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Book Titles on Australian Wildlife Involving our Team

Book Titles on Australian Wildlife Involving our Team

Book titles on Australian wildlife written or co-authored by members of our team - please visit our store for pricing, availability and ordering: Recent Book Titles Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots (John Beaufoy Publishing ) Australia has almost 340 endemic bird species, and more than 730 endemic subspecies. This richly illustrated book guides birdwatchers to the country’s most species-rich areas, the 55 ‘megaspots’ – places where key endemics can be found. It is designed as both a reference and information guide to help plan a successful birding trip to sites where multiple species can  be viewed. Detailed descriptions of each site cover how to get to the site any fees payable or permits required facilities and nearby services GPS coordinates an overview of the site birding tracks and trails key species two important species per site the available accommodation "Australians have a strong affinity with their unique environment and wildlife.  I hope this book inspires you to observe Australian birds in their natural habitats  and to preserve the areas where they live. Their protection is in our hands and I  commend the authors of Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots for their commitment to conservation." Dermot O’Gorman CEO, WWF-Australia "A terrific resource to enjoy Australia’s amazing native birds and the best birding megaspots. Spying on birds is also a great way to help BirdLife protect them - enter your sightings in our birdata app." Paul Sullivan CEO, BirdLife Australia

Australian Travel & Wildlife Photography Galleries

Australian Capital Territory NSW Blue Mountains Region NSW Inland Region NSW North Coast Region NSW Riverina Region NSW South Coast Region

Australian Capital Territory

Welcome to the Australia's Wildlife photography gallery page for the Australian Capital Territory: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is a landlocked territory within the state of NSW (although the territory also has a coast port located at Jervis Bay, on the NSW mid-south coast), 274 km south of Sydney, 675 km north of Melbourne and 140 km from the NSW coast. The territory is generally referred ...

Blue Mountains Region

Welcome to the Australia's Wildlife photography gallery page for the Blue Mountains Region:

Inland NSW Region

Welcome to the Australia's Wildlife photography gallery page for the Inland NSW Region:

North Coast Region

Welcome to the Australia's Wildlife photography gallery page for the North Coast Region:

Riverina

Welcome to the Australia's Wildlife photography gallery page for the Riverina Region:

South Coast Region

Welcome to the Australia's Wildlife photography gallery page for the South Coast Region:

Fact Sheets for Australian Animals & Plants

Most Australian animals and plants are endemic (found only in Australia). We are continually adding fact sheets of these unique animals and plants, and the other interesting nature found in Australia. Please follow the links below to each of the Australian animal and plant groups to view, print or download individual fact sheets for your own education or for other non-for-profit educational purposes...
Australian Paralysis Tick

Australian Paralysis Tick

What does it look like?   The Australian Paralysis Tick generally appears flattened, with 8 legs (adults), and can grow to the size of a pea after feeding. Colour variable, from yellowish-brown to greyish. Where does it live? Eastern Australia, east of the Great Dividing Range. What are its habitats and habits? The Australian Paralysis Tick is found in moist habitats, i...

Australian Birds

All modern birds are housed in the subclass Neornithes, which branch into two main groups: the Palaeognathae, or palaeognaths, which comprises the ratites (ostrich, emus, cassowaries, rheas and kiwis, as well as the recently extinct moas and elephantbirds) and tinamous, and the Neognathae, which is made up of all the other birds. This then divides into the Galloanseres (waterfowl [Anseriformes] and...

Emus & Cassowaries

Casuariidae Like the ostriches both the Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae and the Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius lack a keel on the sternum, have loose barbless feathers and are both flightless. They also have large powerful legs and lack a hind toe, but the feet differ from those of the ostriches by having three forward-facing toes. The Emu is endemic to Australia, and is represented...
Emu

Emu

What does it look like?  The adult emu is grey brown with black streaks. The head and most of the neck is covered in thin black feathers. The sides of the face and the neck are plain with a pale blue to bluish grey streak. Juveniles are striped with black and white when first hatched but after a few weeks become a dull brown. Where does it live?  The Emu is found over almost all of Australia, except f...
Southern Cassowary

Southern Cassowary

What does it look and sound like?  The prominent greyish casque and red wattle hanging from the neck, make the Southern Cassowary easily identifiable. The feathers of the body are black and hair-like, becoming more rufous toward the tail. The bare skin of the head and fore-neck is blue, while the hind-neck is red. The female is generally taller than the male and has a taller casque. Calls consist ...

Mound-builders

Megapodiidae Three species of these mostly ground-dwelling birds are found in Australia. They are collectively known as mound-builders or megapodes (large feet) from the mounds of rotting vegetation they use to incubate their eggs, which can number over thirty in a single mound. The temperature of the mound is carefully monitored by the male, but the chicks must fend for themselves from the moment...
Malleefowl

Malleefowl

What does it look like? A large and unmistakable ground-dwelling bird. The head and neck are grey, becoming more cream on the belly, and with a dark blackish stripe between the throat and breast. The wings and remaining upperparts are mottled and barred with black, grey, brown and cream. Where does it live? This species occurs west of the Great Dividing range in New South Wales, south into north-western...
Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

What does it look and sound like? This large, mainly terrestrial bird is easily identified by its bright orange legs and feet, brown back and wings, and dark slate grey head, neck and underparts. The head has a small brown crest. The Orange-footed Scrubfowl calls consist of a combination of loud clucks and screams. Where does it live? It inhabits rainforests and dense vine forests, where individuals ...

Magpie Goose

Anseranatidae The sole living representative of this family is the Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata . It differs from the ducks, geese and swans of the family Anatidae by having only partially webbed toes. This large goose is widespread throughout coastal northern and eastern Australia, although some individuals, mostly younger birds, are seen quite long distances inland. It is also found...
Magpie Goose

Magpie Goose

What does it look like? The large, noisy Magpie Goose is readily recognised. The head and neck are black and there is a characteristic knobbed crown. The underparts are white with contrasting black margins on the underwing. The legs, feet and bill are orange. Where does it live?  The Magpie Goose is found throughout most of eastern and northern Australia, but more common in north. What are its ...

Ducks, Geese & Swans

Anatidae Within Australia, there are 28 members in this group of fully web-footed waterfowl, including nine endemics, the Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis , Pink-eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus , Cape Barren Goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae , Black Swan Cygnus atratus , Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides , Chestnut Teal Anas castanea , Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa...
Australian Wood Duck

Australian Wood Duck

What does it look and sound like?  The Australian Wood Duck is identified by its brown head, grey and black back and wings, and speckled underparts. The male is larger and has a black mane, while the female has two pale lines passing through the eye. The bill is short and blackish. The call of the female is a drawn-out nasal 'gnew'; that of the male is shorter and higher pitched. Where does it ...
Black Swan

Black Swan

What does it look like?  The only black swan found anywhere in the world, all other species being almost entirely white, except for one South American species that has a black neck. In flight the neck is held outstretched and the broad white wing tips contrast the otherwise black body. The bill of the adults is deep orange-red with a distinct narrow white band and paler white nail at the tip of the ...
Cape Barren Goose

Cape Barren Goose

What does it look like? The Cape Barren Goose is an unmistakable large pale grey goose with bright yellowish cere and dark pink legs. Both sexes are similar and younger birds have an all grey bill and bluish-grey legs. Where does it live? Today the species is widespread throughout southern Australia, but in the 1950s it was considered to be close to extinction, and are still one of the world’s r...
Musk Duck

Musk Duck

What does it look and sound like?  The male Musk Duck also has an unfortunate reputation of being perhaps the most grotesque looking of all of Australia’s birds, due to a large fleshy lobe that hangs under its bill. Both sexes are sooty-brown, paler below and becoming whiter towards the abdomen. It is usually silent outside of the breeding season. Where does it live?  Sound throughout south-eastern Aus...
Wandering Whistling-Duck

Wandering Whistling-Duck

What does it look like? The Whistling-Duck plumage is generally dark, brown on the back, rear of neck and top of head, and chestnut-brown on the belly, with conspicuous white feathers along the side of the body and base of tail. Where does it live? Found throughout northern Australia, from around Carnarvon, Western Australia, to southern New South Wales. Breeding range more confined to north and ...

Grebes

 Podicipedidae Grebes have fleshy feet set well back on the body, adapted for underwater manoeuvrability, but are unpractical for walking on land. Four species of these specialised waterbirds have been recorded in Australia. The Hoary-headed Grebe Poliocephalus poliocephalus is endemic to Australia, while the Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus is represented in Australia by a single ...
Australasian Grebe

Australasian Grebe

What does it look like? Shown here in breeding plumage (season runs  from September to January in the south). Outside of the breeding season, however, both sexes are dark grey-brown above and mostly silver-grey below, with a yellow-white patch of  bare skin at the base of the bill. In this plumage the Australasian Grebe is often confused with the also non-breeding Hoary-headed Grebe, but can be d...
Hoary-headed Grebe

Hoary-headed Grebe

What does it look like? The Hoary-headed Grebe is most easily identified during the breeding season (typically October to March, but may breed at any time in response to rainfall), at this time its has generally grey upperparts, white underparts, black throat and dark grey head, streaked by numerous overlying white plumes. Outside of this time the head loses its long plumes, instead the crown is blackish...

Pigeons & Doves

There are several groups of Australian pigeons including the colourful fruit-doves and partridge-like ground pigeons, all are generally plump, rounded birds with rapid flight. Within Australia the family consists of 36 recorded species, including 15 endemics, 10 wider-ranging natives, 5 vagrants, 4 introduced and 2 that have extinct Australian subspecies (Lord Howe White-throated Pigeon Columba vitiensis...
Bar-shouldered Dove

Bar-shouldered Dove

What does it look like? Its slender build, brown upperparts, with distinct black edging to each feather, russet nape, grey face and throat and pale underparts, should easily identify it.  Where does it live? The Bar-shouldered Dove is a native to Australia. What are its habitats and habits?   It inhabits the wetter forests and woodlands, and vegetation along creeks and rivers.  It ranges ac...
Common Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing

What does it look and sound like? The Common Bronzewing can be identified by its pinkish-grey breast and paler brown back, with iridescent patches of green, blue and red in the wing, and conspicuous white line below and around the eye.  The male has a yellow-white forehead and darker pink breast. The related Brush Bronzewing, which is found in southern Australia, is smaller and has more chestnut-coloured h...
Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon

What does it look like?  There are only two Australian pigeon species that possess a crest.  The Spinifex Pigeon is markedly smaller, with cinnamon coloured plumage and a bright red facial patch.  The Crested Pigeon is a robust, soft pink and grey pigeon, with a long black crest, with a small pinkish-red ring around the eye.  If startled it takes to the air with a characteristic whistling flight, and...
Diamond Dove

Diamond Dove

What does it look like? This slender dove is Australia’s smallest and is named after the numerous small white spots on its wings. The remainder of its plumage is bluish-grey on the head, neck and breast, cream on the belly and grey-brown on the back, wings and long thin tail. It has a conspicuous orange-red eye-ring which further distinguishes it from the superficially similar Peaceful Dove Geopelia p...
Rock Dove

Rock Dove

What does it look like? Robust, moderately large pigeon, with much colour variation, although is most commonly a mixture on pale and dark greys or pale browns. Legs are coral pink. Where does it live? The Rock Dove, Feral or Street Pigeon, is found in close association with human settlement throughout much of the world.  This association dates back through the centuries, when they were domesticated ...

Frogmouths

Podargidae These nocturnal birds rely on their cryptic plumage for camouflage against intruders. The widespread Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides is endemic. Both the Marbled Frogmouth P. ocellatus and the Papuan Frogmouth P. papuensis are also found in New Guinea.
Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth

What does it look like? The Tawny Frogmouth is readily identified by generally silver-grey plumage, streaked and mottled with black and rufous, with large yellow eyes. Some birds may tend more russet-red instead of grey. Where does it live? It is found througout the whole of Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  In most regions this is the most commonly encountered nocturnal bird ...

Albatrosses

Diomedeidae Of the 22 recognised species (19 recorded in Australia) of this family of large, wide-roaming seabirds with long, narrow wings, only the Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta breeds solely within Australia. Others occur as regular visitors from breeding sites outside the country. Three species have been recorded as vagrants. Unlike other similar tube-nosed species, albatrosses have a...
Wandering Albatross

Wandering Albatross

What does it look like?  Its large size and white plumage, with fine black wavy lines on the breast neck and upper back, and mottled with black on the back, readily distinguish it. It has the longest wingspan of all bird species.  Where does it live? The Wandering Albatross breeds on subantarctic islands, beginning in early December, but spends the majority of its life soaring low above the so...

Penguins

Spheniscidae Penguins are confined to the southern hemisphere. Fourteen species of these mostly ocean-dwelling, flightless birds have been recorded in Australia, most as vagrants. The Little Penguin Eudyptula minor is the only species to breed on the Australian mainland, Tasmania and coastal islands. The Royal Penguin Eudyptes schlegeli is believed to only breed on Macquarie Island, whereas...
Little Penguin

Little Penguin

What does it look like?  It is a small, blue and white penguin.  Where does it live? It is a common sight along the coastline of southern Australia, from Perth, Western Australia, to about Nelsons Bay, New South Wales.   What are its habitats and habits? It spends the daylight hours at sea, and awaits the cover of night before coming ashore to roost in rock crevices and burrows. The Little, or Fa...

Darters

Anhingidae The wide-roaming Australasian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae is also recorded in Indonesia and New Guinea. It superficially resembles the cormorants, differing by having a pointed bill and long snake-like neck.
Australasian Darter

Australasian Darter

What does it look like? Male Australasian Darters are predominantly glossy black with buff-cream streaks on the upper wing. The bill is yellow and sharply pointed, and a white stripe extends from below the eye to the first curve of the neck. Females are light grey brown where the males are black and the white eye-stripe is bordered with black. Young birds resemble the female...

Cormorants

Of the six species of Cormorants that have been recorded breeding within Australia, only the Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens is endemic. Four other species breed on the mainland, and one each on Heard Island and Macquarie Island. All share the characteristic long slender bodies and neck, short stiff tails, webbed feet, and slender bills with pronounced hooked tip. Cormorants are...
Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant

What does it look like?  The large Great Cormorant is one of the largest cormorants in the world. It is almost entirely black in plumage, and can be separated from the Little Black Cormorant by its larger size and by the white chin and yellow throat. Where does it live?  Found in suitable habitats throughout Australia, but is most numerous in the south-east and south-west. What are its habitats a...
Little Black Cormorant

Little Black Cormorant

What does it look like?  The Little Black Cormorant is entirely black in plumage, although the feathers of the back can exhibit a greenish gloss. It lacks the yellow and white facial markings of the larger Great Cormorant . Where is it found? It is a common sight in suitable areas throughout Australia, and can extend deep into the interior at times of flooding.  What are its habitats and h...
Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

What does it look like?  It is identified by its black and white plumage, being  entirely black above and white below.  The larger (65 to 80 cm) Pied Cormorant , resembles the Little Pied Cormorant in plumage, but has a bright yellow-orange face. Where does it live? The Little Pied Cormorant is found in suitable habitats throughout Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  This is one of ...
Pied Cormorant

Pied Cormorant

What does it look like?  The Pied Cormorant resembles the Little Pied Cormorant in plumage, but has a bright yellow-orange face. What are its habitats and habits?  The Pied Cormorant breeds opportunistically, depending on the availability of food, fish, crustaceans and molluscs, and large numbers of birds gather to nest in colonies. Scientific Name:  Phalacrocorax varius Size:  65 to 80 ...

Pelicans

Pelicans are Large black and white birds, with a large, pouched bill. The Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus is the only pelican occurring in Australia and has not been recorded breeding in any other country. There is considerable truth to the popular saying that a pelican can hold more in its bill than it can in its belly.  In fact, in certain species, the large pouched bill of the ...
Australian Pelican

Australian Pelican

What does it look like?  Its pouched bill, large size and distinct black and white plumage makes the Australian Pelican unmistakable with any other bird when perched or feeding on the water. When soaring at great heights it can be mistaken for the White-bellied Sea-Eagle, although its long bill is normally visible when more closely scrutinised. Where does it live?  It can be found in suitable w...

Storks

Thee only stork recorded in Australia is the Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhnchus asiaticus . The subspecies that breeds within Australia, extends into Southeast Asia. Tall, with coral pink legs, dark head and large bill. The White Stork (not found in Australia) has been a noted part of European folklore for many centuries.  It has been a symbol of fertility and a bringer of good luck.  One story t...
Black-necked Stork

Black-necked Stork

What does it look like?  This large bird, with black and white body plumage, glossed dark green and purple neck and robust black bill, is the only member of the stork family found in Australia. The female can be identified from the male by its yellow eye. Where does it live?  The range of this majestic bird has been reduced due to the modification of floodplains and tall reedbeds for agriculture, mi...

Herons, Egrets & Bitterns

Ardeidae Twenty-five species have been recorded in Australia, only one of which is endemic, the common and familiar White-necked Heron Ardea pacifica . Eleven appear as vagrants, while the remainder breed in Australia but have wider distributions, beyond the continent. Moderately tall, with extended neck and pointed bill.
Australasian Bittern

Australasian Bittern

What does it look like?  The Australasian Bittern is cryptically-plumaged dark to mid-brown and pale buff, with the markings of the throat and back arranged in a longitudinal pattern. When disturbed it freezes, with its head and bill pointing skywards, the longitudinal pattern mimicking the surrounding reeds of the wetlands within which it lives. In this way it usually avoids detection, although ...
Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

What does it look like?  Smallest of the Australian egrets, this bird should not be larger Intermediate Egret, which occasionally occupies similar habitat. Both species have a yellow bill (unlike the Little Egret, which has a predominantly black bill). The Cattle Egret walks with a very obvious back-and-forth head movement. For most of the year it has almost entirely white plumage but, during the ...

Ibises & Spoonbills

Threskiornithidae Superficially similar to herons but with long decurved (ibises) or spatula-like (spoonbills) bills, with five breeding residents, the Australian White Ibis Threskiornis moluccus , Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia and Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus also breed in other countries, whereas the Straw-necked Ibis T. spinicollis breeds only in Australia. The Yellow-billed Spoonbill...
Australian White Ibis

Australian White Ibis

What does is look like? The Australian White Ibis is identified by its almost entirely white body plumage and black head and neck. The head is featherless and its black bill is long and down-curved. During the breeding season the small patch of skin on the under-surface of the wing changes from dull pink to dark scarlet. Adults have a tuft of cream plumes on the base of the...
Straw-necked Ibis

Straw-necked Ibis

What does is look like? The most striking and common of the Australian Ibises, this species is identified by its iridescent purple-green back and wings and snow white underparts. The down-curved bill is black, as is the bare skin of the head and neck; the lower neck is covered with short feathers. Long 'straw-like' plumes cascade from the fore-neck of adult birds. During the breeding season the...

Hawks & Eagles

[Family: Accipitridae] Twenty-two species, including six endemics and three vagrants, falling into several groups including eagles, sea-eagles, goshawks, harriers and kites. The Osprey Pandion haliaetus is included here, but is separated by some taxonomists into its own family Pandionidae. All are carnivorous, with a hook-shaped bill and sharp claws, the larger species have broad wings for...
Black Kite

Black Kite

What does it look and sound like?  This medium-sized dark brown bird of prey is a common sight around bush fires, where it seizes the unfortunate insects and small animals that flee the flames. Its drab plumage makes it sometimes difficult to distinguish from other birds of prey, such as the Little Eagle, Whistling Kite and Square-tailed Kite.  In flight, however, its long forked tail and almost un...
Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite

What does it look and sound like?  This beautiful chestnut and white raptor is the unmistakable Brahminy Kite. It is easily recognized by its head, neck and breast and contrasting chestnut belly and upperparts. First-year birds resemble Whistling Kites , but lack pale wedges on the underwing, and have a shorter tail. The call is a drawn-out ‘pee-ah-ah-ah’ or ‘ kee-e-yah’. Where does it live? ...
Wedge-tailed Eagle

Wedge-tailed Eagle

What does it look like?  With a wingspan that exceeds 2 metres, the beautiful Wedge-tailed Eagle  is the largest of Australia’s raptors. The plumage is chiefly blackish-brown, with paler brown on the wings, nape and undertail coverts. In flight the wings are held upswept and the characteristic wedge-shaped tail is clearly visible. What are its habitats and habits?  Pair-bonds are permanent and ...
Whistling Kite

Whistling Kite

What does it look and sound like?  Chiefly brown, paler and more streaked on the head, neck and underparts. In flight, the margins of the wings are darker, with a pale grey-brown wedge towards the tip of each wing. The underside of the tail is also pale grey-brown. The call, a descending whistle ‘psee-err’, followed by a staccato ‘si-si-si-si-si’, is similar to that of the Black Kite Milvus migrans ...
White-bellied Sea-Eagle

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

What does it look and sound like?  The White-bellied Sea-Eagle is a large bird of prey. Adults have white on the head, rump and underparts and dark grey on the back and wings. In flight the contrasting black flight feathers are easily visible from below. Young birds may be confused with the Wedge-tailed Eagle, but differ in having a paler head and tail and more steeply upswept wings when soaring. The c...

Falcons

Falconidae The Black Falcon Falco subniger and the Grey Falcon F. hypoleuca are the only endemics of the seven species recorded in Australia. The Australian Hobby F. longipennis, Brown Falcon F. berigora and Nankeen Kestrel F. cenchroides also occur in neighbouring countries, while the Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus , has a cosmopolitan distribution. The Eurasian Hobby F. subbuteo...
Nankeen Kestrel

Nankeen Kestrel

What does it look like?  When observed, the Nankeen Kestrel's rich rufous upperparts and pale buff underparts, both sparsely spotted and streaked with black, and black-tipped wings and tail, distinguish it from other similar-sized birds of prey. Where does it live?  This slightly-built falcon is found in most habitats throughout Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  In open woodland an...

Cranes

Gruidae The most common and widespread crane in Australia is the Brolga Grus rubicunda , a breeding resident that also occurs in Indonesia and PNG. The Sarus Crane G. antigone is more restricted. Both are tall grey birds, with long legs and red heads.
Brolga

Brolga

What does it look like? The Brolga is a large grey crane, with a red head and grey crown. Another species of crane, the Sarus Crane Antigone antigone , which is confined to Australia’s north, can be identified by its dull pink legs (grey in the Brolga), and the red of the head extending down the neck. Where does it live?  It is widespread across tropical northern Australia, southwards through ce...

Crakes & Rails

Rallidae Stocky semi-aquatic birds of wetlands and adjacent grassland, typically with elongated toes. The endemic White Gallinule Porphyrio albus was aggressively hunted by sailors and whalers in the late 1700s and early 1800s and likely became rapidly extinct around this time. The 21 other species on the Australian list includes four extant endemics, the Lord Howe Woodhen Hypotaenidia sylvestris...
Australian Spotted Crake

Australian Spotted Crake

What does it look like?  This large crake can be distinguished from the smaller Baillon’s Crake by its all-white undertail and two-tone bill, which is olive-green with a red base to the upper mandible. Both crakes are, however, mottled brown and black above, spotted with white, and have black and white barring on the belly. (The Spotless Crake is chiefly grey-brown with bright orange legs and feet. Th...
Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Coot

What does it look like?  Often referred to as the Bald Coot, the Eurasian Coot is an attractive bird.  The name Bald Coot stems from the Saxon word bald, meaning white, and refers to its snowy white bill.  The remainder of the bird is black, except for its bright red eye. Where does it live?  The Coot is found throughout Australia. It also self-transported itself to New Zealand, where it has qui...
Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

What does it look like?  This large, predominantly purplish-blue and black rail is unmistakable with any other Australian waterbird. Its robust red bill and frontal shield and large orange-red legs and feet are also characteristic. The call, a loud “kee-ow”, is also distinctive. Where does it live?  The Purple Swamphen is a common sight throughout northern and eastern Australia, where it inh...
Tasmanian Native-hen

Tasmanian Native-hen

What does it look like?  The Tasmanian Native-hen is a large flightless bird, with grey legs, yellowish bill, reddish eye and large, flattened tail. The plumage is generally olive-brown above and grey below, with white patches on the thighs and some white flecking in the wings. It is similar to the smaller Black-tailed Native-hen Tribonyx ventralis of the Australian mainland, which has been recorded as...

Bustards

Otididae Typically, stocky birds of open plains, with an erect stance. The Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis is a breeding resident of Australia, but also occurs in New Guinea.
Australian Bustard

Australian Bustard

What does it look like?  No other Australian bird resembles the Bustard. The back and wings are brown; black and white spotting in the front of the wings is most extensive in the male. The head and neck are grey-buff, except for the black crown, eye-stripe for the black crown, eye-stripe and breast band (browner and less prominent in the female). The remainder of the underparts are white. Where ...

Stone-curlews

Burhinidae Two species of long-legged, generally shy, cryptically-plumaged birds. Both the Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius and Beach Stone-curlew Esacus magnirostris are breeding residents in Australia, but are also found in New Guinea, while the Beach Stone-curlew is also found throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Beach Stone-curlew

Beach Stone-curlew

What does it look like? This is a large, heavily-built wader with a thick-set bill and conspicuous bold black and white markings on the face and upper wings. The remainder of the plumage is grey-brown above and pale grey on the chest, becoming white on the belly. Where does it live?  It inhabits coastal areas of Australia’s north, from around Exmouth WA to northern NSW, less commonly to the NSW...

Plovers & Dotterels

Charadriidae Of the 20 species recorded in Australia, the Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus , Black-fronted Dotterel Elseyornis melanops , Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus and Inland Dotterel Charadrius australis are the only endemics. Thirteen of the remaining 16 occur in Australia as non-breeding migrants (six) or vagrants (seven). Variable, but typically small to medium,...
Black-fronted Dotterel

Black-fronted Dotterel

What does it look like?  This small wader is a breeding resident in Australia. When observed it is easily identified by its white underparts and distinct black Y-shaped band which extends across the chest, around to the base of the neck and through the eye to the forehead (this may be absent in younger birds). The Black-fronted Dotterel has an orange-red bill, tipped with black, and it has a conspicuous ...
Hooded Plover

Hooded Plover

What does it look like?  The adult Hooded Plover is unmistakable, with its black head, orange eyering and two-toned orange and black bill. The upperparts are brown and the underparts are white, with a black streak across the hindneck and down on to the chest. Young birds can be distinguished from other similar shorebirds by their orange eyering and the typical head-bobbing behaviour that plovers ...
Red-capped Plover

Red-capped Plover

What does it look and sound like?  This is a small shorebird. Brown above, reddish on the crown and nape, and with a white face and underparts, the Red-capped Plover cannot be confused with any other shorebird regularly found in Australia. The vagrant Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus has a white collar around the nape. The call is a faintly trilled ‘tik’ or ‘twink’. Where does it live?  It is a c...

Curlews & Sandpipers

Scolopacidae A large family of variably-sized waders, with 45 species recorded in Australia. None are resident, with 27 appearing as migrants and the remaining 18 as vagrants. The curlews are characterised by their long downwardly-curved bill.
Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

What does it look like?  A non-breeding migrant, the Bar-tailed Godwit can be identified by its large size (37 to 45cm), and long, slightly upturned bill. It is often difficult to distinguish from the similar Black-tailed Godwit, but its white underwing, barred rump, shorter bill, and lack of white wingbar should identify it when the two are compared. Where does it live?  This bird is a common s...
Red Knot

Red Knot

What does it look like?   The Red Knot is a small to medium-sized shorebird and has two plumage phases, the most common in Australia (non-breeding) is greyish above and paler below, with numerous grey chevron markings along the flanks. The breeding plumage is bold reddish on the head, chest and belly in front of the legs. The back has a mixture of black, grey, white and red. Both plumages have an i...

Gulls & Terns

Laridae Thirty-five species have been recorded in Australia, of which on the Pacific Gull Larus pacificus is endemic. Of the 11 gulls, the only other breeding species are the Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae    and Kelp Gull L. dominicanus . Several of the 23 terns breed in Australia, while others occur as regular non-breeding visitors or as vagrants.
Crested Tern

Crested Tern

What does it look like?  In coastal areas, this medium-sized tern, with robust yellow bill, grey wings and back, white neck and underparts, and scraggy black crest, is perhaps the most commonly seen tern in Australia.  In size, it is the second largest Australian species, second only to the Caspian Tern, which measures 50 to 55 cm, and has a huge red bill.  The similar Lesser Crested Tern, found in...
Pacific Gull

Pacific Gull

What does it look like?  The Pacific Gull is a large gull. The back and wings are black and the head, neck and underparts are white. The white tail, with a broad black band towards the tip, and large yellow bill with red tip, distinguish it from the otherwise similar Kelp Gull Larus dominicus . Young birds are predominantly dark brown and buff in plumage, the yellow bill becoming visible after ...
Silver Gull

Silver Gull

What does it look like?  This is the smallest of the resident Australian gulls.  In adult birds the plumage is grey above, with a white head, neck and underparts; younger birds have varying amounts of brown mottling on the back and wings.  Adult birds also differ from the young in having conspicuous red-orange legs, bill and eye-ring; these are black to brown in younger birds. Where does it live?  Th...
White Tern

White Tern

What does it look like?  It is a dainty, white tern with blue to black bill, black eye-ring and feet.  Where does it live?  The White Tern in its various subspecies are found across the world’s tropical oceans.  What are its habitats and habits?   The White Tern feeds on small fish which it catches by plunge diving. White Terns do not build a nest like the Black Noddy but select a depression or dam...

