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For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

NORWICH: Earlham Cemetery lichens and micro moths

12th May 2018

Most of the monthly Friends of Earlham Cemetery walks are led by a member of the group, but for this one Peter Lambley, the county lichen recorder, had agreed to take us round. Despite the drizzly weather there was a good turnout, and we managed to record about 25 lichens in total. Many of them were fairly common species associate with gravestones or trees, but I did see three new species, Candelariella medians, Lecanora polytropa and Lecanora soralifera.

 Candelariella medians
 Lecanora polytropa
 Lecanora soralifera

There were few insects about because of the overcast conditions, but Will did catch a hoverfly, Cheilosia bergenstammi, one of many similar shiny black species, and a Bee-fly was roosting on some vegetation. I spotted an old Birch Polypore and checked for Ochre Cushion fungus, which sometimes grows underneath and was indeed present. 

Two moth larvae were the highlight of the visit. Firstly I noticed an Eriocrania mine on a birch tree, a destinctive group of species because of the time of year and spirals of frass. They can be quite difficult to ID to species level, but fortunately this one has a distinctive larva, which emerged the following day to confirm it as Eriocrania unimaculella. This was a new species for the 10km square. I was actually more pleased to find the second one though, because it was very well camouflaged. I found several horn-shaped larval cases, covered in lichen, at the base of a tree. These were Virgin Smoke (Luffia ferchaultella), so called because only females have been found in Britain - apparently they breed parthenogenetically rather than sexually.

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