Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Sat 26 Feb 2011 Ganavan
Was planning to have another bash at coastal lichens, but
first I saw this Red-throated Diver...
..and then an Otter.
Finally got down to business. Xanthoria parietina is an easy one with its crowded apothecia and bright yellow thallus with a green tinge in places. The one on the right I think is Caloplaca ceracea but I can't rule out C crenularia. It's my first go at a Caloplaca without a yellow thallus. Most maritime Caloplaca's are yellow or yellowish-orange and form the "yellow zone" on the shore along with the Xanthoria's.
These two were on a conglomerate boulder on the beach together with Ochrolechia parella and Anaptychia runcinata. I haven't been able to identify any of the other lichens I took photos of, so will leave them for now.
Sun 27 Feb 2011 Taynuilt
Brief local stroll, and a couple of fungi.
These salmon-pink dots on a fallen branch below a Hazel are the conidial state of Nectria
cinnabarina, the Coral Spot fungus. The sexual stage, which is a deeper
red, was not present.
The other fungus has not yet yielded a result. Yellow
bobbles on a mossy beech branch. Details and microscope pictures
here Exidia? Dacrymyces? Tremella? Doesn't fit any. Any
suggestions will be much appreciated.
Mon 28 Feb 2011 Ganavan
View from Ganavan Hill. Could be a scene from the
remotest reaches of Scotland's wild west coast, yet is close to the bustle of
Oban and, alas, threatened with development itself.
Here and there among the moor-grass are low spreading patches of Eared Willow. In one patch, all the bushes had white-dotted stems which I assumed was due to a fungus. But on closer inspection, followed by web research, they turned out to be female Willow Scale Insects.
The insect is immobile and feeds on sap from the willow while
brooding her eggs under the white covering of her inflated body. These microscope pics show the
insects in close-up and the eggs beneath them.
The coastal lichen Tephromela atra
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer