Moth like panda mooning around Moonah on Nepean Peninsula

Yesterday we came across this weird moth while on a field trip at Nepean Peninsula:

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It was perched on the side of a post and at first glance looked like a bird dropping, but a close look revealed a face design on the back of its head, presumably to deter predators.

The field trip was part of the Habitat Management course that we are doing. We visited the Coastal Moonah Woodland at the Point Nepean National Park on the sandy peninsula leading to the opening of Port Phillip Bay. Moonah (Melaleuca lanceolota) is a paperbark tree that lives a long time.

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It provides shelter for some threatened plant species, including the Rare Bitter Bush, (Adriana quadripartita), a handsome bush with male and female versions:

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The vegetation also provides shelter for the Long-nosed Bandicoot, and we saw conical holes where one had been digging. The historic cemetery provides habitat for rare species, including this tiny Colobanthus apetalus:

P1050407.JPG . We also spotted fan flowers, Coast Swainson-pea, Kangaroo Apple and Groundsel, as well as spinifex near an old cattle-loading jetty.

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