x2 images. Double click to enlarge. This is Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa), and its is quite an extraordinary looking moth. Very distinctively shaped and patterned which make it resemble a withered leaf. It rests with its wings folded in an unusual fashion. It is often seen during the day resting on walls, fences and foliage.
x3 images. Double click to enlarge. Introducing the Ant Woodlouse Platyarthrus hoffmannseggii. Growing up to a length of 5 mm (1/4 in), it is blind and spends all of its life underground. It is always nearly found in association with ants within their nests where they have a good relationship. The woodlouse is tolerated and… Read More A Good Relationship
x5 images. Double click to enlarge. Lifting a piece of bark in a garden border, the last thing I expected to find was a delightful Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris). It remained where it was, frozen to the spot. I hadn’t got my camera, so I gently placed the bark back and went into the house to… Read More What Lies Under A Piece of Bark
x3 images. Double click to enlarge. This is the 600th insect species I have uploaded on Nature Journeys, and what a bright and beautiful one it is, too. It is a fly, a hoverfly called Epistrophe grossulariae. It prefers woodland edges, meadows and wetalnd areas where it will feed on the nectar from flowers. The… Read More The 600
x4 images. Double click to enlarge. I have a Hawthorn bush growing in the back garden, and I discovered these strange things stuck to the branches. They are around 5-7 mm (1/4 inch) long. As you can see they are brown and wrinkly with what looks like a cotton wool ball tucked at the back… Read More Something Strange In The Bushes
You can see why they named this small fungus so. It has a delightful Latin name Xylaria hypoxylon. It is also named Candlesnuff Fungus as it generally blackens.
This is an irregular resupinate fungus forming large spreading patches which is tightly attached to the substrate with waxy flesh which turns dark brown when dry and becomes brittle. I have shown close views in the first two images to show the fascinating structure of this fungi. It is uncommon, and it is usually found… Read More Mycoacia fuscoatra
The Clustered Bonnet (Mycena inclinata) discovered on a rotting tree stump. Despite the potential lighting difficulties of photographing fungi … at least they don’t try and run away, and they don’t hardly move in the wind … I don’t really like to use flash on mushrooms as I much prefer the natural light. In manual… Read More Clustered Bonnet #2
Not Ghostbusters slime … but Mycetozoa – slime moulds, more discovered this time in local woods. This species looks to be the same as in the previous post Trichia botrytis. Like all slime moulds, they creep across a surface very slowly devouring food until they run out, and when they run out they will release… Read More Yup … More Slime Forecast …
This small but attractive fungi appears on dead twigs of broad-leaved trees in autumn and winter.
This tiny, brightly coloured slime mould is called Trichia botrytis. It thrives on dead wood, and is quite variable in colour. This was found on the underside of loose bark, and autumn is the time of year that slime moulds mainly make their appearance.
This is Dicyrtomina saundersi, a springtail, and boy do they jump if they feel threatened. This is an uncropped image. I have experimented with extension tubes for the first time ever this morning, and have found using the 36 mm tube in combination with my Raynox 250 they work pretty well. Normally I would have… Read More Getting Even Closer
Also called the Lawyer’s Wig, this can be quite a large and impressive mushroom with a tall cap. When it opens up the cap and white gills gradually blacken and dissolve into black ink from the edge upwards to release its spores. Eventually the cap will melt away completely until only the stem remains. Seen… Read More Shaggy Inkcap Coprinus comatus
One of my favourite shrooms with its firey orange shades and fibrous cap. Found growing on rotting logs and stumps in coniferous woodland and very occasionally also on hardwoods. It also grows on woodchips used as mulch. Fairly common and widespread in Britain, it can be seen June to November.
You may be wondering what an earth this blog title means? Well, coincidently for me, this is another of those species which has yet to be given a proper name! This is a globular springtail of around 1.5-2 mm (around 5/64 in). It has to be the prettiest and perhaps the cutest I have seen,… Read More Katiannidae genus nov.1. sp. nov.2
Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) showing its autumn colours. It will go darker, turning to a deep bronze as winter takes hold and then will hibernate during the coldest period. In spring it will gradually turn back to full green.
This is quite an attractive and colourful little mushroom which grows in large tufts on rotting tree stumps and logs. It is very similar to the Funeral Bell (Galerina marginata) which is deadly poisonous. This was found on a mossy White Willow which had fallen near the river.
This is the Common Shiny Woodlouse (Oniscus asellus), caught in the act of moulting, leaving behind ghostly exuviae. As I observed, it was like watching a car slowly backing out of a garage as it withdrew from the phantom casting.
This species of millipede looks rather similar to a woodlouse, and this can often lead to some confusion in identification. Its common name refers to its habit of rolling into a tight ball to protect itself from predation and to prevent itself from drying out. It is greyish-brown to blackish in colour, with about 11… Read More Pill Millipede Glomeris marginata
This is another new species for the garden, and they all appear to like my shed wall for some reason. This is a lovely female. A long-legged harvestman with an indistinct and variable light gray or brown body pattern. The saddle has one or two restrictions along its length giving it a waisted, or double-waisted… Read More Phalangium opilio
Quite a large dark millipede with a length of up to 60 mm (about 2/34 in). They take 2 to 3 years to mature, and can live for several years after first mating. It can be seen all year round, and is found in gardens, woodlands and anywhere with rocks or rotting trees under which… Read More White-legged Snake Millipede Tachypodoiulus niger
This caused some excitement the other day in the Harvestmen group I am a part of. Note that the ‘A’ at the end in the title is not a typo, but is there because scientists have yet to name it! It was first discovered in Europe in the Netherlands back in 2004, and then in… Read More Leiobunum sp. A
Dicyrtomina saundersi is its name, and not an insect (although previously considered to be) but a springtail. There is a kind of ‘spaceman’ like figure in the pattern towards the head, and a distinct dark barred patch towards the rear of the abdomen which helps separate it from similar species. It looked directly up at… Read More Cuter Than Cute – For A Bug
This is called the 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata), one of our native species which I often see in the garden.
I never saw the ‘face’ at the time of taking this photograph. It wasn’t until I got it on the PC screen that it was there in profile with its pointed chin, blunted nose and dark staring eye. Apart from looking like a face it is Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata) growing on a rotting… Read More I Can’t Help It … Pareidolia
Mycena inclinata grows in dense clumps on rotting logs or stumps on mostly oak in deciduous woodland.
This is the caterpillar of the Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata). Sporting some spider netting pants, he appears quite relaxed.
I really enjoy the autumn sunlight. It is less harsh and more gentle on the eye and the landscape it illuminates. The light was a at the back of these faded Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) fronds when I took the image.
This acorn is growing on Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur). Acorns are rich in nutrients, and not only do mighty oak trees grow from acorns, but so do the various birds, mammals, insects and other animals which rely on them throughout the season.
Philoscia muscorum has a dark stripe along the centre of its back. One of the ‘famous 5’ very common British species of woodlouse most likely to be seen. Seen all year round, it forages for dead organic matter on which it feeds during the cover of night, hiding under stones, bark or logs during the day.… Read More Common Striped Woodlouse
Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis forma spectabilis) – As the land prepares for the winter slumber with October bedding in, the milder weather is keeping some indviduals away from their hibernation. It almost appears like spring has come early, with some spring flowering plants bursting into bloom. The world is so confused in more ways than… Read More Autumn Brings Surprises
Hypholoma fasciculare – Always quite a showy fungi, growing from rotting tree stump.
Rabbit Hutch Spider (Steatoda bipunctata) – The first image has a kind of creepy smiley doll face. Commonly found near or in human habitation such as outbuildings or sheds, and probably rabbit hutches.
Odiellus spinosus – Its been a good year for harvestmen, and I have seen quite a few different species around, but I haven’t seen this one in the garden for some years now. This one has 3 distinct horns of similar length which, together, is called a ‘trident’, and has a dark oulined ‘saddle’ on… Read More Autumn Is A Time For Harvestmen
Lithobius (Lithobius) variegatus – This is a fairly large centipede growing up to 30 mm (1 1/4 in) long. It hides during the day under bark, stones, rotting logs or decaying vegetation, emerging at night to hunt other invertebrates by injecting them with venom. Found mainly in rural areas in woodland and moorland.
Common Harvestman Paroligolophus agrestis – This was quite something to see, a tiny springtail, Deuterosminthurus pallipes, hitching a ride on the back of a harvestman.
Well not quite – it is an Oribatid mite found in soil under a clay flower pot. They are also called Beetle Mites or Moss Mites. The order Oribatida has species which range from 0.2 mm long to 1.4 mm (1/128 in to around 1/16 in) long … and this is somewhere inbetween. These very… Read More A blob of Red Jelly
I have now recorded 999 species on this website, from plants to animals, fungi and even a cyanobacterium. I have stopped short of making this post ‘1000’ as the 999th species convinced me to use it as a marker milestone. Not surprising it happens to be an invertebrate, an arthropod, and an insect at that.… Read More 999 Species
Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus) I am sure it thought that if it couldn’t see me I couldn’t see it. Its larger frontal eyes are tucked under the moss. It seems to have been a very good year for these. More of them around, and larger, too, so getting a good diet.
The delightfully named leafhopper can be found on Hawthorn, Rowan, and several other trees incluing various fruit trees.