Posts Tagged ‘Fungi’

Raasay Fungi

March 15, 2017

Back in October 2014 I put an image of a bracket fungus from Screapadal, Raasay on this blog. Recently, Neil Mahler has suggested that it is Stereum subtomentosum (Yellowing Curtain Crust). You can see his comments on that post.

If this is right, it looks like being the third record for Scotland – see the distribution map on the NBN. Bruce Ing also says he thinks that is the right identification, though he is not 100% sure, and tells me that it came into the UK from France in the 1960s.

Stereum subtomentosum

Stereum subtomentosum (?) – Additional image

Meanwhile, Bruce has confirmed Phomopsis leycesteriae growing on Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan Honeysuckle) in my garden. It is probably common wherever this shrub grows – and it has spread into the wild on Skye and the mainland nearby. Indeed, my interest in this was stirred by Murdo finding it near Plockton and asking me to identify the host plant.

Phomopsis leycesteriae

Phomopsis leycesteriae

Whisky Fungus

March 2, 2017

Baudoinia compniacensis grows faster in the presence of alcohol and is found in and near distilleries. It causes the distinctive blackening of warehouses in Cognac and Scotland. Until recently there was only one official mycologically approved record from Scotland but a bit of effort my members of HBRG has improved that:


My modest contribution is that dot on Skye as it is present at Carbost on trees near the Talisker distillery – I found it on Beech, Hawthorn & Sycamore.

My thanks to Bruce Ing for identification.


Baudonia on beech

Fungi, Bugs and a Beetle

September 19, 2016

Steve has found this choke fungus near Broadford which is probably Epichloë typhina – though this “species” probably contains more than one entity. A specimen has gone to Kew for further investigation


Epichloe typhina                     Photo: S Terry

Meanwhile in my lawn this fruiting body appears to have turned itself inside-out.


I have trapped several bugs in the garden recently including Anthocoris nemorum, the Common Flower Bug. The books say it can pierce human flesh and I can testify to that – but it does help control aphids.


Anthocoris nemorum

A duller version which is well coated in erect hairs, Anthocoris sibiricus has only been recorded once in Britain – from Scalpay in the 1930s.

From further afield John has sent me an image of Carabus nitens, a fine, Nationally Scarce ground-beetle which he found on Ben Lomond.  Within the limits of the NBN gateway this appears to be only the second Scottish record in the years 2000-2016.


Carabus nitens        Photo: J Poulter

Thanks to Stephen Moran for insect determinations.

Skye Botany Group at Eynort

August 26, 2016

On Wednesday went to Eynort and spent most of the time following the Allt nam Fitheach, particularly in its gorge in NG3827. It was tricky in places and we eventually had to climb out of the gorge and head along the top for a bit because of this:

SBG end of road

This tetrad already had 209 taxa recorded in it, mostly from a visit I made in 2006. However, we were in a different part of the tetrad this time and added the following to the 10 km square NG32:

  • Berberis darwinii (Darwin’s Barberry)
  • Bromopsis ramosa (Hairy-brome)
  • Ilex aquifolium (Holly) Really!
  • Larix x marschlinsii (Hybrid Larch)
  • Pinus contorta (Lodgepole Pine)
  • Trichophorum x foersteri (T. cespitosum x germanicum)
  • Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock-spruce)

and a further 38 taxa to the tetrad.

There were plenty of fungi around including this:Clavulina rugosa maybe 1

which I think is Clavulina rugosa.

The Bay River

August 19, 2016

John and I walked a stretch of the Bay River today and then explored a bit more of the tetrad NG25R. We found 197 taxa – with a couple of specimens still to be studied.

Highlights included Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder-fern) – new to NG25, Equisetum pratense (Shady Horsetail) and the locally uncommon Veronica beccabunga (Brooklime).

There was also this honey fungus on Picea sitchensis (Sitka Spruce):

Honey fungus

Rhizomorphs or Mycelial cords. Probably Armillaria ostoyae.

Mullach Ben Sca and Crò nan Caorach

August 17, 2016

South-west of Edinbane a walk through the forestry plantation takes you to Crò nan Caorach and Mullach Ben Sca, the latter at a massive 210m above sea level.

First thing this morning, I thought I was off to two tetrads with previous records for 1 and 10 taxa. Checking what the one was, I discovered it was the result of an erroneous grid reference and so I had three rather than two tetrads left with 100% land and no records. I am now back to two.

