Swap Shop

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 26 October 2013 09:09

Thanks to a tip off by Steve Gale I was luck enough to catch up with yet another novelty alien fungus up in Surrey, the Red Cage Clathrus ruber. It was however already way beyond its best and was looking a little deflated by yesterday morning. Not all that different to the closely related actor Nicolas Cage Clathrus crapactor, also beyond his best, here he is expressing joy at discovering a rare leaf-miner on the set of the latest David Lynch film, 'Pan-species Listing: The Movie'. Early reviews suggest Cage's performance is lacklustre and that he wasn't even looking AT the leaf in this scene! 

Anyway, I met up there with Seth Gibson and as we both had the day off work, we headed into the field to see all manor of interesting things. We went back to the Aseroe site, as Seth hadn't been over to look at the freaky Starfish Fungi of which we saw many, including this one that was just opening up. It didn't smell at all compared to the ones I saw last week. I agree that Anemone Fungi works better.

Whilst trying to identify a webcap (as if!), I stumbled upon a fungus which was a tick for both of us. The rather smart Earpick Fungus that grows out of decomposing pine cones. Once you get your eye in there are loads there.

Seth is really good on leaf miners, an area of natural history I am ashamed to say I have not really ventured into. Seth showed me this Stigmella tityrella mine on Beech. You can see the larvae still feeding at the end of the mine. I can't believe this is the first Stigmella I have ticked! With very little effort, I saw four new moths, all very common. This is a vast reservoir of species that I am now a little more inspired to access. Thanks Seth!

We also found lots of the alien Girdled Snail which was a new one for me.

And this common but distinctive millipede was also a tick being Nanogona polydesmoides.

I must do more of this sort of thing. So far Seth added 10 new species from the day and I added 11 which I guess is about even. I ended the day on 4559 species. It's good for making me aware of how much stuff I miss right under my nose! I'll happily host next time somewhere in Sussex anytime any of the listers fancy a day out and I'm free!

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