09 November 2014

Plum Woodlouse in Plantasia

There were good numbers of Porcellionides pruinosus (Plum Woodlouse) wandering over the soil and stonework in the hot house at Plantasia today. Greg Jones informs me he's previously only recorded this synanthropic isopod twice in Glamorgan, on both occasions in manure heaps in allotments at Maudlam and at Llanharan. The only other occasion I recall seeing this species was in 1989 when Ian Morgan showed me large numbers of this quick moving woodlouse in the enormous mature heap located by the old farm house where I lived at Tir Morfa, Penclacwydd. Sadly the cows and hence the manure heap along with its associated fauna have long gone from the now abandoned buildings.
Another synanthrope enjoying the hot house climate was the moss Vesicularia vesicularis, which was growing and fruiting abundantly on the small balcony below the waterfall. There's very little information available on line about this species, but it is mentioned as occurring in greenhouses elsewhere.