It was a pleasant day with few plant records worthy of a more specific grid reference: Alnus incana (Grey Alder – planted but spreading), Spergularia rubra (Sand Spurrey), Malva moschata (Musk-mallow – a garden throw-out presumably, but known there for nine years now) and Neottia cordata (Lesser Twayblade).

Taxa counts are now 111 and 152.

There was also this fine Red Admiral on Senecio jacobaea (Common Ragwort). Whilst I see a few every year, they are never common here.

Red Admiral

and a leaf spot fungus on Lotus corniculatus (Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil):

Lotus corniculatus leaf spot

I noticed that a tetrad near Portree which I would drive through on the way home had only a couple of records. Twenty minutes along the roadside raised this to 90.

Sgùrr na Coinnich and Beinn Bhuidhe

August 9, 2016

Yesterday I ascended Sgùrr na Coinnich in the hope of finding some old records from the area. I had some successes: Luzula spicata (Spiked Wood-Rush) on Sgùrr na Coinnich and Parnassia palustris (Grass-of-Parnassus) by the Allt Beinn Bhuidhe, but also a number of failures: Gnaphalium supinum (Dwarf Cudweed), Oxyria digyna (Mountain Sorrel) and Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort) last recorded around there in 1983, 1975 and 1967 respectively.

The plateau of Beinn Bhuidhe continues to harbour Arctostaphylos alpinus (Alpine Bearberry) as it has since at least 1772. Also Hieracium holosericeum (Shaggy Hawkweed), one of very few Hieracium species I am able to determine and that Lycopodium that I mentioned earlier in the year. Having had another good look at it, I think it is just environmentally stressed Lycopodium clavatum (Stag’s-horn Clubmoss).

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I found a variety of leaf spots and other fungi and sawfly galls on Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow), such as I have only seen on the Trotternish Ridge before.

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On the way back to the road there was a single bush of Juniperus communis subsp. communis (Common Juniper) – unusual hereabouts compared with the dwarf subspecies.

Juniperus comm comm

and a bright yellow fungus, I am asking Bruce for help with

Later: He tells me this is Lichenomphalia alpina.

Yellow job

and a lizard – far too fast for me to obtain a useful image.

Steve’s July Records

August 9, 2016

Despite being away for a good chunk of the month, Steve has sent over 400 plant records from Skye in July. Included in these were Diphasiastrum alpinum (Alpine Clubmoss) and Cryptogramma crispa (Parsley Fern) from an altitude of just 92m. For the former this is about the lowest ever recorded in the British Isles

Some records from Ardnish were also very welcome: Sagina nodosa (Knotted Pearlwort) is within a few metres of a 1995 record not previously re-found and the nearby Salicornia (Glasswort) is a new site.

He has also been finding smuts on Carex echinata (Star Sedge) and Carex panicea (Carnation Sedge), the latter being uncommon locally.


August 4, 2016

I have just spent three days across the water in the Applecross area, helping my colleague with records for Atlas 2020. I made 1347 records of 296 taxa – and I have a rose to send off for expert determination.

I also collected fungi for Bruce Ing’s Ross-shire fungus survey – two of the 10km squares I was in are very poorly recorded for fungi.  Mostly I collected infected leaves but there were also some toadstools e.g. (Thanks to Bruce for determinations):

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and reasonable numbers of butterflies, moths and other insects:

Emerald Damselfly

Emerald Damselfly

One of the things I was particularly hoping to re-find was Cladium mariscus (Great Fen-sedge) near Cuaig.  There was a fair amount – this being a section of the smaller population:

Cladium Cuaig 2

Cladium mariscus

Broadford to Loch Loncahan

July 7, 2016

This week has seen the final round of my annual surveys at Loch Lonachan. It is still full of minnows.

On the way along the track from the Heaste road, put in by Scottish Water a couple of years ago, there was this cup fungus which I take to be a Peziza, but as these cannot be distinguished without microscopy and I did not take a specimen I shall not be bothering my mycologist friends with this one. Presumably there is something organic under the stones.

Peziza sp.jpg

Peziza sp.

There were a couple of sites for Eriophorum latifolium (Broad-leaved Cottongrass) by the path and one of these was accompanied by a good patch of Carex pauciflora (Few-flowered Sedge), a plant that is reasonably obvious for only a few weeks of the year and is in need of more old records being re-found.

Carex pauciflora LR

Carex pauciflora

Two days running there was a Hen Harrier in the area, which was nice.