Yesterday, May 27, we drove down to the southern-most tip of the mainland of Australia (Wilsons Promontory, known by locals as the Prom). Jutting out into the Tasman Sea, this beautiful landscape of gum trees, tea trees and wattles sits protected from human development as a national park. We were fortunate to be able to collect ferns and flies there. A photo of Squeaky Beach, near to where we collected ferns and flies is below.
We found bracken fern throughout Wilsons Promontory National Park and to collect flies, we used a sweep-netting method. Above, Dr. Whiteman is looking to see what he's collected near Squeaky Beach and Dr. Lapoint is in the background actively sweep-netting.
Above, a photo of a Scaptodrosophila notha adult female, with fern-piercing egg guides, that we collected May 28! Larvae of this fly mine the rachis of the ferns.
Above, Dr. Nagalingum and Dr. Lapoint gaze at the temperate rainforest canopy in Tarra Bulga National Park, another of our collecting sites in Victoria. Below, the sun sets on the Tasman Sea!