Friday, 18 November 2016

On this Day 16 November 2016

Cylinder Millipede (Julidae)

Popped down to Denso hopping to find the Hairy Snail, I had photographed on Saturday.
It's the first time I've seen this snail and wanted to get a better photo. 

I did find some small Hairy Snails, but due to the weather and dark light I'm still not happy with the sots.
I had a root through the leaf litter and came across many insects hibernating , I need to find a way of getting a better photo. 
I came across two fungi I have not seen before and I have a few things left to ID.

Blunt-tailed Snake Millipede - Cylindroiulus punctatus


Bonnet sp Fungi

Jelly Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae)

Shaggy Scalycap ( Pholiota squarrosa)
Fluted Bird's Nest (Cyathus striatus)
Land Snails

Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum)

Smooth Glass Snail - Aegopinella nitidula

White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis 

Copse Snail - Arianta arbustorum


Harlequin Ladybird

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Smooth Glass Snail - Aegopinella nitidula


A small (up to 10 mm) land snail sometimes known as the Clear Glass Snail or Waxy Glass Snail. It has an orange-brown, glassy looking shell sometimes with dark mottling and veining showing. The body is blue-grey. Aegopinella nitidula is the largest of the two British species of this genus, A. pura is smaller and often pale in colour but it can be a rich chocolate colour. An eccentric body whorl identifies these as Aegopinella.

Fields, gardens and hedgerows

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Shaggy Scalycap ( Pholiota squarrosa)


Grow on base of stumps and standing living or dead broad leaved trees, branches, wood debris.



Land Snail to ID

Cylinder Millipede (Julidae)

  Cylinder Millipede - Julus4) With 35 or more body segments, always cylindrical, often with coloured spots?
You have an example of a 
  Cylinder Millipede (Julida)
Cylinder Millipedes are the familiar long cylindrical millipedes.  They can have 50 or more body segments, bearing 100 or more pairs of legs. 
Brightly coloured spots on the sides of the body are defensive glands that secrete noxious chemicals to deter predators.
About 30 species are known in Britain. (LINK)

Copse Snail - Arianta arbustorum


 The colour pattern of this species is highly variable; however, most individuals are light brown with straw-coloured spots and a large dark brown stripe. The heliciform shell will also vary in size (10-22 mm high and 14-28 mm wide with 5-6 whorls). The umbilicus is completely covered by the columellar edge of the aperture. The lip of the shell is bone white. Sinistral (mouth on left) and dextral (mouth on right) specimens exist. The body of the animal typically is black. (LINK)

This snail survives in damp meadows, marshy habitats as well as mountains and sandhills. Its longevity is approximately 14 years, attaining maturity at 2-4 years.

mottled pattern, rounded mouth, everted white lip and tiny chink of umbilicus

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Bracket fungus

12 November 2016
Denso Nature reserve

Bracket Fungi (LINK) 

Leopard Slug (Limax maximus)

White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis


The white-lipped snail or garden banded snail, scientific name Cepaea hortensis, is a medium-sized species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the family Helicidae. It is a close relative of the Grove Snail.

The white-lipped banded snail has a glossy, smooth shell, which is typically yellow in colour but may be pink, brown or red, with up to 5 variable spiral dark bands and an obvious white lip around the aperture. Occasionally a dark-lipped form of this species may arise, which makes identification more complicated. It is similar in appearance to the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis), but it has a thinner shell, with more rounded whorls. The body of the snail is usually greenish-grey becoming yellow towards the rear .(LINK) 

Garden Snail - Cornu aspersum


Garden Snail – Helix aspersa


The garden snail (helix aspersa) is one of the best-known species of snails in the world. As all terrestrial snails is a gastropod mollusk. It is so common, that it is one of the most proliferated terrestrial mollusks.
The helix aspersa is also known with the common name of “European Brown Garden Snail”, but its scientific name is has alternative versions. Some scientist name this snail as Cornu aspersum, Cantareus aspersus or Cryptomphalus aspersus.
This species is native of Europe but it has been introduced in several parts of the world where it has become a pest for crops and gardens.


The Helix aspersa is an air-breathing snail, which has a single lung. They have a brownish soft body, which is usually covered with slimy mucus.
They have yellow or cream-colored shells with brown spiral stripes. When a snail is old enough, a lip is formed at the edge of the shell aperture. The shell of this species has a height of about 1-1.4 inches and a width of 1-1.5 inches.
The garden snail has a flat muscular organ called a foot that helps it move with a gliding motion helped by the release of a mucus to reduce friction with the rough surface.
This mucus is the reason why snails leave a wet trace of slime when they move around.
Garden Snail Facts
Garden Snail or Helix aspersa


Garden snails are mainly active during nights or early mornings when the sun is not shinning, however they can be active during cloudy or rainy days.
Some Helix aspersa hibernate during winter months, especially when they are mature, but they return to activity with the spring.
They are extremely slow as their fastest speed is only 1.3 centimeters per second.

