectin? of 
incredulity. That the broad leaf and the succulent stem and the 
delicate bloom should belong to a genus that prefers its sunshine 
oven-hot seems na the face of it ridiculous- However, so it is~ 
The specimen in question had a spike of three flowers, in each o* 
which a toothed excrescence, originating at the haw of the label- 
lum, rose in front of the column, practically concealing it from 
view. This exanrp?e was the first of the species that I had seen, 
and. I collected and pressed it without recognizing its leratological 
condition. Fortunately in a letter to Dr. Rogers concerning 
another orchid T described my specimen in some detail Never, J 
think, was a letter answered more speedily. The Doctor's anxious- 
inquiry as to the fate of the curiosity caused me to remove it from 
the press and send it at once to Adelaide, where he employed 

methods of his own to restore, mount, and examine the parts of 
the flower. 

The plant, whose position 1 had noted, bloomed again during" 
the two next succeeding seasons, and each time the flowers had the 
same curious structure — a partial survival of the missing anther* 
that, thousands or millions of years ago, once graced orchids 
generally. Then one season no green leaf appeared and there was- 
no strange bloom in the spring. Perhaps it flowered again after 
I left the district; perhaps it is about to bloom at this very 

By E. M. Webb, Melbourne. 

During half a dofcen years in the outijack of Western Australia, 
some forty years ago.. I was in daily touch with wild nature. The 
country was primitive and largely unfenced. My one regret fa 
thai 1 did not "take in* f more of it. 

This was land thrown open to selectors at the beginning of the 
century. The best of it grew raspberry jam trees, york gum and 
salmon gum, with occasional poots or morrels. The worst of it 
was sand-plain and stony rubble that grew Mackboys, a stunted 
sort of useless herbage and poison weed. The proportions of good 
and bad were about 50-50. 

The poison weed killed stock that ate it. It was easy enough 
to grub and it would not grow again unless a fire passed over the 

This was waterless country with the exception of a few soaks 
and tanks sunk by sandalwood gatherers of a previous age. No 
water was accessible bo the bush animals, which seemed to get on 
very well without it. 

The region was well endowed with possums, kangaroos, tanima 
(wallaby), boodie rats (kangaroo-rats of some kind) and warungs. 
Thrushes, crested hell-birds, parrakeels, ring-neck parrots and 
brown magpies ("squeakers") were the most noticeable birds. 
The banded anteater was quite common. 

Bell-birds had the loveliest song — three or four beautiful pipes 
finishing with a deep chime an ocUve lower. I have followed 
them many a time thinking their notes came from horse-bells. 
The similarity was apparent only at a distance, I never heard a 
hotsc-bcll close up that could compare with the bell-bird. He was 
the Fast singer at night. 

The nng-ncck parrots ate the wheat-crop as fast as we sowed 

il. They came in great flocks and we had to poison them or go 
without wheal. They and the "squeakers" died by hundreds. 

One midday 1 had been working out in the open hush alone 
smcl was seated having lunch when a banded anteater came, into 
view. The place was a sandy rise growing white gums and there 
was a lot of dead white gum sticks rotting on the ground. 1 kept 
very still because, although anleatcrs were fairly plentiful, they 
were desperately shy and would go for their lives i[ they saw a 

J suppose I watched this chap for half an hour and this is the 
way he went about things. Having nosed into a small piece of 
rotting wood, he would burrow underneath it. Then by means 
r*i the burrow be would get bis forcpaws under the stick, raise it 
underneath his chin, rise on his hind legs and let the stick tall 
\i always seemed to fall bottom up. Then out would go his long 
red tongue along the stick and in would go the white ants. 

This little chap was having a great feed when a gust of wind 
disturbed the paper in which my lunch had been wrapped. He 
gave one look in my direction and promptly disappeared. 

The kangaroos were light brown creatures that made very good 
eating if they were young. I have always regretted shooting 
rheui because they were lovely, harmless things; but when your 
daily meat comes out of a tin the chance of a little fresh kangaroo 
h too good to be missed. I salve my conscience these days by 
reflecting lhat I shot them only for food. Cooked in a camp oven 
with a bit of bacon, kangaroo steaks were very appetising. 

As far as I know, these kangaroos, in common with the rest 
of the fauna, never drank. The soaks had all fallen in long since 
and the tanks were inaccessible. In summer the only source of 
moisture was a species of corkscrew-grass, the roots of which 
were always green. 

The possums, of the ordinary grey variety, had voices thai I 
have not heard in other States. One used to sit in a jam tree 
(raspberry jam) above my tent and wait for my light. to go out. 
He wouJd givt me about half an hour to ^et to sleep and then 
come down into the lent and steal my jam. I would wake up to 
see a little round ball of fur on the table by my bunk, Its nose 
would be deep in the jam. The voice was a sort of "chut-chut.° 
That and a kind af wheeze which T have heard elsewhere made up 
(he possum's conversation. 

Speaking of voices, the Western Australian irow lias one all 
his own. It is the usual "Caw-caw M followed by a horrible. 
ghoulish chuckle. Crows were very scarce in those parts. J 
suppose I saw no more than six iu as many years. 


Platk V 

November, 1944 

Large clutch of Hmu eggs at the Wild Nature Park at Ararat. 
They took eight weeks to hatch. 

Five days after hatching the young Emus still remained at the nest, 

On the sixth day they walked off, led by the male parent, who had 

brooded the eggs. 

Phutoe. by S»*t. T,. Blackie. 

One nf them gave us an insight Info the crow's uncanny instinct 
concerning a possible meal. We had a chestnut mare that went 
$ick one day. We put her in a loose box and gave her various 
remedies. In that loose box she was out of sight of everything. 
Later in the day we went to the box to give her one more remedy- 
Having done so we went back to the hut. As we left the box a 
crow came flying slowly over an adjacent hill and perched on a 
-dry tree close to the loose box. Half an hour later one of us 
went back to the box and found the mare dead. If the place had 
had plenty of crows one would have taken little notice of this 
incident, but we hadn't seen a crow for a year and I am convinced 
that this one knew in some way that the marc was #oin£ to die 
and came over for the feast. 

The tamma (wallabies) were found only in sheoak thickets. 
These were clusters of sheoak saplings never more than 10 or 12 
ieet high and packed closely together. The tamma were good 
•eating. To get them a man with a gun stationed himself in the 
middle of a thicket while another beat the bounds and drove the 
animals toward the centre. 

I mentioned the warung because # although in the small kangaroo 
-cbis (he was smaller than a tamma) he always ensconced himself 
in a squat like a hare and was always seen alone. His meat was 
white, something like chicken, although more like rabbit to the 

There were no rabbits then. The last erected Government 
rabbit-proof fence ran along our boundary and bunny had not 
got past it. 

At intervals along the fence were traps of wire-netting built on 
the principle of heing easy to enter and impossible to vacate. We 
thought we had found a rabbit once in one of these but il turned 
out to be a dalgite, a nocturnal animal winch we never saw in 

The hoodie rats haunted stables and haystacks at night. They 
were a kangaroo-rat a little smaller than the waning and they 
attacked the haystacks for the grain in the wheat-cars In one 
place, f remember., they got to the settler's self-raising flour. 
They were all found in the morning dead and considerably blown 
up with gas. 

There were no kookaburras then but I believe they have been 
imported since. Emus were very few in those parts, but there were 
twenty of dingoes. These were mostly the pure ginger type trill 
*ome of them showed evidence of being crossed with other dogs. 
I laid hundreds of baits for them but never saw a dead one 
although the haita would always be taken. These animals had 

124 Wcm Wild Life in titr West E^JSmS* 

the teal dingo howl. It used to make my Wood curdle at first*. 
ytl it is a strangely apj>ea1iiig although melancholy sound. 

Once white driving through the hush, on a -moonlit Christmas 
Eve, I saw a dingo eomo out of the scrub and run aloug the track 
ahead of me. He kept litis op for several ni3g5 before disappear* 
ing in the scruh -again. 1 rattier appreciated his attention and 
would not have shot at him even if i had earned a rifle. 

On another moonlit night (il was morning actually) I heard 
a dingo patter up the track by my tent and Jap at the ninrldy soak 
1 could not have brought myself to shoot that fellow, either. 
because I wa t s living alone and felt very lonely 

There were targe granite outcrops all over this counlry and 
some of them contained what we tailed night wells, These were 
hales in the rock ifitti which water began to flow soon after Sun- 
down And stopped flowing nt sunrise The explanation is thai 
there was some aggregation of water around the rock which seeped 
in through a crack, As soon as the sun got up the rock expanded 
atid the crack closed. Whole teams of horses could lie watered 
from a night well at night, for the hole always kept full until 
morning. These nighi wells are somewhat rare. The nearest to 
MS would have been about 30 miles. 

Earlier I mentioned sandalwood. This tree must have growii 
prolificacy in southern Western Australia at one time. Horse* 
team£ used t<j come up from Albany in the very early days and 
take away great loads of the timber. .First they went through. 
and took the trunks of the trees., leaving the stump and the little 
branches. Then, when the trees were cut out, they came through 
again and took out. the stumps. AH over the country I saw the 
holes where the trees had been once. 

I was over many hundreds ol square miles ot bush in those 
days but in all that area I saw only one sandalwood tree growing. 
T don't know whether it has re-estahlisbed itself, hut it did not 
stem to be doing so in rny time. 


The fifth recipient o1 the Australian Natuial History Medallion will he 
Mr. John McConnclI Black, our F.N\C nominee. Born in Scotland. Mr 
Black migrated to South Australia in MH>- He left the Press in 1902 anil' 
turned his attciuirm to hoiantfal research, contributing* over forty |>apurs 
to the S.A. Royal Soeietv, ol he was President, i 933-4, A* a Vcrco 
< £930) and Mueller (1932) medallist, with honorary lectureship in Sy*- 
tomatiq Botany at Adelaide University. Mr. Black's greatest triumph was 
the modern, well iJHustrnteri Flora, ol Soihth Austrufiv. til futir part* 
(1922-*29). At present he & writing a second edition and, while con- 
uratulating him tin the present award* t.N.CV. cxnre&scr the bop* that hi*. 
ninetieth birthday on April 28 nwet will sec completion of the rWy Pan TL 
[CteuariuQcetv to E\tphwbi&tca) > 




Rl?PP, The Orchid sleianthas fornic<tlnx 125 

By the Rev. H. M. R. Ruri> NorthbrLdge, N.S.W, 

This little orchid Jus not yet been recorded in Victoria, but I 
shall be surprised if it is not discovered before long in eastern 
Gippsland, for ft is very common in New South Wales, where it 
is known to extend well down the South Coast. The vernacular 
name *'Pixie Caps," for which wo are indebted to Mrs. Hilda 
Curtis of Tamhorirte Mountain, Queensland, suits it admirably, 
1he broad "cap" of the dorsal sepal readily distinguishing it from 
its near relative, A t exsertus, 

Its affinities are chiefly with the species just named and with 
the rare A . Ledwardn of southern Queensland, and it is also very 
<lose indeed to the smaller A. Situtairii of New Zealand. Bur it 
is, I think, a more variable species than any of these, and some 
account of its habits and characteristics may be of interest to 
orchid-loving readers. 

It is very often found fa association with A, exserttts. and as the 
two have exactly the same kind of leaf and stem, they cannot be 
distinguished until the budding racemes appear, except that the 
leaf of A. exserHes is green on both sides and that of A. jornicatti-s 
is usually (but not invariably) reddish underneath. It also appears 
m company with A, (wd($i$$ t Its range of habitat as known at 
present reaches from southern Queensland along the New South 
"Wales coastal belt at least as far south as the Mnruya River ; while 
inland it has been recorded as far west as Molong on the Central 
Western Slopes, and Barraba on the western fall from New 
England, In the coastal area between the Manning and Shoal- 
haven Rivers — a stretch of country about 200 miles long — it is 
probably by tar the commonest orchid of the open forests and 
scrub-land*, often literally carpeting the ground. 

An. excellent illustration of what may be called the typical form 
is given by Mr. G. V. Scammell's plate on p. 47 of the present 
writer's Orchids of N*w South Wide?. But variations from the 
type arc abundant. In Mr. Scamrnell's enlarged flower the petals 
arc scarcely one-fourth as long as the lateral sepals. In the text 
I have described them as <f balf as long"; perhaps it would be more 
accurate to say that they vary from half to less than a quarter 
As a matter of fact, all the* floral segments vaiy in their relative 
lengths. The dorsal sepal, though typically slightly shorter than 
the laterals, frequently equals them. The labcllum. instead of 
being shortly acute as shown by Mr. Scammell. may be definitely 
acuminate. Jrs margins are most commonly entire, but sometimes 
they arc irregularly serrate for the anterior half of their length; 
1 have obvscrved this chiefly in flowers with an acuminate labellum. 

The papillose area of tin- upper surface of the labellum, too, is 
fiable to variation. Typically, in front of the two blunt: basal calli 
there are two broad longitudinal papillose ridges; but these are 
frequently ill-defined, the papillae being scattered rather densely 
on both sides of the median line. 

The lateral sepals are peculiar From a filiform point they are 
suddenly broadened, at a variable distance from the apex Just 
where this broadening occurs there is usually a notch in the outer 
margin, o* not infrequently a notch in both margins. Jii A. 
Ledivardii, these notches arc extended into filiform lobes, so that 
the sepal becomes a sort 01 3-pronged fork. 

The colour oi the flowers of A. fornkatus ranges from deep 
red-brown (rare) through duller shades of brown to a sort of 
translucent pale green. In most areas the flowering period extends 
irom May to August, as a general rule A. jornicatus may be 
expected when A. exserius^ decidedly an autumn flower, is going 
off. Bul orchids, like humans, are apt. to break rules. In the 
Mount Irvine area of the Blue Mountains, A. jonncaius comes 
along early hi March, and is followed, not preceded, by A. 
e#serfifs\ I could scarcely credit this reversal of procedure until 
it was demonstrated to ine ili situ by the Misses Scrivener of 
Mount Irvine, 

The dimensions of plants and flowers, and the number of the 
latter, are also subject to much variation. In my herbarium there 
are specimens from Bullahdelah. Paterson. and Woy Woy, which 
measure almost exactly 30 cm, (1 fc.) in height; and such "giants" 
are by no means rare in those localities- On the other hand, in 
most districts the average height would probably be less than 
IS cm., and many plants do not exceed 6 cm. The flowers of tall 
and robust plants are correspondingly large. Inland plants are 
usually small. At Woy Woy, 50 miles north of Sydney, I some- 
times found plants with a solitary flower, which was always- 
accompanied by a rudimentary bud that never developed. The 
average number of flowers to a plant would probably be aboot 
five, but I liave seen as many as twelve. 

The solitary leaf of A. fonticahts may be either close to the 
huse of the stem or as much as 9 cm above it in tall plants. Leaf 
dimensions are variable, but the cordiform shape — with occasional 
minor modifications — is fairly constant. There is frequently a 
tendency to lobation. Now and then one may find a leaf green on 
both sides; but the general rule is green above and red below. 

These observations may, I hope, serve lo stimulate search in the 
forests and scrubs of at least eastern Victoria for evidence of the. 
presence of the dainty little "Pixie Caps." 

Second List of Recmunr^wdcd New n«rf Cftattgcd Vernaculars 

.Since the previous report on its activities which appeared in the Nah<n*fo.n 
for December last year, the Plant Names Sub-committee lias continued to 
meet every month. The present year has been wholly occupied with a 
careful revision of the large family Groininar — surely the most difficult in 
our flora. So extensive are the nomenclature changes (slill being effected } 
m this group, and so numerous the introduced >gra*s f.pccies, that thr 
committee has had to adopt a "global strategy," as it were, and virtually 
comb the -current literature of both hemispheres in order to keep pace with 
autlioritativc we-rk overseas — several enquiries have been addressed to grass 
specialists hi other States and even to Kew (England) concerning involved 
issues on identity and nomenclature. A few species (unsubstantiated by 
actual Victorian material) have been struck out of the Census. 

Adherence lo the principle oi retaining; oversea names fur naturalized 
plant* has led 10 some regrettable, but inevitable, changes; for instance, the. 
attractive, familiar and very apt names of "Shell Grass" and "Shivery 
Grass" ior iJrisa mwima and B. minor must give place respectively to 
"fjiiakiug" and "Le^cr Quaking Gms/* because, these are the name* 
by which the species are known in their native lands- With a feeling oi 
relief the sub-committee views, the early completion of GmnuneG as this 
Second Lisi (goes to print! No other group of plants is lilcely t to entail 
such a tedious or long-drawn-out revision. 

It is desirable that a time limit be fixed, up to when (after publication 
of the mb-comtnitlec's proposals) club members may consider the name* 
put forward, criticizing any that titty deem unsuitable and suggesting better 
ones for substitution. Accordingly, if no comments are received within 
th«c months, then the sub-committee will Interpret thetr absence as art 
expression oC approval* and adopt the new or amended vernacular name* 
that it has agreed, to recommend, 

Li Noel Lothian was obliged to relinquish his position on the committee 
early this year, and! though fellow -members regret the. lo&s of his helpful 
collaboration and balanced judgment, they wish him well in Otter avenues 
of useful scientific endeavour. 

After publication of the First List (Dec., 1943), a letter Utttt receive^ 
from Mr. .N, A. WakefieM, with suggestions for more appropriate narmuj* 
of certain ferns. These were reconsidered by committee and the following 
alteration;-, recommended in the vernacular names of siv specie*, vix. : 

In Mccodiwut austral?, restore 'Austral Filmy Fern." 

ij Macrogiena caudate replace "Narrow-lobe Bristle _ - ." with "jungle 

Bristle Kern." 
„ CyMhca ?nwce$vens, opiate "Giaftl-irotHl , . -" with "Skirted "J ree- 
fer n. 
„ Hyfmhpxs ilf^eZ/rn, replace "Pale . . ." with "Swamp Hypotepis. ,, 
., LinOsvyo mkrophyUa, replace "Lacy Wedge Fern" with ' Lace Kern. ,f 
., Dryopteris tc»cra l replace "Broad Wood Fern" with "Jungle Wood 

The Second List oi recommendations is Submitted as hereunder, alt 
additions and alterations being those that are desirable in the Flora* of 
yktnrip by A. J. Ewarl (1$30). 

128 PfmH Nttnw Sttb-Cowunttc? V%!$t 


Add Dryopteris pemiigem, "Naked Wood Fern." 

For Pohstichitin prolifentm ('not P, aadcatum), change "Common Shield 
. ." (o "Mother Shield Fern." 


For CaUtiris cakorato, change "Red Cvpress - . ." to "Black Cypress 
r , CalUtfis glama (not CL rfllwsta). change ''Murray Cypress , , t ," to 
'"White Cypress Pine." 
Caftifris iasnwnka (not C. cuprcsstformis), change. "Cypress Pine" 
lo "Oyster Bay Pine." 


For Nclns tenmjoUa, change ''Water Nymph" to "Thin-leaved Na'utd." 


Add Trtofachin hexa-gom, "Six-point Arrow-grass." 


For Vallisntria spiralis, change "Eel-grass" lo "Eel- weed " 

For Euh.fia ftikm (formerly under PoHinia) > change "Sugar Crasi*"' to 

"Silky Brown-top;' 
Add Sorghum tewdadmn, "Wild Sorghum/' 

„ Cywbopoffon obtcctits, "Bent Silky-heads/' 
For BolhfiocMoa awbiauti (not Andropogon partitsns), change "Pitted 

Beard-grass" to "Rcd-kf Grass." 
For Zoisia MatreUa (syn. Zoysta. pntitfetis). change "Prickly Couch- 
grass" to "Manila Grass." 
Add Zoisia macrantfia, "Prickly Couch." 

For Pa&pahm ffhHctv.ii)!,, change "Silt Grass" to "Water Conch." 
„ "*Pflstolnm dilatotuiiu change "Golden Crown Grass" to "Dallas 

„ Entotasta marghxata (syn. JJigitario marghiata), change "Bordered 

. i ." to "Marginate Panic-grass." 
£ DigiUtrid Brownii, change "Cottony . . . M to "Cotton Panic-grass." 
B1 Digitaria divarkalkrUna, change "Spider Panic-grass" to ,; UmbrelIa 
Pnspoliditwt gracik, change "Graceful Panic-grass;" to "Slender 
^ Fmiicum dccotnposihwK change ''Umbrella Grass" to "Native 

„ Pomctm proUttum, change "Pallid Panic-grass" to "Coolah Grass." 
.„ *$etaria yenicufata^ change "Bent Pigeon-crass" to "Knot-root 

Pigeon Grass," 
„ *Ci'tichrus tribulaides, change "Burr Grass" io "Dune Sand Burr," 
.,» Pseudarapkis par ado xa (formerly under Cha-macraphis), change 

"Thorny Mud-grass" to "Mud Grass/' 
„ *Ehrharta tongiflora, change "Veldt Grass" to 'Annual Veldt Grass." 
Add *Ekrtmrta folytina, "Perennial Veldt Grass." 
N-B- — Species marked with an asterisk ('*) are naturalized aliens. 

T. 3 Wilms, Secretary, P.N. Suh-cormnitte<t. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 61.— No. 8 December 7, 1944 No. 732 • 


1* • • 

The monthly meeting of the Club -was held on Monday, 

November 13, 1944, at the Koyal Society's Hall, where ihc 

President (Mr. Ivo C Hammet) and about 100 members and 

friends attended. 

A letter was received from Mr. J. M. Black, pf Adelaide, 
thanking the Club for nominating him for the Australian Natural 
History Medallion, and thanking the Selection Committee for 
awarding him the medallion. 

Excursion reports were given as follows; Ringwood-IIeath" 
mont. Mr. A. J, SAvaby ; Luydale-Mt Evelyn, Mr. R. G. Painter; 
Botanic Gardens. Mr P. Bibby. 

The following were elected as Ordinary Members of the Club. 
Mrs. G. McGlynn, Misses F, Smyth, V. Andrews, M, H, Bishop, 
M. Green; as Country Members: Messrs. P. Richardson, A. C. 
Ebdon, K. Simpfendorfer, G. W. Althofer; and as Associate 
Members: Misses Janice McMahen and Betty McKenzie, Master* 
John Court and Ian Wallace, 


A report on the Wild Flower Show recently held in the Haw- 
thorn Town Hail was given by the President, who thanked 
members for the support given, and especially thanked Mr. and 
Mrs. Freame, Mr. A, D. Hardy and Mr. H. P. Dickins for th* 
work of organization, Mr. Dickins in turn gave a report on the 
show and the results expected financiallyv 

Mr. A. H. Chisholm reported on the recent formation of a 
Field Naturalists' Oub at Portland. 


The Secretary announced that Mr. Noel Ionian, recently 
Assistant Secretary, and more recently in charge of the 3rd At my 
Farm in New Guinea, had been released to take up duty as 
Senior Lecturer in Horticulture at Lincoln College, Christchurch 
University. On behalf of members/ Mr. Colliver expressed good 
wishes for the future of Mr. Lothian, and stated he would he 
looked upon now as a valued country member. Mr Lothian 
suitably replied. 

130 i'tam Pcrfmm* [ V VnL N 6i l 

Mr G- N, Hyam asked if flics were repelled by light blue 
colours, stating that recently in the Riverina district station Hands: 
' were all wearing pale-blue shirts for rhts reason. Mr- Painter 
mentioned having- noticed that flies were rarely seen on light 
materials oF blue colour, and further said he had read that some 
hospital walls in America were painted light blue for tfiiS reason. 


A very interesting lecture on this subject, illustrated by a large 
vaiiely of flowers, was given by Mr ]-H. Willis (see summary 
in this issue). 

Following are some questions (and discussions) raised at the 
conclusion ot Mr. Willis's address; 

Mr. P. C Morrison slated (a) that the purple colour of the 
Indoloid group closely approximates decayed flesh; (b) red flowers 
were never found with heavy scents; such scented flowers were 
<nthcr yellow or white to attract night-flying moths, (c)' insignifi- 
cant Mowers have strong scents in order to survive; (dj red roses 
have the best scent because they rely upon it to attract bees, which 
are colour-blind lo the red part of the spectrum. Question: Why 
was it that die Music (IVliwutus woxchatuy) suddenly lost its 
perfume all' over the world? Mr, Willis replied that it was a fact 
that by 1909 Mimulus moscfuitits had lost its peifuine, but it was 
still not known why. 

Mr. K. G. Painter: Acacia pcnduJa has a violet-scented timber, 
not evanescent ; how do you account for this r Mr. Willis replied 
that this was purely imitative of the true violet odour in flowers. 

Mr. Ros. Garnet asked why the Geraldtou waxflower was 
infested with blowflies. Mr, Willis Teplied that he was unable 
to trace any perfume, but Erica canaliculate, a South African 
plant of similar colour-type, had a rather indoloid smell. In this 
matter it was of interest to note that Khima articulaia, better 
known as "Candle Plan? " Had the indoloid smell t yet the flowers 
were a dirty white, whilst K. araulis f from a locality only a few 
miles away, had a definite rosy perfume. Mr Hammet staled 
that the Geraldton Waxflower has aromatic leaves. 

Mr. Morrison suggested that some of the so-called blowflies 
noted as infesting plants without apparent smell, might be flies 
of some other type, e.g., hover-flies. 

Mr. H. C. K. Stewart asked how to classify wattle-trees »h 
regards > perfume. Mr. Willis replied that wattles varied con- 
siderably, and there were several groups of smells * Acacia Montana 
suggested caramel, Cootamuudra Wattle was heavy-scenled, 
A. Farnesiam violet-scented, etc. It was not known in what 
part of wattle blossom the essential oils were secreted. 

JjJl *J Wuus, Ftoiver Perfumes and their Ctassiftcaltov \S\ 


By Jam.ks H. Willis 

(Abstract from an address to the F/N.C,* Nov, 13) 

"And Quoodtc here discloses all things that Quoodte can, 
They haven't got no noses, they hawn't got n/> noses, 
And goodness aitfy knows* s the jtfscUssncsS of rttonl' 

G. K. Chesterton's Song of Quoodie expresses a canine contempt 
{or the human olfactory apparatus. Sense of iiinell may be very 
unequally developed among higher animals and, although man is 
perhaps unresponsive to parts of the "odour spectrum/* he can 
at least detect the presence of l/l2O,CO0tb of a grain of rose oil 
essence, whereof the dog fraternity seems oblivious, The faculty 
for detecting odours is said to be more delicate among males than 
in females of the human species. Insecis are particularly acute, 
and t>ee.s will smell out a flowering bush from a distance ot a 
quarter of a mile. 

Writing in New Flora- mid Siixnx {Vol. 12, No. 3, p. 198, 1940), 
Mr. F. Ballard describes an interesting experiment carried out 
on IS people who were asked to close their eyes, smell a flower 
of the Narcissus poeHcus, and then describe its perfume. Here 
are some of the comments: "Delightful, something like jasmine ; 
"a pleasant narcissus smell"; "slight vanilla 9tljdP*i "slight liiy-of- 
the-vaHey : : "like a lily, hut with an unpleasant background"; 
"sweet, but unpleasant. Two of the number detected an un- 
mistakable odour of rice-pudding in the flower, while two others 
could find no smell at all ! 

Two facts emerge from This experiment — the widely divergent 
interprdarions of individuals in regard to odours, and the difficulty 
of describing then* m any precise language If a blindfold person 
•be askvd to smell an unknown blossom and name its odour, as 
often as nut he will be unable to do so until his eyes act as a 
guide to its identity. Just as high-pitched notes are beyond the 
audibility of certain people, so can some odours be outside the 
range of one's olfactory sense; a British ornithologist could dis- 
tinguish species of birds by their characteristic swells and yet fail 
to notice the bitter-almond tang in crushed peach and cherry 
shoots. Most people find the scent of tansy, fennel, African 
marigold, sassafras, and mint-hush quite pleasam and even refresh- 
ing, but to some individuals these are repugnant in the extreme. 

A few people ai-e unconsciously deficient in sense of smell and 
in sense of flavour which depends on it, in the same way as others 
axe colour blind or tone blind. Usually flavour is similar 10 smell, 
but not invanablv so— the tropical Durio (dnrian) possesses a 
stench like had riesh or rotting onions, yet, if eaten , this fruit 
has aU the qualities of whipped cream and btavc-nuvngfl 

No external sense can receive such delicate, enduring >mpres- 

13? Willis, Flower Perfumex and their Classification [ -£ji, eV 

siorrs as- thai of smell Musical sounds will conjure up visions 
W the past, hut ^ stray whiff of wood-smoVe, flower, or moss can 
transport us to scenes long since forgotten. The subtle, wartn. 
■ friendly exhalation or leaf-mould and moist earth is due to minute 
traces of a highly odorous compound — one trillionth of a milligram 
will afrbrd a perceptible smell. 

Leaves, timbers, resins, and roots may secrete certain essential 
oils and olten give out a strong perfume thai is not duplicated in 
any flower. Among such scents arc: tansy, lavender, rosemary, 
eucalyptus, winter-green and sassafras in foliage and hark; the 
characteristic smells of camphor, teak, cedar, rosewood and Lawson 
Cypress timbers; myrrh, sandarach, and grass-tree among frag* 
rant resins; and the odours of ginger, anise, spikenard and orris 
root. Some. of these have been sought and highly prized since 
the dawn of history. The grass germs Cymhopogon embraces 
several ginger, or lemon ^scented species, collectively known as 
"Indian Oil Grasses," which have been need in drags and per- 
fumery for sevtfr&l millenniums; C\ Schtrnantfais has particularly 
fragrant roots and stems, reminiscent of rose, geranium, and mint 
when fresh, and Sc.hweinfurth found pieces o( it in a tomb at 
Thebes (about 1300 B.C.), which were still odorous after 3,000 
years J 

Unlike most leaf scents which are comparatively durable, the 
perfumes of flowers (our immediate concern) are evanescent and 
emerge only during a stage of devcFopment — very few {cg. f rose) 
outlast the fading of the petals. It is generally conceded that the 
pleasant aromas of blossoms are there for one purpose- to Hi/tract 
the attention of insect visitors in order to ensure effective pollina- 
tion- Some flowers rely upon their bright colouring as a bait, 
and. in these thh scent factor is either absent or feebly developed. 

It La natural that we should attempt to classify in some way 
the innumerable iloral perfumes that exist. A colour may be 
defined with scientific exactness, it& wave length indicated, and 
a visual comparison made against some standard. Odours, on the 
o*hcr hand, are extraordinarily difficult to expats and there art 
no constant standards available -for comparison. Any perfume 
is usually the sum-total effect of a whole suite ot complex organic 
compounds, some of which may not be identifiable. Again, the 
quality of an odour will change remarkably with dilution: the 
substance indol is an important constituent of putrifying organic 
matter and has a most revolting smell, but when ratified it is 
sweetly fragrant and contributes to the agreeable icent of jasmine 
and many other flowers. 

A critical analysis of the essentia! oil is tint of much use in 
specifying a perfume, since the distinctive quality at a mixture 
cannot be gauged from the odours ot its component parts — what, Ffovwr Perfumes and their Cfojsificaiivn 1J3 

would be the use of describing Jasminum gf&ndiflorum scent as 
the sum of the smells of methyl anthranitatc, indoS, benzyl alcohol, 
benzyl acetate, Hnalol, arid linalyl acetate? 

Several classifications have been propounded in the past, soane- 
• by chemists, using tlje principal constituent ot the essential oil 
as a criterion, and others hy perfumers who were guided more 
by aesthetic considerations. It has even been attempted to arrange 
perfumes in a series like m notes of a tittujical Si'ale, dull indefinite 
odours corresponding to low notes, and sharp keen smells tti 
those of high pitch; such schemes, however, am in the nature of 
curiosities rather than useful contributions to scientific thought 

Rimmel's classical Book cf Perfumes divides pleasant odours 
into IS classes, including scents not found in flowers; his "mint" 
group embraces such differing entities as balm, sage, and rue 
Kcrner has said that at least 500 distinct floral scents have been 
distinguished and these he would apportion in five main groups 
based on. the type o( essential oil, viz., Indohid, Awrinoid. 
B&tzetoitfj Paraffwiaid and. Turpenmd Hampton improved on 
the work uf Kemer and proposed an amended system with ten 
principal classes, but even this is unsatisfactory, especially to an 
Australian who will find few, if any, of our familiar bush aromas 

Havmg given some attention to the sceors of both native and 
exotic (garden) flowers, I venture to submit a new tabulation 
which wilJ include about 100 conspicuous representatives of both. 
Hampton's divisions, with some rninur rearrangement, iorw the 
basis of the following scheme to which are subjoined explanatory 
notes on the primary groupings employed. Eight major classes 
are here recognized and there are five minor classes, to which one 
could add almost indefinitely, for the number of delicate floral 
scents which defy accurate grouping arc legion* — where are we to 
place the subtle fragrance of the Freesia, Solomon's Seal, Wild 
Raspberry and many of our terrestrial orchids? Plants which 
are permeated throughout by a strongly odorous principle, as Ul 
many Labiates (e,g,, Scdvut, Prosamthcra, Mentha) > are de- 
liberately excluded from the present compilation. 

Where the concrete otlos are loo difficult or expensive 10 
extract, chemists have aimed at copying natural flower perfumes 
by means of synthetic mixtures. It has been found. lor instance, 
that the odour of Hawthorn blossom IB fairly well reproduced by 
anisic aldehyde— Ah£ foundation of all hawthurn perfumes and 
fancy preparations. Slyryt (or citifuimyl) alcohol lias a powerful 
odour resembling Hyacinth, while ierpincol is the base of lilac 
perfumes, usually modified by the addition oE other fragrant oils 
according to taste. In 1893. after years of patient research, 
Tiemann and Kruger succeeded in preparing a good artificial 

134 Willis, flower Perfumes and their Classification \ v ol " c * * 

Violet perfume which they termed iononc* Most artificial pro- 
ducts of this kind, however, are poor substitutes for the subtle 
aromas of Mother Nature. 

[ regard fragrance as of equal importance with colour and 
form in the flower garden; the pity is that intensive breeding 
and selection toward bigger, brighter blooms so often means a 
progressive degeneration of the scent factor. What satisfaction 
is there in a perfectly shaped rose of gorgeous colour, if it has 
no trace of perfume? 

Odour (ami taste) often furnishes the botanist with a useful 
cKte to the identity of a plant, but, to anyone with a flair for 
classifying things, it is quite a pleasant exercise to try and arrange 
the myriad floral scents experienced into some kind of orderly 
scheme: you will probably differ as much from your neighbour's 
opinion as the botanists differ about ihe affinities of the very 
plants themselves ! 


(Australian examples indicated Ihus t) » 

Majok t;KOUt v s 

1, InuOjjOId: Certain Aroids (Avi&rphaphattus, Oraamcutux) ; Stapctiai 

StercuJia ftrtida; Klcinia articuteta; Erica c&ttaliadata (?>*. 
fHydrototyU* taxi flora. ■ - ' 

2. AmiwOiu: Crot&.qus, Pyracant/w, Pho-tima, Scrfnts, Spirtra and many 

other Roiacae. 

3 Heavy ] 

Gardenia type: Gcrdr.nm; Datura arborcn; Nyctncpreus, EpiphyU 
turn crenatiim-, and many other cacti; Glcdialm hixlix (noc- 
turnal) ; AuHiryUUj I Mini* spp, ; Narcissi spp. | \Ct\nnm flat- 
adwm; ^Staekhousia monogyna (nocturnat). 

Bouvardra type' Bouvnrttux longiftora, Lwulift, and Vibiiwvm spp. 

