Monday, April 29, 2013

TQ2897 - an update

I’m well overdue in giving an update. March was horrendous. Until the changeover to BST I was only really get out to see TQ2897 on the weekends and it variously rained or snowed on most of those days, stymieing my efforts and, with the cold weather, also ruining the much hoped for early invertebrates season. It's ramped up tremendously since though and this week I've added a further 20 species.
Most of the square is acid grassland and woodland with a lot of disturbance and trampling, I really had to hunt around for some of these quite common species (I still haven't even found Red Dead-nettle within the square!):

  • Crack Willow
  • Common chickweed
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Charlock
  • Honesty
  • Hairy Bitter-cress
  • Wavy Bitter-cress
  • Creeping Buttercup
  • Field Buttercup
  • Common Groundsel
  • Yarrow
  • Coltsfoot
  • Daisy
  • Lesser Celandine
  • Wood Anemone
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Ivy-leaved Speedwell
  • Sweet Vernal Grass
  • Field Wood-rush

I got working on mosses and liverworts some more in the meantime (nearly all lifers for me):

  • Forked Veilwort, Metzgeria furcata
  • Dilated Scalewort, Frullania dilatata
  • Mueller’s Pouchwort, Calypogeia muelleriana
  • Variable-leaved Crestwort, Lophocolea heterophylla
  • Pellucid Four-tooth Moss, Tetraphis pellucida
  • Common Pocket-moss, Fissidens taxifolius
  • Heath Star-moss, Camypylopus introflexus
  • Silky Forklet-moss, Dicranella heteromalla
  • Wood Bristle-moss, Orthotrichum affine
  • White-tipped Bristle-moss, Orthotrichum diaphanum
  • Crisped Pincushion, Ulota crispa
  • Grey-cushioned Grimmia, Grimmia pulvinata
  • Great Hairy Screw-moss (what a name!), Syntrichia ruralis (ssp. ruralis)
  • Wall Screw-moss, Tortula muralis
  • Bank Haircap, Polytrichastrum formosum
  • Juniper Haircap, Polytrichum juniperinum
  • Capillary Thread-moss, Bryum capillare
  • Cape Thread-moss, Orthodontium lineare
  • Neat Feather-moss, Pseudoscleropodium purum
  • Heath Plait-moss, Hypnum jutlandicum
  • Pointed Spear-moss, Calliergonella cuspidata

I’m still hunting around for the Bonfire Moss, Funaria hygrometrica, which I’ve found elsewhere in the Park but not in my 1ksq yet.

Ulota crispa - cameraphone photo taken through hand-lens

Tetraphis pellucida - with gemmae receptacle


I’m fairly confident I have a fungal tick with Illosporiopsis christiansenii growing on a Physcia sp. I went back to take a second look at it after reading up on it and it definitely had a messy, grainy texture as opposed to the coralline shape of Marchandiomyces corallinus.

  • Cerylon histeroides (small beetle from under pine bark) 
  • Cerylon ferrugineus (another small beetle also under pine bark)
  • A Histerid which I believe is Paromalus flavicornis (a ~2mm beetle found alongside the beetle above.) 
  • Rhizophagus bipustulatus (a bark beetle and also found under pine bark)
  • Harlequin ladybird (also under pine bark)
  • Loricera pilicornis – a fairly common ground beetle; fell out of a tree and dropped right in front of me!  
  • Abax parallelepipedus (a largeish ground beetle)
  • Rhagium mordax - a longhorn beetle
  • Oulema obscura - a leaf beetle
  • Anthocoris nemorum  – a flower bug swept off of holly
  • Common Shore Bug, Saldula saltatoria
  • Balclutha punctata (a leafhopper)
  • Eurysa lineataplanthopper nymph swept from grass
  • Cacopsylla sp. - a psyllid and another annoying complex where the male is needed to ID
  • A tachinid fly that I’m reasonably confident is Gonia picea.
  • Eristalis pertinax
  • Bibio johannis
  • Dyseriocrania subpurpurella (micromoth)
  • Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
  • Red-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius
  • Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum

Rhagium mordax

I’m really looking at these too early for most species but it’s a group I’m unfamiliar with so the practice of getting down to genus has been useful:
  • Amaurobius fenestralis (under birch bark)
  • Pardosa sp. – lots of these running around in the leaf litter right now. All I’ve found is immature males so far.
  • Clubiona sp. – hiding in pine bark.
  • Araniella sp. (with a lovely parasitoid wasp grub nestled between cephalothorax and abdomen right where the spider can’t do a thing about it. Probably Polysphincta tuberosa)
Nature at its cutest.

Also found Aceria ilicis (mite) galls on Quercus ilex nearby so will be hunting for that on the ornamental Holm Oak I’ve been ignoring up till now.

The Mute Swans finally wandered over the square’s border in the lower lake and have popped onto the list. Also Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush (finally), Skylark and Pied Wagtail were new for the patch and 4 buzzards circling within one binocular view were pleasant features of the last weekend’s walk.

And a non-feathered vertebrate! Grass snake, Natrix natrix - very torpid so I got a nice close shot.

Lacking a key to the group, I'll have to leave the death-wish millipede as Polydesmus sp.

I’m now on 193 species (with full species level ID).

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