Witch's Butter
Desicated in a short timeframe
Encased Rock & twigs
Crust (Microphytic crust)Class: Crust (Crust) - Crust (Crust) - Crust (Crust) - Crust & Algae
Order: Crust (Crust)
Family: BioCrust (Biocrust)
Species: Crust (Microphytic crust)
This Photo:     🔍Peeled Back🔎
Other names: Cryptobiotic Crust, Cryptogamic Crust, Duricrust or Microbiotic Crust

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
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 © 2013-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 18-Jul-2013
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.