Nerolc type : Citrus spp_ ; ^AtttcraxpcYtna •moscluitum, 

Champaca type: Mickcha Champara \ Pavdonns odomtivsimus 
("KcotV) ; -fPittoxporum u-fuhJatum (?). 

Jasmine type: Joxminum spp. 

Privet tyi>C: LiQitstrum Spp. j Atfc/nthnS, 

4 Aromatic ' 

• Spicy type: Dtanthus (Pinks), MattUiola (Stocks}, and ^Hclithry* 

turn fcrrufjmt'um var. tiravesH (cloves) ; Ertpatarkmi ypp. 
(cinnamon) » Rhododendron fragrantixsinmw (nutmeg) ; 
iPimnlea octophylla; '\Lomandra spp. ; Muxcari botr\oidcs ; 
Tilin ti>rdtita; CalvJpa biynmioides. 

Vanilla-Chocolate type: Vanilla spp-; Orchis fragran-x, Q, odaratis* 
sima, and Niffrittlla angvstifolta (Swiss alps) ; tyVatsonia spp.; 
Asara micro phylto, Hcfiotfoptutit peruvic<num\ Pelasites /*■«#- 
•rans ; CJicifanthus Chctri, Cfwisya lernata ( ?) ; Enoboirya 
jopottka; Iris germ antra (?) ; tDichopooon striving, \ Solatium 
csurlolc. "\Pimetfia curvifiora, fAcacia atoniana 

Nutty-Clover type: Ules, 7'rifolium spp., Spdrlitim; Genista spp., 
Vicia Puba (Broad Bean — ecstatic to some people), Lo-tkyntt 
odotatux md £. pubescent, LaburHuttl; Trochfildtpertnnm 
jnstnimidex ; Solaiidra ititida; Leucocoryne txioidvs var. 

fSy**J Wir-trs, Flower Perfumes and their Cfossifiwtiov f3$ 

Rose type: Rosa, Prums mumc; Mohont'a Bealci\ Kleinia acanlix; 

Convattaria nutjaMs, Cypripedium Catceolus. 
Lilac type ; Synittga vulgaris ; fMetia Asedorach. 
Mignonette type ; Reseda odorata; Vitis attmrensis, ■ 
5- AUxiti^UC-Fvt.UTy ; Mtehclia figo and Antirrhinum ma jus ( wine) ; 
Saiix taprca (brandy) ; Nuphar tufca (pawpaw) ; Philadeiphus 
microphyiUtj , Lytisus fifipes and C, Battandicri (quince) ; Coil' 
tordi® sitfbinsoidcs, his tframinea, and Tnlbaghia alliacea (apricot) ; 
\H ymenosporum flaimm, Olearia fragrattiisxima (peach ) ; Pftita- 
dctphxts eoronarius; Lonkera spp. ; jCytwgfossum sitaveolens (?). 

6. Honey : iEncafoptut; fitftfatWi^ and 'fKunsca spp.; IHdkCa ierieia, 

t//> sumrcole*kv,dn$ fH. pupiom 'formti: "fBtwksia spp. ; iLfMP- 
pogon «m. ; \Teiragonia imptcxieoma; fDtphrrhetm Moy&a\ 
fAnpuWaria dioica ("Early Nancy"); Buddie ja spp.; Sertecio *i>p. 

7. Musks? : R#$a moscltatu; Achillea tnosrhata; Hermdniu-m Monorchia 

(<tr as of ants) ; fCntodam on gusto la ; \ Melaleuca .pmgetts vsr. 
tibtu&ifalia and nodosa; Centaurca gyumOcarpa (?), 

8. *AwtMAi*r Codonopsis : Ciniicifufia; Orchis hircina and tCa.'hctfma 

srrfatifoUa (goats) j tM^'o/rwro uxor a to <" sheep) ; tfiiW'Yf'wf 
. ffKehVpruu var. latifoUa (bugs) , •Chrysanthemum lacuxtre atirl 
C. frutcscenr (sweaty feet); f/lmcfc.Womu dapknoidex. 


9. Sf.a-wekj>; jtta&ea nodosa; fLxparii refiexa (?). 

10L Poppy/: Papaver mtdkaute and other spp.; Esehschaitxiia. 

11 J- r tV/<i tjdorata; Alocvtia odoro; t/te&cw Ftirnesiona ; Mfttu* 

io'ensis; Jn> spp, (some^^jdour also present in rhizome., i>., "Orris 

.root"). ... 

12. Borostm; f&oronh m^astigtrta and t#. hcteropfiyfla. 

13. Lemon (of foliage) Magnolia grondi flora (slight?*; Daphne odom 

(flight ?) ; Brasseo*Cattieya spp. 


In the foregoing classification, where nearly all members, of a gemts have 
like odours, that genu* is cited without mention of any particular specie*: 
where several representative* have a distinctive perfume, the letters "spp." 
art written after the generic name. The interrogation nark, fallowing 
certain species, indicates <.inubr a* to their i.oi rect placing-. 

1, -The Indoh'id group include- flowers, which, on account o( then 
pollination by carrion flfey give out an evil stench; sonie of ihem (chiefly 
tropical) even rural the animal putrescence that they secV to imitate, and 
they commonly have deep, purphsh-red flower parts resembling the Colour 
of decayed flesh Inctol h the determining substance of tha bad odour 
which is well exemplified hy giant iJL asiatic members of the Arum family. 

2. In the Am'motd group fyetoflfi flower* which, thouy.1* sweet Gt%pM^l f 
have an -unpleasant, disturbing background — ammoijiacal or di^tindtly- 
•"fib-hy." The principal comtituc-nt h an amine, -related to ammonia, and 
arboreal members Ol ^Ke Rose family (hawthorn, rowan, firethorii, ef-) 
act conspicuous in this category, 

J. The Heavy class is an enormous assemblage of species, having "bloom- 
with intecse "heady"' t*ei*ftimes oi often aJrnost O.vcrTJowering ^wectsficss. 
They arc sometimes drjcxibcd as , "tropicai." and indeed :nany tr-uy'C 
flowers belong here — frequently with Ihictc white or yellowish petal* which . 
•cmtit their strongest fragrance at night time, obviously with a view to 

1.16 toUuS, Mamr Ptrfumts and *keir Cfasifitfth* Uvitlt 

pollination by nocturnal moths. The Keora (Paytdrnm odotaHssmw) has- 
been chimed as "the mosl delightful, rich, aod powerful of flora! perfumes-* 
For convenience, the proup ha* heen divided into odours of MX types, but 
others are recognizable* and, eveu among the lilies, many distinct 
■vanities are found, as for instance the scent o* "Madutma Lily/* ''ChristatWLS 
tftf* "Regal Lily" and ttic various kinds of Narcissi*. hd*>L Lai in very 
dilute quantity, is an important factor. 

4. The preceding group jraases- almost imperceptibly into, and h often 
dhTtcult to separate from, tho Aromatic. Here, however, arc tilossoma that 
arc- sweet-smell injr, and sometimes strong, but refreshing and exhilarating 
rather than "heady.** Tie section is also a taTgc one and at least six types 
of odour have been listed, all being most agreeable— spicy, nutty and 
caramel scents come into this group. Broad ^ ean ' 6 particularly uplifting. 

5. Atcckotic and S*ruity odours arc discernible in some. Mosscims, but aTe 
usually masked by other more aggressive smells; they generally depend 
upon, organic ester*. (c& , amy! achate, whirl) is present iu ripe bananas) ■ 
Two outstanding examples of the class art- Port-wine Magnolia (Miriulia 
jkto} and Giant Atlas Broom (Cytisus Battandwri), which is a striking 
simulation «f quinces. Austin, the group grade* almost insensibly intn 
aromatic scents cm ihe one- hand »n>d those of honey on tbe other, 

6. Australia is unusually rich in Honey scented flowers, some of our 
eucalypti honey-raynks, heaths, and hakeis- srnr-Jtitig delictously find 
exactly of "lioncy-in-lhe-coitib." 

7. There is no vegetable facsimile of animal Musk (from the Thihetan 
Music deer), but many flowers have a Musky quality, described as a 
*Nuxturc of beeswax and honey." In some orchids (fcff* CuW*»ia 
aftgusiata and Nermimum Monorchia) the musky odour ha* * tendency 
to unnlea%antucss r like that of ant», While in Crniffiirra gymnocarpa there 
in a tang of curry also present 

8 A few lowers -emit unmistakable Anwal smells, which may be quite 
disgusting — Orchis hirsina reeks of "billy-goat," whereas the Shasta Daisy 
clan smell like "unwashed or sweaty feet." Other plants change to animal 
odnur* rnity in wilting. co., the Early Purple Orrhis begins with a sweet 
vanilla fragrance, hnt al length develops a cat-like effluvium. 

9. Icardy, there is a Sca-wetd ot "kelpy" exhalation from small greenish 
hViwers and one could cite the swamp-loving Hokftt nodosa (which flowers 
in May or June). The orchid Liparis reflcxa I would also place here, 
though ^omc regard its odour as aniaiaMike. 

10. Poppy nr opioid smells are rnosi distinctive, but seem to he restricted 
to the family Pap&tttrctfrtt; they are excellently rendered by the familiar 
Iceland Poppy. 

1?. Pure VioUt perfume {as tound in Viola adoraJa) is comparatively 
rare and shared by few other flowers; it induces olfactory fatigue, so that 
a hearty and repeated sniffing of a hunch of violets appears to rob their 
fragrance, whereas the fault is with our nasal nerve ending. The aroid 
Ah«tstQ B&orn has greenish, cowl-like *patl»e* with a violet scent Certain 
irises have a trace of it, but it is more strongly developed in their rhizomes 
(whence "Orris foot"). The violet-scented bloom* of Atocia Fametiano 
inflict a garlic breath on whoever essays to chew them, and this curious 
transformation of a violet into an onion odour is by uo means isolated. 

12. Jfor&Ufa is a glorious, fresh perfume of unique quality; it was 
esteemed by the aborigines of Western Australia wftu, took little notice 
of ctfcrr floral scents 

13. The Lemon scent of foliage ts attributable to the sharn-stnctllnf 
aldehydes ctltof and titroncUnt, but is not paralleled among flowers. The 
large and creajn-flowtred Magnolia yrxndifiora and, perhaps. DapSm cdora 
have a fragrance that could be described as ""lemony/' 

1944 j Coj.kman, Lszards mder Dotnasticatio* 1^7 

By Edith Coleman. Blackburn. Vic, 

Mr. Davey's articles on lizards (V.N., Sept, and Oct,, l£44) 
were especially interesting to me. His reference to the (w- 
shedding habit of Geckos recalls- an incident which has some 
bearing on the habit ra other hoards, 

When weeding the garden at Healesville (30/S/43) my daughter 
unearthed a "nest" of four or five small lizards. Keeping their 
bodies perfectly motionless they all raised their tails and waved 
them to and fro for* a moment or two, disappearing when the 
"danger" was averted. We assumed that this was a protective 
measure of great survival value, developed along evolutionary 
lines. A bird might sight, and seize a wriggling tail which, in the 
circumstances, its owner would be happy to leave behind. The 
early bird is bluffed into capturing a "worm" instead of a lizard! 

Returning from Mario (Feb,, 1933) we saw a large Blue- 
tongue on the road near Orbost. As it appeared to have been 
hurt, we brought it home and proffered hospitality. Next morning-' 
she rewarded us with 13 small replicas of hersdf, seven of which' 
were stilJ-born. Two days later the mother disappeared, leaving 
six very lively babies on our doorstep, so to say. They fed and 
lived lustily for some months, but died during some cold days' In 
August. A surprising feature of those lizards, when newly born. 
was a gteat show of ferocity. With gaping mouths they "charged" 
us in a most alarming manner, a ferocity which was soon dropped- 
While yet only a few hours old they were running up and down 
our bare arms, "all passion spent" 

Here, indeed, was a wonderful protective measure. Few birds 
would care to invade the arena in face of a dozen gaping and 
charging" mouths. Under natural conditions, in a few hours they 
would have developed their trump protective caids, a flattened 
body and swift disappearing trick, Although Blue-tongues are 
rather sluggish in their movements, it 13 surprising how quickly 
they can get out of sight when the need arises. With body 
flattened to the ground they move off with an almost sliding action. 
The menacing attitude appears to be a useful piece of "bFuflf" 
which safeguards them while getting their firs* wind In the very 
dangerous world they have entered. The blue tongue, too, is <* 
surprisingly startling piece of "bluff," when displayed by older 

Having entertained some of the larger lizards I know a little 
of their fascinating ways They make charming and mostly 
harmless pets, splendid subjects for budding naturalists. The 
Shingle-back and Blue-tongue, being less exacting in the matter 
of diet than the Jew, or Bearded Dragon, were more readily 

UK CjitMAtt, Lizards wtdfir 0fcitJffft*K#tAn| [* 1 

1'hr Jew (slitiplwbofitrm batbnlus) lived with me For 14 months. 
Ii was an object lesson to sec I run s<alk and t*eize an insect, with 
almost imperceptible movement. 

Hi* threatening colours, oppji mouth, distended throat, and 
fashing tail, are not all bluff, for his teeth are sharp enough to 
demand respect He would make a startling leap at any object 
of his distruaL or swing round, with a ladling tail, that should be 
most terrifying to a timid enemy. At one-trvirtjeih of a second 
my photographs of this "attack" were always blurred. 

The "double-headed*' Sbinglebacks, or Stumplails (Trochy- 
sa.ur%$ mgosus) were gentle. pets. They walked backward or 
forwarri with equal facility, which made the slump emU of their 
bodies seem even more head-Kke, as puzzling as the old ^fore 
and aft" caps* The feet, too, being often turned "every which" 
way, did not help one to anticipate the direction of their move- 

Soft fruits, dandelions and other Mowers, as "Well as snails, 
eggs (first broken) and milk, were relished by hi>th species. It 
was pretty to see a blue tongue sliding through the rnilk, then 
rhe raised hea<1 s as if an owner were enjoying the rasre, as it ran 
down his throat- Bananas were swallowed m goodly moulhiuls 
as well as raw beef; hut if too-large pieces of beef were given 
they svere first well licked, as if to facilitate swallowing. Is this 
the origin of an ofd belief that snakes slime their prey? 

My lizards loved a bath and on hot days would lie m the water 
for lory* periods Skin-shedding was a fascinating thing to sec, 
J watched it many times, making notes on January 7th, 1941, 
January 24th and December 9th, 1942, and January lA*h, 1943. 
Here are those ut 27/1/42: "At 1.30 pjn. skin loosr and ragged 
about the ears; a few flakes on head. Fragmentary shedding 
from right leg and almost tree from left foreleg. By 3.30 p.m. 
the lizard was free of the body-skin, which lay in a small moist 
heap Hie new skin was much darker, the patrerning very bright 
and clear. Like Pliny s sloughed snake, the owner appeared sleek 
and young again, but crept off into a dark corner.*' 

The skin of the bhdy is s.hcd in one piece, like a waistcoat, or 
sleeveless cardigan, with pathetic little "armholes" through which 
the limbs have been drawn. 

The soft hollow body is' alternarcly humped and flattened in 
the centre to achieve the first slit, when ihe now loose coat is 
easily shed: but from the solid tail 'it is "peeled" off in a tubular 
piece, leaving a few concertina-like wrinkles at the extreme tip 
(such as One may see in the finger-tips of a kid glove when 
"peeled" off inside out),, tire "honeycombed" inner surface being 
rtnw outside. It was scraped off by being pushed into and with- 
drawn from the straw of his bed — a modified forin of snake 


Wmcefiixd, A Rr-vmmit nf tyjo Smn<y River funtjh' 13? 

By N. A. Wakefifxd, A. I. P. 

On llic west bank of the lower Brodribb River, between Lake 
Curbp and the Snowy, is to be found the last remnant of the lane 
jungle which formetly covered practically all the preheat Snowy 
River flats. 

The patch is roughly triangular is shape and occupies only 
about fifty acres, but, by good fortune, it is completely isolated 
with u-a-trce swamp on all sides, Lhe Brodnbb Rivet to the south 
and east, a flowing creek to the west (Mille Inlet) and Lake Curlip 
to the north Access to the jungle can be gamed either by boat 
irom the Brodribb River or from the cleared flat? to the west; the 
latter course, however, entails a search through the swampy scrub 
to find one of the only two crossings over Mille Inlet, 

The tea-tree swamp is covered by a dense stand of Swamp 
Paperbark. sheltering a lew small semi-aquatic plants such a? 
Water Buttons, Water Buttercup and Swamp Weed, widi the 
Common Reed m dense stretches in the welter pans. 

The jungle ftselE consists of great spreading *Mahogany Gums 
(Eucalyptus botryoides ) and a dense stand o t Lilly-Pi lly 
(Acnuna Simthii ) , Blackwood and Sweet Pitrosporum { P. 
undufttium), supporting tangled masses of a dozen species of 
banes and climbers, and sheltering numerous ferns on the ground 

The *Stafi? - Climber (Cc-tosh-ns australis), '•Stalked Doubah 
(Marsdcnut rdskrata) > and * Jasmine Morinda (M. jasminoidcs) 
are very plentiful, ascending the larger trees to a height ot fifty 
or a hundred feet. The four climbers of the Lily family — * Wombat 
Berry (Emtrepfws tatifolius), * Scrambling Lily (Gcitonoplesiwin 
cymosum), ^Austral Sarsaparilla {Smilax mistrolis) and * White 
Supplejack {Kkipogommi- album-) — arc all very abundant on the 
smaller trees, their rough wiry stems forming such a tangle as to 
defy intrusion in many places. The White Supplejack is very 
rare elsewhere in the district, but has been noted also at Lockend, 
a few miles further west. 

The large creepers in less abundance arc: *Water Vine (Ox.wk 
hypogUtucus) , Twitting Silk - Pod (Parjoitsia Brozvnii — syu. 
Lyotisia straminea), ♦Erect Clematis (C, giytinoides) and 'Big- 
Leaf Vine [SarccpaSatunt Havxcyanum). The clustered pink 
pear-shaped berries of the last were in evidence in Dee place — an 
occurrence rarely, if ever, noted before in Victoria. Wonga Vine 
( Pan dor w pandorava — syn . 1 'ceo ma austmlis ) and Common 
Apple-Berry (BUtardicra mmdem), , though plentiful in the 
Orbost district, ant rare here, Occurring on the marginal parts of 
the main jungle patch. Smaller twiners are represented by the 
♦Bearded Wail -flower (Tylophora barbate) in great abundance, 

140 Waket'Ci-Dj A R*inw*t oi i*e Snowy River Jnx<;k \ ^ ^ 

Forest Bindweed (Calystegia margined!) in more open places, and 
a few seedlings of Clematis (C. aristata). 

Epiphytic on the trunks of trees, and on fallen logs, is an 
abundance a£ Fragrant Polypody (Poly podium pastulatxtm) ,. 
Common Filmy Fern {Hywienophyllum cuprt^-njor^u) and Neck- 
lace Fern (Asph % 7num fiabeUi folium), with also a fexv small 
patens oi Kangaroo Fern (Polypodiufn diix&tsi folium). On the 
jungle Root arc masses of Creeping Lac** Fern (Denwsinedtm 
dzvallwides) , Shining Wood- Few {Dryepteris Shephsrdh), Com- 
/non Rasp-Fern {Doodia- media)* and Swamp Hypolepis (H. 
Muelleri), The Soft Tree-fern (Dxeksonia ant&rctica) and 
Gristle Fern (BUclmitm tartUaffiwam) are apparently each repre- 
sented by a single plant cm the butt of a Fallen tree. In some of 
the marginal parts (he Sickle Fern (Pellaea fakota) and Common 
Maidenhair-fern (Adianlnm aethiopieum) are afeo to be found. 

The dense scrub gives way in places tn shaded depressions 
where there art: thickets of Tall Sedge, Tall Sword-sedge and 
Common Leaf-rush. Here, on the edges of the denser scrub, arc 
patches of Prickly Currant-bush {Cofirosma qvadrijida) , which 
together with many trees is beautifully hung with Festoon Moss 
(JVeymouthia mode) Arid covered with lichens These mossy 
frees are hosts to the Butterfly Orchid (Sarcochihis atustratis), 
and the Liliy-Filry harbours the quaint tittle *Jointed Mistletoe 
(KorthalseUa opxtntia), which was first recorded ior Victoria 
by Mr. Frank Robhjns from Pipeclay Creek a do^cn miles to the 

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the jungle patch is the 
occurrence of *Cabbagc-tree Palms (Liyisiow australis) west of 
the Brodribb. There are three fine specimens growing in the 
dense thickets, and probably -a further search would reveal more. 
The other recorded locality for the palms is an Cabbage-tree 
Creek, where, happily to relate, numerous seedlings have appeared 
beneath the old ones in the past few years, 

About the rather indefinite eastern and southern margins of the 
jungle, in the somewhat open parts towards the river bank, *Bhie 
Olive-berry (Iilaeocarpm cyantm ) . Mutton Wood ( Rapoaxta 
Ffowittiam)* Hazel Pomaderris (P. apetala)< and an intcrrsting 
shrub form of the Staff Climber begin to appear. The Tree 
Violet (Hymenanthcrr: Qngitsttfolin) and BnobLnlla (Myoporum 
insulate) with the Spiked Dodder Laurel (Costyiha phaeolasia) 
3re quite plentiful, and Common Bracken and Hop Goodenia (G. 
ovate) form dense patches- The Scrub Nettle (Vrtica incisa) is 
abundant and there are a few plants of both the Kangaroo Apple 
(Solatium avknlare) and Toothed Nightshade (S xanthocarpum), 
the latter rather downier and less prickly than usual, recalling thai 
rare and beautiful species, *ff, xnolaccwn, which is recorded for 

T*2* Wvnmrxp. A Remnant of the Snowy Rivar Jungle 141 

Victoria nnly from Mount Drummer, where, the plants have 
presumably suffered extermi nation by bush fires. The Ltgu- 
minosa* are represented only by Blackwood in this particular 
jungle patch, while the only grass is ^Bordered Panic Grass 
(Entolasia maramata), and there is very little of that 

The rare *Yellow Doubab (Mavsdenia ffavescens) evidently 
does not occur here but favours rather steeper gully-^cruhs as at 
Lakes Entrance and Pipeclay Creek; and other eastern jungle 
creepers which have not been noted are *Tape Vine (StcpJiama 
kernmdiatfotia) and *Gum Vine (Aphanapehilwt redno.nm) — 
they evidently reach Victoria only in the extreme east, about 
Mallacoota Met 

There is plenty of evidence to show that numerous wallabies, 
bandicoots and possums make this jungle their homes, and the 
waterways round about shelter bfack duck, teal and other water- 
birds. The whip-hird can be heard now and again in the thickets, 
but there is no evidence of the lyre-bfrd being present. Many 
other birds would doubtless come for the seasonal harvest of 
jungle berries. 

This jungle patch is, remarkably enough, still unalienated 
Crown land, and its swampy surroundings would render it safe 
from fire were it not for the hand of man. There has been at 
least one attempt at burning, but it is to he hoped that none will 
ever be successful, and that destruction will never find the last 
stand of the Snowy River jungle as it has tragically overtaken 
Sperm Whale Head National Park. 

Note*— The species bearing an asterisk (*) are exclusively East Gippsland 
plant? of the sub-tropic extension trom. New South Wares "LiUy-Pilty 
-and Sweet PiMusporcrn extend <*in isolated pockets) as far west as Wilson'* 
Promontory and Western Port Bay, respectively. 


Mrs. Fcnton Woodburn: Marine shell (Cevithum xp) from Geelvindc 
Hay. Dutch. New Guinea. 

Mrs. C. French; Vase of seven species U LeirtosytrrmJms (Tea-tree*), 
ffarden-fcrown at Canterbury. 

Mrs. W, E. F reamer Seaweeds, mounted and wrapped in the Argus of 
November JD f 1R79, Ulustratcd Australia* News, March 10, 1881; And 
WerM. September 2% 1862. 

Miss £- Riff: Abnormal flowers of Cream Marguerites, garden-grown 
ui Hawthorn Eart. The bush has only a few normal flower*. 

Mr E, Muir ; Native Rowers, including Pimelea octophy\la f Callistenwn 
ntfj\btos\ts r Melaleuca acuminata, Bitfardlcra cymosa, EretnaphilB> lon&i- 
faHo>, Nkelfonb pfanca, Siylidium graminifetmn, B&esario spinas*, Euca 
fyptns fcuccxyfon, Xfyofiorum platycarptwi, 

Mr. T. Griffiths: Adder's Tongue {Ofihiaatosttm eoriactum) from 
SatidrLnehatn. (This is not O. VftgKifflprof Europe) 

Mr. G J. Gabriel; Murine shell (Magifus antuptus, Munt — from Mauri- 
tius) found living ui coral. 

Mr. J. H. W»lhV Large Sclernte of the subterranean "BUckfeHows 
Bread" fungus (Polyporus mylxUae Cooke et Masee) from Sassafras, 

142 Hirst. Colour Prejvrcnces of the Safin B<rw^r-bnO [ ijjjj- ^ ' 


By Arnold Hirst, Sydney. 

Having for 'the past ten years given considerable Time to tlic study of 
the SatLn Bower-bird in captivity, and in the process achieved the distinction 
of being the first to have bred and brought to maturity a splendid male 
specimen oi this remarkable bird* I feci that my observations on many 
biological and other matters relating to this species may be taken as 
authoritative. It therefore occurred to me that it may be helpful to give 
the result of a series of tests that I made in 1941 at the request of 
Mr. A, J, Marshall, who was enquiring at the time imo several aspects of 
the birds' economy. 

There were six tests in all carried out with the y.Oung bird, which being 
then only in his fourth year had not undergone his colour change, whkft 
occurred some eight months later. *►•* . i »*« 

For the purpose the following cards were. used, each being 3 in. ill 
length by I in. wide -and divided into the following colour groups. 
Card' No. 1 3 Blue g Red 

„ No. 2 i Blue "• i Red 
• ,, No. i I Red * I -Blue - * 

„ . No. .4 ■} Grey . | Red 
No. 5 i Grey t | Red 
„ NO- 6 4 Green I Red 

u No. 7 * Yellow I Red 

., No. 8 * « Blue -i Yellow 

. . „ No. 9 i Blue J Green 

It should be mentioned that in- carrying out these tests I varied the 
placement of the cards jn the following order: , # 

Test . , ; Order n] Selection , 

No I Scattered t No. 1, 2, B. .9. _ 

„ 2"'Iti" row not' in numerical 

sequence * 'V I. 9. 

^ 3 In row in numerical sequence , ( 1. 2. 8 
„ 4 Reversed in numerical sequence „ L 3 9. 
H 5 In form of square „ I, 3, 9, 8. 

„ 6 In form of square, hut with „ L 8, 5. 
numerical arrangement 

Irj collecting the cards it was observed that, although no single card was 
taken and all were collected and carried together to the bower. No. 1 was- 
found in every instance to be the bird's first choice. It may be of further 
interest to add that although the hen bird revealed a definite interest In 
the cards and also collected several in each test, they were invariably 
carried only a short distance away and dropped. 

' Summarizing these tests on a percentage basis it will be seen, therefore,- 
that the score* of each card was as follows: 

Card No. I i Blue \ -Red was 100% 

„ No. 2 J Blue I" Red J 50% 

f( No. 3 i Red' | Blue „ 16 6% 

- ■ - ■ „ No, 4 j Grey" £ Red » nil 

... No, 5 \ Grey i Red nil 

„ Mo. 6* -t Green f Red ' * nil 

„ No; 7 | Yellow 4 Red ;. nil 

* „ No. 3 i Blue 3 Yellow , 06 6% 

„ No. 9 | Blue I Green „ 83^$% 

♦SeeJ'trf.A^/., Nov., HMft I 3 . 

Having completed this series of testa with the immature male it was a 
matter of considerable interest to we to observe the reaction of the adult 
male to the SHinc stimulus, and on comparison with that, of the young bird 
it was. found to be remarkable, us the following extract from my jecorrts 

Time, 10 am. Weather, calm she) sunny For each of the teste She earth 
were placed some distance trom the bower r but where the. actions oi the 
birds could be clearly observed. In the first lc>t the <.ards were scattered 
within the compass of a couple of square feet. Immediately following my 
withdrawal, Cards. Nos. 1, 8 and ° were picked up by the male and carried 
together to the bower. 

For the second test 1 placed the cards in tltis 31-rangcnie.nt : 





On this occasion two visits were paid, the fust rCstiHiitg lb Nos. 1, 2, % 
and 9 being carried iogflker to the howc*".' 

On the second visit, folfowu*g a short display before the female in the 
adjoining aviary while holding Card 8 in his beak (the bower being so 
filiated that this was puynbte) , Cards Nos. X 5 and 6 were carried and 
deposited with the others, 

!;i the third test the cards were placed numerically in line resulting in 
Nos. 1. 2, 8 and 9/ being again Taken- The old ben now appeared for the 
first time and collected No:;. 3 and 4, which she carried a little distance 
away and deposited on die ground. 

lit the fourth test the rards. w*Te placed in a circle, again lbe blue hird 
made two visits; collecting Nos. I, 2 f 8 and 9 on the first, and Nos. 3, 5 
and 7 on the second occasion. 

It was here noted that while malting bis first selection, which on every 
occasion was with greater Hclfheradtm), than in th? case of the young bird, 
the female again visited the cards, bfcfl. apart from causing the male to 
stafee a short display before i,*kin$ off with the raids, nothing was observed 
in her actions to suggest more than a rnild witercst in the cards that 

In test five the cards were again scattered, and being called to lunch T 
left them until 3 o'clock in the afternoon when on my return it was found 
that 3ll uV cards had been removed-, Nos. J, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 being placed 
fijjattuj the hower. and 4, 5 and 6 together some little distance away. 

Reduced also 10 a percentage basis the result of these tests works out 
as follows : 

Cards Nos. J, 8 and 9 100% 

„ 2 ........ - , 80% 

, JJ. ..,...,,.. , . ..... 60% 

t, n 4 nil 

H „ 5 and 7 ... , 40% 

,. 0* .. 20% 

There can, I think, be liufc doubt from the foregoing that these birdi 
have a definite preference for blue in theic decorative schemes, but whether 
\\n\ eofop? attraction is indicative only of thfttr artistic gentu<! or Is asso- 
ciated also with their breeding habits. 1 am unable to .say. It would appear 
from my experience, however, that there i> nothing tn aunport ttiCi theory 
which has hem advanced that the exteroceptive stimuli provided try either 
bine or bins-green has some influence on the normal breeding of the birds 
ns T have never until the occasion of the test referred to provided my birds 
■with any coloured ornaments, yet without them the he" has each year 
rcKolafly laid and hatched her eggs. 

1M Sioqt itf Ettsabtlk Gould [ V vrt n L 


For someihwg anriroarhim* a century, the name til John Gould shone 
almost m solitary glory as the father of Australian ornithology. Otltcr 
workers beiure him — Latham, Lewin, Vie Hot, and Vigors ami Horsfield, 
to name the most irnnortam — had shown the world something of the 
wonders of the birds it Australia, but it renamed for John Gou)d to 
make the detailed study which stand* lo Ihtfi day as die classical foundation 
for all modern work. 

Until the centenary of Gould's via 4 to Aim/alia in die fate eigutecn- 
durties, little was known of his faithful and talented helpmeet, Elizabeth 
Gould {nee Coxen). Yet Mrs. John Gould was in QOny ways as reiwatk- 
ahLc as her hustenri Imagine, if you will, a young woman still in her 
middle thirties the mother of a young family, anchnred by ftiront; family 
tics lo (he soil of England — a woman of homely imiincts, married to a 
man fired with aJmusl fanatical eotfcuMasrn for his Imn work, (he study of 
birds of Far lands. 

Imagine her, filled with a deep and abiding love for her man, struggling 
to find lime ade^uateJy to mother her Children antl at tlie same time to 
help her husband by the exercise of liei artistic talnnr Imagine her, 
torn between conflicting calls ai duty, reluctantly leaving pan of her 
young: family in the care of others, leaving the soil she loved, setting out 
for high adventure 16 ^ land across the world, patiently working in the 
background while the more mercurial John was charging round the 
Australian countryside collcctine; new birds and bringing them home to 
her to ptutiL 

Imagine her, further, wearing herself owl in her double task until &he 
finally wears herself tn death at the early age of 37 years, , . , Such, very 
much in brief, wa*> the life of Elizabeth Gould, 

Rcyond the fact that she Iwd painted many of the plates, for Gould's 
Birds c/ Australia, and transferred them, to tlie stone for lithographing,, 
little was- known of her until Mr. Alec H. Chishohn, visiting England in 
I93K (the centenary nf the Gould** coming o-> Australia) discovered a 
wealth of unpublished (and largely unread) Gould material in the 
possession of the few descendant*, of the iamily. This was generously 
given to hmt lo be returned to AuslraWa The story of >lic^Gi1ucxl Disr'y 
has already been told in these pages and, more fully, in Strongs New 
World. The material also included a ridmber of Mr?. Gould's letters 
written from Australia, the originals of which art now lit the Mitchell 
library, Sydney. The letters are published for the hrtt time m, The Story 
of Elisabeth C'ould, by Alcr- IT. Chishnlm. together with a complete account 
of the members oi heT family, both antecedent and subsequent. 

Born at Ramsgate m July 1804, Elisabeth Coxcn was married to John 
Gould (who *a'3a two months- younger) at the Bge uf 24. Gould ttt ifltt 
time was already launched on his life'* work, and won his wife's aid in 
figuring and lithographing iis& birds became indispensable. If John were 
to go (as he felt he must)- to Australia to cover worthily the field of 
Australian ornithology, they both realized that Hlixabeth must make the 
vi*it too 

They sailed, in the litllo vessel Parsce, of 343 tons, in May, I838> raking 
their eldest boy, John Henry, with Iheitl nnd leaving the three yoimccr 
children with Mrs. Ccocen, senior. They reached liobarl in September 
of that year, and were the guests «f the Governor, £ir John Franklin* and 
his lady, Lady Franklin became very attached lo Mrs. Gould, as the 
letters ^bow, and after the 6fth Gould chjld was Horn, in Hohart, Lady 
Franklin wanted to odoj* him, bwt Mrs. Gould would not consider the 
proposal. Indeed, her letters show in every mgfe that her scientific 
keenness and zeal never- abated one wiiit her motherly jcYte and care for her 

chUdren. Her conj.ta.nt yearnings for a sight of the little ones left at 
home; her concern for their welfare in spite of her confidence in their 
grandmother's care for them; and her pride in Ihem all, would do justice 
lp a mother to whom motherhood was the only care in the world 

.B.ut she worked by day and far into the mght on her beloved John's 
pJdtes, and in adrfitioo found time to develop a very penetrating interest 
in the country and people around her. [( appears, too, that she attended 
to some of her beloved John's duties in the matter of correspondence. . . . "In 
the first place lie has desired me to say he would write but' for bis constant 
occupation" ... "He wished me to say tor Ivim everything thai was kind 
to all especially to his mother, sisters, and Mrii. Cleave .*nd Mrs. Stuart, 
also Mr. and Mr?. Mitchell. He ia extremely occupied. His not writing 
more frequently is really excusable, a:; you would acknowledge could yau 
follow his movements as he slaves all day with untiring perseverance . . J" 

And of her sketching. "Ju&t now during John's absence I find amusement 
and employment in drawing some oi the plants of the colony, which will 
help In render the work on Girds of Australia mare interesting. All out- 
sketches are much approved oi ana highly complimented by our friends. 
J wish you could hear some oi the magnificent speeches ihai are frequently 
made us, because I know you like dearly to hear your daughter praised. 
But at the did of it all I sigh and think it I could but see old England 
again, and the dear, dear treasures it contain?, I would contentedly sir down 
at my working tabic and stroke, stroke away to the end of the chapter . . ." 