Cockatoos

Cacatuidae Eleven of Australia’s 14 species are endemic, with the others shared with New Guinea. Medium to large crested birds, except the Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus is more slender and parrot-like, with two toes facing forwards and two facing rearwards (zygodactylous). Many form noisy flocks, which can consist of several hundred individuals in some species.
Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo

What does it look like?  Also known as the Short-billed Black-Cockatoo, the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo is easily confused with the Baudin’s (or Long-billed) Black-Cockatoo Zanda baudinii , which has a longer upper mandible, although this can often be partially obscured by feathers. Both are large black cockatoos with a white cheek patch and white panels in the tail. The male of both species has ...
Cockatiel

Cockatiel

What does it look like?  The Cockatiel, or Quarrion as it is popularly called, is actually a cockatoo, although its slender body and long pointed tail is more characteristic to that of a parrot. Where does it live?  It is widespread throughout mainland Australia, but large numbers are found in the more arid inland areas. What are its habitats and habits?   It feeds on a variety of grass seeds, nu...
Gang-gang Cockatoo

Gang-gang Cockatoo

What does it look and sound like?  The Gang-gang Cockatoo can be identified by its general grey plumage, each feather edged with greyish-white, and its short, square tail. The male has a conspicuous red, curly crest. The common call is a prolonged creaky screech.  Where does it live?  Found throughout south-eastern mainland Australia and northern Tasmania, being common in certain areas, but le...
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

What does it look like?  The Major Mitchell's is a beautiful salmon-pink and white cockatoo. When the crest is erected it reveals a dark pink-red colouration with a broad yellow band running through the centre. In flight, the dark pink of the under-wings is clear visible. Where does it live?  It is found in the arid and semi-arid areas of inland Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  It...
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo

What does it look like?  This is a large, black cockatoo. The Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo male is easily identified by its dense crest of black feathers, almost entirely black plumage, and bright red undertail. The female is duller grey-brown, barred and spotted with yellow, and has a diagnostic white bill. The Glossy Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami  of south-east Australia and Kangaroo Island, S...
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

What does it look and sound like?  The white plumage, black bill and distinctive sulphur-yellow crest of the common and familiar Sulphur-crested Cockatoo distinguish it from all other cockatoos found in Australia.  It is a noisy and conspicuous cockatoo, both at rest and in flight, there have also been instances where people have heard a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo say a human word or phrase. The most c...
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

What does it look and sound like?   This cockatoo is easily identified by its predominantly black plumage, the feathers of the body edged with yellow, and its yellow cheek patch and yellow panels on the underside of the tail. (The Carnaby’s, or Short-billed, Black-Cockatoo, found in south-western Western Australia and having white tail panels instead of yellow, was formerly considered a subspecies of...

Parrots & Lorikeets

A large family, with 43 species recorded in Australia, including the extinct Paradise Parrot Psephotellus pulcherrimus , which is the only mainland species of bird to have become extinct since European settlement. Thirty-six of the remaining 42 species are endemic to Australia. Some are widespread in the country, while others have very restricted distributions. The lorikeets have a brush-tipped...
Australian King Parrot

Australian King Parrot

What does it look and sound like?  The Australian King Parrot is a striking bird. Adult males have an entirely red head, orange bill and pale green shoulder stripe, the female has a dark grey bill and a green head. Where does it live?  It is distributed along the east coast and ranges of Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  Found in wet eucalypt forest, where it feeds on seeds, nectar, fr...
Budgerigar

Budgerigar

What does it look and sound like?   Naturally, the Budgerigar is green and yellow, with black barring above, and a small patch of blue on its cheek.  Yellow birds are an uncommon naturally occurring colour form, called lutino.  White, or albino, birds are also naturally found. Since its discovery by John Gould in 1794, it has become internationally popular as a cage bird. ...
Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella

What does it look and sound like?   Although the adult Crimson Rosella is unmistakable in its rich crimson plumage and bright blue cheeks, young birds have caused much confusion.  Most young birds have the characteristic blue cheeks, but the remainder of the plumage is a mixture of greens, reds and blues.  The young bird gradually attains the adult plumage over a period of 15 months.  In adult bir...
Green Rosella

Green Rosella

What does it look like?  This solidly-built parrot is Australia’s largest rosella. More yellow when mature, with a blue throat patch and reddish forehead and face, the red wash extends to below the blue throat patch in the adult female. The wings and tail are dark blue and the back is dark green, each feather with a darker blackish centre. Younger birds are predominantly green.  Where does it ...
Norfolk Island Green Parrot

Norfolk Island Green Parrot

What does it look like?  The Norfolk Island Green Parrot (a subspecies of the Red-fronted Parakeet) is primarily green with a blue leading edge to the wings but having a red crown and spot behind the eye. Where does it live?  Endemic to Norfolk Island. What are its habitats and habits?  This parrot primarily occurs in the remnant Norfolk Island Pine tall closed rainforest of the national park as...
Red-collared Lorikeet

Red-collared Lorikeet

What does it look like?  This large lorikeet is easily recognised by its striking blue head, purplish and orange shoulders, green lower back and wings, bright orange to yellow-orange breast, purplish-blue belly, yellowish-green undertail and base of legs, and orange collar. The orange collar is the main character which distinguishes the Red-collared Lorikeet from the closely-related Rainbow Lorikeet ...
Superb Parrot

Superb Parrot

What does it look like?  The Superb Parrot is brilliant green, with a long, tapered tail and orange bill. The male has a bright yellow face and throat, bordered with orange below and with an orange wash on the forehead. The female has a bluish tinge to the facial feathers and has orange-red thighs. The wings of both sexes have a blue wash and the underside of the tail is reddish.  Where does i...
Turquoise Parrot

Turquoise Parrot

What does it look and sound like?  This small parrot shows strong sexual dimorphism. The male has a turquoise head, yellow underparts and an olive-green back. While the median, outer lesser wing-coverts and secondary-coverts are turquoise blue with the innermost median coverts chestnut red, appearing as a band running down the shoulders when not in flight. The female lacks the chestnut wing patch ...

Cuckoos

These are renowned for laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, leaving the unsuspecting hosts to incubate the eggs and raise the young cuckoo.Of the Australian species, only the coucals build nests and raise their own young, a behaviour actually shared by most of the world’s cuckoos. No endemic species of this family occur in Australia. Of the 17 species that have been recorded here, three s...
Common Koel

Common Koel

What does it look and sound like?  The male differs quite markedly from the female in plumage.  It is entirely glossy black, tinged with blue and green, and has a striking red eye.  The female and young birds are more cryptically coloured, with glossed brown upperparts, heavily spotted with white, and a black crown.  The underparts are more buff with numerous fine black bars. Adult females differ fro...
Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

What does it look and sound like?  When sighted, the Fan-tailed Cuckoo can be identified by its dark grey upperparts and soft buff underparts. The black tail is notched with white above, and barred black and white below. It can be distinguished from the superficially similar Brush Cuckoo, by its bright yellow eyering.  Its descending mournful trill is a familiar sound. Where does it live?  Found th...
Pheasant Coucal

Pheasant Coucal

What does it look and sound like? When the Pheasant Coucal is breeding, the plumage of the head, neck and underparts is black, with brown wings, back and tail.  Outside of this time the head and neck are straw-coloured, with paler feather shafts.  The call is also an unmistakable “oop-oop-oop-oop-oop...”, descending in the middle and then rising at the end. Where does it live?  The Pheasant Coucal...

Kingfishers

Alcedinidae Both the Azure and Little Kingfishers feed on small fish, insects and crustaceans. They are both found in well-vegetated riverine areas, swamps and mangroves. The Azure Kingfisher Ceyx azureus is found in Australia’s north and east (mainland) and in Tasmania, while the Little Kingfisher Ceyx pusillus is confined to the north and north-east. Of the remaining eleven species that h...
Forest Kingfisher

Forest Kingfisher

What does it look like?  The Forest Kingfisher is easily identified by its deep, royal blue head and upper-parts and striking white underparts. Male birds have a broad white collar. Birds in eastern Australia are more turquoise and have a smaller white wing spot. A harsh repetitive ‘t’ reek t’ reek’ can be heard throughout the breeding season. August to December. Where does it live?  This species o...
Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra

What does it look like?  Instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice.  The chuckling "koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kaa-kaa-kaa" is a familiar sound throughout its range. It also has a shorter “koooaa”.   The chuckling call is a prominent and raucous part of the dawn chorus.  In outback areas this early morning wake-up call gave the bird the nicknames of Bushman’s Clock, Alarm Bird and Breakfast Bird. W...

Bee-eaters

Meropidae No endemic species in Australia. These birds are brightly coloured with long wings and a long central tail feather. The slender, slightly decurved beak is employed in aerial feeding. The single Australian species, the Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus , nests in an earthen burrow, and migrates to southern Australia from the north.
Rainbow Bee-eater

Rainbow Bee-eater

What does it look and sound like?  This brilliantly coloured bird is unmistakable in both plumage and voice. Both Rainbow Bee-eater sexes have beautiful blue-green body plumage, a rufous crown, a yellow throat, and conspicuous black lines through the eyes and on the two central tail feathers extend beyond the rest of the tail; these are longer on the male. In flight the wings are bright rufous-orange ...

Rollers

Coraciidae Rollers are so-named because of their rolling courtship display-flight. The Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis is a migrant to Australia, arriving in September each year to breed. Although the breeding season ends in about January each year, individuals remain in Australia until about April, before returning to New Guinea, the Solomons and the Philippines. The European Roller Coracias...
Dollarbird

Dollarbird

What does it look and sound like?  The name is derived from a large blue-white spot on each wing, resembling American dollar coins in size and shape.  The remaining plumage is dark brown, glossed with blue-green on the back and wings.  The bill is orange-red, finely tipped with black. The distinctive, harsh “kak-kak-kak” call is repeated several times, and is often given in flight. Where does it...

Australasian Warblers

Acanthizidae The ‘little brown birds’, the scrubwrens, gerygones and thornbills, can be either terrestrial or arboreal. All members of this family have thin beaks and short, weak, rounded legs. The Lord Howe Gerygone Gerygone insularis , is classified as extinct, and 35 of the 41 extant   species are endemic to Australia.
Scrubtit

Scrubtit

What does it look like? The Scrubtit is brownish with a grey face and conspicuous white eyering and small wingbar. The underparts are buffalong the flanks and cream belly. Where does it live?  It is endemic to Tasmania and is found wherever suitable habitat occurs. A second subspecies occurs on King Island. What are its habitats and habits? The Scrubtit is predominantly found in wet beech, e...
Speckled Warbler

Speckled Warbler

What does it look like? The Speckled Warbler is a small, predominantly ground-dwelling, thornbill-like warbler. It is grey above, speckled with blackish streaks on the back and whitish streaks on the crown, and creamish to white below, with numerous darker streaks, forming longitudinal lines on the breast, belly and flanks. The rump is yellowish (generally more visible in flight) and the tail feathers ...
White-browed Scrubwren

White-browed Scrubwren

What does it look like?  The White-browed Scrubwren shows some variation in plumage markings and colouration.  Predominantly, birds are fuscous-brown with slightly paler underparts and have a characteristic white eyebrow.  Birds in the Australia’s north are more yellow underneath, and the males have an almost black facial mask, whereas birds found along the southern coastline have conspicuous dark...

Logrunners

Orthonychidae Ground-dwelling, thrush-like birds with strong legs and feet for digging in leaf litter. The feathers of the relatively short tail end with sharp tips. Both Australian species are endemic, the Australian Logrunner Orthonyx temminckii and Chowchilla O. spaldingii . A third species, the New Guinean Logrunner O. novaeguineae , is found in New Guinea.
Australian Logrunner

Australian Logrunner

What does it look and sound like?  The plumage of this elusive ground-dwelling bird is mottled rufous-brown and olive-grey, streaked with black on the wings, back and sides of the throat. The face is grey, as are the sides of the breast, and the belly is white. The female Logrunner is distinguished from the male by the cinnamon, instead of white, throat and upper breast. The common call is a repeated ...

Whistlers & Shrike-thrushes

Pachycephalidae Thirteen species, including seven endemics, occur in Australia. These stout-billed birds can be identified by their melodious calls, given by both sexes, from which the common name is derived. Some species show strong sexual dimorphism, with males being brightly-coloured; others show little or no dimorphism and are more drab. Most of the subspecies of the six wider-ranging species...
Grey Shrike-thrush

Grey Shrike-thrush

What does it look and sound like?   The Grey Shrike-thrush is a common and familiar bird.  Its alternate names of Harmonious Shrike-thrush and Whistling Shrike-thrush, have stemmed from its beautiful whistling song, which typically include phrases such as “pip-pip-pip—pip-hoee” and a sharp “yorrick”, but also include phrases that are often unique to the individual birds. The song somehow makes up fo...

Butcherbirds, Currawongs & Magpie

Adult cracticids are typically black or grey, most with small to large patches of white, with the notable exception of the Black Butcherbird Mellioria quoyi of northern Qld and New Guinea. Three of the nine species have distributions outside of Australia [Pg7] . The Australian Magpie is one of the most widespread birds in Australia, just reaching southern New Guinea. Currawongs are endemic to this...
Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie

What does it look and sound like?  This large black and white bird is common and familiar. Its conspicuous plumage varies throughout the species range. The nape, upper tail and shoulders are white in all forms and in most cases the remainder of the body is black. Birds from Tasmania, the south-east, centre and extreme south-west of mainland Australia have an entirely white back. In addition to this, ...
Black Butcherbird

Black Butcherbird

What does it look and sound like?  The Black Butcherbird is almost entirely deep bluish-black, except for the large silver-grey bill with a black tip. Where does it live?  The species has a large range. Three of the four recognised subspecies are found in Australia, with Melloria quoyi spaldingi found from western NT to the Gulf of Carpentaria, M. q. jardini in northern Qld, from Cape York P...
Pied Currawong

Pied Currawong

What does it look and sound like?   This large black and white bird is often confused with the Australian Magpie, although it is quite different in plumage.  The Pied Currawong is almost entirely black, with large patches of white in the wings and a white base and tip to the tail.  Unlike the Magpie, the bill is wholly black and the eye is yellow. The name Currawong was derived from the “currawong” call of...

Fantails

Fantails are small, active insectivores, with a conspicuous broadly fan-shaped tail. None of the five species recorded in Australia are endemic. The Lord Howe Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa cervina is listed as extinct. The Willie Wagtail R . leucophrys is one of the best known and widespread birds in Australia. Scientific name: Rhipiduridae (family)  
Magpie-lark

Magpie-lark

What does it look and sound like?  The alternative name for this species is the Peewee, which has arisen from its harsh “pee-o-wit” or “pee-wee” call. During the breeding season birds often sit side by side and call alternately, each raising and lowering their wings as they do so. The bold black and white markings also assist in identification. Male birds differ from females in having a black forehead...
Northern Fantail

Northern Fantail

What does it look and sound like?  The plumage of the Northern Fantail is grey to blackish above, with a small whitish eyebrow, cream belly and white vent. The breast is paler grey with numerous vertical ‘tear-drop’ streaks, and the throat is white. Where does it live?  Also known as the Timor Fantail, this species has a large range that includes Australia, PNG and Indonesia. What are its habit...
Rufous Fantail

Rufous Fantail

What does it look and sound like?   Within Australia, there are five species of fantail.  Of these, the Rufous Fantail is undoubtedly the most colourful. Its long grey-brown tail, with bright rufous base, is fanned out as it busily flits from tree to tree.  The rump is also rufous in colour, as is the forehead, while the remaining plumage is brown above and white below, with black mottling on the th...

Monarch Flycatchers

Of the 13 species in Australia only the Pied Monarch Arses kaupi and the White-eared Monarch Carterornis leucotis are endemic, although both the Satin Flycatcher Myiagra cyanoleuca and Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsis are believed to breed only in Australia. Most species are small insectivores with broad, compressed bills and slender legs. A notable exception is the considerably...
Black-faced Monarch

Black-faced Monarch

What does it look and sound like?   This beautiful bird, with blue-grey head, throat and upperparts, black face and russet underparts, is perhaps the most familiar of the monarchs. It is similar in colouration to both the Spectacled and Black-winged Monarchs. It's call is a distinctive “why-you-which-yew”. Where does it live?  It is found along the eastern coast, south to Melbourne, while the White-f...

Birds of Paradise

Mainly found in rainforests or other densely vegetated areas, the male birds of paradise generally have large patches of bright iridescent colours. All are found in the east and north-east of Australia, but only the Paradise Riflebird Lophorina paradiseus and Victoria’s Riflebird L. victoriae are endemic. Both the Trumpet Manucode Phonygammus keraundrenii and Magnificent Riflebird L. magnificus ...
Victoria's Riflebird

Victoria's Riflebird

What does it look and sound like?  Of the four birds of paradise found in Australia, three are Riflebirds.  Each are somewhat similar in plumage, the males being glossed black, subtly tinged with iridescent purple and blue-green, while the females are predominantly brown. Thankfully, the ranges of each species do not overlap, thus making identification much easier. All Riflebirds have short square t...

