Thursday, 26 August 2010

Very mixed bag

The 14-spot ladybird is very often overlooked: it's much smaller than the common 7-spot, being roughly the same size as a match head (and the same size as the 10-spot).

My last blog entry showed Taphrina alni, a fungus that alters the growth pattern of Alder cones. The Taphrina family is quite large and appears on different trees, always distorting leaves or cones in order to increase the spore-bearing surface area. As soon as I saw this curled leaf-edge on Hawthorn, Taphrina came to the front of my mind, and a quick look at the references revealed Taphrina crataegi:

No previous Irish records.

This is the time of year to examine the flowers of rushes for the tiny larval cases of the Coleophora micromoths:

The fungal season has certainly arrived. I think I'll visit Ards on Sunday. This is the very common Bolbitius vitellinus:

Staying with fungi, this is the very rare Suillus flavidus which I first recorded for Ireland about 5 years ago. It's a Pine associate, and is never found more than a few metres away from its tree:
It looks rather like a smaller and paler version of Slippery Jack (which can often be found close to it, since that is also a Pine associate). The two main identification features are the red jelly ring:
And the large angular spore tubes:
It would be worth checking your Pine trees to see if you can find it.

This Rosy Rustic came to light:
It's very common, presumably due to its very wide range of larval foodplants.


Caroline Gill said...

A fascinating selection. particularly like the ladybird...

acornmoon said...

Rosy Rustic, what a beautiful name!

The Weaver of Grass said...

You have the naturalist's eye for the unusual Stuart - fascinating pictures and information.

Please tell me, I have a feeling I asked you this last year too, what is the 'pincushion blob of fuzz' on the stem of the wild rose - is it gall wasp? If you don't know what I mean and you have time, please look at the photo on my blog today.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to have a herbarium specimen made of the Taphrina crategi infected leaf.

Keep an eye out for Sphaerotheca pannosa a powery mildew on this host.