plant root growing in an unusual location e.g. from a stem.
occurring singly or at different levels along a stem e.g. leaves or flowers.
Amphibians have a thin skin covering their bodies which they use to breathe while underwater. They need to live in moist places so this skin remains damp. Amphibians are ectotherms which means that the temperature inside their body varies with the temperature of their environment. Most amphibians lay their eggs in the water or damp places. When hatched from the egg, the larvae usually live in the water and use gills to breathe. The larvae then undergo metamorphosis to become adults that breathe using lungs and can live in the water or on land. Frogs of the Western Volcanic Plains may be grouped into southern frogs and tree frogs.
Animals are living things that share the following characteristics: (i) All animals are eukaryotes. This means that they are made up of cells that have a membrane - bound nucleus and organelles. (ii) All animals are heterotrophs. This means that they have to eat other organisms to obtain the energy required to live. (iii) Animals are multicellular. This means that they are made up of more than one cell. (iv) Animals are capable of movement in one form or another. (v) Animal cells do not have a rigid cellulose cell wall. (vi) Nearly all animals have bodies that are separated into different tissues. (vii) Nearly all animals reproduce sexually. This involves the fusion of two sex cells or gametes.
plant which completes its life cycle and dies within one year.
Ants are insects from the family Formicidae. They have a small section called the petiole between the thorax and the abdomen. This gives them the flexibility to allow the tip of the abdomen to be brought forward to sting prey or predators. Ants have elbowed antennae which allows greater flexibility and movement. They also possess metapleural glands which secrete an antibiotic fluid. The ants groom this fluid over their exoskeleton to prevent growth of bacteria and fungi.
part of the male reproductive structure; the part of the stamen that produces pollen.
relating to water.
Aquatic Ferns are in the family Salviniaceae. Aquatic Ferns are a floating herb, that often forms a dense mat over still waters. They have fine rhizomes, are hairy and rootless. Leaves float and are in whorls of three.
Arachnids are a class of invertebrates that have eight legs. They have no antennae or wings and their body is divided into two parts; the cephalothorax (the head and thorax combined), and the abdomen.
Living in trees.
a plant which emits a pleasant and distinctive smell.
Arrowgrass is in the family Juncaginaceae. Arrowgrass has rhizomes and tubers or bulbs, that grows wholly or partially in water, and in marshy substrates. They have a basal concentration of leaves, which are medium to large in size. Leaves are emergent but sometimes submerged. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in racemes and in spikes).
a bristle-like appendage of a plant, especially on the grains of cereals and grasses.
angle formed by the leaf and the branch bearing it.
line passing through the centre of something.
Banksias are in the family Proteaceae. Banksias are evergreen trees or shrubs, that grow in moist substrates or drier areas. Leaves are small to medium in size, leathery, aromatic and linear or oval-shaped. Flowers are sometimes solitary but most are grouped in inflorescences (in racemes, in spikes, in heads and in umbels). Flowers are yellow in colour, but orange, red, pink and violet can also occur.
forming at the base.
Stretch out in the sun. Often carried out by reptiles in order to increase their body temperature.
Beetles can be distinguished from other insects by the presence of two pairs of wings. The first pair are hardened wings called elytra which have no veins. These protect the second membranous wings underneath and also cover breathing holes. This allows the beetle to control its body temperature and water loss.
a plant which completes its life cycle and dies in the second year.
small leaves which are arranged in pairs, one on either side of the stem.
Birds are the only type of animals that have feathers. There are different types of feathers; soft, down feathers to keep the bird warm, wing feathers for flight and tail feathers for steering. Feathers are also used to attract a mate in some bird species or for camouflage in others. Birds are endothermic, like mammals, which means that they have a constant internal body temperature. They have a beak with no teeth and lay hard-shelled eggs. All living species of birds have wings, but not all of them can fly. Birds may be classified as passerines (perching birds) or non-passerines. Birds of the Western Volcanic Plains may be grouped into many bird families.
containing both male and female reproductive organs.
Bladderworts are in the family Lentibulariaceae Bladderworts are carnivorous herbs. Most are terrestrial but some are aquatic and grow in marshy areas. They have long, thin branching stolons beneath or against the surface of their substrate. Bladder traps ( which trap animals) and photosynthetic leaf-shoots are attached to these stolons. In terrestrial species, only the flowering stems are visible. Flowers are sometimes solitary but most are grouped in inflorescences (in racemes and in spikes).
Bluebells are in the family Campanulaceae. Bluebells are mostly herbs and sometimes shrubs to trees, that grow wholly or partially in water and also in drier areas. They have a basal concentration of leaves that are emergent and submerged. Flowers are solitary, or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes, spikes, and in umbels), are bell-shaped and mostly blue.
Borage is in the family Boraginaceae. Borage is a herb that grows in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. They have a basal concentration of leaves, that are medium-sized, most are hairy, linear to oval in shape, and have a well developed stem above ground. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
a modified or specialized leaf.
a small bract especially on a floral stem.
Bramble and Burrs are in the family Rosaceae. Bramble and Burrs include trees, shrubs, or herbs and are usually deciduous but sometimes evergreen. They grow in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. They are self supporting but sometimes climb, and have thin slender stems often with short shoots.
a small branch.
A number of young produced or hatched at the same time.
True bugs are a group of insects belonging to the order Hemiptera. They have characteristic mouthparts which are used for piercing and sucking. This mouthpart is called a probiscus and it is used to pierce food. Saliva is then pumped into the food to cause partial digestion. The bug then sucks up the food through the probiscus. True bugs have antennae with 5 segments.
thick storage organ that is usually underground.
rounded, shaped like a bulb.
a seed that has hooks or teeth which attach themselves to the fur of animals or clothing of passing people.