Australo-Papuan Robins

Petroicidae Most of the 21 Australian species are endemic, although a few such as the Mangrove Robin Peneothello pulverulenta and Lemon-bellied Flycatcher Microeca flavigaster extend to New Guinea.  Some like the Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis and Scarlet Robin Petroica boodang are common and confiding. The Tiwi Hooded Robin Melanodryas cucullata melvillensis is possibly ...
Dusky Robin

Dusky Robin

What does it look and sound like?  The Dusky Robin is dark olive-brown above and greyish below. It has an inconspicuous paler eyestripe and an indistinct greyish-white wingbar, which is partially concealed when at rest. Younger birds are heavily streaked and lack any white in the tail. Males are readily distinguished from other robins that share the same range, namely the Pink Robin Petroica rodinogaster ...
Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

What does it look and sound like?  This is a medium-sized robin with grey back and head and yellow underparts. The superficially similar Pale Yellow Robin is comparatively smaller, has pale lores and lighter underparts.  The characteristic calls of this delightful bird are also easily recognised, an assortment of high bell-like piping, some harsh scolding notes, and a repeated “chop chop”. Wha...
Jacky Winter

Jacky Winter

What does it look and sound like?  Although somewhat drab, this flycatcher is an attractive bird, with plain brownish upperparts, pale underparts, a slight eyebrow and prominent white edges to the black tail. The Lemon-bellied Flycatcher Microeca flavigaster of tropical northern Australia is yellower below, lacks white in the tail and spends less time on the ground. The song of the Jacky Winter i...
Rose Robin

Rose Robin

  What does it look and sound like?  The plumage is pink below, grey above and with white sections on the outer tail feathers. The female is paler than the male and the young are brownish. The Pink Robin, which overlaps in range with the Rose Robin in the south, is darker above and has paler pink on the undersurface, which also extends to the lower belly. The call is a soft trill, rising in pitch an...

Leaf-warblers

Phylloscopidae Both species in Australia, the Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus and the Arctic Warbler Sericercus borealis , have been recorded only as vagrants. All are small, with thin bills and complex, melodious songs.
Golden-headed Cisticola

Golden-headed Cisticola

What does it look and sound like?  Cisticolas are distinguished by their rich golden plumage and pale pink-yellow legs. During the breeding season the male Golden-headed Cisticola attains a beautiful, unstreaked, golden crown. The female retains a streaked crown, similar to that of the non-breeding male. The song is a drawn out ‘zzzzt’, also a repeated metallic ‘link-link’ and a harsh ‘zeep’ in alarm. Th...

Swallows & Martins

Hirudinidae Of Australia’s seven recorded species, only the White-backed Swallow Cheramoeca leucosterna is endemic. Other breeding species are the Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena , the Fairy Martin Petrochelidon ariel and Tree Martin P. nigricans . The Barn Swallow H. rustica is a non-breeding migrant, while the Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus and Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis d...
Tree Martin

Tree Martin

What does it look and sound like?  This small, swallow-like bird is similar in appearance to the Fairy Martin Petrochelidon ariel and the Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena , and all three species overlap in range. The Tree Martin can be distinguished by its whitish-grey rump and short V-shaped tail (the Welcome Swallow has a dark rump and usually has long outer tail streamers) and dark blue-black ...

Bulbuls

Introduced by Europeans, the Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus is a small bird with short wings and an erect crest. A previous introduction, the Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer , was established for a period but is now extinct in Australia. Scientific name: Pycnonotidae (family)
Red-whiskered Bulbul

Red-whiskered Bulbul

What does it look like?   It is instantly identifiable by its pointed black crest.  The remaining plumage is brown above, with a white cheek and throat, mottled underparts and reddish undertail.  The red whisker, from where it derives its name is situated below the eye, but is often difficult to see. Where does it live?  The Red-whiskered Bulbul is a native of southern Asia.  Since its introduction into...

Starlings

Sturnidae Seven species are present in Australia. The native Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica and the Singing Starling Aplonis cantoroides both have wider distributions, the Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris and Common Myna Acridotheres tristis are introduced and the Rosy Starling Pastor roseus , Purple-backed Starling Agropsar sturninus and Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar...
European Starling

European Starling

What does it look and sound like?   The European Starling shows considerable variation in plumage.  Both adults resemble each other, although the female is considered less glossy than the male.  In autumn, the plumage is glossed black, with a purple and green iridescence.  The feathers have a buff tip, which gives the bird a spotted appearance.  These spots are almost completely absent from bird...

Sunbirds

Nectariniidae A single breeding resident, the Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis occurs in Australia, but is also in North Moluccas and New Guinea. Strong sexual dimorphism, with the male brightly coloured, and long, strongly decurved bill.
Olive-backed Sunbird

Olive-backed Sunbird

What does it look and sound like?  The long downwardly curved bill resembles that of some honeyeaters, but the bright yellow underparts prevents any confusion. The yellow colouration extends to the throat and upper breast of the female but it is replaced in the male by glossy blue-black feathers. The Olive-backed Sunbird gives high-pitched notes in flight and display.  Where does it live?  Australia’s only...

Australo-Papuan Grassfinches

Fourteen of the 21 species of this family recorded in Australia are endemic, five of,the other breeding species extend to New Guinea and the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata is found in Timor. The Nutmeg Mannikin L. punctulata and Java Sparrow L. oryzivora are introduced, and the Pale-headed Munia L. pallida is recorded as a vagrant. Most species have bright markings, but the endemic Gouldian...
Beautiful Firetail

Beautiful Firetail

What does it look and sound like?  The Beautiful Firetail is generally brown-grey, with fine black and white barring and a contrasting crimson rump and bill. Conspicuous black face-mask, pale blue eye-ring, and red conical bill. The wing tips of the male whiten during breeding season and the overall plumage darkens. The female resembles the non-breeding male, but has full barring on the abdomen, ...
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

What does it look and sound like?  The Chestnut-breasted Mannikin is a beautiful, thick-set finch with a powerful bill. The upperparts are rich chestnut, with a grey crown. The underparts are generally white, with a broad chestnut breast-band, bordered below with black, and conspicuous black face and throat. The call, ‘teet’ or ‘tit’, which may be either bell-like or long and drawn out, is used ...
Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail

  What does it look and sound like?  The Diamond Firetail is a brightly coloured finch. The head is grey, while the remainder of the upperparts are greyish-brown, with the exception of the conspicuous red rump. The underparts are white, with contrasting black on the chest and flanks, the latter being heavily spotted with white. The iris and eyering are red, as is the short conical bill, and there i...
Red-browed Finch

Red-browed Finch

What does it look and sound like?   This finch can be distinguished by its bright red rump and red eyebrow.  The remainder of the body is olive-green above and grey below. The high‑pitched ‘seeee’ or ‘ssitt’ accompanies most movements. Where does it live?  The Red-browed Finch is distributed in a broad coastal band along the east coast of Australia, and a small population of escaped aviary birds ...
Zebra Finch

Zebra Finch

What does it look and sound like?   The Zebra finch is a small, predominantly grey bird, with white underparts, chestnut coloured cheeks (male), black tear-drop eye stripes, and ‘zebra-like’ barred black and white tails. The most common calls are a loud nasal ‘tiah’, often given in flight, and a soft ‘tet-tet’ in close contact. Where does it live?  Found throughout most of the Australian mainland. W...

Australian Frogs and Toads

Australia is home to 241 species and 5 subspecies of frogs, around 94% of which are endemic. Australia is also home to an established, introduced toad, the Cane Toad Rhinella marina (native to South and Central America), which was introduced in 1935 from Hawaii as a biological control for the French’s and Greyback Cane Beetle that was causing significant economic damage to sugarcane farmers. Sadly, t...

Swamp Frogs

Family: Limnodynastidae An Australasian family of terrestrial frogs, found across Australia and into New Guinea. Foam nest breeders that have significant differences in morphology and ecology.

Narrow-mouthed Frogs

Family: Microhylidae Australian members of this moderately large family of small frogs are typically found in wetter forests within the north of the country. Of the many subfamilies in Microhylidae, only Asterophryinae occurs in Australia. They lay their eggs on land, usually beneath rocks and logs, from which fully formed frogs hatch.

Ground Frogs

Family: Myobatrachidae Unique to Australia and New Guinea, this group of small to medium-sized frogs is often referred to as ground frogs. Species vary greatly in habitats and habitat, and exhibit some of the world’s most diverse adaptations to get their young from egg to neonate frog. Most species have aquatic free-swimming larvae (tadpoles) while some have young that fully develop within t...

Australian Tree Frogs

Family: Pelodryadidae  ( (formerly Hylidae) The tree frogs are extremely variable in ecology and reproduction from burrowing species to arboreal stream dwellers. Includes some of the world most recognisable species such as the Green tree frog.

True Frogs

Family: Ranidae Probably recent natural invaders to Australia via New Guinea. One of the most diverse families of frogs world wide. Represented by a single species that also occurs in New Guinea. Strong jumpers that are primarily terrestrial, in Australia.

True Toads

Family: Bufonidae Widely distributed around the world, but with two introduced species in Australia, the Cane Toad which was released at Gordonvale in Qld in 1935 to control pests of sugarcane, and has since become a major pest, and the Black-spined Toad Duttaphrynas melanostictus , which has a small number of widespread records.
Cane Toad

Cane Toad

What does it look like?  The Cane Toad is yellow to brown or greyish above with black spotting; younger individuals can have red to orange spots. Juveniles grey to black, often flecked with orange and brown. Belly pale brown to grey with white or cream marbling. Where does it live? Introduced in Australia and constantly changing and expanding in range. Current range has expanded...

Australian (Non-Insect) Hexapods

At one time classified as three orders within the class Insecta, this group of primitive hexapods has undergone several revisions over the years. Current classification comprises two classes: the springtails of Collembola, and the proturans and diplurans (two-pronged bristletails) of class Entognatha. Along with Insecta, the Collembola and Entognatha form the invertebrate subphylum Hexapoda. All have...

Australian Insects

Insects belong to the largest phylum of animals, the arthropods (Arthropoda), which are invertebrates (lack a backbone) and are characterised by having an exoskeleton, segmented body and paired jointed appendages. Insects belong to the class Insecta, which is by far the largest class of any animal, with almost 70,000 formally described species within over 13,300 genera in Australia alone, and many...

Bristletails

Order: Archaeognatha Represented in Australia by the family Meinertellidae, which comprises 10 species. Wingless, cylindrical body with fine scales, large compound eyes and three elongated, rear-facing tail appendages (cerci), the central cercus longer than the outer ones. Superficially similar to the silverfish (below), which have outward facing outer cerci and smaller eyes. Bristletails can...

Silverfish

Order: Zygentoma Two families of these occur in Australia, the Lepismatidae and the Nicoletiidae with 70 species between them. Wingless, flattened body, with or without scales, small compound eyes (can be absent), and with three cerci, the central one longer than the outer pair. The central cercus is rear-facing, while the outer ones face sideways, a characteristic that distinguishes them from...

Dragonflies and Damselflies

Order: Odonata Subdivided into two suborders: the dragonflies of Odonata, and the damselflies of Zygoptera. Fifteen families of dragonflies and 10 families of damselflies occur in Australia, with around 326 described species. Body long and thin with large head and large compound eyes. Two pairs of long membranous wings, the hindwings broader than the forewings, and held horizontal in dragonflies...
Graphic Flutterer

Graphic Flutterer

What does it look like?  The mature Graphic Flutterer has yellowish-brown wings, each with large dark metallic brown patches (not at tips). Abdomen greyish-brown above, paler below, and eyes red. Larvae grow to around 15mm. Where does it live? Found throughout much of mainland Australia, presumed absent only from south-western WA, south-western Qld, western NSW, Vic and south-eastern ...
Iridescent Flutterer

Iridescent Flutterer

What does it look like? The adult Iridescent Flutterer is blackish with broad, membranous wings, each having dark, metallic purplish-black basal patches of similar length and transparent tips. Wings lack pale spots found in similar species, and have dark pterostigma towards tip of leading edge of each wing. Eyes dark red. Larvae have mid-dorsal spines and very few setae on body. Where does it live? E...

Stick Insects and Leaf Insects

Order: Phasmida Of the 103 currently described species in Australia, contained within three families, Phasmatidae is largest, with 66 species. Body typically very long and cylindrical, resembling sticks, or flattened, resembling leaves, with long and thin or flattened legs. Some species in Australia can exceed 300mm in body length, and are among the longest insects known. Wings, when present,...

Caddisflies

Order: Trichoptera Around 851 species recorded in Australia, contained within 27 families. Body elongated and two pairs of variably sized hairy wings, the forewings larger than the hindwings in some species, but the other way round in others. Antennae long and filamentous, curled in some species and mouthparts simple, lacking the curled proboscis found in the superficially similar moths. Larvae...

Praying Mantises [Mantids]

Order: Mantodea Four families of mantises (mantids), housing around 117 species in Australia, the largest family being the Mantidae. Species vary greatly in size, from 10mm to around 120mm, but all characterised by forelimbs held forward in ‘praying’ pose, each having tibia adorned with either one or two rows of spines. All species predatory, using large eyes and mobile head to locate prey bef...

Mayflies

Order: Ephemeroptera Nine families within Australia, comprising around 119 species. Most species have two pairs of membranous wings, forewings larger than hindwings (when present), but still only of moderate length. Adults have non-functioning mouthparts (mandibulate in nymphs), large eyes and 3 ocelli, moderately short antennae and three (rarely two) long, filamentous cerci. Nymphs are aquatic...

Stoneflies

Order: Plecoptera Four families and 199 species in Australia. Body flattened with two pairs of membranous wings, the forewings slightly longer and narrower than the hindwings, and held curved around the body when at rest. Long legs, which face forward when not moving. Elongated abdomen with two cerci. Larvae aquatic.

Cockroaches and Termites

Order: Blattodea Over 580 species of cockroaches within six families recorded in Australia, including several introduced species, which are common pests around residential and commercial buildings. The ‘pest’ species feed largely on human foodstuffs and waste and are known to spread a number of dangerous diseases to humans. The native species are not considered dangerous to humans, living wit...
American Cockroach

American Cockroach

  What does it look like?  The American Cockroach is a large reddish-brown cockroach, with a pale yellowish-brown margin on the pronotal shield. They have large wings (extending past the tip of the abdomen in males) and are competent fliers. Where does it live? Native to Africa, and introduced to most countries around the world, including Australia. Found in close association w...
Arboreal Termite

Arboreal Termite

What does it look like? Arboreal Termite soldiers are yellow-brown, dark rounded head with single prominent ‘spike’. Workers are pale, alate brown. Where does it live? Found in south-eastern QLD and eastern NSW. What are its habitats and habits? The Arboreal Termite, or Tree Termite, occur in bushland along the coast, the primary nest is established in the root crown of a tree. Once the co...
Australian Cockroach

Australian Cockroach

What does it look like? The Australian Cockroach is brown, with a yellow border around the pronotum and longitudinal yellow stripes on the outer edges of the wings. Very similar to the larger American Cockroach. Where does it live? Introduced and now widespread in tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, in close proximity to human habitation. What are its habitats and habits?...
Common Methana

Common Methana

What does it look like? The Common Methana is typically dark brown to reddish-brown, with conspicuous broad cream edges along the edges of the body, wings (adult) and extending to the front of the pronotum in a ‘U’ shape. Where does it live? Native to eastern Qld and eastern NSW, and introduced to NI. What are its habitats and habits? The Common Met...
Magnetic Termite

Magnetic Termite

What does it look like?  The Magnetic Termite soldier has a yellowish head and dark mandibles curved inward with single ‘tooth’. Workers pale, alates brown with pale wings.  Where does it live? Restricted to northern NT. What are its habitats and habits? The Magnetic Termite, or Compass Termite, is found in grasslands, where large eusocial colonies construct the distinctive wedge-shaped mounds whi...

