18 April 2013

singleton dunes

Yesterday I came across 4 colonies comprising hundreds of Colletes cunicularius in the foredunes between the bridge opposite the university and the bottom of Sketty Lane. I posted an alert to look inland a few days ago, see 4th April, but never expected to see it here. It feeds on Salix repens in the dune slacks but there are no slacks or Salix here, in fact almost nothing nearby at all, does it feed on the willow in the boating lake or some other tree? It's actually a red data book species but is not rare around here because of our dune systems and the numbers are poor compared to the 18,000 estimated here:


I'll leave you to read the other interesting facts there if you want. The males were swarming over the foredunes between the Marram clumps and pouncing on any females they could find. There is a lot of bare(ish) foredune in Swansea Bay including some new dune at Blackpill and the Guildhall, it will be interesting to see if it is there also.


Barry Stewart said...

That's a great discovery Ian, do you think this is a genuine increase in range, or could it be that you're now looking more critically? Whatever, it looks like they may need to rewrite the books! It would be very interesting to find out what species it is feeding on.

i.f.tew said...

n=1! First year I've looked so they may have been there for years. If you look on the link it says that they have been spreading and an infilling behind the leading edge is often the way things go during an expansion.Brownfield sites would also indicate that you don't need to be far off in the wilds especially with species which can use bare ground. What next?