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Twilight Encounter

By day, Puketi Forest is a beautiful place, but at night the fun really starts! Below is a little taste of what you can experience on a moonlight walk through Puketi Forest...

Puketi Forest is full of really interesting little critters, and many of them are nocturnal. Most people know that the kiwi is nocturnal, but did you know that there are many species of insects prefer the dark?

Be careful where you step as the forest floor is home to Kauri snails and weta. As well, 370 different kinds of plants make the forest their home, and three of them are endemic to the area (which means that they are only found in Puketi Forest). The kauri snail is a beautiful snail with its large glossy chocolate brown shell, and can be seen prowling around the forest floor looking for tasty bits to devour. Can you find it below? Can you find all 13 critters in the forest? Click on each one to find out more information about that specific critter.

More About Plants in Puketi Forest

Puketi Forest has a diverse flora. There are 365 plants recorded from the forest and three of them are endemic to the area (i.e. only found there). These are:

  • Davallia "Puketi" (a fern) Davallia tasmanii subspecies cristata is represented on the mainland by a single population restricted to a small site in Puketi
  • Dracophyllum "Puketi" (a woody shrub with grass like leaves)
  • Cortaderia "Puketi" (a low growing pampas like grass)

Little is known about these species and more research is needed.

There are also eight plants that are nationally rare and found in Puketi Forest. These are:

  • Grammitis rawlingsii (a fern)
  • Hebe acutiflora (a woody shrub)
  • Pittosporum virgatum (a slender tree reaching 6-8m high)
  • Bulbophyllum tuberculatum (an epiphytic orchid)
  • Utricularia lateriflora (a bladderwort)
  • Loxsoma cunninghamii (a fern)
  • Colensoa physalloides (a blue flowered shrub, often destroyed by goat browsing)
  • Dactylanthus taylorii (woodrose, a parasitic plant that feeds on other plant's roots)

Did you know? Rosewood (Dactylanthus taylorii) was rediscovered in Puketi in March 2001. It occurs only in New Zealand and is a completely parasitic flowering plant.

A number of plants reach the northernmost limits of their natural range in Puketi Forest. These are:

  • Grammitis rawlingsii
  • Hypolepis laetea (a fern)
  • Brachyglottis myrianthos (a twiggy shrub with fragrant flowers, a type of Rangiora)
  • Viola filicaulis
  • Dactylanthus taylorii (which is pollinated by bats)
  • The uncommon filmy ferns Hymenophyllum armstrongii, H. lyallii, H. atrovirens, H. cupressiforme and Trichomanes strictum are also found in Puketi, as is the Northland endemic shrub Makamaka (Ackama rosifolia).
© 2006 Puketi Forest Trust