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Path-side Clearing & Minibeasts

Last week, more of the path-side vegetation was tidied up with some of the Oxeye Daisies being removed.

The session on Sunday 18th also had time to look at a few of the minibeasts that were uncovered. There were the tracks of leaf mining grubs in a Sow-thistle leaf; the grubs, most probably those of one of the common flies that feed this way, eat the leaf tissue between the upper and lower surfaces as they advance and grow and leave this characteristic trail. After pupation they emerge as an adult, one of the very many tiny flies that could well be part of the food for one of the Pipistrelle bats that hawk along the edge of Crow Wood.

Not surprisingly, some woodlice were also uncovered, but not the usual kind. These were Pill Woodlouse characterised by being able to roll themselves into a tight protective ball with no gaps. This species, tolerant of dry conditions, is often associated with limestone rocks, and is not widely found in Scotland, being restricted to coastal areas in southern Scotland, for example around the Forth and Tay, so it is a little bit special for our patch.

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