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.

Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum   Agrimonia eupatoria or procera

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.

Coleosporium tussilaginis on Petasites hybridus   Leaf mine and bug on Petasites hybridus

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.

Lygocoris pabulinus possibly, on Senecio jacobaea   Lasioglossum sp on Senecio jacobaea

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.

Social wasp on Heracleum sphondylium   Syrphus torvus or ribesii on Acer pseudoplatanus

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.

Mesembrina meridiana   Leafhopper   Unknown snail on Angelica sylvestris

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.

Leaf mine on Heracleum sphondylium   Nest of spiders on Geum urbanum

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.

Oryctolagus cuniculus   Oryctolagus cuniculus   Oryctolagus cuniculus

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.

Pontania bridgmanii   Eupontania pedunculi

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)

Unknown gall on Cirsium helenoides

Unknown gall on Cirsium helenoides
  Eriophyes inangulis

On the left is a gall on Melancholy Thistle which is not in the book, but it may be the one shown on, 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