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  caterpillar on curled dock
Posted by: Ian Strachan - 01-08-2020, 10:54 AM - Forum: Butterflies and moths - Replies (2)

can anyone help with ID of this rather striking caterpillar eating Rumex crispus beside the shore in Loch Hourn this week?

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  Wasp Atlas Project reminder
Posted by: Murdo Macdonald - 30-07-2020, 09:13 AM - Forum: Highland Wasp Atlas - Replies (3)

Just a reminder that after a bit of a slow start social wasps are beginning to be a bit more obvious now, so please keep an eye open for any in your area.

A great way to find wasps in safety is just to check the flowers of Hogweed and Angelica, favourites for the insects to forage at.  They tend to be quite leisurely there, and can be photographed to confirm the species  A full-face shot is the crucial one, and a top view or side view is a helpful addition.

Records from the less populated areas are especially valuable - Caithness, Sutherland, W Ross and Lochaber, for example.

Lots more information on the Wasp Atlas Project is on our website.

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  Buoy Barnacle and Common Goose Barnacle
Posted by: Sean Morris - 28-07-2020, 07:20 PM - Forum: Marine and littoral - Replies (1)

These look like Buoy Barnacles to me Dosima fascicularis


And I think this is the Common Goose Barnacle Lepas anatifera


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  Nephrotoma flavipalpis?
Posted by: grahamcrittenden - 28-07-2020, 03:32 PM - Forum: Flies - Replies (1)

A few days ago I saw what looked like a small/medium sized cranefly with black/yellow stripes and a red tip to the almost cylindrical abdomen. It was perched on an oak leaf in my garden on the north coast at Melvich. Could it have been Nephrotoma flavipennis or are there other possibilities? Unfortunately I didn't have a camera at hand.

Graham Crittenden

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  Lesser Swallow Prominent
Posted by: Sean Morris - 24-07-2020, 02:47 PM - Forum: Butterflies and moths - Replies (2)

I think this is Lesser Swallow Prominent rather than the similar Swallow Prominent?

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  An alien fungus
Posted by: Murdo Macdonald - 24-07-2020, 11:09 AM - Forum: Fungi, lichens and slime-moulds - No Replies

Having just cleared his book from his to-do list, Bruce Ing is documenting the history of an alien fungus, Pale Stagshorn Calocera pallidospathulata and its spread in Britain.  We are in an excellent position to monitor northward extensions in range.

So far it has been found only well south of Inverness, but might well be overlooked.  You can read an account of its occurrence to 1999
[/url]by Bruce, and there are pictures on the [url=]NatureSpot page.

Please make yourselves aware of this newcomer, and report any finds in the usual way.  A picture would be useful for confirmation.

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  New edition of slime-mould book
Posted by: Murdo Macdonald - 24-07-2020, 11:08 AM - Forum: Fungi, lichens and slime-moulds - Replies (1)

Bruce Ing, the slime-mould guru resident in W Ross, has just published the second updated edition of his book on the fascinating group of organisms.

Details are: The Myxomycetes of Britain and Ireland: An Identification Handbook by Ing, B. ISBN : 9780855462512 Richmond Publishing.

NHBS page (other sellers are available).

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  Beetle ID workshop
Posted by: Murdo Macdonald - 24-07-2020, 10:04 AM - Forum: Beetles - No Replies

A virtual beetle ID workshop from Buglife Scotland.

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  big craneflies
Posted by: Ian Strachan - 22-07-2020, 10:46 PM - Forum: Flies - Replies (1)

I had five of these whoppers in my Heath Trap on Monday night - Pedicia rivosa, an easy cranefly to identify by the distinctive wing markings - as though some of the veins have been marked with a black felt tip. I hadn't realised before, but when they hold their wings like this perhaps they are mimicking something with large jaws? (facing backwards). They all soon flew off.

A widespread species in Highland, and the largest of the hairy-eyed craneflies (Pediciidae). It almost rivals the Giant Cranefly Tipula maxima (Tipuliidae) for size, though that species has large dark patches across its wings.

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  Meadowsweet Mildew
Posted by: ðejay - 21-07-2020, 07:13 PM - Forum: Fungi, lichens and slime-moulds - No Replies

I may have found the UKs most northerly Erysiphe ulmariae on Meadowsweet
Grid HY 3705 (Orkney)
No infection of leaves or flowers. Podosphaera spiraeae is recorded present

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