Web-spinners

Order: Embioptera These small (up to 15mm) insects are uncommonly encountered. Three families, containing 26 species occur in Australia. Males usually with two pairs of membranous wings, the forewings larger than the hindwings, while females are wingless. Males also have have short cerci of differing lengths. Body elongated and tube-like, with three pairs of legs, the front pair facing forwards...

Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids

Order: Orthoptera Large order containing 17 families and over 1500 species in Australia, split into two suborders: Caelifera (6 families), containing grasshoppers, and Ensifera (11 families), which houses the crickets and katydids. Species can attain large sizes (up to 100mm), and most species possess large hind legs that give them the powerful jumping ability, some using them in the production...
Tropical House Cricket

Tropical House Cricket

What does it look like? The Tropical House Cricket is pale yellowish-brown with a single black transverse line between eyes. Body dorsoventrally flattened. Adult male with wings, used in production of song, and female with long ovipositor. Where does it live? Worldwide, likely native to southern Asia. What are its habitats and habits?...

Earwigs

Order: Dermaptera Seven families within Australia, containing 90 described species, which are commonly encountered in homes and domestic gardens. Tip of the abdomen has pronounced forcipules/pincers, which are curved in males and straight with inward pointing tips in females. Wings, when present, consist of reduced protective forewings and membranous hindwings folded neatly underneath; this...
European Earwig

European Earwig

What does it look like?  The European Earwig has a dark reddish-brown body with pale brown legs and edges to pronotum. Adult males have smaller bodies with larger and more strongly curved toothed forceps than females. Where does it live? Native to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa, introduced to North America, NZ and Australia What are its habitats and habits? ...

Zorapterans

Order: Zoraptera A single species recorded on Christmas Island. Zorapterans are small (up to 3mm), elongate insects, which superficially resemble termites. Winged morphs have small eyes, shedding wings after dispersing from colony, leaving small stubs, while wingless (apterous) morphs are blind and live within colony. Mouthparts mandibulate (chewing), antennae segmented and of moderate length,...

Booklice, Barklice, Biting and Sucking Lice

Order: Psocodea Until relevantly recently this order was split into two separate orders, the booklice and barklice of the order Psocoptera, and the ‘true’ lice of the order Phthiraptera, Forty families are known in Australia, with around 800 species described, of these 26 families and around 500 species are from Psocoptera, the remaining 14 families and some 300 species from Phthiraptera. Boo...

Thrips

Order: Thysanoptera Six families, with around 950 species in Australia. Very small in size (0.5-15mm), body elongated and cylindrical with three pairs of legs, each of which terminate in a specialised bladder-like organ instead of tarsal claws. Wings, when present, are membranous and hairy, the forewings larger than the hindwings. Individuals can be single-sexed or bisexual, and parthenogenesis...

True Bugs

Order: Hemiptera Very large order with 119 families, containing over 6,000 species found in Australia. Split into four suborders, largest being Heteroptera with 67 families in Australia, followed by Sternorrhyncha with 29 families, then Auchenorrhyncha with 21 families and Coleorrhyncha, which contains a single family. Extremely variable in both size (1 to 110mm) and colour, with some species...
Redeye

Redeye

What does it look like? The Redeye Cicada has a dark brown to black body, grey-silver patches either side of abdomen, with striking bright red eyes. Wing veins black with clear membranes. Where does it live? south-eastern Australia from SE QLD to South Australia, Tasmania What are its habitats and habits? The Redeye, or Cherry Eye, occurs in sclerophyll forest...
Water Strider

Water Strider

What does it look like?  The Water Strider has a dark brown body with pale stripes, pale legs, rear two pairs of legs very long and slender. Adults have winged and wingless forms. Where does it live? North-eastern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Polynesia. What are its habitats and habits? The Water Strider occurs in freshwater, from lakes and ponds to streams and hot springs. The modified ...

Lacewings, Antlions and Mantidflies

Order: Neuroptera Fourteen families, containing some 569 species in Australia. Adults with long, heavily veined, membranous wings and weak, fluttering flight (often attracted to artificial lights). Mouthparts mandibulate. Larvae wingless, and are predators of other invertebrates. Some create a pit trap in loose dry soil, concealing themselves under the base of the trap, quickly grabbing prey...

Alderflies, Dobsonflies and Fishflies

Order: Megaloptera Two families represented in Australia, the largest is Corydalidae, which house 26 species, all except one occurring principally in eastern Australia, while Sialidae contains just three species, all found only along Australia’s east coast. All have two pairs of large (up to 100mm), similarly-sized, membranous wings, mandibulate mouthparts and slender legs. Wings typically p...

Beetles

Order: Coleoptera An extremely large order, with 117 families and just under 25,000 species described in Australia. Extremely variable in size (0.4 to 80mm) and colour, but usually typified by modified, hardened forewings (elytra), designed to cover and protect the membranous hindwings, which are folded underneath when at rest. Elytra form a straight midline down the body when at rest and are...
Christmas Beetle

Christmas Beetle

What does it look like?  Several species in the genus Anoplognathus  are known as Christmas beetles. All are similar in appearance, being metallic orange-brown to pale gold in colour, with variable dark spotting, some with greenish tinges. Larva pale and soft-bodied with darker sclerotized head. Where does it live?    Eastern Australia. What are its habitats and habits? &n...
Fungus-eating Ladybird

Fungus-eating Ladybird

What does it look like? Adults are bright yellow with broad jagged black bands across elytra and black midline. Fungus-eating Ladybird larvae have six legs, first segment of elongated body yellow, remainder grey, each segment conspicuously marked with black dots. Where does it live? Found in eastern Australia and introduced into NZ. What are its habitats and habits? The Fungus-eating La...
Mottled Flower Scarab

Mottled Flower Scarab

W hat does it look like?   The Mottled Flower Scarab is a s mall, usually shiny dark-coloured rounded beetle, with broad shovel-like head and pronotum, small fan-like antennae, may have hairs on underside of body. Some species with horns on head and pronotum in males. Larva pale and soft-bodied with dark sclerotized head. Where does it live? ...
Pie-dish Beetle

Pie-dish Beetle

What does it look like? The Pie-dish Beetle is black, oval shaped, with longitudinal ridges down centre of elytra, margins of body flattened to form a pie-dish shape. Larva yellow-brown elongated grub. Where does it live? Southern Australia. What are its habitats and habits? The Pie-dish Beetle typically occurs in dry forest and arid habitats. It shelters during the day and emerges...
Steelblue Ladybird

Steelblue Ladybird

W hat does it look like?  Adult head, prothorax and elytra shiny dark metallic bluish to greenish, with front of the head and front corners of prothorax yellowish brown in males. Head small with compound eyes and short antennae. Steelblue Ladybird larvae are elongated, pale grey with long dark fleshy extensions and long hair-like seta at the tip. Where does it live?  Widely ...
Transverse Ladybird

Transverse Ladybird

What does it look like? The Transverse Ladybird adult is red or orange and black. Elytra dome shaped with black elongated patches evenly distributed. Larvae greyish-brown with darker markings, pale or dark soft spikes on edges of each body segment, and six legs. Body tapering at both end (fusiform). Where does it live? The Transverse Ladybird is Australia’s most common ladybird beetle; f...
Wattle Pig

Wattle Pig

What does it look like? The adult Wattle Pig beetle is light grey-brown to dark brown in colour, pronotum and elytra with bumpy protrusions arranged in longitudinal ridges. Snout characteristically elongated, relatively thick, with clubbed tip; elbowed antennae, dark eyes moderately large. Larvae legless. Where does it live? Australia-wide. What are its habitats and habits?...

Twisted Wings and Stylops

Order: Strepsiptera Largely undescribed order, with six families containing 42 species described, and over 150 species presumed to occur in Australia. Males possess enlarged, membranous hindwings, with little to no visible venation, and forewings reduced to long appendages. Males also have three pairs of legs and branched antennae. Females are wingless and often have no legs. Females are endoparasites...

Flies, Mosquitoes and Gnats

Order: Diptera A large order, with 112 families and just under 9,000 species found in Australia. All have a single pair of membranous forewings, the hindwings are reduced to small ‘club-like’ appendages called halteres, which act as stabilising appendages. All also have compound eyes and most have sucking mouthparts of various designs, but the mouthparts can also be piercing (e.g mosquitoes). The...
Australian Bush Fly

Australian Bush Fly

What does it look like? The Australian Bush Fly is ashy-grey with 2 diverging black stripes on the thorax, becoming 4 near the head, and red eyes. The 2 rounded, triangular, transparent wings touch or overlap slightly when at rest. Abdomen yellowish and eyes touching in male, abdomen grey and black and eyes separated in female. Where does it live? Endemic to Australia, where it is widespread...
Banana-stalk Fly

Banana-stalk Fly

What does it look like?  The Banana-stalk Fly is dark brown and yellowish-cream, with large red eyes on elongated head, and moderately long, thickened antennae with single long thin arista arising from each (used to detect heat and moisture). Legs long and stilt-like, and wings darkened, long and membranous. Where does it live? Occurs along coastal eastern Australia, from northern Qld south ...
Flesh Fly

Flesh Fly

What does it look like? There are numerous species of Flesh Fly with similar appearance. Typically grey to yellowish thorax and head, bluish grey abdomen and often with bright red eyes. Top of the thorax is often marked with three longitudinal dark stripes and abdomen chequered. Forewings membranous with darker veins and hindwings reduced to stabilising halteres. Numerous long black bristles at...
Fruit Fly

Fruit Fly

What does it look like? The Fruit Fly is typically yellowish- or reddish-brown to black with sparse blackish bristles and membranous forewings. Eyes red and antennae very short with enlarged tips. Where does it live? Around 1500 species distributed in tropical and temperate regions worldwide. What are its habitats and habits? The Fruit Fly, or Vinegar Fly, is found in wide range of habi...
House Fly

House Fly

What does it look like?  The House Fly thorax and abdomen is greyish (although the abdomen is paler), with four blackish longitudinal lines on the thorax, and a single pair of transparent triangular wings. The eyes are reddish and the mouthparts are sponge-like. Where does it live? Found throughout most of Australia and the rest of the world. What are its habitats and habits? ...
March Fly

March Fly

What does it look like? The March Fly is solidly built with large reflective, iridescent eyes, which meet in the middle in males. The eyes are larger than those of the Stable Fly, and are green in the female and reddish-brown in the male. Where does it live? Warmer parts of Australia, including Qld, NSW, Vic, WA and NT. What are its habitats and habits? The March...
Non-biting Midges

Non-biting Midges

What does it look like?  Non-biting Midges are members of large family superficially similar, typified by thin body and long thin legs. Wings membranous. Where does it live? Widely distributed throughout Australia and most of the world. What are its habitats and habits? Non-biting Midges are found in and around water, including rivers, still lakes, dams, ponds ...
Oriental Latrine Fly

Oriental Latrine Fly

What does it look like? The Oriental Latrine Fly has a metallic blue-green body and large red eyes that meet in the male, but are separated in the female, and sponge-like mouthparts. A single pair of large, transparent wings, the second pair have been modified into stabilising appendages called halteres. Where does it live? Throughout Australasia, and most of the world. Within Australia, has...
Robber Fly

Robber Fly

What does it look like? The Robber Fly is large, grey and brown, with reddish legs and greyish-brown wings not extending beyond tip of abdomen. Where does it live? Occurs in eastern Australia, from north-eastern Qld to eastern Vic. What are its habitats and habits? The Robber Fly occurs in forests, woodlands and gardens, where its buzzing flight often betrays its presence. At rest it p...
Striped Mosquito

Striped Mosquito

What does it look like? The Striped Mosquito appears dark greyish with conspicuous white to yellowish lyre-shaped lines on the dorsal shield (scutum). Legs with pale bands, and proboscis with distinct white central band. Where does it live? Throughout coastal and inland mainland Australia,including Tas. Female Striped Mosquito engorged with blood What are its habitats and...
Yellow-shouldered Stout Hoverfly

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hoverfly

What does it look like?  The Yellow-shouldered Stout Hoverfly, or Common Hoverfly, has a yellow body, with black, crescent-shaped barring on the upper surface of the abdomen, forming large yellow spots, and black on the upper thorax. Eyes very large and compound, larger and close to touching in males, and antennae yellow. Wings transparent, with false margin on the rear edge. Where does it ...

Scorpionflies and Hanging Flies

Order: Mecoptera Five families and 33 species in Australia. Both sexes have strongly veined, membranous wings, both pairs of approximate equal size, with the exception of the genus Apterapanorpa, which are wingless. Legs long and slender, equipped with claws, and head with elongated projection with mandibulate mouthparts at tip. Males of some species have upturned ‘scorpion-like’ terminal seg...

Fleas

Order: Siphonaptera Some 84 species within nine families in Australia. Mouthparts piercing and sucking, and both male and female fleas feed on blood, which they suck from their hosts by cutting through the skin, injecting the wound with an anticoagulant and siphoning up the blood. Individuals are able to survive several months without a blood meal. They are small (up to 10 mm), wingless, with...