Bursaria is in the family Pittosporaceae. Bursaria are evergreen trees, shrubs or climbing vines that are self supporting or climbing. They grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are usually spiral and soft. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes or corymbs) and have five petals.
Small, passerines that belong to the Alaudidae family. They often have rich and varied calls.
Large, terrestrial birds that belong to the Otididae family. They have long, strong legs and large toes. Most prefer to walk or run rather than fly.
Buttercups are in the family Ranunculaceae. Buttercups are mostly herbs, and less commonly shrubs or climbing vines. They grow in moist to drier areas. Flowers are mostly bright yellow to white, small to medium in size, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, in racemes, or in panicles). Flowers usually have five petals (some species have six or more or none).
Butterflies are insects belonging to the class Lepidoptera. They have four large, scaly wings. Butterflies have specialised sucking mouthparts and antennae that are clubbed or hooked. They undergo complete metamorphosis during their lifecycle. They are often found resting with their wings closed.
a protruding mass of tissue.
the outer whorl of a flower, which is usually green.
a dry fruit formed from two or more carpels, opening spontaneously when mature to release seeds.
The upper section of the exoskeleton of some arthropods. Also the upper part of the shell of tortoises and turtles.
Carnations are in the family Caryophyllaceae. Carnations are mainly herbs, and less commonly small trees or shrubs. They grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are usually opposite and often have stipules. Flowers are sometimes solitary but are mostly grouped in inflorescences (in cymes). They usually have five petals but sometimes have four.
An animal that eats other animals.
a plant able to trap and digest small animals, especially insects.
female reproductive organ found at the centre of a flower, consisting of an ovary, a style and a stigma.
The dead, decaying flesh of an animal that is eaten by scavengers.
Centipedes belong to the class of invertebrates called Chilopoda. Their body is made up of many segments. Each segment has one pair of legs. Centipedes have odd numbers of pairs of legs. They also have a pair of venom claws which are modified front appendages.
Members of this group are also known as centipedes. Chilopods have one pair of legs per body segment and a pair of poisonous claws beneath their head. Often the last pair of legs are used to grasp or wave in a defensive display. The bite of a Chilopod is often painful but not deadly to humans.
Cicadas are insects belonging to the order Hemiptera. They possess stout bodies, broad heads, clear membranous wings and large compound eyes. After the nymphs hatch from eggs laid in trees, they drop down and burrow into the soil. They remain in the soil for up to 7 years feeding on the sap from the roots of trees. When fully grown, the nymphs burrow up out of the soil, climb the tree and moult for the last time. They live as an adult for only a few weeks.
Cockatoos belong to the bird family Cacatuidae. They generally have curved bills and moveable head crests. Their plumage is usually less brightly coloured than other parrots, being mainly black, grey or white.
Cockroaches are insects belonging to the order Blattodea. This insect has a broad, flattened body with a relatively small head, compound eyes and flexible antennae. The Cockroach has a pair of tough, protective outer wings covering a delicate pair of membranoud hind wings. The abdomen has ten segments.
the process in which a species spreads to new areas.
structure extending above ovary, incorporating style and stamens e.g. in orchids.
Occurs when an animal has four very different stages in its life cycle; egg, larva, pupa and adult.
the petals of a flower, typically forming a whorl within the sepals and enclosing the reproductive organs.
a flat topped inflorescence in which the individual flower stalks grow upward from various points on the main stem to approximately the same height.
Large, long-legged, long-necked birds belonging to the family Gruidae. Cranes fly in a characteristic manner with their necks outstretched and their legs trailing behind.
upper part of a tree including the branches and foliage.
Crustaceans have limbs that branch into two. Each branch consists of a series of segments attached end to end. They also have two pairs of antennae, two pairs of maxillae and one pair of mandibles (mouthparts). Small crustaceans breathe through their body and larger ones breathe through gills. Crustaceans have an exoskeleton which they moult when they grow.
the hollow stem of a grass, sedge, rush or similar plant, that bears the flower.
the process of growing plants.
the outer layer of living tissue.
an inflorescence in which the main axis and all the lateral branches end in a flower.
Daisies are in the family Asteraceae. Daisies are mostly herbs, and are rarely trees, shrubs or climbing vines. They grow in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic, or xerophytic but very rarely hydrophytic. Leaves are alternate, opposite or whorled and are nearly always without stipules. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in heads), and usually have five petals.
a tree or shrub that sheds its leaves annually.
arrangement where leaves are opposite, with each pair at right angle to the last.
deterioration in the quality of land.
A flap of skin that hangs beneath the lower jaw or neck of many vertebrates.
Active during the day.
Dock is in the family Polygonaceae. Docks are mostly herbs, but sometimes trees, shrubs or climbing vines. They can grow in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. Leaves are minute to large, nearly always alternate and usually with stipules. Stems often have swollen nodes. Flowers are small, and solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in racemes or in spikes).
The upper surface or back.
covered in soft fine hairs.
a small drupe-like subdivision composing the outer layer of fruits such as raspberries or blackberries.
Ducks belong to the family Anatidae. They are waterbirds with a broad, flat beak, short legs and webbed feet.
Duckweed is in the family Lemnaceae Duckweed is an aquatic herb that floats on or sometimes below the water's surface. Leaves are green, flat, circular to oval in shape. Plants are solitary or connected to form groups of 2-10 (or more) plants, with or without roots. Flowers are minute.
Earwigs are insects with a flattened, elongated body, belonging to the order Dermaptera. It possesses characteristic abdominal cerci which are sharp pincers on the end of the abdomen. Large wings are often concealed against its body but it generally does not fly.