The Goulds returned to England in 1840, and tlw sixth child was Lom 
shortly afterwards. Then, ai the early age of 37 years, Elizabeth Gould 
died (in August 1841) before her eldest child had reached his 11th 

Such wa? the life of a noble, zealous remarkable woman to whom 
Australian bird-lovers owe so much. Wisely, Mr. Chisholrn has left her 
letters to speak for themselves. They are published complete, the only 
annotations being in the form of brief remark? preceding each Idler. 
The introduction, however, is a masterpiece of biographical research, oi 
which the autltor may well feel proud 

The Story of Elisabeth Gould, with a portrait and two small wood'Cut*, 
is only a slender volume of 74 pages. It i> published in a limited edition 
of 350 copies, ol which only 300 arc for sale, at il/1/-. The production, 
by thd Hawthorn Press, is in keepu*g with i(s status as a collector's piece. 
IS one were disposed to search for a point to criticize, it would be that 
the edition should have been limited so strictly as to place the book, bi 
reason of its cost, ocyond the reach of so many who would enjoy it. — CM. 

Requiring a few specimens of PtttoxtyUs mvtica for exchange, lart 
August, 1 went to a Sydney western suburban area where I had seen this 
species previously. Greenbood rosette? were numerous, and I dug up ycx 
which looked promising, and put them all into one pot. Two developed 
into fine specimens oi P. 0mA, Three proved to be P, pusilla var. 
promiwxs,. which I had not snen for some years, and which t was anxious 
10 study critically because opinions have been expressed as to its meriting 
full specific rank- The sixth plant has now come to maturity, and revealed 
itself as a tail, well^veloped P. MitctuMi] Can anyone better this lucky 
performance ?— H. M. R. Ruh\ 

146 jouM fays [ v ™ *?' 


(To the Editor j 

Sir.— It Is not ray desire to try and impress "scientific" people ffjft the 
Slirory of eJcctru-maguetie waves controlling the actions of birds and 
animals, bill lo .give the ordinary layman a line of Uiouyht — which can be 
supported by many natural examples along which to ubwrvc and study, 
wiUi tlwt ob;ect o£ aettmji a dearer knowledge of what is the bs*e uf the 
faculty possessed by birds and animals which we designate "instir.ct" a 
wrd which explains nothiag. We knew the reception usually meted out 
to any. new theory, by "absolutely scientific" circle*, lhroufih examples 
recorded in the: past. The. named of Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur — ■ 
^010113 many others will bring to mind how their, at that ttmr, unorthodox 
theories were received by lite "ultra scientific." H nothing is known hy 
Dr. Flecker, as he starts, flf Ot^ Spanish and German experiments with 
electro *ma.e.netic waves and pigeons — the accounts of these have been pub- 
lished — how ran he justify his astonishing statement that they wer^ ''vague 
&wi absolutely inconclusive"? 

Yours, etc.,. 

Aum A Cook. 

Mackay, Queensland. 

(To the Editor) 

Sir, — In dealing with lite effect uf the acuou Off radiating rays iu so far as 
they affect certain htrds, Dr. FltrJfrr has, in his ttpJies* drifted htto mere 
irrelevant quibbles regarding nomenclature. TTc has produced "o evidence 
of thp researches of phrsirists or of his own so refute my thesis wherein 1 
u*tsluhitfd the effect of ray.s iu their action in the orientation of birds, 

He now cites the well known structure uf the e*f:s of the currier pigeon. 
thereby suggesting (hat £Plfe IB the cause of (he orientation of birds. Were 
this a fact, then the question of the orientation of birds would Itave been 
settled years ago instead of bc.inp; still undecided. Having failed to advance 
any scientific cause for the orientaikm i>r to add one mure. Wick to the 
hoiin? of knowledge, he* now asks (or iny authority for the ptoven effect 
of rays in ^uch orientation, Gconrcs Lakovsky. an eminent French phyaiCiM, 
who is eog^jred 141 scientific research with rays, necurds the following in 
his hoot cncitlrH The Secret vf Life. This book, on account of its great 
scientific value, has heen translated into sevcial languages, lo end litis 
discussion I herewith quote what Laknvklty records amongst other things: 

"A mosT interesting observation made July 2> 15% at the radio station 
at Paterna, near Valencia, eamc to niy notice. A flocJr of pigeons had just 
been released near an aerial of this station -at the time of transmission. i( 
WsJ observed that tfase birds could not manage 10 find their bearings and 
kept oii flying 111 a circular fashion as if completely disorientated. This 
rxpcTimcnv vas. repeated several tinier and always produced the same 
jesult, that is \a say the disappearance, or mhec a very marked perturbation, 
of the sr-nse of direction in carrier pigeons under the influence of electro- 
magnetic waves. 

"The cfcflcYJ mentis were taken uu again at Paterna at the radio station 
of Valencia, under the <:nnrroj of the Spanish military acilhoritie?. and also 
at Krcuznach (Germany). Thest* fr*mh i**pertments folly confirmed my 
views concerning thr influence of Hertzian waves on the instinct of orienta- 
linn. A Spanish scientist, At J. Casamajor, wrote a detailed report ou the 
Patcrna experiments- Tbe. Spanish carrier-pigeon service installed 'i 

December j RadM ^ 147 

nuhtHry carrier-pigeon Ration at Valencia nt a distaste M about 8 kilo- 
metres from the radio station of Paterna. At the time of the experiment 
in question pigeons were released one by One at regular intervals m three 
minuter near the station while transmission was taking place CPntfaOffttffly. 

"h \\»as observed that all the pigeons began to fly by circling round rot 
tome time, bur. without succeeding in fiuditg their liearings as they usually 
do after 'having flown round a lew times. In spilt uf a change ol wave- 
length in the course ot transmission no renmi to the- rTOnrriu condition w&s 
observed, and so long as transmission occurred, and it lasted more than 
half m\ hour, no pigenns succeeded in flying in a definite direction. 

"It is important to note that barely a few minutes after the transmission 
was oveT the released pigeons flew towards their dove-cot without the least 
hesitation, ev»*n those which had taken part in the rirst «ii crimen*. 

"Atkjtltcr scries ot experiments wtuch took place oil November 7th, 1920. 
in the same locality. produced the same result, The original experiments 
at Patcrna put investigators on their mettle, for they could rapt understand 
the relation exuring between the instinct (if pigeons and the transmission 
of rlcciro-maftietic waves, ihe German technicians hastened to veriiy 
and. eoniro! Casamajor's- obsei vations In March, 1926\ they initiated » 
tet'C^ of experiment* similar to those carried out at The cmi* 
rlitioiv^ however, were different and more rigorous. A site was chosen >•:< 
that the dove-col and radio station were diametrically opposed. Cofiscaueully 
'.his station was situated exactly as the crow flics on the rour«r that the 
piKcottN were hound to tskf^ On arriving near 111* radeo station it was 
noticed that the pigeons changed their flight, were losing their bearing*, 
and appeared to be definitely disorientated. They did not succeed in 
resuming their course towards the dove-oat unlit iheir Hying had brought outside the intense electro-magnetic field surrounding the aerial of the 
radio station " 

Further on LakovsUy states: "The observations made on can ici- -pigeons 
appear W hold good far nnclural birds ulsv. [e r.cerm; ohvtou*, a ftriori, that 
die sensibility of these birds, to tdectro-itta&uetic waves in general is different 
from that of diurnal bfrtffi by virtue of then special adaptation to iifeht or 
darkueis. These two species of birds, however, show a common feature: 
they f-:cd OS tfae same insects. We are ted to believe, as w* shaJJ see late*, 
that they .ire attracted to (heir prey by radiations." 

This should be conclusive evidence of my IhesU, quite apart from other 
records of the effect of rays on animal lite by other physicists. 

Ycrars» etc, 

Annie* H.'E. M^rrtumxY 

Me J bou me. 

Hy 'P. F. iMokiu:-. and .1 H. \Vn.Lis 

HchchrvsKm tkyrxoidftim ( DC ) comb. now. (GcutfatmttUs *iyr.<oroWj 
A. P. Dc Candolle in Prodroimis Syti.Nat. VT r p. 105. J 83?). 

Wh«n discussing ihe jost claims to specific rank of H thymoideh^ 
(tAVj.jVtff. UX, p. M 9 Sept. 194,?) nn<i using this binary name 'or tl'C 
h>H time, we unfortunately neglected 10 comply with ArucU 37 of the 
International Rules of botanical nomenclature, which states, hitcr alia, that 
a name is nol validly published unless it is "accompanied h> . . . a reference 
tO i previously And effectively published description of it." 

In order to valiriify our new combination, we. give above Ihe reirrmte 
to Dc Candollc'sj original diagnosis, which concludes with the remark (in 
Latin): ''a moM ornamental species, differing from al) &f this section in hi 
glabrous character/' 

14$ Orchid Mattrnal Wanted vi tl.rihnu^ [ Vol, 61 


Mr. Daniel James MaJhony died in Melbourne on September 27, .^ooti 
after retiring from the position of Director of the National Murium. He 
was 66. Born m Melbourne, he graduated in science at the University of 
Melbourne, became Iceiuref thcTe is geology, mineralogy and palaeontotogv 
1902-4, and at the age of 2& became Victorian Government ne-trologist at 
the Mines Department in Melbourne. As an author oi many scientific 
treatises, he enjoyed respect in many re&carch centres abroad. Adelaide 
knew him, too, berth a* University examiner and as tecum tenens for Sir 
Douglas Mawson r.t the Adelaide University during the first Mawson 
expedition to trie Antarctic in 19)2. Tt is, however, for his work at the 
Melbourne -^National Museum that he will be most remembered. He wisely 
built on the iUre foundations established by bis ■ famous predecessor's. 
Sir Frederick McCoy and Sir Baldwin Spencer, carrying on in that respect 
the policy of Mr J. A. Kershaw, whom be succeeded But he was 
courageous enough to break from tradition whcnevei he considered the 
change lo be in the interests of the institution. Mr Mahony served with 
the British Expeditionary Forces in. the last war with the rank of Captain 
oS Royal Artillery. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society 
of Victoria and of the Zoological Board His most recently published 
work, which aroused great inierest abroad, was a .survey of the antiquity 
of man based on the discovery of an aboriginal skull in a sandpit at Kedor. 

Dr Charles Anderson* who retired from the position of Director of the 
Australian Museum (Sydney) a few year* ago, and who has; latterly been 
employed in censorship, died in Sydney on October 25. He was 67. Born 
in the Orkney Islands, Dr. Anderson hrnughi to AvMrah* a keen interest 
in science and\ a strong sense of humour thai made hrm a good companiorc 
Like Maliony, he was a geologist *nd palaeoniologisu and he carried out 
much useful research work in Ihe fossil bed* in various parts of N.S.W. 
He had been an officer of several scientific societies, and in general had 
given much effective service to natural history in this country. His 
daughter married Harry C Raven, the distinguished American xoologist 
who did good work in Australia some years ago, and who wc regret to 
lean:, died in April bat. 

In an endeavour to revise the New Zealand orchidaceous flora (75 
species). Mr. E D. Hatch, of Laingholtn P.O., via New Lynn. Auckland, 
S.W.4, N.Z., would be glad to receive Australian specimens of any of the 
following 29 "trans- Tasman" species (common to New Zealand and south- 
eastern Australia). In return, he would be happy to supply workers here 
with orchid information or materia) from hw Dominion: Thctymitra 
tsfetfrj Sw, T tongifotia R.etG.Forsc. r T. dtistata Lindl, T. pawfiorn 
R.Bn, T. ec-mea R Br., T MaHhewm Cheesero. (syu, T. d'Aftonti Nicholls),. 
T. xvnora R.Br.,. Orthoerras striatum R.Bf., Mkrfliis tmifilw (Forsi.i)- 
ReichbX, M. parviftora R.Br., ProsophytUtm potent R.Br., P. Roffcrsii 
Rupp., P. nudum Hookf. (= P. ™,W R-Br. ?), Caltann minor R.Br 
CMoglcUis fortrucifcra Fit2G., Acianthus mtiformis (R Br,) Schlcchter, 
Calochilus Robertsonii Bcruh ; C. p&h<4ot\u RJIt.. Catadnm ttti$u>r 
(Hook.f.) Rupp. (syn. C- cornea var pygmaa. Rogers), Totvnt&nia- v%ndn 
(Hoolcf,) Schlcchter, Corybos aconiti/ionis Salisb , Ptctostytts furcate 
Lindl., P. nutans R.BK, P f attain: Hook.f., P nana R.Br., P. tnuiica R.Br., 
P. h<trbaia Lindl., Gdtlrydia sesamoids R.Br., SpirantUe.x .tmettsu (Pers,> 

t . 

The Victorian Naturalist 

.Vol. 61. — No. 9 January 5, 1945 No, 733 

■ 1 1 * 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held. on December 1), 
1944. at the Royal- Society's HaJI. the President (Mr Ivo C, 
^Hammet) presiding over a large attendance. 

A letter was received from the Forests Commission of Victoria 
notifying that Messrs. H. W. Berk. A, G- Campbell^ A. D, Hardy, 
R. T, Littlejohns and A. J. Swaby had been accepted as an 
Advisory Committee, for Shcrbrooke- Forest. 

Focarrsion .reports were given by Mr, J. H. Willis (Beaumaris 
burnt area) and F. S. Cblliver (:Coburg Lake J. . 
• The following were, elected as Ordinary Members: Mrs. W, G. 
Beavis, Miss M. Owen, Mrs. H. Oaks, Mrssrjs. J, C. Le Soucf, 
A. S. BroAvn, and E. M. Fyson ; as Country Members : Messrs, 
Sheldon, (Lilvdate), H, Tindale (Yarra Junction), J« J. Johnston 
(Rockdale, N.S.W.), and A. G. Hately (Srawcil). ; 


Mr. Tarlton Raynicnt gave an illustrated lecture on this subject 
He held the audience closely interested by a general discussion 
ol* the importance of bees ill fertilizing forces/ in producing honey 
{especially valuable at present) and in promoting bees-wax, which 
was now used in munitions. What first attracted him to the 
study of bees, Mr. Raymcrtf said, was the constructive ability oi 
the insects, combined with their strong social sense. The beautiful 
social syinein of 'the bees was evolved by Nature long before man 
came with his stupidity to upset it. 

Mr. Raymerit, who was cordially thanked on the motion of 
Messrs. Hyam and Chalk, £ave further information in reply 
to questions. He said that the first honey-bees were brought to 
Australia in the convict ship Isabella in 1822. There, is at least 
one native species of honey-bee (Apis)i a rare inhabitant of the 
east Victorian highlands. 

Iri reply to other questions ihe lecturer said that bees un- 
doubtedly were attracted by the odour-emauatiou iroin some 
animals (including man) and- repelled by others- in one instance 
bees flew 200 yards to attack a "man — why, no Owe could say, 
Odour t Mr. Rayment thought, was a stronger factor with bees 
than sight. . 

ISO N&nrt Queries [ {jj^i 

Question, The Plain Turkey (Australian Bustard) lays one 
arid sometimes two eggs to a clutch. Bushmen in North Aus- 
tralia state that when two eggs are laid one is infertile and never 
batches* consequently the. parent bird is seen with one chick only. 
When several adult birds are together, no one bird has two chicks 
of its own. Are there any accredited instances of two chicks in 
a clutch? 

- Reply (by Mr. A. H. Chisholm): It is an odd thing that 
although the Bustard when inhabiting Victoria was found usually 
to lay only one egg to a dutch, in Queensland the clutch is* 
usually two and sometimes three. There may be something in 
the statement regarding the infertility of one egg, but certainly 
two chicks to the one mother have been recorded — and photo- 
graphed. A singular consideration is that whereas the Bustard 
is so restricted in its breeding, the Emu, which lives in the same 
type of country and has similar habits, has as many as eight and 
ten eggs to a clutch. The Bustard is now protected throughout 
the whole of Australia and strong efforts are being made to 
safeguard it. In this servicemen, who formerly killed the binl r 
are co-operating. 

Question: Mr. J, H. Willis reported having observed a wingless 
female of the Sydney "Blue Ant" (Diamma. bkolor) on one 
flower spike of the Crimson Botilebrush for two hours, apparently 
busily engaged in seeking nectar. Was this usual for a wasp that 
is habitually an earth dweller? 

jfnjxtotr (Mr. T. JRaymcnt) : Diamine belongs to the Tftyn- 
md& family of "flower wasps" and, although wingless, It is only 
to be expected that females or the species should visit native 
blossoms for their nectar. As a predator, this handsome metallic- 
purple insect has been known to attack note crickets and partialjy 
paralyse them as food for the young wasps, which hatch out in 
about a week. 


The large party of excursionists on October 21st included members of 
the Bird Observers' Club. It \va> intruded to study insect visitors to 
flowers, Trigger-plants in particular. Sultry morning weather was followed 
by a cold change, and very few insects w^xc moving in the afternoon, A 
few small bees were found huddled in MtiebtlU; two flies, one in Manuka, 
the other in 3 buttercup, constituted the o»1y other records, Members 
dispersed fa small groups and followed their particular interests. 

At Hie Hawthorn Nature Show, a few days later, Mr. Fulton mentioned 
having Found three s.mall grey wasps i" Tri^er-planls — one even held 
down by the benl column. He did not know of our quest and had not 
captured a specimen. As far as I know, the actual springing of the column 
by aa insect remains to be observed. 

A. J Swauv. 

*W?J WraroLLS, A New Quttnslcml PhrcMia 151 


By W. H. Nicholls, Melbourne 


PfanUx cpiphytica pimila, circa 1-5-6 cm, o/feT, Foins- crassiuscula, glabris, 
trt'etts ttti snb-pattHliit tituwitf, canalicHtatis, circa 2-5-5-5 cm, long%$, 
Fnflorescentia. erc.cta, 2-5 cm. tonga. Floras minuti albi. Brae tea? ongnstt* 
lanceolate acuminate, circa 1-5-2 mm. lottgatr, tmtoijtibn<s tcrrutatis. 
Pcriahlhixrsegmcitia patcnles, marginibus inicgris, ScPotlunx-dorsalc crcctum. 
ovatum> obtustw, circa 1 w»», longtm. $r.pala-latcralia sepalodorsali 
&qua!ia scd pau!o latiara, Peiala oblonga obtuxa, circa $ mm, hnga. 
Labrtlum basi cancavam, 'rhombmde-ovatmn; maraimbus intcprix, apicc 
reewt/ata. Cclum^a brevissimo et lata, caUar obttuiitm* Pollmia S, 

A dwari plant, epiphytic on the stems of forest trees, also ou 
palms. The very short stem covered at the base with the persistent 
bases of fallen leaves. Leaves several, fleshy, erassula-hke, glab- 
rous, semi-terete, equitant, erect or somewhat spreading, chan- 
nelled on the upper side, 2 5-5 5 cm. long. Inflorescence erect, in 
axillary racemes, shorter than the leaves, 2-5 cm. lung. Flowers 
minute, white or cream (Bailey describes the flowers as yellow — 
as in Ph. timenophylax) , rather crowded, almost sessile. Uracts 
longer than ovary, the margins briefly and somewhat irregularly 
serrate. Perianth-segments spreading with entire Jvaargins; dorsal 
sepal erect, ovale, obtuse, about 1 rnm long; lateral sepals free, 
about same length as dorsal sepal and wider at base r Petals oblong 
obtuse, .shorter than sepals; labcllum nearly as long hs sepals, very 
concave at base, the lamina spreading ovate-rliortiboidal, entire; 
disk with a longitudinal raised Yiu^ not extending along the 'lamina. 
Pollen-masses 8, minute. Column short and broad, produced for- 
ward into a mentum. Capsule shortly pedicellate or nearly sessile; 

Obcrania, crossiuscula. F. 'Muell. Hcrb'm, Flowering during 
January, February, 

Habitat: Rockingham Bay (Dallachy); Mount Battle* Frere 
(via Ingham) (A. Glindeman); Root's. Creek (Carr). 

The TYPE material (from Mount Battle Frere) is in the 
preseni writer's herbarium. 

The first description of this misinterpreted Australian orchid 
(under Phrmtia Ummophylax Rekhb.t.) appears in Bcntham's 
Flora Atto'tralicnsis, Vol. vi (1873), p. 290, and is transcribed in 
F. M, Bailey's Qumislmd Flwth Vol. v (1902), p. 1542. 

Fcrd. Bauer V original Ptexmtrr? limtnophylax from Norfolk 
Island, though agreeing as to genus, is very distinct specifically. 

Dr. R. S. Rogers gives some most interesting and informative 
ilata on both plants in Transacliom Royal Society South Aus- 
tralia, Vol. rjv (1930), p, 40. He writes' of Phreaiia (Plexourt) 
Hmenophyiax : 

fl52 Nioioits, A Mev* Qweiishnd Phrmta [*%.U 

t "It was originally discovered by Ferdinand B^uer an- Norfolk Tslaod, 
.and was carefully illustrated by him 112 a plate now m possessi&n r>f the 
Vienna Herbarium. It wns by Endlicher under ihe name of 
ph.vnure tim<*nQphy}ftx. Subsequently, when wriung'rlio- aixth volume of 
the flora /Ut.tfratiansiSt Bcntharo became the innocent victim of a discredit- 
able deception by H. G. Reichenbach which Ted Ism to publish his belief 
'(hat the mainland plant found by Dallachy at Rockingham Bay, Queensland, 
.was identical with Bauer's Norfolk Island plant. This belief was founded 
upon &10T, on error which was accented and followed by Pnlzer and many 
eminent botanist* until the true tacts of the- case were- published by F. 
-'Krarizlin in 1 911, iu his prefatory remarks to the Dcndrobwus. Part 1L 
p. 12, and again In his Monograph on the genus Phwutio, jn the s&mt work 
(pp 20-21), where he &fco published Bauer's* nriginal illustraxiuns/' 

Dallachy s specimens in Lbe National Herbarium, Melbourne, 
were collected ?n the year 1870; they were in a srntp of ted 
preservation. It was r»n this material Bcniham based his descrip- 
tion in the flora s1tcstroli£hsts, He was unable to define the 
particulars of the column, including ihe pollinartum. 
. Rogers further states ; 

"KraitxHn is. nf opinion that this plane was an Oberonia. hi the most 
promising of the three flowers still intact, the upper portion of the column, 
and of '"ouise ihc imltinarinrn, were- .ihseni There is no indication of a 
column-foot or of a memumn. This tends colour to Kritazlin's suggestion,* 
whicli he reached tor other reasons. Taking all the cirtumsiance!^ into 
consideration, it is a! least a very doubtful member of the genus to which 
rt has been ascribed and should be deleted from our census," 

The present writer has in his possession a copy of Baufcr's plate 
of the true PhreaHa lirnenophyl&x Rtichb.i*., and it is ihns abun- 
dantly clear the Queensland plant is an unnamed species. 
. Tfw exhaustive examination of fresh flowers — from rltrcc 
racemes — produced on three plants, from the Mount Bartte Frere 
district rn North Queensland (via Ingham) showed definitely 
the presence uf (contrary to Rogers' conclusion) a well-formed 
chin (mcnlumj or column-foot. It may be of interest to mention 
here that among the material of the Queensland plant in the 
National Ha barium, Melbourne, there arc the remains of several 
racemes of flowers (only the bracts and uppermost buds are 
intact) Among the few expanded blooms still remaining in lbe 
same folder, the men turn is clearly visible, more so when the , 
flower is softened, Fn the undeveloped buds on the racemes this 
feature is difficult to define. Bailey was right in estimating the 
number of pollen-masses as eight. 

Even with the aid of a powerful magnifier the sacrifice of many 
fresh flowers was necessary to define every character correctly, 
as they are so very minute. The blooms of this new species, also 
*hosc of Phrealia Baifey&ha Schlechter (RotJahrb ti 1911), arc 
excellent r^presenlalivc types of the world's tiniest, orchid flowers'. 

♦Kranzltn writes . "Nan eM P lirttfiuiphyfex nosir^ t wd cartixsims 
Oherowa a/imwra-, Lindl " which is no "suggestion," hut an unequivocal 
statement of his l«tief, 

1945 J 

Nicholls, A Netv Queensland Phreatia 



'i r ■ 


.'nviV-r phreatia crassiuscida, sp. nov. '- '. ,;!1 >/ - 

Fig. A— Typical plant. B.— FlpraJ bract. C — Flower from above. D. — 
Flower aria ovriry' fr&rn front, fc.— Capsule. F. — Transverse section of 
leaf, G. — Pollen masses. H. — Labetlum from side. I, — Labellum from 
above. J. — An undeveloped flower. K. — Flower from side. L. — Column 
from front. 

154 Nichoixs> A New Qtteensland Phreatia [ v c { t $* * 

The Mount Bartle Frere specimens were collected by Mr, A. 
Glindcman, the well-known collector of tropical orchids. These 
plants readily responded to hot-house treatment in Melbourne, 
producing the three racemes of flowers already mentioned. A 
colour plate executed by the writer, with full dissections of the 
floral characters, etc., was subsequently loaned to Dr. Rogers, who 
agreed that the species there depicted represented the same orchid 
which was collected by Dallachy at Rockingham Bay, and so long 
misrepresented as Reichenbach's plant. Dr. Rogers expressed a 
wish to put matters aright but unfortunately died before doing so. 

Identical specimens in the Herbarium of F. v, Mueller are 
labelled "Qberonia crassiuscula" but this Queensland plant is 
definitely a species of Phreatia Lindl. ! 

I have adopted Mueller's Herbarium name crassiuscula for this 
plant. It is, I consider, an eminently fitting one, referring as it 
does to its salient characteristic, namely, the thick fleshy Crassula- 
like foliage. 

It is difficult to understand why Phreatia crassiuscula (sp.nov.) 
should have been identified so definitely by certain botanists with 
Oberonia miniata Lindl. (Edwards, Bot. Reg., 1843, Vol* xxix, 
p. 6), which is described as a "singular epiphyte with the habit of 
Aporum anceps; its flowers are extremely small, very brittle, 
vermilion-red and loosely arranged in a nodding spike, sometimes 
as much as eight inches long (approx. 20 cm,)" H. N. Ridley, 
in Flora Malay Penins., Vol. 4, p. 16 (1924), describes O. miniata 
as having "sepals ovate, ciliate." 


About mid-morning on the 26th September last, the pupils of S.S, No. 3792, 
Kilmany South (Mr. A. A. Lind, Head Teacher), had a Nature-study 
lesson that had not been planned for them. The normal routine was 
suddenly disturbed by the entrance, through one of the windows, of a 
sparrow pursued by a hawk. After wheeling round the room for a few 
minutes,, the hawk perched on a bar across the room and the sparrow 
hid beneath a desk. 

Suddenly the sparrow made a dash for one of the windows, but crashed 
into a pane and fell dead. Shortly afterwards the hawk also flew at a 
window and was stunned by its impact with the pane. 

A very good description of this bird identified it as the Collared 
Sparrowhawk. It is probable that the commoner hawks in the district 
are Nankeen Kestrels, often erroneously known as Sparrowhawks. After 
completing their observations, and after the bird had recovered, the pupils, 
to their credit, liberated it. 

F. G. Elford (Teachers College) 

£3?J Coleman, Remarks on. Herbs and Birds ISS 


Part I. — Medicinal Use nf Leaves. 

By, Edith Coi.kman, Blackburn, Vic. 

Dot ask nuw tft& fowls of lite air, and tdcy shall teach thee. 

(Jub 12; 7). . 


For the third year in succession, on October 22, 1944, I found 
my Canary Islands Pyrethrum greatly mutilated. I watched the 
plant and saw, nor goldfinches this time, but sparrows, putting 
oil leaves, carrying thorn into two of a little colony of nests in an 
old rose climbing: fctt to fifteen feet high on a dead gum tree. I 
also saw them take leaven away to M ucsls in other parts of the 
garden. Few birds would care to push their way in and out of 
the tangle o£ dead,, thorny twigs beneath the crown of this old 

Some of the twigs were cut away to enable me to put a hand 
into one of the nfista I withdrew leaves and leaf-stems of the 
Pyrethrum, They appeared to be lying among the eight or ten 
eggs 1 could feel. 

The. choice of this herb is puzzling, Why did the hirds not 
take the downy leaves of the far more aromatic Peppermint- 
pelargonium, which grows abundantly at the base of the gum tree? 
I scattered some of these leaves nn the ground under the 
Pyrethnmi. * They were not touched, although I saw sparrows 
pick up fallen Pyrethrum leaves. 

Says Topsell (1658-81), writing of cats and Valerian: "Cats 
dig it tip tor love thereof, as I myself have seen hi rny own 
garden, for it smellerh moreover like a cat. 3 ' Does this explain 
the passion of sparrows for Pyrethrum? Has it the odour of 
their kind? 

A beautiful Blue Petrel washed up on Ihc ocean beach at 
Sorrento in March had the smell of Oak-le?.ved pelargonium, even 
after hanging iu the breeze for three weeks. It has since been 
hanging out of doors at Blackburn, and still has the same odour. 

The use of leaves and flowers to adorn nests has been recorded ; 
6d too has their use by birds as food and medicine. In this garden 
large pieces arc torn from the leaves of such narcotic plants as 
Belladonna and Henbane. J found it difficult to establish the 
tobacco plant (Nicoiiana (obacum) owing to depredations in the 
early .stage of growth 

Since watching the sparrows my thoughts have run back to the 
many old writers who recorded the use by -birds of aromatic or 
acrid herbs, either as medicine or for some supposed magical 
properly. Some of these records are fantastic- in the extreme, 
for few of the ancients appear to huve been accurate observers. 

isd 8&&M*S Jfowtfte o^tf&b? an* «tMV r^iT* 


Many of Iftort held assuring belief that birds are gifted with n 
knowledge fjF the virtues, of herbs. Recalling the names of men, 
regarded as great scholars in iheir day, who have handed on these 
beliefs, one feels that they cannot have been without some 

Wdi the Scriptural association of the dove with the ohvc purely 
fortuitous, or were doves known to seek its leaves? 

Although the story of. the B*b?.s \n the Wood is an ancient one, 
an even older story records the good work of both robin and wren 
in covering with leaves "the Eriendless bodies of unburied men." 
Many_wr>ters refer to this. Herrick, Pope and Shakespeare make 
use of it. In Cymbdiixe the ruddock (redbreast) is to cnv€r the 
supposed dead body of Imogen with pale primroses, harebells, leaf 
of eglantine, us well as fur and moss, Does the redbrea>r seek 
Eglantine (Sweet-briar), to-day ? Old authors stale that pigeon* 
and doves Use the herb Vervain for dimness of vision. 

"Stockdove^ jays, merles, and blackbirds use Laurel (Sweet- 
bay) to recover their appetite to meate and to sharpen their 

In Italy doves are said 10 seek the herb Cumin, which probably 
explains why the Java doves haunted mine, lu common with 
other birds, they love asatoetida (Ferula fottirfa) and are dcstniC' 
live to crops in the seedling stage. Woriidgc (Syttema Agricul 
Utrac. 1681) alludes to the custom of exploiting litis passion by 
washing the dove-cotes with asafoetida water; "Their feathers will 
bear, the scent thereof about them, so that whatsoever company 
they iight into v " wilt Ik pleased to bear them company home, lo 
the great increase of your stock." Asufoetitb contains a volatile 
oil. resin and gum. It is still official" in pharmacy, Because of. 
its disagifceable odour it is usually administered in pill form. Yet. 
despite the odour, which out-onions the whole of the onion dan, 
it is much relished in eastern countries. 

How Kipling's Kim and tftf lama enjoyed their meal o£ warm 
cakes well scented with hang (asafoetida) ! Planteurl (Way-bread- 
or Cuckoo's-brcad) is both bread and medicine to the cuckoo, as 
is Cuckoo's-sorrel. In my childhood I knew no* other name for 
(his* wild sorrel. It gave me pleasure to learn that' it is so-called 
in other, countries. 

The list of authors who refer to the use by bird* of herbs to 
restore sight is a long" one: J Goldfinches, linnets/ eagles and 
swallows are said to use EyeuTighr, Rue, Fennel and Celandine, 
'Atbelief that' the eagle's power of vision is so great that he-is 
able' X& look at' the stul undated is' of great antiquity ; &o too? is 1 
ttel^iind that Jte *jihai?(j£nH his sight and that of 'hi* -nestling*' 
W!tlvvVild::lettuce/ '-Tl1e-hA^k uses Hawksbit i (}Hicti)ctw^) tot' 
the ' same ? purpose-' The gfriftfcric ilame, -as well a<i Lhe'nopuVAr' 

I HI VICTORIAN \ VTLR VI.IST V. I, u\ January. i*M? 

I'l-M V I 




* J - 

G laiuluK*. 

Swul-Bay ( /.aunts nttfiili.u 

l'lnilu.- T by l-Iditll C'nielTUtlJ. 

*M*4 Cot^MAK. Mfwarks on iUrbt and Htrdr 157 

names used in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, all 
have reference to the belief that birds of prey made use of this 
herb to sharpen their vision. 

Turberville recommends "the juice of Svvallowes-hearbc (Celan- 
dine) conveyed to the eyes of hawkes if they be hurte by some 
mishappe.*' {Book of Falconry, 1611.) The raven uses Sweet- 
bay; the stork and ring-doves use "organ** (Wild Marjoram or 
Origanum). It fa remarkable that in widely separated ■countries, 
long before travel facilities brought them into easy communication. 
Celandine (CheliJonimv mujrts) was believed to be employed by 
swallows to restore their sight and that of their nestlings — a 
belief that dates back to the first century, probably earlier. 

The generic name Chclidonimn is derived from the Greek for 
swallow, and the names Swallow- wort and Swallow-herb are' 
common in many European countries 

In an original treatise on herbs, Bartholomew (thirteenth cen- 
tury) wrote ; "Celidone is an herbe with ycllowe flourcs; the truu 
smorcheth' them that toucherh it: it helpeth swallowes* birdes 
(nestlings) if their eyen be hurt." In another rare old herbal 
(Lyte's translation of Uodoens, 1578) we read; "Chctidoniiun,; 
that is |b say Swallnw-herbc ; because it was first found out "by 
swallows and hath boated the eyes and restored sight to th«tr 
young ones." Gerard, 1597, reporting earlier writers, says: "It 
will restore the. cics of divers young birds and soonest of all, tlBB 
swallows" The great herbalist Parkinson (1643) alludes to it* 
use by partridges, doves and swallows. 

It seems strange that so many bird-favoured herbs possess 
aromatic oils, acrid juices or narcotic properties, and are still 
employed by herbalists, or in domestic practice, for the very ills 
to which birds were believed to apply them. 

Rue, Eyebright and Fennel have a centuries-old reputation for 
helping the eyes. With the two latter Milton's Michael purged 
Adam's sight. Fennel was even believed to restore tost sight, as 
Longfellow sings in the Coblct of Life: 

Al>ove the Jowly plants il lowers. 
The fennel with its yellow flowers. 
Ami in 311 earlier age than our* 
- .' Was gifted with the wondrous powers. , 

, -: . Lost vision to restore. 

