Telling the snail story

by Dr John Stanisic OAM ‘The Snail Whisperer’, Honorary Research Fellow, Queensland Museum As Curator of Molluscs at Queensland Museum for 26 years, I spent most of my time collecting and documenting the land snails of Queensland. Over that time, more than 900 new species were discovered. Now as Honorary Research Fellow, I divide my time between research and telling the snail story in schools … Continue reading Telling the snail story

Scientists shell shocked at rare new species

A donation of an extensive and scientifically important shell collection to Queensland Museum has led to the discovery of a new species of mollusc by a museum curator. Amoria thorae, a new species of the carnivorous volute family of marine snails, was named in honour of long-time Brisbane resident Mrs Thora Whitehead, whose collection was recently donated to the museum. I knew of a possible … Continue reading Scientists shell shocked at rare new species

A rare skink and a case of mistaken identity

By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Queensland Museum Tryon’s skink (now Karma tryoni) was described in 1918 by Heber Longman at Queensland Museum. Its description was based on two specimens collected by Henry Tryon in the McPherson Range on the Queensland/New South Wales border. However, until recently this species was overlooked because taxonomists regarded it as conspecific (the same species as) with … Continue reading A rare skink and a case of mistaken identity

Trolley of Death

I have yet to meet anyone that isn’t fascinated by venomous creatures and their potential to… well, kill you. Australia is full of them and some are not always what you would expect! Working at the museum means I have access to a whole host of natural history objects. Recently I had to do a photoshoot featuring some of the venomous animals I work on. … Continue reading Trolley of Death

New stories from old specimens: understanding the history of one of Australia’s rarest parrots

By Dr Paul Oliver, Senior Curator Vertebrates. In a quiet corner of the Queensland Museum, behind the public galleries and displays, six small dumpy green parrots sit in a special drawer. These are among the last known specimens of Coxen’s Fig Parrots. They were collected well over half a century ago, before populations of this species precipitously declined—possibly to extinction. Years later, they’re now helping … Continue reading New stories from old specimens: understanding the history of one of Australia’s rarest parrots

New species of fish found in Australian waters

Queensland Museum Network Ichthyologist Jeff Johnson and colleagues recently described three new species of fish. The three new species were trawled from Australian waters at depths as deep as 120 metres. Pseudanthias paralourgus is described from just five specimens collected off south-eastern Queensland and was trawled from depths of 110-120 metres. Tosana dampieriensis is described from three specimens from off Western Australia and Tosana longipinnis … Continue reading New species of fish found in Australian waters

Rheobatrachus vitellinus, a species that vanished the year after its discovery

By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Queensland Museum There were only two species of gastric brooding frogs and both were narrowly restricted to mountain ranges near the Queensland coast. The Southern Gastric Brooding Frog, Rheobatrachus silus, lived in the Conondale and Blackall Ranges north of Brisbane and its northern counterpart, R. vitellinus (commonly called the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog) was found in fast … Continue reading Rheobatrachus vitellinus, a species that vanished the year after its discovery

These true bugs are a treasure

By Dr Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum Entomologist These images show an aggregation of nymphal True Bugs. Not all insects are ‘bugs’ but these are. If you turned one over and looked at the head you might see the proboscis – a long, thin, straight feeding tube lying down between the legs – that makes these ‘True Bugs’ belonging to the Order Hemiptera. Unusually, we can … Continue reading These true bugs are a treasure

Colour in insects

by Susan, Discovery Centre Information Officer Jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and Christmas beetles (Scarabaidae) are common names given to particular groups of beetles due to their spectacular iridescent or metallic colouring. The gold, green, blue or purple colour shifts as the insect moves delighting us (and presumably any potential mate) with their beauty. But what causes these shifting colours?   Colour in nature is produced using … Continue reading Colour in insects