The use of sound to locate objects. Some animals emit sounds and listen to their echo in order to find their way around and also to find food.
A community of living organisms and their non-living surroundings interacting as a system.
A parasite that lives on the outside of its host.
oval, shaped like a flattened circle.
young plant contained within a seed.
at risk of becoming extinct.
found in a particular location.
A parasite that lives inside its host.
a plant that grows upon another plant (such as a tree) or another object (such as a power pole) and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and sometimes from debris accumulated around it.
Eucalypts are in the family Myrtaceae. Eucalypts are evergreen trees and shrubs, that grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are small to large, linear to oval in shape and commonly opposite but sometimes alternate or whorled. Stipules are minute or absent. Leaves are aromatic and the surface is dotted with conspicuous oil glands. Flowers are rarely solitary but are usually grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, corymbs, spikes and panicles).
a plant that has leaves through all the seasons.
Hard covering on the outer body of some invertebrates.
introduced or non-native species living outside its native distribution range.
Small insectivorous passerines belonging to the family, Maluridae. This family of birds are noted for their sexual dimorphism. The males have highly visible, brightly coloured plumage while the females are generally fawn in colour.
Small, insectivorous birds belonging to the family Rhipiduridae. They have a characterisitic rounded, fan-shaped tail.
a cluster, e.g. a tuft of leaves or branches that all arise from the same point.
Ferns occur in a number of different families. Ferns may be terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic. Rhizomes are erect, ascending or short to long and creeping. Fronds are pinnate, pinnules are lanceolate and rarely linear. The stipe is dark brown or black, usually glossy, scaly at the base and sometimes hairy above.
Figworts are in the family Scrophulariaceae. Figworts are herbs, rarely shrubs, trees or climbers, and can be totally parasitic, partially parasitic or autotrophs. They grow in a variety of areas; hydrophytic, helophytic, mesophytic, or xerophytic. When hydrophytic, leaves are emergent, submerged or floating. Leaves are alternate, opposite or whorled and without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes, spikes, heads and in panicles).
the stalk of a stamen, supporting the anther, part of the male reproductive structure in plants.
Finches have robust sharp bills for seed-cracking or removing seeds from thistles. True finches are from the family Fringillidae.
A young bird that has recently acquired its flight feathers.
a small flower, particularly when part of a larger inflorescence.
the sexual reproductive structure of flowering plants generally consisting of an ovary, stigma and style.
True flies are insects that belong to the order Diptera. A characteristic of this insect is the possesion of one pair of wings for flight and a second pair of wings that have been reduced to knobs called halteres which are used for balance. Flies undergo complete metamorphosis with four stages in their lifecycle.
food for cattle and other livestock.
a dry fruit formed from one carpel, that splits along only one suture to release its seeds.
To search for food.
a broad-leaf herb other than a grass.
Adapted to digging and living underground.
Frogs are vertebrates belonging to the class Amphibia. Oxygen can readily pass through their permeable skin allowing them to stay underwater for long periods. Most have long hind limbs, three eyelid membranes and a tympanum on each side of the head which are involved in hearing. Frogs have glands in their skin which produce secretions to help keep the skin moist and free from fungus and bacteria. They will shed this skin every few weeks. Frogs have three stages to their lifecycle: the egg, the tadpole and the adult frog.
the leaf of a fern, cycad or palm.
seed-bearing structure of a flowering plant.
the stalk of an ovule.
Gentians are in the family Gentianaceae. Gentians are mostly herbs, but there are a few shrubs and climbers. They grow in marshy substrates (often alpine areas) and in drier areas. Leaves are mainly opposite and usually decussate, but sometimes are whorled or alternate. Stipules are absent. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
Geraniums are in the family Geraniaceae. Geraniums are usually herbs or shrubs, that grow in moist to drier areas. Upper leaves are often alternate with lower leaves often opposite. Leaves are mostly toothed or have lobes and stipules. Flowers are sometimes solitary but are mostly grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, or in umbels). There are five petals.
to grow from a seed, pollen grain or spore.
The period of time in which a fetus develops.
globose, nearly spherical.
a class of organic compounds that contain sulphur and nitrogen and are derived from glucose and an amino acid.
Goodenia are in the family Goodeniaceae. Goodenia are herbs or shrubs, and sometimes trees, that grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are nearly always spiral and alternate but rarely opposite to whorled. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are rarely solitary but are mostly grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, spikes, heads and racemes).
a grass or grass-like plant, including grasses (family Poaceae), sedges (family Cyperaceae) and rushes (family Juncaceae).
Grasses are in the family Poaceae. Grasses are herbs or herbaceous climbers, that are evergreen or deciduous. Stem internodes are commonly hollow. They grow wholly or partially in water to drier areas. When hydrophytic, leaves are submerged, emergent or floating. When xerophytic, leaves are minute to large and alternate. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in spikelets).
Grasshoppers are insects belonging to the order Orthoptera. This insect has two hind legs that are longer than the other legs and have powerful muscles. This allows the grasshopper to leap huge distances. They communicate by rubbing their hind legs against their abdomen or forewings to make a sound.
low vegetation dominated by grasses.
Living in a group, flock or herd.
the general external appearance of a plant, including size, shape, texture and orientation.
a place where an organism lives.
