Upper Yarra Reservoir Park

24 July 2016

We encountered interesting fungi before we even crossed the bridge into the unspoilt forest wilderness. One was an unusual Clavulinopsis species that not even Ed & Pat could put a name to. This was a two-toned species with a beige fertile head for most of its length supported by a brown stem. Younger fruiting bodies were mostly simple clubbed shapes but some of the older ones were attractively antlered.

A mountain grey gum Eucalyptus cypellocarpa had lost a branch with its many dead leaves now rotting near the ground. On the most sheltered and wettest side the dead leaves were partially skeletonized and a fungus appeared to be devouring the "fleshy" part. The possibility of leaf-skeletonizing insect larvae or other invertebrates was also discussed and that the fungi may have simply exploited and colonized the damaged area.

Before turning back for lunch Richard uncovered a couple of flat bugs sheltering under separated dead bark of hazel pomaderris. Thanks to Martin Lagerwey for identifying them as being from the Neuroctenus genus and that the particularly attractively patterned pale one is a nymph and the dark one (with apparently fully developed wings) is an adult.

Highlights in the afternoon were mostly enjoyed by the "stragglers" — the fleet-footed were perhaps too swift to study several large Eucalyptus logs. On the rotten log we spent some time examining the interesting and unusual fungi growing on the shady side, including a flat, firm species that appears to have formed by conglomeration similar to that of slime-mould. A path of fairly small, semi-translucent yellow discs were examined but at the time thought too cup-like to be an Orbilia species.

Thanks to Dr Leigh Winsor for correcting my flatworm ID and Ken Harris for identifying the ground lichen to species.