Creepy crab parasites: rhizocephalan barnacles

by Dr Marissa McNamara, Collection Manager of Crustaceans If you think you’re having a bad day, be thankful you’re not a crab! Sure, they have a great life (who wouldn’t want two big claws, or eyes on stalks?!) but crabs can become infected with some of the scariest parasites around: rhizocephalan barnacles. Barnacles might not sound scary, or even particularly interesting, and most people probably … Continue reading Creepy crab parasites: rhizocephalan barnacles

Sweet new discovery – a new species of chocolate frog

Move over Freddo, there is a new chocolate frog in town… meet Litoria mira, a new frog species that has been recently described by Queensland Museum scientists. Compared to other tree frogs, known for their green skin, Litoria mira is brown and was given the nickname chocolate frog because of its colouring. Lead author, Dr Paul Oliver who is a joint appointment with Queensland Museum … Continue reading Sweet new discovery – a new species of chocolate frog

International Day for Biological Diversity

by Bronwyn Mitchell, Editor, Queensland Museum This year on the International Day for Biological Diversity, discover the Eungella rainforests, a biodiversity hotspot and one of Queensland’s most stunning natural environments. Even with all the technology available in our modern world, humanity will always depend on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our continued existence, particularly for food, water, fuel, energy, shelter, medicines and clothing. Biological diversity … Continue reading International Day for Biological Diversity

5 minutes with Sue-Ann Watson, Senior Curator Marine Invertebrates

Sue-Ann is Senior Curator, Marine Invertebrates at the Queensland Museum Network, based at the Museum of Tropical Queensland campus in Townsville. Her position is co-appointed with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. What is your favourite specimen in the collection and why? At Museum of Tropical Queensland we have a very large giant clam shell. This … Continue reading 5 minutes with Sue-Ann Watson, Senior Curator Marine Invertebrates

Museum Honorary in top 10 commemorated scientists in the world

Queensland Museum Honorary Researcher of insects/invertebrates Geoff Monteith has been hailed as one of the world’s top 10 most commemorated scientists based on the number of species named in their honour. Dr Monteith, former Senior Curator of Entomology at Queensland Museum joins the ranks alongside celebrated historical figures in science including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. The list was compiled by Stephen Heard, a … Continue reading Museum Honorary in top 10 commemorated scientists in the world

Biodiversity Month Recap

As #BiodiversityMonth comes to end for 2020, we’re recapping what is biodiversity, why it’s important, how you can help us protect it for our future and our role as a museum in protecting biodiversity.  Watch the 4 part video series below with curators and collection managers from our biodiversity team. What is Biodiversity with Dr Marissa McNamara, Collection Manager of Crustaceans Watch the full video … Continue reading Biodiversity Month Recap

Daintree Canopy Crane at JCU’s DRO and Cairns Birdwing Butterfly Mating Dance

by Geoff Thompson, Queensland Museum, Collection Imager In August last year, I was a very lucky to be invited to present at Les Walking’s Daintree 2019 Photography Workshop. The workshop was photographic heaven, held at James Cook University’s Daintree Research Observatory (DRO). One morning I took the opportunity to shoot from the canopy crane situated in the adjacent tropical rainforest. This was an astounding experience, … Continue reading Daintree Canopy Crane at JCU’s DRO and Cairns Birdwing Butterfly Mating Dance

Living Fossils: Nautiluses

Living nautiluses are the survivors of a large group of shelled molluscs that first appeared in the seas long before the age of dinosaurs, perhaps as far back as 500 million years ago.  For this reason and the fact that they show many primitive features, they are today considered ‘living fossils’. Nautilus pompilius. Images by Schmidt Ocean Institute. Nautiluses are related to molluscs such as … Continue reading Living Fossils: Nautiluses

It’s a whale of a tale

In 1982, a dwarf minke whale was discovered swimming in a small ocean lagoon on Hook Reef in the Whitsundays. At the time, the story of the whale made headlines and recently as Collections Manager at Museum of Tropical Queensland, I provided a recount of the whale’s story. If you missed The Saga of the Minke Whale on Hook Reef you can watch it on … Continue reading It’s a whale of a tale