Many of the buttercups (Ramwculacctw) contain acrid juiced 
which inflame and blis-tcr, and these are still used for that purpose 
in treating gout, rheumatism, and even shingles Cuckoo-buds,' 
Crowfoot, the Lesser ' Celandine (all "buttercups") and the' 
Gredtcr Celaridine (a "poppy")- are all called Telterworts and* 
their acrid juices were once employed by beggars to raise tetters' 
(sores') om their facesj to excite pity and gain alms! * 

J5& Cclektan, Remarks on Herbs and Birds [_ y j B * * 

It seems incredible to us that lite unopened eyes of nestlings 
should have been regarded as ao ill. The fact that they were 
open soon after patent birds were seen to cany herbs into the 
nests was sufficient to invest thrive herbs with medicinal and even 
magical powers; and man, who learned the use of herbs from 
watching birds and animals, applied bhd-chosen leaves to his own 
■nerds, .sometinies with success- As Kipling sings: 

Nothing' in life ha.? been made by man frtr man's using 
But it was $VidWti long Siaca to man in ages 

Lost as the name of the trialcer oi' it. 

To this day Celandine mj employed in treating eye trouble. lis 
yellow juice, on the Doctrine of Signatures, is good for jaundice' 
Dropped into green wounds it efTects a rapid cure! It is used in 
milk as. a lotion and, as the names Pilewort and Itchwort imply, 
lot* other troubles. In Russia it is said to have been effective in 
treating cancer. Why did the birds choose it? Did they test it, 
with success? 

With Celandine swallows were said to unlock their nests, it 
Uicy were plastered up, or to remove obstructions. Hence its use 
by man to remove obstructions ol" the liver. It. was prescribed for 
Tudor Queen Elizabeth, who was rcluctaut to have a tooth drawn. 
It was to be seated up in the tooth with wax. This would loosen 
the tooth, which might then be pulled out with the fingers! 
Larkspur or Larkshcels, another "buttercup/' probably so called 
from a fancied resemblance of the flower-spur to the long nail on 
a lark's "heel," has a long medical reputation of some significance 
in the present discussion. It was used by ancient Greeks, in the 
form of an ointment, to destroy body vermin, and to heal wounds. 
A tincture,, said to be a fine insect-banc, was used with success in 
the tfcnchcH during the last war. 

Laurel (Lmms nobilu) (Sweet-bay), another "bird-herb," 
yields an aromatic oil which is still employed in veterinary prac- 
tice. The leaves, familiar to us in curry powder, are j>ackcd 
between layers of dried figs and liquorice sticks, probably to 
impart flavour and scent, perhaps also as an insect repellant. 

After all, these strange beliefs regarding; the use of herbs were 
not more curious than many others which persisted to the nine- 
teenth century. For my part, as I dip into the vast literature 
of legend and myth that has gathered round the association of 
herbs and birds I feel that they were not without some foundation. 
I am wholly with Baring Gould, who traced many myths of t*Hc= 
Middle Ages, when he states that there must be some verity upon 
which so vast a superstructure of legend has been raised, and 
before dusing I should like to suggest one for our herb and. bird 

Kipling {Eye of Mah) puts his pen on the spot. He' h 

u3rJ Colemak, Remarks oh Herbs and Bird* 159 

referring to an old beliet handed down from Apuleius in the fifth 
century.. In his Herbarium*, a little Latin treatise mainly derived 
from Dioscorides, Aputeius says: "li a man eat fasting' the juice 
of the cut>leav«d buttercup (i?. scUrotus) his soul wiJi leave his 
body laughing." "This," says Kipling's Roger of Salerno, "is 
a lie more dangerous than the Truth, since truth of a sort it is; 
for the juice of this herb burns, blisters and wries the mouth— 
the rictus or pseudo-laughter on the face of such as have died of 
poison by herbs pi the RantiiKulaceae." To this John of Burgos, 
who admits that, when a boy in convent, he made tetters round 
his mouth and on his neck with the juice of this buttercup, to save 
going to prayers on cold nights, makes reply: "I'm no doctor, 
but I'd say that In all these years Apuleius might have been 
betrayed by his copyists. If Apuleius wrote 'the soul seems to 
leave the body laughing' there's not three copyists in five would 
not leave out the 'seems to,' " 

Probably many of the old authots have been betrayed by their 
copyists. Birds were $tren to carry leaves. Being inedible they 
were assumed to be medicine! or magical, and as the eyes of 
nestlings were open soon after they were placed in the nest, they 
"seemed*' to restore sight. As the legend travelled down the 
centuries the "seemed'" was omitted. 


.Mrs. M. £. Frcamc: Examples of the various tropical yea-shells 
illustrated in December Wild Life, also a living specimen of ihe fragile 
"Lantern Shell'* {LaicwuJa crcccirta) from Part Phillip-. 

Mrs, D, W, Lyndon . Representation of the Altona salt-marshes, "by use 
of actual glass-wort*, coloured sea blite foliage, sea-hcalh in flower, shells, 
and sparkling sati-eJtcmsted sponges. 

Miss Colleen Chuggr: Xylostroma or mycelial pad of riic, "White Punk" 
{Paiyportu entatyptonttit), forming white and felt- or cbamots-iikc sheets 
id the cracked wood of old trees, logs, etc 

Miss M. L. YVigao: Unusually long, thick aboriginal axe-head from 
McKenzie Creek, lower Eemm River, East Gtppsland, 

W/O f. A. Blackburn (per J, H. Willis): Mounted collection of nine 
common but colourful "bracket fungi," taken from a North Queensland 
rain-forest last winter. 

.Mr. C. French: Specimens of Eucalyptus %nridis (Green Malice) and 
At aria MitcttcUii {Mitchell Wattle — smallest pinnate species in Victoria), 
cultivated at East Camberwell and Canterbury respectively. 

Mr. 7, Griffiths: Fern prothalli> two months old. 

Mr. A. H. E. Matiingley: Male af the Golden Beetle {Ljittpriino 

Mr. Ivo Hammer: Garden-grown native flowers (Hibitcus Hit^tlii, 
lUlaicitta pulchtUa-> etc.). 

160 Waicwikijt, A/flrroe Lifr (it Port Moresby [^tSfcSp* 


. By N A Wakefield, A.l.F 

i i 

Except for a few conservative individuals tvhn stick to the* 
use of their multi-pointed, spears in the shallows, natives of the 
Moresby area do their fishing by taking parties oi army personnel- 
to the outer reefs, where they drop 'depth charges' of usually a 
couple of six-ounce plugs of "jeUy/* and then dive for the dead or; 
stunned fish. The outrigger canoes* 1 used are very manoeuvrable.' 
being ahte to heat out to sea against a stiff wind, and the divers 
have closely-fitting goggles with which they can see clearly under i 
the water. The mam types of fish so caught arc schnapper and 
a wced-caling species resembling the luderick ■ 

The shallow waters of the coral reefs teem with innumerable' 
kinds of small but exquisitely beautiful tropical fish, which one 
can observe easily by standing still in a few feet of water on a 
calm day; the fish swim quite close, attracted by the whrtenes* 
tit one's feet, The Banded Sea-Snake (PlatyurHs) is common,, 
and there is a large kind of starfish — rather solidly built, with big. 
Wtint spikes above, and in cuinur from dark hrnwn to blite. 

Sea -slugs (Bcchc-ile-tnfir) are very plentiful, one kind exuding* 
long whi(e streamers of a very adhesive material if disturbed, and , 
marine worms attain a length of several feet The sea-urchin?- 
are represented by at least three species, the commonest being 
quite safe to handle, but the other two are armed with sharp, 
finely barl*ed spines, over six inches long which will penetrate 
one's flesh at the slightest touch, • 

The broad wavy blue, green, or brown lines make clams the 
most conspicuous shell in the coral masses; and the crevices con-' 
tain large Trochus shells (7". nilaticus) and Far melts (fftilfatis 
asinnins), adhering to the rocks. The Cone-Shells- are repre- 
sented by several species — Conus textile, C. iti&rnwrcHs, etc., and"- 
one is reputed to have the ability of inflicting a poisonous sting, 
dangerous to man. *'.*•■ 

Under every rock at low tide kvel are hundreds of tiny narrowly 
conical shells inhabited by small dark Hermit Crabs, and (here is: 
a larger form which carries roundish shells Jtp into^Llie scrub.of 
the dry cliffs overlooking the -beach. A third kind is a great red 
and hairy species which occasionally brings larger shells from-' 
the outer reefs; one brought in a good example of the Egg' Shelf 
'( Ovuluni dz'itm) , and another a perfect example of the beautifully; 
ribbed Trmna fanl+riatii/Tha large green cral\ common in vvet 

♦The local canoe, "wuVUs ooubte-Cudtid narrow hull -find square •'•saif 
risked away from ihc single outrigger, is a vana$i t ihough tt is generally' 

flM&Tf5#'{0 by srtlditirs.'a* n.\Jak(i'Pm.. which/nariiL* really** applies to' larger 
■WMe-decfcel rrafi with crab-claw sails. ..'.it.*' Aty *.-: 4 * ".-.*".' iu. 

■*!SjSFJ WARBFJao, A/aWrtc &ft'4J Porr jlfetttfi? ,161 

rock crevices, ia often overtaken seeking refuge in shallow pooh 
at daylight and is cooked, by the heat of the sun. Beneath small 
boulders are little jewel-like maroon-coloured crabs, smooth and 
round, and another spiky, light grey species which camouflages 
ftftdf with an accumulation of rubbish. On the mud fiats, too, is 
a medium-sized species, with one large bright- red nipper held 
aloft as it moves about. 

The. Tumping or Climbing Fish i* a feature of rock pools and 
mangrove swamps, where it perches on tree roots or rocks, and 
goes skipping over the surface of the water when disturbed. The 
smaller green crayfish, with long white antennae, which inhabits 
weedy shallows, is regarded as a very toothsome morsel by the 
natives, who will spend hours patiently hunting and stalking one 
from point to point. 

• Most interesting perhaps arc the Cowries,* which range in 
size from a fraction of an inch to several inches long, and in 
colour from white to blue, brown vi* orange. Cypyaa ammlv^, a 
small white species with a pink ring dike mark, is the most 
plentiful; and next comes C. arabica, much larger and darker, 
with intricate markings forcibly resembling Arabic script. The 
large and popular C. ligrss is very plentiful on the outer reefs; it 
is commonly known as "Tiger Cowrie," though "Leopard" would 
be a more appropriate epithet. Both the "Tiger*' and C. arabica 
are to be found in the juvenile form, when they arc very fragile 
and beautifully painted in shades of soft greyish-blue. 

-C. ctrcnes, a small grey-blue species with dark dorsa! patch, is 
common on the nnderneaths of small rocks; C. erosa 7 with its 
white-dotted surface and two lateral dark patches, is not uncom- 
mon eifhtr. C. viidlnt, brown with large light-blue spots, and 
C v&ynelli; mottled tan with darker spots, are two medium-sized 
and very attractive species. The small finely mottled C. sophia 
and the pinkish-tan C tameola- are rather uncommon, while the 
beautiful, irregular, cream or orange Money-Cowrie (C. moneta) 
is perhaps the rarest" near Port Moresby. C- staphylmi, a very 
5n1r.ll species, blue with raised white spots and brown marginal 
rib?, has, in this area, jet black feeding mantles which distinguish 
it from the Queensland form. One of the tiny Ribbed Cowries 
(Trivia edgari) was found several times washed up on the beach, 
but it was not seen in the living .state. It is interesting to note 
that the same species of cowries At Kila Beach, just east of Port 
Moresby, are invariably deeper in colour than those towards 
Idlers Bay. across Halifax Harbour to the west. 

^The genus Cyffusa ii used here in the. old, wider sense, Ifecame opinlutis 
at present differ considerably as to the generic status of the various groups 
Cti cowrie*. 



Excursion to Beaumaris 

[Vtrt, N«*. 
Vol. 61 

(Regeneration of plants on fire area.) 

On Saturday afternoon, November 25, some forty excursionists (includ- 
ing members of the Bird Observers' Club) visited the scene oi last 
January's disastrous scrub-fire at Beaumaris — the worst ever experienced 
there, A sandy rise of uncleared tea-tree scrub, less than half a mile along 
Cromer Road from the beach, was selected for observation, and here the 
party split into several groups, each with a botanist to identify all seedling 
plants. Such seedlings, as had appeared since the. burn,, were listed by 
each group under two categories, viz., regrowth from seed of permanent 
local plants, and inquiline species (carried from neighbouring areas by 
wind or birds). 

A halt-hour's scouting was sufficient time for the several groups to 
note down almost every kind of seedling present within about an acre of 
scrubland; the lists were then correlated and gave the following total 
result of 53 different seedlings: — 


(mostly wind-blown annuals) 

Grasses — 

*Annuol Veldf Grass 
*Harc's-tnif> Grass 
*Sihcry Hair Grass 
•Yorkshire Fog Grass 
*Quaking Grass ("Shell Grass") 
* Lesser Quaking Grass 
^Annual Poa 
*Bromc 1'cseity 
*Rot-tail Festuc 

Coarse Club-rush 

+Mousc-car Chickucfd 

* French Catchfly 


•Indian Hcdgc-mu5tard 

Austral Stonccrou 

Rufous Stonecrop 

Stalked Stonccrof> 
•Scarlet Pimpernel 

Black Nightshade 
•African Box-thorn 
♦Buek's-horn Plantain 

Tiny Blue-bell (not in Census) 

Common Cotula 

♦White Cudweed 
Cotton Fircwecd 



•Spear Thistle 

•Sow Thistle 

*Cat's-ca? ('vflatweed") 

In the foregoing: table, the predominant seedlings are indicated by italic 
type and naturalized aliens by means of an asterisk. Seedlings tfnfy are 


Climbing Lignum 
* Red- mk Plant 
Angular Noon-flower ("pig-facc") 

Legumes — 

Spite Acacia 

Laie Black Wattle 

Pale Wedge-pea 

Showy Bossca 

Creeping Bossea 
•Gorse ("furze* 1 ) 
•Clustered Clover 

Scarlet Coral-pea 

Creeping Wood-sorrel 
•Carolina Mallow 
Bundled Gmn-EO'fio-wer 
Silky Guinea-flower 
M anna Gum 
Coast Tca-irae 
Common Beard -heath 

Kangaroo Apple 

^7*7/*] Willis, General Kotrs on Poti-Fire Picnctrs 163 

jjivcn, not shoot rcgrowili from perennial root-stocks, rhizomes, or tubers 
which outlived llic fire, fc is to be noted that, among (he inqmliocs, annual 
grasses and composites occupy a prominent position (In specie*, or more 
than half); members of these two large fatuities art; always -among the 
tim plants to populate a sterilised region— by virtue of their viry small, 
light seeds, so readily carried away in air currents. Of the pennauept 
local flora, tltc comparatively Iteavy seeds of tagunics (in the germination 
of which tire is even beneficial) account for nearly half the species recorded, 
yfoj 10 out of 24; these were doubtless already in the soil bet ewe destruction 
of the overhead cover 


Writing in the Naturalist, June, 1940, Mr. W. L. Williams reports on 
the regrowlh at Droroana throughout '16 months following tlie "holocaust 
at January, 1939. Hi*, !uo, divided the young" plants into two classes and 
found huth introduce! at\d native grasses to be early colonizers amonjj 
wind-blown annuals; (here were later abundant seedlings of Coast Tea-tree 
and Swamp Paper-hark, with some Drooping Sheoke, hut no sprouts ■ were 
discernible on any of the damaged, blackened spars — rather a helpful factor. _ 
as ihey afforded eoiisiderable protection to the seedlings during tender' 
infancy. Mr. Noel Lothian (also in 1940) discussed the astonishing" spread 
of Quicm-grass and Cape-weed within *ix rnantlu* of the bushfire which 
wrought such havoc in Torquay. 

r<c*"olontz:Mion by plants o< areas from which rfjfc natural vegetation has 
been completely erased by intense heat (fires, volcanic action, etc.) ha* 
always been a subject of great interest to the ecological botanist It is 
only al such a time that uueilions as. to the vitality of seeds, speed oi 
dispersal, survival power aggrcssivenefc* or coiriptiUtvcnes of different 
species can be studied iti detail. 

A clasr.tcal opportunity was provided on a grand scale between May and 
August, 188J; the worst series of volcamc eruption-; within human know- 
ledge ti^n visited the densely-forested tropic island of K.nakatoa (between 
Java and Sumatra) and completely obliterated every vestige of plant life. 
Less than a year afterwards the Fjench scientist Cotteau landed mi the 
island, but he failed to find * .sinplc living" plant. Tfeifb, however, who 
made a close survey two years later (1886), discovered not only lowvr 
crypteiRams but 2b different vascular pfcints, including eleven ferns, Jour 
COmiJOsitc* and one gr<u>s (all wind-boniel, and several trees of The strand 
(from spongy, sea-home fruits). 

Victorians allowed a golden opportunity for carrying out similar dciailerf 
surveys to slip away after the unprecedented buahfixes of January, 193°. 
Btit our British frtengs have been busy since 1940 \minp, plants that have 
come up on bombed-out areas in the heart of London. Commonest among 
the bomb-crater pioneers are Annual Poa T Willow-herb, Flea-bane, Ground 
se1 nud Coll's-fool — again a high percentage of wind-borne composites. 

J TT Wn.i.m. 


r« "Flower Perfumes and their Classification" C^tc*. No/.. Dec. \94A) 
the following typographical errors call for correction, viz. — 

Page 1-34, fifth floe from bottom, for Sportitm read Sj>arth0H. 
Page !3ft first line, for ndoratissiinns read vrforalissiwKS 
Page J36, note 8. second line, lor hirsina read hWcbfo. 

)$4 WcF^»<t. Mature TPoifij jyom Waggn f vt.i. 61 


Uy SarPEn P. R. M -Farina wn 

For nine months J hat'c teen a sojourner at Wagga, h'.S.W., the 
surroundings «H which, at first glance, appear monotonous to <lic nature- 
lover from southern Victoria i yet this district Inr? a t.hamj all tlS own. 
True, there is little to offer the geolcu±i>l be>ond a prevailing country 
mac of what seem to be Silurian shales and occasional hills of granitrC 
rock which in yields orthoe1as<i crystals art inch Of lftOitt long; 
schists and cherts appear in close proximity 10 (he granjfe, bin nothing 
further enlivens one'* interest. 

The most striking future is the almost complete absence of shrub growth 
and small plants, due, no doubt, to the cJtofr-jpfeztag habit of sheep which 
are masters of all tix?v survey. Only in a few isolated and acridenttf 
sanctuaries can one visualize the appearance, ol the original landscape- 
Arboreal vegetation consists almost entirely of she Crey Box (Ewcxlyplxs 
hflmiphfaia) , White Cypress Pine (C'lUitrh glavta), KurraJQDg ($tcrc\it\a 
divi!r.w](>tia) y Casunrmn, and a small white gum restricted to the rocky 
knolls- pi obably "Tumble-down Gum" (Ji. tkaftmta), The Cypress Pine 
occurs frequently in small almost pwo Mauds , Kurrajonii and Ca^uarina 
favour, rocky positions, but their present disposition may bo artificial, as the 
land was settled $a long n$o 

Red Gum (tujcrfypm ainujl<1is}*wh) and River Slrcokc (C'M«aW*j<i 
Cwmingtmwiaitui) bold dominion along the Murrumbirigec and attain 
enormous size. In a few i;pols, inaccessible to sheep, Flax-lilies, Purple 
Coral Pea. Parrot Pea, various everlasting numerous araeias, and two 
shrubby series of CrrvHint. (one with rrri and the. olher with woolly 
brown Rowers) may still he found- 
To atone for the laclc of variety amoiiit native plants, there is <jurk -a 
large bird population: along the river, nnd putting the red gums 1 ringing 
it, I have seen While-faced Herons, White-necked Herons, Egrets. Black 
and Pied Cormorants. Black Duck and other wa-er-fowl, and large flocks 
of White Cockatoos which <\o not ran^e far from the river trees. Back 
toward the hills are "Noisy Miners, Galahs, Butcher-birds, Magpies. Curra- 
wongs and numbers of different parrots. The two-chambered nests o^ 
VcJIow-wilcd Thnrnbills and targe unshapely idructures of the Zehra Finch 
are fairly abundant jn patcltes of pine scrub. Red -capped Robins, Blue 
Wrens, Trcc-crccpers and Choughs also favour the pine Welcome 
Swallows, Fairy Martins, nnd both White-browed and Ousky Wood- 
swallows, represent the swallow and swallow-shrike families, the curious 
retort-shaped mild nests rtt tJtt 1W*tfkTnfl hring frequent in suitabV locations. 


Owiuk to exceptionally dry condition*: in tile fo/ests surrounding Badger 
Creek Sanctuary. Heatesvillc. the small staff is extremely hard pressor] to 
obtain sufficient earthworms fc*r its platypus charges or enough insects 
and crubtacxa for the lyre-bird 'community — slattrs or airy other "crawlics* 1 
of the forest ' floor would be most welcome. Members of the F.N.C.. if 
not able to help m ftfa .direction tbemsclvcs, uiay be abk *o contner 
friends who can. Mr. David Fleay, Director of the sanctuary, would 
gladly receive .'.uclv <ontributions and suitably lemunernlc anyone willing 
to assist. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 61.— No. id February 8, 1945 No. 734 

- — ~ " ---— . ' — «> 

The monthly meeting of the Club was held on January 9, 
1945, at the Royal Society's Hall, Che President (Mr. Ivo C 
Hammer) presiding over an attendance of about 100 Members 
and friends- 
Letters were received from Mr, Noel Lothian, now in New 
Zealand, conveying New Year greetings to Members; from the 
Secretary of the Sir Colin Mackenzie Sanctuary, at Badger 
Creek, returning thanks for a donation, and stating that the 
■money would be used as the Club had suggested; and from the 
Town Clerk at Hawthorn, thanking the Club for a donation 
teccived from the Exhibition recently held in the Hawthorn 
Town Hall. 

The following were elected as Ordinary Members of the Club: 
Mrs. C. Fraser and Miss Chisholni; and as Country Member: 
Mr. H. L. Tucker. 


This was given under three headings: — "Geological Aspects 
of Red Rain/' spoken to by Mr. F. S. Colliver; "Organic 
Contents of Red Rain," spoken tn by Mr. A. D. Hardy; and 
"'The National Significance of Red Rain, H spoken to by Mr. P. 
C. Morrison. 

Mr. Colliver stated that, has remarks were mainly based on 
an article by Chapman and Grayson on '"Red Ram/' published 
in the Victorian Natwal-istj volume 20. He emphasized that 
dust, as represented by "Red Rain/' constituted an erosion 
factor very much under-estimated by the man in the street- 
Calculations made by W. H. Ferguson, then of the Mines Dept., 
of the dust brought down by a rain storm toward the end of 
1902 gave a figure of 50 tons per square mile, based on samples 
taken in South Gippsland. A similar tail on March 28, 1903. 
from samples collected by Chapman and Graysom gave 35 £• 
tons per square mile; and" another fall on December 31, 1927 ? 
was calculated by Chapman to have left 51^ tons per square 
mile in the Balwyn district; and by Hunt to have left some 
24 tons per square mile in the Elstcrnwkk district. A fall 
on November 3, 1920, was calculated to have left something 
like six million tons over Victoria. In giving these figures, Mr. 
Colfivcr suggested that "Red Rain" was shown to be an erosion 
factor of considerable importance. 

1<>6 Field Natwalisis' Club Proceedings [ j^ £ * 

Mr. Hardy stated that a considerable change in die organic 
contents of "Red Rain" could be noticed from the 1903 fall, 
so well worked out by Chapman and Grayson. The 1903 fall 
had a very targe amount of diatomic material mixed with the 
dust, and the recent fall of red rain (1944) showed very litrJe 
in the way of diatoms; these by the way, were the empty 
skeletons only. The 1903 rain showed protozoa and bacteua, 
and the diatoms, in many cases, were complete enough to lis! 
the genera. In the recent rain {1944), the diatoms were so 
badly damaged tli3t determination even of genera was difficult, 
it not impossible. Mr. Hardy showed that iu many cases the 
good soil had gone completely and the dust samples now showed 
only sand. Of particular interest, however, was the fact that 
collected samples of the 3944 red rain developed an interesting 
little microscopic object known as the "Water Bear." 

Mr. Morrison, discussing Ihe national significance of the 
problem, suggested that we must follow the course of red rain 
back and find where it originated. This was either the Mallee 
or one of seven or eight places in Australia. Dust would not 
drift if adequate vegetational cover and v^ind-breaks were on 
the area. In Central Australia, no doubt, large areas were 
sterile even before white men came on the scene, but overstocking 
and rabbits now had produced even larger area* ^vliere (ha 
wind had free play. In the Mallee dry fallowing was one factor 
that produced dust., and the removal of all vegetable cover was 
a common feature of fanning in that area. With the removal 
of the good soil, the subsoil remaining was of httle use for 
Crops, And practically all that could be done was to plant the 
area with some hardy cover such as trefoil burr, and thus prevent 
further soil drift. The Soil Conservation Board had calculated 
that from the Mallee area some 11 million tons of soil were lost 
in one dust stonn of average intensity. At Toeumwal, recently. 
the R.A.A.F. tested the height of dust during a storm, and the 
aeroplane had to rise 10,000 ft before the dust thinned out.. 
A west wind prevailed the whole time, and there were no reports 
of .dust. in South Australia or Central Australia then, so it was 
practically certain that this dust had originated in our Victorian 
Mallee, ' 


Mr. ColJiver, replying to a question as to how samples were 
udcen, stated: The first sample was taken 20 minutes . after 
the rain had started, thus allowing normal dusl lo be washed 
away r and five fluid ozs. of sample gave 17 grains of dried 
residue- The time then was 4.30 p.m. Sample 2 was collected 
at 6.30 p.m.; sample 3 at 7.30 p.m., sample 4 at 7.45 p.m.- 
sample 5 at 8,30 p m. A further sample collected after 9 p.m. 

Contained no appreciable sediment The sample was not examined 
for bacteria straight away and it is quite possible that only 
the more resistant types were developed during the tests. 

Mr. Morrison, in reply to a question concerning the different 
colours of dust at various places, stated that the wind was 
a winnowing agent; the lightest materials went the greatest 
distances, and certainly differing mineral coutent was sufficient 
to justify colour differences. 

Qtti&ttOn: Has a sample of dust from the last storm been 
analysed? Mr. Morrison suggested that probably the Weather 
Bureau would do this. Mr. Colliver said he had collected a 
sample but could nor be sure of its being a pure rain deposit 

Miss Ina Watson mentioned that, in November, 1944, a plane 
from JBrokcn HjII repotted that Mildtira and Kerang were 
invisible from the air. 

Mr. Morrison stated that a Broken Hill storm recently 
coincided with the Canberra dust stonu. 

Another mtiinber remarked that recently a sandhill or dune 
at Lal<e Hindmarsh , some 5(3-60 feet high, had been sbl ftfid 
300 yds. by the wind. 

Mi. Owen Singleton asked Mr, Colliver where he thought the 
rocks occurred that gave rise to the dust — did he not think the 
Broken Hill area was more likely than Victoria? Mr. Colliver, 
in reply, said that apparently he had wrongly quoted Chapman 
and Grayson, who stated, "The mineral fragments from the 
Victoria red rain sediment have undoubtedly been derived from 
the disintegration of the rocks ordinarily met with in tint 
Victorian area, rn the country to the north and wesl. The 
accessory silicates and the other rarer and heavier minerals 
were most likely denved from granitic and gncissic rocks r and 
from the disintegration of lodes and veins. 

Mr. Singleton asked Mr. Hardy if he had ever found sponge 
spicules and Forarninifera in rain samples? 

Answer i Spicules of the fresh water sponge "apongilla" were 
very common, but Forarninifera were very uncertain. 

Miss Wigan remarked that in N.S.W. dust storms continue 
day niter day. 

Miss Raff asked ■ Should not regular tests be made to determine 
surface, otherwise, how can you achieve finality by weighing 
samples ? 

Mr. Morrison, in reply, said it was not possible to prove the 
Origin of a dust storm by a stain on a leaf, but such a stain 
backed by meteorological evidence can make a near scientific 
certainty; the rain washes the dust-laden atmosphere clean, and 
from the precipitated mud the proportions of organic and mineral 
materials can be calculated. 

m t ; Md Naturalists' Ctttb Proceedings [TvJfctt* 

Mr. Collivei .stated that, with respect to the 1903 sample 
previously mentioned, the successive samples taken showed a 
diminution of solid material. 

A member remarked on the recent method of erosion control 
as tried out m Russia, where a thin sheet of bitumen and grass- 
seeds is sprayed out from an aeroplane, and suggested it would 
be worthy of trial in Australia. Mr. Morrison, in comment, 
said that the Soil Conservation Board suggests wind-breaks, 
planting of hurr clover, etc, and deep furrowing at righl angles 
to the prevailing winds, a method used in Kansas in 1935, as 
well as contour ploughing of deep furrows if the land has slopes, 

Mr, A. A. Brunton suggested (be time would undoubtedly 
come when methods for bringing down the rain-clouds that 
now often pass over the dry areas would be devised, and ho 
further suggested that this was a matter worthy of experiment 
by scientists. 

Speakers in the symposium were accorded die thanks of the 
Club for their informative and inleresting addresses, 


Mic*s M. I- Wigan; "Witches Broom/ 1 from Heatlimouiit, 

Miss E ttaff ; Flower of Tfoptuoium pentaphyllum, from SoduS 
Amentia; also Oenothera (Evening primrose), which opens pure white 
and changes to pink next day. 

Mrs. Fenton Woodburn: "Hands" of copra, dark (native cured) and 
light (plantation cured). 

Mrs. J. J r Freame; Marine specimens. 

W/O J, A. Blackburn (per J, H. Willis); Collection of native stone 
implements from South-eastern Papua, inchiding a "Didiwau" or cere- 
monial ad/e bead and a holed club head resembling a fiiant bead. 

Mr. J. H. Willis: A gcous oi lilies new to Victoria, represented by 
C Metro phylum alpinwm. Trow Dandongadale Falls, on the Mt. Cobble* 
Plateau (3/1/45). 

Mr. A. D r Hardy: Samples of sand from the Mallee drift areas and 

Mr, C. J. Gabriel : Rare Australian marine shell, Pterospira road' 
tcnighioe, McCoy, from the Great Australian Bight. 

Mr. T. Grifnihs: Box of beetles and oilier insects from Walhalla and 
Aberfoldy Rtyt-r district 

Mr H. P. Dicldns; Four studies in colour o£ Brachychiton, Irom 
Geelcng Botanic Gardens. 

Mr. li. T. Reeves: Coloured photographs of Australian native flowers. 


Sgt. M. F, Leask, a Club member on service, n anxioUi to hear oi 
anyone investigating PhylacteopfiaQ^ eucalypti, the leaf-hli»ter saw fly, or 
breeding any to match the larva with the imago. Would readers who can 
offer information please communicate with Mr. F. G. Eliord. Teachers 
College. Carlton, NJ ? 

FC m6 e "] Coleman, Rtnutrks on Herbs *nd Bitils 16* 


Part If. — Magical Use of Leaves- 

By Edith Coixman, Blackburn, Vic. 

There are many curious legends regarding the magical use 
of herbs, not only by swalkiws but by many other birds, chiefly 
to remove obstructions from their nests or to unlock them if 
they have been closed up by human agency. 

The woodpecker uses Springwort, which Grimm identifies 
with Caper-spurge, but other authors with a fern. It is known 
in Germany as the Blasting-root, and has power to force the 
strongest Jock ! Unfortunately, it is very rare. One must seek 
it in the woodpecker's nest. If 8 nail be driven jnto her nest 
(so runs the tale), she flies off for a piece of Springwort. This 
she places in the bottom of her nest, and soon both leaf and 
nail drop on the red cloth which must be spread below it! She 
also uses Herbameropsis, which is called woodpecker plant, or 
woodpecker herb, 

The hoopoe uses Sainfoin and the lark, Larkspur, Albertus 
Magnus (13lh Century ) r says that the magpie brings a herb 
to release her nestlings if her nest be tied up with new cords, 
but does not specify the herb, 

Not to labour the point, I think we must accept some of the 
statements regarding the placing of herbs in the nests, but not 
the curious explanations that accompanied them. I think we 
can presently offer a twentieth century solution — without 
stretching imagination. 

Yet, after all, those curious beliefs were not more fantastic 
than many other long'accepted bird legends, such as that of the 
raven which leaves her nestlings to starve. According to Izaak 
Walton, they are kept alive and fed by dew, and worms that 
breed in the nest, "or some other ways that we mortals know 

Then there is the story of the pelican which feeds its young 
on its own blood: 'The pelican turneth her beak against her 
body and therewith piercerh it till the biood gushes out> wherewith 
she nourishcth her young," ( Brand's Antiquities) . Three 
times Shakespeare alludes to this old belief ; in King Lear 
("whose flesh begot those pelican daughters"); Richard II, 
Act. It Sc. I ; and Hamlet, Act. IV, Sc. 5. 

Strangest of all was the story of the barnacle-geese, those 
"birds without father or mother." This legend, first promulgated 
in the 12th Century by Gyratdus Cambrensis, travelled strongly 
down the centuries until 1783, when it was once again published 
as a fact, reported in all good faith by scholars renowned in 
their day: Sebastian Munster (who gives a sketch of the 

170 OufmVin, tfcm&rks m Herbs and Kirds [ Vol. el ' 

bird-tree, with water-bin] S escaping from its fruits, or trying 
their newly-Lom swimming powers on the water below; 
Aldrovandus (15$)) most learned ornithologist of the 
Renaissance; Gesner, renowned zoologist of the same period; 
WHIiam Turner (1544), Dean of Wells, who accepts the story 
"on good authority/* and who suggests that the geese were 
generated from a sort of fungi, which broke out on masts and 
planks of ships that had rotted in the sea, "in which one may 
discern evident forms of birds which afterwards arc clothed 
with feathers, 3nd at last become alive and fly!" 

Gerard (1597), who first wins our confidence by stating that 
"what our eyes have seen and our hands have touched we shall 
dectarc, ,J describes how the goose "comcth to maturitie and falteth 
into the sea, where it gathereth feather and groweth to a 
fowlc bigger than a mallard and lesser than a goose. For the 
truth thereof, if any doubt, may it please them to repairs unto 
me and I Shall satisfie them by the tebrirnonie of good witnesses," 

And we have the first-hand testimony of Sin Robert Murray 
(Philosophical Transactions) : "In ever)' shell T opened I found 
a perfect sea-bird; the bill like that uf a goose; the eyes marked, 
the head, neck, breast, wings, tail and feet formed ; the feathers 
everywhere perfectly shaped and the feet like those of water 

Long after the legend was refuted by Willottghby (1678), and 
Thompson (1835), find Darwin had published his researches 
on the barnacle, there were still people who adhered to the old 

It is not easy to discern a verity as foundation for the and pelican legends. They were probably flights 
of imagination of simple folic who had witnessed the feathery 
"feet" of barnacles "kicking food into their mouths 7 ' , and ihe 
feeding of young birds on regurgitated food. I think we may 
offer a more convincing verity as foundation for the herb-and- 
bird associations. One thing stands out. The leaves were not 
used as nesting material. When 30 ft, of one of our gum 
trees at Blackburn crashed in a storm, 15 ft. of the hollow 
fallen limb was found to be closely packed with nesting material, 
the accumulation of many years. It included many chocolate 
and cigarette cartons as well as cards of a brand long since 
discontinued — surely uncomfortable bedding for baby birds. Did 
the parents choose (hem for their scent (nicotine and vanilla) — 
as insect repcllatus? While the old saying "No bird fouls its 
own nest" cannot be applied to all species, it is strictly true 
of a large number, in which species the parent birds anticipate, 
even encourage, the vuidancc of excrement which they carry 
away from the nest 

Vj«j CxnxMAN, :.,-. u. v.r en Herbs aitd Birds 371 

1 have done little bird photography, and most of my pictures 
arc of garden birds; but, taken ai close quarters, they represent 
fairly complete stories of Blackbird, British Song-thrush, 
Yellow Robin, Harmonious Thrush, White-shafted and Black- 
and- White Pantail-s,. White-plumed and Regent Honeyeaters. 
Many of my negatives^ quite unintentionally on my part, show 
the removal of excrement, a mailer of wonder and admiration 
to every bird-student, demonstrating clearly that birds rc/ilisc 
the importance of nest hygiene. Allh6ugh the capsules winch 
enclose excrement must he of greater strength than is apparent, 
doubtless a few are broken on the floor of the nest. 

