" Welcome to the florafaunauk site , hope you enjoy the pictures and posts giving a detailed insight into the Natural History of our Country throughout the seasons and year "All that the Sun Shines on is beautiful, so long as it is Wild" John Muir "

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Enoplognatha Comb Footed Spider

Enoplognatha  Comb Footed Spider

Enoplognatha ovata 31575

Enoplognatha ovata 31577

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Potato Capsid - Closterotomus norwegicus

Potato Capsid - Closterotomus norwegicus

Closterotomus norwegicus 31505

Closterotomus norwegicus 31501

Length 6-8 mm


Key ID Points

Whilst blotches on pronotom are distinct it is a feature present on other Taxa

Darker markings on the top of scutellum vary or may not be present

Second Antennal segment Length is aproximately equal to the combined length of the Third and Fourth segments

Tibial spines are shorter than the width of the tibia


 It is Adult: May-October.


Meadows & hedges - Nettles Clovers , Compositae notably Ragwort

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Yellow Birds Nest Monotropha hypopitys

Yellow Birds Nest Monotropha hypopitys

Species & Site Managament Account Under Construction 

Yellow Birds Nest 23012



Species Description

Yellow bird’s Nest Monotropa hypopitys AKA Ductchmans Pipe is a short, perennial plant, growing to 30cm..
The whole plant is a waxy, pale brownish-yellow.
Flowers are tubular with 4 to 5 sepals united at the base
 The 4/5 petals are dull yellow, 8-12 mm long on a drooping stem that becomes erect in fruit.
Leaves are scale-like and close to the stems.
Plants are fleshy and grow 10–35 cm tall.

True stems are nonexistent. Instead, the only part which emerges from the soil are unbranched adventitious inflorescenceswhich are developmentally similar to adventitious roots.[2] All parts of the plant are pale yellowish white to reddish-tinged. The bracts are 5–10 mm long scale-like structures, which cover most of the inflorescence. Plants flower from April to December depending on the geographic region (June to September in North America). The flowers are pendulous when young, but become erect when they begin to mature into the fruit which is a capsule. The flowers are 9–12 mm long and produced in a cluster of 1–11 together at the apex of the inflorescence, which is a raceme. It flowers between early summer and mid autumn; plants that flower in summer are yellow and sparsely hairy, while those that flower in autumn are red and densely hairy. These two color "forms" overlap in flowering time. It has been suggested that yellow individuals are largely self-pollinating.[3]

It is considered to have two subspecies (Stace 1997), but morphology is not always reliableand a need to check chromosome number to be absolute

ssp. hypophegea (Wallr.) Holmboe which is glabrous and has a chromosome number 2n = 16 (Stace 2010).
ssp. hypopitys,    which has pubescent stamens, carpels and petals; 2n = 48 (Stace 2010).


This plant does not contain chlorophyll; it is a myco-heterotroph, getting its food through parasitism upon fungi rather than photosynthesis. Monotropa contains no chlorophyll, and was until recently thought to be saprophytic (deriving nutrients from decaying leaf litter) but recent research shows that it is actually epiparasitic, using Tricholoma fungi to extract nutrients from living trees in its vicinity (Leake et al. 2004). These fungi form a mycorrhiza with nearby tree species.has popularly been described as a saprophyte, howe
ver it is more appropriate to classify yellow bird’s nest as a myco-heterotroph meaning it gains energy from mycorrhizal fungi (Leake 2005). M. hypopitys roots are sheathed in ectomycorrhizal fungal mycelium, and nourished exclusively by carbon passing through a common mycorrhizal network linked to adjacent autotrophic trees, deciduous or coniferous It is usually found in woods or in scrub.


Origin: native. It was first recorded by Robert Plot at Stokenchurch in 1677 (Clarke 1900), although he mentions earlier records by John Goodyer (1592-1664), which must pre-date this.

Nationally Scarce species in Britain,   Recorded  in 103 hectads in the New Atlas (Preston et al. 2002). 

