Thursday, 12 November 2015

Ashdown Forest (part 1)

Another of my favourite haunts is Ashdown Forest. Its heathland landscape with acid bogs and pools is home to many creatures that thrive in this special habitat. The Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) is one such heathland specialist that occurs in small populations here and I can spend many an hour looking for and watching this pretty butterfly.

Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) (male)

Silver-studded Blue (P.argus) (female)

Silver-studded Blue (P.argus) (mating)

The Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) is a close relative of the Fen Raft Spider (D.plantarius) but seems to prefer rather different habitat conditions (at least in East Sussex). It appears to thrive in some of the acid pools found on Ashdown Forest. This female (below) is on the hunt and using her submerged legs to feel for the vibrations of approaching prey.

The Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) occurs sparsely on Ashdown Forest. The subspecies that occurs here (ssp.pulchella) is associated with sphagnum bogs.

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