Nature Notes - The Mallorca Pages

Species other than vascular plants

Tarentola mauretanica   Tarentola mauretanica

Pride of place goes to the Moorish Gecko, Tarentola mauretanica, which allowed an incredibly close approach as the second picture shows.  You can even see the tiny red Geckobia mites on its feet.  Geckos only appeared on sunny days, which were very few.

Bat   Millipede
Millipede c 2.2 cm across as seen

While I was photographing the ferns in the cave (2nd pic on fern page), a bat came out of the darkness and hung on one of the cave roof rocks.  It then took off and flew around for a bit, then returned to its perch, at which point I took the photo, and then it flew back into the depths.  A poor picture but an amazing experience.  It was the middle of the day, not the usual time for bats.  That area has dozens of underground cave entrances at ground level, and there must be a whole world down there below the ground, perfect for bats and who knows what else?

I saw very few invertebrates during my time in Mallorca, or perhaps I was too busy looking at the endless succession of new flowering plants.  The millipede was from the same area as the bat cave, beside a forest path, much larger than any I'd ever seen in Britain.

Beetle on Sonchus tenerrimus
Beetle c 12.3 mm long excl hairs
  Beetles on Galactites tomentosa

These two types of beetle are probably Oxythyrea species or something similar.  The first is on Sonchus tenerrimus and the second on Galactites tomentosa.

Lasiommata megera

Lasiommata megera

  Euscorpius balearicus

The only butterfly I saw was this female Wall Brown, which did not let me get at all close.  The scorpion, fortunately, did; it was the first I'd ever seen and very exciting.  Its name is Euscorpius balearicus.

Clathrus ruber
Visible part of fungus including white base c 8 cm long
  Clathrus ruber
c 4.9 cm across at widest

As far as I can remember this is the only fungus I saw (apart from lichens), but it was a stunner, the sort you only see in the books and never in the real world.  The Red Cage Fungus, Clathrus ruber.  The white puffball-like object to the left is a younger one that hasn't yet opened up.  The right-hand picture shows an older, redder and somewhat collapsed one.


It was still winter as far as birds were concerned, the summer visitors had not yet arrived and many of the winter residents were ones familiar from more northerly climes.  I got three new ticks: Audouin's Gull, Cirl Bunting and Blue Rock Thrush.  Other species seen or heard were: Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Stonechat, Raven, Blackcap, and a Partridge of some kind.  But I must have missed all sorts of things in the air while I was looking at plants on the ground.