Monday, January 15, 2018

Dalgety Bay - Filthy scum!

Nothing could be more delightful than coming across a fast running stream with a catchpoint full of filthy, frothy scum!

That is, when you have Ingold in your library...

Ingold treats the delightful creatures that are aquatic hyphomycetes and aquatic hyphomycete spores are nothing if not weird and wonderful. They grow on submerged leaves and release their spores downstream. These spores then get caught up in the bubbles of the scum and wait for me to scoop them into a pot and stick them under a microscope (that's what they're doing, right?). Do it quick, though, because if they settle on anything - like the bottom of the pot - they will start to grow and you won't get them under the lens. Best to put the bubbles straight onto the microscope slide. You can fix them by adding alcohol to the mix, which stops them from growing, but I haven't tried this. Here are some of these beauties...

Tetracladium setigerum - my fave, but not from this square

Alatospora acuminata - "flapping bird" - the most common

Tetracladium marchalianum - note family resemblace

Not sure yet, but we live in hope ... (Clavariopsis aquatica!)
Apart from that fun and frolics (two drops, half an hour, 5 species) the weekend went swimmingly with more exploration of the marshy, boggy wonder that is Ross Plantation and a good helping of routine birds finally getting on board. If anyone wants to play with froth but lacks Ingold I'm happy to name anything obvious from photos. The book isn't that big and ID for some of them is really, really obvious.

(EDIT! Lookie here! I found an online key. No idea how good it is, but it looks like it ought to work: AQUATIC HYPHOMYCETE KEY)

One thing's for certain - I'm benefitting from last year's exercise as I can quickly check species that were new to me last year. Including this coastal Halorates reprobus I found under a rock at the edge of the bay.

So here we are at 242, and the last ten ...

232 fungus Xylaria polymorpha Dead Man's Fingers
233 lichen Lecanora chlarotera A lichen
234 moss Plagiothecium undulatum Waved Silk-moss
235 liverwort Pelia epiphylla Overleaf Pellia
236 coleoptera Leistus rufomarginatus A ground beetle
237 fungus Brachysporium masonii A hyphomycete
238 diptera Crumomyia nitida A lesser dung fly
239 diptera Thoracochaeta zosterae A lesser dung fly
240 bird Sturnus vulgaris Starling
241 lichen Candelariella vitellina A lichen
242 fungus Stereum gausapatum A fungus


  1. Fantastic! Seriously, I've never ever even heard of an aquatic hyphomycete before! Amazing! Plenty of scum locally (except that particular pub is outside of my square)Gonna go peruse that key, I may be pinging you some pics! :D

  2. It might be the hyphomycete that finally make me get a decent microscope! What sort of magnification were your photos taken at?