12 March 2010

Port Talbot strand line

Some notable features of the strand line in Port Talbot Harbour include a healthy population of Sea Stock (Matthiola sinuata) and the Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus) with its impressive jaws and six-syllable specific name. Try saying that after a few shandies!

The Lesser Stag Beetle is pretty much at the western edge of it UK distribution in West Glamorgan where it appears to be confined to dune systems. This was one of two found under a large log just above the strand line.

Sea Stock has a very restricted distrbution in the UK. It belongs to the Mediterranean-Atlantic element of our flora and away from West Glamorgan occurs only occurs on a small section of the North Devon coast. The very distinctive furry lobed leaves are persitent in winter making it easy to recognise at any time.


Coastcard said...

I think I make that 7 syllables... but I'm no mathematician!

Barry Stewart said...

I'm no scholar of Latin, so let's just say it's got a lot! ;o)

Nigel Ajax Lewis said...

Regardless of the number of syllables in the species name the thing that interests me about this sighting is that the last specimen I was aware of being reported in Glamorgan was one in exactly the same sort of place under a log on the beach at Aberthaw in I think 2006 by Linda Nottage.

Which at the time made me wonder whether the outlying population of Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus recorded in Glamorgan might originate from their larvae arriving inside logs being washed up on the north shore of the Bristol Channel having come from one of their heartlands in Worcestershire or Hereford and been washed down the Severn.

It would also fit with the occasional occurrence of the “proper” Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus in Glamorgan which was found near the shore around Sully on several occasions in the first 10 years of the 1900s and then not seen for the rest of that century to a point when it was about to be removed from the Welsh list when it re-appeared in a garden in Cardiff in about 2001 and may still survive in the North Cardiff woodlands.

Anonymous said...

Interesting thougts Nigel. Last year I found a maximum of 12 parallelipipedus in the same spot under logs on the beach. I note it was also seen at Kenfig in 2003 & 2006 by Rob Davies and at Oxwich in 2009 by Kevin Dupe; all records fitting in with the coastal distribution pattern. Barry

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