Southern Marsh Orchids

Southern Marsh Orchids

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Help with Harvestman

While turning over logs, on Sunday; searching for slime moulds, I came across this harvestman. It was very obliging, allowing me to get a few photos of it. Looking through my FSC guide to harvestmen, the only species which seems to have those swollen, hairy pedipalps is Sabacon viscayanum ramblaianum. Judging by the LERC data access tool, it seems to be quite widespread in Glamorgan. Am I correct in my identification?

Friday, 22 July 2016

Hungry Caterpillar 21/07/2016

I thought that nothing ate buddleia until yesterday when I found Two caterpillers eating a bush I was cutting out in a customers garden, a cracking caterpillar The Mullein.

May have to wait 4 years to see the adult!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Tabanus sudeticus

This was sitting on the bonnet of the car yesterday afternoon. I only managed to get 3 shots before a gust of wind disturbed it and it flew away. About an inch long and 'solid' looking. Never seen one before but with those abdominal markings it can't be anything other than Tabanus sudeticus ... can it?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Bee with no abdomen ...

Found this little bee wandering around on the decking - looked odd and then I saw it had no abdomen! It didn't seem able to fly - well it didn't fly away when I blew on it, just walked away.

I assume something ate the tasty bit (?) and left the rest ....

Never seen anything like this before, although there are a few items on the internet. Anybody else?

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Roath Park 08/07/2016

Took a walk around Roath Park yesterday looking for ringed gulls (found Two) and noticed there were alot of Canada`s about, counted 190 on the first circuit and 205 on the second. There were alot around Caerphilly castle moat on Thursday although I did not count them.

There is a possibility they are moving between the Two sites. I had 47 at Parc Cwm Darran on Sunday with at least 20 of them being this years young. Are they becoming the new Harlequin?

Friday, 8 July 2016

Another Andromeda Lacebug!

Bizarrely I was just about to post about this species when I noticed Howard had beaten me to it! I found this one on 15th June in Llandaff North. It was actually on a potted cypress and I didn't see any Pieris nearby - but I'm sure there would have been some not too far away.

The scientific name, Stephanitis takeyai, hints at the Japanese origin of this lacebug. It was first recorded in the UK in 1999 but is evidently spreading rapidly. Yet another insect to arrive with the horticultural trade.

The LERC Wales Data Tool shows only one record for Wales, as Howard has mentioned, also in the 10km square ST17. I contacted Jim Flanagan, the national recorder for plantbugs & allies,  who confirmed he didn't have any Welsh records on his database, though he did have 15 records from England.

Andromeda Lacebug

Found a lot of these on a pieris plant in the garden this morning. Unmistakably an Andromeda Lacebug which, on checking on the LERC Wales Data Access Tool, would be only the second record for Wales - the other being in Cardiff.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Damp and Dingy

I spent a few hours on Sunday, poking around the upper parts of my Cwmbach. One of the sites I visited was the wooded approach to the western portal of the Merthyr/Aberdare railway tunnel (disused), where on a rotting oak log, in a damp and shaded part, I found several of these fairly large, slow moving springtails. While not 100% certain, I am nevertheless pretty sure it is Alacma fusca.

Nearby, on a moss covered sallow trunk, I noticed these Lacehoppers, which appear to be Cixius cunicularius (now confirmed as such by Alan Stewart, the national recorder for Homoptera); a local species, found in damp woodland, often near streams.

Cixius cunicularius

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

garden visitors

Quite a few interesting visitors to the garden recently, including hedgehogs and common frogs. I see, or hear, the hedgehogs most nights but the frogs are seldom seen, and I have seen at least two individuals.

The wasps appear to be back! I have seen a few individuals but not close enough to identify. However, this stunning Ruby-tailed Wasp appeared on the window this afternoon, the colours were gleaming in the sunshine.

Lots of Honey Bees and Buff-tailed Bumblebees around the flower beds, but recently I have seen regular visits from what I believe to be Megachile sp bees. The images are of two individuals on separate days

This pair of tipulids were seen on the side door into the garage - could they be Nephrotoma flavipalpis?

A couple of bugs seen on some failing Shasta Daisies. Plagiognathus arbustorum and Lygocoris pabulinus (with another P. arbustorum). Not sure of my 'bugs' but fairly confident on the IDs

 This week also saw the return of the leafhoppers that I noticed for the first time last year. I counted 16 Eupteryx decemnotata on the leaves of a single stem of mint yesterday.

A varied selection of species which enrich the garden with their visits.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Cold Case Fungus

Following a recent exchange of emails with Emma Williams, on the subjects of Slime Moulds and Zygomycete fungi, I was reminded of something I found back in 2012. I was photographing some caps of Panellus serotinus, which were growing on a rotten Sallow log, when alongside them, I noticed a strange looking organism. A closer look and it appeared to be a withered fruiting body of P. setotinus, with lots of fine, branching filaments radiating from it and giving it a spiny appearance.

After photographing it I carried on with the Panellus and found another shrivelled cap, with the same fungus growing on it. I sent the photos to Mervyn Howells, who concluded, as I had, that it was a microfungus of some sort and because I wasn't into microfungi then, so it was left at that, but now, I really want to know what it might be. I have searched online, using all the combinations of search terms I can think of, and found nothing remotely like it, so I am posting the images here, in the hope that someone can give me a poke in the right direction.

I seem to recall that it reappeared the following autumn, so this autumn, I will check it out and if it is still there, I will collect a specimen for microscopic examination.