Habitat and Distribution

The Helix aspersa was originally found in the British islands, western Europe and the Mediterraneo, reaching some regions of north Africa, and the middle east.
However, this snail has been introduced to several places where they have become agricultural pests. These places include the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and some others. This snail has arrived to these places either by accidentally hidden in plant or vegetable shipments or intentionally imported for some purpose.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Garden snails are herbivorous and feed on several kinds of fruit trees, garden plants, crop vegetables and some cereals.
Snail mouth is beneath its tentacles and it has a toothed ribbon called the radula, which is used to fragment its food. This structure is exclusive of mollusks and most of them have one.
Helix aspersa Facts
Close up to garden snail on green background


Like other gastropod mollusks, the Helix aspersa is hermaphrodite; this means that it has both male and female organs. However, mating is required for fertilization, even tough self-fertilization is possible for this species.
The mating process is complex and interesting. After some pairing and courtship, this species start the mating process that can last from four to twelve hours and usually includes the exchange of a love dart, a kind of calcareous arrow with a purpose still unclear.
During the mating process they fertilize each other and they both will lay around 80 eggs 3 to 6 days after the mating occurs. To deliver his eggs, each snail will create a nest digging a hole in the soil with its foot. The nest will be 1 to 1.5 inches deep where the eggs will be delivered.
Gardens snails are able to deliver up to six batches of eggs in a single year. Each newborn, will take one to two years to mature.


Garden snails are food source for some animals like lizards, frogs and worms. Predatory insects and other species of snails will also eat garden snails.
Some birds, especially ducks will feed on these snails.

Relation with humans

This species is edible and it is sometimes used for cooking, although it should not be confused with the helix pomatia, the “Escargot”.
Although is considered a pest in most places, it has acquired popularity in the cosmetic industry because the regenerative properties of their mucus.(LINK)

Hairy Snail - Trochulus hispidus

Hairy Snail - Trochulus hispidus

12 November 2016
Denso Nature Reserve.
Found under nature boards.

Shell 6 mm. The hairs on the shell wear off, but can usually be seen inside the umbilicus, which is quite well defined in this species. It is relatively flat, lacking a noticeable spire. (LINK)

Smooth Newt

Under the boards 12 November 2016

To day a small group of us joined Steve looking under the boards that have been down for the past year.
Some of the boards were new and Steve was interested in seeing if anything had moved in.
On the way round, birds and berries were noted. We did not look under every board, but the ones lifted , there  wildlife was recorded.
Last year the whole place got wiped out in the Christmas floods, so it was going to be interesting to see if the wildlife had come back.


Dogwood  Berries

We were hoping to spot a mouse, plenty of evidence they were using the board, storing food, or a place to eat, there were holes and "runs" through the soil. 

Most boards had Slugs, Land Snails , a few woodlice and best of all we got to see a Newt.
On returning home one of the smaller snail photos caught my eye, not realising on the day. 

Hairy Snail - Trochulus hispidus
I had photographed a Hairy Snail ! not seen one before, they are much smaller than the White-lipped snail and properly over looked.  The Millipede  turned out to be a new species for me too.

Garden Snail

bracket fungus

Blue Roundhead (Stropharia caerulea 

Smooth Newt

Common Flat-backed Millipede (polydesmus sp)

This was the last walk of the year :(
next walk will be to the pub :))))

Flat-backed Millipede (polydesmus sp)

Friday, 11 November 2016

Remembrance day 2016

"lest we forget"
Rang so true today as I joined Steve and a group of schoolboys working on the reserve this morning.
Not much younger than the (boys) men  would have been on that terrible day .
Many of you were having to work today, but will have been touch by Steve’s enthusiasm to remember his Grandad.

Steve started with a poem by  siegfried sassoon
“A Mystic as Soldier”

I LIVED my days apart,
Dreaming fair songs for God;
By the glory in my heart
Covered and crowned and shod.

Now God is in the strife,
And I must seek Him there,
Where death outnumbers life,
And fury smites the air.

I walk the secret way
With anger in my brain.
O music through my clay,
When will you sound again?

Then the whistle was blown to start the minutes silence.