Category

Recording

Ian Boyd tells us about broomrapes

The broomrapes are up and about in hedgerows and roadside verges and it’s a good time to track them down.

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November Fungi

Magpie Ink Cap © GTa

Magpie Ink Cap © GTa

Dog Stinkhorn © GTa

Dog Stinkhorn © GTa

Gary Taylor had been out and about and sent us some pictures taken in Borthwood Copse; Magpie Ink Cap (Coprinus picaceus) and Dog Phallus or Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus). Dr Colin Pope, one of our joint Fungus Recorders, replied

‘It’s not something we see a lot of but this autumn seems to have been a particularly good one for Magpie Ink Caps. They seem to be popping up all over the place.’

Ladybirds

Luke Ellison sent us a very comprehensive report of several different species of Ladybirds he had seen and photographed on the Island’s coast. This was in response to our poster which requests sightings. Our Beetle Recorder, Bill Shepard, has a ‘Beetle Drive’ going at the moment. These particular ones included ‘Harlequin Ladybirds’ which we are interested in as an increasing species here.

A rare moth

Mecyna asinalis © HS

Mecyna asinalis © HS

Helen Slade saw a moth on her ceiling in late September and sent us some photo’s in the hope we could say what it was. The answer came back from Tim Norris ‘it is a pyralid, Mecyna asinalis‘ of which he had ‘never seen the adult but the larval feeding damage is very distinctive as it makes large white windows in the leaves of wild madder – very obvious at this time of year. Its an IoW speciality and is very rare in Hants’.

A Hawthorn

Yellow-berried Hawthorn © DW

Yellow-berried Hawthorn © DW

In September Daphne Watson reported finding ‘a spectacular yellow-fruited form of hawthorn in a farm hedge in the Rew valley in full fruit at the moment’. and we asked Dr Colin Pope, our Botany Recorder, about it. He replied ‘How interesting! I’ve never come across this before and I’m unaware of any yellow-fruited cultivars. I assume this is Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). If you’re back that way check that the haws have only a single seed (easily done by crushing between your fingers). There is a yellow fruited cultivar of Midland hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha ‘aurea’) which may escape from cultivation or be accidentally included in a planted hedge. Crataegus orientalis has orange-yellow fruits. Hawthorn is very variable in the wild. In the spring you can find bushes with a wide range of flower shades from white to deep pink. It sounds as though a yellow-fruited cultivar is garden-worthy and should be taken into cultivation!

Hummingbird Hawk Moths

Hummingbird Hawk Moth © IF

Hummingbird Hawk Moth © IF

Kris Codd & Pete Bradley mentioned finding one of these and asked was it unusual? Ian Fletcher said about it ‘The status given in the field guide says they are immigrant, suspected resident, and goes on to say, “a frequent immigrant from southern Europe and north Africa, most numerous near the south coast, but has reached all parts of the British Isles and the Channel Islands. The number recorded varies considerably annually and in some years exceeds 1000. Suspected breeding resident in south-west England, where it hibernates in small numbers.” and adds ‘we had 3 hummingbird hawk-moths here this year and our next door neighbour has had several at a time on her buddleia. We went today to photograph a moth which needed sending off for identification and the recorder had a couple of them on his buddleia’

Butterfly & Moth

White Admiral © KM

White Admiral © KM

Mrs Hilary Pilcher from Thorley informed us of a ‘Jersey Tiger Moth in my garage on Sunday 23rd July. Also a White Admiral butterfly in the kitchen the week before.’

Blue-spotted Slow worm

Blue-spotted Slow Worm © JL

Blue-spotted Slow Worm © JL

In May Jeff Layfield asked one of our members if we would be interested in ‘a blue spotted slow worm, seen in our Havenstreet garden today’ (we were!). He commented, ‘A web search reveals that this is probably a male of over three years in age and may be found “in a coastal or island environment”!’.

A couple of moths

Cream-bordered Green Pea Moth © GTa

Cream-bordered Green Pea Moth © GTa

Gary Taylor sent two pictures of moths from Apse Heath in July and asked us to confirm his identifications. Ian Fletcher, one of our veteran moth recorders, affirmed “he is right with his identifications. We get ‘festoons’ here in small numbers but have not had the ‘cream bordered green pea.'” So, a new record for Gary, who tells us he’s new to moth recording!

Glanville Fritillaries

Glanville fritillary © CP

Glanville fritillary © CP

Luke Ellison told us about seeing these both as caterpillars in April and as butterflies in June along the Ventnor – Bonchurch cliffs