Saturday, 28 December 2013

Diary - 27th December

27th Dec - Reserve overlook

New species add - Dicronella heteromalla, Silky Forklet-moss, to Bryophytes

Growing on the base of the pine in cpt 6. Quite a distinctive leaf. Sure I have pictures of these species in situ, which I'll have to track down later. In this species the 3mm of this leaf is almost entirely nerve with just a couple of "wings" at the base.

Dicronella heteromalla, Silky Forklet-moss

New species add - Sanionia uncinata, Sickle-leaved Hook-moss to Bryophytes

Originally Hypnum uncinatum (Hedwig) which looks a pretty decent shout, then Drepanocladus uncinatus even until Watson (1985?), but now the less-easy-to-remember Sanionia uncinatus. Maybe once you know why it's easier to remember, but at least it's distinctive, even if the BBS field guide key is wrong - describes the leaf as circular with a 3mm diameter, when it must mean circumference since the species page says leaf length is 3mm (1 x pi). This matches what I have, so I'm assuming the species page is the correct reading.

Sanionia uncinata, Sickle-leaved Hook-moss

Friday, 27 December 2013

New species add - Tortula Muralis, Wall Screw-moss to Bryophytes

On the wall tops between the road/car park area and the adjacent field

Tortula muralis, Wall Screw-moss

New species add - Jew's ear, Auricularia auricula-judae

One of my favourite fungi, which I stumbled into at Cullaloe today while looking for mosses

Auricularia auricula-judae, Jew's ear

Monday, 23 December 2013

Species add - Orthotrichum affine, Wood Bristle-moss

On trees near the small pond, this moss forms small rounded tufts with capsules (long senescent) barely, if at all, reaching beyond the top leaves.

Orthotrichum affine, Wood Bristle-moss

Species add - Common Jellyspot, Dacrymyces stillatus, to Fungi

Also found yesterday (22nd) on a brief tour, some Common Jellyspot (Dacrymyces stillatus)

Dacrymyces stillatus, Common Jellyspot

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Smelly bonnet day - Iodine and Lilac Bonnet

Smelling respectively of iodine and radish, it was an olfactory fungus day at Cullaloe. The Lilacs (Mycena pura) were in a loose scattering under a tree between the small pond and the road. The Iodine was under the pines in cpt6.

Mycena Pura, Lilac Bonnet


Species add - Polyporus brumalis, Winter Polypore, to Fungi

After a week away on the west coast out of internet range, a trip to scarecely visited parts of Cullaloe this morning turned up an interesting fungus -

Polyporus brumalis, Winter Polypore

This fruit is very hard and rubbery, and difficult to cut!Might have to switch from penknife to razorblade to take an internal shot

Friday, 13 December 2013

Crazy Lichen

Lots of funky looking lichens I don't even have time to look into yet. Maybe not even during 2014, althuogh I will probably acquire a field guide. This cracker though may or may not be a Peltigera species, based on photos seen elsewhere. Surrounded by Pseudoscleropodium purum here, it seems to "float" on a bed of moss, with no actual substrate (is the substrate moss?)

(The moss is, of course, Rhytidiadelpus squarrosus - thanks to SB for pointing out the error. I knew what it was, but the name got lost in translation!)

New species add - Calypogeia muelleriana, Mueller's Pouchwort to Bryophytes

With one unidentified liverwort still to go and numerous unidentified mosses, here's the 26th for the list - the splendidly overlapped Mueller's Pouchwort - Calypogeia muelleriana. It looks a lot like P.fissa, but that species has notched leaves and different underleaves. Not that I've got a good look at the underleaves yet though.

Calypogeia muelleriana, Mueller's Pouchwort

BBS Field Guide page

Thursday, 12 December 2013

New pic add - Brown Centipede, Lithobius forficatus

A change of pace. Back to the Animalia with ...

Lithobius forficatus, Brown Centipede


Diary 9-15th December

11th Dec
A trip between the ponds uncovered a bryophyte store and some new fungi. Also some views of the reserve I haven't had before (or don't remember). The weather has been mild - above ten degrees for a couple of days. Most greenery has gone now leaving various shades of brown

Wee pond
Big pond from its western "shore"

The counts continue to rise, with bryophytes featuring well, and a few other bits and bobs, including a Brown Centipede from under some bark in cpt6. Also a rise in invertebrate numbers since I received a list containing about 40 new entries (GC), and a couple of new Odonata (GB). for the first time the invertebrate list has gone above that of vascular plants. Not plants altogether, although that day will surely come.

