A new viola species for Carnarvon

about  Carnarvon Station 
on 14 Oct 2014 

Tonight’s customary roundtable was buzzing with more exciting news from the Bush Blitz scientists about another successful day of plant and animal discoveries on Carnarvon.

Bronwyn Collins and Emma Toms, vascular plant experts from the Australian National Herbarium, had a very exciting day with the discovery of a new viola species not recorded on Carnarvon. The plant was found in Carnarvon’s eastern Blue Water Springs region.

Christine Lambkin, known to many for her extensive work with insects of the order Diptera (flies), has been searching for a rare fly on Carnarvon for a while now and today she found it - not only one but two of them, together!

Spider expert Barbara Baehr from the Queensland Museum and BHP Employee Dominic Stearne were also very pleased with their traps today, finding 13 different families of spiders, including several net-casting spiders from the spider family Deinopidae. Net-casting spiders have a unique way of catching their prey, they make a small web in the form of a net held by their front legs, which they stretch out to encase passing insects. 

Heather Janetzki and Andrew Amey are also from the Queensland Museum. They've set up a make-shift laboratory in Carnarvon’s meat-house for dissecting the species they find. Heather is focusing her efforts on mammals (particularly small dasyurids, micro bats and rodents) and Andrew on reptiles and amphibians. In the traps today Heather found what is most likely a hoary wattled bat (Chalinolobus nigrogriseus) and yesterday Andrew found a bandy bandy snake (Vermicella annulata).

Desley Tree is the Collection Manager from Qld Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s Insect Collection and has found more new thrip species than she ever imagined. She's decided to stay on for a few extra days to continue collecting.

Bush Blitz is an innovative partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch Australia. It's the world’s first continent-scale biodiversity survey, providing the knowledge needed to help us protect Australia’s unique animals and plants for generations to come.