Saturday, 28 September 2013

Fungal foray to Banagher Glen

Banagher Glen is a mature woodland on sloping river banks. Deep shade and high humidity, along with mature broadleaf trees, make an ideal environment for fungi: the first specimens were immediately visible at the edge of the car park.

Lactarius torminosus was the first of many species of Lactarius found on the day. It is a Birch associate and is easily identified by the woolly cap:

Lactarius torminosus
We also found the very early stages of Clavaria acuta, at about 2 cm. tall:

Clavaria acuta, just emerging
The majority of the mature trees were Oak, Beech and Hazel, all of which have their own Lactarius species. I found the Hazel associate Lactarius pyrogalus which, as its name suggests, has very fiery milk:

Lactarius pyrogalus
New to my Species Index.

When I first saw this little orange mushroom, my first reaction was 'Waxcap':

Lactarius aurantiacus
But on flipping it over, the close gills and milk revealed that it was clearly a tiny (20 mm.) Lactarius.

New to my Species Index.

We also found many huge specimens of  Lactarius chrysorrheus under Oak:

Lactarius vellerus
New to my Species Index.

Another new species for me was Russula betularum, under Birch:

Russula betularum
New to my Species Index.

Because I'm always searching for fungal rusts, I often find other species on leaves. These are the leaf galls of the asexual stage of Neuroterus quercusbaccarum on Oak:

Galls of  Neuroterus quercusbaccarum on Oak
I also found this specimen of the Dung Beetle Geotrupes stercorarius:

Dung Beetle - Geotrupes stercorarius

Tomorrow I'll show the larvae and leaf miners that I found.

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