Uncovering Gondwana

protecting, restoring, exploring

This is our journey to understand and document the extraordinary biological richness of one of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area's core refugia - Springbrook Mountain, Queensland, Australia.

These are vital safe harbours against climate change  for some of the oldest plant and animal lineages to have evolved on Earth. Many contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value of our World Heritage rainforests. We never cease to be awed by Nature's designs and intricacy especially of those ancient  micro moths that set off an explosive radiation of one of the most diverse insect orders  on this planet.

We hope you enjoy this journey of discovery  as we work through the large volume of accumulated  images especially of moths and beetles.

Thank you to all  who have conducted surveys here or have helped or are helping with insect identifications, especially Geoff Monteith, Kathryn Ebert, Peter Hendry, Adam Slipinski, Tom Weir, Rolf Oberprieler, Ted Edwards, David Rentz, Paul Brock, Ladislav Bocak, Lindsay Popple, Murray Fletcher, and Daniel Bickel. The work of taxonomists and phylogeneticists is fundamentally critical to conservation — we cannot adequately value and protect what we do not 'know'!  Unfortunately taxonomy is severely under-resourced with the result that an unacceptably high proportion of biodiversity is still undescribed, even undiscovered.

Thus, so as not to unduly distract specialists from their critically important work, we do our best to identify species ourselves first using a range of exceptionally good image-based web tools and sites. We recognise, however, that images can never replace careful descriptions of organisms themselves. In some cases only the sexual organs can resolve the identity of a species. 

For insects, we mostly use macrophotography against a neutral grey background for very detailed images to assist identification. We prefer to photograph live insects and release them immediately afterwards. All images unless otherwise specified, are by ARCS President Aila Keto. If an image is incorrectly identified please flag an issue on the record.

We hope ultimately to contribute a body of work that will be of value to others. Moreover, we hope this body of work will further strengthen the Outstanding Universal Value of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.