Heath is in the family Ericaceae. Heath are herbs, shrubs and trees. Leaves are usually alternate or whorled and without stipules. Flowers show considerable variability. Petals are often fused to form narrow tubular or wide bowl-shaped flowers.
vegetation dominated by small shrubs which usually have small and sharply pointed leaves.
growing in marshy substrate.
a parasitic plant that contains some chlorophyll and is therefore able to photosynthesize.
having the shape of a hemisphere.
a plant that does not develop a woody stem, up to 50 cm tall.
a substance that is toxic to plants, generally used to control or eradicate unwanted vegetation.
an animal that feeds on plants.
Herons belong to the Ardeidae family. They are long-legged birds living both in freshwater habitats and in coastal areas. A characteristic of this group is the retraction of the neck whilst in flight. Herons have powdered down which is produced when the tips of their down feathers disintegrate forming fine particles of keratin.
When animals enter into a state of inactivity during colder periods. This involves lower body temperatures, slower breathing and metabolic rates.
Hibiscus is in the family Malvaceae. Hibiscus are herbs or shrubs, and a few are trees, that grow in moist substrates to drier areas. Leaves are alternate, spiral and usually have stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes). Flowers are small to large and regular to somewhat irregular.
Honeyeaters are small to medium sized passerines belonging to the family Meliphagidae. They have a specialised tongue with a brush tip which they use to extract nectar from flowers. Many Australian plants are pollinated exclusively by honeyeaters. These are one of the few birds that are capable of flying backwards.
Hop-bush is in the family Sapindaceae. Hop-bushes are trees, shrubs, climbing vines but rarely herbs, that grow in moist areas. Leaves are alternate, spiral and often gland-dotted. Stipules are absent. Flowers are small with petals absent or 4-6. Flowers are rarely solitary and mostly grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
An organism upon which a parasite relies for survival. The parasite lives eiither on or inside the host and can cause harm to the host.
the offspring of two different breeds or species, generally produced through human manipulation for specific genetic characteristics.
growing wholly or partially in water.
Ibis are large, long-legged, wading birds belonging to the family Threskiornithidae. They have a characteristic long, slender, down-curved beak.
Ice-plant is in the family Aizoaceae. Ice-plant is a small shrub or herb which is frequently succulent and grows in drier areas. Leaves are minute to medium-sized, alternate or opposite and fleshy. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, or in heads). Flowers are small to medium-sized.
experiments conducted in 'test tubes'.
Occurs when an animal has only three different stages in its life cycle; egg, nymph and adult.
a group or arrangement of flowers on a plant.
Insects are invertebrates with six legs and a body divided into three parts; the head, thorax and abdomen. Some insects have antennae and wings but not all. Insects are one of the most diverse groups of animals and represent nearly 50% of all living things. Most insects hatch from an egg. They have a tough exoskeleton, this means when they grow, they will moult and shed their outer layer. Insects are the only group of invertebrates containing some species that can fly.
An animal that eats insects.
the portion of a plant stem between two nodes.
Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone or spine. This group makes up more than 98% of the animal kingdom and consists of a wide variety of animals with different characteristics. Invertebrates can be divided into the following groups: Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematodes, Annelida, Arthropods, Molluscs and Echinoderms. Some of the earliest invertebrate animal fossils found date to approximately 685 million years ago.
Iris are in the family Iridaceae. Iris are herbs and less commonly shrubs, that are evergreen or deciduous. Iris grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are alternate. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in panicles, spikes, umbels and corymbs).
formed on a young plant, generally different in form from the adult leaves.
lip, one of three or five petals which is usually different from the others, a modified petal that is irregular in shape e.g. in orchids, to attract insects that pollinate the flower.
Lacewings are insects belonging to the order Neuroptera. They possess transparent lace-like wings that are twice as long as their abdomen. The larvae are ferocious predators. Lacewings undergo complete metamorphosis with four stages in their lifecycle.
the blade of a leaf or the expanded upper part of a petal, sepal or bract.
spear-shaped, about four times as long as broad; broadest in the lower half and tapering to the tip.
These are large, ground-dwelling birds from the family Charadriidae. They are round headed, short bellied waders. They are generally migratory or nomadic.
A medium-sized passerine from the family Alaudidae. They are known for their elaborate calls. They have long hind claws which are used for stability when standing.
attached to the side, e.g. leaves on a stem.
the lower part of the leaf in most grasses, usually tubular or rolled.
the smallest segment of a compound leaf.
a woody swelling of the stem below or just above the ground, which can produce new shoots (often after fire).
Lilies are in the family Liliaceae. Lilies are herbs with bulbs, and have an erect stem with one to numerous leaves. Leaves are usually alternate. Flowers are sometimes solitary but are usually grouped in inflorescences (in racemes or in umbels).
plants that grow in or on rocks.
Lizards are reptiles from the order Squamata. They have dry, scaly skin, external ears and a long tail. They are ectothermic. Most lizards have four legs and clawed feet. They may bear live young (viviparous) or lay eggs (oviparous).
part of a leaf, often rounded, formed by incisions about half-way to the midrib.
Locusts are insects belonging to the order Orthoptera. They are similar in appearance to the grasshopper but have the ability to form dense swarms of adults that will migrate large distances.
Magpies belong to the family Cracticidae. They are medium sized black and white passerines. They spend a lot of time walking on long, strong, black legs. A highly vocal bird with a wide variety of calls.
a warm-blooded vertebrate animal which possesses hair or fur, maintains its body at a metabolically favourable temperature and in females, has milk-producing mammary glands to feed their young. Mammals of the Western Volcanic Plains may be grouped into monotremes, marsupials and placentals.
Bone of the lower jaw of an animal, part of the bill of a bird or a jawlike biting appendage of arthropods.
Mantis are insects belonging to the order Mantodea. These insects have grasping, spiked forelegs which they use for catching and holding onto prey. They usually have 2 sets of wings. The outer pair of leathery wings are for camouflage and protection for the delicate, membranous hind wings. These transparent wings are the main organs of flight.
