Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 15 February 2011 18:54

I went to Filsham Reedbed today and all the work that has been done there over the winter looks great. A miserable day though and I saw very little wildlife. This woody cigar-shaped swelling on a Common Reed stem, as far as I know, is the gall of the fly Lipara lucens and is known as a cigar gall (I find it hard to say cigar gall  without it sounding like cigargoyle!). I think it is the only species that produces this particular type of gall on reed. I have never seen the fly but there is a grub inside that woody cigar somewhere. They seem to be common in all the reedbeds I have been in but I know next to nothing about galls. The FSC book 'British Plant Galls' is really good and I'm itching to use it more this summer.
I also found this small (c4 mm) carabid which keyed out quite easily to Bembidion biguttatum. It was hiding in some fallen deadwood, it's associated with water and damp grassland and is quite common apparently. Sorry for the rubbish photo. I struggle with Bembidions, there are lots of  similar species but this one seemed very straight forward. Now, I'm hoping for some decent weather tomorrow!

4 Response to "Cigargoyles"

Steve Gale Says:

Graeme, do you access most of your invertebrate keys from the internet? Cheers, Steve

Lucy Corrander : Photos Says:

'Cigargoyles' is a brilliant name. I live near reeds but have not noticed any. I'll look out for them now.


Graeme Lyons Says:

I spend a fortune buying texts. I had to give my self a limit of £50 a month. There is so much out there though that is not in the books though, it would take a life time just to put a good library together! How about you?

Steve Gale Says:

I'm only just getting to the point where keys for 'obscure' groups are needed. Up until now most of my interests have been catered for (birds, plants, moths). The fun starts here...

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