Mine Total Photo New
Vertebrate - Birds 119 135 57 4
Vertebrate - Other 10 16 3 3
Invertebrate - Lepidoptera 35 78 30 41
Invertebrate - Other 22 262 20 43
Plants - Vascular 117 248 112 15
Plants - Bryophytes 20 26 20 13
Fungi 24 25 24 25
Lichens 4 4 4 4

351 794 270 148

Bryophyte bonanza!

Gone are the days when I could see four new species of bird on the reserve in one day (or year), but yesterday at lunchtime I spent five minutes exploring an out of the way spot - a banking beside the wee pond - and came up with four new bryophytes. Who knows what else is there! The first thing that caught my eye was a banking of Atrichum undulatuim - Catherine's Moss. But as I was taking a sample I spotted an old tree stump which had been colonised by some interesting greenery.

First up was a fat thalloid liverwort which turned out to be Pellia epiphylla. This is a very common liverwort in the UK and our only monoecious one apparently. The "lady parts" (archegonia) are readily visible towards the tips in the large photo, and the male parts are discernible further up on the midrib on closer inspection (see micro photo further down).

Second on the tree stump was a patch of diaphanous Rhizomnium punctatum - Dotted Thyme-moss. Presumably the "dotted" epiphet comes from the male parts, none of which I saw (yet), but I really don't know. I never saw any dots. Just a nice paddle-like leaf with a nerve stretching to not quite the tip and a healthy helping of (untoothed) border.

Lastly, and only noticed at home, was a tiny leafy liverwort clinging to the big thalloid one. I think at the moment that it's Lophocolea heterophylla - Various-leaved Crestwort, but I'm still looking into it.

The double-toothed Atrichum undulatum
Smorgasbord, with Mnium hornum for good measure

Atrichum undulatum - so many teeth the leaf margins can't contain them

Pellia epiphylla - the male parts further up the plant on the midrib

Rhizomnium punctatum - cute pointy bit on the leaf tip (I forgot its proper name for the moment), and the smooth fat-bordered margin

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

New species add - Neobulgaria pura, Beech Jellydisc

Neobulgaria pura, Beech Jellydisc

Roger's Mushrooms page


Cullaloe Centipedes

A centipede find at lunchtime prompted a quick review of recorded species. Only 4 species are on the invertebrate list in the management plan. They are:

Geophilus insculptus
Necrophloeophagus flavus
Lithobius crassipes
Lithobius forficatus

The one I have in captivity could be the last one, but its ID is not straightforward apparently. I don't know what it needs to separate it from what yet.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A bit more on the genus Hypnum

Digging around last night in the BBS field guide and Watson revealed some interesting info. At the time of Watson 3rd edition H.cupressiforme was kind of an aggregate, with numerous listed varieties. It was apparent from the text that even at that time Smith (at least) had been teasing these out into species level. Some varieties I'm not sure what happened to, whereas others seem to have made it to full species status by the time of the Field Guide - resupinatum and lacunosum jump out. I will get Smith some time and have a fuller picture. This morning I can't see lacunosum in the Field Guide contents. Maybe I have a different edition from the one online or I made some bleary-eyed transcription error in the wee small hours (No! page exists, index entry H.vaucheri - confusing)

There are 12 Hypnum spp. in the Field Guide, and it's a good form to be familiar with in a world where ID is often tricky - "plait-mosses".The "vanilla" cupressiforme is a beautiful plant, but some of the other varieties are really nice too, especially the golden ones. This is the king of them imho: Hypnum Lacunosum

Here's the whole set:
H.andoi - widespread, recorded in Fife
H.bambergeri - montane, not recorded in Fife
H.callichroum - NW distribution, but recorded in Fife
H.cupressiforme - widespread, recorded in Fife (and Cullaloe)
H.hamulosum - NW dist, upland species
H.imponens - habitat peaty bogs, not recorded in Fife
H.jutlandicum- widespread, recorded in Fife
H.lindbergii - AKA Calliergonella lindbergii, wide dist, recorded in Fife (and Cullaloe)
H.resupinatum - widespread, recorded in Fife
H.revolutum - montane species, not recorded in Fife
H.vaucheri - two varieties, widespread, recorded in Fife

