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Species Profile and Threats Database

Species Profiles - Glossary and Abbreviations

ABRS Australian Biological Resources Study
ACT Australian Captial Territory
adipose tissue fatty tissue
aestivate survive in a dormant state
alliance Plant communities which have (i) the same structural characteristics, (ii) related species as dominants in the uppermost stratum, and (iii) possibly the same or related species in the understorey (see Specht et al. 1974). (See also association)
allopatric geographically separated
amplexus sexual embrace of frogs, either axillary where the male grasps the female behind the forelimbs, or inguinal where the male grasps the female around the waist
asl above sea-level
association Plant communities which have (i) the same structural characteristics, (ii) the same species as dominants in the uppermost stratum, though (iii) possibly different floristic composition in the lower stratum (see Specht et al. 1974). An association is a subset of an alliance (see above).
Aust. Australia, Australian
autotomy shedding of a part, as in some lizards, worms and arthropods
axillary in the angle between a leaf or bract and the stem bearing it, see diagram cf. terminal
benthic at the bottom of a water body
bioregion a complex land area composed of a cluster of interacting ecosystems that are repeated in similar form. They describe the dominant landscape scale attributes of climate, lithology, geology, landforms and vegetation. They are based on the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (see IBRA regions)
bioregional community type a classification of vegetation community types based on computer analyses of the floristic composition of vegetation sites in several bioregions (McDonald 1996). (See also natural resource classification)
BMR Basal Metabolic Rate
c. circa; about (used especially in approximate dates)
CAMBA China Australia Migratory Bird Agreement
carapace upper shell, including both horny and bony plates of a turtle or tortoise
caudal of, at, or near the tail
caudal peduncle the region of the body between the end of the anal fin and the base of the caudal fin
chelonian turtle or tortoise
Ck Creek
cloaca the common chamber into which intestinal, genital and urinary canals open in vertebrates (except most mammals)
cm centimetre
congener member of the same genus
conspecific member of the same species
corpora lutea sing. corpus luteum. Glandular mass that forms in the mammalian ovary after an egg is released, and which persists throughout pregnancy or degenerates if fertilisation does not occur; equivalent body in non-mammalian vertebrate
costal the plates on a turtle carapace lying between the median central plates and outer marginal plates
CP Conservation Park
crepuscular active at dawn and dusk
CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
dbh diameter at breast height
demersal living on or near the bottom of sea or lake
diadromous migratory between fresh and salt waters
diapause a state of suspended development
didactyle having two digits
dioecious having male and female flowers on different individuals
diurnal active by day
DNRE Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria (now Department of Sustainability and Environment)
dolerite a dark-coloured medium-grained igneous rock that contains feldspar and pyroxene
DPIWE Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tasmania
E east
e. eastern
ecological community a term used in the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is defined as 'an assemblage of native species that: (a) inhabits a particular area in nature; and (b) meets the additional criteria specified in the regulations (if any) made for the purposes of this definition.'
ectotherm cold-blooded; maintain body temperature through outside heat
elaiosome fleshy oil-containing appendage present on seeds that are dispersed by ants
Env. Aust. Environment Australia (now Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities)
epiphyte plant relying on another plant for mechanical support (but not nutritional support - see parasite)
et al. et alia; and others
eviscerate to disembowel
flange a projecting rim or flap
floristic association an alternative term for a plant association. The vegetation is classified on the basis of species presence or absence, the stratification of plant forms, and the spatial distribution of individuals
forb a herbaceous (non-woody) plant that is not a grass; usually an annual, short-lived perennial or a perennial with annual regrowth. (cf graminoid)
fossorial adapted for digging
friable crumbly, easily powdered
gilgai gilgai is the term used to describe surface micro-relief (mounds and depressions) associated with soils containing shrink-swell clays and giving the soil surface a 'pock-marked' appearance. The height between the top of the mounds and the bottom of the depressions is usually less than 300 mm. The gilgai depressions are sometimes also called crabholes or melonholes.
