Acacia Leaf Beetle Dicranosterna immaculata

By: Michael Fox

Most people I talk to want less Crows and more Fairy-wrens in their gardens and schoolyards.

A key factor in bringing these beautiful birds back to our urban habitat increasing the number and diversity of insects. So it is very encouraging to find increasing number of different species in areas restored with our National Tree Day events.

In the last week we added four new insect and spider species to our research: Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

The first addition was found by Griffith Environment Student and Fox Gully Bushcare volunteer: Fumihiko Suzuki. Mi Fu discovered a handsome Acacia Leaf Beetle Dicranosterna immaculata feeding on a Brisbane Wattle Acacia fimbriata.

Hairy Crab Spider Sidymella hirsuta


The Queensland Pathways State College team joined us for Bushcare clearing Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus var. maximus and exploring local wildlife.

The team discovered three species for our research, starting with a very cute Hairy Crab Spider Sidymella hirsuta.

Oval Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria kellyi



Cockroaches are not normally a popular insect. However, worldwide 99% of cockroaches live in bushland and do not invade our homes. Our Australian bush cockroaches perform valuable services recycling leaf litter using gut enzymes that break down tough plant cellulose.

So discovering Oval Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria kellyi working hard improving our bushland habitat is very exciting.

Yellow Soldier Beetle Chauliognathus flavipennis



The Yellow Soldier Beetle Chauliognathus flavipennis is another interesting find which is typically found in south-east Queensland.

Atlas of Living Australia – species sightings

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Griffith Mates Team in action

By: Michael Fox

Welcoming our Griffith Mates Bushcare Team back on Saturday was a real pleasure for me.

Young an energetic is obvious. What always blows me away is the diversity of study areas … nano-technology, business, education and of course environmental studies: undergrad and masters levels, and the diversity of family heritage with students from East Timor, Malaysia and PNG.

The Team worked with me clearing weeds: Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus var. maximus, Cobblers Pegs Bidens pilosa and Perennial Horse Gram Macrotyloma axillare var. axillare.

Congratulations Team. Great to have you back!

Saturday’s job was site prep for this year’s National Tree Day planting which will restore the missing mid-story habitat so vital for birds, butterflies and bees.

First step in preparing for our yearly planting clearing the site and the Team removed fifteen bags of weeds.

And we have found a couple of new Koala spotters … one was in a tree just above where we were working and another was spotted beside the track up to the Summit.

Thank you to our Griffith Mates partners. Together we are making a difference.

Griffith Mates at work - 1 Mar 2020

Weeding Team in action

By: Michael Fox

I love our annual Clean Up when the community turns out to help maintain our special Reserve. Heather Woods, our event coordinator, registered our largest ever team:
  • 75 Volunteers;
  • 66 Adults; and
  • 9 Children (under 16)

Dainty Swallowtail - Papilio anactus - 1 Mar 2020

Dainty Swallowtail Papilio anactus


The reduction in rubbish to be cleaned up means the largest group joined the Weeding Team this year.

We are working with the Council Rangers and Habitat Brisbane team to prepare the site for the 2020 National Tree Day Planting on Sunday, 02 August. Special focus will be planting species that enhance the visitor experience by attracting butterflies, like the beautiful Dainty Swallowtail Papilio anactus, while maintaining the views to the city and Glass House Mountains.

Weeds cleared - 1 Mar 2020

Huge area of Guinea Grass and Creeping Lantana cleared


The weeding team did a great job clearing a huge area of Guinea Grass Panicum maximum, Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis and Glycine Neonotonia wightii. Clearing the weeds and removing trip hazards is the first step in site preparation for planting.



Blue Banded Bee - Amegilla cingulata - 1 Mar 2020

Blue Banded Bee visiting Blue Tongue flower


Species for planting will be based on our research for Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Blue Tongue or Native Lasiandra Melastoma affine, currently flowering at the Lookout, is very popular with the solitary native bees in the Reserve. Like Blue Banded Bees Amegilla cingulata

Other species observed on the day were Great Carpenter Bees Xylocopa sp., Stingless Native Bees Trigona sp., and caterpillars of Glasswing Acraea andromacha and Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterflies and Pale Brown Hawk Moth Theretra latreillii.

Guide on Patrol 2 - 1 Mar 2020

Guide on Patrol


Meanwhile the Rubbish Teams were busy around the Summit and along the roadway collecting the usual fastfood packages and some strange parts fallen off cars.




Griffith Mates Team - 1 Mar 2020

Griffith Mates Bushcare Team




Heather with rubbish collection




Thank you to all the community members, the Holland Park Girl Guides and Griffith Mates.










Thank you to Heather Woods for organising the event.


Clairvaux Bushcare Team in action

By: Michael Fox

I was very happy to welcome our Clairvaux Bushcare Team back to declare war on Guinea Grass regrowth. The team first removed the seed heads before removing and piling the grass in swales to compost and reduce water runoff.

Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus is a fast growing environmental that crowds out local native species and creates a significant bushfire risk. Originally from Africa Guinea Grass has been bought to Australia as a pasture grass and has local herbivore species to control its growth so dead grass accumulates as a loose fast burning fuel for bushfire.

