Sunday, 31 August 2008

It starts

The fungal season is well underway, and I found a new species for my list on my first little foray of the year. This is the Earth Fan - Thelophora terrestris. It apparently grows in soil, as seen below, but it tends to form tiers in a straightish line, so I think it's on submerged dead wood. The moss is young Pleurozium schreberi.

The Deceiver - Laccaria laccata - is a very common fungus that can be found anywhere from the youngest plantation to the oldest forest. This is its close relative Laccaria proxima. The most obvious difference is the much darker (and more fibrous) stipe, which can just be seen in the shot below. It inhabits mossy and peaty heath, which is exactly where I found it.

The Hoverfly Rhingia campestris has a distinctively large, pointed, snout. I always wondered why until I saw them nectaring in close-up: they have this enormous nectaring tube that folds away for storage. The flower is Devilsbit Scabious.

I also spotted this recently-emerged Angle Shades moth. Newly emerged specimens have the pink and olive markings, slightly older specimens have only shades of orange/rust.

There's a lot going for the next photograph. The Dungfly Scathophaga stercoraria has caught another fly and is consuming it, hidden deep inside the flowerhead of Angelica. I had to use manual focus to get the shot, squeezed through a gap between the framing flowerheads at the front.

I love the newly-formed seeds of the Angelica that act as a platform for the Dungfly.

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