Sturt Gorge Recreation park
Updated: Mar 17, 2022
I took some time to visit Sturt Gorge Recreation park with a friend in late January 2022 and was rewarded by discovering several new species, for me, including this Amethyst Hairstreak "Jalmenus icilius" I thought it was a common blue at first. It didn't look right although I was surprised to learn it was a new species when I was corrected by Matt Endacott (@mendacott).
Amethyst Hairstreak Jalmenus icilius, seen at Sturt Gorge Conservation park #ownpic
This was not the only new species for me but also the iNaturalist project for the park as well. At the end of the day, I managed to add at least another 32 species to the park species list increasing the 299 already represented on the platform. Interestingly several of these were Dragonflies including the fairly common Blue Skimmer Orthetrum caledonicum and the Yellow-striped Hunter Austrogomphus guerini. The walk chosen by my friend Michael, was quite long covering 12..5 km, descending down into the valley and along the creek then meandering through grassland dotted with eucalypts before returning to walk along Sturt Creek on our return to the car. The contrasting landscape provided diverse habitat with many species and plenty of views for Michael
Michael framing the creek line.
I was a little disappointed not to get a shot of the many moths I saw dancing around the mistletoe, that I assume were Mistletoe Moth's Comocrus behri, as they were simply too busy. I did however manage to make two observations of Broad-margined Azure, Ogyris olane, this was the first time I saw this species and the first time it was recorded in the park on iNaturalist. Incidentally, only five observations of this species have been loaded to the platform at least 4 associated with what looks like Box Mistletoe Amyema miquelii.
Broad-margined Azure Ogyris olane seen at Sturt Gorge Conservation park #ownpic
I admit I am a notoriously slow hiker, I am not sure he realised how easily I get distracted, although I think he appreciated all the small things we found. I have included some examples below, however, the full collection can be viewed here
Clockwise, what I think is a Common Wasp-mimic Bee Hyleoides concinna, Michale working on his landscapes, Robber Fly Family Asilidae settled on a twig, Yellow-striped Hunter Austrogomphus guerini, Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor.
There are many walks within this park so why not go and explore and maybe make an observation or two and increase our knowledge of the biodiversity it holds. you can have a look at the full species list generated by iNaturalist observations before you go.