The upper body wall of a snail or slug.
edge of the leaf.
Marshwort is in the family Menyanthaceae. Marshworts are herbs often with spreading stolons, that grow wholly or partially in water, or in marshy substrates. Leaves are alternate, spiral and without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, heads, fascicles and panicles). Flowers are small to medium-sized.
Order of mammals in which the young are born prematurely, make their way into the mother's pouch and then continue development attached to a teat in their mother's pouch.
Mat-rushes are in the family Asparagaceae. Mat-rushes are herbs, shrubs or climbing vines. Leaves are much reduced, alternate and without stipules. Flowers are small, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes or in umbels).
one segment of a fruit that splits at maturity into units derived from the individual carpels.
growing in or adapted to a moderately moist environment.
a large vein through the centre of a leaf, which is usually the most prominent.
Milkwort is in the family Polygalaceae. Milkworts are trees, shrubs, or herbs but rarely climbing vines, that grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are alternate, opposite or whorled and usually spiral. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in panicles, racemes and in spikes).
Mint is in the family Lamiaceae. Mint is usually a herb, and occasionally a shrub. Mint bears essential oils when the foliage is crushed. Usually mint is self supporting but on rare occasions it climbs. Mint grows in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. Leaves are opposite or whorled, aromatic and without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in verticils, heads, spikes or cymes).
Mistletoe is in the family Loranthaceae. Mistletoes are generally climbing vines or shrubs that are evergreen. Mistletoe can grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are usually opposite and leathery. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes, spikes, fascicles and umbels).
Molluscs have a muscular foot located underneath their body. The animal secretes a mucus from the bottom of the foot which allows it to glide along surfaces. Some molluscs have a hard shell. This is secreted by the mantle which covers the body of the mollusc.
A male and female forms a pair bond for mating. This bond may last anywhere from one breeding season to life.
Order of mammals that lay eggs.
inhabiting mountainous regions.
Morning Glory is in the family Convolvulaceae. They are mostly herbaceous climbers, with a few being herbs, shrubs or climbing vines. Morning Glory can grow in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. Leaves are alternate, spiral and without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
Moths are insects belonging to the order Lepidoptera. They have feathery antennae and tiny hooks joining the forewings to the hindwings. Most are nocturnal and rest with their wings held open.
Mustard is in the family Brassicaceae. Mustards are mainly herbs, and are rarely shrubs or climbing vines, that grow in a variety of areas; hydrophytic, helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. When hydrophytic, plants have roots and the leaves are submerged and emergent. The foliage smells like mustard or cabbage when crushed. Plants are mainly non succulent and usually self supporting. Leaves are minute to very large, alternate, usually spiral, mostly herbaceous and without stipules. Flowers are usually grouped in inflorescences (usually in cymes, or in racemes).
Myrsine is in the family Myrsinaceae. Myrsine are herbs, trees or shrubs and occasionally climbers. Leaves are opposite, alternate or whorled, often leathery and without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in infloerscences (in racemes).
plants that are indigenous to a given area in geological time.
reproducing freely in a region but not indigenous to that region.
a sugary fluid produced by nectary glands in flowers to attract pollinators including insects and mammals.
Nightshade is in the family Solanaceae. Nightshade exists as herbs, herbaceous climbers, shrubs, trees and climbing vines that are often prickly. Nightshade grows in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are alternate and usually become opposite towards the inflorescence. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences.
An animal that is active at night.
the part of the stem where leaves or branches arise.
Does not live in one place but roams around usually in search of food or a mate.
a plant, generally an introduced species, that has been declared by an agricultural authority as one that causes problems to agricultural crops, natural habitats, humans and livestock.
length a few times greater than the width, with sides almost parallel and ends rounded.
ovate with the narrower end attached to the stalk.
An animal that feeds on plants and animals.
Orchids are in the family Orchidaceae and may be terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic. Orchids are herbs or herbaceous climbers and are often succulent. Orchids can grow in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic or xerophytic. Leaves are small to large, often fleshy, spiral and usually alternate but rarely opposite or whorled. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in panicles, racemes, spikes, heads and umbels). Flowers are small to large, and sometimes fragrant.
plants that are typically grown for decorative purposes.
the basal portion of the carpel or group of fused carpels, enclosing the ovule(s).
egg-shaped, with the wider portion attached to the stalk.
Producing eggs which mature and hatch after being expelled from the body.
the seed before fertilization.
Oxalis is in the family Oxalidaceae. Oxalis are herbs that grow in a variety of areas; hydrophytic to helophytic, mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves are alternate, spiral and without stipules. Flowers are small to large, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, panicles and umbels).
a compound raceme; an indeterminate inflorescence in which the flowers are borne on branches of the main stem or on further branches of these.
An animal or plant that lives on or in another animal or plant and causes it harm. The parasite depends on the host for survival.
Parrots are in the family Psittacidae. These birds have a strong, curved bill with an upper mandible that curves downwards. They have an upright stance, strong legs and clawed feet used for climbing, swinging and manipulating their food. Generally very colourful.
Parsley is in the family Apiaceae. The parsley group are mostly herbs, some are shrubs and a few are trees that grow in marshy substrates. Leaves are small to large, alternate and usually herbaceous and aromatic. Leaves are usually without stipules. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (nearly always in umbels or sometimes in heads).
Include all birds in the order Passeriformes. They are also known as perching birds. They have 4 toes of which 3 face forward and 1 faces backwards. This allows them to cling easily to branches. This group includes more than half of all birds.
