Winter Stalkball

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 30 January 2011 19:34

Mark Telfer was in town this weekend and we managed to get an hour of natural history in at Woodvale Crematorium in central Brighton. It was a freezing cold but beautiful day and Mark found three things in the cemetery that I had not seen and I was able to return the favour with some chalk-grassland mosses. The big surprise was this scarce fungi, Winter Stalkball Tulustoma brumale. I was showing Mark the spot where, in the autumn, Nick Hunt found the Rugged Oil Beetle Meloe rugosus and Mark spotted several of this unusual little fungus. Howard Matcham pointed out there are only five other records for this in Sussex!
Mark also found a specimen of the tiny but beautiful Ribbed Grass Snail Vallonia costata which was very easy to key out and this tiny woodlouse, Trichonishcus pygmaeus. This individual was under 2 mm long. A great end to the weekend and that puts me on 3070. Mark has also been kind enough to lend me a microscope so I can continue to identify the little things without getting a headache. Only 930 species to go!

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