Tardigrades

Tardigrades have been found everywhere in Earth’s biosphere, from the highest mountaintops to the deepest sea  and from tropical rainforests to the Antarctic. There are sure to be some, somewhere, in the reserve’s ponds, going quietly about their business.

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Cantharis livida

One of our New Year’s resolutions is to make regular trawls through the depths of our extensive species lists in order to introduce you to some of the less visible (and sometimes much less fluffy) of the reserve’s inhabitants.

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Insect losses

In the UK the populations of our more common butterflies have fallen by 46% in the last 50 years while the rarer species have declined by 77%. We have lost 60% of our flying insects in just 20 years. We have entirely lost 13 species of our native bees since the 1970s and fully expect more to follow.

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Ivy flowers

The reserve’s ivy flowers between September and November; each plant’s flowering season is quite short but a succession of plants flowers all through the autumn. The flowers are small, green and yellow, and so insignificant-looking that many people don’t realise that that they are flowers at all.

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Wasps

By the end of the summer, the workers in a wasp nest will have finished raising and feeding the new queen larvae. The larvae have spun caps over their cells and begun the process of pupation. This indicates a change for the nest.

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Tardigrades

Tardigrades have been found everywhere in Earth’s biosphere, from the highest mountaintops to the deepest sea  and from tropical rainforests to the Antarctic. There are sure to be some, somewhere, in the reserve’s ponds, going quietly about their business.

Continue reading

Crane Flies

There are hundreds of species of crane fly in this country and almost all of them go by the name of daddy long legs. The differences between species can be microscopically small but we think this specimen photographed in the reserve is either a common European crane fly (Tipula paludosa) or a marsh crane fly, (T. oleracea).

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More about oak galls

This strange object is a knopper gall on an oak tree, photographed in the reserve yesterday by Ian Bushell. At this time of year, our many oak trees are sporting a whole variety of galls.

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