Monday, February 25, 2013

Trent Park update

Woops, I’ve kept intending to write something and then not made the time for it. I’ve probably made the most gains in arthropods and mosses. So here’s what I’ve been looking at:

Vascular plants
  • Common Polypody
  • Broad Buckler Fern
  • Broom
  • Dovesfoot Cranesbill
  • Goat Willow
  • Bulrush
Non-vascular plants
  • Bifid crestwort, Lophocolea bidentata
  • Common Feather-moss, Kindbergia praelonga
  • Rough-stalked Feather-moss, Brachythecium rutabulum
  • Long-beaked Water Feather-moss, Platyhypnum riparioidesgrowing on the rocks in the stream between the two ponds
  • Common Smoothcap, Atrichum undulatumReally distinctive now I know what I’m looking for.
  • Springy Turf-moss, Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus – Also very distinctive with a star-shaped tip to the shoots
  • Cypress-leaved Plait-moss, Hypnum cupressiforme
Bifid Crestwort (the deeper green stuff on the left), I didn't ID the stuff on the right
but it looks like more Kindbergia praelonga

-Some sort of Marchantia but I wasn’t able to ID it in field and too small a piece to be happy taking a bit of it.
-What I think is Cape Thread-moss but will look for it again later in the spring when it should have capsules

  • Oakmoss, Evernia prunastri
  • Physcia tenella

  • Exidia glandulosa
  • Stereum hirsutum
  • Bracken Map fungus, Rhopographus filicinus – I don’t think this species has been mentioned on this blog yet but it’s an incredibly easy tick if you have old bracken on your square. Check a few stems and you should come across a pretty pattern of black splotches like below:
Bracken Map fungus

  • Hawthorn Shieldbug, Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale
  • Anchomenus dorsalis (a very pretty ground beetle)
Yet to find occupied mines of Stigmella aurella or Phytomyza ilicis despite seeing lots of them.

Hawthorn Shieldbug

Other arthropods
  • Pill millipede, Glomeris marginata
  • A large-ish springtail – Pogonognathellus longicornis
  • A distinctively banded springtail - Orchesella cincta
…and some other springtails I couldn’t work out but will have a bash next time now I know about the provisional key.
  • Diaea dorsata (spider overwintering in birch stump)
A juvenile female Philodromus sp. which was probably P. dispar but I can’t be sure

Oribatid mites look interesting; mainly because of their neat protective pteromorphs (wing-like structures that curve around the sides of the body) which they pull their legs into when they drop out of mosses under my microscope. I’m not sure I have the light and magnification necessary to do them justice. Also the only literature I’ve found is from 1888(!) which is a shame.

  • Rabbit. Thanks to the dog presence and being too lazy for dawn-time visits it’s taken over a month for me to spot a rabbit on site despite the amount of droppings about.
  • Pheasant
  • Dunnock
  • Mistlethrush
  • Common Gull

All in all that's 113 species so far. I'm surprised at how much I'm getting into the mosses but I'm really looking forward to warmer weather and more arthropods.

1 comment:

  1. Great tip on the Bracken fungus Rob - just walked across the road and it was on the first bit of Bracken I came to.