Fruit Piercing Moth - Eudocima fullonia - caterpillar 1- 20 May 2019

Fruit Piercing Moth caterpillar

The team found a number of “bugs” including a new moth species to add to our Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. The Fruit Piercing Moth Eudocima fullonia is curious creature. The caterpillars feed on local Tape Vine Stephania japonica while the adult moths feed by piercing a wide variety of fruit species, often causing the fruit to rot.

Purplewinged Mantid - Tenodera australasiae - 20 May 2019

Purplewinged Mantid


The students were not fazed by anything including finding this Purplewinged Mantid Tenodera australasiae climbing over his shirt.




Golden Orb-Weaver - Nephila plumipes - 20 May 2019

Golden Orb Weaver spider



Or this beautiful Golden Orb Weaver Nephila plumipes spider or the tiger hiding in the long grass.





Black Woodland Cockroach - Platyzosteria melanaria - 20 May 2019

Black Woodland Cockroach



Or even this Black Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria melanaria 

Australian native cockroaches do not invade our houses or spread disease preferring to stay in the bush feeding in trees on pollen, bark and leaf material. Some species in the genus Panesthia have adapted to eating decomposing wood, and have similar micro-organisms in their gut as those found in termites (Order Isoptera).


What an amazing team of Bushcarers!

A huge area of Guinea Grass regrowth de-seeded and piled for composting on-site. Eradication will take another couple of years as we break the cycle of seeds.

The support of extraordinary and generous partners like the Clairvaux Bushcare Team allow us to restore large areas of our Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve habitat.

Roly Chapman - Zone 2 - 27 Feb 2015

Restoration team at work – Liz, Heather, Eloise & Lincon

By: Michael Fox

Our Roly Chapman restoration team has made good progress clearing Guinea Grass Panicum maximum, Sword/Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia and Easter Cassia Senna pendula from Zone 2.

Natural regen - Zone 2 - 27 Feb 2015

Parsonsia vine, Creeping Beard Grass, Slender Grape and Native Wandering Jew (blue flower)

Bushland restoration can be slow as breaking the cycle of weeds retuning means removing seeds and roots left in the ground. Seed heads need to be clipped off Guinea Grass then bagged. Fishbone Fern is particularly slow as all the brown fibrous roots need to be dug up and bagged for removal, leaves can be composted on-site.


Marshal chatting to a local Magpie

However, watching the natural regeneration of native species provides inspiration to keep going with the work. Each time we come on-site the Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea, Wombat Berry Eustrephus latifolius, Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus, Native Wandering Jew Commelina diffusa and Parsonsia vines are returning where the weeds have been removed.

Restoration of Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve will take another ten or twenty years however with the new cycle path and bridge over Mimosa Creek this is already becoming a special place to walk or cycle.

Water Dragon - 16 Oct 2014

Eastern Water Dragon

Marshal and I took at walk through the Reserve to check out the fungi that has appeared after the rain. Eastern Water Dragons Physignathus lesueurii and turtles can often be seen beside the causeway across Mimosa Creek. This morning it was just a family of Australian Magpies Gymnorhna tibicen. One Magpie was particularly taken with Marshal when he stopped for a chat.


Yellow Fleshy Pore Fungi





Some beautiful fungi fruit have appeared, like the Yellow Fleshy Pore Fungi with its charismatic underside with pores rather than the more common finned underside. Click on image to enlarge.




White Mushroom fungi - 27 Feb 2015

White gilled fungi in composting weeds


This white gilled fungi is growing out of one the weed composting piles.




Gilled fungi - 27 Feb 2015

Gilled fungi




Delicate gilled fungi.





Mushroom cluster - 27 Feb 2015

Gilled fungi cluster







Gilled fungi cluster on stick.




Laughing Kookaburra






While we are working we always have local wildlife visiting. Laughing Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae and Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus torquatus arrive as soon as we start clearing weeds exposing small insects and spiders.

Grey Butcherbird - 27 Feb 2015

Grey Butcherbird looking for breakfast

Pandorea pandorana - close - 24 Sept 2014

Wonga Wonga Vine Pandorea pandorana

By: Michael Fox

Every now and then I come across something really special when doing my bush restoration work. This morning it was coming across this Wonga Wonga Vine Pandorea pandorana covered in hundreds of flowers.

I have been working in the area around this vine for months creating a barrier to stop the spread of Guinea Grass Panicum maximum and remove carpet of huge Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus. I was in the area only a few days ago and didn’t see any flowers then when I arrived this morning the vine was covered in flowers.

Pandorea pandorana - tree - 24 Sept 2014

Wonga Wonga Vine covering an old stag

I have seen Wonga Wonga Vine in Toohey Forest around the Nathan Campus but never in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. This exciting find means we have not identified two hundred and seventy-two different native plant species found in this special island of bushland surrounded by the suburban matrix of houses and roads. That means in 66 hectares we have 11% of the total native plant diversity in the whole of the 22 million hectares of Great Britain.

Wonga Wonga Vine is a vigorous twining plant with this patch almost covering a huge old stag (dead tree) creating great habitat for the small forest birds to hide and nest.

Being right in the middle of the area I have been clearing of weeds, this vine will have a great opportunity to spread as part of the natural regeneration that is all ready occurring with Love Flower Pseuderanthemum variable,  Pink Tongues Rostellularia adscendens and Scrambling Lilly Geitonoplesium cymosum returning.