Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pelican's Foot Shell

Pelican's foot shell (Aporrhais pespelecani)

Used to find quite a number of these on the beach in Largo but this is the first one that I've found for a while. The main body of the shell is a whorled spire but the shell opening has an extended lip, shaped like the webbed foot of a bird and drawn out into four points. This one was 3.5cm. long although they can be up to 5cm. in length. I suspect this shell has been weathered by time and tide as the points have become very rounded. It's a sublittoral deep water species not normally found living on the shore.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Small Copper Butterfly

A small copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas) basking in the sun amongst hawthorn berries, alongside the old railway track in Lower Largo. A bright attractive tiny butterfly, this one has lost a little bit of its hind wing.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Shaggy Parasol Mushroom

Another mushroom from a recent visit to the woods in Falkland Estate. There are several parasol mushrooms but these looked most like the shaggy parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes). Rhacodes is a mispelling of the greek rhakos or rhacos which means 'piece of cloth'. The cap is at first egg-shaped then opens flat and the outer skin breaks up into shaggy brown scales on a cream background. The stem is white.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Yellow Stag's Horn Fungus

Yellow Stag's Horn Fungus (Calocera viscosa) growing on dead wood in the Falkland Estate. It is a bright yellow, many branched jelly fungus which is abundant on conifer stumps and fallen trunks.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

A Bright Blue Patch

Some work was recently done at the Upper Largo end of the Serpentine Walk and a patch of earth levelled off. In no time at all it was covered in vegetation, the most striking being these cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus). At one time cornflowers along with poppies brightened up the cornfields, although no doubt considered a troublesome weed, however, modern agricultural methods have led to it becoming quite a rarity.

Monday, 25 August 2014

A Tiny Rock Pool

A tiny rock pool on the beach (middle-shore) approaching Lower Largo Harbour from Lundin Links. Lots of barnacles and some limpets but my eye was drawn to the centre of the pool where there was a mass of  minute blue-grey larval-like creatures (about 3mm in length) that were in continual rapid motion although maintaining the roughly circular shape of the mass.
Looking at the close-up photo (click to enlarge) they are segmented, with antennae and paired legs. That suggests arthropods and crustaceans. (Crustacea is the major group or subphylum of the phylum arthropoda  that includes the crabs, prawns, and sandhopper types of animal.) I think that these are very small marine crustaceans of the order isopoda, although I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at the species. The land-based woodlice belong to the same order - they have an ‘armoured’ body or exoskeleton with lots of limbs and joints, and their body is flattened from top to bottom. Can see the resemblance to woodlice in the close-up below.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Comma Butterfly and Others

On the path leading down to the back of Lundin  Golf Course car park there is a large stand of buddleia and it's a good place to see butterflies. Today spotted a comma butterfly (above, unfortunately did'nt get a very clear photo), only the second time I've seen one in Fife and the first time in Lundin Links. The last one was at Balcarres near Colinsburgh in 2011. The comma has gradually been extending its range northward and is now relatively well established in the Borders and Central Lowlands.
 There were several peacock butterflies and in the photo below there's also a red admiral.

Buddleia attracts bees as well as butterflies