Black and white, with the pattern varying across its range. The back of its neck, upper tail and shoulders (on its wings) are white in males and grey in females, and (across most of Australia) the rest of its body is black. In south-eastern, central and south-western Australia, including Tasmania, its back and rump are entirely white. Its eye is red-brown. Young birds are usually grey rather than black and have dark eyes.

Distinctive feature

One toe faces backwards and three face forwards. It has a square-tipped tail.

Grey, grey-brown to olive green body with patches of cream. It has black bands running across its body and tail and a "crest" of spines which start on its head and extend down its back and along its tail. Its belly is creamy-white to creamy brown-grey and the larger, breeding males have a red-orange chest and throat. One of two subspecies also has a broad black stripe running from behind its eye to its ear. It has long, powerful legs and a long, strong tail with flattened sides to assist with swimming. There are loose folds of skin under its jaw.

Juveniles are light brown and their head and feet appear large for their body size.

Size

Around 80 - 90 cm long (nose to end of tail) two-thirds of which is tail. Males are bigger than females.

Also known as Blueberry Lily, a long, feathery shrub with flowers sticking up above the leaves.

Long green pointy leaves with vibrant blue to purple inflorescences (flower clusters). Grows up to 1.5 m high.

Leaves

Long, feathery, smooth green leaves. 15 - 85 cm long with 4 - 15 mm width. Pointy ends and long and stiff throughout. Can sometimes appear red towards base but this is rare.

Flowers

Flowers stick up above the leaves, consisting of 6 purple petals (7 - 12 mm length) and 6 stamens (pollen-bearing part of the flower) in a ring. These are long, thick and have brown to black tips with yellow stems.

Small to large tree with a variable height of 3 - 45 m and has a bole that is approximately 150 cm in diameter. It has deeply fissured, dark-grey to black coloured bark that appears quite scaly on older trees.

Leaves

Inclined to ascending, narrowly rounded, lance-shaped, straight to slightly curved. 3-5 raised main veins with numerous secondary veins.

Flowers

Pale yellow/golden to white clusters of 2 - 8 that flowers July – December. In Victoria, it flowers in August - October.

Brahminy kites are medium sized birds of prey common in coastal areas. Adults have an unmistakable white head and chest with a chestnut brown coloured body. They have dark coloured eyes and a strongly hooked, yellow beak. The tail is relatively short and can have white tips.

Size

male 45 cm, female 51 cm with an average wing span of 120 cm

Spreading small to medium-sized tree with trunk covered by white, beige and grey thick papery bark.

Usually grows to 8 – 15 m high (sometimes 25 m) with a spread of 5–10 m.

Leaves

Grey-green leaves are egg-shaped. Young growth hairy with long and short, soft hairs. Leaves arranged alternately; flat, leathery, 55 – 120 mm long, 10 – 31 mm wide.

Flowers

Flowers cream or white bottlebrush-like, arranged in spikes on ends of branches which continue to grow after flowering. Spikes contain 5 to 18 groups of flowers in threes, up to 40 mm in diameter and 20 – 50 mm long. Petals 3 mm long and fall off as flower ages. Stamens (male organ of a flower, consisting of a stalk and a pollen-bearing portion) white, cream-coloured or greenish and arranged in 5 bundles around the flower, 5 - 10 stamens per bundle.

The caterpillar (larva) is initially pale yellow with fine hairs, before turning green. It has narrow yellow lines on its body which are sometimes hard to see. The upper side of the butterfly (adult) is white with a black tip on its forewing (front wing) and a black patch on the front edge of its hindwing. A male has one black spot on its forewing, while a female has two black spots. Looking from underneath, the forewing is white with two black spots and the hindwing is yellow.

Size

Caterpillar about 3.5 cm; Butterfly up to 5 cm wingspan.

Cane toads have tough, leathery skin with a distinctive warty appearance. Usually grey, brown, reddish-brown or yellow in colour with a pale underbelly. Pronounced bony ridge above nostril and venom-producing gland behind the ear (behind the eye).