Still keeping an open mind, 1 suggest that in these somewhat 
rare instances leaves are placed cm die soiled floor for comfort 
of the nestlings, and as some precaution against flies. I suggest 
that this procedure, witnessed in a more unsophisticated age 
than our^ elucidated those more attractive, but less convincing 
explanations of the use of leaves, 

I have seen both green and dry tea-tree leaves in the nest 
of the Yellow Robin, while occupied by eggs only. Ten years 
ago (16/6/34), 1 related in a Melbourne newspaper the story 
of a British Song- thrush which carpeted its nest with three 
broad Lasiandra leaves I mentioned that it is unusual for 
the thrush to use Other than a mud lining*. In thai instance 
there was an easy explanation. Doubtless the click of my 
eamcra-shutter caused a parent bird to hesitate at the critical 
moment, and excrement was voided into the nest. The complete 
removal of a broken capsule is. difficult. 1 have seen it attempted. 
I think the Lasiandra leaves were placed in the nest after the 


I have a photograph of a Whitc-ptumed Honeyeater upside, 
down, spearing the floor of the basket-nest in endeavouring to 
remove a capsule which she failed to receive when voided, 
for which the camera must again be blamed. One wonders 
what explanation would have been offered ft) Pliny's day. I 
offer it now as the "Verity" upon which those fantastic legends 
were built. The herbs were employed as removable bedding, or 
insect rcpcllams. Imagination supplied a more attractive 

After writing at such great length, I feel I have touched 
only on the fringes of a fascinating subject. Dipping only into 
authors at my hand, the list of birds believed to employ herbs 
is a long one. More thorough research should reveal matter 
of more than ordinary interest to us at the present day, when plan! 
drugs have an increased importance. 


Y)2 Buyant, Notes cti she Oiive'backed Oriohs UvtSutt 

By C E. Bryant, Melbourne. 

In that class of local migrants, as distinct from visitors from 
overseas, that come to Victoria each spring, the Olive-backed 
Oriole (Oriolm sagittatus) is prominent. The numbers of the 
birth vary from season to season, so that in some years the gullies 
and hillsides ring all day with their notes, hut duriug others 
only occasional pairs call. In Southern Victoria the birds arrive* 
as a rule, about the end of September or beginning of October, 
but, as they do not always call frequently at first, many may 
be unobserved for a time after reaching us. This season [1944), 
the birds arrived early and the first Oriole 1 heard was calling 
on September 24. 

Mathews and North both state that (lie sexes are similar. As 
a general statement that may be substantially correct, for, seen 
in the tree- tops, the sexes appear alike. Noted toother, or 
at close quarters, however, the female will be observed to 
differ in the very much duller green of the buck and wings. 
"Olive" scarcely appears to be the most apt description, the 
back of the male, at least, being of a vivid green, Gould 
remarks' on the plumage distinction in his reference to the 
"yellowish-olive of the upper surface of the male of a deeper 
tint than the female." 

Nest-building is commenced with little delay. The nests are 
pendent structures slung from slender twigs and are invariably 
constructed of cwtrse reddish-brown bark, with a lining of 
grass. A little woo) or the cotton-like "down" that envelops the 
reeds of creepers, such as the clematis, may be added. Taken 
over a number of years I have noted a decided partiality* for 
lightwoods as nesting trees. There is, however, much variation 
from year to year, and according to the particular habitat and 
the trees available* although the type of country frequented 
by the Oriole is always more or less Ihc same, that is, lightly- 
timbered undulating areas. Last summer (1943) at Mitcham, 
Vic., all of several nests which I found, or of which I had 
knowledge, were built in lightwoods. but this season I have 
noted one only in a bghtwood, with others in eutalypfrs (most^, 
wild-cherry and sweet bursaria. Few nests that arc built in 
gum trees are readily accessible, but the first nest of the species 
I ever encountered was built in a drooping gum at a height 
of only four feet from the ground. 

Nest completed and eggs laid (three normally, but often two 
— and this year nearly all pairs have only a brace), the female 
settles down to brood and thereupon practically ceases to call. 
Her quietness serves little purpose, however, for the male usually 
discloses the nest site by his continued calling nearby. 

P W«? rr ] BnvAxr, 0<M# on Ifts Olwc-badrtd Onotc 173 

The '"song" of the species most usually heard is the rolling, 
melfow and far-sounding call that indicates the bird's own 
name — '"orce-oree-ole" — in which there may be some slight 
variation in different districts. The resonance of this call has 
given rise to the name "Echoing bird" for the species among 
bush hoys. There are additional calls, usually given in alarm or 
when the nest is approached, and a purring succession of squeaks 
that advises the young of the approach of the adults with food. 

AFI accounts of substance refer to the bird as a mimic, 
but this aspect, with nearly all birds, is subject to a certain 
amount of conjecture. Personally, I have usually demanded 
more convincing proof than a resemblance of one bird's notes 
to those of another to establish that there is actual mimicry, 
conscious or unconscious. The Oriole occasionally utters, for 
example, a series of chuckling notes that suggest the laugh 
(in a minor form), of the Kookaburra, Maybe others have 
heard such notes lindci other circumstances, but 1 have heard 
them only in the nature of alarm calls or notes of apprehension 
at the proximity 61 a human to the nest, and I think it may be 
doubted that the mere resemblance necessarily connotes mimicry. 

Gould refers to the Oriole's imitating of other species, "includ- 
ing the Zosterops." Whilst the bird-observer* will readily recognize 
the notes of the Silvereye, those same notes given by the OrioJc, 
possibly in a medley of calls, are surely somewhat inconsequential 
sounds upon which to found a definite assertion o£ mimicry. 

These statements do not amount to an avowed disbelief in the 
Oriole's ability to imitate, but suggest caution in assuming all 
unusual notes to he proof of such ability.* Notes rendered in 
more normal and unemoiional circumstances than in association 
with alarm or concern might better serve to establish mimetic 
effect, especially if given as a "series/' though there are definite 
records of birds mimicking vociferously under emotional stress. 

Perhaps one of the most apt of colloquial names for the 
Oriole is thai oE "Green Thrush," used by Wheelwright ("Old 
B ushvna n" 1 in h is Bush Wanderings of a Naturalist. 
Incidentally, he considered the Oriole's notes as amongst the 
liveliest of bush sounds and instanced the species as an example 
to disprove the calumny of Australia's "songless bright birds" 
and "scentless bright blossoms." It fs interesting to note that 
Wheelwright's comment on the misconception pre-dates Gordon's 

♦This suggestion is timely. It is true that a relatively large number cA 
Australian birds (more than 30 specks') ar* wore oi 4 less competent vocal 
mimic*, but listeners- frequently tend to mistake casual resemblances fur 
imitations. Vocal mimicry should not be ascribed to a bird unless the 
point is taken on something more thwi, say, a "Pretty Joey" note. The 
Oriole is in tact a borrower of other birds* notes, but apparently not with 
consistency. — Editor. 

reference to it by tea year& or So, though most people ascribe 
the libel to Gordon. 

Once established, Orioles are very local, They build in 
close proximity to their nests of previous years and will pull 
former nests to pieces and use Lhe material to fashion new homes. 
if the eggs or young are lost and a. second neat is built, the 
same season's earlier nest may be dismantled for re-building. 
The young birds remain in the nest for nearly three weeks, 
that- is, if they reach the fledgeling stage. Too often the 
Kookaburra snaps theiri up shortly after their appearance. The 
nestlings are clothed, at hist, with a fine sou down of a vivid 
carrot colour. Is there any connection between this hue and 
the reddish-brown baric used in tiest construction? Before the 
young leave the nest they assume the black flecks on the breast 
of the adult livery. 

With some Oriole pairs, the male shares in feeding the young, 
but with others the hen appears to carry out aJl such duties. 
Insects cOmpiise the bulk of the diet of young- birds. I have 
seen adults feeding them on cicadas and, as the insects were 
not always completely battered to death before presentation, the 
young sometimes had quite a struggle before they could consume 
them. A photographic negative in ray possession, useless as a 
picture of the bird, on account of general movement, shows 
clearly a small frog In the bill of a parent Oriole at its nest 
with young, and one wonders just how the capture was made 
and how the young were expected to cope with the amphibian. 

The Mitcham district, where I have concentrated on the 
species, is largely planted with orchards, and cherry-growers 
tell me that the Oriole makes itself a nuisance when cherries 
are ripening. Keartland (as recorded in North's Nats and Eggs) 
was told of an unusual bird frequenting the Clayton district, near 
Oakleigh, Vie, It was described as being "all ctimson and very 
wary/' After a couple of hours spent chasing the bird from 
tree to tree, Keartland secured it and found it to be an Oriole 
stained from ball to tail with mulberrj juice, an indication of its 
]a(e activities. 

Photographing Orioles may well email a considerable amount 
of labour, for often lhe construction of a substantial staging 
is necessary in order to obtain the requisite height. From my 
experience, however, results justify the trouble, for the birds 
are usually excellent subjects for photography and mostly return 
readily to the nest. Some birdmen have not had this experience, 
but I consider their birds exceptional. The willingness to face 
the camera applies almost as readily when eggs are in the nest 
as when the young have hatched, though personally I do not 
worry birds sitting on eggs if the opportunity to picture them 
with young is likely to occur later. 


Plate VH 

Oriole (female) approaching nest. 

Photo. : C- E. Liryant. 

"l.ilac Berries" {Tnn'hovarpa Clarke!), from sources of the Ynrra. 
Tnnroi^o Forest. (See p. 178.) 
Photo.: H. T. Reeve*. 

*iS2?*l More Botcmtai "BuM> 175 

Orioles have a great hazard to contend with in tte shape 
of high winds that toss thtiir nests around on the swaying 
branches, and seemingly a number oE them dr> blow down and 
become destroyed when storms and strong winds combine. 

The eastern mainland States constitute the principal habitat 
of (he Oriole, thence extending across northern Australia to 
the north-west. The species does not occur in Tasmania, and 
South Australian records arc few, chiefly in the South-eastern 
comer Some years ago 1 eonskleied I heard an Oriole calling 
on Mt. Remarkable, near Melrose, bur, not realizing at the 
time the significance oi the record, I did not follow up the call. 
I may have been mistaken, of course, although one accustomed 
to I he notes of the species comes ro know them well, but I 
have never really recovered from the accusation of a South 
Australian btrrjman that the bird f heard Calling was "probably 
H Peaceful Dove." 


In volume 59, page 72, ol this journal (1942). I pointed out that three 
ostensibly new genera publislted by Alfred J. Evwt in Flow of Nk 
tt-orUutm Tcrritoty (1917) were quite untenable. It now appears (bat a 
fourlh F.wnrtian **ncw" genus naust fall. 

Honouring Bertha Rees, une-tinie Botany lecturer at the University of 
Melboiiruc, there was described and figured in 1913 (q.t: Pruv. Royal Soc. 
I'ic , Vol- 86 New Scries, rl 9) a monotypic genus Rec&ie, based on outer i*! 
collected at Pine Creek, N.T., in 1904- Ewart placed it m the Amaranthacftv, 
between AUernanthrra awl Gomphnno \ but Dr. Hans Schittz, when mono- 
gtaphing the family in 1934 {Pjlmsc^fmiilim Rand 16c), relegated Reasia 
to a "gonns of doubtful position/' emphasizing its departure from all other 
Amur on thereat in the possession of stipules and a many-seeded, three- 
valved capsule— he could do no more, with only the fragmentary material 
(hut Ewtti't had senl to Zurich. 

Hcrxia nrr</<? has everything in common with members of Polycatpaa — 
g tropical genus of Ceryopkyllacecr with about a dozen representatives in 
Australia, some having attractive papery purplish flowcrs^and itt<Jet*d the 
type accords perfectly with that of Mueller's Polyt'arp<ra fangiflora 
described in 1858, 

in 1926 liwart onc*^ more ventured to publish "new" genera, viz., 
Wyctijjea (said to be in the Caryoptsytiocctf) and Scorp'a (supposedly 4 
unique member of Legum*Q$& with bkarpclUry ovaries) — see Ptoc. RayaJ 
Sac yic, t Vol. 38 New Strict pp. 167-171. Apparently someone apprised 
htm oi the faux pas, ior witltin the next Lwo years both genera vatic 
synonymised under Glmvs Sperento *Aic&oc<*(F) and Ctirtkvrva v^nnicalotis 
(TitiacM) respectively— f<\ Vol. 39, p. fS?> and Vol, 40, p. 85. After this 
(lebncle he was prudent enough To desiM from further new genera, since 
none arc p-ut forward in later writings- 

T. H. WtuJ*. 


It was stated in this journal ior December, m an obituary notice of 
Charliifi Anderson and H. C Raven, th*t Raven married Anderson's 
daughter. Actually he married her frienih a daughter of G. H. Awrottsseau 
Miss Anderson married E. C. Ballek, who was a member of the Czechfllovak 
Consular Service, 

1?6 V/UU5, Toorongo $vh<atpme Mjttd £ V v£i *?** 

By 3. H. Wiu.ts 
fn his address to Melbourne Club Horary on July 7, 1943, Sir Herbert 
Gepp made reference" to the virgin forest of titanic Moirnbiifi Ash which 
covered Ike Toorongo Rjvcx catchment, north-east of Noojct, until the 
fateful month of January, 1939. Hjs glowing description, coupled with 
the fact ihat Baron von MuelJer had long ago delighted in this botanic 
paradise, led mc to hope that some remnant of its erajfideur might still 
exist; mj, I wckome<f a recent opportunity to visit the region. The 
experience, though inexpressibly sad, h35 enabled me to take stock of 
what vegetation j.til| persists there, and to place on record a Jist of the 
liigher plants at October 1, 1944, 

THE StTE. — For purposes of recording, I have taken into account the 
whole State Forest Reserve in Toorongo Parish, including an area of 
just less tlian 20 square aii\c=. Happily, the southern forest boundary 
approximates fairly well to the 2 r 500 ft contour, so that all parts of Ibe 
area lie between tkis altitude and lite culminating height of 3,850 ft. on 
Mt Toorongo — a definitely sub-alpine tract. Northward, the parish 
boundary embraces Vadwatcrs of the Yarra. 

This Yarra-Toorongo watershed is i catty a western extension of the 
Baw Baw chain, farmmg a lower narrow plateau of some 3,000-3,500 
feet elevation; Mts Toornmro and Horsfall stand up as sJiuhtly higher 
point*, (he former cm a spur that teiminatcs abruptly toward the south* 
east. The country rock is grauiric, but less exposed than on the 
To/tier, boulder-strewn Baw Buws; metamorphosed Silurian strata outcrop 
its places ami are quarried for road metal. Rainfall and humidity are 
hhrh tor ? gre«t part of the year, and snow falls frequently during the 
winter and early spring. 

AS IT WAS BEFORE 1930— The Toorongo Ash was a sawmillP-r's 
dream, towering skyward* for oOC- feet m close standi'— many of (he 
now fallen giants streleb for mo a* than 250 feet, and one was recently 
measured to 330 feet, where 3 substantial too had been broken off. 1 
counted 2.30 annual rings on one stumn; without doubt, most of the larger 
trees were alive in the. reign of Queen Anne! 

Eucalyptus rennans was the dominant tree and it mingled with Shining 
Cium (/i. Izitans} — "mting Kuro/* as known to* the locals — in a truly 
magnificent sub-afpene forest, extending eastward to the heads of the. 
Tatijif Kiver over thousands of acres- Messmate (£. obliqpa). Silvertop 
(P-. Siebericm) and Mountain Grey Gum (£. &omoca!yx') intruded from 
the lower count ty here and there. Myrtle Beech (Nothofogus Cunnino- 
hamu) was not only present J rt i|| (he cullies, but occurred as an vrwkr- 
storey on many ■part'; of the plateau, and was draped from crown to butt 
in delicate epiphytic mouses and hugn clumps of Kangaroo Vtm {I'oly- 
podmut diverstfalmw')—' erroneously called "staE-horn." 

Fragrant Sassafras and Austral Mulberry trees, arboreal Species of 
Acacia (including much Blackwood), Cofrco, Pefsoonio, RroxUMitiwa 
and Olcurut species, with an abundance everywhere of Soft Tree ferns, 
"crowded into a shade," quite inimical to »bc growth of scrub. Through 
this cool green realm of lyrc-hird* one could walk with ease, footfalls 
silenced by the. age-old carpet of deep, rich, leafy mould. 

*T>" DAY,--I£ Uic letter stands for destruction, death, and desolation, 
then we may apply »t lo January 13, 1939. The urst Tooron^o sawmill 
tad cotnnienccd operations only the morning before, and by afternoon its 
small community wisely removed south to hafety, so ominously *rew the 
Wtttd velocity and heat. Next day, all fears were turned to fact: hardly 


1945 J 

Willis, Toorongo Sub*aipine Flora 


a section of the Upper Yarta-Latrobe watershed remained green, and the 
East patches of unspoilt Ash. miraculously spared by the terrible fires 
of 1926 and 1932, were blasted out oi existence. An almost continuous 
wall of flame roared the 60 miles between Taggcrty and Erica, enveloping 
the whole of the Baw Baws and its network of river-heads. What had 
been virgin forest, glorious Leech groves, or mossy alpine gardens o[ 
surpassing beauty, were transformed in a matter of minutes into a 
hellish inferno, then left a hideous dreary waste thai can never hope 
to recapture the pristine charm. 

JjSt ! v-W 

NOW, AND FOR THE FUTURE.— Heavy eucalypt seedling growth 
and/or wattles now form a dense scrub ten or more feet high over 
most of the Toorongo reserve, while previously burnt-over areas (as 
along the Mt. Toorongo spur) carry practically nothing but bracken or 
"wild oats" (Glyceria dives}. Should another conflagration overwhelm 
this re-growth — and conditions are ripe for it — then the final doom of our 
natural Ash stands wilt have been pronounced. Silver Wattle and 
Blackwood have shown amazing regeneration, but not a single Beech 
seedling was observed — certainly, every butt has a vigorous crop of 
sucker shoots, but it is extremely doubtful whether these have the 
necessary stamina to thin themselves and develoo into new trees. Tree- 

ferns (Dicksonia antarctua) have all but vanished, though spores are 
sure to blow in and give, rise to new plants. Mother Shictd-fero 
{Polystichum prolif^rum) is now most plentiful and seems to be thnvmg. 

Cascade Everlasting (helichrysum thyrsoidi'wn) is very tall and prolific 
in places, exhaling a spicy perfume; other odorous ^come-backs" are 
Otway Daisy-bush (a poor name for the widespread Ole&ri<i Guttntana,}, 
Fireweed Groundsel (benecio 6usiralu), Christmas-bush and Bairn Mint' 
hush [Prtelantkera tcsianth&s and P *neUtfifoiv3) t Truncate Phcbaliurn 
{P. bihbiint) and Mountain Cones (C. Latvrenama) . The Elderberry 
Ash (Titghetnvpanax sambucifatiKS — both, broad and narro.w-leaved 
forms) is conspicuous almost everywhere. 

I felt a. thrill of pleasure upon reaching one of the sources of the 
Ysrra — an open, bog^y rial at about -3,200 feet* near the timber stacks of 
A-P.MVs No 2 mill. Here* there were still examples of the snow- 
loving BleikiiwsK penna-m-arina, Drimys tanccolata (small -leaved condi- 
tion) Scacvoh Hoakeri in wide mat.?, Coprosma niuda, Richcc continent*;, 
LeuccpOfjon Macra#i f and, loveliest of all, the dwarf lilac-berried endemic 
heath, Trocbocarpa Clarkci -it was in full fruit and strikingly recalled 
(as Mueller remarked in 1855) the European bilberry {Vaccviium 
ASyytrflux). The Hair-moss (Polytrichia}* commune) orovides a deep 
carpet over the whole area of soakage, but little true Sphagnum was ir) 
evidence. A big saw-sedg-e, Gahnia \HragQrtotQrpa t is plentiful throughout 
wet depressions, and tts tussocky chnnpt do not seem to have Suffered 
unduly from Ihe fire. 

Nearby gullies afford both Victorian Erk&ceae (IVitUteinia and Gaul- 
tharia) and in one soak I found Oxalis magellanU^ a rare wood-sorrct 
with pure snowdrop-like flowers. Persoonw otborro (uncommon) --and 
Lomatia Ftateti alone represent t3\c large family Prottaccat t Otttes 
tan(.ifoHn t the splendid lustrous Grsvtitea Victorian and its close convener, 
G. clinna, apparently did not descend so far below their accustomed 
habitat on and north of the Baw Bawe. The Composiiac, a? in mow 
places, has more species here iban arjv other family, Not more than 
9-1 native vascular plant! and 12 aliens were noted*, sorrel and dandelion 
among the latter being widespread, but this tally is not by any mean* 
considered exhaustive. 

Good forest roads have been constructed by "bull'doicr 1 * tractor, 
primarily to salvage the flre-kilJed Toorongo eucalypti, and each week 
sees nearly two million super feet of lumber, and putpwood removed for 
utilization— mostly '»> the round. The present demand for this wood is 
keen, but it is a fast diminishing asset and, when Exhausted, w'l!' ciN 
for the )argc-sc:de Importation of buildim* timbers into Victoria, once the 
best forested part of our continent. Sic transit copiat 

{Alien species indicated by an asterisk *) 

DICKSONIACEJE ymdim (marginal) 

Di<h?&t\i& an\orctic& firocerMm 

CYATHE4CBM ftmiatitc 

Cvathsa austrdii (marginal) penn^vwnna 

POLYPODIACEM HisHopten* {rjcitfi 

PolyiUchum protiferum (very Pteridium aquitinum 

common) PotypoHtHw dwcrsifoUMm 
Blechnam (once abundant, now al- 

cartilagmfium (marginal) most extinct) 


Wii-Lr.y, Tooronao Suh-atpiuc flora 


Tc-lrarthena juncca- (marginal) 
Echinopogon ovatus 
Agrastis hicmalis 
cacspilosa var. latifoha 
* annua 

Clyceria dives (v. common) 
*Dactylis glomerate 
*Holcus lanatus 
*Loliuvi pctentte 
Schoenus foliatus 
tetragonacarpa (v. common 
in bogs) 
Lepidosperma elatius 
apprcssa (very common iti 

Gaudichaudiana (?) 
Luzuia campesiris 

pauci flams 

Dianella tasmanica 

Liber tin pulcheUa 
Nothofagus Cunrnnghavni 
(v. common, stump re- 



Urtica incisa 

Australina Muelteri 

Phsoonia arborea 

Lnmaiia Ftaseri 


cuprefstfotmis (marginal) 

*Rnmcx Acctosctta 
*Cerastium gloiueratuni 
Clematis artstata 
Ranunculus k&rlus 


Drimys . lanceolate 

(small-leaved form, at Yar- 
ra heads) 

Atherosperrna vwschaium 

Acaena Sangnisorba 
dealbata (v. common — 5 yr. 

vxelanoxylon (v, common — 5 

yr. seedlings) 
verniciflwt (marginal) 
vcrticillaia (marginal) 

Gcranntm tiihsum 
O talis magellanica 
(near Yarra heads) 
Zietta Stnithii ("marginal) 
Pkebaliutn bilobum 
Carrca Laturenciana 

CtttlUriche vcrno 

Pomaderrk opctala (marginal) 

Viola hedcracea 

Pimelea a.ttfivra 
goniocalyx (marginal) 

rtgnaus (dominant tree, now 
represented by 5 yr. seed- 
ling growth'), 
pubescens var, grandifoliutn 

Epilobium tjlabcllum 
sambucif alius (v. common) 

Hydrocolyte hirla 
Goulthetia appressa 

(rare— Yarra heads) 
Witisteinta vacciniacca 

(rare— near Yarra heads) 


P&rtlienagenesis in Phosmids 

rv<cv Hnu 
L Vol.61 

Trochocarpa Clarkei 
Leucopogon Marcraei 

(near Yarra heads) 
Richea conlinentis 

(bogs at Yarra heads) 
LeucapogOn Macraei 

Notclaea hgustrina 
Mentha laxiflora 
Prunella vulgaris 
*Platitagi> major 

nittda (Yarra bead*) 
Asperttla conferia (?) 

Praiia puhfirula 
Goodenxa ovata (inrnginal) 
Scaevola Hookeri 

(bogs at Yarra head*) 


Stylidium gratnim folium 
Lagenopkora stipitata 
Cottifa filieula 
Cassinia aeuleata 
Hookeri (rare— near Yarra 


quadridentata var. Guttnii 
Bedfordia salictna 
'*Cirsium lanteotatum 
+Hypochaeri$ radicata 
*Toraxaaivt officinale 
+Sonckus oleraceus 

Through the kindness of Professor Hale Carpenter, Oxford, 1 have 
received a copy of "Parthenogenetic Breeding of Enryenema hcreutonea, 
Charpcnticr," by R. Hanitsch, PhD., Curator of the Raffles Museum, 
Singapore, July, 1902, 

The museum received a female of this great Pliasmid about January, 
1897* It was kept alive on guava leaves, and ni February, commenced to 
lay eggs, most of which hatched during April and May of that year, 
one being hatched in August, And the last in September. All were 
females and these commenced to lay eggs in September. These unfertilised 
eggs again produced all females, the first of which reached maturity in 
August, 1898, and commenced to lay eggs m September, 1898. Her eggs 
did not develop. None at her sisters laid any eggs. Or. Hanitsch 
suggests artificial surroundings as the cause of the latter failure. 

The foregoing suggests that I gave up my experiment on our Great- 
brown Stick insects too soon, and that a partheiiogenetic generation 
may have appeared later. The cage will be thoroughly scarified and 
more immature females wiH be isolated. 

Edith Coleman, 

Mr. K- Fairey, of "The Manse," Yass, N.S.W., wishes to correspond 
with a Victorian naturalist who would be willing to exchange specimens 
of and information on insects in the groups Coleoptem, Hymenoptera, 
Lepidoptcra, Diptera. Details would be supplied of the species that are 
particularly desired. 


(To the Editor) 

Sir, — I was greatly interested in the article by Norman A. Wakefield, 
"A Remnant of ihe Snowy River Jungle," in the December issue. I 
think I was the. first botanist to visit this area. Mueller seems to haye 
passed it in 18S3-4 ; Messrs. Spencer, French and party missed it in 
1-890. My visit took place in 1901. The jungle was not to be reached 
by land, so Mr. (L P. Cameron took me down in his river steamer. It 
was, and according In Walcefick! still *s. a wonderfully interesting place, 
the only survival of the rich Snowy River (tangle. 

Reference is made to the fruit of the "big leaf vine," SarcOpztalnm 
Han'cyanmn, with the suggestion that these were in evidence in one 
place, "an occurrence rarely, if ever, noted before in Victoria/* Mueller* 
must have collected these, for there is a figure in fa's Key tit the System 
of Victorian Plants, suU a useful book. Mueller first faired it in his 
Plants Indigenous to the Colony of Victoria {I860), as coming from 
"near the mouth of the Snowy Rivet." I eullexted it in abundance from 
1899*1902, The little pink berries ate very lovely, and well merit the local 
name of "p' n k pearls" 

Mr t Wakefield saw three large palms; I saw five, with many small 
seedlings I hope (hat the number has increased. Mention is made of 
the abundance of the "Scrub nettle. 1 ' Urtica intisa. i noted cine stem 
thirty feet in length climbing ur> a tall tree. 

Then, as to the "gun* vine, t A plimwpttt^hun '£f*wirwn, the Aiticle 
suggests that this does not occur here — "they evidently reach Victoria 
only in the extreme east, about MaJlacoola Inlet." In my day, this 
vine wa* fairly common about Orbost, and abundant in the old Brodribb 
River jungle* now destroyed, as well as in Curlip jangle. 

Bui I regret to miss from the list ibat delightful tree, the "Yellow* 
wood," Afonyctriif loevis. It was fairly common in both jungles, and 
when the clusters of very smalt "oranges* were abundant an the 
tree*, with a background of the so-called "Spanish moss," to which 
the- refers, it was a fine sigh! As Rotaceou-s trees an; very 
subject tu fungous trouldes, it as possible thai they have all been killed 

Mr Wakefield has done. a good service in directing attention to lliis 
interesting corner of fifty acres.' Owing to periodic flooding, it could 
rtevvr be oi much value either for grazing or cultivation, and I suggest 
that fbe lime is now ripe for the F.N. Club to take action through the 
Minister of Lauds, to have this most valuable botanic area preserved tar 
the public for all time,— Yours, etc., 

En. E. Pesgott- 

A Jink with Australia has been severed by the death, reported in the 
rabies on January 30, of the 89-ycar-old Lord Buxboroiigb. He was 
probably, the last man Hvinc; who b3d been acquainted with John Gould, 
the "father" of bird-study in Australia. Gould died in 188 1, which 
means that Detiborough was moderately young when he knew him, In 
tact, he used lo relate that "the Bird man" lifted him up to his fivst 
bird's nest. Lord Dcsborourrli, incidentally, was a sturdy sportsman in 
hifr day. He rowed fof Oxford, shot in wild places, swam Niagara twice, 
won a punting championship three times, and between whiles indulged in 
parliamentary, military and a host of other activities.— A.H.C 

162 Birds v. A\t craft 

rvwt km- 
L Vol « 


Tim following informative article appeared in the issue of Time 
(American news-magazine) for November 6, 1944.' — 

Collisions between planes and Uird* arc reported by U.S. airline pilots 
about iwie/* a week They can disable wing lips, dent the fuselage, foul 
ll>c motor— but the chief danger is a windshield break. Last month a 
DC-.3 almost cashed in Iowa when a duck came through the w'tid shield 
lit an explnMon $S glass and knocked out the pilot. 

Both airmen and ornithologies IrinA th;«1 bird collisions may have 
heen responsible for .some unsolved arr disasters The bird-bumping 
problem is .becoming so troublesome, that airlines rate the Civil Aero- 
nautics Administration's windshield-strengthening experiments as the 
most urgent present research project. 

In the October Air Iransp^rt, a veteran airlines, pilot. Pat Ctirtiil, 
tdls some vi the airmen's strange stones about migrating turds. Mosl 
collisions occur at night or in cloudy when both planes and birds are 
flying blind. Migrating birds usually fly at night, Mopping to feed »"- 
daylight. Ornithologists agree that they seem to have a sixth sense 
which enables them to fly even »n "instrument weather." 

Another Curtin story suggests that birds may be downed by wing-icing: 
a pilot reported that one night, alter he had been (creed down, hundreds 
oi mallard ducks also landed, their wings heavily ice-coated. 

The chief .U.S expert oil migratory birds, Fredenck C. Lincoln of the 
Fish and Wildlife Service, doubts auch stotiesj he admits that birds 
are sometimes forced down by snowstorms, but thinks confusion and 
fright have as much to flo with jt as anything Nonetheless,, airmen's 
reports have greatly extended ornithology. Airmen, for example, have 
found old notion* about the speed of birJs much exaggerated: the lop 
speed ol ducks seems to be about 55 f - of the faitest known hinds, 
■swifts, and duck hawks, not more than 150 to 200 

Migrating birds generally fly at less than 3.000 ft. above ground level 
hut in gi'tlinc; over mountains ducks have been known to reach 7,500 ft. 
above ;ca level, cranes and condors. 20.000 ft. Highest recorded bird 
altitude (reached by a flock of geese photographed in Tndia) : 2D,0(HI ft. 


Many queer beliefs developed in other years from, the p&faSttic habits 
of cuckoos, (ml it is surely remarkable thai a juiirnal oC lo-day (the 
Sydney bulletin, of November Jl) should allow itself to be the vicfim 
of Mtch sJatemeiris as are contained in the following paragraph, which is 
erroneuu-i tit every sentence and in places rises to daz*iine heights 
of fallacy; 

"Moyhu" : Jt tofts once thougtit that the bronze cuckoo scoffed the egg 
of Utc host-bird removed to make mora for hex own. Rercnt researches, 
however, have shown that after she hai accumulated nine or ben eg£s 
the cuckoo hatches them herself and feeds the young like any normal 
bird mother. Jt isn't clear just why she prefers to incubate other birds' 
eggs rather than her own, but it may be that she can comfortably cover 
W <"SRS such a.s those of the white-checked honeyeatcr, a favourite 
host-bird, whereas she would he hard put to it to cover moTe than three 
of fur own, gaining in the process two more dutches in the same 
period. Ornithologists generally arc oi opinion that the cuckoo, in 
hatching out host-birds* eggs, is merely completing a cycle without which 
both parasite and host4iin3i§ would penult Other;, are convinced !h*t the 
phenomenon is an example of avian good nature. 


At ' S6rretui>- early this year we came upon another instance u( the 
usefulness of "bluff." On the front s*nd* marry Great Hermit Grabs 
arc left jjtranded at low Vide. Left alone, titer have plenty zt water tn 
their borrowed homes to tide thein over the danger horns until next flow. 
Many unwary ones f*tl victims to sca-gulfc. but blur! must save scores of 

One may see a circle of gulls, litre crows round a still-living sheep, 
keeping a sate distance from the crab, who has made himseli into a 
terriiyjflg object. Emerging from the shell/ until only the soft, unarmourcd 
end of his body is within, he raises his claws and waves theiu to a most 
menacing manner, his complicated mouth parts making what seem very like 
grimaces. As a. gull moves forward, the crab pops hack into his. ^hell with 
a loud click, and the gulls pop back too! A circle o£ Coot-prints. 18 inches 
or so from ihc crab/ show clearly that the trulls ate taking no chances 
with this fearsome jack-in-tht-nox. Honours arc with the crab who has 
so cleverly bluffed his tormentors. 

The noisy flops and clicks ate certainly startling. One involuntarily 
moves back, even though one knows the trick, jmrt has handled many of 
his clever brothers. Our dogs one of them a large deerhonnd whose vpry 
size keeps many people at a distance, jumped bade as swiftly as the gulls, 
although both were all a-tiptac to tackle this straoRe new "rat" 

EftCGB Cor-SMW- 


Recently poultry farmers around the Korth Croydon district (and 
probably other districts) have been suffering the loss of young chickens 
and ducklings, the offenders being large birds with a nucous note rdmilar 
to ihat of a crow, but oeeper and more prolonged Tne»e birds arc larger 
and more streamlined than a crow, with dark navy-blue shining plnmage 
and hooked beak; they fly high and swiftly until over their prey and 
descend itl a drdJug movement ending hi a swoop. From my nhscrvatious 
their numbers in flight vary from six to a single bird. They are very 
timid and will uot approach while humans are around, hut when no 
Inimim is m sight they appear almost magically. Oo my own farm ten 
ducklings, nine weeks old, were attacked at the fir*t visit from these birds. 
All the bodies were left, but in every case a hole was torn in the side and 
the head was torn off. AH but two of the heads were carried off by the 
birds. They appear (o be no respectors of poultry, as friends of mine h*vc 
lost turkey chicks in the same manner. "During my nine years' residence 
in the district J. have not previously seen these particular birds. The. r.aene 
view h expressed by older reridetits whom I have interviewed. Immediately 
my ducklings were attacked 1 erected a scarecrow, which had the desired 
effect of preventing .further losses, the raiders now flying a straight course 
and not ^tempting to ahglit 

Ckapxes F bench. Jut*. (North Croydon). 