Peas are in the family Fabaceae. Peas are trees, shrubs or herbs, sometimes climbing or trailing and occasionally spiny. Leaves are alternate, sometimes opposite or whorled and stipules are often present. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in racemes). Flowers usually have five petals.
the stalk of a inflorescence.
hanging down loosely.
a plant whose life span lasts several years.
the outer part of a flower consisting of sepals (calyx) and petals (corolla).
a substance used to control and eradicate insects and other animals that are harmful to plants.
one of the non-fertile parts of a flower, positioned outside the fertile organs, collectively forming the corolla. Generally soft and coloured.
A chemical that is secreted by some animals or plants to communicate to other members of the same species.
the process green plants undertake to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen using light as an energy source.
a flattened leafstalk that functions as a leaf.
relating to a plant or plant-like organism.
Pigeons are medium passerines in the family Columbidae. They have a characteristic plump body, stubby beak and legs and a relatively small head.
Pincushions are in the family Goodeniaceae. Pincushions are herbs or shrubs that grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are nearly always spiral and alternate, but sometimes opposite to whorled. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are small to medium in size, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, spikes, heads and racemes).
a primary segment of a compound leaf.
a compound leaf with leaflets arranged on each side of a common axis.
pinnae may be further divided into pinnules or subleaflets.
Small passerine in the family Motacillidae. A slender, ground-feeding insectivore with a short neck and a long tail. It has slender legs with long hind claws and a long, slender, pointed bill. This bird is generally buff, brown or white in colour.
Mammals that bear live young which have been nourished before birth in the uterus through a specialised organ called the placenta. This organ keeps the baby's blood supply separate from the mother's but allows food, oxgen or waste to cross from one to the other.
Plantain is in the family Plantaginaceae. Plantains are mostly herbs but sometimes shrubs that grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are alternate, spiral or in a basal rosette. Flowers are small and grouped in inflorescences (in spikes or heads).
The underside of the shell of a tortoise or turtle.
The layer of feathers covering a bird.
a fine powdery material, usually yellow, that is produced by the anthers of flowering plants.
to transfer pollen from the male organ (anther) to the female organ (stigma) of flowering plants.
an insect or mammal that carries pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower.
Pondweed is in the family Potamogetonaceae. Pondweed is an aquatic herb that grows wholly or partially in water. Leaves are submerged, or non-submerged and floating, small or medium-sized, alternate, opposite or whorled. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in racemes and spikes).
An animal that hunts, kills and eats other animals.
A tail that is adapted to grasp on to branches or to seize or carry objects including nesting materials.
An animal that is hunted, killed and eaten by another animal.
hard, pointed outgrowth from the surface of a plant.
A slender elongated tube originating from the head of an animal that may be used for feeding, defense or as a sensory organ e.g. some insects use a proboscis to suck nectar from flowers or the insides from invertebrates.
used to defend against or to prevent disease.
lying flat on the ground.
covered with a powdery waxy material;. with a 'bloom'
To become a pupa. The pupa is a stage in the life cycle of animals that undergo complete metamorphosis. This stage occurs between the larval and adult stage.
Purslane is in the family Portulacaceae. Purslanes are herbs and shrubs that are often succulent, and grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are often fleshy, alternate or opposite and when alternate, spiral. Flowers are small to medium-sized, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
Pussy-tails are in the family Amaranthaceae. Pussy-tails are usually shrubs, and sometimes herbs. Leaves are alternate or opposite, mostly herbaceous and without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
A small, short tailed, plump game bird in the Phasianidae family. It is a ground dweller and prefers not to fly.
an indeterminate inflorescence in which the main axis produces a series of flowers on lateral stalks, the oldest at the base and the youngest at the top.
The term Raptor includes all birds of prey. They have hooked beaks to rip and tear apart their prey, strong feet with sharp talons to catch, carry and hold their prey and keen eyesight. They are carnivorous.
Raspwort is in the family Haloragaceae. Raspworts are mostly herbs but sometimes small shrubs that grow wholly or partially in water to marshy substrates. Hydrophytic plants have roots and have submerged and emergent leaves. Leaves are alternate, opposite or whorled and when alternate, spiral. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are minute to small, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (usually in spikes).
Ravens belong to the family Corvidae. All corvids are glossy black, with brown-hazel eyes when juvenile and immature, and white eyes when adult. Ravens differ from crows mostly in size and the colour of the down at the base of the body feathers.
bent or curved backwards or downwards.
Patches of native vegetation that remain after land has been converted for another use such as housing or agriculture.
Reptiles have scaly skin. These scales may be different sizes, colours and textures but they all protect the body of the reptile. Reptiles are ectotherms, which means the temperature inside their body varies with the temperature of their environment. Most reptiles lay eggs but some produce live young. Reptiles of the Western Volcanic Plains may be grouped into lizards and snakes.
an underground stem, usually growing horizontally or just above the ground.
Rice-flowers are in the family Thymelaeaceae. Rice-flowers are mostly shrubs and less commonly herbs, trees and climbers, that grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are small to medium-sized, alternate, opposite or whorled and commonly spiral. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in racemes, heads or fascicles).
situated on the bank or margin of a river, stream or creek.
Australian robins are from the family Petroicidae. They look plump and round-headed. The males are generally more brightly coloured and distinctly marked than the females. They build tiny shallow nests, the smallest of any Australian bird.
a mammal with large incisors used for gnawing or nibbling, including rats and mice.
a basal cluster of leaves usually close to the ground.
A reddish-brown colour.
