The Rainforest: Millipedes, snails and spiders


Invertebrates at night


"Almost finished a new course on "life in the rainforest"! Here is a sample lesson on some nocturnal critters".

Many rainforest invertebrates are nocturnal and remain well hidden during the day. In this lesson, and the video above, we check the nightlife of some of the invertebrates associated with rainforest trees.

Many insects are nocturnal including a number of spiders.

Tree trunks in the rainforest provide a great habitat for invertebrates with their bark providing structure and sources of food including algae and bacteria which can be exploited by invertebrates.

If you select a few trees during the daytime and investigate the surface of their trunks you may not find any signs of life on the bark. If you return to the same tree at night, you may observe nocturnal species including millipedes and centipedes as well as snails and insects moving over the bark. If you look into the branches, you may also observe web weaving spiders setting their...

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The winter breeding behaviour of the Logrunner


Most birds in the subtropical rainforest of Southeast Queensland time their breeding season to coincide with the spring and summer months. This makes sense given there is likely to be more food such as insects and other invertebrates available due to the warmer weather and higher rainfall and humidity. This is especially prevalent for birds relying on the leaf litter layer as a foraging site. There are however, two birds that breed in the winter months: the Logrunner and Albert's Lyrebird.

The Logrunner (Left - Orthonyx temminckii) and the Albert's Lyrebird (Right - Menura alberti) breed in the winter months.

Both these species provide extended care to their fledglings, and it is thought this strategy provides them with greater access to insects and invertebrates in the early spring season, when the fledglings are gaining their independence. In the video above you will see a male and female Logrunner collecting insects for their fledglings. You will also notice that...

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