Butterflies and Moths

Order: Lepidoptera Australia has just under 11,000 species described, contained within 91 families. Of these around 400 species belong to the butterflies, the remainder to the moths, but there could possibly be a further 20,000 species of moths yet to be described. Both groups are superficially similar in appearance, but the butterflies differ from the moths basically by being diurnal (although...
Blue Triangle

Blue Triangle

What does it look like?  Blue Triangle adults are virtually unmistakable with any other butterfly species in Australia. Wings with broad black margins, bright turquoise-blue central panels and smaller turquoise-blue spots and blotches. Female paler than male and with some red in the wings. Caterpillars grey to green with pale yellow spikes on tail and blue spikes on thorax, and with a yellow, forked, ...
Bordered Rustic

Bordered Rustic

What does it look like? The upper surface of wings with blackish-brown outer margins, brown inner margins and broad bright orange medial bands. Undersurface paler, but similarly patterned, and with a bluish wash during the dry season. The Bordered Rustic caterpillar is greenish brown, more orange on head, with a pale yellow longitudinal stripe of sides, and sparsely covered with branching spines....
Cabbage White Butterfly

Cabbage White Butterfly

What does it look like?  Cabbage White Butterflies are identified by white to yellowish-white colouration of wings and the presence of two black spots on the underside of each forewing. Upper surface of forewings tipped blackish. Female has six similarly-sized spots on the upperwing surface, two on each forewing and one on each hindwing; male has one conspicuous spot on each wing, the second s...
Case Moth

Case Moth

What does it look like? The female Case Moth is grey with darker speckling, hindwings with dark margins, and abdomen banded with yellow and black. Male forewings whitish with darker speckles, hindwings blackish, thorax yellowish and abdomen blackish. Caterpillar patterned brown and whitish on head and front part of body. Where does it live? Found in eastern Australia in Qld, NSW, Vic and Tas....
Chocolate Argus

Chocolate Argus

What does it look like?  The male Chocolate Argus is dark brown, female paler, both with a series of parallel, darker wavy lines along the edges and through the centre of the wings. Lines through the centre of wings, wider on the forewings and tapering to nothing on hindwings. Wings also with a row of darker-edged spots towards the outer edges. Caterpillar black with orange prothorax and head, and ...
Meadow Argus

Meadow Argus

What does it look like?  The adult Meadow Argus male and female are similar. Predominantly brown with patches of orange (all wings) and whitish (forewings) on upper surface. Each wing with conspicuous blue eye spots, each surrounded by a dark brown ring and a larger orange patch. Undersurface of wings similarly patterned but paler. Caterpillar brown to blackish with yellowish-orange collar behind ...
Orange Lacewing

Orange Lacewing

What does it look like? The Orange Lacewing has upper wings with black outer margins, more extensive on forewings, and large orange centres, the forewings have a large, elongated white patch on each. Undersurface of wings orange-brown, heavily mottled with white and black. Both sexes similar, although female more brownish. Caterpillar brown, with a conspicuous white segment at the centre of body,...
Orchard Swallowtail

Orchard Swallowtail

What does it look like?  The forewings of the adult male Orchard Swallowtail are black with band of white spots towards tip, hindwings black with white central panels and a red spot on the rear of each. Female pale grey and black on forewings, while the hindwings are largely white and black with distinguishing blue, red and black heart-shaped spots. Caterpillar grey and white, often resembling bird ...
Pink-bellied Moth

Pink-bellied Moth

What does it look like? Pink-bellied Moth adults are pinkish to brown with a dark edged yellow line running across the upper surface of the wings, and with a small, dark edged, transparent spot on each forewing. The tips of the forewing have a blackish and grey hooked tip. The underside of the wings have a large dark purplish blotch. Closely resembles the Mountain Vine Moth O. barcodificata of NSW...
Red Lacewing

Red Lacewing

What does it look like? Both Red Lacewing sexes similar, although female slightly darker. Upper wings with broad black outer margins and large deep red centres, the forewings have a large, elongated white patch on each. Undersurface of forewings similarly patterned, but paler and more brownish, while the hindwings have rows of small, white-edged black blotches. Margins of wings white and black. Caterpillar...
Saunders’ Case Moth

Saunders’ Case Moth

What does it look like?  The male Saunders' Case Moth wings are brown with paler veins, head and thorax with orange specks and abdomen banded dark brown and orange. Female moth wingless. Caterpillar bright black and orange on head and first body segments, remaining body (inside case) whitish. Where does it live? Found in eastern Australia in Qld, NSW, Vic and Tas. What are its habitats ...
Southern Moon Moth

Southern Moon Moth

What does it look like? The adult Southern Moon Moth is brown above, patterned with darker lines and a large blue, brown and black semicircular eyespot on each forewing. Underneath orange-brown with a small black spot. Caterpillar pale to dark brown, sparsely covered with short stiff hairs, and with pale orange legs. Where does it live? Found mainly throughout eastern Australia, from northern...
Ulysses Swallowtail

Ulysses Swallowtail

What does it look like? The Ulysses Swallowtail's upper surface of wings are largely iridescent blue, brighter and more extensive in the male, and with contrasting black margins. Undersurface brownish-grey to black with a series irregularly shaped pale blue and orange spots around outer margin of the hindwing. Each hindwing with tail streamer. Caterpillar yellow to green with pairs of soft white,...
White Antennae Wasp Moth

White Antennae Wasp Moth

What does it look like? The adult White Antennae Wasp Moth is black with orange translucent spots on each wing, a black and orange-yellow banded abdomen, and white tips to the black antennae. The male is larger than the female, but with a thinner abdomen. The caterpillar is orange and black, with longer white hairs. Where does it live? Occurs in coastal eastern Australia, from...

Bees, Wasps, Ants and Sawflies

Order: Hymenoptera Large order, with 69 families and almost 12,000 species in Australia. Of these all but six families and around 200 species belong to the ‘true’ bees, wasps and ants of the suborder Apocrita. The abdomen is divided into two sections with the second segment reduced to form a ‘waist’ or petiole. Two pairs of membranous wings, the forewings longer than the hindwings, large compoun...
European Honeybee

European Honeybee

What does it look like? The European Honeybee generally yellowish-brown all over, with blackish-brown bands on the abdomen and an orange-brown wash. Some variation in colour and pattern between individuals. Where does it live? Introduced into Australia by early European settlers, and is now widespread. What are its habitats and habits? The European Honeybee occurs in forests, woodlands,...
European Wasp

European Wasp

   What does it look like?  The European Wasp is black with broad yellow bands and almost hairless, elongated abdomen. Where does it live? Native to Europe, north Africa and Asia. Introduced into southern Australia, where it is widespread from southern Queensland in the east to Perth, Western Australia, in the west, and in Tasmania. What are its habitats and habits? T...
Green Ant

Green Ant

What does it look like? The Green ant is mostly orange with bright green abdomen (gaster). Single queen larger than all workers (up to 25mm) and greenish-brown, major workers larger than minor workers, and with larger heads and jaws. Where does it live? Found throughout tropical northern Australia from the western Kimberley, through northern NT to central eastern Qld. Also in southeast Asia....
Meat Ant

Meat Ant

What does it look like?  The Meat Ant is long-legged with large reddish-brown head and dark metallic bluish-black abdomen (gaster). Where does it live? Found throughout mainland Australia, and overlaps with other very similar species also known as meat ants. What are its habitats and habits? The Meat Ant inhabits woodlands, grasslands and adjacent urban areas with sand or gravel substrates, ...
Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

What does it look like?  The Paper Wasp is predominantly black with two pairs of brownish wings, and scattered yellow or orange markings or rings on the long cylindrical abdomen. Very narrow waist and head small with large eyes. Where does it live? Found throughout Australia. What are its habitats and habits? The Paper Wasp occurs in a variety of habitats throughout their ...

Australian Spiders, Scorpions and Allies

Australia has a reputation for having more than its fair share of dangerous spiders, with the funnel-webs and redback spiders topping the list. Spiders tend to instill more fear in humans than many other groups of animals, but deaths from their bites are very rare, with most bites resulting in localised pain and swelling. The primitive spiders are typically ground-dwelling, although some live...
Black House Spider

Black House Spider

What does it look like? The Black House Spider appears dark brownish or greyish to blackish, with a white flecked pattern on the dorsal surface. The female has a large bulbous abdomen, while the male’s is thinner and tapering towards the tip. Where does it live? Occurs throughout subtropical Australia, from south-eastern Qld to south-eastern Vic and Tas, and Adelaide region SA and Perth r...
Common Brown Trapdoor

Common Brown Trapdoor

What does it look like? The Common Brown Trapdoor Spider is generally dark brown, usually with paler brown bands on the abdomen, and with a fine covering of paler brown hairs on the carapace. Spinnerets are short and conical. The male is more slender with longer legs and enlarged ‘boxing glove’ shaped palps. Where does it live? Wide-ranging throughout NSW, in a region bounded by Tamworth (no...
Eastern Mouse Spider

Eastern Mouse Spider

What does it look like? The Eastern Mouse Spider is a stocky, uniformly black spider, with an enlarged cephalothorax and basal part of fangs, and males with a whitish or pale blue spot on the abdomen. Males are smaller, with comparatively longer legs, than females and only slightly swollen palps. Where does it live? Found along coast and eastern slopes of eastern Australia. What are...
Garden Wolf Spider

Garden Wolf Spider

What does it look like? The Garden Wolf Spider is predominantly brown, with paler yellowish-brown to orange-brown and darker blackish lines and marks, with a characteristic radiating pattern in the carapace. Where does it live? Widespread throughout temperate Australia. Females are larger than males. What are its habitats and habits? The Garden Wolf Spider occurs in open areas within...
Redback Spider

Redback Spider

What does it look like? The female Redback Spider is usually black, but can also be brownish, with an orange-red blaze on the dorsal surface of the abdomen, and a similarly coloured hourglass shape on the undersurface. The male is much smaller (3-4mm), pale brownish, with white spots and streaks, and with an hourglass pattern on the undersurface of the abdomen. Where does it live? Australia-wide...
White-tailed Spider

White-tailed Spider

What does it look like? The White-tailed Spider has a long cylindrical dark greyish body, with 2 pairs of greyish-white spots and large whitish tip on the abdomen, and reddish-brown pointed legs. Females are larger than males. Where does it live? Found throughout southern Australia from south-eastern Qld, through NSW, Vic, Tas and SA to WA. What are its habitats and habits? The White-tailed...

Australian Mammals

There are around 350 species of native mammals currently recognised in Australia, and a further 30 classed as extinct. Australia is also home to 33 introduced mammals, including ourselves, the humans. Follow the family links below to the individual species fact sheets:

Platypus

Ornithorhynchidae  
Platypus

Platypus

What does it look like?   Unmistakable. Dense dark greyish to brown fur above, with flat paddle-shaped tail and broad, greyish-brown ‘duck-like’ bill that extends over the forehead and chin. Underparts paler greyish or reddish-brown. Front feet fully webbed, with web extending past claws, and rear feet partially webbed. Males have a poisonous spur on ankle of each hind leg. Where does it live?   Ea...

Echidnas

Tachyglossidae Echidnas are Monotremes . Monotremes are peculiar among the mammals. They have all of the mammal characteristics: are warm-blooded, have hair and they produce milk to suckle their young but, unlike any other mammal, they lay soft-shelled eggs from which their young hatch. Australia is home to the world’s only only short-beaked species of echidna. The three species of long-beaked ech...
Short-beaked Echidna

Short-beaked Echidna

What does it look like? Pale brown to blackish fur above and below, which varies in length depending on range, and numerous protective spines on upper body, from back of neck to tail. Snout long and cylindrical, covered with sensitive skin, with nostrils and small mouth at tip. Where is it found? Australia-wide, including major islands. What are its habitats & habits? Found in a variety...

Dasyurids

Dasyuridae Dasyurids are insectivorous and carnivorous marsupials, that are characterised by teeth that are made for biting and cutting, with 7 pairs of incisors (4 pairs in the upper jaw and 3 pairs in the lower jaw), 4 pairs of well-developed upper and lower molars, and at least 4 non-fused toes on the hind feet and 5 on the front. Australia is home to 60 species, that range from the world’s s...
Crest-tailed Mulgara

Crest-tailed Mulgara

What does it look like?   Generally pale yellowish-brown above, tail with reddish-brown base and latter two-thirds black with a hairy dorsal crest towards tip. Underparts greyish white, female with pouch, limbs short and with five toes on each foot. Ears short and rounded, and snout pointed. Where is it found?   Arid deserts of south-eastern NT, north-eastern SA and far south-western Qld. What a...
Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil

What does it look like? Unmistakable. Predominantly black, occasionally with reddish wash, with white patches often present on chest, but may also appear on shoulders and rump, and female with complete, rear-facing pouch. Head wide (wider in males), with large, powerful jaws. Five toes on the front foot and four on the rear. Emits loud, guttural vocalisations. Where is it found? Once widespread...
Stripe-faced Dunnart

Stripe-faced Dunnart

What does it look like? The Stripe-faced Dunnart is greyish-brown, washed with yellowish on face, with blackish longitudinal line on top of head. Underparts, including feet, white. Tail swollen at base (used as fat storage), and similar in length to head-body. Where is it found? Throughout arid and semi-arid mainland, from western WA, through inland NT and SA to central and western Qld and north-western...

Bandicoots

Peramelidae
Eastern Barred Bandicoot

Eastern Barred Bandicoot

What does it look like? Yellowish-brown above, streaked with silvery-white, extending on to base of white tail, and with 3 or 4 paler bars on rump. Greyish below. Where is it found? Southern Vic, where it is now restricted to sites where it has been re-introduced into predator-proofed reserves in Mount Rothwell and Hamilton Community Parklands, and Tas, including Bruny and Maria (introduced) Islands....

Koala

‎Phascolarctidae The Koala is famed throughout the world and is often, mistakenly, called a bear. The Koala lives solely on a low energy diet of eucalypt leaves and spends up to 20 hours per day sleeping. Perhaps more sloth-like in habits than bear-like, but nonetheless a marsupial that has a pouch for protecting the newborn young (joey), that are born in the very early stages of development a...
Koala

Koala

What does it look like?  The Koala is a stocky, arboreal marsupial, with thick greyish fur (shorter and paler in north, and longer and more brownish in south). Ears round and woolly, and nose smooth, black and vertically oval-shaped. Where is it found?   Eastern Australia, from north-eastern Qld (south of Cape York Peninsula), through central and eastern NSW and Vic (and along Murray River), t...

Wombats

Vombatidae Wombats are the bulldozers of the Australian bush, equipped with a compact, stocky body, muscular limbs and strong claws for digging, a thickened bony plate in the rump for protection and a rear facing pouch to protect its young. Three species occur today, including the Northern and Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, both listed as threatened (Northern is Critically Endangered and Southern...
Bare-nosed Wombat

Bare-nosed Wombat

What does it look like?   The Bare-nosed Wombat is stocky, with a large, flattened head, short limbs and powerful claws for digging. Greyish-brown to blackish above, paler below, and with a bare nose, and short, slightly rounded ears. Female has a rear-facing pouch. Where does it live?   South-eastern mainland. From south-eastern Qld, through ranges of eastern NSW to central Vic and Tas (including F...
Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider

What does it look like? Brownish grey to blue-grey above, with blackish stripe running from between eyes to centre of back, and cream to greyish below. Tail blackish and bushy, occasionally tipped with white, snout short and rounded, ears broad and large gliding membrane (edged with blackish and white) attached at wrists and ankles. Where is it found? Northern and eastern Australia (including...
Common Brush-tailed Possum

Common Brush-tailed Possum

What does it look like? The Common Brush-tailed Possum is usually silvery-grey above and pale grey or white below, but occasionally entirely blackish or rich orange. Males have dark orange wash on chest from scent marking. Tail prehensile and normally bushy, but can be lightly haired, tapering towards tip, with a section of naked skin on underside. Where does it live? Western and south-western...
Rufous Bettong

Rufous Bettong

What does it look like? Rufous Bettong fur is long and wiry, reddish-brown above, flecked with silverish-grey, and pale greyish below. Head has triangular, pointed ears, short, hairy shout and sparsely furred nosepad. Naked skin around eyes and inside ears pink to pinkish-orange. Where does it live? Formerly wider ranging (including along sections of Murray River), but now confined to eastern...
Black-footed Rock-wallaby

Black-footed Rock-wallaby

What does it look like? The Black-footed Rock-wallaby is generally dark brown, streaked with silver above, more greyish on shoulders, with white and dark brown stripe along sides. Head brownish on forehead and snout, with pale buff cheek-stripe and greyish on lower jaw and cheeks. Ears have dark brown tips and white bases. Where does it live? Highly fragmented in arid southern NT, northern SA...
Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby

What does it look like? The Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby is pale brownish-grey above, with longitudinal blackish dorsal stripe from forehead to upper back, russet patch near armpit, and two-toned white-and-brown stripe on hip. Tail long and orange-brown, with dark brown rings. Underparts white. Where does it live? Highly fragmented within former range. Occurs in south-western Qld, western NSW and...
Red-necked Pademelon

Red-necked Pademelon

What does it look like? The Red-necked Pademelon is generally brownish above, more rufous on forehead, neck and shoulders, and flecked with grey on back, thighs and tail. Belly off-white, becoming more white on chest and throat. Tail short, about 45 per cent of head-body. Where does it live? Coast and range of eastern mainland, from around Wollongong NSW to near Gladstone Qld. What are its habitats...
Western Grey Kangaroo

