Welcome to my blog

This is where I post various musings about wildlife and ecology, observations of interesting species (often invertebrates)
and bits of research that grab my attention. As well as blogging, I undertake professional ecological & wildlife surveys
covering invertebrates, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and some mammals, plus habitat assessment and management
. I don't work on planning applications/for developers. The pages on the right will tell you more about my work,
main interests and key projects, and you can follow my academic work here.

Thursday 7 October 2010

It's fungus time!

During the summer, I tend to focus on invertebrates and flowering plants, but as summer turns to autumn, Fungi become more prevalent. Here are a few shots showing some of the huge variety of forms...

A close up of a splendid Cortinarius purpurascens - the familiar 'toadstool' type of fungus.

A type of  'bracket', the Beefsteak Fungus - found inside a thousand-year-old oak

A 'cup' fungus - the Scarlet Elf-cup in damp mossy woodland.

The golden-yellow fingers of a Calocera 'Stagshorn'

Melampsora, a rust fungus on spurge leaves - there are many rusts on a huge range of plants.

...and the last one is the oddest - Entomophthora, a fungus that invades insects like this Yellow Dung-fly. The fungus affects the fly's nervous system, changing its behaviour - so, it climbs to the top of a grass stem, head down, abdomen raised and wings spread, and then it dies in this position. Why? Well, this means that the spores which are then released disperse more effectively to find more hosts...

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