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Yet More Species

Saturday, March 17th 2018

Last year was a bumper year for recording new species, 65 in all.  Already we have added Little Egret and the White-legged Snake Millipede this year.  Another fungus has also been noted, Rusty Porecrust, found growing on the underside of bark of a fallen tree. A good start to our species year.

There are also two species that we are going to check in the late summer as we want confirmation that our ID, from photographs, is correct.  Taphrina padi is a fungus that induces a gall on the fruits of Bird Cherry, whilst Taphrina pruni is the gall that forms on Blackthorn berries.

Looking through the records we came across the moth Plain Clay.  On checking the ID with C Fletcher, the VC65 Moth recorder, his reply was as follows - 'It’s surprising that it’s never been caught before at Foxglove though you’re right at the north part of the range. I enclose a map showing you how your record fits into the known range.' 

Map showing distribution of Plain Clay

Reported larval food plants include Primrose, Cowslip, Common and Sheep's Sorrel, Common Nettle and stitchworts. It is a rather distinctive looking moth.

Plain Clay

Our Species List, notes and our photographic records give us indications of the changes through the years.  No two years are the same.  Our wanderings on Wednesday had us searching for Coltsfoot, to no avail.  Last year, it was recorded on 15th March.

Coltsfoot

Along with Celandine, correctly called Lesser Celandine.

Lesser Celandine

With snow forecast for the weekend and low night temperatures for at least the next week we are going to have to be patient before we see the return of the spring flora.

Searching for some summer photos did have my thoughts wandering, yet again, to sunshine and warm temperatures.  Zig-zag Clover is a good feeding station for bees.

Zig-zag Clover

Foxgloves stand tall across the reserve and provide food for many insects, particularly the bees.  It still amazes me that each flower has a different pattern of dots.

Bee in Foxglove Flower

Carefully hidden away under leaves the Cucumber Spider is one of my many favourites, green with a red bottom!

Cucumber Spider


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