The TtogJJsri journal, My Garden, Cor August, 1944, reports that Alice 
Jordan, writing from New Zealand, slates that she, husband and friend, 
passed a patch of flowering Musk and, as usual, tried for ncenl. It W33 
faintly sweet. Later they passed another patch and it was she scent 
that first attracted their attention. The following- week they received 
their copy of the previous Issue of Jfy Garden* telling of die scented 
plant which had been removed to Kew (Oct,, 1943), So it looks as 
if llit little musk may regain its lost fragrance, 

Edith Coleman* 

The English magazine Nature (or February 19, 1944 (Vol. 153, No. 
38?7) publishes an interesting short article by Professor F. Wood Jonew 
F.R.S.. of Manchester University. Comment is made on the "Memoir of 
the. Melbourne National Museum (No. 13 f 143)," relative to ihc Keiior 
skull 1'he Ptofessor regards the skull as a "genuine human document of 
first-class importance," and accepts ibe geological authenticity of the find- 
ing of tbr skull in situ. He docs not consider, however, that tbe account 
of the skull and that of the palate and maxillary teeth, a* set out in the 
Memoir, srurws conclusively "Auslraloid and Tasmatiotd characters in about 
equal proportions;' The hypothesis that the Tasmania" and Australian 
had inhabited continental Australia side by side and bad fused their races 
rn Pleistocene timet is therefore quettiuncd. The cultural development of 
the two races, as for instate the use of the boomerangs throwing stick, am) 
shield by the one, but complete ignorance hy the oilier, and the presence 
hoth living ami fosxrl of the dfngt> on the mainland, but not in Tasmania, 
would have to be harmonized with such hypotheses. He advises "the accept- 
ance of the Kcilor remains as permanent documents rather than to assume 
that the conclusion* drawn from their first examination arc necesurity the 
final ones." 


Last night I captured au interesting nocturnal lizard, highly camouflaged 
a?id possessing a most cnrinusly-shapcd shovcl-likc fail* apparently as part 
of the general disguise. 1 got him in the dark — in the, light of the torch 
his eyes shone like rubies. Also present in the jungle vfl£ a possum, pre- 
sumably the G-jpncty Brush-tail, a local race of the Common Bi'Ufih-tatI of 
the southern States. One of the chaps in 3 Oiv. has a ringtail* which \ 
take to he the Herbert River Ringtail, so that posr.ums aTe riefinitey nreserlt, 
though apparently not particularly common. Incidentally, 1 saw a specimen 
of the rare black-and-white Striped Possum, which had been killed on the 
road, *0 they arc present also, it ieenis. 

In the. jungle over the creek I have located several doused mound* of 
Scrub-fowl. There must he a good mound not very far away, however, as 
recently I saw and chased a chick only a few days old — not that T caught 
it; the wretched thin* could run like •* champion sprinter. It 'wasn't 
particularly shy; while I watched rt, it scratched about in the leaves 
iiltcriiig the grouivJ just like any full-grown fowl, hut made off at speed 
whenever I approached too cfOSely* 

I still have our bad-tempered Carpet .Snake. Yesterday 1 gave him a 
rat which I had t tapped m the bush; he killed it after I had stilted h£fU 
up a bit. but more M bad temper than in hunger, I think ; anyway he 
refused to eat tt afterwards. SaWER T. Givens. 

Besides (he Son Orcliid Thflymitra paucifiora- and twn different Onion 
Orchids, Mtcrotis wiafoiia and M. parinfiora, our children found for the 
first time the Ruddy-hood. Pterostylis putilla, along Leeds Street, exactly 
opposite our Rate. They found four flowering specimens (the biggest having 
twelve flowers, including buds, the smallest five) well on the roadside in 
the grass. Two years, ago we found two flowering' plants of the same 
fpft4t$ In ^ paddocV which formerly had been orchard land, and sever*! 
Snake Orchids, Dim-is pedunculate in a treeless grazing paddock. It would 
be interesting to hear about other orchids which can re-estaMish them- 
selves after cultivation. 

M. Fisen (Doncastei). 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 61. — No. ii March &► 1945 No. 735 


The monthly meeting of the Club was held on February 12, 
194 5 T at the Royal Society's Hall, the President (Mr Ivo C 
HammcJ) and about 120 members and friends attending. 

Miss lna Watson reported on the recent excursion to East Kew» 
and Miss Nance Fletcher 011 that to Badger Creek Sanctuary 

The following were elected as ordinal y members of the Club; 
Mis* J Trebiku, Miss A. Quinsey and Mr. W. N. Douglas. 

Two motions came before the meeting and were carried unani- 
mously, viz.: 

1. (A. H. Chisholm/A. U Hardy). "That the Field Natur- 
alists' Club of Victoria expresses satisfaction at the assurance that 
the Aboriginal Cemetery at Coranderrk will be preserved, and 
urges that the cemetery be renovated and held as a National 
Memorial, and that the remainder of the reservation be added to 
the Mackenzie Sanctuary." Mr, H. C. E. Stewart asked if any 
outstanding characters were interred in the cemetery, and Mr. 
Qiisholm replied that Barak and some of Batman's friends were 
certainly there. 

2. (A. D. Hardy /A. S. Chalk). "Whereas the destruction of 
useful plant cover and soil by continued firing of mounrain forests 
will have a calamitous and irreparable effect upon the future 
economy of Victoria; and whereas it is the solemn duty of' those 
entrusted with the government of our country to eliminate every 
probable factor contributing to forest fires, and whereas fires 
deliberately lit during the past year in the watershed nf the Ovens 
and Buckkuid Rivers and along the Barry Range can only be 
attributed to grazing interests in these high areas; aud whereas 
the total value of stock depastured on Victorian mountains, and 
the State revenue, derived therefrom are only a preposterously 
small fraction of the incalculable permanent damage to soil, timber, 
wild life, and natural scenery resulting From such grazing, this 
Club can do no other than request in the public weal that the" 
presence n£ cattle on Crown Lands above 2.000 feet in elevation 
be declared a national menace and prohibited by law." 

Mr. Frazer reported that the Otways were burnt in recent 
years by graziers\ 

Mr. H. C E. Stewart, in speaking of Mount Buffalo, stated 
I hat conditions are somewhat improved, as the lessee has been 
forced to keep to the conditions of the lease. 

186 Field N&htr<ilis(s' Club Procfedbigf 

Vol. 61 

Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley stated that a clause in the leases given 
for Wyperteid Hark provides that the first fire on the property 
cancels *he lease, and that there had been no fires as a result of 
tfliU clause. It was also suggested that interested bodies arrange 
a meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall, and by means of American 
national park films show the general public what should obtain in 
our owu national parks. 

Mr, C. G Ralph suggested that petitions be circulated to gain 
interest in the national parks with their lack of proper upkeep. 


Mr. R. G. Painter reported having seen on November 8 signs 
of emerging cicadas; also, on February 8 he heard the cicadas 
again. "Was this not a long season?" A reply was promised -lov 
the next meeting 

Miss Edmondson reported there were many earwigs • in her 
garden, and asked how to get nd of them. (Answer promised for 
The next meeting.) 

Air. A. H. Chisholm introduced a. novel visitor in the form of 
a living specimen of the Varied Lorikeet (P&ftmtclcs v&rricolor) } 
a species restricted to the far North and rarely seen in aviaries in 
Victoria, The specimen h;ul been taken from a nest near Darwin 
by an English airman^ and had been fed at the outset through an 
tye-dtopper. It had become accustomed to riding on the shoulders 
of pilots and Itad actually been brought down in that manner hi a 
Douglas air-liner., A honey-feeder, having a very small scomach, 
the Varied Lorikeet is a tropical nomad, and one that does not 
take kindly to the southern winter.* 


"From St. Bernard to Buller in Search of Plants," Under this 
heading; Mr. J. H. Willis, of the Melbourne Herbarium staff, 
gave an illusuated account of an eight-day trip he had recently 
m^de across 38 miles of rough alpine country, embracing several 
little-visited peaks of more tban 5,000 feet altitude. Nearly 300 
different plants were listed in this area, and Mt Cobbler (5,300 
feet) proved particularly interesting, its ultimate peak being unc 
-of the most spectacular in our highlands and almost immune from 
!>oth cattle and fires. (A summary of Mr. Willis's address wdl 
he published in a later issue.) 

*The bird exhibited died a fortnight later. 'Although feeding: well it bad 
become subject to fits — a. common trouble with captive lorikeet* — and 
though it rallied from the first tew bouts nothing could be done to save 
it- Post mortem examination at the National Muse'trn revealed that It was 
well nourished. Apparently the nervous, 'system bad become affected.—- 

jjrt ] Willis, Chlorophytum — a Ccnns S\-w to t'ictona 187 


By J. II. Willis, National Herbarium, Melbourne. 

Just below its source on Mt. Cobbler Plateau, the Dandongadale 
River emerges from a circular sub-alpine swamp (''The Lake") 
to plunge over the precipitous northern escarpment of the plateau 
in a series of very beautiful falls. During a botanical excursion 
there on January 3, 1945, I was rewarded by the discovery of 
Chlorophytitm alpinum (Hook, f.) 1 Benth. ex Baker 2 — previously 
on record only from its type locality in the ''western mountains, 1 ' 
Tasmania (most probably the watershed of Meander River, south 
of Deloraine, whence it was collected by William Archer some 
time prior to 1857, the year he visited England with his orchid 
paintings and copious botanical notes for inclusion in J. D. 
Hooker's monumental Flora Tasmania:). 

This humble plant grew rather plentifully in mossy soaks and 
dripping rock ledges at the head of the Dandongadale Falls (about 
4,000 feet altitude), and I saw a few plants also on Mt. Specu- 
lation, some five or six miles to the south— at 5,300 feet where 
the Catherine River begins. 

Our "Alpine Green-lily" (for this would he an apt name) has 
much the size and appearance of the Onion-grass weed {Romulca), 
but with lax and rather fleshy leaves as in Streaked Arrow-grass 
(Triglochin striata) to which its resemblance is further heightened 
by the clusters of deeply lohed green fruiting capsules. Flowers 
are small, greenish, in groups of one to four, but, although the 
day was warm, none were expanded on atiy of the specimens I 
examined — since fruit and seed were abundant, it seems likely 
that cleistogamy may obtain. The floral racemes were, as 
described by Baker, 2 u laxissinuts" lying along the ground and 
often hidden by mountain mat plants, e.g., Haloragis tnicrantha 
and Nericra depressa. 

Chlorophytunt (established by John Bellenden Ker in Botanical 
Magazine t. 1071, 1808) is one of the largest genera in Liliace<z\ 
half of the 150 or more species now recognized occur in tropical 
Africa, while there is a good representation in the Cape region 
and southern Asia, with a few species in South America and but 
two widely separated ones in Australia (C. laxum R.Br, of the 
far north, and C. alpinum, subject of this paper). BAer 2 '* 
(celebrated monographer of the Liliiflora?) described the. seeds of 
all Chlavophyimn spp, as discoid and thin — a generic criterion. 

C, alpinum is discussed by only four botanists, viz., Hooker f., 1 
Baker, 2 Bentham 5 and Rodway,* who all doubtless based their 
opinions on the dried type material in which ripe fruits appear to 

188 Chlorophyhnu — a Genus New to Victoria [ y o j fl * 

be lacking — they are certainly absent from the duplicate types 
fortunately preserved at the Melbourne Herbarium — and it is 
therefore not surprising that some uncertainty should exist as to 
the exact status of the plant. Hooker, 1 in his original diagnosis, 
tentatively refers it to Casia and states : 

"I am doubtful about the genus of this curious but insignificant little 
plant, which appears to differ from C&sia in the perianth not being 
twisted after flowering." 

M 1P4*'] Wuxis, Chhiopky1mn—<t Genu* ffna $ Victoria l9» 

He describes the pedicels as extremely shoir. (though they can 
be appreciably lung and quite slender, as evidenced in fbr. suite of 
specimens now at the Melbourne Herbarium), -tod goes oil la 
say: "Ovary ot three unequal rouuded lobes, each with tsvo 
collateral ovules." No mention is made of seeds. Neither Baker 2 
nor Rod way* mention the seeds, but Bentham* remarks: 'Seed* 
flat, disk-shaped. ,y I have examined ovules from one of the type 
ovaries and found them indeed very flat, so Bentham probably 
jumped to a conclusion that C alphmw would be sure to follow 
the gpneraJ CMorophytum rule in this regard (Incidentally, the 
spelling ' % Chlorophytori } as adopted by Bentham. and later by 
Rodway, also calls for conection — we are bound to follow Ker's 
original and deliberate use of i\\< "UJvT* suffix.)' 

The seeds of CMorophytum. alpinum are a. striking anomaly US 
tmj genus: spherical, black, shining, papillate, 1^-2 mm. diameter, 
with white and papery arils adhering as a prominent vulva at the 
base — precisely the kind found in Ctrsia. Our species thus com- 
bines the characters of both ChlorophyHim and Gasify having the 
persistent, non-coiling (or only very slightly twisted) perianth of 
the former* but seeds of the latler, albeit the capsule opens up 
more widely and readily th:m is usual in a CwsJa* Perhaps it js 

ae much entitled to distinct generic rank as CfmrnvsctilfX, which 
occupies just such an intermediate position (though wJih a reversal 
of the C. alpimim- characters) and of which Bentham 4 wrote, 
"The genus is limited to Australia, showing the perianth of Casta 
with the fruit and seeds of Chloroph < yiori. ,% 

A search through CiPsia exsiecatae at the National Herbarium, 
Melbourne, brought to light two collections of our "Alpine Green- 
lily" th;it Mueller had labelled "Casta parviflOrtPj a good one 
from the "table-land," Apsley River district, eastern Tasmania 
(presumably the Fingal Tiers., whence it was taken by A. R. 
Crawford in 1887). extends the known distribution there by at 
least 80 miles; the other is from Braidwood district, N.S.W. 
(W. Baucrlen'.s No. 164, Nov., 1886, pruLvihrv obtained in nearby 
mountains, rising to 4,000 feet) which definitely establishes 
Chloropkytmn- dpinum for that State and extends the range to 
nearly 5U0 mites. Probably the species has been overlooked on 
account of its grass-like appearance and small stature. 

Victorian specimens were exhibiled at the January meeting 
of the F.N.C. and are now in the Melbourne Herbarium. 


1. T. ft Hooker. Flora Tasmania, IT flMO). p. 373. 

2, J, C l?al«;r, louru, Lmn, Sot. (.Boi ), XV (1876), p ^38 
X J G. Baker, Hare* Capnisis, V1T <18£7), p .197. 

4. G. Bentham, Flora Amtratiensis. VII (1&$), p. 48. 

5. G. Beutham, Vlvm „4u^rnlicnsiy f VIJ (1878), p. <i0. 

6. 1^ Rodway, Tas-waimn Flora (1903), p 219. 

190 Daub*. Huttty oj the Gcetw.q Pit fit Vv^n 


By Chas. Daixy, B.A., F-L.S-, Melbourne. 

Of die numerous Clubs, suburban and provincial, established 
For the study of Natural History since the formation of the 
Victorian Field Naturalists' Club, the only one which seemed 
to have the quality of permanence and which has left a fine 
record of accomplishment and useful systematic work was the 
Geelong Field Naturalists* Club, 

It was fotmed in 1£80 Ijy seme naturalists, the most prominent 
of whom were Messrs. J. F, Mulden and W. Shaw. For the 
first ten years, there is no published record of its activities, 
but it made good progress, its membership including Messrs. 
W. H. Ren Ion, A. B. f. Wilson, A- Purnell, M. G. Roebuck, 
]. Hammcrton, H. E. Hill, W. Errey, J. Goodlet, H. L. Grieve, 
E. Patterson, B.A., W. A. Rargreaves, ML/L, B.C.E., J- B. 
Leitch, and others. The Rev. J. S. H. Royce, F.R G.S., was 
one of the earliest Presidents, and Mr. Bracebridge Wilson, 
M.A., Fl $.„ Principal of the Geelong C-E. Grammar School, 
a keen botanist, was elected as Patron of the club, Mr. A. B. F. 
Wilson was the Hon. Secretary. 

Fortnightly meetings were held at the Gordon Technical College, 
where specimens of natural history were shown and described. 
Papers were read, lecurettcs given and field excursions arranged 
In addition a library and a museum were formed. An Annual 
Conversazione was fixed, with exhibits and pertinent addresses 
thereon. From time to time public lectures by qualified men 
were provided. The Club maintained close contact with the 
College Students' Science Club and the Amateur Photographic 
Oubof the Technical College. 

The first issue of the Geelong Not wvUst appeared in July, 1891. 
The Rev. Royce was then President, the supplementary subject 
to hUt Presidential address being "Sea Urchins/' At die 
exhibition in 1893. Professor Baldwin Spencer gave an illustrated 
lecture upon "How Animals See/' 

The Geelong environment is specially suitable for Nature 
study with its varied features by mountain, fake, stream and 
sea, forest and plain. At different times members had coastal 
excursions from Queenscliff to Apollo Bay. and Otvvay forest, 
also to the Barrabool Hills, the Lome district, You Yangs and 
Anakie Gorge, the Barwon and Moorabool rivers, the lime-stones 
of Fyansford and Bates ford, the Dog Rocks, overlying basalts, 
Eocene formations at She) ford, fern glades and forests beyond 
Anglesea, the middens and chipping grounds of Torquay and 
Bream Creek Easter and Xtnas Camps were held at Angelsea, 
Point Addis, Bream Creek, Erskine River and Otway forest. 


f] Dalkv, ffittfry oj the Geclow FM.C. 191 

Dredging was undertaken in Corio Bay, so that an extensive 
and fruitful district was well traversed* and its natural features 
observed, studied and recorded. 

The Journal was published quarterly. Mr, H, E. Hill was 
editor in 1894, at which time Mr. J. Dennant, F.G.S., the 
drstinguished geologist, was Provident. The membership then 
approximated 80. 

Among Corresponding Members were Messrs. W. A. Har- 
greaves, MA., of Brisbane Grammar School; W. E. Matthews, 
Stawell Technical School; G. Sweet, F.RG.S... ft. J. Tisdall. 
F.L.S., T. S. Hall, MA f Rev. W T. Whan, M.A.. J. H. 
Rerheras, M.A., Kev. J, C, Love, Lome; A, J. Woodward, 
Sale, etc. Mr. A. J. Campbell, F.L.S., contributed manv articles,, 
including "A Bird-list of 393 Species, Nests and Eggs," "Nests 
and Eggs of Pardalotes," etc. Mr. W. A. Guilfoyie contributed 
a paper with a list of the "Flora of fhe Bellarine Peninsula," 
Mr, Le Soucf . one on "Victorian Mammals," and Mr. Dennant set 
down th« "Fossils frorn Strelfffnjr" In 1895. Mr, G. H. Adcoclc 
gave a list of "Plants from Cape Otw'ay Forest/' to be followed 
two years later by a "Census of the Plants of the Geclong 
District." Mr. H. Kingsbury with his paper supplier! a list 
of "Victorian edible salt and freshwater fish," also laler a 
paper on "Oyster Culture." The editor of the Journal at this 
time was Mr. Hartley E. Williams On the death of Mr. 
Bracebridgc Wilson, Professor Ralph Tale, F.G.S., F.L,S., was 
elected Patron of the Club. 

In 1896, Mr. Dennant was stilt President. Life Members 
at this time were: Baron von Mueller. Messrs. C. French, F.L.S., 
J. F, "Riley, J. T<. Rem f rev* and A- T- Campbell. Mr. Adeoek 
became editor. Mr r BE T. Tisdate, F.L.S., gave a paper, the 
first or many, on "Edible Fungi of Victoria/" and Mr, T, 5- Hall, 
M.A., a paper on "Tupong or Marble Fish." 

A member who by his wide knowledge, enthusiasm, and 
practical experience in Nature's ways, was outstanding, was 
Mr G. F- Mulder. Well versed in every branch, a keen and 
intelligent observer, his advice, ready help, and special knowledge 
were of the utmost value to the Club for about forty years. 
His numerous notes, papers, and lectures aptly epitomise the 
natural history of the Geelong district, dealing with Geology, 
Palaeontology, Ornithology, Entomology, Conchology, Zoology, 
and Ethnology, a valuable work. Many geological papers were* 
through the offices of his fellow geologists, Dr. T. S, Haft, 
Df. G B. Pritchard, and Mr Dennant, who valued his research, 
submitted to the Royal Society. A few of his papers may be 
mentioned : "Fist of Fossils from Corio Bay," f -Eocene 
Deposits and "List of Fossils, Corio Bay,* 4 "Terrestrial 

192 Dalev, History of the Geelwg F.NC. t*y$u' 

Fresh, and Brackish Water Mollusca of Ceelong and neighbouring 
Districts," "Catalogue of Fossils from Birregurra," "Birds of 
Cape Gtway Forest,' 1 (225 species being noted out of Campbell's 
list of 393J, "Victorian Hydroioa," 'Geology of Cape Otway 
Forest/' "Waum Ponds Fossils," "Cleoptera of the Geelaug 
District," etc 

In 1896 Mr. Arlcock became editor. He continued his 
botanical work, supplementing the list of Cape Otway forest 
flora, and giving a paper on "Insect Traps." Mr Tisdall 
also contributed "Survival oi Water Plants During Drought," 
and Mr. C French, FX.S., dealt with ''Economic Entomology" 
In the following year it was decided to hold the Club meetings 
at the Mechanics' Institute. 

In 1898 an official branch for meteorological observations 
was registered, such being regularly noted in the Journal. 

In the year IS95, owing to some slight disagreement between 
the Field Naturalists* Club and the Science and Photographic 
Clubs, the latter published, in August, a Journal of their own, 
the Wombat. In 1896 it was recognized as the official 
publication of the Gordon Technical College, Mr. H. E, Hill 
being editor. Among occasional Nature Study pai>ers in the 
Wombat was Mr. C. F. Bekher's "Notes on the Birth of the 
Geclong district." In July, 1899, the Wombat suspended 
publication. Meanwhile the Science Club connected therewith 
had proposed amalgamation to the Field Naturalists' Club, 
and this was agreed to. Mr. G. H. Adcock was elected President, 
the veterans, Messrs. W. Shaw and J. F. Mulder, Vice-Presidents, 
Mr. J. F Dentry, Hon. Treasurer, Mr. H. E, Hill, Editor, 
and Mr. J. B. Leitch, Secretary, In 1902 the Wombat was 
issued for the combined incorporated Clubs,, hut in March, 1904, 
the name Geefoug Naturalist was reverted to. The new editor, 
for a brief period, was Mr. C. F. Belcher, M.A., LL.B. 

Professor Baldwin Spencer now became Patron on the death 
of Professor N. Tate. Mr, J. F. Cary was the next editor 

About 1903 Mr. R. E. Trebilcock, an active member, in 
company with Mr. Robert Hall, FX,S., C.M.Z.S., the 
ornithologist, made an unusual trip to follow the course of 
Some of our migratory birds to Siberia, a journey to the nesting 
plaees at the Tundras within the Arctic Circle, full of incident 
and fruitful of knowledge. 

During the early years of the century, the subject of nature 
study had assumed importance in the State schools, under Mr. 
J, A ( Leach's skilful guidance. The Club decided to hoM a 
Nature Study exhibition at Geelong, as a timely means of 
furthering natural science. A strong executive Committee, of 
which Mr. G. H. Adcock, F.L.S. and Mr. W. Shaw w«re 

M iMfl'J ° ALEy ' ****** *t thc Getfona F.N£, tW 

chairmen, was formed, comprising Club members, prominent 
citizens, and Education Department representatives. The 
exhibition fund was freely subscribed, full publicity given, and 
on Monday, April 24th, the Hon. Thomas Bent, M.L.A., State 
Premier, opened the first exhibition, which in all sections of 
natural history was a gratffying success, the rturiicrnus ^xhib?ts 
from State schools and scholars, as well as from others interested, 
showing how popular nature study was becoming in the 
community. In addition to the general public, between two 
and three Thousand children attended the exhibition. Mr, F- 
Tate, M.A., I.S.O., Director of Education, an ardent supporter 
of the project, gave an address on "Why Nature Study Should 
Have a Place in Primary Schools.' 1 Other lectures were given 
by Dr Gavin McCallum, Rev. W. Williams, F.L.S,; Messrs. 
J t A. beach, B.Sc; J. H. Eetheras, M.A.; C. R, Long, M.A.; 
Mr, TreoiJcock graphically described "A Trip through Kotihern 
Siberia. 1 ' 

Another Narurc Study Exhibition was held in 1906, with 
equal success. A branch Club was started at Mortlake. Dr. 
Gavin McCallum succeeded Mr. Adcoek as president, worthily 
holding the ofi-lce for many years. Mr. IVebilcock edited the 
Journal, In 1906 Mr. H. B, Williamson, an ardent botanist, 
on appointment to Geelong, continued Mr. Adco'ck's botanical 
researches on the flora of GecTong district. Messrs, C. F. 
Belcher, H. E. Hill, and H- A. Purneil did valuable work in 
observation of bir4 life over a wide area. Mr. G. C Bartlett 
specialised in microscopical rock sections and Hydroid Zoophytes. 
A special lecture on "Central Australia 11 was delivered by Sir 
W Baldwin Spencer. 

In 1907 I joined the Geelong Club. Dr. McCallum was 
president and Mr. A. B. F. Wilson hon. secretary. This year 
the membership was at its highest, provision having been made 
in tlie previous year for including junior members and members 
of the Mortlake branch, My first contl (buttons were reports 
on attendance at the Victorian Field Naturalists* Camp at 
Monungton, and on the Science Congress at Brisbane as 
representative of the Geelong club. During four years' residence 
there I was busily occupied in the activities of the- Geelong F. 
K, Club. Dr. Gavin McCallum was a popular president. He 
gave annua! addresses on subjects such as "Instincts and Reason, 1 * 
"X-ray and High Frequency/' "Low Forms of Life at the 
Saltpans," etc. Mr. J. M. Murdoch treated of "Moss Hunling." and 
"The History of a Mqss ;" the Rev. W. Williams, F-L.S,, of 
insects generally; Mr. A. J. Campbell, jun., gave papers on "Mud 
Island," "About Torquay/' "Point Addis 10 Anglesea/' "A 
Mountain Gully," and "After Lyrebirds in August." Messrs. 

J94 Oaji'v, History of tlw Gccloliff P.N C. [SSSSF - 

W. SliStV and ). F. Mulder, the two foundation members, were 
made life members for their long and faithful services. 

At a visit to Geelong of Hts Excellency Sir Thomas 
Gibson Carmichael, K.C.M.G., on December 18th, 1908, 
the president, on behalf of the club, presented hirn with an 
address, his interest in entomology being so well known 

The ex-prestdent, Mr. G. H. Adcoek, F.L.S., then Super- 
intende?it of the Viticultural College, contributed an article, "A 
Field Naturalist in Papua," and Mr. W. W. Froggatt, F.L.S., 
Government Entomologist, N.S.W., "A Naturalist's Notes in the 
Sokwott Islands," both excellent articles, A welcome lecture 
was Mr. J. A. Leach's "Birds of Victoria." The departure 
of Mr. R. E. Trebiicock was a distinct loss to the Club. Besides 
being an ornithologist of note he had closely studied Crustacea, 
diatoms, and Jepidoptera, and with Mr. Mulder had described 
and figured many species of the Hydroida. Among papers 
contributed were- "Protective Colouring in Animals," "Variation 
of Domestic Animals/' "A Cruise in Bass Strait," 'The 
Butterflies of Geelong District," "An Expedition Down the 
Lena River/' etc. He had been librarian, secretary, and editor, 

Another useful member was Mr. H. W. Davey, F.E.S., who 
furnished papers on entomology, reptilia, and amphibia, e.g., 
"Insect Control in Victoria/' "Life Histories of Insects and of 
Coccids/' "Insects in Relation to Plam Life/' "AntV Nests 
and Visitors/' "Insect Pests/* etc. 

Mr H. B. Williamson's series of articles on "The Flora of 
Geelong" was also .supplemented by papers and lecturettes, 
e.g., "How to Collect, Press, and Preserve Plants," and by 
diligent field work on introduced plants, naluls of bees, etc 
Mr. Mulder described "The Formation of the Highton Valley," 
and "The Eocene Deposit of Limeburncr's- Point." Mr. R. T. 
McKay, C.E., wrote on 'The Great Australian Basin/' and 
also on "The Muirav" The Rev. Robert Kelly dealt with 
"The Flora of Yorke Peninsula .** 

On Mr. Trebilcock's departure the writer became editor of the 
Journal, continuing for six years. Personal contributions were: 
"Casuarinas and Mistletoes/' "Afforestation, a National Duty/' 
"By the River," "Ongin of the Australian Aborigines/' 
"Instinct in Plant Life," "Around Curtuinghainc/' "The Relation 
of Geological Structure to the Character of Indigenous Flora," 
"Mt. Wellington and Tali Karng/' etc. 

In 1913, at the President's (Dr. McCallum) election for the 
seventh year, he was presented by the Club committee with a 
complete set of the Geelong Naturalist (from 1891), beautifully 
hound and inscribed. The Vice-President, Mr. YV. Kyle, made 

*w« h ] lWiv. History t>f the Gcctonfi FM-C, 195 

the presentation. In the following year Mr. A. B. F. Wilson, 
on the occasion of his twenty-first nomination as hon. secretary, 
received a purse of sovereigns subscribed by members. 

Among other papers by members, the Rev. Mack, B.A., 
described "How Nature Makes Peat/' Mr. IL A. Purneil gave 
notes oh "The Pilot Bird," and "Lome/' Mr. Mulder, in his 
versatility, gave "Aboriginal Stone Implements in Victoria and 
Their Age/' his fellow Vice-President, Mr. Kyle, "Reminisceuces 
of Aboriginal Life an Victoria and N.S.W.." and Mr. II. IL 
Riordan supplied "Bird Notes," and described "Exploration of 
die Cumberland Falls" and the Lome District- 
Mention must also be made of Mr. C. F. Belcher's contributions 
tn consistent observation of birds, "Notes on the Rufous Bristle 
Bird," "Birds found Breeding in Eastern Park, "Notes on 
Birds of Torquay and Anglesey,*' u The Honey-eaters of the 
Geelong District," etc. 

On December 21st f 1911, at the president's residence, a 
farewell function and presentation to the editor on his departure 
from Geelong was held — a pleasant social gathering 

Among the special lectures given over rhe decade were Ihose 
on geology by Drs. T. S- Hall and G. H, Pritchard, by Mr, 
Hardy on "Freshwater Algae/' Professor J. A. Gihulh on 
"Microbes, Useful and Injurious/' Mr. J. A. Kershaw on 
"Wilson's Promontory," Sir W. Baldwin Spencer on "The 
Northern Territory and jIs Aborigines," and Professor Ewart 
on "A Botanist in the Tropics," These were all illustrated and 
open to the public, 

I edited Ihe Gc^lang Naturalist up to May, 1914, the year in 
which 1 joined the F.N.C.V. Then came the Great War with 
its widely disruptive effects. The journal ceased publication. 
Subsequently, with the departure of such active members as 
Messrs. II. B, Williamson, H. W. Davcy, C. F. Belcher and 
others, later of Dr. G. McCalluni, and with the severe loss by 
death of Messrs. Wilson and Mulder, interest waned and 
membership decreased. Eventually the Club ceased operations. 
The last secretary was Mr. H. E. Hill, 

This inglorious ending, after so long and honourable a record 
of achievement in studying and fostering natural history, was 
a calamity that with a little foresight and energy by members 
should have been readily averted. One cannot but think that 
if the Club in earlier years had opened its membership to women, 
its existence would not have so unfortunately terminated 

It is hoped that when peace returns, there may be an active 
endeavour to resuscitate an institution which was so educative 
and pleasurable a cultural factor in (he important city of Geelootf- 

}% Uohmiks, Sam If Mtnts <>/ Xjsi Kie.M.wa t>'mu £ vi « 

By Fv.ank itijuntNi. C&slletnaiuc. 

Having spent three year* ( 1<>.1S-/;-7) in pleasant rambles through ffUllJM 
and jungle country east of the Gippsland Lakes, where the prodigality cd 
lovely ferns was a tmisianr" absorption. T luvc followed with much interest 
Mr. N- A, Wakefield's splendid authoritative articles which have appeared 
m this jmirnaj since February > 1940 — augmenting: our Victorian Ifst of 
vascular cryptogams by at least a dozen jtpceiea, and clearing up many 
erroneous iricAs surrounding tiieir ideality and nomenclature, His recent 
cuntrilnition, vs. which the whole tern flora of our far rta^t h surveyed, is a 
welcome consummation of what he has already puhlishcd. 

It in ay J>e considered thai the last word on this subject has now boen 
mid, yet J have a few notes altout specific Art** which are wirtb placing 
on record for the guidance of fern enthusiasts who have the opportunity 
to pay East GippslbnJ a v.iit. Although T have observed less, than 60 of 
Mr, WalccficlcFs impressive \hl of S3 icn>« and ehih-mwes for this: region, 
I can claim priority in rhe discovery of 3t least five and on that account, 
perhaps, my presumption in writing about ferns will be forgiven 

The Prince's Highway from Melbourne to l-atkcs. F-ntrannc (200 miles) 
follows opcfi, flat country ill the. main, aiid for the IOO-itlilc stretch 
between Morwch and the Tambo crossing one pa 53 ?^ through grassland 
with Forest "Red Gum -as a dominant tree. From Likes iintrancc onward 
to Orbost (240 miles), Cann .River {294 m.) and Genoa (325 m.). the 
country htcorncs hilly and supports a typical East GippsUnd flora, consisting 
of eucalypt forest with abundance ol fern;,, bnnes, and other jitoeie plants 
in most valleys, ftctwtcn Orboit and Cann River rhe roadside ferns are 
very luxuriant especially at Euchre Creek valley (LilUl Park), and again 
beyond Cann River at Mount Drummer. Other beautiful fern drives are 
a king Martin**; Oock (Orl>o*t-Bonang-Dclcgetc road), the Combienhar 
road atons' the Bemrn ttiver, and, in my opinion the uiOit beautiiul of all. 
along Glen Arte River, especially at waratah tunc (\nv.-Decemher) To 
ueach Glen Arte, a journey of 10 miles if. necessary from tilt* Murrungowar 
turn^ofT an the Prince*; Highway (10 mites east or Orbost), hvt the 
traveller iti no hurry will find this fern paradise well worth (he visit 

The- rlimaie of East G'pi'Vand approximates closely to the ensi coastal 
type of -New South Wales — copious rainfall in summer, a* well as in winter, 
and lew frosts— sad this favours a luxuriant .vegetation, so that, wherever 
one It-^vc*; the beaten track to explore a well-marked valley, he U almost 
sate to find /ems and/or jungle in profusion. Victoria is certainly rlcn 
in fern pillfcs, tor otc mxy continue, alottft rhr Princes JTiglrway as far 
as the Queensland border witliout seeing much evidence of ferns. The 
cooltr damp condition* scum to favour tree-fern:--, and cxcvJIertt gulHc* of 
Ihom (now, *ldst fast disappearing) were a feature o5 South Gippslond 
(along- the Grand Rid^e road, at Bulga Park, anrl Tarra Valley), the 
Otways and the Dandenones. Most or oij lime was spent around Orbost. 
Mario, And the fringe of the Snowy River fiat; — an area from ten to 
twenty mile; in rtiametM — and 3-1 spee'es vvere noted hereabouts. By tar 
tlic hest f^rn and jungle guMfesj near Qrbosi arc Pipeclay Creek, Wilienduck 
Creek, aud Cook'* Gully, which will now be dc.cribcd in some detail. 


