19 June 2016

A few more bugs for the BAY-less!

26 May 2016


Another one for any bug lovers who don't get the BAY magazine.

25 May 2016

Fungus at Prior's Wood

I could hardly miss this striking fungus growing on a dying oak yesterday. About 8 inches wide. Can someone give me a name for it please as I'm afraid I don't have any fungi books. Thanks.

15 May 2016

Warty Cavalier

Melanoleuca verrucipes, Glantawe Riverside Park

There's a very interesting suite of fungi that grow on wood-chip (and mulch), many of which are recent additions to the British fungal 'flora'. I've already posted photos of Agrocybe rivulosa (21/1013) which was first recorded in Britain in 2004 and is now quite widespread. The Warty Cavalier (also called Warty Knight) shown here was growing on a wood-chip pile in Glantawe Riverside Park, near Pontardawe. It's new to me and possibly a first record for Wales - I'm sure somebody will know.  It was first identified in Britain in 2000.
Melanoleuca species are often a bit of a nightmare to identify, but this one is relatively easy. It looks a bit like a mushroom, but the slightly decurrent gills are white and remain white (the spores are white) and are not covered in a veil when immature. Mushroom gills go black at maturity when they produce millions of black spores. Also, unlike a mushroom, Warty Cavalier doesn't have a ring on the stipe, but look for the splattering of black scales (see photo below), a very useful distinguishing feature.

Black scales on stipe of Melanoleuca verrucipes

10 May 2016

just a couple of local shots. 2 grasshopper warblers holding territory near Grovesend only a few hundred metres apart.
the second shot is one of two Short eared owls which are still around Llanrhidian marsh showing well upto mid morning

25 April 2016

Andrena labiata Red-Girdled Mining Bee

In my post about Andrena rosae of 18th April I mentioned another confusion species, Andrena labiata, which might not occur on Gower.................... There are several squares with records on NBN gateway. Next day I found one and also remember putting one on here many years ago as a Sphecodes and being corrected by some kind person. I have never looked again at the picture of this bee, from Parkmill, to check. I found this species at Bovehill reserve on north-west Gower and because it was a male it had a white face as you can see:
It is about half the size of rosae and has a different colour and pattern of red:
The face of rosae looks like this, without white and with much longer mandibles:
Can't do much in this arctic cold so here's hoping it warms up again next week when I will continue. At least I can catch up with some jobs including this posting.

19 April 2016

Weird Weed

On an outing to Oxwich in January I found a strange-looking piece of seaweed that went on to baffle all my phycologically-inclined friends. It somewhat resembled Mastocarpus stellatus but the perfect spheres on stalks did not match the more irregularly shaped and unstalked structures of M. stellatus. It has now been identified as Calliblepharis ciliata / Eyelash weed thanks to Kate Lock and Francis Bunker. Fantastic little weed!