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News February 2021


Oh…

Maybe someone has worked out how to produce a swan with a 3D printer.

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Climbing cactus. This was a new habit to me.
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The flower is news too.

Not news is the confusion among the general public when common names for organisms are widely used. Remember our ongoing Magpie bird, still misidentified as a magpie moth?

This seems sad somehow:

One for the entomologists among us. They are invitting sightings. Also mentions Harlequins.

This one looks rather confusing as it is very similar to native species

Looks like we have enough of our own:
https://www.britishbugs.org.uk/gallery/heteroptera/Pentatomoidea/pentatomoidea.html
Graphosoma italicum is striking.
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The list includes the ‘new one’. https://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Pentatomidae/halyomorpha_halys.html

Caddis Limnephilus pati (re)discovered on South Uist: https://www.buglife.org.uk/news/uk-extinct-species-rediscovered-in-the-outer-hebrides/

Also today, an honour bestowed that I guess any of us would love. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/12/hemiandrus-jacinda-insect-named-after-new-zealand-prime-minister-ardern

Back from “extinction ” . “ A species thought to be extinct in Britain was in my back garden!” So let’s all keep looking…

If you knew my back garden, JoC, you’ld know no species would come back from the brink there…

I do have Pasqueflower silkily in bloom, but that’s in a pot - from https://www.naturescape.co.uk/ if you’re interested. They can also do you a good deal on Taraxacum https://www.naturescape.co.uk/product/dandelion-seed/ - a snip at the price!

No one in their right mind would name a cricket after Johnson. Or be so cruel.

Best look to the future when choosing a name http://www.speciesfungorum.org/Names/NamesRecord.asp?RecordID=219551
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anophthalmus_hitleri

Maybe the geological world might oblige in that sordid direction. Are there any recent discoveries in the field of coprolites?

It doesn’t say who identified it. Do you know whether Ian Wallace has accepted the record?

That Record is from (our very own) Robin Sutton https://www.ispotnature.org/view/user/52219
I have asked him to consider putting up the record. It IS in the Dictionary.

There is an apparent paradox - how is a species described in 1980 (from Isle of Man specimens discovered in an Irish Museum) not recorded in the UK for 100 years? The nature of its discovery offers a possible explanation - retrospective records made from museum collections.

Thank you Amadan. Dandelion seed; that offer must be a surprise to most gardeners

It is offered as Taraxacum officicinale so no attempt at identifying at species levels, although the nature of seed production in the dandelions, being most species asexual, means each seed on a ‘clock’ is more or less identical to all the others. The mother-daughter line of a particular clone, can, at least in theory, be recognised as a species.

Since apomixis in dandelions is generally dominant over sexuality, it might be thought that the Dandelion is doomed, which is clearly not the case at least in my garden. If there is no possibility of genetic recombination during pollen and egg production that may seem like an evolutionary dead end. So, it is likely that the relatively few lines which survive today (150 native in Britain & Ireland) have been able to do so as a result of randomly arising mutations of which enough are beneficial which have occurred within each since those lines were formed thousands of years ago.

Asexual dandelions have an unusually high level of chromosome breakage and refusion in dividing cells, phenomena may enable apomictic dandelions to shuffle off potentially disadvantages mutants into a position in the DNA where they are silenced and can do no harm.

I learned much of this from the BSBI handbook #9, Dandelions of Great Britain and Ireland. What I have not learned to do is to identify, at the level of “I am sure”, even one species.

Taraxacum mongolicum seeds are available from Amazon.


100 seeds for £6
Maybe they would grow in Bristol?
Think of all the little parachutes on the breezes eddying 'round the houses…

Not me!
I am surprisingly short on Taraxacum seeds, but I can do you some good deals on Wood Avens: also Grape Hyacynth bulbs and Lesser Celandine roots…