Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Notes on Australian Nepenthes mirabilis – Dave Rentz’s blog

Mocis frugalis 5677

Dave Rentz is an entomological colleague and I do not exaggerate when I say he is the world expert on the Orthopteroid orders – aka the grasshoppers, crickets, katyids, stick insects, leaf insects and cockroaches. He used to live here in Canberra, but was retrenched by the CSRIO along with a number of other entomologists I know in the early 2000s. He moved to Kuranda, which is located in the middle of the rainforest near Cairns in north Queensland, Australia. He is lucky enough to live alongside cassowaries in the tropical rainforest. He runs a blog – bunyipco – that I love because it takes me away from Canberra’s cold and gloom and delivers me instantly to the tropics, along with its fauna and flora.

Nepenthes mirabilis has had a few mentions on Dave’s blog, and when we caught up at the recent CSIRO moth workshop, I learned that he is assisting postgraduate student Gary Wilson with a Nepenthes project. Gary is looking at the biogeography, taxonomy and ecology of Australian Nepenthes, and seems to be doing a very fine job. You can read about Gary here, and his Nepenthes work here.

Here are some of Dave’s blog entries on Nepenthes mirabilis near Cairns, in north Queensland. He takes excellent macro photos of Nepenthes in action, so they are definitely worth reading: