Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Getting tough

Back at the beginning of the year I set myself a target of seeing 1000 new species (in any taxonomic group) during the year. I haven't mentioned it much in the blog because it's only a bit of fun that was prompted by a friends attempt to do the same thing a couple of years ago. I've really been treating it as a motivation to get in to groups that I've been planning to learn more about but have never got around to doing. It's certainly been a success in that respect, although being out of the country for nearly a month in late July to mid-August didn't help.

So how is it going? As of tonight I've seen 933 new species so the target is still attainable but it's getting tough to find new species. The recent frosts have reduced the amount of fungi around and the last fungus group meeting that I went to produced just a handful of new species.

Common Stump Brittlestem Psathyrella piluliformis
Nectria punicea
The Nectria punicea is apparently quite rare as it was new to virtually everyone in the group. The most impressive species to me though was Marasmius hudsonii due to the fact that it grows out of a dead Holly leaf. I also liked the hairy cap but you can't really see that in the photo.

On the way home I stopped at a random roadside to do a bit of leaf mine recording. A patch of Ground-ivy unexpectedly produced two new species for me; the leaf-mining fly Phytomyza glechomae

and the gall midge Rondaniola bursaria - the picture showing the galls on the right and the raised holes where the mature galls have fallen to the ground to over-winter.

I also called in to see the 1st winter male Long-tailed Duck at Hayling Oysterbeds. Whilst walking back to the car I remembered my failure to find Sea Slaters at Emsworth recently so thought I'd have another look. The third rock that I turned over produced

and about 40 others!

So what of the remaining 67 new species that I need to get to 1000? I've certainly got that many insects that I collected earlier in the year which are awaiting identification but will I be able to confidently identify enough of them without feeling that they need to be verified? Probably not, given that Christmas will get in the way and I can't really ask people to look at specimens for me during that period. So it's still all to play for, I may need to get the moss key out.

1 comment:

  1. I'm free most Weds/Thus if you wanna join forces anytime? Can't promise you much, but bound to be summat new for you!!