Threat: its status in the JNCC Red List (Cheffings & Farrell 2005) is ‘endangered’ - an assessment based on the Change Index, which shows it to be declining in Britain. Rumsey, in the New Atlas, also describes it as having suffered a prolonged decline.

Conservation: It is  listed it as an ++ axiophyte, but it is not quite obvious which BAP habitats it occurs in. It is debatable whether it really warrants such a status, and more research is needed.

++ Lists of axiophytes for various BAP habitats can be used as an empirical measure for sites of nature conservation interest. This allows landowners and others to see how decisions have been made.

References & Citations

Lockton, A.J. & Walker, K.J. (date accessed). Species account: Monotropa hypopitys. Botanical Society of the British Isles, www.bsbi.org.uk.

Leake J. R., Mckendrick S. L., Bidartondo M. & Read D. J. 2004. Symbiotic germination and development of the myco-heterotroph Monotropa hypopitys in nature and its requirement for locally distributed Tricholoma spp. New Phytologist 163, 405-423.

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Round Leaved Wintergreen Pyrola rotundifolia

Round Leaved Wintergreen Pyrola rotundifolia Family Ericaceae

Wintergreen 1246

Wintergreen 1250

Wintergreen 1242

Descriptive Botany 

Pyrola rotundifolia is an evergreen scented  A rhizomatous, mycorrhizal Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self. The plant is self-fertile.and therefore can survive a s discrete colonies giving the right habitat or lack of Harmful intervention
  • The flower stem (scape) is pale, up to 40cm, with 1 or 2 brown scales.
  • Flowers are 5-merous, approximately 1cm across, with pure white petals.
  • Anthers (10) are orange and the style is 7-8mm long, and curved with a 5-lobed, capitate stigma.
  • The 5 ovaries form a fleshy ring round the base of the style.The fruit is a capsule.
  • Leaves are at the base of the stem (radical), round to oval, and up to 5cm long

Wintergreen 1279

Wintergreen 1198



Management Points

Round leaved wintergreen  should occur in seasonally flooded areas. Areas and should be left  uncleared because this rare plant favours shade  associated with willow which is dominant in this area. .This is a particularly relevant point given the unusual PVA substrate which has a high permeability , prone to drying out ,coupled with  the lack of soil means this particular ground ecology is poorly understood.The nature of this associated habitat with Yellow Birds Nest Monotropa hypopitys with its unique fungal symbiosis and ground ecology also means that the leaf litter layer should be left undisturbed and natural cycles left unalterred given the longitudinal age of both colonies. The limiting nature of this man made sub surface likely limits realistically tree species to those with shallow root systems It goes without saying such areas should have controlled and limited access (See Original Management plan)and that  clearing of leaf litter should not be applied. Occasional bramble clearance although peripheral retention would contribute to site restriction

Site Appraisal

Whilst most ecologists will spout conventional practice an appraisal an  understanding of this site and its sub-soil is vitally important . The siting of Willow Carr is at or just below the water level and results in seasonal water retention or flooding for this slow growing plant . The nature of the soil or lack of it on the surface of the predominant PVA Pulverised Fly Ash deposited as a historical  waste legacy has a High Permeability . Removing the Tree Canopy would cause much of the soil sub-surface to loose moisture or and would not promote the high Humidity levels associated with this hollow and Tree /  Shrub layers generaly needed by the plant . Additionally there is also a complex Mycorrihzzial fungal relationship with other rare plants specifically relating to Grey Willows 


Like all good practice intervention strategies and outcomes should be dictated by good Monitorring . This should include Year on Year  Quadrat Data on flower stands numbers and distribution and also annual records of accumulated leaf litter . FEET have limitted but nevertheless supportive evidential data to support the suggested management intervention


This subspecies has undergone a marked decline since 1930, despite some local increases in disused quarries. Reasons for the losses include afforestation and rubbish tipping, but the most serious declines, such as its near extinction in East Anglia, result from changes in fen management.

References & Citations

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Friday, 18 July 2014

A Ground Bug - Scolopostethus thomsoni

Scolopostethus thomsoni

Scolopostethus thomsoni 31262

Scolopostethus thomsoni 31260

Family: Lygaeidae

Adults - All year

Length 3.5-4.0 mm

Key ID Characteristics

A Lygid which is short dark and hairless in form

The Pronotal sides have a large pale spot mid centre

Legs in the Genus have a one large and several small spines beneath the front femur.

Wings This species is normally Brachyopterous - Partly winged which have few hairs spread over it
However infrequent fully-winged forms occur. 

Antennal Character - The apexes aof the 3nd 3rd 
and 4th segments are darkened but not a wholly reliable ID characteristic 

Similar Species

S. affinis, S. decoratus

Habitat Usually abundant on Nettle Urtica dioeca

Phenology   New generation are complete from late July onwards.with Adults overwintering


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Hairy Tare Vicia hirsuita

Hairy Tare Vicia hirsuita

Hairy Tare 31095

Hairy Tare 31083

Hairy Tare 31099

Hairy Tare 31089


Short to medium hairy plant. Leaves with 4 to 10 pairs of oblong leaflets. Flowers, whitish with a pale lilac tinge, small 2 to 4 mm with 1 to 8 in a short raceme. Pod black, 6 to 11 mm 2 seeded and hairy, usually black.

Similar Species 

Smooth Tare is similar, but the two species can be separated with care. Smooth Tare flowers are larger and more purple in colour. See the marked diagram below for a comparison of the two species.


Dry grassy places, rough grassland, roadside verges. At the grassy area at the entrance to reserve from Anglers Car Park and throughout

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A Grassland Mirid - Capsus ater

A Grassland Mirid  - Capsus ater

Capsus ater 31167xx

Capsus ater 31179

Capsus ater 31184

Phenology : Adult June-September

Length 5-6 mm


It is a grassland species associated with Gramineae. It differs from other Capsid   bug in its feeding habit  , and feeds lower  down on the stems, as opposed to the  flower spikes and developing grains which is the usual feeding area 

Key Identification Factors 
  • A Black Capsid Bug oval in form with black forewings 
  • The 2nd antennal segment is swollen at its distal end  The widest extent of the 2 nd Anttennal segment is more than  twice as broad as its  narrowest point
  • Adult  head and pronotum   may vary in colour from rusty brown to black ish

Nymphs   are purple-brown.

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Dicyphus epilobii - A Mirid bug

Dicyphus epilobii - A Mirid bug

Dicyphus epilobii 31345

Dicyphus epilobii 31339

Length 4 - 5 mm

Phenology  July - October

Description There are 4 general ID Characteristics

1.  Basal Antennal Segment is Red in colour
2. Antennal Segment number 3 is greater to or equal the width  of the head accross te eyes
3.  Spots on the Corium and Cuneus
4. A long Tibial length

Host plant Specimens are found on Willowherb - Onograceae  Hoary Willow and Broad-Leaved Willowherb

Monday, 14 July 2014

Cicadellid Populicerus populi - Idiocerus populi .

Cicadellid Populicerus populi.(Idiocerus populi).

Populicerus populi 31043

Populicerus populi 31029

Populicerus populi 31032

Cicadellid Populicerus populi.(Idiocerus populi).

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Polymerus nigrita - A Mirid Bug

Polymerus nigrita   Miridae

Polymerus nigrita 30926_1

Polymerus nigrita 30928

Length 4.5 mm

Adult: June-September

Description Polymerus species are medium-sized bugs which are predominantly black or black and yellow in colour. The upper surface is covered in scale-like golden or silver hairs and the tibiae bear strong black spines.
In P. unifasciatus the pronotum, scutellum and corium are entirely dark and there are orange markings on the cuneus. The tibiae have broad pale bands.

