Posts written by Antony Kusabs

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 4): Expedition Snares Islands

Caption: A new moss record for the Snares Islands - Tayloria purpurascens! Te papa collection item M041684. On the right you can see the leafy gametophyte (gamete plant). And on the left, the stalk-like structure is the sporophyte (spore plant) which develops from female reproductive organs on the gametophyte. (Field of view c. 4cm)

Back in December 2013, four Te Papa Scientists ventured into the deep south on a 15 day expedition to the Snares Islands. Some of you may remember earlier Snares blog posts and you tube videos from this excursion. In order to provide a quick reference resource on Snares Islands botany I recently completed some Expedition Snares… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 3): Image highlights from Hue te Taka (Moa Point) Narrative

  • Angiosperms, Selliera radicans Cav. collected 20 Feb 2012, Hue te Taka Peninsula (Moa Point). New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP090307.
  • Scarlet pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis L. subsp. arvensis var. arvensis, collected 29 Sep 2011, South Coast, Hue te Taka Peniinsula (Moa Point), North end. New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP090329.
  • Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Bunge ex Ung.-Sternb.) A.J.Scott, collected 20 Feb 2012, Hue te Taka Peninsula (Moa Point). New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP094153.
  • SP094156 - ph4 resized

Some time ago now, the Te Papa Science team completed the process of collecting, identifying and storing terrestrial plants from a low-stature plant community on Wellington’s South Coast.  Over 100 species of seed plant, ferns, lichens, moss, liverwort and seaweed were collected.  This total comprised approximately 69 indigenous and 33 naturalised plant species. This Te Papa Collections… Read more »

South Island Botany Field Trip: weedy highlights

goat's beard, Tragopogon pratensis L., (SP103848). Collected 16 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Canterbury, West Coast Road. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In early December 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences were collecting specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens… Read more »

South Island Botany Field Trip: native plants from the high country

Notothlaspi rosulatum. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In late 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica spp.). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens collected, including… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 2): Lindauer, Algae Nova-Zelandicae Exsiccatae

Codium gracile (O.C.Schmidt) Dellow, collected 03 Sep 1937, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (A020496)

As the Science Collection Manager responsible for managing the botany collection, part of my job is to increase public access to the collection. One way to achieve this is through online narratives. This blog series will highlight some recent botany narratives. In this blog we introduce a significant part of the macro-algae (seaweed) collection – The complete Algae… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 1): Recent Botany Donations

Clematis marmoraria Sneddon, collected Dec 1973, N.W Nelson, Arthur Range, Hoary Head., New Zealand. Gift of Victoria University of Wellington, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (SP091616)

As the Science Collection Manager responsible for managing the botany collection, part of my job is to increase public access to the collection. One way to achieve this is through online narratives. This blog series will highlight some recent botany narratives. In this blog we introduce narrative topics of some recent, very significant, donations to the Te… Read more »

Snares Islands Flora: bryophytes & lichens

  • Caption: A trick for young players! Asplenium gametophytes and young plants. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • Caption: A new record of liverwort for the Snares -the leafy liverwort genus Aneura (centre-left) growing with moss Pyrrhobryum bifarium (sporophytes visable) on a rotting Olearia stem in a gully. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa. (Field of view c. 15cm)
  • Fern Blog Ph 11 - Resized
  • Caption: A new moss record for the Snares Islands - Tayloria purpurascens! Te papa collection item M041684. On the right you can see the leafy gametophyte (gamete plant). And on the left, the stalk-like structure is the sporophyte (spore plant) which develops from female reproductive organs on the gametophyte. (Field of view c. 4cm)

One of our research goals on the Snares Islands was to collect non-vascular plants.  Non-vascular plants include mosses, liverworts and hornworts (collectively known as bryophytes) and lichens. Mosses have two main life stages – the gametophyte stage and sporophyte stage.  Both stages are visible in images on this post. The gametophyte (gamete plant)  leafy stage produces the… Read more »

Snares Islands: first impressions

  • Vegetation surrounding boat harbour. Snares Islands, North-East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • The brown skua (Catharacta antarctica) swooping our cameraman on Station Point. Snares Islands, North-East Island. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa.
  • Antony Kusabs, Collection Manaqger at the South Promontory sign post with Alert Stack and South-west promontory in background. Snares Islands, North East Isalnd. Image: Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa.
  • Titi () at dusk. Snares Islands, North East Island, Muttonbird Ridge. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

A Te Papa team recently visited the Snares Islands Nature Reserve, 105 km south-southwest of Stewart Island, where they completed a range of seabird and plant research projects. Here, Antony Kusabs (Collection Manager Sciences) describes his first impressions of the Snares Islands, his first trip to a New Zealand Sub-Antarctic island group. Watch Science Live: Expedition Snares Islands… Read more »

Snares Islands Flora: the ferns

  • Catchments sloping to the east on North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • Bare substrate and titi / mutton bird burrows in Olearia lyallii forest, a common site on North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Underside of Asplenium scleroprium frond showing sori extending to lamina margins. Above Hoho Stream, North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Asplenium scleroprium, above Hoho Stream, North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa

There are currently five recognised species of fern on the Snares Islands, the closest sub-antarctic island group to New Zealand. North East Island, the main island of the Snares group, slopes gently downhill from the tall, tussock covered western cliffs towards the forested east coast, creating four small catchments, which drain into Boat Harbour and Hoho Bay.  This combination… Read more »

Snares Islands Flora: an introduction

  • Olearia lyallii. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • Stilbocarpa robusta. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • Stellaria media, Gull Point, Boat Harbour, North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Stellaria decipiens. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa

The vascular flora of the Snares Islands is limited, at only 22 species (including one hybrid Poa).  Despite this, my first impression of the main island was an island covered with lush vegetation.  And there are still some botanical challenges – we failed to locate the fern Histiopteris incisa for instance.  Vegetation communities on the Snares… Read more »