Ellura Sanctuary, Swan Reach, SA, 5354
    
Thank you
We'd like to thank all these people for giving their time and energy to help identify our local species; allowing our web site to be so useful to others.

  • Adam Dutkiewicz
  • Andrew Allanson
  • Bob Mesibov
  • Bryan Cantrell
  • Cathy Powers
  • Chris Lambkin
  • Daniel Heald
  • Darren Carman
  • Darren Schmitke
  • David Armstrong
  • David Rentz
  • Don Herbison-Evans
  • Ethan Beaver
  • Glenys & Graham Pearce
  • Graeme Cocks
  • John Douglas
  • Kari Dawson
  • Kate Sandiford
  • Ken Harris
  • Ken Walker
  • Kitty & Tony
  • Kristen Messenger
  • Kristi Ellingsen
  • Leigh Winsor
  • Mallik Malipatil
  • Mark Newton
  • Mark Ridgeway
  • Martin Lagerwey
  • Matt Campbell
  • Michal Dutkiewicz
  • Peri Coleman
  • Peter Marriott
  • Reiner Richter
  • Renate
  • Robert Lawrence
  • Robert Raven
  • Rusty Ryder
  • Tom May
  • Tony Daley
  • Volker Framenau
  • Wayne & Cheryl Donald

Taxonomy
We source all our Latin/binomial/scientific names from Atlas of Living Australia (www.ala.org.au). It's a Federal Government body that maintains a database of all life in Australia, with photo's, and uses the currently accepted taxon of all Kingdoms. Different Taxonomists disagree on the correct names of species, and we don't take any sides on these issues. As we need to know the "current" names of a broad range of species, we use Atlas as it's the only database we know of that provides this via filtered downloads; that also allow us to check spelling, etc.

Statistics
We do confess to liking our numbers. While they help us with the web site work, primarily they tell us of the rich diversity we have on Ellura:
741 native & 49 introduced species identified. 575 native animals & 166 native plants & fungi.
Of those native species that are listed on the 2010 Murraylands Regional Species Status Assessment (excludes invertebrates, etc) plus those on the SA Butterflies & Moths website, Ellura has:
1 Critically Endangered, 1 Endangered, 5 Vulnerable, 37 Rare & 39 Near Threatened. These numbers tell us how important it is to protect our Habitat
It's an indictment on society that 31% of our listed species are at risk!
The web site contains 5,594 photos & 89 video clips across 1,100 species. We are very excited to have achieved 92,000 hits last month :-)

Navigation
  • To use google to search just our web site; click here. It's not fancy, but it doesn't use javascript, and so is safer & more compatible.
  • Thumbnails are small, low quality, images (for fast loading) of larger, high quality, images which show much greater detail.
    This site is primarily a collection of thumbnail pages of related wildlife. Most of the menu items, therefore, will open a thumbnail page.
    Clicking on a thumbnail then opens the full photo page of interest.
  • When you are in a photo page, you will see "Previous" & "Next" links. They let you traverse all the photo's quickly. This may seem a bit random at times as the "next" photo on, eg, a scorpion page could be an introduced Honey bee. This is because you are on the last photo of the arachnid thumbnail page and the next photo in menu sequence is the bee on the introduced thumbnail page. The Art photo's are in a completely different sub-system and so do not appear in this sequence, but contain the same navigational aides.
  • In a photo page, if you click on the menu item the photo is primarily linked to, it'll take you to that species' overview on the appropriate thumbnail page. Eg Clicking on the "Small Plants" menu, when looking at an Orchid photo, will take you to the Small Plants thumbnail page with that Orchid species at the top of the page. We have now added more links to each photo page, so you can go directly to the Order, Family or Species on the thumbnail page (by clicking on the associated names).
  • Our status page describes the colours (we designed) & codes we use to show the conservation value & location of species.
  • If you wish to link to one of our species from elsewhere, each species is "named". So it's best to link to the species like this: www.ellura.info/Orchids.html#Diuris orientis rather than linking to a particular photo. We are constantly updating the site and trying to improve the quality of photos shown. As such, there is a strong chance a particular photo will be replaced with a better one. Since part of the photo names use their camera assigned name (for internal filing), your link to a specific photo can then fail.
  • All photo pages repeat the same text as shown on the thumbnail pages. But some have a story or photo specific information included. These are now highlighted on the thumbnail pages using the text "-EXTRA-".
  • For our regular visitors we have a What's New page. Here we show the latest photos of old identifications on the left, and a photo of each of our most recent identifications on the right; all in date sequence when added to the web site. If we add a lot of new photo's of one species, we only show a few of the best so as not to swamp the new photo's with similar examples.
  • While primarily to aid others in identification, we are only too aware that the photos can provide joy, so we have also tried to accommodate those who just want to look at beauty (or are spellbound, like us, by the uniqueness of our outback) with our Art page. It has been noted we crop the photo's too much. This is done on purpose as the pages have been designed for notebook screens (easy in the field); hence all images are only 500 pixels high. As such, we'd prefer to cram as much useful ID imagery into the 500 pixels rather than "waste" 100 pixels on aesthetic balance. We have much more width though (up to 1,000 pixels wide), so we do pad horizontally. We also rotate images from their natural orientation to highlight more detail (eg tree trunks).
  • Finally for those who want to delve further, we have the Resources page; helping you find additional information through other sources.

