Some Difficult Specimens

Yesterday was pretty wet and windy but in a short dry interlude I walked a stretch of the nearby Arish Burn. One plant of Angelica sylvestris (Wild Angelica) was covered in a downy mildew which I didn’t expect to identify but it turns out that it was not difficult. It is Plasmopara angelicae, descibed by Ray Woods as “widespread but not at all common”.

Plasmopara angelicae on Angelica sylvestris

The day before, I found this little barkfly in the garden. It is a Mesopsocus sp. and I have sent it away for expert determination.

Mesopsocus sp

And before that, on Ben Chracaig near Portree, I spotted several items whose identity may never be resolved. This fungus on Rosa caesia subsp. vosagiaca (Glaucous Dog-rose) is probably Phragmidium mucronatum or P. tuberculatum: but even microscopically they are tricky to tell apart.

Phragmidium tuberculatum/mucronatum

This mine on Teucrium scorodonia (Wood Sage) is caused by a beetle of the genus Apteropeda. However, the larva had gone and it could be A. globosa or A. orbiculata as both use this plant as host. According to bladmineerders re the former “As far as known neither mine nor larva can be discriminated from that of related species. A. globosa is much less polyphagous than orbiculata” but Teucrium is a known host.

Mine on Teucrium scorodonia

And finally, the jury is out on what causes this on Centaurea nigra (Common Knapweed). I shall go back and open up one of the “galls” if that is what they are, and see what I can see.

Centaurea nigra “galls”

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