One of our most prolific contributors to the ALA is Reiner Richter, a wildlife photographer from Victoria. He has been taking nature photographs as a hobby for many years and has submitted over 13,000 fantastic sightings to the ALA.
Reiner uses the ALA to assist with identification for species that he is less familiar with.
“If I know what the genus might be I will search for species within that genera that are nearby using the mapping tools,” Reiner said.
He also uses the ALA to find gaps in data then embarks on expeditions to fill them. A couple of years ago, he noticed a gap between Lakes Entrance and Orbost and upon searching there, he found a population of Austrocnemis splendida, a small damselfly that is quite rare in the state.
While searching for and photographing species, Reiner has made some interesting discoveries. His rediscovery of a Micraspis flavovittata, a ladybeetle thought to be extinct, garnered some attention in the mainstream media. From the unique markings, he knew on sight that this was a new species for him personally. Not finding an image of such a species anywhere on the web, he passed it on to experts, starting with Museum Victoria. He is hopeful that this species can get listed as critically endangered as a result.
One of the things Reiner finds most rewarding is to photograph fungi in winter.
“Many strange fungi remain unidentified as the kingdom is vast and there are few experts in the field, so relatively few species have been described,” Reiner said.
Please contact us if you would like to share how you use the ALA.