The Groynes, Trip #42

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Grassland and trees, near one of the ponds.

The natural parts of the Groynes include waterways and associated wetlands. The waterways include the Otukaikino Stream, and they all ultimately feed into the Waimakariri River, a short distance to the north. There are also areas of restored native bush.

We visited this site in June (2017); below is some of what we saw.

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One of The Groynes waterways, lined with Carex secta.

Birds

Birds seen included fantails, Australasian coots, shags, mallard ducks, scaup and pukeko.

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Pukeko (Porphyrio melanotus ssp. melanotus).

Insects

Not many insects were seen, probably because of the cold. The most notable was probably the black pasture fly, which had purple eyes.

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Black pasture fly (Hydrellia tritici).
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Non-biting midge (Family Chironomidae).
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Non-biting midge (Family Chironomidae).
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Giant willow aphid (Tuberolachnus salignus).
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Exoskeleton, possibly of a damselfly.

Spiders

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Web of nurseryweb spider (Dolomedes minor).

Liverworts

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A liverwort (Chiloscyphus lentus).
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A liverwort, possibly Goebelobryum unguiculatum.
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A liverwort, Goebelobryum unguiculatum.

Mosses

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Moss, possibly Tortula sp.
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Moss, possibly Tortula sp.
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Moss, with capsules.
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Moss, unknown species.
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Cypress-leaved plait-moss (Hypnum cupressiforme).
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Moss, probably Thuidium furfurosum.
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Moss capsules, possibly Tortula sp.

Ferns

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Hard fern (either Blechnum minus or B. novae-zelandiae).

Shrubs & Trees

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Harakeke (Phormium tenax).

Weeping mapou (Myrsine divaricata).

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Broom (Cytisus scoparius).
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European alder (Alnus glutinosa).
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European alder (Alnus glutinosa).

Algae

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An orange algae on wood, possibly Trentepohlia sp.

Lichens

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Gold-eye lichen (Teloschistes chrysophthalmus), on a prostrate kowhai.
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Beard lichen (Usnea sp.).
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Pixie cup lichens (Cladonia sp.).

Fungi

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Bracket fungus (Class Agaricomycetes).

Aquatic Animals

There were many small creatures in the pond and waterways. We took a stereo microscope, with magnification up to 40 x.

The most abundant ones we could see, that were large enough to photograph, were a copepod in the Cyclops genus (within the subphylum of Crustaceans). These are so-called because of their single large eye. The one photographed below is carrying two large egg sacs.

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Copepod (Cyclops sp.).
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Copepod (Cyclops sp.).

There were also caddisfly larvae in the streams.

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants included duckweed and azolla on the surface of the pond, and water milfoil underwater.

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Common duckweed (Lemna minor) upside down, showing the rootlets.
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Azolla rubra, a floating fern.
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Water milfoil (Myriophyllum triphyllum).

Our thanks to NatureWatch for help with the identifications.

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