This can be reached by car, the last half-mile along the Snowy bank 
being very routfh, but well worthy ihc trip It is comparatively caiy to 
walk up the- stony evetk bed (usually dry") between walls of jtuifeJe fern 
growth rm either side] I noted 23 ffflttftttn here- The two tree- fern* 
DUksonia wmrctita and Cyotbta tatfrom occur, tlic forme io abundance, 

'!*«*] ItottttWi Sow HiTuttU i>f Bast Vhtetion ftrns )97 

4£ in ntost Gipp*land gullies, Climbing or scrambling over the tTec-ierns, 
trees, and rocka aie the beautiful k x olyfaAhw% Msrufafwn- {Fragrant 
Polypody) and P, d*vet sijoliunv i. Kangaroo Fern), the Eontiet very profuse, 
Aj? bothvbavc pinnate- fmn<js anil often grow intermingled JteTe, ihcy a*c 
at fun somewhat difficult tn distinguish; hov/uvcr, the chief differences ,ire 
thai diverstfniium has fewer trends (fieyucully simple) which are larger, 
firmer, and more lustrou*, whereis puAtuhiiiun b;is delicate i">uia1c iVonds 
in sufiietcnt number to hide the supporting feni or 1TK trunk, spore masses 
clt«M*r In the tea! margin, and, c\i course, it exhales a vanilla-bke perfume 
when bruised— it is comriiun, too. a\ Glm Arte and Mount ftrdriutier. 
Another typically eastern fem, CychPhatns mpcstns (Felt Fern), is related 
to Patypodinm and literally rovers the trunks of bUy-joUie* (Acmcm 
SjWhii) here to a great height. Its smalt, round, thick leaves are 
nnnriflalrahlc and U abounds tit most densely canopied gullies. My first 
intrnrluctiau la Felt Eifiro was in Geyser Valley, Wairakei, N.1-, New 
Zealand, where it j»i'cv« in the open on bushex right within the steamy 
sulphurous vannm* of the geysers. 

The only Filmy Fern here was Hyuttwopttylhan cuprcssifo-*nn (common 
in East Cippsiand'), jU minutely toothed, hroadish fronds being easily 
Tecugm/fd among nrhcxa in this family of rieJu-ate midgets, la prolusion 
<M the sides --if the CtttJe grow: Culciu ditbfa (F^lse Bracken — formerly 
hut inappropriately called "Ram-how* Fcrn"K Dsmtxttrdtia Httvaltfoides 
< Creeping Lace Fern— rather similar in appearance, but the former is 
of a yellowish colour, nnd more often ou the drier UHly dopf^ where vtry 
common), Dryopleris S&flfihfrdii (Shining Wood Fern), Dipltmwn mtsfoah* 
(Shade Sptccnwort — common in very shady gullies tlirougliaui East Gipps- 
Und), Poodm rautlnta C Small R<t^nFern>, Ptffiii wvln"$itt (Jungle Brake— 
uncommon in East Gippslaud, hut ahunriam Tn Itits. creek in Urge clump>; 
aha at Mt. Drummer"), and Btccknuw carttfaginenw (Gristle hern — very 
common. especialJy on dvy bQtSidtt and roadsides, where ii [tad j distinctly 
yellow caste). The Fishbone Fern I 'tllctlmrm mid-mn), thnnph not seen in 
Pipeclay Creek, it comment ei-erywherc else jtt Hast Victoria, while a 
bl pinnate freak foin\ occurs at Mario, dsplewnm llakirtyfolinm (Necklace 
Fern) is prolific here and in most gullies hut the tjtst growth was found 
ui the cliff- face j ui^le at Loch End, lacing Lake War Wat- (Mr. VYtJhu 
reports t\w «me fern with F'riftea lafcnfa ** ':*<'eedinftly plentiful on cliffs 
carrying iungle flora about Lakes Entrance.) BkrfaiHm Pptersmii (Stray 
Fcm), rhflUgJH UMialiy inclined to lie Tar*, is fairly widespread »t Pipeclay 
Creek, found only in the darkest damp sullies; frond? nre sowerime* 
pintiJte here, t?ic sorueions ones beinp narrow, tail-like awl often divided, 
N.6 . The illustration In the Ftm Book does tioi appropTiarely rcpreseni it. 

It you travel a hutidnid yard r , or s.i beyond tin': mouth of Pipeclay Credt, 
the Giant Maidenhair (Ati&OtWW formonwit vorncs abundantly into view, 
ttOtnc fronds AftndTug Hired ftsvt uu ttiCJf shiny black stews. 1 have seen 
ft elsewhere only nt Loch End o* 'he .Snowy bailie (now prohahly cleared, 
as part of 1he MTiKginfr snlieme for Hood prevention"), but I understand 
from Orbost t , eople that, it i»s4 to he dug up for ferneries at Cann Kiver, 
where Mr. Wakefield has lately collected example*. A. anhiopicum 
(Caramon Maidenhair.) is very common throughout G«ppstand, though 
always as *.m**.U plants and ^>ftin on oprn Uwl Ptcru ttinmta (Teiider 
BracVen) occurs with the G-nnt "MaideJiltair ai, Lpeh Erd and 
Mt Buck, but I seldom found it. ilitffafilM bntfcUrum (M<>lhet 5l>leen- 
Avort). so widely known in cullivatton, occinrs at Fipcriwy, Glen Arte, 
Mt Buck and Mt Drummer, but th^ htst esrnnrnles u^rc scut at CflflUs 
Gully nn fea) trunks or lu?^ and not in bOA In addition to the 23 tons 
(including Ownmon Bracket) noted above for Pipeclay Cresk, bur oihrr 
rare plants may he mentioned in passing : Marsdcxit flmvs£Ct\s (Yellow 
Jtoubab), Bcwfa folioc&rpQ (Wallahy-husli), KorthaUclta. <\pmtfin (the 

LI* Robstns, Sotne Hams <?l East Victvnsu FrtfM \^yi^n 

raw* Jointed Mistletoe, on Lilly-pilly trees) and Sarcantlms iridtntatns {the- 
Tangle Orchid, festooning trees in abundance) , 


Keturntng a few hundred yards along the Snowy Gorge, one reaches- 
this creek w'ucb, on account of ft pools of water, is more difficult to- 
traverse, though well worth visiting. At least 15 of the above-menliniied 
species grow here, and the following in addition Bfechnum >wditm r 
B. capenst, FolypodiuiH oust role (Fitfger Fern), P. gmnnwtidis (Gipsy? 
Fern), and Todea barbnra (Austral King Fern), The rare Gipsy Fern, 
was also found al Glen Atte and Mt_ Drummer, usually perched on branches 
of TVbWitb Wrf«io (Kanooka), but never on Itee-ferns as depicted in trie 
Fe*n Book. I have found it on practically dry tranches at Wibcnduck, 
its small leathery fronds probably affording" resistance to dry period i. 
The small tuflcd Finger Fern occurs also at these other localities. 


Cook's Gully— once popular to lent gatherers— is reached by entering- 
a gate from the Brodribb River hrirjge on the Prince's Highway and 
following the track upstream i*ist a farmhouse for three-quarters pi a mite, 
.mttl a small cottage comes m sight In the unprepossessing narrow gully 
above 'he swamp, one encounters a mile or so Vl really splendid ferns. 
AspSenium hulbijemm featuring conspicuously higher up. 

Loch End is six miles from Orbost, along: the right bank of the Snow/ 
River. Giant Maidenhair and Creeping Lace Farn were once plwliful in 
the river jungles (since cleared), but farther on, over and around thft 
"Devil's> Backbone," the red-soil clifis ovcrhangmg Lake Wat War stilt 
harbour many terns, notably Necklace Fern. 

At Mario, and also on the Murxungowar road, there is sandy country 
altering a similar flora to the swampy heathlands east of Fort Phillip 
Littdt&ya ffaMb (Screw Fetn) and Selpginelfo viiftiiioso (Swamp Selagin-^ 
el)a) arc both very common; I found also PhyLtoglossum Drunttuiftdit 
(Ptgmy Qubmoss.) and qoq plant of Schisa'a bifida (Forked Comb Fern),. 
but failed to locate the Meadow Moon wort which, 1 *ni assured, i* there. 

Chfifanthcs tcntitfotitk (Rock Fern) is common on the granitic country 
around Young's Creek near the Prince's Highway, the limestone rocks of 
Buehan, and the arid hills at MtKiltop's Bridge on the Upper Snowy. 
On one occasion, I found Lycapodf^M lateral?, at the Newton's Creek bridge. 
The two Coral Ferns (Glnchfnia $mvrophytla and G cirwmato) are 
cowmou in places, such as en the road near Brodiibb bridge and along the 
Murrung^wnr road; swampy valley* like Newton's Creek are mare or 
less ccrvered wilh 1hcsc ferns, while roadsides almost a*y where east ot 
Orbost will yield the Fan Ferns (5fiVArruj lobatus and 5. ttntr). Stagnant 
jrulches on the Snowy Flats are often blanketed over with the red AzoUn 
pfakata (Ferny Azol1a) ? 6ut, like Mi Wakefield. I did noL find it* com- 
panion, /l. rubral three doaen ferns, and clubmnsscs arc on my hst for 
this area and its immediate surrounding. 


A distance of 29 miles from Orhast, Ihc drive through Murrungowar is 
one of 'he finest in Victoria, About a mile past the turn-off on the Prince"* 
Highway, a laqge patch of Lycf>podinm IflfcQttt (Bushy Crubmos**) and 
strongly scented, pink-flowered Hahea striata is entered. Like a miniature- 
mnc tree, the former is reputed to be the largest ctubmoss now living; it 
grows also on the Pr ince 1 * Highway past Newton's Creek, and along the 
track io the Cabbage-tree Palms (giant specimens here). Hypvlepisr 
punctata occurs at a sharp turn just beyimd Murrmigowar. Good views 
of the Orbosi region are afforded as the road ascends, followed by a. 
down-grade of several milts beside the gJotious fern- fringed Arte River,. 


Plate VII] 

Mnn-li. H»45 

Wtl RoDBi^s Some Haun>s cf East Vkiorim ftfni 190 

5Ct in a forest oi eiwrmau* Silver Wattles. This is quite ihe nne»t 
waratah gully I have se&u 

In addition to previously mentioned ferrr., tree-1'erns here arc festooned 
with, the twining Potystichum ndiamifortn* (Leathery Shield Fern). 
AtfiUuitm Mbifenm, A. f\u<:cidi\\n (Weeping Sptecnworl). and (he two 
hyrnenophylls, Potyphfykiniu venowm and Mscodiuut au^trale, ^vfcncli are 
Tnaru abundant at Mt Drummer — T did not observe M, fiaiwilatum (Shining 
FiEmy-fetn). The two Asplenia are somewhat similar, except that the 
Weeping Sptccnwort ha* narrower segments to its gracefully drooping 
fronds, bur intermediate conditions appear ro exist; tb^ latter is found high 
up in die -tops of kanookas on Mt. Drummer, as also at Martin's Creek 
and Bemm River jungjes on the Cornbienuar toad The pendem Long Fern 
Clubmoss (Tmcxiptcrh BiHatdltri) hangs from fern trunks too; its foot- 
Itmg frond? could easily be mistaken for some dicotyledon, but upon closer 
scrutiny the tittle spore capsule* in the forked terns arc discernible. 
Another rare fern found M Gkn Ane Rttd Mt. Drummer was Dw&a 
aspcra (Prickly Rasp Fern"), which I at first confuted -with Blecknvm 
tanctolotum (Lance Fern)— fertile fronds ate <juite distfuu, but in lhcir 
absence the venation affords a key 


This is the most noteworthy fern paradise remaining, try lj-t registering 
.36 species, which is by no means complete (some common species appear 
to be lacking). Eighteen milec east of Cann River the Highway parses 
through die upper portions oi two large, distinct jungles on *he mount, 
the Jcwe** one being the more accessible. Motorists often pause here, a* 
a little stream of crystal-clear water «^ seen falling from a sheet of iron 
inserted at the embankment. Beside the majority ot mountain and jungle 
species I have already discussed, this nch gnuy contains ah four Victorian 
species of Cyathca (viz., Slender, Roughs Prickly, and the new Skirted 
Tree-ferns). Dryoflterts ttttera, very rar« in -Victoria, also rovers a larjf-e 
area in this gully, especially on itie eastern sido, hut 1 was unfortunate in 
not finding Macrcgl&ki aiMfafft (Jungle Bristle-fern) at Ml Drummer 


Roads pass through fern gullies at Martin's Creek, Btntim River above 
Club Terrace, and Euchre Creek ;32, 40, and 45 miles east cf Orbo&t 
respectively). One interesting trip rather devoid of ferns is the highway 
from Buchan to the Upper Snowy bridge and en to Eonang. At Buchan, 
near the caves, dsplcmum trichoinaues (Common Spleenworr) is tn "be 
iced in the crevices ot the limestone. Here, also, are '.he Blanket Fern 
(Plehrosorits titiiftfitis) and Bristly Cloak Fern (tfothri&Mt distorts), 
♦hough I did not sec them myself. Just before Bcnang is a gullv in wtn'ch 
1 found Btethwtm fluinaffle. while at Mt. Buck (in the headwaters oJ 
Young'* Creek) is another on the old road, but It is difficult to Teach 
without a guide, 

To the naturalist who can get away front the toad. Gippsland is pregnant 
wsth fern gullies, many of fhem as yet incompletely explored 

fTho substance of this article by Mr. Rabbins was written nearly six 
years ago. but he deliberately withheld )us Ms*., chiefly owinjj to the 
indefatigable researches of N. A Wakefield, \vho shortly afterwards 
embarked on the study oi Australian ferns, bidding well to become a leading 
authority on this subject. While praising such monumental find enthusiastic 
labours by the younger botanist, I recently persuaded Mr Robbvns to 
allow the publication or his article, -with nomenclature duty amended, as 
I feel it is still & valuable contribution to Victorian pteridoMgy. wtfc 
writers owe die kindling of their interest in iernj to R, W, Bond*? splendid 
little handbook (published by our F.N C.V., Nov., WM) and to the earlier 
Sun Nature Books of Charles Barrett— T.H.W., Asst. Ed,] 

RUP$i Devffrcbium Gtvalhmmt.. sta>. irtiV. [ tal Bl 


By the Kcv, H. M. R, Rut*, Northbridgc, 
■New South Wales. 

This plane was described hy me in .Frw Lvm. Sor N.S-W*, 
Liv (19^9), under the name D. jpeciasum Sm. var. t/r&allwuitn. 
It has become rather popular among growers of our native 
orchitis, and is invariably advertised as "Dendrubmm gracilli- 

Apart from growers, however, the general consensus of opinion 
that it should, rank as a species appears to he very strong. There- 
fore 1 now comply with several requests to raise it to specific 
status: and ui doing so I wish briefly to review its history. 

It was first brought to my notice in 1925 by the late John 
Tucker and his wife, oi Paterson, N-S.W,, who had collected 
several plants in Hie neighbouring forests Subsequently T found 
it there myself. Its appearance at once prompted the idea of a 
natural hybrid between 0, spri:it>.ntin Sm. and /). (jratilicaule 
F.Mucll., the plant itself suggesting » very stout and robust form 
of the latter, although very slender in comparison with the former. 
The flowers, however, closely resemble those Uh D. speewsum, 
the only outstanding distinction being? that the perianth segments 
are never more, and often tefii than half as long. 

Specimens sent to the late Dr. R S Rogers elicited bis opinion 
that the plant was practically identical with the Lord Howe Island 
D, (jt'acilkmde var, Hoii/camnn Maiden; but' in this view 1 could 
not concur. After flowering a plant senc to Iiim by Mi's. Tucker, 
Dr, Rogers wrote agreeing with me that it should be placed in 
J), speciosum rather than in D. gracilics-ulc : and ultimately I pub- 
lished it under the name cited above- I took this course solely 
because of the obviously close relation of the flowers to those of 
D. spf.cwxutfh't for between the plants there is nn resemblance 
beyond that arising from the fact that both belong to the same 
section of the genus. 

Lest it may be imagined that the Pnterson plants were merely 
the result of a local "cross," I may say here tltat since 1929 P. 
grocilfimuiu has been found in many wideJy-sepa rated areas of 
"the northern half of N.S.W., and also in southern Queensland. 

There is .some uncertainty, however, whether this was the plaut 
intended by Bailey in describing /J. spcci&snw* Sm.. var, mtidwm 
(Proc, Roy.Soc. Owfomirf., i; Q%<etn$l t PL, v (1.902), 1526.) The 
description agrees fairly well except on the following points* (1) 
In D yraciUmww- the flowers are usually cream or deep yellow, 
only very rarely white; (2) pttted leaves, though on record in D 
graa'Uimum. are as rare as white flowers; (3) old steins of D. 
graciUimum have not heen observed as conspicuously "shining." 

■jjjf] VMtfa of Bonded Stiff' 201 

Moreover, Bailey's record for his variety is f Tropical Queens- 
laud " Ml*. W. H. Nicholls artel the writer have received very 
numerous orchids front that area during the past 16 years, but 
have not seen any Dendrohjum remotely resembling P, grvcttli- 
mum. Unfortunately Bailey left no specimens of var, nilidtim. 
and Mr. C T . White, the Queensland Government botanist 
informs me he has never seen it. On Che whale it would seem 
probable that' the two plants are not idencical. 

The future botanical designation of the orchid here discussed 
will he Dendrolrium graciJlnmtm (Rupp) Rupp. 

(To the Editor) 

Sir, — X have jus: read an article ill ihe Hcmhi about Banded Stilts 
appearing near Melbourne and the mystery of their nesting places. I| 
might be oi interest to record that I saw a small colony of the&e bird* 
nesting - here hi 19,39. That year we had big rains which filled a swamp 
an this and an adjoining property. On this ivvauip there were thousands 
of docks, swans, &tilts, avoceu, terns, gulls, dotterels, and every type of 
WBtcr bird- Rot the stilts did not breed there- 

About three miles away there was another lignum swamp and just 
before the rain I had had a drain cut from the middle of the swamp into 
an excavated dam. When the swamp filled the tops of the dumps oi 
C-xcavat^d dirt just showed above water and on each of these,, fourteen 
in all, a stilt had a nest. The eggs were very similar in sue and colour 
to those of a small plover, or lapwing, and 1 regret now that I did not 
photograph them as the birds were very tame. 

I was in (he Deniliquin district during the big flood in 1917, during 
which thousands of acres of country were under water, and water birds, 
including stilts, were there in thousand?, l spent quite a lot of time ridiitft 
through the water but never saw a stilt nesting, Although there were 
thousands ol fhem there. I think they must like to have, -a quiet nesting 
place where there ate no other birds, and. ot course, where they are no*, 
interfered with by rnavt. 

Yours, etc., 

A. K. McCiuk. 

Hay, New South Wales. 

VXL40007, CuJ. JC D. Clarke, H.Q/s 3 Aust. Div. Provost Coy,, A.I.F,, 
Austraha, would like to correspond with any member? c4 F.K-C. who 
arc interested in Australian butterflies. He has a goodly collection of 
species from the S.W. Pacific area, and, in order to expedite classification. 
would greatly appreciate a copy of Wfaft Butterfly is That? by Dr Water- 

Miss MacPbcrson, National Museum, Melbourne, h desirous of obtain- 
ing live fresh-water snails from «•■> many different localities 33 possible, and 
the assistance of interested members would fee welcome. The shells are 
being used in Liver Ffuke experimental work, and should be addressed to 
Miss MacPberson at the National Museum. U packed in damp grass they 
will carry through the post successfully. Be sure that localities are shown, 
including the name ot the creek or river if known. 

202 MATTiNca.KY. fiats and t'ihrouoni CxSl'S?' 

By A. H. E. MArUNCLF.Vj Melbourne. 

Of what uic are their eyes to same species o( bats when other senses or 
means- ui information such as vibrations guide them in their flight?" 

I have frequently noticed that the sudden tr^nsifioi* from intense darkness 
to brilliant light has had no effect on the rapidity of the, flight of small 
bat* such 35 the genus Vtspefi^go. 

The eyes of the smaller insectivorous bats are relatively much smaller 
than in mice of abtAiD the same siae. The question arises* how arc hats 
able to live in dark places and to secure their insect prey by night without 
constantly dashing into obstacles in their flight. Observations have been 
made by me of hats in caves in various countries, some of which were 
wide open to daylight In some instances their *1eeping-p1ac«s were 
situated under I ledge of rocVs- wilb just sufficient cover to shelter them 
from Fain* but subject to the direct light of day. 

As Fong ago as 1794, Snalteusani, an Italian, experimented with bats 
deprived of their sight. It was demonstrated by the cruel experiment of 
amputating their eyes, arid later by another method oi covering their eyes 
with wax. It mi found that these hats in some mysterious way were 
awarc of the proximity; of objects With their eyes entirety covered or 
with their era amputated, bats when liberated and allowed to fly in roams. 
across which threads have been stretched with just room between for the 
outstretched wmgs to pass, ini no case ^ere the threads touched, evet) when 
placed so close together that the hats were obliged io contract then wings- 
Thcy also successfully avoided striking each other, as well as walls, ceilings, 
furniture, twig* and leaves, and suspended themselves by their legs to any 
object as efficiently as when possessing sight- 

Roliinat and Trouesan, i« 1900 in France, and Harm, jp J908 in America, 
tried similar experiments with black wires. In over £009 trials with small 
Myctis 25% hits were recorded. In 600 trials of same animals deprived 
of their sight the percentage of hits was less than if the eyes were 
uncovered. This provided evidence that bats depended little on sight in 
avoiding wires. In a second set of experiments the delicate ears and 
tragus were amputated and it was found that these membrances did not 
warn them by reflecting sound waves No doubt it &£ the echo of vibrations 
or radiations set in motion by air current* that they really perceive 
Apparently this does not apply to all specets oi bats with different speeds 
of flight and so far as is known to the larger fruit-oatingf bats. The hits 
recorded may have been due to the tiredness of the bats or weakness due 
to want of food. 

Acting on the assumption that air vibrations were set up by passing 
insects or reflected by nearby objects, scientist; invented a device for 
detecting obstacles in a ship's path at night or in fog by sending out 
vibrations of a low tone from the ship's prow and recording the. echo by 
delicate membranes on board. 

E. TTonghton, zoologist of the Australian Museum, says that on account 
of their relatively small eyes Some oi the insectivorous bats must be pro- 
vided with some special means* of avoiding objects during their flight. G. 
Lalcpv*Vy t the eminent French physicist, says ii 9CU17S more and more 
evident that the sense of direction an bats originates from special radiations 
of ultra-short wavelength, emitted by birds and insects ihcmseJves. Tn 
dealing with nocturnal and diurnal birds he Rays that we are led to believe 
that they are attracted to their prey by radiations emitted by these insect*. 
"With bats it is commonly believed that it is to the acuity of the senses <>t 
hearing and smell thai the bat owes its ability to approach its prey, whose 
least movements it can detect, thinks to the vibrations of the air reaching 

"mb'.I £ -^"»»" 203 

its ears. This hypothesis may be adniissable under certain condificms such 
as the cAlcn atmosphere, of the countryside 

In I'aris I have often watched bats from my balcony, on racing days, 
amidst the uproar 61 a great crowd and the noir.e of thousands of cars 
setting up vibrations ill the air, saturated with Ihe products of petrol com- 
buslion. Amidst this deafening din and vitiated atmosphere & is neither 
ihe sense of ,'.mell nor that of hearing that guides the bat straight to wank 
insect* which the* catch as easily as iti undisturbed silence of the ccninlry- 
sidc. The bat is- thus more probably attracted to these insects by the 
radiations they emit, which arc not influenced by nolst UOr by petrol 

Since experiments marie l>y physicists by amputating the eyes, uar$ and 
tragus oi hats e-siahlish the fact thai ix>ne of these organs guide bats in 
their flight, then one miybt assume that the lligtitof bats in pursuit df their 
prey 35 due to *hc directional guidance ot radiations atTecting their .jrgatric 
Structure which conveys the requisite vibrations to their senses. 

Rats, like hirds. migrate over the sen, Both are guided by radiations,, as 
stated h>* me some time a^o when dealing with the orientation of birds. 


Mrs. J. J. Freaine: Eggs of Sea-slug (Doris] under the microscope « 
"saws" of Swofd Shark and Swordush ; swords or piercing organs of two 
species of Sting-tays; Calajipa. a crab from Queensland, and a large 
Crayfish (unidentified > irom Queensland; also cast skin of IHamoud 

Mr C. French. Specimens Oi the Hyacinth Orchid (Dipaium ptmUifatfU 
from Carpirn having double labellums, which is very uncommon. (Col- 
lected by Miss Stanton, of East Camberwell.) 

Mr. X. Griffiths: 17 species of marine shells. 

Mr. E. Muii: Myofortm platycavpum (Sugar-wood) attacked by rab- 
bits- specimen from the Malice at "Rajubow 

Mr. i*. Fisch : Cofaieiwi pctlida (pressed specimens.) found near Ar>- 
<JersorT* Creek, Mitcham, by Ursula Fisdt on November \9 t 1944. 

Mr. T. S. Hart: Mwraltia im'xta (Polygata family), jut Introduced plant 
very uncommon in Victoria : specimen collected south of Mornington.. 
January, J945. 

Mr. L'vo C. Hammet: Eur.aJypP/^ Sfcfidvumi, li. Pcsifoftdensis, Myo- 
porum debite, all garden grown. 

(To the Editor) 

Sir, — Mr, A. A, Cook perhaps desires to associate the discovery of the 
effect of wireless waves on the flight of pigeons in Lhe sawc category as 
the beautifully conclusive experimental series of Lister find Koch I 

The interference o[ the flight of pigeons by wireless recorded by 
Lakovsky in no way proves the existence of any form of electro-magnetic 
wave* as accounting for bird behaviour, Ovtr twenty years finve elapsed 
since such observations, but despite this Edward A. Armstrong, t a 
dKrmgtushcrJ ornitli'M^ist, and author of CWfll RfkoiAour, a comprehensive 
introduction to Bird Psychology, writing in The Way Birds Ltw, 2nd 
Edition (1st Edition, Nov., 1543, published by Lindsay Drutrtmond, Ltd., 
London), mentions, On page 90, that all kinds of theories "have been 
propounded to account for bird beltavtour.. including that of t-ossessiug <* 
magnetic sense; but he definitely states that there is nothing to prove this. 

Cairns, Yours, etc . 

North Queensland. H, Flecker. 


£xa>.rsien to ft&fair* fitffcrf WSJ^ 


More than 200 members and friends attended the marine biology excursion 
to Rickctt's Point on January 13, and a pleasing feature was ihc mmibet' 
of younger members present. We were .favoured with pleasant beach 
weather, and a very low tide which exposed a large area of the rock reefs 
<if fcrrutpneous sandstone opposite tin? Rtckett's Pi^int kiosk. 

Alter a preliminary skirmish among the weed-mie along the high tide 
mark, during which sponges., skeletons of rays, eggs oj ihc Porl Jackson 
shark, shells, and other common objects were noted, the party concen- 
trated oil the rock pools of the reef, A very wide variety oi living: 
specimens representing' almost every phylum was noted, and the smaller 
specimens .were, collected, at least temporarily, for closer examination. 

Because of the large number present it wa$ difficult 10 demcmJirate 
the specimens individually, so a demonstration beneh was improvised by 
piling rocks into a cairn, and on this a small aquarium tank was placed 
behind a large magnifier. This proved an excellent way to demonstrate 
living specimens to a larjje party - 

The general fauna of this area has been described Q| previous reports of 
excursions to the same spot. s« a detailed list need not be given here. 
Specimens of outstanding interest were a starfish in the act of citing 
a piece of mussel by the process of everting the stomach through the 
mouth (the stomach being swallowed again when the feed was over); 
a large and very lovely tutricotous worm of the Sabclfa type with a crown 
oi feathery Kills almost 3 ins, in diameter; several living' sea-urchins; 
and some finy hnrtte-stars. 

I would lite to express special thanks to Mr and Mrs, Frcame, and to 
Mr ft F. Morris, as well as other experienced members of the party, for 
the energetic way in which they heljxjd with the hunting and demonstrating. 
for the party was much too large to permit fat leader to cover tue whole 
ground single-handed. 

Gtt)5»lK. M<*KJSGN. 


One of oar members. Major T. H. Brunn, vrho has iust returned 
from active service, and has jrtveu hih aer vices to help the Third 
Victory Loan, lias asked th^t all member be urged tm -ubsrribe to lite 
limit jf their po*er. 

Every additional SID is required, and when ytnt tealix* that a £10 

Bond will nutciifiNe one Owen machine gun or one thousand rounds of 

303 airera/t ammunition, you will understand how necessary it i* to 

have this Loan fully subscribed. Besides, the»*e is no better investment 

offering to-day. 

When making your subscription to the Loan, if a nuota form is 
used anJ returned to me the total wflJ be credited to ttie war effort 
of 'His Club, atid at the samei time the amount run he credited to your 
local quota. 

Major Brunn will attend our next meeting, and wiJJ explain al] Rbnvt 
the Loan and answer any questions. 

Quota forms will be available at the next meeting. 

Ho-n. Secretary, FJsi.C. 

The Victorian Naturalist 

Vol. 6j.— No. iz Apcil S, 1945 No. 736 


The monthly meeting ai the Club was held on March J2 t KH5, 
at the Koyal Society's Hall, the President (Mr. Ivo C. Ilamtuct) 
and more than 100 members and friends attending. 

The deaths were announced of Col. B. F. Goadby, a member in 
Western Australia, and Mrs. Chas, Daley, wife of a very old 3nd 
valued member; their memory was honoured by a call to silence, 
and letters of sympathy from the Club will be sent to near 
relative**. Reference was also made to the illness of Messrs. J 
and W. H, Ingram — loyal brother members ot* long standing. 

Letters were received from the secretary of the Sir Colin 
Mar-kenzie Sanctuary at Badger Creek, thanking the Club -for 
support given in connection with the desired additional reservation 
of land, and from Capt. Lee Burcham (of the American Marines), 
who had attended Club meetings whilst in Melbourne during 1943 
and now sends greetings to the Club from U.S.A. Member Dave 
Geddcs (in the Navy), through Mr. L. W. Cooper, also conveyed 
greetings to fellow members. 

Reports nf excursions were given as follows: Fern Tree Gully 
(ferns), Mr. T. Griffiths; Yarra River trip, Mr. H. P. IMctcins: 
and Heidelberg (entomology of Yarra lagoons), Mr. A. J. Swaby. 

The following were elected as Ordinary Members of the Club: 
Miss P. Rowtr. L. Neil. Mr. J. K. Gulbraith, Mr. L Oanitt 
as Country Members: Mrs. Kric Mmr, Mr. W. C. Heddrtch, Mr. 
K. Faircy; and as Junior Member; Master Peter Braham. 

The President announced that recently Mr. A. H. Chisholm had 
been re-elected as a trustee to the Badger Creek Sanctuary, and 
that Mr. P. Crosbie Morrison and Mr. S. R. Mitchell had been 
appointed to membership of the newly formed Technological and 
Natural History Museum Trust. In proffering the Club's con- 
gratulation, he pointed out that these three members wtrre aJl Past 
Presidents, and had no doubts that they would strive to further 
the interests of the FN,CV, in every way possible. 

Major Brunn spoke for a few minutes on the forthcoming 
Victory Loan and urged the Utmost assistance by Club members. 
Ho emphasized the debt owed to members of our F.N C who are 
now serving with the forces "up north"; his own sou never lost 
a chance to make natural history observations and even carried 
insect collecting gear to the very battle- front in the islands. 

30(5 FiM N'ofuratistS Club Fracccdms UvtbM 


Mr. V. H. Miller congratulated the editor of Wild Life (Mr. 
H Crosbie Morrison) on M$ recent broadcast remarks champion- 
ing the Black-shouldered Kite, and pointed out that this splendid 
bird was already "protected" by law, but apparently by not much 

M.«\ P. Crosbie Morrison brought up the matter of iVa Tree 
destruction at Beaumaris, stating that local residents were chop- 
ping up the fire-d amaged trees along unmade roads, which were 
apparently still private property; he appealed to members to use 
their influence hi stopping this destruction. Miss R. Clusbotmi 
suggested that pu.ssihly a lecture could be arranged at Beaumaris 
to arouse local interest. .Mr. A. J. Swaby promised to contact 
(he local council in this matter and report results later- 


Mr. J, C Le Souef began an instructive lecture on this subject 
by describing the various items in a butterfly collector's outfit, 
viz., the butterfly net, killing bottle, storage boxes, relaxing tray, 
forceps^ etc. He went on to enumerate the type* of country in 
which collecting is worth while, pointing out those particular 
plant* which are attractive to insects. The collection of cater- 
pillars and pupae, subsequent breeding <i£ the insect, possible 
causes ot failure to emerge, handling; and mounting of specimens, 
were all mentioned. Illustrations from the plates of What Butter- 
fly Is That? were projected on the screen, and a running com- 
mentary upon these brought the very interesting address to & 


Mrs, M. K. Freame ; Starfish with stomach still rverted, (This 
specimen was screened by mean> of the epidiascope and explained 
•by Mf, Morrison.) 

Mr. T. Griffiths: Box.ui butterflies and other insects* Portions 
of the barren and fertile fronds of Gristle Fern (Bfaclmmn 
cartiJagineum) seen by Mr, V H, Miller on the banks of the 
Yarra at Studley Park. 

Mr. F. G, El ford: The spiny spider (Cvstcrcantha nuttajc). 
Two varieties were exemplified, the coloured and the less common 
black variety. 


An illustrated ami very iniorrnative article on 1hls subject has just 
appeared fa Vol. VIII, No. 10. of The Austratiatt ATuseuiru Mtujasr^rc. Mr. 
J. R. Kinghorn, C.MZS.. pi the scientific staff at Sydney Museum, JiW 
supplied full data on menus of recognition, habitats, ami actions of the 
<jiffer<;nt ven.oms. 

A \m\ NlO.HOUS, A Avtc I'Qritly of Sun-Orchid 207 


With Notes on Other Quaim Orchid Forms. 
By W, H. N"rcHOu,s ( .Melbourne.. 

(1) THELYWTRA 1XIOWES 5\v„ var, SUBDIFFORMiS, var.wv. 

Ptauht n/Jwstiuscuiu ciicztcr 25*35 cm. atta. Raaini laxiitfcnhi:. uteres 
magni, Se(jMenta~fcr\anthh HUptko-ianccolata, patviU'ui ; S('pat(t virniitt; 
pctafa l-avcndulaceti istacuJafcr. 

This interesting variant was described in English in Orchidologia Zey- 
fonicu. Vol ii (1935), p. ISO. To comply with the international rules it iwiv 
appears hi Latin. 

(2) Two specimens <?f a singular form of Coia-drtua Mcncicsii, R.Br., 
wen; found at Portland by Mr*. F. Mellblom Ml Novcmlier, 1943. The 
flower is much larger than in the typical form> the labcHum peuloid with 
undulate," incurved margins and papillate glands. — Figs- IC T„ M. > •- 

(5) A curious flower of (apparently) ChUoqtottis rcftcxa H-ahi!).), 
Druce. Hab.: Creswick {% W. Bond, April. 1939).— Figs. O, P, Q. 

