Citrullus Lanatus, (Afghan, Camel Melon)

Scientific Name: Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai var. lanatus

Citrullus Lanatus, also known as the Afghan melon, bastard melon, bitter apple, bitter melon, camel melon, colocynth, kaffir melon, mickey melon, paddy melon, pie melon, watermelon, white watermelon, wild melon, wild watermelon.


Very closely related to the watermelon which is Citrullus lanatus var. Caffer or Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus. Many people refer to the plant as a paddy melon, but this is a misnomer; the Cucumis myriocarpus (Paddy Melon) has smaller fruit, a denser habit and brighter leaf colour.



Cucumis myriocarpus (prickly paddy melon)

Scientific Name: Cucumis myriocarpus Naudin

Also known as (gooseberry cucumber, gooseberry gourd, paddy melon)

Cucumis is the Latin name for cucumber, a close relative of prickly paddy melon.

Myriocarpus is from the Greek myrias or Latin myrio meaning many and Greek karpos or Latin carpa meaning fruit referring to the abundant fruit production on the plant.

Prickly refers to the soft spines on the fruit. Paddy is of uncertain origin, and is locally attributed to ‘Paddy’ the typical Irishman who grew them believing they were edible.

Cucumis myriocarpus (prickly paddy melon) is often confused with Citrullus lanatus (the Afghan or camel melon) in Australia, where both species are introduced.

Cucumis myriocarpus has many small fruit, hidden under the leaves. The fruit are smaller than a golf ball and yellow-green or green-striped in colour with soft spines, developing to yellow on maturity.

The larger melons commonly seen on roadsides in rural Australia are in fact Citrullus lanatus, a wild relative of the watermelon.

The fruit and foliage are toxic due to the presence of cucurbitacin. The plant is potentially toxic to horses, sheep, cattle and pigs and has been associated with stock deaths.  It has been used by humans as an emetic (induce vomiting) and there are records of poisoning occurring in humans.


Mature fruit

For further information:


Kangaroos are native to Australia and are found in large numbers throughout Western Australia. They are a constant risk along any rural road, including the major highways and main roads, because they are attracted to the road where puddles of water form after rains.

Kangaroos can weigh up to 90 kilograms and if you collide with one, especially at high speed, it may result in loss of control of your vehicle, major vehicle damage, serious personal injury or even death. It is not unknown for struck kangaroos to be thrown up over the bonnet (hood) of a car and crash through the windscreen, severely injuring the occupants.

A sign warning of kangaroos may be placed by the road where there is a known high risk of kangaroos gathering alongside the road or crossing the road at a particular locality. Drivers are advised to take heed of any such sign and slow down, scanning visually from side to side and watch out for any movement from the edges of the road. However kangaroos are so widespread throughout Western Australia that the absence of a warning sign does not mean there is no risk. You must always be vigilant about scanning the road for kangaroos – especially at dusk and dawn.

Kangaroos, like all wild animals, are unpredictable and can move very suddenly and quickly and may be panicked by the sight and sound of a vehicle. They also tend to gather and travel in groups (mobs) and if you see one by the road or on the road, chances are there are others nearby. Do not just focus on the one you have seen.
Kangaroos usually rest during the day and are most active between dusk and dawn. Travelling at high speeds at night on rural roads can significantly increase your risk of colliding with a kangaroo. Where possible, limit your driving to the daylight hours. If you must drive at night, place your headlights on high beam (but dip them for oncoming traffic), reduce your speed and constantly scan the edges of the road. If you see a vehicle in front of you which has slowed or stopped, the driver may have spotted a kangaroo or other hazard – slow down and be prepared to stop.

Pesky bush flies

You could be out in the middle of nowhere and as the days warm up the bush flies come out to annoy you. So where do they come from, why do they pick on me and how long do they live?

Bush flies are first noticeable in October. The numbers rise steeply in November and peak in December.

After the peak, the numbers fall off fast. By the end of January, almost all the bush flies are gone. (This sharp peak and sharp drop-off only happens in the south-west of Australia. In the south-east, the bush flies linger until March.)

What do they eat?

Blood, sweat and tears. (They’ll take blood from wounds — they don’t bite to draw blood.) It’s the protein they are after. They taste with their feet! That’s why they walk all over something before they eat. They also feed on dung, but the females can’t get enough protein from dung to develop their eggs.

This explains why bush flies are such a pest at barbeques. They want the blood and other protein-rich juices in the meat. But at barbeques, they are only looking for something to eat, not for a place to lay eggs. They never lay eggs in meat or in wounds.

And they’re not usually attracted to sugary things like cakes. But they’ll nibble at them if there’s nothing else going.

Their minimum survival needs are for moisture and carbohydrates. These they could get from plants alone. But with this diet, the females wouldn’t get protein to develop their eggs and bush flies would die out.

How long do they live?

In hot weather, they live about a week. In cool weather, two to four weeks. Without water, they only live about a day.

How can you tell males from females?

Look at their eyes. The male’s eyes are close together, almost touching. The female’s eyes are much farther apart.

There are also other ways. The wings of a resting female are almost parallel to her body. In a male, the wings stand out at an angle.
The female’s body is mottled grey all over. In the male, the middle segments of his abdomen are creamy-white or yellow (except a black hourglass pattern on the mid-dorsal line).


Where do bush flies sleep?

Bush flies sleep on vegetation. They keep off the ground. They like to roost on the tips of leaves and twigs. For example, you can often find them roosting on the tips of Spinifex grass.



Source: The fly in your eye