Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Of slugs and stuff...

Just a quick blitz around the square today before the rain set in. Redpoll finally threw itself at me, a pair at the top of a Silver Birch followed by a flyover bird. Fun times poking inside wet logs revealed 4 Silpha atrata, 3 of the usual black colour and one of the brownish phase. I tried with some bryophytes (I really did...) but only found more of the same from last month, plus another 2 'unknown' mosses which are in pots.

Happily I managed to 100% ID a slug new for me. After a great deal of faffing and hum-hah'ing with a bunch of immature Arions (I left them unidentified in the end) I was happy to discover that the cute looking, nicely marked orangey-brown one with go-faster racing stripes is the Dusky Slug Arion subfuscus. I know this because they don't rock when annoyed, can't contract into a bell shape, tubercules are flattened, sole correct colour etc etc but mostly because they immediately stained my fingertips a dark orange when I handled them!

So the newbies are:

261 - Cladonia coniocraea - Epsom Common
260 - DUSKY SLUG (Arion subfuscus) - common under tree bark, in leaf litter, Epsom Common (LIFER)
259 - Silpha atrata - 4 under loose bark of a rotten log, Epsom Common
258 - Redpoll - 2 in a birch plus a flyover, Epsom Common

That's it for another week though. I see a certain Mr Mullis is catching me up! 

1 comment:

  1. Catching up? Not at the rate I'm having to deduct points for mis-ID's! Three so far .... oops! The great thing about the Challenge though is that it's forcing me to visit places within the square that I've just blatantly ignored over the past twenty years. Like the little stream near my plot and the local churchyard for starters!