(4) A neat, and attractive, flower of Tbelyntitra ixioidfi*. Sw.» variety 
subdifformis, Nich. (Oreh. ZcL t Vol. 2, p. iS6). Hat*.: Portland (Mrtu 
F. Mellblom, Oct.. 1934); Blackburn (Mrs. E. Coleman, March, 1940)- 
— note here the unusual' month of flowering. — Fig. N. 

(5) Cahdcvio VUcGcyoidl't, Rupp. The lateral sepals Willi two perfocl 
tines of Calli along one. Hab: Grampians ('J, Coast ick,, Oct., 1934).— 
Fig R. 

(6) A symmetrical twin-flower of PierostvHs fleduvtttlaia, K,Br, Hab. 
Portland (Mr*. R Mellblom, Sept., 1934),— Fig. S, t < 

(For older notes on curious flower forms sec this journal. Vol*, xlv, 
p 45: xlvi, p. 1-33; iv, p. 335.) 


K» L. — Cafadwia Mcuwesii, R.Br. (Teratologic*! form). M. — Column 
frcau front ('note sack-like base). 

K. — Th'iymitra ixioides, Sw.. var. svbdifformis, var.uov. (flower from 

O.—Chitoglottix rcftcxa (Lab-ill.) Druce — Teratologics! form P.— 
Labellum from .same, from above. Q.-^A view of the conjoined latent 

R. — Caladcata FitzGcroldii, Rupp. Note calli on lateral sepal, 

S. — Twin flower ot Prerostytis pedunadata, R.Br. 

(For natural size o\ flower figures see their respective description*. 'i 

By W, H. Nintotxs. Melbourne. 

_Pfanta gracilis glabra ctnitcr 10*11 cvr. alia. Folia radtcuta p.bsL'ntw. 
Cauiis hrodeae Pi. obhi&tt: R.Br, shnilis, 15*25 m*»„ (ougax, Flos solilnnus, 
intif/'^ ct yuJhs. Catca accta. mc-avva, acuta, 13 mm. Jon-ga; apkc pauUt 
sursujtt- curvatum. Pctala acuta, nolm in>n-c#cadcn$. Lutnum infrntif 
c?-tctum, lucmis fdiformibus- ad aaleaw basi manifcsTe adnahttit 4 $uf>ta 

Labelhtm oblontja-lanccolatum, medio comtrictnm. immobile, far 
strictum, iirciter 15-2 cm. tangum-; opice brcvi-deatrvotum . warqimbus 

rvici Mm 
208 Nicholls, A Cnrrvtis Nit* PwhrbfU GrecmSovd L Vol «i 

Jtiojci tncwnHitus saccttS; florij tnteriorum c*fatl&>' *4ppendicr. filiforme ad 
basis fobis oke&rdaiis* Coiunnta etecta robust*, drctter 8-13 mm. ton<&, 
hbo sufcriore atat acute: hb$ rn{erv>w obtongo-thtus* Stig***tt pvepwiens 
£w4ifar*u f etevatum. 

A slender glabrous plan* about Mb 11 cm. high. Radical leaves not *«en. 
Srcm-lravcs as in Pi. obtuse, R.Br.. 15-25 mm. long. Flower solitary, 
g fecit with rufous markings. Gafca erect, incurved, 13-20 mm, high, the 
tip short and deflexed. Petals acute, not exceeding the tip of galea Lower 
lip erect, the conjoined portion conspicuously adnate— for fully half its 
height— to base oi galea; upper part widely dilated from its free base, the 
lobes produced into fine erect points, only slightly exceeding the galea- 
Labeltum on -* prominent immobile daw, ajrno&l straight, its shortly 
deeurved apex extending to the tip at galea, tbux, with the petals completely 
sealing the galea entrance; lamina oblorig-tanceolate, somewliat constricted 
about the middle, about 1*5-2 Cm- long:, the lower margin* incurved, forming 
a deep pouch-like cavity below the constricted part, median ridge not 
prominent; the appendage filiform, curved, arising from the base of cidw, 
with a small cordate apex. Colucnn erect, on a stout base, about ft-' 3 tnm. 
long, each angle of upper lobes produced into an acute tooth; lower lobe* 
oblong. StiRTiia prominent, situated immediately behind the lower lohes, 
cordiiorm. Flowering in Msy. 

TYPE (in writer's possession) : No*. 2004. 1031 \ Hodrlle Ranges, Tocra. 
S-Ea&t Victoria, May 1941, collected by Miss Ruth <Jark of Toc*a_ 

I am indebted to Mr. A. J. Tadgell of Sandringham (Vic.) lor forward- 
ing Mi met the specimens of Pt. crypto (s-p.nav.), with the eollectort* 
foifowing note: *"Jt was in the sandy soil along Waratah Bay that these 
specimens were found." 

My jpedric epithet refers both to the habitat (in dense scrub) and to 
lire hood whicJi is perfectly sealed trp by the rigid hd-tikc labellum, ■ 

Only three specimens of this remarkable grcenhood orchid have so far 
been discovered and the foregoing description is based on this material; one 
rtower bad to be sacrificed for dissection purposes. I must confess that 
llic very strange characteristics alone prevented its being described earlier, 
for it was originally considered, a freak condition of Pt. #htttsa — just 
-another intriguing, tcratological form so difficult to define. But, with the 
appearance of the recently described Pt ctltms, Rupp (Vk. Nut,. Vol 61 
(1944), pp. 106-107), h was deemed expedient to fix this form also. 

Pt, ct/aiM is. apparently, well established at Portland, for since the 
description ayjH!ured an additional colony of plants has been located. In 
spite of this, however, the writer does not present this analogous form as 
u valid specie* (notwithstanding its jjreat interest) without .some little 
trepidation, for almost every season brings forth some curious "sport" 
amort;? orchid 8owers : several such examples are figured here. One often 
woiktert what is the explanation for sudi abnormalities (Figs, A, B, G. 
J~, N, O) ; is »t Jo be summed up by the one word "mutation *3 

The close nature of the overhead canopy is possibly a contributory factor 
here; doubtlcw it prevented earlier discovery. Through the altered con- 
ditions prevailing in the habitat, the pollinating insect agent may be absent 
Unquotionably conditions &r* altering in yome areay. Bush fires create 
(eventually) a more compact growth in scrub-land areas; this fact was 
well liemonstratod to our party rcu'htly, w, the vicinity of Portland, home 
of Rupp's remarkable species. 

ft. cetuns (which closely resembles. Pt, noiu/v R.Br.* hides itself in iuch 
exceptionally dense scroll country, while Pt. crypto is found in heavy tea- 
tree areas, also In association with its congener, Pt ohtuxa, R.tlr Both 

April 1 

\h ii olls. A Curious W'U- i'ictorian Grtcnkood 


210 Save the Wedge-tailed liaylc [ v c *j 

Vict. hut. 


are, in the writer's opinion, self -pollinated and thereby unique in the genus; 
this conclusion was supported by the examination of undeveloped flowers 
in Pt. c elans, for even at a very early stage of development the pollen 
masses had dehisced* to some extent, over the surface of the stigmatic-plate. 
Both new species have much in common, yet belong to different sections of 
the genus (see figures), each, in its turn, intimately related to its ally. 

A. B, — Ptcrostytis crypto, sp. nov., side views. C. — A flower from front, 

D. — Labellum from above. E. — Labellum from side. F. — Column from 

G.-~ P t erostylis eclans , Rupp, H . — Column from front . I . — Labellum 

from above, J. — Labellum from side. 


"The eagle question continues to agitate birdmen and graziers. Is it a 
serious pest? Should it be shot or protected? My own opinion is definite 
on this matter, after many years of observation. No one denies that the 
wedge-tailed eagle does occasionally take lambs, hut only occasionally. It 
does not live on lambs. It is a brutally selfish and ignorant policy to shoot 
the fine native bird out of existence. Some would callously slaughter 
every native bird and animal on their property. On the other hand many 
graziers to-day wilt not allow eagles to be shot, in spite of tales of 
occasional lamb losses. The great birds take many rabbits, and also clean 
up carcases, thus helping against the blowfly pest. I am convinced that 
cconomicaly the eagle is a benefit, not a pest. We should be proud to 
possess the largest eagle in the world, and not persecute it to extinction, 
even if some small price has to be paid for its presence." — James Devanny, 
in The North Queensland Register, Townsville. p. 24, March 3rd. 1945. 


According to American entomologists, earwigs are best controlled by the 
use of poisoned haits distributed over infested ground. The bait recom- 
mended for use against earwigs is made up of the following ingredients: 

Bran - 12 lbs. 

Molasses ... 1 <piart 

Beef scrap 2\ lbs. 

Sodium fluoride 12 ounces 

Water . . .. ,, -. ,, 6 quarts 

Soak the beef scrap for three hours or more before using. Dissolve 
the sodium fluoride in the water, add the molasses and mix with the bran, 
to make a crumbly mash. Scatter this in the evenings amongst the plants. 
Watering the garden should then be delayed for two or three days. Keep 
bait away from children and domestic animals. 

In, small gardens, if crumbled newspapers are scattered about at night, 
many earwigs will hide therein and can be gathered in the morning and 
burnt. Soil fumigants such as Cliffs Manuria! Insecticide, Paradichtor- 
benzine ("P.D.B.") can also be used with good results, as can green 
poison baits. 

C French. 

^lirl ] 1>AV£*, S'naJas in fact and Fittfok /U 

By IL W Davev 


Reptiles appeared on this earth long ages before mammals, or 
even birds, and in Mesozoic times attained their greatest develop- 
ment, some being titanic creatures measurable in yards and tans! 
The class Raptilui* (hough still occurring in temperate and tropical 
regions, is best represented by variety and si2e in the warmest 
parts of the world. In this paper I shall deal only with snakes, 
concerning winch more tales have been told (mostly untrue) than 
about any other group of animals. 

Among the many oddities of Australia is the preponderance of 
venomous snakes over the harmless ones — a reversal of the rule 
in other lauds. To my knowledge, 108 species of snakes are 
known to inhabit our island continent, and only 35 of these are 
innocuous. No other country possesses so many venemous Kinds 
as this. 

India is generally regarded as the home par e.vcellencf. of 

foisonous snakes, yet Dr. Gunther, in Reptiles of India, gives 
8 species of the Elapidae (the venomous Colubrine snakes) and 
19 species of Viperine snakes — a total of only 27 compared with 
Australia's 73 venomous species. 

Few people trouble to distinguish between snakes and legless 
lizards, in species of which Australia is particularly rich, but 
unfortunately many of the latter inoffensive creatures are killed 
every summer. These lUards- do certainly have a snake-tike 
appearance, hut their .scales are differently arranged; they possess 
eyelids and ear openings, which snakes never have, and very long 
(ails — a feature exhibited only by tree-inhabiting members of the 
serpent clan. 

fecdmg Habits 

Four different methods of taking food arc recognizable among 
snakes : 

1, In one family, including the "Rat Snakes'*" of India ami 
America, the prey is seized and beaten against the ground until 
dead or stunned; it is then gulped down very rapidly and another 
victim usually sought at once These snakes are so quick in then 
movements that a rat is very seldom given the chance to bite them. 

2. Other snakes, e.g., Tropidonotus (the Common Kinged 
Snake uf Europe), swallow their prey alive and otherwise unin- 
jured in any way. 

3 Venomous species kill their food by means of poison fangs 
and wait patiently, as a rule, until the victim is dead before 

2J2 Dmtv. Sua&rs k fact mid I'irlwn (" vinl 

Vr\ fil 

attempting to swallow it; Lhe venom must be injected into the 
blood stream, and fa quite harmless when taken into the stomach. 
Small mammals and birds usually die. within a tew moments. 
succumbing more quickly if the bite bfc inflicted on a fleshy part. 

Many poisonous snakes feed on lizards or hogs, especially the 
latter, but the venom takes longer to act than in warm-blooded 
animal?, so that frogs are usually swallowed alive The Indian 
Cobra still await a mouse's death, but never waste time waiting 
for a frog to die, while that largest of poisonous reptiles, the 
great Hamadryad, is a snake eater that habitually devours its 
prey before death in case the victim should wriggle away and 
escape- In the Reptile House of the London Zoological Society 
I have seen a Hamadryad swallow a snake 2£ feet long and then 
look around lor more. 

4. Those snakes which kill their food by constriction first seize 
the prey (usually by its head) between their jaws and at the same 
time throw a couple of coils around the victim's body. If the 
animal or bird be strong and can struggle, one or more coils ate 
rapidly passed round it and the pressure increased until struggling* 
ceases, by which time the prey is usually suffocated. The serpent 
retains it? jaw-hold throughout, ^nd often the strain on its jaws 
is very severe. 1 have seen a large Malay python (Python 
reticulata^) relax a coil in order to relieve the pressure on its 
owu head. All constrictor snakes would seem capable d exerting 
much greater force when anchored by their tails to some con* 
ven tent object. 

After a victim ceases all movement, the snake will relax its 
mouth grip, then relax the coils a little and survey its victim 
closely, with a .simultaneous flicking of the tongue. This behaviour 
probably gave rise to the absurd tales about serpents coating their 
food with saliva before swallowing Lt. All snakes swallow I heir 
food in the same manner, viz., by an alternate raising and reaching 
forward of one hall o( the upper jaw at a time, the hooked teeth 
thus drawing the food inside — actually a 'crawling"* over and 
along their food. Once it has passed the head, nourishment is 
worked down iflto the stomach by lateral bondings and by forward 
stretchings of the body, its passage to the stomach is indicated hy 
the widely separated scales. Finally, the snake usually gives two 
or three big yawns, during which its jaws open beyond the 
perpendicular, as if to settle hack into a normal position; there- 
after it Crawls away and coils up Until the meal has digested. 

Anyone who has had experience with snakes can usually form 
a, good idea of the real need for food by the position a snake 
assumes, but there is naturally a variation wirh species. 

iu some natural history books, serpents are figured killing their 

*!£"] P*w$# £»<*w to /^c mi F&fan 213 

prey against a tree-trunk by winding themselves around both tree 
and victim; such portrayals, however artistic, are purely imaginary . 

A belief commonly held is that constricting snakes crush their 
food to pulp befoie attempting to swallow it. The writer had two 
opportunities at the London Reptile House for examining the 
bodies of Muscovy ducks that had been killed by very large 
pythons (P. reiicviaius^ , one of which was 21 feet in length, but 
there was no evidence of pulping. The ducks had been merely 
suffocated by severe squezing and were never allowed a gasp of 
air after being seized; the whole seizure was terribly sudden. 

In my opinion, pulping would be of no great, i{ any, advantage 
to the snake. Non-constricting species have to swallow without 
being able to pulp their food, which is just as large in proportion, 
so why should constricting snakes find it necessary to do so? 
Moreover, the swallowing of an animal full of hrokeu, splintered 
bones might eveu prove dangerous before digestion had proceeded 
very far. 

Most new snake arrivals (especially large pythons and boas) 
at the .London Zoo had their excreta examined for the purpose of 
ascertaining the nature of their last meal before capture. In the 
rase of the larger constrictors., this usually consisted ok monkeys. 
which could lie identified from undigested teeth and hair. 


This is a universal habit among snakes, though the frequency 
depends upon species, and a well-fed healthy snake will usually 
cast its skin more frequently than one in poor condition. Tn the 
London Zoo there was an uncommon species of rattle-snake which 
always had to be assisted out of its old skin; such was & delicate 
operation, especially in removing the -skin covering the eyes. 

It is often stated in books that, at shedding time, the skin splits 
behind the neck and then the snake wriggles out after the manner 
of an emerging cicada. 'I"his is, of course, quite incorrect, like 
many other nonsensical things written alxmt snakes. What really 
happens, when a snake is rpady to cast its skin, is that the lips arc 
rubbed against a stone or stick until the cuticle ruptures and turns 
back a little. This rubhing is continued until the skin <»f the 
whole head is rolled back; then the snake, \i in good condition, 
crawls through or round grass tussocks, undergrowth, etc., at the 
same tune pulling away from its old skin, which is turned com- 
pletely inside out, even to the eye scales. The dull opaque 
appearance of a snake's eyes prior to skin-casting is due to a 
separating of the old scales covering them, but, as soon as these 
are entirely free from the new scales beneath, the eyes again 
resume their brightness and. the actual shedding usually begins 
soon after. 

2U rimy, ajmAv* in fw aW Fleium 

VfeL Nut. 
V i»t, 01 


Venomous snakes shed also their poison fangs, to be replaced 
by others held in reserve. This is a wise provision of nature, 
because an angry or very hungry snake may strike at a large 
animal and lose its fang's, which, if not replaced, could cause death 
by starvation. When not lost by violence, these fangs are shed 
normally at intervals and replaced by a new pair. 


In countries nt severe winter climate, the snake population 
hibernates until warm spring days re-awaken them to activity. 
Here in the south-eastern part of Australia, although our winters 
arc generally mild, snakes do hibernate, while those inhabiting 
river flats are often submerged during periods of flood, yet with- 
out suffering much harm. This is not so surprising as would At 
first appear: the writer has had small Japanese Terrapins that 
always overwintered deep in the mud beneath a' small clay pond. 
It is remarkable indeed that an animal, breathing entirely by lungs, 
ran live under water for mouths without once coming to I he 
surface — such would be understandable in amphibia, most of 
which can breathe more or less through their skins. 


Every serpent is hatched from an egg. In the oviparous group 
of snakes, eggs are Jain and left to hatch by the warmth of their 
surroundings, whereas Fn viviparous kinds the young are produced 
mi a living condition, the mother retaining her eggs in her body 
until they hatch. There appears to be no rule in tins rmttct, as 
so many nun -venomous snakes produce living yoimg, while others 
lay eggs. All vipers produced young alive, but a surprising fact 
is that snakes belonging (o the genus of the common English 
Grass Snake (Trap-ulovoftts) may lay eggs or bring forth living 
young according to species. This genus occurs also in Northern 
Australia, but I have no knowledge as to whether its representa- 
tive there be oviparous or viviparous. 

Pofiifpr Legends 

Snakes are looked upon with revulsion by most people, and the 
dislike goes so far as to brand them ""slimy creatures." But they 
are far from being slimy: one could crawl over any clean object 
without leaving a trace of dirt., while a snake can constantly flick 
the sides of a glass case with us tongue and yet not cause the 
slightest smear. 

Many are the silly stones told about snakes, and oik: I well 
remember hearing nt England was commonly believed, vi*.j that 
a snake cannot die before the sun goes down Neveiiheless, J 

IJJb'J Davt.1% MUa§ in Fact and Ficiiou 215 

have harl an English snake die here in Melbourne within two hours 
after it had eaten an Australian frog that probably rarried En Us 
skin an excess of poison (for a European snake,), This particular 
reptile. Tropidonotus natrlv, did remarkably well with me, especi- 
ally during the abundant supply of large tadpoles, which it would 
very cleverly capture under water, eating several at a meal. Later, 
when tadpoles were "ofT (he menu 3 ' and frogs {Hyla nurea) weie 
plentiful, it also prospered. Later still, when these frogs were 
noi available and my snake was becoming really hungry. I hunted 
arniind my newt ponds, hut the only frog 1 could find was the 
marbled Li7mi&dynaxfes itunuitidensis. I am ul ways suspicious 
about the edibility of highly coloured frogs and it was not without 
some misgivings that I tonk the risk; so did my snake, which died 
at 2.30 p.m., proving that a European species at least does not 
have to postpone death until sundown. 

More silly talcs are about snakes milking cows, also about the 
"Hoop-snake" which allegedly makes a hoop of itself by placing 
its tail in its month and then trundles down hill, much to its 
enemy's consternation— of course it mt*$t be down hill J But the 
most persistent fable is that snakes will swallow their young id 
time of danger. This old story originated in Europe and was 
probably brought out here by early settlers, "fn England it is 
slill believed that vipers swallow their young (it may be noted 
that only vhApapous snakes are said to indulge in the habit). 

Should a female snake Jiear the end of pregnancy he beaten and 
broken by some bosh hero, it is feasible that the young could 
emerge from almost any part (mnuth included) of her haltered 
body. If a hrtake did swallow her young tu protect them, the 
result would be just the reverse, because her movements would 
he so retarded that an enemy could easily destroy both mother 
and progeny. I have seen snakes born, and if it were instinctive 
for them to swallow the young when danger threatened, surely the 
same trait would he exhibited in captivity, even as a "joi:y' r 
kangaroo seeks the refuge of its mother's pouch in $ zoo exactly 
jas if it were in the natural 1k bu*li." 

The gastric juices of scrpcnls are very powerful, everything 
with the exception of teeth and hair being digged, audi their 
effect on the delicate, newly horn young would be rapidly fatal—* 
again a very reversal of security. Those snakes that I have seen 
come into the world were treated with utter indifference by the 
mother and, when 1 purposely frightened them, would merely 
scatter for shelter wherever it Could be found, more often trying 
to get beneath the mother whenever she slopped moving about, 
none showed the slightest inclination to go near her mouth. 

21C fUvrv, thflffi Vict'ms of a Ca&ttf Grtkn \ ^jjr" 


Eatly this summer, Mi*. Erasmus Wilson kindly presented me with three 
lizards of the genus Lygt>sow.a (subgenus Liolepisma) , whu-h were housed 
in a rase containing two geckos, viz., Gyti modem tylus fUfflxi&ii and Phyltv- 
dCtctytm irwrmorotus. the former having' occupied the case for over five 
years and the latter (or more than tout* years. 

A tragedy occurred at the beginning of January, when T distr/vered my 
smallest specimen of Lygoscma- lying dead and quite flattened rmt from 
head ro tip of tail*, as thnuirb ii had passed through tollers. Later, the* 
lizard next in size was aWo found dead, but J could not disu-ni any ir*ce 
of injury sufficient to liave caused its death, The thrrd surprise came when 
it was noticed that the tail of the surviving and largest specimen had been 
bitten off dunng the night of January 12, and apparently cater, since tlitrc 
was no sign, of it in the case. 

The final and greatest surprise of all came at night on January 28. when 
I was just m time to see the last oi my tailless- lisard disappearing down 
the throat of Gytww&actylus miliusii. Originally, this hapless reptile was 
equal ill length to that of G. mdhnsit, but. even alter its tail was lest, the 
possibility of heincf % wallowed by such # -small gecko seemed sr.arrely 
credible These attack* were certainly not due to shortage of food, as two 
receptacles containing mealworms a-ptcnty are always available to the 
b'rarrls, while beetles-, spiders, and other small game that I may 
across often provide them with a change of menu; an earthenware sauccr 
of water is also kept replenished. 

1 had often wondered why this particular gecko Im such a very large 
head, compared for instance with P nvumoratux k but, in view of what 
(V. \mt\itsii can do, it seems probable that it u more likely to encounter 
larger game as a ground dweller than would a gecko tVenue-nrim?. 1 f ces only 
It may now appear strange that the other gecko, sharing the same quarters 
for over four year?, has been able to survive, much less retain its tail, 
P. marmoradts is, however, a much more active, yukk-inoving, and also 
nocturnal lizard which 15 not likely to he caught napping, the smaller 
lizards, which curl up to sleep and are defenceless at night, stand far less 
chance- against the predatory powers of G. milium. 

H. W Davky. 


At the head of Mycr's creek, Nealesvilte, them is an nxta.-ptit.TiaI siwcuneit 
of the common large "bracket -fungus." It grew at Brat on a standing 
wattle tree and attained * width of a foot Then the tree* tell and at each 
side a further growth produced lobes as Urge as the original- The total 
length is new three feet and it U still vigorous. 

From the api/car<vnce of the fallen ir*;c 1 would judge that it has lain 
abcml five years, H to, the Age of the bracket must be at least ten yeaTs. 

A. J. SWAflV. 

(Apparently the "bracket-fuagua" alluded to was a specimen of Giant 
Punk (fJ<mrtirW«nj appfotuxh&t) which jn wet, mountainous country can 
attain immense sixe and form ,=uch 3 strong shelf on the bole of a tree as to 
accommodate the weight of several people. The Dandenong Ranges has 
yielded "fine examples., but the record fur longevity among these large, 
woody polypores must go to Fonts * , obt(stus r which ha* been known -.o 
persist on a tree for some 80 years.— J.H.W-1 

1m? I Witus* A New Alpine Xfym)$ of fi M<\Urc liu'rl^htx'' 217 


By J, H- 

var, nov. 

t*crrnn\s atpinix, awlibits virfjatxs foliatix glandularis, m tupcstribiti 
consftomeratis aut fjraniiws aUthidinc 1200 iwlr. {tt tdira) ertsetns* 
Divert «. jorwft typha feHij b&t angusrioribw Wtt (iwplexicanltbm, svbtut 
iidhido-lamuiv ut vt H, Uucopsidio D.C, 

LOCI (ut in Herb. Metb. rtpr.) : 

1. Ml. Speculation* Vic, SOW- 5400 ft,, J, H. Willis, 1/1/1945 {HOW- 

2, Mt- Buffalo, Vic. (P. R. II. St. John, March, 1933, Ur. R, T. l'ation. 

31 Mt- Tealhmop, Vfe. 6200 ft (K. J. Simpfendorfer, Feb., 1945). 

The Malice Everlasting is described in Ewart's Flora of Vic- 
toria (1930) as "confined to N.W. and S.W, Victoria, but rare, 
except near the South Australian border/* and indeed there is 
only one collection from this State represented at the National 
Herbarium. Melbourne (viz,, "SVV, of Murray ville and 4 miles 
from S.Aust," H. B. Williamson, 29/12/1916) | thi* accords well 
with Mueller'* type specimen from "high barren ground'* on 
Kangaroo Island, S A., March, 1851. 

While boranising recently on Mt. Speculation, at the western 
extremity of the Harry Mountains, I found an elegant, pale pink 
everlasting growing plentifully amongst loose conglomerate rock 
on steep north-eastern declivities Of the mount; it was also present 
on Mt. Koonika and Mt, Cobbler, to 8 miles northwards. This 
Helkhrysmn has no rivals to beauty among all the large-headed 
kinds. At first I mistook it for a tall, narrow-leaved condition 
oT the ubiquitous H, kwiopskUum wltieh grew sparingly in the 
vicinity, but close scrutiny revealed much stronger affinities with 
H . adcnophoru;M — a desert plant. 

Typical H . adenophorum shows broad, stem-clasping bases to 
the leaves, which arc glandular all over (as are the scapes), with 
no cottony vcstiture beneath. My Speculation plant lias narrow 
leaves, right to the point of attachment, and they bear a dense 
web ot white cottony hairs on the ventral surface (just as in 
Satin Everlasting, H, teucopsidium), 

I am now satisfied th;it the alpine form is worthy of varietal 
rank, and have pleasure in naming il after Miss Winifred Wad- 
dell — a keen advocate for the conservation and cultivation of oui 
native flora, and a lover of the high mountain plants in particular. 
Miss Waddell was first to observe the slender, pearly-pink ever- 
lastings of Mt. Speculation and, insisting on their distinctiveness, 
urged me to collect and examine specimens if fortune shoufd ever 
bring me near their rocky fastness. 

218 CoUiMAK, CluxU'rnt*j 'of Ihi 6MM fffiHqf*XsnatlaS£i [^oi^i* 


(Attamux lentbrosiis) 

By Euith Coleman, Blackburn, Victoria. 

On February 20, 1945, wood-swallows again clustered in one 
of our gum-trees, about ten feet distant from last season's stte, 
and very much higher on the stem. For sonic days we had 
noticed them hawking at dusk between the stems of the trees. 

On February 22 they had commenced to cluster at about 7 
pm There were about twenty when I first saw them. I counted 
twenty-three more as they came in. Then a hawk flew through 
the tree, and five or six wood-swallows left After the hawk- 
disappeared there was a long pause; then I couhted tweriLy-five 
more as they alighted, the last at 7.25 p.m. 

Feb, 22. — At five past 7 1 saw the first birds settle and watched 
them leaping at each other as they clustered, as it playing. I 
counted forty-five. ' It seemed surprising that they could cling 
so surely to such a clean stein — without fork or twig. With opera 
glasses, and die moon nearly full, T had it clear view. 

Feb. 23. — I rose at ten to 5 a,m. but the birds had flown, yet 
it was still dusky and foggy below the tree-top:*. Higher up it 
was much lighter for the birds' "take-off," and the sky was clear. 
There were no droppings on (he ground. At 7.20 p.m. on the 
same day they clustered in a much taller tree in the garden proper. 
I wondered if my attention with (he opera glasses had worried 
them. They had all clustered and were quiet at 7.30 p.m. 

Feb. 24. — I went to Healesville, and although 1 returned at 
7.30 it was too dark to rind the cluster. 

Feb. 25. — The birds were hawking very low after a warm, 
humid day. I think they did not cluster in our trtes* 

Feb. 26, — There were many on the telegraph lines and a few 
skimming among the trees. There was a vivid sunset I wailed 
until sundown but saw no clustering. 

Feb. 27. — I watched the wood-swaltowa cling to several stems, 
including last season's site, as if they were undecided. Then they 
flew in a band to a tall tree in the garden, settling high up on a 
very slender branch. It was pretty to watch them clambering in 
and out of the cluster, as if playing at pushing each other out of 
bed. The branch was no thicker, perhaps* than my wrist. There 
seemed to be only about half the usual number. I counted thirty- 
five, not very accurately, perhaps, for they were so high and $o 
animated, and I had not. been neat enough lo count them as they 
alighted. There was little foliage on the chosen branch so they 
were much exposed, and the slender bough was tossing in the 
wind. All was quiet at 7.35 p.m. 

I did not see them again The next two evenings were cold 


J3 "Puns/a Pim" 2>9 

Each evening the first-comers had skimmed between the tree- 
trunks before clustering, sometimes leaving the cluster to hawk 
agaif* Late-comers flew direct to the cluster. 

It is possible that the wood-swallows have been swarming >» 
these trees for many .seasons Year after year we have said, "The 
wood-swallows are back/' and have enjoyed watching their 
manoeuvres at dusk among gum-trees on less than an acre nl 
ground which we call our "paddock" ; but, Knowing nothing of 
their clustering habit, wc had not looked for it It is interesting; 
to recall that last year's first cluster was noted on Feb. 26. 

{From Salt, 9/10/44) 

Ail interesting nature note comes frGru Pte. R. Ryan, Q2K247 : "'As 1 
was wandering Through jungle country one afternoon, my ooMnls were 
shockingly assailed by the most nauseating stench I have ever encountered 

"IJu* rain-forest, dark, wet. cavernou;; and vine-curtained, abounding in 
pinkish, jelly-tike, luminescent loads loci growths, giant tret*-; supported by 
huge flying buttresses, pulpy soil and rotting bread-fruits, gave no clue kr 
the origin of the smell. J looked into a gloom* recess formed by the 
buttressed base of an Octomchs Snma!r<wn and saw, for the first time, the 
flc-wcr of the Punga Pung Lily. 

"The bloom, marbled ?n reddish magenta, yellow md green, not unlike a 
piece of decomposing liver, both in appearance and odour, g learned dully 
ill the half light. 'Punca Pung' is only one of the many New Guinea 
native words used to describe this plant which is believed to be akin to, 
it ne>t the .same as. a growth found in the East ladies. An amazing feature 
of the fleshy, tubular blossom (which emerges train the ground before the 
lily, h looms for some weeks, then dies) is that it makes itself offensive 
only before sundown. 

"I brought the flower bacV to my hut and planted it in the garden. It 
was on exhibition for two da>*, dtrrmg wlticb lime it behaved, admirably 
and caused no discomfort; its vicicusness bad disappeared. However, on 
the third evening it polluted the pure equatorial air lor a distance Oi 50 
yard*. Ungentle persuasiveness and Australian adjectives compelled me 
to consign uiv prize to its final resting nlace, the, roaring waters of the wild 

"The Punga Pung is insectivorous, as flic;, hectic*, hugs., worms, etc., out 
entering the tube, become entangled in the thick soupy syrups at its hose. 
Jt is indigenous to hotlt eoa.stdl and mountain regions-" 

[Ed. : AworphophaUns war Prain, also known from India, Malay, and 


Mr< A. H. Chisbolm, who for the past five years has been Honorary 
Editor of the ykfoncm Naturalist, has had temporarily to relinquish the 
position owing to bis having: been appointed Press Attache to His Royal 
H>ghncs« the pvtM of Gloucester. All material for the Naturalist should 
be addressed. until further notice, to the Acting I ton Editor Mr. ). H. 
Willis. National HeAflrtUrtM Sotilh Yarr*. S.R1. 

220 nxrmvoa In Fcruirvr Gt>Uy [-ft**? 


Light rain erected the* sixteen Ctub members who attended an all -day 
outing to the National Park art March ID After assembling to hear a 
hr'vtf dissertation en (he subject of this excursion, vi?, f Terns, by Mr. A. J. 
Swaby (leaden, the party split in two, my section taking a right-hand 

We 9000 encountered a tine patch of Gristle Fern just km the track and, 
-ft little further mt, a very large Wonga Vine {our only native Tccomo). 
Many clumps of the Kangaroo Fern could be seen oti mossy trunks and 
branches of the low gulty uees. and fungi were much fa evidence- -one of 
the gilled type was a delightful little pern nf brilliant rul,vy-red. Ai the 
large grove of tree-ferns that was to be our principal hunting ground, 
many ferns were found in a very short iime and our list rose to )6 species 

Just tart the parly was intrigued by sight of a powerful owl carrying 
off a full-grown possum ; it Hew about 50 yards in, one stage, theii> before 
we lost ;;ighr of it, at least 7ft yards more, still carrying the possum — turtle 
an unusual event for mid-day. A heavy shower forced us to take cover 
for about ten minute*, beneath the tree-ferns, and we shortly afterward* 
retraced our steps to the public kiouk, where both sections met together 
1>»r lunch and were joined by additional excursionists front the city. More 
rain having fallen, Mr. Swaby kept the whole afternoon party to a main 
track and the subject resolved itself into general botany The leader gave 
interesting notes on some 40 different plants that were observed and 
identified, including the pest St John's Wort. 

Here is a list of the 23 ferns that were seen during the day: 

Austral Kin* Fern, Common Fitmy-fern, Veined Bristle-fern, Soft Tree- 
fern, Rough Tree-fern, Uuious Hypolepis. Sticky Hypolepu, Common 
Bracken. HatVwing Fern, Tender Brake, Netted Brake,*' Common Maiden- 
hair, Sickle Fern, CiriMJc Fern, Necklace Fern, Mother Splecnworr, Shade 
Spkcnworc, Shining Wood-fern, Mother Shie!d*fern, Leathery Shield-fern, 
ICangaroo Fern, Finger Fern, Gipsy Fern 

•The record of Netted Brake (Pterin cohwiu;) is particularly interesting, 
as this rare fen; wa* previously known in the DandenongJt from only one 
small area, via., on Clematis Gully 

T A, GutFPirns 


About forty members and visitors attended and enjoyed a «iuiei afternoon 
in the shade mi February 24. The lagoon which usually, provides maximum 
variety was almost empty, but among the weeds were found plenty of 
Odcnatti. Memiftcm and Diptria, The beat specimen jjf ihe day was. as 
usual, (he fish that get away? This was a very large green "mudeye," 
netted tn a shallow backwater o* the Vaira; it Was inadvertently returned 
to the water, 

The leader finished the day with a short talk on types of breatbmjr 
apparatus evolved by msecu which return to the water, and on *ome of the 
Interesting mudifir.,itions nf their jaws. 

A, J. Swabv. 

"Tliei-e is so great a icafefly of large, sound timber fit for building, dial 
the greatest part oi Melbourne is. bm'U w;tb wood from Van J>iemcn's Land. 
The want nf good timber is generally felt throughout the colony." — Letter 
from Thomas Winter, Esq.. about 1537.