A New Sedge and Other Matters

Joanna has found Carex riparia (Greater Pond-sedge) at Broadford during a survey for the Urban Flora of Scotland. This is a first for VC 104 and there is a good patch of it near the shore.

Carex riparia (Greater Pond-sedge)

A few days ago I visited Armadale Castle to survey orchids. We counted 367 Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) and 229 Neottia ovata (Common Twayblade) in a relatively small area. There were also two Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath Spotted-orchid), though one of these had the conical inflorescence more typical of D. fuchsii. However, the individual flower shape was entirely typical for D. maculata so short of molecular work to demonstrate a bit of hybridity, it has gone down as that.

Whilst there we saw a Red-necked Footman, a moth with few Skye records, and my hosts said they had seen a few recently.

I have started to look at Platanthera (Butterfly-orchids) in readiness for the next Skye Botany Group outing when we have a probably vain hope of finding the hybrid between Greater and Lesser Butterfly-orchids. This involves measurement of the angle subtended by the pollinia:

Platanthera chlorantha

Neil and I had a good day in Sleat, failing to re-find Hippuris vulgaris (Mare’s-tail) at an old site but finding a silk web of the micro-moth, Yponomeuta evonymella (Bird-cherry Ermine), something I have looked for before in Sleat where there is plenty of the host plant.

Yponomeuta evonymella web on Bird Cherry

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