Rushes are in the family Juncaceae. Rushes are mostly herbaceous and less commonly shrubs, that are evergreen. Rushes grow wholly or partially in water or in moist substrates. When hydrophytic they have roots, and the leaves are submerged and emergent and alternate. Leaves are mainly basal. Flowers are grouped in infloerscences (in cymes, heads, or in corymbs).
relating to or containing salt.
Saltbushes are in the family Chenopodiaceae. Saltbushes are mostly herbs or herbaceous climbers and less commonly shrubs, small trees or climbing vines. Plants are sometimes succulent, and grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are minute to large, alternate to opposite and when alternate, spiral. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are minute to small, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
a solution of hormones, mineral elements and other nutrients transported in plants.
Feeds on dead and decaying organic matter.
a tall open forest dominated by hard-leaved plants such as eucalypts.
Scorpions belong to the class of invertebrates called arachnids. Although scorpions possess a venomous sting, non of the scorpions found in Australia have been associated with a human death. However, their sting can cause pain and swelling. The sting is located in the tip of the tail. The scorpion also has large pincers at the front which it uses to grasp its prey.
Scramblers are low, spreading, prostrate or ground-creeping plants. Climbers can grow up tall plants or objects. Some plants can grow as both a scrambler and a climber.
Sedges are the family Cyperaceae. Sedges are herbaceous and grow wholly or partially in water, or in marshy substrates and less commonly in drier areas. When hydrophytic, leaves are free-floating and the plant has roots. When plants are helophytic, leaves are alternate, submerged and emergent. Plants have a basal concentration of leaves and younger stems are triangular or cylindrical. Flowers are usually small or minute and grouped in inflorescences (in spikelets).
a ripened ovule, consisting of a protective coat enclosing an embryo and food reserves.
toothed with asymmetrical teeth pointing forward; like a cutting edge of a saw.
without a stalk.
Males and females of the same species have differing appearances.
Sheoaks are in the family Casuarinaceae. Sheoaks are shrubs and trees that grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are minute, sometimes aromatic, whorled with 4-12 segments per whorl and without stipules. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in spikes, and heads).
a woody perennial plant without a single main trunk and smaller than a tree, between 20 cm and over 5 m in height.
curved like a sickle.
Snakes are reptiles from the order Squamata. They are elongate with overlapping scales, ectothermic and legless carnivorous reptiles. They may bear live young (viviparous) or lay eggs (oviparous).
a discrete cluster of sporangia (a structure in which spores are formed).
a frog from the Hylidae family.
Sparrows are from the family Passeridae. Sparrows were introduced to Australia to help control insects in vegetable gardens, however have become widespread pests.
a taxonomic category; a group of living organisms which share common features and/or ancestry; the smallest group which can be readily and consistently recognised; capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.
Spiders belong to the class of invertebrates called arachnids. They are the largest order of arachnids. All spiders are predators with jaws specially adapted for tearing or piercing their prey. They are the only arachnids with special glands in their abdomen which they use to produce silk.
Spiderwort is in the family Commelinaceae. Spiderworts are herbs or herbaceous climbers that are evergreen. Plants can be succulent and grow in marshy and moist substrates. Leaves are alternate, spiral and often fleshy. Flowers are sometimes solitary but are usually grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
an unbranched/indeterminate inflorescence, in which flowers are without stalks.
a unit of the inflorescence in grasses, sedges and some other monocotyledons, consisting of one to many flowers and associated bracts (glumes).
a stiff, sharp, pointed structure formed by the modification of a plant organ; includes thorns.
Thorny projection often found on the leg or wing of a bird. Used in defense.
Spurge is in the family Euphorbiaceae. Spurges may be trees, shrubs, herbs, or herbaceous climbers that grow in moist to drier areas. Leaves are minute to large, usually alternate but sometimes opposite to whorled. Leaves nearly always have stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in spikes or racemes).
St John's Wort is in the family Hypericaceae. Hypericaceae members are herbs or shrubs. Leaves are opposite, rarely in whorls, and often marked with glandular translucent, red or black dots. Leaves are without stipules. Flowers are bright yellow, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes or panicles).
Stackhousia is in the family Stackhousiaceae. Stackhousia is a herb with a woody branched rhizome. Leaves are alternate, fleshy or leathery with minute stipules. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in racemes or spikes).
male reproductive organ of a flowering plant, typically consisting of a fstalk (filament) and a pollen bearing anther.
Starlings and Mynas are from the family Sturnidae. They are medium-sized, sharp-billed gregarious songbirds. Both were introduced to Australia and continue to expand their ranges.
Stick insects belong to the order Phasmatodea. These insects use camouflage as a means of defence as they look like leaves or sticks. They often appear motionless for long periods of time although some may occasionally sway to imitate sticks or leaves in a breeze. Many species are parthenogenic meaning females can lay eggs without them being fertilized by a male.
part of the female reproductive structure; the sticky surface at the tip of the style to which pollen grains attach.
a stalk that supports another structure.
small appendage at the base of leaves in many dicotyledons.
slender, prostrate or trailing stem; producing roots and sometimes erect shoots at the nodes.
Stone-curlews are in the family Burhinidae. They are large and plover-like with large heads, large yellow eyes and grey/brown/black/white plumage with strong disruptive patterns to assist with camouflage. There are two Australian species.
Stonecrop is in the family Crassulaceae. Stonecrops are herbs or shrubs that are evergreen. Plants are succulent and mostly grow in drier areas, but sometimes in moist substrates. Leaves are fleshy, without stipules, alternate, opposite or whorled and when alternate, spiral. Flowers are small to medium-sized, solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes or corymbs).
striped with parallel lontitudinal lines or ridges.
part of the female reproductive structure of a flowering plant; an elongated part a carpel between the ovary and the stigma.
a taxonomic category; the rank below species.
the surface on which the plant grows.
a plant with fleshy leaves or stems adapted to store water.
