Sand Goanna
Whole, camouflaged
Ellura
Mouldy Milk
Young
 
    
Crust (Microphytic Crust)Class: Crust (Biocrust) - Crust (Biocrust) - Crust (Biocrust)
Order: Crust (Biocrust)
Family: Crust (Biocrust)
Species: Crust (Microphytic Crust)
This Photo:     Peeled Back
Other names: Cryptobiotic Crust, Cryptogamic Crust, Duricrust & Microbiotic Crust

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee)
The Microphytic Crust is an incredibly important structure.
While not a single species, this seemed to be the best place to highlight it's value to Ellura.
Our friends at Entwood have a nice write up on it:
On this photo you can see a chunk has been dug out and turned over (by an animal we assume).
It's difficult to see normally, but this highlights how thick it is. You can see how lacking in nutrients the soil underneath is, and how rich in life the Microphytic Crust is.
While the common name of Duricrust is also used, it's a bit of a misnomer on Ellura. Technically duricrust contains more minerals and is harder, while the crust we have at Ellura (and seen in the surrounding area) appears to be mainly organic.

Copyright © 2013- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 20-Jul-2013
This species is an Australian Native Species