Introduction
G'day. Just some ramblings to help you understand what this web site is about and how to use it. It's down here because we felt the information above was more important for you to see. While we have been complimented on it's ease of use, there are some features that are not obvious (discussed above). We focus on species on Ellura, the surrounding Murraylands and over into the Adelaide Hills.

This is our volunteer work, to help people like yourself learn about the wildlife that surrounds us all. It is primarily a photographic site, which means some identifications are not possible to deduce. It can make others difficult; as it's not possible to properly represent size. We've found some of the best books of late allow us to put a flower or gum nut on the page and know if it's the correct size or not. Oh how we'd love to guarantee a true life size image on your screen; but it's not possible as far as we know. We now take photo's of everything with a rule, however, those photo's were taking huge space, so now we just state the measured size rather than display an image of it. Photo sizes are always 500 pixels high and no more than 1,000 pixels wide, and rarely less than 600 pixels.

Talking about size, it's important people understand that much of the beauty in the bush is in miniature. So many people who have seen our web site are amazed at what we have. They say things like "We've driven through that area and it's just scrub". JUST you say! People would probably understand our environment better if they thought of our salt bush more as "trees in a rainforest". For this is where a lot of the life and beauty we discover exists; under the saltbush canopy.

It's important to note that we are NOT trained biologists. We have had a lot of fun and learnt a huge amount undertaking this work. But WE DO MAKE MISTAKES. We rectify them as soon as we know about them, but please don't take anything here as gospel. Just a beginning to your research to identifying a species. If you find an error; be it an id, navigation, dead link, spelling, etc. please let us know. We want our site to be correct. We thank those who have already helped us this way. We show our appreciation of people's input on the species pages they helped id for us. A special thank you to Darren Schmitke. He contacted us via this web site and has been a tremendous help with his knowledge & other invaluable suggestions.

If you'd like to use our photos somewhere else; please talk to us. We are keen to oblige.

Approach
Our approach is to try and provide as many views of the same species as we can; so that you can look at something and find a match (regardless of the stage it's in). This means that the plant pages contain by far the most content (per species) as they have leaves, structure, buds, flowers, seed, fruit, etc. As well as many different stages in-between. Animals are much less variable, but harder to capture a good photo as they have this habit of moving about;-) Mind you, when it's windy tiny flowers arn't easy to capture either. We now capture insects, etc, in small clear plastic boxes. Some never settle, so we put them in the fridge to sleep; allowing us to take diagnostic photo's with out harming them. We then release them. Occassionally we'll find a dead invertebrate and post images of that; hoping to replace them with live images asap. As such, we are trying to visually characterise local species for you.

Layout
When this site started, we had about 500 photographs of 125 species to share with you. We now have over 4,500 photo's of over 1,000 species, and it's still growing!

The primary thumbnail pages are in family (or taxon) sequence of their Latin/scientific/binomial names. We use coloured text to indicate where the species is found, as well as coloured codes to indicate how threatened it is in the Murraylands. This family sequence means that if you find something and think "That's like an xyz", then there is a strong chance that it'll be in the same family group as "xyz". So by finding "xyz" here, you can easily see those other species in the same family. Or it might actually be "xyz", and the different views we provide help you recognise this fact. But wildlife being what it is, it's also just as likely to be somewhere else in the taxon tree completely. It is for this reason we are loath to break the pages down any further. eg Who'd imagine that grass cushion is a daisy .... really what is mother nature thinking?-)

To this end, we have now introduced "Key" pages. An important technique biologists use to differentiate species is to use 'keys'.
Rather than being in taxon sequence, our "Key" pages are sorted by the description of some notable attribute. The first of these we've set up are flowers.
Flowers can be very unique to a species, or they can be almost the same across the whole family (like Acacia).
The idea is that only one "representative" photo of each species is shown under each 'key' description. It is possible the same photo will appear under different 'keys' as it matches both. Or something more tricky could be happening; eg lilies can have 3 petals and 3 sepals. To you and me it looks like 6 petals. So we've put them under "3 Petals" as well as "6 Petals". Other times a species can have both lilac & white flowers. As such, we have 2 different photo's for this one species; one under each description. The descriptive terms we use are not botanical, but lay terms; the way we would describe them. While not scientific we feel it'll help everyone narrow down their id puzzles.

We recently upgraded our menu system to allow us to add more pages (like this one). It's a technological masterpiece if we do say so, but every browser has little quirks that made it very difficult to implement across the board. However, we believe we have succeeded, as we tested it in IE, Firefox & Chrome. If you are having any trouble with a different browser, but have access to one of these, then please try that one. Otherwise, let us know and we'll do our best to make it work on your browser.

Have a nice day people

Copyright © 1996-  Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved.