Harden up, puffball! Published 13 October 2017 Near my home back in Australia, there’s a park where we walk the dog most days. During the summer, when Perth receives little rain, the grass in the park dries off and the ground becomes hard. In some particularly dry spots, ground cover is absent completely (there’s a… Continue reading Sclerodermatineae


Belongs within: Florideophycidae.Contains: Hapalidiaceae, Corallinoideae, Lithophylloideae. The Corallinales, coralline algae, are a group of red algae characterised by a calcified thallus and the production of reproductive structures in conceptacles. Coral: it’s not just an animal thing Published 1 September 2008 Coral reefs form the world’s most renowned tropical marine habitat, and are some of the… Continue reading Corallinales


Belongs within: Rhodophyta.Contains: Nemaliophycidae, Corallinales, Ceramiales, Gracilariales, Plocamiaceae, Halymeniales, Rhodymeniales, Nemastomatales, Gigartinales, Gelidiales. The Florideophycidae are a clade of multicellular red algae that ancestrally exhibit a triphasic life cycle (Adl et al. 2019). Little discs of doom Published 7 June 2007 Okay, total hyperbole in the title, but I wanted to get your attention. Today… Continue reading Florideophycidae


Belongs within: Corallinales. The Lithophylloideae are coralline red algae in which cells of adjacent vegetative filaments are joined by secondary pit connections (Bailey 1999). A coralline joint Published 21 March 2023 Classification of the coralline red algae has historically swirled around a central conflict. On a superficial level, the corallines can be readily divided between… Continue reading Lithophylloideae


Belongs within: Mesangiospermae.Contains: Dilleniaceae, Saxifragales, Vitaceae, Malvidae, Fabidae, Santalales, Caryophyllales, Cornales, Ericales, Lamiidae, Campanulidae. The Gunneridae are a major clade of flowering plants, corresponding to the eudicotyledons minus the basal ‘ranunculids’ of some classifications. Cantino et al. (2007) defined the Gunneridae as the smallest clade containing Gunnera perpensa and Helianthus annuus. The clade is mostly… Continue reading Gunneridae

Marginella (Glabella)

Shining margins Published 1 November 2023 Perhaps the first thing to be noticed about the margin snails of the Marginellidae is how shiny they are. Next is likely to be how brightly they are coloured; even those species where the shell is largely white are typically strikingly patterned. Margin shells must surely be among the… Continue reading Marginella (Glabella)


Challenging tramps Published 1 November 2023 As our world became increasingly interconnected over the past several decades, biosecurity became an increasingly significant concern. The identification of newly arrived exotic pests and the potential mitigation of their impact has become a global hot topic. Ants have been a particular focus in this regard, both because of… Continue reading Nylanderia


Belongs within: Conoderinae.Contains: Stegotes (Stegotes). The Diorymerina are a diverse group of baridine weevils with a concealed pygidium, and interruptions between the surfaces of the prosternum and meso- and metaventrites. The rostrum is diverse in form but never much longer than head and pronotum combined, and the prosternum either lacks a rostral channel or has… Continue reading Diorymerina


Belongs within: Cleogonini. Melanterius is an Australasian genus of weevils that mostly attack the developing seeds of Acacia species. Exemplars have the pronotum finely punctate and the prosternum excavated to receive the rostrum (Pinzón-Navarro et al. 2017). Melanterius weevils Published 17 July 2022 Here in the Antipodes, we have a long history of environmental upheaval… Continue reading Melanterius


Belongs within: Delesseriaceae. The Schizoserideae are delesseriaceous red algae in which carpospores are supported by a candelabra-shaped fusion cell, and growing sections of the thallus have nuclei arranged in a single plane (Hommersand & Fredericq 1997). Carpospores in chains Published 24 August 2009 Despite being the most speciose clade of multicellular marine algae, I must… Continue reading Schizoserideae