Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Thursday, 1 May 2014


We're into a new month but there are pictures I don't want to leave behind - pictures of things I like or find interesting but don't quite know what they are.

This beetle, for instance. I think I know roughly it's of the Geotrupes genus - but I'll never know its name exactly. I understand some beetles in this group can be better identified when upside down but even if I were to rummage around in the leaf litter of the New Forest (Hampshire) how would I ever recognise it again? After all, there's only one Alexander Beetle. (Isnt't there?)

This one is about half an inch long and since I don't know what to call it (assuming it isn't Alexander) I'll name it Beetle of the Waving Hands. (See the end of its antennae?)

Then there are.lichens. These were growing huddled against each other on a fallen branch (again in the New Forest). 

Lichen 1 Pale and Feathery.

(Late addition to text - iSpot ID - this lichen could be Evernia prunastri.)

Lichen 2 Pale and Lumpy-flakey.

I know where I saw them but nothing more. Do you know their names?

And back in Dorset; I put a picture of this lichen on iSpot and it was identified as Cladonia polydactyla. But how do I know it's not Cladonia digitata?

Because I don't know how to tell, I'm going to call it Lichen with the Bloody Fingers.

I've had even less luck in finding out what these fungi below are. Both are tiny.

I'll call this the Ice-topped Toadstool. (It isn't really ice; just looks like it.)

These are even tinier. (About 4mm across?) I wouldn't have seen them had I not sat down with a flask of coffee to admire the view. They were in the shadow of a hedge but facing a huge drop and dip in the landscape. (Hence the view.) So are they in shelter or exposed? It depends on which direction you are looking! But, short of the Latin one, I'm stumped for a name. Any ideas?

* * *
The May link box for Tree Following posts
will be on Wednesday.
(7th May)
It will open 7am UK time (I hope!)
and close 7pm UK time on Wednesday 14th.
(Also I hope. It works automatically but not necessarily precisely!)

Extra Links
Beetles of the Geotrupes genus - on the Bug Guide site.
Dor Beetle upside down on the Beetles Page on the 'Bugs and Weeds' site - a Nature Observer's Scrapbook
The poem about Alexander Beetle is from 'Now we are Six' by AA Milne. Here it is - unsung! (Called 'Forgiven' in the 'original'.)

Alan Silverside's Lichen Pages
Fungi Identification Guide - on the First Nature site.
Toadstools for Gardeners - On the RHS site
Beginners Guide to some of the Common Types of Fungi - in the Amanita Photo Library

The Loose and Leafy approach to naming plants and fungi - The New Linnaeus


Anonymous said...

A fascinating post, wonderful pictures and informative links. Thanks for the tree following reminder. Flighty xx

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi, Mike. Was worried I'd overdone the links!

Joanne Wilson said...

A lovely post, I love watching the bugs I find in the garden. I like links, it is a way of finding out further info.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Thanks Joanne. (As well as the useful info. links, did you listen to the link where Melanie sings 'Alexander Beetle'? Cheerful and poignant.)

Mark Willis said...

I prefer your naming system to the boring official one! :)

amanda peters said...

Hi Lucy, you made me smile with this post I know what you mean, trying to name thing we find can be soooooo hard. Has taken the best part of a week to name a Hoverfly...who new there was so many....and you can't trust always trust the information you find on the Internet as some of that is wrong too.
Love the bug you found, would you have picked it up to look underneath ??..

Countryside Tales said...

So hard to ID some beetles and definitely the lichens. I have books here but even with those I struggle. I enjoyed the photos though :-)

Diana Studer said...

can't overdo links ... we can choose to click, or just remember they are here for future reference.
Today I introduced someone to ispot, and thought of you.

Donna said...

Lucy I love the lichen photos...so much more 3D than mine.

PlantPostings said...

Stunning photos of moss, lichens, and fungi! That happens to me a lot, too. I'll think a photo turned out OK, but it doesn't fit the particular post I'm working on at the time. So it just kind of fades into the memory card. I'm glad you share these photos--they're amazing!

Trella said...

Seeing your photos of the lichen is going to make me go out and study my tree trunks and branches more closely. I know I have the first two in your photos. There is also lots of moss around here. I have never gotten into the technical names, but think I will try to do that. However, I do love your one names for them. So much more descriptive!

Trella said...

Whoops, I meant to say own names, not one! Excuse my typo!

sharon said...

im likin your lichen..

Hollis said...

I like your names, Lucy, especially the Lichen with the Bloody Fingers, maybe because it's looking to be a grim day here

May tree-following time already?! aarrgghhh

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Mark. I was going to say the advantage of my system is that I can remember the names - then I realised that may not necessarily be so. These same lichens and toadstools may turn up with different names on a later post!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Amanda. If you've been identifying a hoverfly you will probably already know the extraordinary British Hoverfly site. But in case not - here's the link.


It's only in the last few years I've realised there are so many too.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Countryside Tales. I have a few books but I rarely get anywhere with them. The advantage of the internet is not just that one can get help with IDs but it's often possible to see lots of pictures and lots of angles - and that (to some degree!) helps.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Diana. Glad you too like links. iSpot is a great resource.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Donna. And thanks. Glad you like the lichen photographs. They wouldn't do well as prints though - especially the Bloody Fingers type which I cropped out of a much bigger picture. It's where screens win out over paper.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Plant Postings. I can imagine when I'm about 95 and no longer able to crawl around in the undergrowth looking for interesting plants and insects I'll be blogging still by raiding my archives for a life-time of un-used photos.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Trella. I hope you are finding interesting lichens and fungi and mosses already.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Thanks Sharon!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Hollis. The 7th comes round much faster than it used to before setting the date for tree following posts!

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

I'm totally useless when it comes to identifying lichens or fungi, though I think your beetle is actually Brian. Wonderful photographs, what camera do you use? More importantly, what lens? Not that I will be upgrading any time soon. Or learning enough about lichens. I do enjoy your names though. I shoudl do that, get less cross at not being able to identify something and just give it a name of my own. I used to do it with constellations, after all, why not lichens and wildflowers?

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Janet - re. the camera. It's a Canon Powershot S100 - so there are no lenses to change!

I'm really happy with it. It's very versatile and takes pictures simultaneously in RAW and JPEG if you want it to - which I do because I have dreams of writing a book with pictures in it one day!

It's small (four inches by two and a half at a guess) so I can carry it everywhere with me.

When I bought it, I was told the quality of the photos was equivalent to that of the lower end DSLRs (and lower end was all I could afford!)and I chose it.

It's more robust than a DSLR - perfect for clambering over rocks and crawling around in undergrowth - which would be harder with a DSLR.

Its size and lack of long lens mean I don't need a tripod. (I'd find it hard to balance a long lens without hand shake.)

There are disadvantages with not being able to change lenses and if I could have a really good DSLR as well - then I would! But it takes good long distance pictures as well as close ups and I have adapted my photography to some degree to it so we can work together in harmony - me and the camera!

Hope that's useful info.!