Sumac is in the family Anacardiaceae. Sumac are trees or shrubs that are evergreen or deciduous. Leaves are nearly always alternate, are without stipules and sometimes aromatic. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in panicles).
Sundew is in the family Droseraceae. Sundews are herbs that are carnivorous. Leaves and aerial stems with glandular hairs, or sensitive bristles trigger the closing of the laminae to trap insects and small water animals. Sundews grow wholly or partially in water or marshy to moist substrates. Leaves are small to medium-sized and usually alternate. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes).
Swallows are in the family Hirundinidae. They are generally seen flying in pursuit of insects. There are four native swallows which can be recognised by the nests they construct.
Swans belong to the family Anatidae. They are very large waterbirds with long necks, adapted for feeding on aquatic plants when they immerse their head and body into the water, with the aid of their large dark colored webbed feet. Swans moult their flight feathers and become flightless for several weeks.
A close relationship between two or more species. Sometimes both species benefit, sometimes neither benefit and sometimes one benefits either at the expense of the other, or with no effect on the other.
a close relationship between the individuals of two or more different species.
the main root of a plant, growing vertically downwards from which subsidiary roots form.
Teatree is in the family Myrtaceae. Teatrees are trees and shrubs that grow in marshy substrates to drier areas. Leaves are small to large, commonly opposite, or alternate, or whorled. Stipules are minute or absent. Flowers are rarely solitary and are usually grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, spikes, corymbs and panicles).
like a cylinder in shape; circular in cross-section.
growing at the end of the stem.
living on land.
a sharp, stiffened point, usually a modified stem.
Thornbills belong to the family Acanthizidae. They are very small, active, fine-billed warblers. Largely brown in colour they can be difficult to identify in the field.
Thrushes belong to the family Turdidae. They are rounded, medium-sized songbirds. There are two introduced and two native species of thrush in Australia.
A gland on the lower leg of a frog.
having a saw-like outer edge.
A fleshy projection which covers the ear of a bat. Each species of bat has a different shaped tragus. It is believed to help bats estimate the height of an object using echolocation.
a woody plant, usually with a single stem and more than 8 m high.
a frog from the Myobatrachidae or Limnodynastidae families.
a group of three.
part or wholly split into three divisions.
with three leaflets.
Trigger plants are in the family Stylidiaceae. Trigger Plants are herbs or small shrubs that grow in marshy or moist substrates to drier areas. Plants often have a basal concentration of leaves and most are self supporting. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes, spikes and corymbs).
an underground storage organ formed by the swelling of an underground stem which produces buds.
a dense tuft of vegetation, usually well separated from neighbouring tussocks, e.g. some grasses.
A membrane or thin skin in the ear or on the head of an animal that vibrates to allow the animal to hear sounds.
a racemose inflorescence in which all the individual flower stalks arise in a cluster at the top of the peduncle and are of approximately equal length.
of one sex, bearing only male or only female reproductive organs.
The lower or underside of an organism.
Verbena is in the family Verbenaceae. Verbenas are trees, shrubs or herbs and many are climbing vines that contain essential oils. Verbena grows in moist to drier areas. Leaves are usually opposite, or whorled but are rarely alternate, and are without stipules. Flowers are usually grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes, spikes, heads and verticils).
Vertebrates are animals with a backbone or spine. The backbone is made up of many bones called vertebrae. These bones surround and protect the spinal cord which forms part of the central nervous system. The series of vertebrae in the backbone give the animal flexibility as well as giving the body support. Vertebrates first appeared about 525 million years ago during the Cambrian period. Vertebrates are divided into five classes; mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians.
a circular arrangement.
Violets are in the family Violaceae. Violets are herbs, shrubs or herbaceous climbers that grow in marshy substrates and moist areas. Leaves are usually spiral, alternate or sometimes opposite with stipules. Flowers have five petals, are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, racemes, heads or panicles).
Giving birth to live young rather than eggs.
Wasps are insects belonging to the order Hymenoptera. These insects have two pairs of wings. Females have an ovipositor or stinger. They are mainly predators or parasitoids. Females have the ability to lay eggs after fertilization to produce more females or without fertilization to produce males.
Whistlers belong to the family Pachycephalidae. They are songbirds with large rounded heads and robust bills.
a ring of leaves, bracts or floral parts growing at the same level on an axis.
Willows are in the family Salicaceae. Willows are trees or shrubs and usually deciduous. Leaves are alternate, margins are usually toothed and stipules are often present. Flowers are grouped in inflorescences (in spikes).
Willow-herbs are in the family Onagraceae. Willow-herbs are mostly shrubs and herbs and less commonly trees, that grow wholly or partially in water or in marshy substrates. Leaves of hydrophytic plants are emergent, floating, alternate, opposite or whorled. Flowers are solitary or grouped in inflorescences (in panicles, racemes, and spikes).
The smaller feathers covering the base of the flight feathers in a bird's wing.
Woodruff is in the family Rubiaceae. Woodruffs are mostly trees and shrubs and less commonly climbing vines, herbs or herbaceous climbers. Plants grow in a variety of areas; helophytic, mesophytic, xerophytic or hydrophytic. Leaves are nearly always opposite but sometimes whorled, and have stipules. Flowers are less often solitary, instead are usually grouped in inflorescences (in cymes, panicles, verticils or in heads).
densely covered in long, soft, matted (usually curly) hairs.
adapted for life with a limited supply of water, drought-tolerant.