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Bay Sucker   A scarce fungus

We wish our members and all naturalists everywhere
an enjoyable and productive 2019!

An Atlas project for everyone's favourite insect - WASPS!
 Coverage Please assist with our new atlas project, mapping the distribution of our social wasps.   All the information you need is here.  Anyone can help with this, whether just collecting dead wasps from your house or garden, or becoming competent at identifying the different species.

If you live in or visit the areas which are either blank or have pale grey dots, then your contribution will be especially important.  These are the areas with three species or fewer recorded since 1995.

By 2022 we want every part of Highland to have a dark grey or black dot, and it all depends on you!

The Bay Sucker gall.

This is a bit of a long-odds punt, but long odds are the ones that hit the big money!  Sandy Coppins has the Bay Sucker bug
Lauritrioza alacris (formerly Trioza) in her garden in E Lothian, just confirmed as the first records for Scotland.  This is an alien, introduced around 100y ago to England, and like several other species we have featured here this year it has spread northwards.  Although we are a fair way north of E Lothian, things like this can be overlooked, and as a horticultural pest can easily be transported long distances with human help.  More information is on the British Bugs page.

So - if you have a Bay plant in your garden please check the leaves for the obviously thickened rolled leaf edges.  There will be evidence of the bugs inside the roll.  And let us know if you have it.  Back to the top.

Trioza alacris

Lauritrioza alacris galls on Bay Laurus nobilis.

Photo © Sandy Coppins.

Prunella with R. abundans

Rosenscheldia abundans

A fungus on Self-heal.

Among some dead vegetation Sue Tarr collected recently for Bruce Ing's fungal inventory was a distinctive species
Rosenscheldia abundans on the dead stems of Self-heal Prunella vulgaris.  This was new to VC106, but it has since been found in several other sites.  Why not find some elsewhere in Highland?

Self-heal is very common, and even now is easy to spot (see image on left).  Look at the old black dead stems, and with a lens you might see the oval clusters of black spore-bodies of the fungus.  Infected stems are much blacker and rougher than clean ones, with little hint of brown or green, so can be recognised in a clump.  However, early infections show as obvious elongated black marks on green stems.  If you do find it, let us know, and ideally keep a sample for confirmation, or if you have the equipment, take a picture of the fungus. 

The Fungus Database has only 24 records in the British Isles, including nine in Scotland of which three are from Highland.  Left is our current HBRG map.

Back to the top.
R. abundans map
Rosenscheldia abundans on Prunella vulgaris.

Photo © Murdo Macdonald.

Bay Sucker   A scarce fungus
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