Friday, 24 January 2014

Not quite prepared

I had the brainwave of taking Friday afternoon off work with the intention of doing some serious rummaging in the leaf litter. Everything was going swimmingly up until the point where the batteries in my flash gave out, at which point I loaded up the spare set I'd carefully packed, and discovered that they were pretty much flat as well. Despite this display of organisational incompetence, I did manage to find a few new beasts amongst the leaf litter.

First up were a couple of woodlice, which after a bit of internet research I think I've tracked down to being the common striped woodlouse and common shiny woodlouse. I also discovered that my latest attempts at a DIY flash diffuser weren't entirely successful when confronted with the latter!
54: Common Striped Woodlouse
Common Striped Woodlouse
55: Common Shiny Woodlouse
Common Shiny Woodlouse
I then switched my attention to the more well endowed invertebrates scuttling around on the log I'd overturned, first focussing on what I thought was the armoured tank of the centipede world, but which subsequently appears to be a millipede in the genus Polydesmus (hoping Ispot can get it to species!). A slightly less formidable creature turned out to be the Blunt-tailed Snake Millipede, new for the year, and also an addition to the lifelist.

Polydesmus sp.
Polydesmus - but which one???
56: Blunt-tailed Snake Millipede
Blunt-tailed Snake Millipede
At this point the flash was fading fast, so I knew I was only going to get a few more photos before calling it a day. An inspection of a patch of moss (at some point I will learn some of the common mosses) turned up a tiny barkfly, which I think is Ectopsocus petersi. A final peeling back of a bit of rotting bark revealed a single earwig covered in drops of dew, which I managed a single shot of before the flash finally gave up the ghost. Lesson learned, I will be taking at least two sets of spare batteries on future excursions, and also be doing some redesigning of the flash diffuser.

57: Ectopsocus petersi
A tiny barkfly Ectopsocus petersi
58: Earwig
Total: 58 Species - see all the photos here

Lifelist 1277 Species - new additions common shiny woodlouse and blunt-tailed snake millipede

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