Western Grey Kangaroo

What does it look like? Western Grey Kangaroo fur is shaggy. Brownish-grey above (more blackish on Kangaroo Island), slightly paler and more greyish below, with finely haired black ears and snout. Males have a distinctive strong odour. Where does it live? Southern Australia, from south-western WA (south of Shark Bay), through southern SA (including Kangaroo Island), western Vic and western NSW...
Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

What does it look like? The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is grey to brownish-grey above, paler on face and hindlegs, and paler grey to whitish below. Head with moderately short, somewhat rounded ears, darker eye-ring and hairy snout. Feet and tip of tail black. Where does it live? Eastern Australia, from around Cooktown Qld, south through majority of NSW and Vic to south-eastern SA and eastern Tas (introduced...
Agile Wallaby

Agile Wallaby

What does it look like? The Agile Wallaby is yellowish-brown above, with pale buff stripe on thigh, and whitish below. Head has rounded snout, indistinct pale brown cheek-stripe and, short, dark brown, longitudinal stripe on forehead (not always present). Where does it live?  Tropical northern Australia (including offshore islands), from Kimberley region WA, through northern NT and coastal northern ...
Parma Wallaby

Parma Wallaby

What does it look like? The Parma Wallaby is greyish-brown above, with darker longitudinal dorsal stripe and white cheek-stripe. Underparts whitish, paler on chest and throat, and tail often tipped with white. Where does it live? Ranges and slopes of eastern NSW, from border with Qld, south to around Gosford. What are its habitats and habits? The Parma Wallaby is found in wet forests up to 1,000m,...
Red-necked Wallaby

Red-necked Wallaby

What does it look like? The Red-necked Wallaby is grey-brown above, heavily flecked with white, and washed with reddish on head, shoulders, arms, upper back and base of tail. Underparts pale grey to whitish. Face has obscure cheek-stripe and blackish longitudinal line on forehead. Darker and more brownish in Tas. Where is it found? South-eastern mainland, from south-eastern Qld, through eastern...
Common Wallaroo

Common Wallaroo

What does it look like? The Common Wallaroo is heavily built (especially males), with shaggy fur and a characteristic hunched stance. Dark grey, yellowish-brown to reddish-brown or paler grey above, depending on subspecies, and generally paler below. Males darker than females. Where does it live? Throughout most of Australia and Barrow Island. Absent from far south (including Tas) and western...
Red Kangaroo

Red Kangaroo

What does it look like? The Red Kangaroo is the largest marsupial. Adult males are reddish-brown above, and females appear blue-grey, with a squarish snout, and white stripe between mouth and ear. Underparts are white in both sexes, but males may be stained reddish on the chest. Where is it found? Throughout arid and semi-arid inland Australia in all states except Tas. Reaches coast in north-western...
Swamp Wallaby

Swamp Wallaby

What does it look like? The Swamp Wallaby is dark reddish-brown to black above, with pale yellowish-brown cheek-stripe (more prominent in northern individuals), and pale yellowish to orange-brown below. Tail darker, occasionally with white tip. Where does it live?  Coast, slopes and ranges of eastern and south-eastern Australia (including Fraser Island), from northern Cape York Peninsula Qld, ...
Quokka

Quokka

What does it look like? The Quokka is uniformly brown, heavily flecked with grey and tinged with reddish-brown. Short, sparsely furred tail (about 60 per cent head-body length). Head has angled snout, short, rounded ears and naked, greyish-black nose. Where does it live? South-western WA, including Bald and Rottnest Islands, although subpopulation area is small and heavily fragmented. What are...
Spinifex Hopping-mouse

Spinifex Hopping-mouse

What does it look like? The Spinifex Hopping-mouse is pale brown above, washed with reddish-orange, with black guard hairs, and greyish face and snout. Underparts white to greyish-white, with small naked throat-patch. Tail long (about 125 per cent of head-body), with fine tufted tip of whitish-grey hairs. Rear feet elongated. Where does it live? Arid central Australia, from central west coast...
Black Fruit-bat

Black Fruit-bat

What does it look like? The Black Fruit-bat is predominantly black, occasionally with white flecks on belly fur, and often with reddish-brown fur on rear of neck. Eyes reddish, with faint reddish-brown eye-rings visible in some individuals. Where does it live? Northern Australia (including offshore islands), from around Carnarvon, WA, through northern NT, northern and eastern Qld, to around Sydney...
Grey-headed Fruit-bat

Grey-headed Fruit-bat

What does it look like? The Grey-headed Fruit-bat fur is greyish-black on back, paler grey on face and belly, generally heavily flecked or dusted with silverish-grey, and with some reddish-brown on belly. Full collar of reddish-brown fur. Where does it live? Coast, ranges and slopes of southern and eastern Australia, from around Mackay Qld, through NSW and Vic, to south-eastern SA and islands...
Little Red Fruit-bat

Little Red Fruit-bat

What does it look like? The Little Red Fruit-bat fur is pale brown to rich reddish-brown, often becoming more greyish on head, and occasionally with yellowish patch on neck and shoulders. Exposed skin reddish-brown, and wings largely transparent in flight. Where does it live? Broad coastal and inland band (including several islands) from central Vic, through NSW, Qld, NT and Kimberley region WA,...

Ghost Bat

Megadermatidae
Ghost Bat

Ghost Bat

What does it look like? The Ghost Bat has pale brown or pale greyish fur above and greyish-white on underside, with skin of wing and tail membranes creamish-brown. Ears large, joining together in middle, and nose with fleshy leaf shape on top of snout. Where is it found? Widespread but heavily fragmented, with subpopulations throughout northern Australia. What are its habitats & habits? Occurs...

Dogs

Canidae
Dingo

Dingo

What does it look like? The Dingo is sandy yellow to red brown above, occasionally darker brown to black. Underside is lighter tan or whitish. Hybrids with domestic dogs are very common, but cannot be accurately be distinguished visually. Where does it live? Historically, found across mainland Australia. Now found across northern Australia, north-west SA and down the east coast to the Gippsland...

Eared Seals

Otariidae Seals come to shore to bask, sleep, mate and give birth, and appear somewhat cumbersome when on land, but they are truly at home in the water and superbly adapted for their semi-aquatic life.
Long-nosed Fur-seal

Long-nosed Fur-seal

What does it look like? The Long-nosed Fur-seal is thickset with a long, narrow, pointed snout. Brown to blackish-grey, flecked with silvery-white, paler on chest and flanks, and snout light greyish or brownish with long, pale grey whiskers. Male has longer fur (mane) on neck, heavily streaked with silvery-grey. Where is it found? Southern coast and islands from south-western WA to southern...
Australian Fur-seal

Australian Fur-seal

What does it look like? Australian Fur-seal adult males are much larger than females and young males, grey-brown (darker with age), with long silvery mane of coarse hair on neck and shoulders. Females more slender, silvery-grey above and brownish below, becoming more yellowish on chest and throat. Where is it found? Coast and islands along southern Australia, and oceans bounded by continental...
Australian Sea-lion

Australian Sea-lion

What does it look like? The Australian Sea-lion adult male is larger than the female, with thickened neck and chest. Coat (pelage) brown to blackish (becoming darker with age), and paler whitish-brown on head and nape. Adult female and young male silvery-grey above and yellowish-cream below. Rear flippers move independently. Snout blunt. Where is it found? Southern Australia, breeding on about...

Cats

Felidae
Horses

Horses

What does it look like?  Usually brown to black or a mixture of both colours sometimes with white flashes on the feet and around the muzzle. Domestic horses occasionally breed with wild, feral horses introducing many other colour combinations. Where does it live?  Introduced, found in scattered populations around Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  Found mainly in open habitats su...

Pigs

Scientific name: Suidae (family)
Pig

Pig

What does it look like?  The pig is extremely varied from white to black, with any manner of tones of yellow, red and brown between. Most wild pigs in Australia are black or dark brown as adults, paler forms with darker patches, and juveniles are usually mottled or striped. Where does it live?  Introduced. It is found throughout most of eastern and northern Australia. What are its habitats and h...

Right Whales

Balaenidae
Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

What does it look like? The Southern Right Whale is a large, thickset whale (weighing up to 80 tonnes), with no dorsal fin and body tapering to thin tail. Generally dark brown to bluish-black, with numerous white callosities on head and around jaw. Blow distinctly V shaped. Where is it found? In Australia, most commonly seen from south-western WA to south-eastern Vic. What are its habitats...

Roquals

Balaenopteridae
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

What does it look like? The Humpback Whale is greyish-black above and sharply contrasting white below. Flippers long and slender (up to 5m) with knobs with barnacles on trailing edge. Tail flukes have black-and-white markings that are different in each individual. Where is it found? Within Australian waters, most numerous along east and west coasts. What are its habitats & habits? The...

Dolphins

Delphinidae
Indo-Pacific Bottle-nosed Dolphin

Indo-Pacific Bottle-nosed Dolphin

What does it look like? Grey to brownish-grey above, paler below. Beak with upwardly curving mouth and dorsal fin backwardly sloping and moderately tall. The Indo-Pacific Bottle-nosed Dolphin beak is longer and flippers larger than in the Common Bottle-nosed Dolphin. Where is it found? Temperate and tropical waters worldwide. Found in all Australian states and NT, but more common in southern...

Australian Reptiles

There are more than 10,000 species of reptile in the world, and Australia is home to more than 1,000 of these. Australia has more reptile species than 95 per cent of other countries, and more than 95 per cent of Australia’s reptiles are found nowhere else in the world (endemic). The number of Australian reptile species described by scientists has grown quite markedly in recent years, doubling from t...

Lizards

Lizards belong to the suborder Sauria, which – along with the snakes in the suborder Serpentes – forms the order Squamata that comprises more than 95 per cent of the world’s reptile species. Australia’s largest lizard family is the skinks (Scincidae), with about 440 currently described species, most of which are found nowhere else in the world. Scientific name:  Sauria (suborder) ...

Dragon Lizards

Scientific name:  Agamidae (family)
Jacky Lizard

Jacky Lizard

What does it look like?  The Jacky lizard is a pale grey to dark brown lizard with spiny scales on sides of neck and bright yellow lining inside mouth. Black patches along middle of back, with 2 paler stripes on either side. Particularly large and prominent scales along back in longitudinal rows from neck to base of tail. Males generally have larger heads than females. Where is it found?  South-eastern A...
Frilled Lizard

Frilled Lizard

  What does it look like?  Unmistakable, with large, extendable, grey, red or orange frill that is folded along neck when at rest. Brown to orange-brown or blackish-grey above, with darker brown markings on back and sides, and generally paler or blackish below. Tail long and whip-like, often with blackish tip. Where is it found?  Northern and eastern Australia, from Kimberley region WA, th...
Mallee Military Dragon

Mallee Military Dragon

What does it look like?  Brown to reddish-brown above, with black and smaller whitish spots on back and tail. Edges of back have whitish longitudinal stripes from neck to base of tail. Sides of body and tail blackish, more so in males than females, with several small paler spots, and lower longitudinal stripe, bordered with blackish below. Front limbs have thin whitish bands in midlateral area. ...
Central Netted Dragon

Central Netted Dragon

What does it look like?  Small and stocky, with large, rounded head, short limbs and tapering tail. Spines scattered on sides of neck. Light orange-brown to reddish-brown above with white to creamish-yellow mid-vertebral stripe from nape to base of tail, and series of transversally aligned similarly coloured spots, forming reticulated (netted) pattern. Back of head and nape has thin, spiny scales. ...
Boyd’s Forest Dragon

Boyd’s Forest Dragon

What does it look like?  Laterally compressed, angular head and body, with large, spiny nuchal crest, enlarged white scales on cheeks, ‘saw-like’, keeled vertebral scales, long, slender tail and long limbs. Boyd's Forest Dragon is greyish-blue to olive-brown above, with obscure light and dark transverse barring, and blackish patch on sides of neck, bordered above and below by short white horizontal bars...
Southern Angle-headed Dragon

Southern Angle-headed Dragon

What does it look like?  Large dragon with long tail that is about twice as long as body (SVL), large, angular head, enlarged nuchal crest and raised, ‘saw-like’ vertebral crest. The Southern Angle-headed Dragon is Grey to greenish or rich brown above, with numerous raised spinose scales, arranged in transverse rows along body. Dark band from ear to eye and dark bars on jaw. Back and tail have yell...
Water Dragon

Water Dragon

What does it look like?  Large, very distinctive dragon, with angular head, enlarged nuchal crest, raised, ‘saw-like’ vertebral crest running length of body, and laterally depressed, long tail. Colour variable between subspecies. I. l. lesueurii grey to brownish-grey above with black transverse dorsal stripes, and broad blackish facial stripe. Yellowish-brown underneath, but males often flus...
Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

What does it look like?  The Bearded Dragon has a robust, flattened body, triangular head and long, tapering tail. Upperparts covered in raised tubercles, longer under expandable beard (throat). Pale grey, yellowish-brown or blackish above, with series of pale blotches arranged longitudinally on both sides of spine, either circular, oval or merging together to form broad line. Tail normally banded, ...
Central Bearded Dragon

Central Bearded Dragon

What does it look like?  The Central Bearded Dragon has a robust, flattened body, broad, triangular head and short, rounded, tapering tail. Upperparts covered in raised tubercles, longer under expandable beard (gular pouch) and sides of body. Grey, yellowish, reddish-brown or blackish, with series of paler elongated, longitudinally arranged blotches on either side of back. Pale-edged dark streaks ...

Typical Geckoes

Scientific name:  Gekkonidae (family)
House Gecko

House Gecko

What does it look and sound like? The House Gecko is whitish, pinkish-brown or dark grey above, with series of tubercles along back and edges of tail, and either unpatterned or variably mottled with blackish flecks and lines. Underparts whitish. Appearance changeable depending on activity levels and exposure to light, with individuals being paler at night. All toes have claws. Emits distinctive ...

Southern Padless Geckoes

Scientific name:  Carphodactylidae (family)
Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko

Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko

What does it look like?  The Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko is either brown or olive-grey above, with 3–5 paler cream-grey blotches along back and similarly coloured bands on broad, flat tail; narrower on regrown tails. Flat, triangular head, with several conspicuous large scales on snout, and series of transverse zigzag lines between eyes and on rear of head and neck. Whitish below with varying am...
Border Thick-tailed Gecko

Border Thick-tailed Gecko

What does it look like?  The Border Thick-tailed Gecko is grey-brown, with numerous white spots and black speckling above, the spots forming loose transverse bands. Whitish below, occasionally with fine brown speckling. Original tail fat with long, tapering tip; blackish, with 4 conspicuous cream bands and numerous raised tubercles within paler rings. Regenerated tail mottled grey-brown and rounded. ...

Austral Geckoes

Scientific name:  Diplodactylidae (family)
Clouded Gecko

Clouded Gecko

What does it look like?  Slender. The Clouded Gecko is pale grey-brown above with a darker narrow zigzag pattern along both sides of the back and down the original tail, enclosing a broad, pale zone that is fragmented by narrow bars. The cylindrical tail is moderately long, tapered and slightly flattened. Whitish below, with noticeably larger scales than the back. Flanks and limbs have several indistinct ...
Crowned Gecko

Crowned Gecko

What does it look like?   The Crowned Gecko is variable, but generally pinkish brown to reddish brown above, normally with a pale vertebral stripe from the nape to the base of the tail, often commencing as separate stripes that pass through each eye from the snout, and meet at the nape. Sides, legs and tail with variable small pale spots, and sides occasionally with an obscure pale stripe. Underparts ...
Golden-tailed Gecko

Golden-tailed Gecko

What does it look like?  The Golden-tailed Gecko is a very attractive gecko with large, bright red, orange or greyish eyes, and long tail, often with golden-yellow longitudinal stripe. White to pale grey above, cryptically patterned with small black blotches and flecks on body, head and limbs. Eyes have vertically elliptical pupils, and inside of mouth has dark blue lining. Fingers and toes have ...