From the Fife moss list Hypna are listed as following:
Hypnum callichroum
Hypnum cupressiforme var. cupressiforme
Hypnum jutlandicum
Hypnum andoi
Hypnum cupressiforme var. resupinatum
Hypnum cupressiforme var. lacunosum

Monday, 9 December 2013

New species add - Hypnum Cupressiforme, Cypress-leaved Plait-moss to Bryophytes

This picture taken in the woodland floor on dead wood

Hypnum Cupressiforme, Cypress-leaved Plait-moss

BBS Field Guide page


New species add - Trametes versicolor, Turkeytail, to Fungi

This is a common species and not a spectacular example - shot from above on fallen dead wood (oak or beech). Check images online for some spectacular arrays, though! Also see this story for its alleged health benefits: link

Trametes versicolor, Turkeytail

New species add - Amblystegium serpens, Creeping Feather-moss to Bryophytes

Quite widespread, especially in the woodland of compartment 6. Tiny leaves hard to do anything with until put under the microscope. Well named, though. If I have a photo of it in the field I've misplaced it for the moment. (Now I notice that Amblystegium riparium is on the list for the reserve I better go check I haven't mis-placed the ID too - mercifully the stem leaves of that species are veritable giants at about 2mm; more than double the size!)

Amblystegium serpens, Creeping Feather-moss

New species add - Neuroterus quercusbaccarum

Picked up and identified by chance by someone at a recent workshop at Vogrie, this allowed me to drag out the photos I took previously, having decided not to go down the route of identifying galls at the time. This is a fascinating, alien little object. The woodland was full of them all over fallen leaves in early November.

It's kind of a curiosity that galls have their own name - is that true for anything else? Birds' nests? Mammal territorial markings? Curious. Anyway, the scientific name is the name of the wasp that causes it, so I'll record it in invertebrates.

Neuroterus quercusbaccarum, Common Spangle Gall

Wiki page

Friday, 6 December 2013

New records, new count

An updated list of invertebrates from GC has pumped up the invertebrate list by about 40, giving us new counts of:

Vertebrate - Birds 119 135 57 4
Vertebrate - Other 10 16 2 3
Invertebrate - Lepidoptera 35 78 30 41
Invertebrate - Other 20 259 19 41
Plants - Vascular 117 248 112 15
Plants - Bryophytes 15 23 15 9
Fungi 23 24 23 24
Lichens 4 4 4 4

343 787 262 141

Almost at the 800 mark, so looking very good for reaching towards the 1000 mark during 2014, especially with so many unidentified fungi and bryophytes still in the bag, and surely countless unlisted invertebrates still to be chalked up. There's also the matter of moth records which aren't yet part of the total.Could be over 1000 by midsummer.

New species add - Stereum hirsutum, Hairy Curtain Crust to Fungi

Stereum hirsutum, Hairy Curtain Crust

In compartment 6 on fallen dead branch of presumably oak

Thursday, 5 December 2013

New species add - Hygrophorus hypothejus, Herald of Winter to Fungi

Was there ever a more apposite name for a mushroom appearing a day before snow?

It took some digging around but finally the secret to unlock this was on the waxcap website

The uber-viscid cap made it seem waxcappy, although both examples present have flat caps, and the dry stipe helped to get to the ID too. It seems the freshness of the yellow may be an artefact of its youthfulness so it will be interesting to see how the one I left develops. Associated with pines and with trodden down areas - perfect, as they appeared on the path amongst the pines.It was also easy on google images to find examples with tightly involute margins.

Hygrophorus hypothejus, Herald of Winter

first-nature species page

Diary 2nd-8th Dec

2nd Dec

Reserve starting to look a bit brown, although the weather is pretty mild still and the water is completely open again. A good time, probably, to scour for Bryophytes. I'm looking forward to crossing the burn to have a look at the one below

4th Dec
Taking a break from bryophytes for a day, I bumped into two fine fungi in the Compartment 6 - the woodland area. The first is Common Rustgill, growing on chopped up fallen tree pile, while the second remains a mystery. At first glance appear Hygrocybe because of glutinous cap, but not the shape you'd expect. Jury remains out. Took one example for examination and left another in hopes I can watch its progress. Given the winds on the 5th the whole thing may have blown away by now - Forth Road Bridge closed and all trains in Scotland cancelled!

5th Dec
Revisited the reserve to check on progress of two previously noted fungi - tricky to find under a thin veil of snow, but made out ok as the sun began to shine. Some twigs scattered around from the strong winds which have now passed