Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Thu 14 Jun 2007 Tunbridge Wells Common (4th outing of Kent visit, just a brief stroll near where I was staying)

Adalia 2-punctata   Biorhiza pallida gall

Here is the Two-spot Ladybird again, this time in its normal form.  I'm surprised to find we haven't had the Oak-apple gall yet, but here it is.  I'm sure that when I was young I used to call the hard nuts of Andricus kollari and Andricus lignicola Oak-apples, but those are correctly called the Marble Gall and the Kola-nut Gall respectively.  The true Oak-apple is soft and spongy and is caused by the gall-wasp Biorhiza pallida.

Other Oak galls seen included Andricus curvator (lots on one tree but none on any others) and Macrodiplosis dryobia.

Agromyza alnibetulae mine on Betula pendula   Cladonia coniocraea

I can't identify this leaf mine on Silver Birch.  As the frass is in two rows (easy to see in life but not in the picture) it ought to be a species of Diptera.  But there are none listed for Birch in the standard leaf-mines resource.  (2009 update - there are now!  It's Agromyza alnibetulae.  Thanks to Peter Macdonald for pointing this out)

As I've mentioned, there are very few macro-lichens in the area, but this one, Cladonia coniocraea, was doing well on the slope of a ditch between woodland and the path.  It's supposed to be one of the most pollution-tolerant lichens, which says it all really.

Pulvinaria floccifera egg cases on Ilex aquifolium   Pulvinaria floccifera

I was baffled by these white cases on a fallen Holly leaf, and when I looked up I was even more amazed, as great numbers of the living leaves on the tree had these on their underside.  They turned out to be the egg cases of the Cushion Scale Insect, Pulvinaria floccifera, who is shown on the right in the process of making one.


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer