18 March 2012
Camped near the Otways overnight to start a short western Victoria coastal trip.
I had planned to check out sites in Cobboboonee National Park for potential late–season
dragonflies and was just going to spend the morning in the Otways.
I checked out Lake Elizabeth for fungus but found little but I did find some on the walk to
a waterfall in a nice rainforest environment.
On the return to the car park I spotted an
Otway Black Snail Victaphanta compacta
a carnivorous land snail endemic to the wet forests of the Otway region.
Next stop was Hopetoun Falls
Although it was early afternoon it was overcast and quite cool in the gully so I was surprised to
see some dragonflies patrolling the river.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a photo for a proper ID but they seemed most likely
a species I had seen at that site before — just surprised to see them active at this temperature.
For some time while I was trying to photograph the dragonflies a
Pink Robin Petroica rodinogaster
kept me company, catching small insects in flight.
On my return to the car I encountered an unusual insect that I was later able to partially identify
thanks to an information sign at Melba Gully.
Its a Stonefly (probably Eusthenia
sp.) - it could even be a rare
Otway Stonefly Eusthenia nothofagi
but is very difficult to distinguish from E. venosa
(maybe even impossible from a photograph)
but the latter may not exist in the Otways.