glabrous without hairs, scales or bristles
Gosner stage stages of development of the frog from egg to metamorphosis as described by Kenneth Gosner in 1960
graminoid a herbaceous (non-woody) plant that is a grass or grass-like (e.g. sedges). (cf forb)
gravid egg-laden; pregnant
greywacke texturally and mineralogically immature sandstones that contain more than 15% clay minerals
ha hectare
hemipenis one of the paired grooved copulatory organs found in male lizards and snakes which can be everted (extruded by turning inside out) when mating or when pressure is applied
holotype a single specimen or illustration designated by the author of a plant or animal name, at the time of original publication, which fixes the application of the name; the 'voucher specimen' of a name. cf. isotype, type
Hwy Highway
I. Island
IBRA biogeographic regions used to classify Australia's land surface. They have been delineated on the basis of specialist ecological knowledge combined with regional and continental scale data on climate, geomorphology, landform, lithology and characteristic flora and fauna. IBRA stands for Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia. IBRA regions are periodically revised as better information becomes available. The most up-to-date descriptions are IBRA regions version 5.1
ignimbrite a poorly-sorted pyroclastic rock body formed by deposition from a flow of pumice
imbricate overlapping, referring to scales
interorbital between the orbits of the eyes
Is Islands
isotype a specimen which is a duplicate of the holotype, i.e. part of the same collection. cf. type
JAMBA Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement
km kilometre
L. Lake
lacustrine pertaining to or inhabiting lakes or ponds
land system an area or group of areas throughout which there is a recurring pattern of topography, soils and vegetation. Land system maps and descriptions have been prepared for extensive areas of Queensland. Land system mapping is based on the concept that similar kinds of land reflect similar patterns in aerial photographs. Each land system is composed of a number of land units (see land unit)
land unit an area which contains relatively uniform landform, geology, soils and vegetation. Land units are grouped together to help describe land systems (see land system).
land zone a geomorphic category that describes the major geology and associated landform and soils and takes account of their origin and function
lectotype a specimen or illustration selected from among those cited with the original description to serve in place of a holotype where the holotype is missing or destroyed, or where no holotype was designated. cf. type, holotype
lentic living in still water
lignotuber conspicuous swelling at base of stem, at or below soil-level, containing dormant buds
lithophyte plant growing on rock or stone
lotic living in running water
m metre
macrophyte large aquatic plant
map type alternative name for a map unit
map unit maps of natural resources such as vegetation, soils and landform are usually prepared by examining aerial or satellite images of the landscape. Each uniform pattern on the images is termed a map unit. The unit may represent a uniform landform, soil or vegetation type, or a similar combination of these. The natural resource/s that characterise a map unit are usually determined from surveys on the ground to collect data from a number of different areas that represent the unit
meristic segmented; relating to cell division
microphagic feeding on minute organisms or particles
mitochondrial DNA genetic material found in mitochondria that is used to show genetic relatedness
mm millimetre
monoecious having male and female flowers on the same plant
morphologically distinct different in structure and form
morphometric measurement of structure and form
Mt Mountain
Mts Mountains
N north
n. northern
natural resource classifcation when describing natural resources such as vegetation, soils and landforms etc, scientists try to identify relatively homogeneous types of resources and give them names. This process of classification is frequently used in association with resource mapping. Classification units are given a range of terms, e.g. vegetation community, soil type, bioregional community type etc.
