Monday, 14 July 2014

Large Heaths and Beautiful Demoiselles in south Cumbria

June 16, 2014:

Large Heath on raised bog

Beautiful Demoiselle on Water Crowfoot

Small Blues and orchids on the north Cumbrian coast

June 14, 2014:

Pyramidal Orchid

Bee Orchid

Hybrid: Northern Marsh Orchid x Common Spotted Orchid

Whixall Moss, Shropshire

June 11, 2014 at Whixall Moss

White-faced Darters at Whixall Moss, a well-know site for this scarce British species

Four-spotted Chasers were frequent here

South Cumbria Spring butterflies

May 14, 2014:
Green Hairstreak at Foulshaw

Orange-tip at Foulshaw

Duke of Burgundy on Whitbarrow

Dingy Skipper on Whitbarrow

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Cyprus - other invertebrates

April 29-May 5, 2014:
Many of the invertebrates were suffering because of the drought but a few found are shown here.
Crocothemis erythraea, male - Fassouri reed beds
Decticus albifrons - Ayia Varvara
Humming-bird Hawkmoth - Nikoklea
Oedipoda cf. miniata - Kidassi
Phoenicolacerta troodica -Polis
Volucella zonaria - Nikoklea

Cyprus butterflies

April 29-May 5, 2014:
Not having had any rain during he winter everywhere was very dry and the dragonflies and orthoptera had especially suffered with numbers very low. Butterflies were reasonably frequent and several species were seen.
Brown Argus at Smygies
 Clouded Yellow - Polis
Cyprus Meadow Brown - Polis
Eastern Dappled White - Kensigton Cliffs
Grass Jewel, the smallest European butterfly at Kedares
Hermit - near Anarita
Long-tailed Blue - Smygies and Aspro dam
Lulworth Skipper - Kouklea
Millet Skipper near Kouklea
Swallowtail near Kouklea

Monday, 31 March 2014

Early Spring plants

March 2014: Some of the scarcer Spring plants are now in flower. By rivers in Wensleydale and south Cumbria, Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem (Gagea lutea) has now come into flower as has the parasitic Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria) which grows on the roots of hazel and other shrubs. Some photos of each are below.
Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem in south Cumbria
Toothwort by the River Kent

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Earth-stars (Geastrum triplex) in Cumbria

December 2013:
A small deciduous coppice close to the waxcap site (mentioned earlier) in northern Cumbria had the Collared Earth-star (Geastrum triplex). These spectacular fungi, whilst widespread in Britain, are also quite scarce. As the fruiting bodies develop in the autumn, an outer covering initially protects the rounded fruiting sac inside but on maturity this opens out forming a series of retracted rays to reveal the inner sac. As rain falls on the newly exposed sac or the wind disturbs it, spores are released through the central orifice. A pale area around the orifice helps to distinguish it from species of other similarly-sized earth-star. These were found in leaf litter and are not easy to see initially.

Prior to opening

Rays now expanded

Rare fungi in Cumbria

October 2014:
A small area of old unimproved grassland east of Penrith had two especially rare fungi: Clavaria zollingeri and Hygrocybe calyptriformis. Both of these species are considered to be endangered with Britain holding more than half the world population of the latter. At least twelve species of waxcap (Hygrocybe spp.) were recorded at the site including the commoner H. psitticanus (Parrot Waxcap) which possesses a greenish colouration which, unusual in fungi.

Clavaria zollingeri
Hygrocybe calyptyriformis
Hygrocybe psitticanus