Saturday, 10 November 2012

Excellent orchids on Black Mountain ACT

Denis from Robertson enquired if I was interested in joining him in a foray on Black Mountain on 10/11/12 - he was particularly interested in three species recently seen by local experts.  This was a no-brainer to say "yes" especially since Tony, one of the local gurus, was able to join and guide us.  In baseball parlance we batted 1.000 finding all three of the target species.

I will put a couple of "other species seen" at the end of this post but here are the three specials.

Caleana minor (Small Duck Orchid)

These were very small.  Denis was the main finder of these growing in litter under the trees.  I think one has to have taken some special pills to really see the likeness to a duck, but they do have some charm.



Simpliglottis valida (Large Bird Orchid)
The major difficulty with finding this species was it growing under a patch of Lomandra.  The landmarks were also a tad refined, being an indistinct kangaroo track and a broken-off tree (neither of those commodities are in short supply on Black Mountain).  However Tony knew which broken-off tree and which indistinct kangaroo track to go for.

Once found, the single flower was very attractive, although pharmacology must be involved in making the visual link to a bird.  It is a tad darker than might be expected possibly meaning it is approaching its use-by date.



Stegostyla congesta (Pink caps)

Once the shift had been made to the correct part of the mountain this species was not that hard to locate.  Being bright pink and having a stem about 30cm long will make things easier to spot!

The hooded dorsal sepal could be said to form a cap and is certainly pink.



Other orchid species seen

We noted another three species as we moved around.  The most common was Diuris sulphurea (Tiger orchid) but I didn't take yet another image of them.

There was a good supply of white not-Caladenias (although I hear that the prefix 'not-' is about to be officially replaced by the prefix 'again-').   They were all recorded as Stegostyla moscata (Musky caps).
A couple of Thelymitra juncifolia (Large-spotted Sun Orchid) were encountered early on.  When Tony first found them they were open, but by the time we came across them they were closing for the day and the large spots were not visible.
Insects were beginning to be about including this Grass Moth ..
.. and a Beetle investigating a stone.
Both of these 'observations' are a reminder to start getting my insect ID books off the shelf and re-start  trying to lodge their contents into my brain.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Martin
My photos are still in my Camera,as I am sharing computer with my brother in Canberra - still.
Denis