neonate newly born animal
neotype a specimen or illustration selected to serve in place of a holotype, where all of the material on which the name was originally based is missing or destroyed. cf. type
nocturnal active by night
NP National Park
NR Nature Reserve
NSW New South Wales
NSW NPWS New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
NT Northern Territory
nuchal pertaining to the nape of the neck
NZ New Zealand
obligate restricted to a particular condition of life e.g. dependent on a particular habitat to be able to breed
obligate resprouter recovery after fire can only be by resprouting
obligate seeder recovery after fire can only be by seed
ontogenetic developmental stages in the individual's life-history
oocyte ovarian cell in which meiosis occurs to form an egg
orbit bony cavity in which the eye is situated
otolith calcareous particles in the inner ear involved with balance and perception of acceleration
ovate (for leaves) egg-shaped in outline and attached by the broader end
oviduct tube that carries eggs from ovary to exterior. a. oviducal
oviparous egg-laying. cf. viviparous, ovoviviparous
oviposition site place where eggs are laid
ovipositor specialised structure in insects for depositing eggs
ovoviviparous producing an egg which hatches within the maternal body. cf. viviparous, oviparous
ovum egg (plural: ova)
p. page
paleochannel an ancient stream or river bed, cut into the surrounding soil or rock, which has been re-buried by other sediments after the stream has changed its course or dried up
parasite plant or organism relying on another plant or organism for nutritional support
paratype a specimen or illustration, other than the holotype, isotype or one of the syntypes, that was cited with the original publication of a name. cf. type
parietal pertaining to the bones which form the sides and top of the skull
parthenogenetic morph a parthenogenetic morph is a variety or form of a particular species that is able to reproduce parthenogenetically. Parthenogenesis is reproduction by a female without fertilisation by a male
pelagic living at or near the surface of the ocean
Pen. Peninsula
perianth the outer whorl of floral leaves of a flower when it is not clearly divided into calyx or corolla
plant association climax plant community in which the dominant stratum has a qualitatively uniform floristic composition and which exhibits a uniform structure as a whole (see also association)
PNG Papua New Guinea
porphyritic rocks containing large an often well-formed crystals set in a finer matrix
postorbital behind the eye socket
pp. pages
precaudal anterior to (before) the tail
pterygiophore cartilage or bone forming the rays or spines of fins
pubescent covered with soft hair or down
pyloric in the region of the lower opening of the stomach
Qld Queensland
QPWS Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
R. River
Ra. Range
RAOU Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
Rd Road
regional ecosystem vegetation communities in a bioregion that are consistently associated with a particular combination of geology, landform and soil. This term is used to describe ecological communities in Queensland and determine their conservation status. They are similar to land units (see land unit).
RFA Regional Forest Agreement
rhyolite a fine-grained extrusive igneous rock, often with a sugary texture, consisting of quartz, alkali feldspar and one or more ferromagnesian minerals
riffle shallow, broken water in a stream running over a stony bed
S south
s. southern
SA South Australia
SA NPWS South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service
sagittal otolith the otolith (ear stone) in the the middle and largest chamber of the inner ear. In fishes they are species-specific in shape.
sedge grass-like or rush-like plants of the family Cyperaceae, with solid stems which are triangular in cross-section
senescent becoming old
serpentine a sheet silicate containing magnesium and including the minerals chrysotile, lizardite and antigorite
serpentinite altered rock formed by low temperature and water interaction and consisting mainly of hydroxyl-bearing magnesium silicates formed from olivine and pyroxenes
SF State Forest
sp. species (singular)
spermatogenesis formation of sperm
spp. species (plural)
St Street
stochastic random
sub-digital lamellae scales along the underside of the digits
subregion a subdivision of a bioregion which contains distinctive geomorphic units that closely align with land capability and development potential. The names of subregions are generally those of IBRA subregions (see IBRA).
substrate the base or material on which an organism lives
sympatric species living in the same or overlapping area of distribution
syntype one of two or more specimens cited by the author at the time of publication of a name if no holotype was designated; any one of two or more specimens simultaneously designated as types. cf. type
Tas. Tasmania
terete tapering cylindrical, round in any cross-section
terminal at the end of the stem, see diagram cf. axillary
TPWS Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service
trachyte fine-grained volcanic rock of the alkaline series of intermediate rocks
type a designated representative (standard) for a species name. cf. holotype, isotype, lectotype, neotype, paratype, syntype
UK United Kingdom
USA United States of America
vegetation community a classification of vegetation, usually based on structure and species composition. (See also natural resource classification)
vegetation type alternative name for a vegetation community
vegetation unit map unit that relates specifically to vegetation (see also map unit)
Vic. Victoria
vinethicket site-group a classification of vine thicket patches based on cover data for tree and shrub species (see also natural resource classification)
vitellogenesis egg yolk formation
viviparous giving birth to live young (as opposed to egg-laying); having seeds that germinate while still attached to the parent plant. cf. oviparous, ovoviviparous
W west
w. western
WA Western Australia
WA CALM Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia
wallum coastal vegetation on sandy acidic soils, in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales
Commonwealth of Australia