Fairly common on bedstraws (Galium sp) in a variety of habitats across much of the UK.

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Plagiognathus arbustorum - A Mirid Bug

Plagiognathus arbustorum Mirid

Plagiognathus arbustorum 30790

Plagiognathus arbustorum 30785
Adult: July-October

Length ~4 mm

Description Ground colour varies from pale olive-green to almost black, the head and front of the pronotum are usually dark, as are the 1st and 2nd antennal segments. The dark margins of the hind femora are a very useful identification feature; these are present in late instar nymphs also. The spines on the hind tibiae are equal to or longer than the tibial width and generally arise from black spots. The pronotum and forewings are covered in dark hairs.

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Birch Shieldbug Elasmostethus interstinctus

Birch Shieldbug Elasmostethus interstinctus 

Birch SB 3 0744

Birch SB 30764

This is the Birch SB - It has a white discoid parasitic fly egg attached whixh is likely the Tachnid Phasia hemiptera a known parasite of shieldbugs. Shoulders are rounded and less angular than the closely related Hawthorn SB

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Malthinus seriepunctatus - A Soldier Beetle

Malthinus seriepunctatus - A Soldier Beetle

Malthinus seriepunctatus 30725

Malthinus seriepunctatus is one of the smallest of the Cantharidae group, measuring around 4-5mm in length. There are about 40 species of Soldier Beetles UK and most are frequent visitors to thistles and umbelliferous flowers.

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Neolygus viridis A Mirid Bug

Neolygus viridis A  Mirid Bug

Neolygus viridis 30769

Adult: June-September

Length ~6 mm

Neolygus species are green and oval in shape, although less broad than Apolygus. The brown tibial spines arise from black spots and the 2nd antennal segment is longer than the width of the pronotum at the base.

N. viridis is distinguished from other Neolygus species by the extensive dark markings on the clavus and corium, superficially resembling Orthops campestris, which is smaller and has much shorter antennae. The 2nd antennal segment is darkened towards the tip.

A widespread and common bug throughout the UK on a range of deciduous trees, in particular lime.

Compare: N. contaminatus, N. populi

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Friday, 11 July 2014

2335 Slender Brindle Apamea scolopacina

2335 Slender Brindle Apamea scolopacina

2335 Slender Brindle 30641

2335 Slender Brindle 30630

2335 Slender Brindle 30660

Wingspan     32 - 36 mm.


A rather attractive species which does not tend to vary as much as its congeners.
Frequenting woodland habitats, it flies in July and August, and is locally distributed in the southern half of Britain, but absent further north.

The larval foodplants are a range of woodland grasses, including wood millet (Milium effusum) and wood-rushes (Luzula spp.).

Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus

Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus

Yorkshire Fog 30587

Yorkshire Fog 30583

Yorkshire Fog 30597

Yorkshire Fog 30600

Yorkshire Fog 30586

Yorkshire Fog 30588

Yorkshire Fog 30593

Yorkshire Fog 30590


Tufted grass to 100 cm, softly greyish hairy throughout, the inflorescence often with a purplish pink tinge, especially when young.

Similar Species

Similar to Holcus mollis but that species has more or less hairless stems whereas Holcus lanatus has downy stems. The node hairs of Holcus lanatus are not as long as those of Holcus mollis. The two species do hybridise to give Holcus x hybridus.


In all types of grassland, roadside verges and waste ground.


May to July.

Tufted Hair-grass Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. cespitosa

 Tufted Hair-grass Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. cespitosa

Tufted Hair-grass 30570

Tufted Hair-grass 30577

Tufted Hair-grass 30561

Tufted Hair-grass 30581

Tufted Hair-grass 30567


Large, densely tufted plant to 120 cm tall. Leaves to 5mm wide with strong parallel ridges and furrows on the upper side. Panicles with whorled spreading branches.


Wet or marshy ground, wet woodland, and heavy soils.