Wednesday, 30 May 2018

19.05.18 - Charnwood Lodge

The rarest habitat in Leicestershire is undoubtedly the small patch of acid heathland at Charnwood Lodge. On the east side, there is an even smaller patch of Sphagnum bog with a unique flora, so being in the vicinity, this was an obvious place to look for springtails.

I started by sampling from the ancient lichen-covered Charnwood rocks and from vegetation such as Bilberry and Cross-leaved Heath. However, it was a warm and very dry day so this was unproductive. I then moved on to sampling Birch trunks (also unproductive) and then on to beating the Gorse, which produced a large number of springtails, mostly Entomobrya nivalis:
Entomobrya nivalis

and a few Entomobrya nicoleti:
Entomobrya nicoleti

After this, I moved on to sampling the wet Sphagnum. This contained lots of springtails, including Pogonognathellus longicornis, Orchesella cincta, Tomocerus minor and a few Lepidocyrtus cyaneus - no scales on the legs or the antennae and interocular macrosetae present:
Lepidocyrtus cyaneus

However, the star of the show was Heterosminthurus bilineatus, my first record of this species from VC55:

Heterosminthurus bilineatus

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