Sand rocking

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 21 April 2011 19:19

Wow what a day, I just tallied up all the firsts and I added 13 species to my list today (with a LOT of help from Howard Matcham). We went to Wakehurst Place to look at the vegetation that grows on sandrock cliffs. There are some pretty rare liverworts (I saw five new ones day) that show a relict distribution in the Weald where their main stronghold is the north west. This includes this rather fancy (it's glaucous!) liverwort, Calypogeia integristipula. Here it is again with gemmae.
This is also a real rarity, we saw what is most likely to be the vast majority of this liverwort that exists in south east England, Harpanthus scutatus.
Perhaps the most abundant moss on the rocks after the common Mnium hornum is Tetraphis pellucida.
Here is Howard investigating a tiny patch of green on a huge rock. It's amazing how someone elses expertise appears so effortless to them, I'm lucky to be able to spend time in the field at a leisurely pace (I wasn't working today) with such a great botanist!
Not far from there we noticed this HUGE patch of Tunbridge Filmy-fern riding out the hot weather unscathed.
If you think I wasn't keeping an eye on the invertebrates today, you'd be wrong! I caught up with this smart little harvestman Megabunus diadema. Check out his eye-spikes, like a cowboy's  stirrups. However, the thing that got me really excited was an amazing black and red bug called Corizus hyoscyami but I didn't get a photo!
So, all in all I have added 5 liverworts, 2 fungi, an algae, a moss, a moth, a bug, a fly and a harvestman leaving me on 3264! Watch out Martin Harvey I am closing in on you!

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