Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 22 October 2012 06:59
Do you remember Nice 'N' Spicy Nik Naks? That's exactly what these little fungi reminded me of. I had a great day at Ebernoe with Jennie looking for fungi. Scarlet Caterpillar Club Cordyceps militaris was one of the target species and there were loads in the churchyard, I walked right past them! On the end of each of these, burried underground, will be a moth pupa (not larva like the different species of Cordyceps from Mill Hill). I'm not sure if this one is host specific or a generalist on moths that burry themselves underground when they pupate. I imagine Large Yellow Underwing would be a good host but many species of noctuid could be candidates. Some of the fungi go a bit wrong and develop some strange protuberances.
Considering the rain, numbers of fungi were very low and we didn't see much else beyond the usual Saffron-drop Bonnets and Garlic Parachutes. I saw this Lapidary Snail on the Brick Kiln, only the second time I have seen this strongly-keeled snail and we also stumbled across the BIGGEST Wild Service Tree I have seen (measurements to follow). I can also recommend the venison at the Stag Inn at Balls Cross. Back to Ebernoe today for work. It's a hard life!