I’d really been looking to Sunday's excursion to Whipsnade Zoo with Alan Outen and our two County lichenologists, Martin Butler & Mark Powell and knew that it was a great opportunity to find some very special species. The day got off to a great start when Alan showed me some locally-found Crowned Earthstar (Geastrum coronatum), and the Woodlouse, Cylisticus convexus, that he had found under a stone in Kent.
At first glance, this species looks like an Armadillidium of some kind as it tries to roll into a ball, but it’s not quite as neat and convincing.
We had an amazing day and I was really inspired by Martin & Mark as they pointed out various lichens on all kinds of substrate. It was only later in the day, when I looked up from examining a fence rail and suddenly noticed two Sea-lions swimming around a pool right in front of me, that I realised that I had hardly noticed the ‘big stuff’ all around me!
Through the day I picked up over 40 new species of Lichen, together with a determination to continue to get to know this difficult, but fascinating group.
Peltigera didactyla on a sandstone block:
And the moth bagworm, Luffia ferchaultella, a dozen or so of which were located underneath a hawthorn branch by the Hippo Pools: