It is now the fungus season – look out for this one in areas of acidic soil – the Bitter Beech Bolete Boletus calopus or as I prefer to call it, the ‘Rhubarb and Custard Bolete’. It is the only one of the boletus tribe to combine a red stem (with a network) and yellow pores that bruise bluish. It is indeed bitter and not one for the pot. It seems to be commoner in recent years like it was back in the early eightees – may be it likes cold,dry winters and miserable, wet summers!
This is one to look out for on the beaches around The Solent and Southampton Water……….
The Manila Clam Tapes phillipinarum is a recent introduction from The Phillipines. Some shells were found on the recent Southampton Natural History Society trip to Calshot. There are several native related species of ‘Carpet Shell’ but most are different in shape or lack the crosscut ribbing on the outside of the shell. The most similar native species is the Crosscut Carpet Tapes decussata. The Manila Clam is smaller than Crosscut Carpet with a more attractively marked shell and inside the valves is usually a characteristic egg-yolk yellow patch.
Another example of this moth was seen at a similar Mercury Vapour moth light at the Highcliff under-cliff east of Christchurch, Dorset on 28th July. This moth can also be seen at flowers in the daytime. Worth looking out for in August in the Christchurch and Bournemouth areas, elsewhere in Dorset, on the Devon coast or on the Isle of Wight.