Saturday, March 30, 2013

Forcipular coxosternite fun!

Left it a bit late, but managed half an afternoon wandering around the square. Only a couple of brief snow flurries, none of it settled and at one point...wait for it...the sun came out!!! Then went back in again.

Most of the action pertained to log-turning exercises. Plenty of slugs (many of which I studiously prodded, turned over, checked the sole colour, rubbed the slime and then put back again - still none the wiser) and the usual centipedes/millipedes/woodlice. I potted a couple of centipedes that looked a bit different and a few millipedes too. Back indoors I keyed them all out and added Lithobius piceus (that's a goodun, I think. Texts say it is pretty much restricted to woodland in Surrey/Sussex/Hampshire), Lithobius forficulatus and the new millipede was Allajulus nitidus.

I (rather hopefully!) lifted a reptile tin and discovered a group of ants on the underside. They keyed out very easily to Jet Black Ant (concave rear of head, round spiracle etc) which is another newly identified species for me, although I've seen them before.

Last new species today was a fungus on Cow Parsley leaves, Protomyces macrosporus. It causes little blisters and bumps on the fresh leaflets. There are a couple more fungi that occur on Cow Parsley so I shall keep checking. Loads of white spots on Lesser Celandine leaves were Entyloma ficariae, first seen a couple of weeks back and now really starting to become prevalent on several patches of the hostplant.

So, today's additions:

357 - Nalassus laevioctostriatus (a darkling beetle) seen last week but just identified (LIFER)
358 - Protomyces macrosporus - (a fungus) growing on Cow Parsley leaves (LIFER)
359 - Great Willowherb - leaves coming through all over the place
360 - Cormorant - 1 overhead
361 - Common Toad - 1 small individual under a log. About time too!
362 - Jet Black Ant Lasius fuliginosus - colony under tin sheet in grassy area (LIFER)
363 - Lithobius piceus (a centipede) - 1 under a log, whacking long antennae (LIFER)
364 - Lithobius forficulatus (a centipede) - several under logs
365 - Allajulus nitidus (a millipede) - 1 under a log

Tomorrow I'm otherwise engaged and then it's straight back to work on Monday. So that's it for another week :(


  1. Morning...

    Apparently we have Lithobius piceus here in South Wales. I've searched high and low, as yet to find the beast.

    Did you rule out Formica lemani/fusca for the ant. The spiracle can often look round on these, i've been fooled a few times. I often find them in the way you have. Only time i've come across Lasius fuliginosus is in an old tree stump which seems to be one of their preferred nesting sites...

    If you need any help with the slugs, i'd be happy to help.

    Regards Chris...

  2. Hmmm...I'll go back to the ants within the next week or so and double check the initial ID. Formica lemani has yet to be recorded from Surrey but F.fusca is commonplace (and the habbo possibly seems better for this than L.fuliginosa?)Thanks for the heads-up, I'm a complete novice regards ants so all hints and tips greatly appreciated (and needed!)

    About the slugs...can I just post them all to you, lol :D