Juveniles have smooth dark skin with darker blotches and bars. Cane toads sit upright and move in short rapid hops that can help distinguish them from other species. Average-sized adults are 10-15 cm long.

Cane Toad tadpoles are shiny black on top and have a plain dark belly with a short thin tail. They are smaller (less than 3.5 cm) and often gather in huge numbers in shallow waters.

Cane Toad eggs are laid in long strings of transparent jelly enclosing double trows of black eggs. The spawn tangles in dense masses around water plants.

Carpet pythons are extremely variable in colour and pattern (often have pale, dark-edged blotches, stripes or cross bands).

Seven geographical subspecies are recognised as carpet pythons are extremely diverse in appearance. The Northern Territory form (Morelia spilota variegat) is different from the other subspecies because it is a beige or brown colour with blackish or grey blotches and bright gold, yellow and rust colour forms in regional areas. This subspecies is about 2.5m long on average.

They have row of deep pits run along the lower jaw, and small scales present on the top of the head. This species can grow greater than 3 m in length, and although non-venomous, they possess powerful jaws and constricting capability.

Size

2 - 4 m length; 15 kg weight.

The Channel-billed Cuckoo is grey all over, with dark scalloping on its back and wing-coverts, a whitish belly and abdomen, and fine dark barring on the lower underbody. Its long tail is pale-grey on top with two central feathers tipped with white, with a black band near the tip; the undertail has black-and-white barring. In flight, its tail and wings give it a cross-shaped silhouette. Its eyes are bright red and there is a bare patch of red skin around the eye and near the base of the bill. Its legs and feet are dark grey.

Young birds are mottled buff, brown and grey, have an olive to brown eye and lack the red-colouring around its eye.

Distinctive feature

Its large, downward-curved beak which is greyish with a paler tip.

Tree to 25 m high; bark grey-brown, thick, roughly tessellated (mosaic-like). Its smaller branches are striated (striped with parallel longitudinal ridges or lines).

Leaves

  • Often whorled (arranged as a ring of leaves), lance-shaped and sometimes broadest in the upper third
  • 4 – 10 cm long and 1 – 3.5 cm wide
  • Coloured differently on the two surfaces: upper surface dark green, dull to shiny; lower surface white and covered with dense intertwined hairs
  • Pointed or having a broad shallow notch at the tip
  • Adult leaves have entire margins while juveniles will have a few short teeth, flat or slightly curved backwards

Flowers

Flowers mainly January - June. Pale yellow cylindrical spikes forming a bottle-brush shape. Each flower head is 6 – 12 cm long, 5 – 8 cm wide and attracts insects and nectar-eating birds.

The caterpillar (larva) is initially dark in colour with broad yellow-orange bands running across its body, and two rows of black spines running down its back. Its head is black and smooth. As it matures its body becomes blue-black. Just before becoming a pupa it turns dark green with orange-yellow blotches on its back and some small scattered pale blue-and-white spots. The butterfly (adult) has black wings covered with white-grey patches, and red-and-blue patches on its hindwing. The back edge of its hindwing is scalloped and the tip of its body is yellow.

Size

Caterpillar up to 4 cm long; Butterfly wingspan about 7 cm.

A dark grey to black bird with a yellow-tipped red bill, red frontal shield, red legs, and white undertails. Hatchlings are also black with red frontal shield, juveniles have green legs, green horn or black coloured bill, generally paler.

Size

35-40 cm (from head to tail)

It has a grey back and head, and bright-yellow underparts. Southern birds have an olive-yellow rump, while birds in northern Australia have a brighter yellow rump. Its throat is off-white and when seen in flight, it has a pale bar on its wings. Its bill is black. Young birds are rufous-brown with paler streaks.

Size

13 – 17 cm long, the males are slightly larger

Grey-brown to bronze, with a dark stripe running along each side of its body from its nostril, across its eye to its tail, getting wider from its front legs. Its body pales below the stripe to a cream belly.

