Thursday, October 01, 2020  
 
News & Updates
COVID 19 INFORMATION FROM PARKS VICTORIA
18-09-2020 

In regional Victoria, you may take part in any normally allowed exercise or recreational activity, provided physical distancing limits of 1.5 metres are followed and in groups of no more than 10 people. 

You cannot enter an area in metropolitan Melbourne.

While exercising outside you should avoid sharing exercise or activity equipment and bring your own hand sanitizer and other hygiene supplies.


BUSHWALKS AT MOUNT BUFFALO
16-09-2020 
Only the Dixon's Falls and Back Wall walking tracks are still closed after the Bushfires early this year. These tracks are in the process of being repaired and having burnt bridges etc replaced and will be reopened a soon as is practical.

All other walking tracks are open



Archive

MOUNT BUFFALO GLOW-WORMS

MOUNT BUFFALO GLOW-WORM - Arachnocampa buffaloensis.

GLOWWORMS AT MOUNT BUFFALO                                                                                                                                     

There are glowworms in the underground river cave at Mount Buffalo that are a species that exist nowhere else. The following is an extract regarding the Mount Buffalo glowworm

Arachnocampa buffaloensis. A colony of Arachnocampa has been found in an alpine cave on Mount Buffalo in Victoria. Early research suggests it is a new species, but related to A. tasmaniensis and the New Zealand species, A. luminosa. Its presence suggests rainforest may have extended up the mountain in the past. The Victorian Government presently has it listed (called the Mount Buffalo glow-worm) as a threatened species.

The Underground River Cave is too dangerous to enter without experience and the proper equipment (Helmets and Lights etc).

Adventure Guides Australia conduct regular adventures into this cave - see the activities pages. As glowworms are a rainforest species and this population seems to have survived on the mountain since  past times when these ancient forests used to cover the area and it was no doubt much wetter and with a higher humidity. Perhaps they have survived from the days of the dinosaurs. The underground river stream cave is the last place on mount buffalo that has the wet dark and insect laden environment that these creatures need to survive. They are listed as an endangered species by the Government.


SOME INFORMATION ON GLOWWORMS

Glow-worms are the larvae of a fly from the family Keroplatidae. Their closest relatives are the fungus flies that seek out mushrooms for their larvae to consume. Glow-worms have gone out on an evolutionary limb, albeit a successful one. They have lost their association with fungi and have instead become carnivorous. The unique feature of glow-worms is their ability to bioluminesce (to produce light). Because they are not very mobile the larvae must trap insects in their webs, much like spiders, and they use light to bait the trap. The larvae prey on flying insects, mostly small flies that are attracted to the bioluminescence. The larvae build a structure composed of a horizontal mucous tube suspended by a network of threads from the earth or rock substrate. The larva moves back and forwards in the tube and can turn in its own length. The larvae spend a considerable amount of time maintaining their snares which are the many fine silken fishing lines that hang downwards, decorated by periodically placed sticky droplets. Flying insects are caught in the
droplets and hauled up for consumption by the voracious larvae. In caves where the airflow is gentle the snares can reach 50 cm in length. In rainforests where they are exposed to stronger air movement they are usually only 5 cm or so long.

(Extract from Australian Glow-worms in Caves
By David Merritt & Claire Baker
School of Life Sciences,
The University of Queensland,
St Lucia, Qld 4072)