Bog dwellers

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday 27 August 2010 18:49

Today I have been walking around Iping & Stedham Common setting up some more fixed-point photography and discussing management. We actually saw a surprisingly large number of interesting and scarce invertebrates despite the weather, including the nationally scarce (Nb) Bog Bush-cricket which is abundant on the site. The pale mark on the pronotum does not form a full U-shape like  it does on Roesel's Bush-cricket. I also got close enough to the nationally scarce (Nb) Woodland Grasshopper to see the white palps that are the key ID feature, check 'em out!

Other highlights included Hornet Robber-fly, Slavemaking Ant, ovipositing Black Darters and a Beautiful Yellow Underwing. We had a look at the patch of Bristle Bent too. This is the only bent grass with hair-like leaves (like Wavy Hair-grass) but they are slightly glaucous (I like glaucous things!). This patch, along with Dwarf Gorse, makes up the unusual NVC community H3. Interestingly, this is the only site in Sussex for this smart looking grass (and therefore the NVC community) and it  might be the furthest east this species reaches in the whole country, the main location for this species being the Dorset heaths. An early successional species, on this site constant intervention in the absence of any grazing is needed so this grass is not out-competed by more persistent species like Purple Moor-grass.

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