This species has a lighter body with a less obvious stripe running along its sides than the Southern Garden Skink.

Size

8 - 10 cm (nose to end of tail).

Grey-brown to bronze, with a dark stripe running along each side of its body from its nostril, across its eye to its tail, getting wider from its front legs. Its body pales below the stripe to a cream belly.

This species has a ‘heavier’ looking body and a more obvious stripe running along its sides, compared to the Northern Garden Skink.

Size

8 - 10 cm (nose to end of tail).

The adult male has a bright-yellow underbody, olive-green back and wings, and a black head with a bright-yellow collar. Its throat is white, with a broad black band which separates it from the yellow breast. Its beak and legs are black. The adult female has grey upperparts with a pale olive tinge, and is pale grey below with a pale yellowish tinge. Its beak is dark brown and its legs are grey-brown. Both sexes have a red-brown eye. Juvenile birds are rufous above and below, and as they mature, gradually resemble a female, though they retain some rufous feathers in their wings.

Its head and upperparts are mostly dark grey, with a white eyebrow and throat, a narrow grey band across the upper breast and a creamy-buff belly. The feathers of its long tail have white edges and tips, and the tail is often fanned out.

Size

14 – 16 cm long

The Honey Bee's head, upper body and legs are black, and its hairy abdomen is striped black and brown (or yellow/orange). It is pale when it first emerges from the nest, but soon develops a darker colouring.

Size

1.2 – 1.6 cm long (Queen bee is slightly longer)

Found in two broad forms. The main form is dark grey to dull blueish-black with numerous, scattered, cream-colored spots. The snout is marked with prominent black and yellow bands extending under the chin and neck. The tail has narrow black and cream bands which are narrow and get wider towards the end of the tail.

The other type, known as Bells form, is typically found in dryer parts of NSW and Queensland. It has broad, black and yellow bands across the body and tail. Close up, these bands are made up of various spotted patterns.

Also known as the Tree Goanna.

Size

About 55cm long (head and body); 140 cm long (head to tail). Some may grow up to 2.1 m long (head to tail).

Predominantly pale tawny-orange with a heavy black border that encloses large white spots in the forewing. The inner leading edge of the forewing is deep red-brown. The underside is similar to the upper side but paler with narrower black margins. Males have a distinct patch of dark grey sex-scales on the upper side of the hindwing.

The caterpillars have three pairs of tentacles and yellow, white and black rings.

Size

7 - 8 cm wingspan.

A black and white bird, the pattern varies slightly between sexes. The male has a white eyebrow above a black horizontal eye-stripe, a black face and throat, while the female has a white face and throat, with a broad vertical stripe through the eye, and no white eyebrow. Both sexes have a thin white bill and black legs and feet. Juvenile Magpie-larks have a black forehead, white eyebrow and a white throat.

The top of its head and its hindneck are black. Its forehead is covered with bright-yellow skin, which hangs down to form wattles. The rest of the head is white. Its back and wings are pale grey-brown. Below, black plumage extends from the hindneck onto the sides of its breast, and the rest of the underparts are white. Its long legs and feet are reddish and its bill is yellow. It has a prominent spur on each wing.

Juveniles are similar to adults, but have dark ‘scallop’ markings on the back and wings, and the wing spur and wattles are either smaller or absent.

Distinctive feature

A yellow wattle that extends from its forehead to behind its eye and hangs down beside its chin.

The caterpillar (larva) is initially green, white and brown and resembles bird droppings. A mature caterpillar has a dark brown head, a green body with some pale yellow and brown markings, and spines along its back.

The male butterfly (adult) is black with an arc of creamy-white spots near the tip of each forewing. Each hindwing has a creamy-white patch and a single red spot, and there are many red crescents on its underside.

The female butterfly is brown to black, and the outer half of its forewing is whitish-grey. Its hindwing has a creamy-white patch, as well as a series of blue and red crescent-shaped markings.

Size

Caterpillar up to 6 cm long; Butterflies 10 – 12 cm wingspan.

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