Snake-lizards

Scientific name:  Pygopodidae (family)
Burton’s Snake-lizard

Burton’s Snake-lizard

What does it look like?  Burton's Snake-lizard is a robust, smooth-scaled, ‘snake-like’ lizard. Elongated head with long, pointed, wedge-shaped snout, and short tail. Highly variable in colour, including grey, yellow, reddish-brown or blackish above, with or without longitudinal stripes or broken lines on body, and conspicuous white or cream stripe on sides of head and neck. Underparts covered with...

Skinks

Scientific name:  Scincidae (family)
Land Mullet

Land Mullet

What does it look like?  The Land Mullet is Australia’s largest skink. Robust, glossy body with ‘fish-like’ head, medium-length tail and low-keeled scales. Blackish-brown to black above, and whitish to yellowish-orange underneath. Juveniles more bluish than adults, with scattered small white spots on sides. Where does it live?  Coastal and near coastal south-eastern Qld and north-eastern NSW. ...
Pink-tongued Lizard

Pink-tongued Lizard

What does it look like?  The Pink-tongued Lizard is a smooth, glossy scaled skink, with large head and long, prehensile tail up to one and a half times body length (SVL). Light grey to pale brown above with strong, to obscure brown, to blackish, angled transverse bands; more distinct in juveniles than adults and may be absent in some individuals. Head with or without variable darker spots and stripes, ...
Cunningham’s Skink

Cunningham’s Skink

What does it look like?  Cunningham's Skink is a large, robust skink with prominent keeled scales on back and tail, and short legs. Variable colouration and patterning. Brown, reddish-brown or black above, often with numerous scattered paler spots and flecks. Underparts whitish with darker mottling or banding on throat. Individuals in southern parts of range tend to be darker and more prominently ...
Gidgee Skink

Gidgee Skink

What does it look like?  The Gidgee Skink is a large, robust skink with sharply keeled scales, short tail and short legs. Yellowish-brown to reddish-brown above, with numerous dark and light flecks and blotches that create obscure transverse pattern, which is most conspicuous on flattened, spiny tail. Underparts white to yellowish. Where does it live?  Arid to semi-arid Australia, from south-western Q...
Tree Skink

Tree Skink

What does it look like?  Tree Skink scales are smooth or bluntly keeled, and moderately flattened body and slender tail. Grey to dark olive-brown with broad, paler greyish dorsolateral stripe from head to base of tail; lower sides of neck and lips white. Underparts whitish, with brown flecks on throat and chest, and with yellowish or orange flush. Where does it live?  Eastern and south-eastern A...
Centralian Blue-tongue

Centralian Blue-tongue

What does it look like?  The Centralian Blue-tongue is a large skink with broad head, short limbs, moderately long, tapering tail and large blue tongue. Generally greyish with numerous orange-brown transverse bands on back and tail, and broad blackish stripe from eye to above ear. Underparts creamish. Top of head unpatterned, or with some thin blackish marks. Where does it live?  Western, c...
Blotched Blue-tongue

Blotched Blue-tongue

What does it look like?  The Blotched Blue-tongue is a large skink with broad body, short limbs, moderately long, tapering tail and large blue tongue. Generally dark brown to blackish above, with large cream, yellow or pinkish blotches on back and tail. Blotches can be loosely aligned to form transverse bands, or obscure longitudinal rows on back. Head generally pale, with greyish lips, and occasionally ...
Shingleback Lizard

Shingleback Lizard

What does it look like?  The Shingleback Lizard has a robust, rough-scaled body, with large, triangular head, short, rounded tail, short limbs and large blue tongue. Colour variable, subject to range, from orange-brown to dark brown or blackish above, often with paler head, and with paler whitish or yellowish blotches. Paler below with darker blotches. Where does it live?  Southern and eastern A...
Eastern Blue-tongue

Eastern Blue-tongue

What does it look like?   The Eastern Blue-tongue is a large skink with broad head, short limbs, moderately long, tapering tail and large blue tongue. Generally silvery-grey to olive-green or brownish above, with broad dark brown to blackish, irregular transverse bands on back and tail, and sometimes with broad blackish stripe from eye to above ear. Underparts white or creamish. Colour varies with i...

Goannas

Scientific name:  Varanidae (family)
Ridge-tailed Monitor

Ridge-tailed Monitor

What does it look like?  The Ridge-tailed Monitor is reddish to blackish-brown above, with numerous pale to bright yellowish spots on back and flanks forming conspicuous eye-like rings. Head with pale to bright yellowish spots and longitudinal stripes, and tail with similarly coloured or pale brown rings, occasionally fading to uniform blackish towards tip. Tail long and slightly flattened, with prominent ...
Perentie

Perentie

What does it look like? The Perentie is Australia’s largest lizard. Pale brown to brown above, with large, yellow, dark-edged spots on body and tail forming transverse rows, and heavy dark brown or blackish speckling. Head and throat paler, with thin dark lines forming reticulated pattern, and head with distinctive angular brow. Neck long with large, sagging throat, and long tail with yellow tip. L...
Heath Monitor

Heath Monitor

What does it look like?  The Heath Monitor is moderately robust, with medium-length, laterally compressed tail. Dark grey to blackish above, with fine yellow or white spotting, forming alternating wider pale and darker narrow transverse bands, which extend from neck to tip of tail, and larger yellowish blotches on sides and legs. Head long and narrow, with pale-edged dark line extending through eye ...
Spencer’s Monitor

Spencer’s Monitor

What does it look like?  Spencer's Monitor is a heavy, thick-set goanna, with short, laterally flattened tail and rounded snout. Greyish-brown above with numerous paler and darker spots, and broad, pale yellowish-grey transverse bands on back and tail. Head darker and lips paler and barred. Yellowish-cream below, with dark grey mottling, more prominent on throat. Well equipped for digging, with ...
Lace Monitor

Lace Monitor

What does it look like?  The Lace Monitor is a moderately robust goanna with long, laterally depressed tail that extends to thin, ‘whip-like’ end. Generally bluish-black above with numerous various-sized, creamish-yellow spots arranged in transverse bands, becoming less intense with age and almost absent in older adults. Snout and chin have yellow and black barring. In sub-humid parts of range, occa...

Snakes

Snakes, of the suborder Serpentes, form the second largest group of reptiles after the lizards, containing just over a third of the world’s currently known species. While Australia has less than 10 per cent of these species, it is home to some of the most toxic (and potentially deadly) land and sea snakes in the world, as well as non-venomous file snakes, pythons and blind snakes. Scientific n...

Pythons

Scientific name:  Boidae (family)
Black-headed Python

Black-headed Python

What does it look like?  The Black-headed Python is a moderately sized, smooth-scaled python, with cylindrical body and head similar in thickness to neck. Cream, yellowish or light brown, with irregular reddish to dark brown or blackish transverse bands, occasionally with small blotches in between. Head and neck glossy black, with head lacking heat-sensory pits. Belly yellow with darker blotches. ...
Woma

Woma

What does it look like?  The Woma is smooth-scaled and moderately sized body, with head similar in thickness to neck. Yellowish, pale brown or light olive above, with irregular dark brown to reddish-brown transverse bands. Head yellow to brownish-orange, lacking heat-sensory pits, and often with dark mark above each eye. Belly yellow to cream, with numerous pink or dark brown blotches. Where ...
Carpet Python

Carpet Python

What does it look like?  The Carpet Python is a highly variable large python. Generally, blackish, brownish or olive-green above, with greenish-yellow spots, irregular bright yellow stripes, or pale brown to olive-grey, dark-edged blotches, transverse bands and longitudinal lines. Yellowish, cream or white on undersurface. Head large and triangular, and visibly distinct from neck, with row of deep ...
Green Python

Green Python

What does it look like?  The Green python is unmistakable. Emerald-green above with a few scattered white spots on sides and longitudinal row of white or yellowish scales that follow prominent vertebral ridge. Tail tipped blue-grey. Belly cream to yellow. Young bright yellow with purplish-brown line on vertebral ridge, and with scattered purplish-brown spots and large, dark-edged white blotches and ...

Colubrid Snakes

Scientific name:  Colubridae (family)
Brown Tree Snake

Brown Tree Snake

What does it look like?  The Brown Tree Snake is slender, with narrow neck, distinct head and bulging eyes with vertical pupils. Two distinct colour patterns. Eastern Australian individuals orange to reddish-brown above with irregular dark cross-bands on back and sides, and cream or orange underparts. Northern Australian individuals cream above and below, with bold reddish-brown bands. Where ...
Green Tree Snake

Green Tree Snake

What does it look like?  The Green Tree Snake is variable based on distribution. Olive-green or blue-grey above in south-east, black further north-east, and yellow with blue-grey or brown head across north. Pale blue skin, which appears as flecks between body scales, visible during threat display. Typically has bright yellow throat and paler yellow underparts, but can also be greenish, bluish or ...

Elapid Snakes

Scientific name:  Elapidae (family)
Common Death Adder

Common Death Adder

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. Common Death Adder has a triangular-shaped head, short, stocky body and thin, pale-coloured tip to tail. Grey to reddish-brown above, usually with alternating lighter bands, and greyish-cream below. Where is it found?  Eastern Australian mainland from north-west NT, through Qld and NSW, to northern Vic, although absent from western far north and f...
Lowland Copperhead

Lowland Copperhead

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. The Lowland Copperhead is variable, ranging from pale brown to black above, with white edging on scales of upper lip. Young snakes are generally paler, and have obscure stripe on nape. Cream to grey underparts. Where is it found?  Lowlands of far south-eastern NSW, southern Vic, Tasmania and south-western SA. What are its habitats & habits?  ...
Stephens’ Banded Snake

Stephens’ Banded Snake

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. Stephens' Banded Snake is variable. Brown, grey or blackish, usually with brown or cream cross-bands, but occasionally unbanded. Head broad and dark, blotched with cream, and with black-and-white vertical lines on lips. Underparts cream to grey, with each scale keeled. Unbanded individuals may resemble Pale-headed Snake. Where is it found?  Coast a...
Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. The Tiger Snake is robust, with large, flat head and squarish frontal shield. Highly variable in colour and size, but most commonly dark olive-brown to blackish with numerous yellowish cross-bands above, and cream to grey underparts. Unbanded individuals can be yellowish brown to black. Where is it found?  Southern Australia from south-west mainland a...
Taipan

Taipan

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. The Taipan is a large, robust snake with rectangular-shaped head. Generally yellowish-olive to dark russet-brown above, occasionally dark grey to black, with paler head and reddish-orange eye. Underparts cream with irregular orange flecks. Colour changes seasonally, becoming darker in winter and fading in summer. Where is it found?  Northern and e...
Collett’s Snake

Collett’s Snake

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. Collett's Snake is reddish-brown to black above, with large cream, pink or reddish blotches and irregular bands. Top of head uniformly dark, with paler snout. Belly and flanks salmon-pink to cream. Where is it found?  Central Qld. What are its habitats & habits?  Collett's Snake, or Down's Tiger Snake, is found in open grassland, shrubland an...
Red-bellied Black Snake

Red-bellied Black Snake

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. The Red-bellied Black Snake is uniformly glossed black above, often with paler brownish snout. Crimson on lower flanks, fading to duller red, orange-pink or pale pinkish-cream on middle of belly, and black under tail. Eye is dark. Where is it found?  Eastern and south-eastern Australian mainland from Adelaide SA, through central and south-eastern V...
Common Brown Snake

Common Brown Snake

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. The adult Brown Snake is typically pale to dark brown and unpatterned, darker forms may have paler head. Underparts yellowish-cream or pinkish-orange, blotched with brown or grey. Eyes typically orange with dark surround and distinct brow. Juveniles have black head and black nape; occasionally banded on body. Where is it found?  Eastern Australia, f...
Bandy-bandy

Bandy-bandy

What does it look like?  The Bandy-bandy has alternating black-and-white cross-bands wrapping completely around body, with up to 75 black rings evident. Snout black, eyes small, and tail short and blunt. Does not overlap with any other members of the genus, all of which have similar colour patterns. Where is it found?  Widespread through eastern and far northern Australia, from central northern N...

Blind Snakes

Scientific name:  Typhlopidae (family)
Blackish Blind Snake

Blackish Blind Snake

What does it look like? The Blackish Blind is moderately stout and worm-like, with glossy scales that are generally uniform in size around body and small, dark eye-spots. Body thickness generally uniform along length and tail bluntly rounded, with horn-like scale at extremity. Pinkish-brown to purplish-black above, and white or pinkish below. Where is it found?  South-eastern Australian mainland, ...

Crocodylians, Alligators, Caimans & Gharials

The order Crocodilia groups together the world’s 25 currently described species of crocodylians, alligators, caimans and gharials. Australia is home to two crocodylians, the ‘true’ crocodiles, one of which, the Saltwater Crocodile, is the largest known living reptile in the world.

Crocodiles

Scientific name:  Crocodylidae (family)
Freshwater Crocodile

Freshwater Crocodile

What does it look like?  Grey to greenish-brown in colour, with irregular darker patches along sides, flanks and top of body. Smooth, slender snout compared to Saltwater Crocodile’s, and large, triangular scutes (thickened scales) along top of tail. Where is it found?  Found in near coastal and adjacent inland areas of northern Australia from Kimberleys, WA, to Gulf of Carpentaria and southern Cap...
Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater Crocodile

What does it look like? DANGEROUS. The Saltwater Crocodile is unmistakable. Long, broad snout, heavily built body and long, powerful tail. Back and limbs mottled grey-brown to blackish, with numerous osteoderms (bony plates) visible on neck, back and flanks. Underside pale cream. Males typically larger than females. Where is it found?  Coastal regions and drainage systems of northern and...

Australian Cnidarians [Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones] (Phylum: Cnidaria)

Corals, Sea Anemones and Colonial Anemones (Class: Anthozoa) The members of this class of exclusively marine invertebrates are almost always encountered attached to a marine substrate on or close to the bottom. The group includes the hard and soft corals, sea pens, sea fans, gorgonians and sea anemones Box Jellyfish (Class: Cubozoa) A group of cnidarians characterised by their cube-shaped...
Indo-Pacific Portugese Man-of-War

Indo-Pacific Portugese Man-of-War

What does it look like? The Indo-Pacific Portugese Man-of-War is generally blue, with an enlarged translucent pneumatophore, which can have a greenish or pinkish tinge, and a long dark blue main tentacle. Where does it live? Occurs around Australia. What are its habitats and habits? The Indo-Pacific Portugese Man-of-War, or Blue Bottle, is found in marine waters, and often washed...
Portugese Man-of-War

Portugese Man-of-War

What does it look like? The Portugese Man-of-War is generally blue, with an enlarged translucent float (pneumatophore) and numerous long, bead-like tentacles. Where does it live? Occurs in tropical and subtropical Australia. What are its habitats and habits? The Portugese Man-of-War is found in marine waters, where it moves along the surface of the water using its pneumatophore...