Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)
Thu 2 Sep 2004
Back to my old haunt of Scorrybreac, which I've rather neglected since obtaining a car.
The Two-rowed Watercress, which flourishes in a ditch at the Portree end of Scorrybreac, and, at the far end, Agrimony (probably Fragrant Agrimony) pushing through the Bracken. While I was here, 3 Rock Doves flew past northwards.
This is the rust Coleosporium tussilaginis on the underside of a Butterbur leaf. Thanks to Chris Yeates for confirming this ID. The other picture shows the upperside of a Butterbur leaf, with a leaf mine that may be Acidia cognata and a bug that may be Lygus pratensis.
Here is another bug, which I think may well be the Common Green Capsid, Lygocoris pabulinus. It's on Ragwort, as is the male Lasioglossum bee, a ground-nesting species, black with brown bands on the abdomen.
This wasp on Hogweed flowers is clearly a Vespula or Dolichovespula species, but does not match any of them. The clypeus had a single black dot, no anchor mark or black dividing line, and the first antennal segment was yellow along one side (not visible in picture). Tibiae without long black hairs. The imposing creature on the Sycamore leaf is a Hoverfly, either Syrphus torvus or ribesii. The yellow thing on its hind leg is apparently a "fly spot" of half-digested pollen that it has excreted. Thanks to Malcolm Storey for this information.
The large fly with natty brown wing-bases is Mesembrina meridiana (thanks to Stuart Dunlop for the ID). Then a yellow and black Leafhopper on an Angelica leaf. Finally an unknown snail on a rather withered Angelica leaf.
Here's another leaf mine, on Hogweed. The only two possibilities I can find are Phytomyza sphondyliivora and Phytomyza sphondylii. Ours looks more like the former but that is unlikely on distributional grounds, so it's probably something else altogether. On the right is a Wood Avens leaf sewn together to provide a nest for a brood of young spiders.
The rabbit that knew no fear - unlike its numerous relatives in the area, this one showed no concern at all at my presence. I was able to get my hand within 3" of it and could surely have touched it if I'd used a bit more patience.
Now back to the cute and cuddly stuff. Here are a couple of Sawfly larva galls on Goat Willow. The smooth one is Pontania bridgmanii and I think the hairy one is Pontania tuberculata. (Update 2011: this type of gall is currently included in Eupontania pedunculi)
On the left is a gall on Melancholy Thistle which is not in the book, but it may be the one shown on http://www.plantengallen.com/dataengels/collection.htm, whose name is not given there. I don't have any other clue. [Later: this may be Puccinia Cnici-Oleracei, see 5.8.05] On the right, the Alder gall mite Eriophyes inangulis makes its galls in a neat line along the midrib instead of just splodging them about any old how.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer