Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New woodland

I was invited to visit a young local deciduous woodland today, and was delighted to find the rare Spathularia flavida, which is a red-book species, threatened with extinction. There were two separate groups, each of around ten specimens:

There are three previous Irish records, from 1918 and 1955.

I have only found Meripileus giganteus on two previous occasions, and in each case the host Beech tree fell after a few days, so I fear for the future of this specimen. The image shows a single specimen about 35 cm wide by 40 cm tall, and there were two more similar specimens spread round other parts of the trunk:
The same tree was host to some very large specimens of the bracket fungus Ganoderma applanatum, so it is bound to die soon either way.

Lactarius lilacinus is another new fungus for me. It was growing under young Oak and Alder and the milk tasted hot after a longish delay:

We took shelter from the rain under an old railway bridge and I spotted this Clausilia bidentata snail climbing the buttress wall:

It doesn't take long for dependent species to find young hosts. This is the mine of the micromoth Stigmella roborella, which I now find on Oaks wherever I look:

A couple of images from last night: I rather like this shot of the Nematus pavidus larva being approached by the parasitic Mesochorus Ichneumonid:

I've labelled that shot 'Go Away!'

And this Acleris laterana micromoth marks a new milestone for my records. That's the 100th micromoth on my patch.

The wide diversity of species found in this young (8 years) deciduous plantation shows how quickly biodiversity can increase with careful and correct (native) planting.

1 comment:

Caroline Gill said...

A great selection. The snail is extraordinary!