Saturday, 15 October 2016

No Sniggering Please

Earlier this week, during a walk around our wood to plan work targets for the winter, Carol and I came across the unmistakeable form of the Common Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) on the dank woodland floor. On fresh specimens, the cap is a glossy brown colour with a pungent odour that is irresistible to flies. The filigree pattern on the cap in the photograph (below) indicates that the spores have been dispersed. Much folklore surrounds this species of fungus and I think that the latin name rather says it all.
Common Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus)
Insect activity on Pevensey Levels is inevitably in rapid decline but there are still things to be found. Although most of the Red Admirals have moved south, I did come across a faded female busy laying eggs on stinging nettle. Whirligig Beetles are busy gyrating in their hundreds in many of the ditches and wandering larvae of the Pale Tussock moth are a common sight at this time of year as they search for a place to pupate for the winter.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) (ovum on stinging nettle)
Whirligig Beetles (Gyrinus substriatus)
Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) (wandering larva)

The best of the bunch in the moth-trap this week has been these two common resident species.
Spruce Carpet (Thera britannica)

Merveille du Jour (Dichonia aprilina)


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