Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 30 March 2014 11:37

"In astrophysics, spaghettification (sometimes referred to as the noodle effect) is the vertical stretching and horizontal compression of objects into long thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong non-homogeneous gravitational field, and is caused by extreme tidal forces. In most extreme cases, near black holes, the stretching is so powerful that no object can withstand it, no matter how strong its components."

Yesterday Mike Edwards and I set up a new invertebrate survey at our land holdings at Burton Pond, one of the areas we surveyed was the infamous Black Hole, the only reserve I am slightly frightened of going into. Instead of a singularity, it's full of deep pools in among sphagnum, Tussock-sedge and Cranberry. So no spaghettification occurred other than to my brain, as I was physically and mentally exhausted afterwards. It's quite hard to get about in there and the whole experience is punctuated by moments where you think you are going down a deep hole followed by the relief it's not that deep after all. Yesterday we didn't get too wet but we did get a good list of invertebrates, the highlight for me so far was the ground bug Pachybrachius fracticollis and loads of water beetles from the sphagnum filled pools, which are yet to be identified.

At New Piece, an area of sphagnum and wet heath that is much easier to walk through, I finally caught up with Heather Shieldbug Rhacognathus punctatus (above). Considering how much time I spend sweeping on heathlands, I am surprised it has took so long. The funny thing is I didn't find it by sweeping. I sieved from a clump of sphagnum!

I swept a reed beetle from the edge of Burton Pond which turned out to be the Nb Plateumaris affinis. This area is known to be very good for reed beetles. I only managed a poor photo. I better get on with these identifications, 85 species identified from yesterday so far. I believe this will be a very rich survey and might throw up a few surprises...

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