The Reading Naturalist
Published by the Reading and District
Natural History Society
Price to Non-Members
25p including postage
THE READING NATURALIST
No. 2k for the year 1970-71
The Journal of
The Reading and District Natural History
Miss L. E. Cobb, E.A.
Hon. General Secretary:
Miss J. Toothill, B.Sc, Ph.D.
15 Birdhill Avenue
Miss E. M. Nelmes
27 Westbourne Avenue
The Editor, B. R. Baker, Miss L. E. Cobb,
A. Price, Miss J. M. V. Housden,
Miss S. Y. Townend
Mrs. B. M. Newman, Earley Cottage, 25 Beech Lane,
Entomology: Mr. B. R... Baker, 5 Dovedale Close, The Mount,
Vertebrates: Mr. H. H. Carter, 82 Kennylands Road,
Sonning Common, Reading
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
Hon. County Secretary (Berks.): Mr. B. R. Baker,
The Museum, Reading
Meetings and Excursions, 1970-71
"What makes a man?"
Pink frogs from black spawn
( Rana temporaria L . )
Some notes on the life-history of
the Mullein Moth
( Cucullia verbasci)
Wild plants of central Reading
Honorary Recorders' Reports:
Monthly Weather Notes 1970
Atmospheric Pollution 1970
Monthly Weather Notes 1971
Atmospheric Pollution 1971
C. J. Leeke
A. M. Sandels
M. V.. Fletcher
Some "Ramblings of a Nature Lover" W. A. Smallcombe
H. H. Carter
B. R. Baker
B . M . Newman
A. E„ Moon
A. E. Moon
A. E. Moon
A. E. Moon
- 1 -
We have been experiencing difficulty in getting material,
and particularly the Annual Reports, through in time for
inclusion in current issues of the Reading Naturalist.
The dates by which records and articles need to be sub-
mitted are given below.
To the Honorary Recorders:
All available records by
Supplementary records made about or after that date can
be sent in up to the time of the Annual General Meeting, but
any received after this may be held over till the following
To the Honorary Editor:
Original papers at any time up to the beginning of
Short reports and notes by
- 2 -
rectinn;G and Excursions 1970-71
Mr. C. J. Lcckc delivered Lis rrecidential Address entitled
"what Makes a Fan" at the Annual Ger eral Meeting (attendance 37) •
Two evenir.es were ievoteri to rae-bcrs* exhibits, talks nnd slides
(42 and 46), attention at one of ther being directed especially
to books. Filws were shewn at two meetings (44 and ^1), and
t: ere wss an afternoon meeting for the study of speciiveru; unier
the r.iicroGcope (6). The lectures delivered at the remaining
indoor Meetings were "European Conservation Year", by Tk. U«
Eowen (20); "A Visit to the Galapagos", by Kiss D. Fa; on (46);
"All Galloway is a Garden", by fir. R. Schardt (40); "fd crian
Episode - Vegetation and Birdlife", by Dr. F. V. Watson (35);
"Lichens", by Dr. K. L. Alvin (29) and "Meteorites", by Dr. M.
Winter walks were held on 5th December, Woodlcy for birds
( 'ttendance '.); 9th January, Eversley ild Fowl Garden (12);
6th February, Reading for lichens (13); 13th March, Cleeve for
The sumrer field meetings were: 17th April, Beenh". i woods
(14); 1st lay, Moor Copse, Tidzr.arsh (c. 40) , 12th May, Pangbourae
College 'A'oodland (c. l8); 15th Kay, Clayfield Copse, hi: ■: .er Green
(15); 26th May, En.plefield park and Lake for bats (10); 29th
May, Cothill Fen (14); 9th June, V.oods near Marlow for birds
including the nightjar (15); 12th June, In per varrrave, Hois'sey
Fill ( ); 26th June, coach excursion to the Cotswolda sad
-bris:-tol Channel (31); 3rd July, College Wood, near Gorin ', and
?>ix Pottom for the study of 'vrasscs ( ); 24th July, Kennct at
Sulhampstead for w.^tcrlife (21); 28th July, Central T^e^inp for
town plants and aliens (16); 7th August, Thurle Down (, ); 21st
Au -list, Swyncorbe Downs (18); 4th Septenber, Turville Hill (31);
18th .September, Buc ! :lcbury Lower Concon (lft); and 9th October,
Fun no Foray at Kin^wood (c. 4o).
- 3 -
WHAT HAKES A Mffl
The Presidential Address
to th e Reading and District Natural History Societ y
The study of fossil nan has rrade rreat strides in the last
tventy-five years and has become increasin ly exciting with both
the discovery of several new species and new interpretations of
old ones as ."<ore srecinens beco/ric available. In the last 100
years or so since Darwin destroyed the idea of the separate
creation of each species and iircd wen to look for their own
ancestors, and in particular the "nissinr; link", interpretations
of fossils have ranged frorr; the erudite to the ludicrous. An
example of the latter was the descrijition of an early arphibian
fossil as "the rerr.ains of sorce poor sinner drowned in the flood"
(British Museum - Nat. hist.). I hasten to add that the :i.useup
h'd fully savoured the hun»our oi this century-old error.
This underlines the necessity in all biological studies to
be able to recognise unerringly the or,^anisr under observation.
In the t:c:-.;irch for the origins of man one is delving back in time,
with an increasing paucity of specimens because, during the
critical period, tie Miocene, apes flourished but the conditions
were not conducive to fossil Kiaking, particularly in Africa,
ere ic .is now believed hussan origins occurred. The rearer one
approaches trie origins of a jrroup, the sr aller are tie differ-
ences between it and related croups. The scarcity of specimens
i • ::s the .rsn^e of forr. due to-a^e, sex and other causes
uncertain, and it becor.es extrer ely difficult to judre -whether a
fossil is of one i~roup or another.
In order to understand so^ethinr of this problem the .iirst
task rust be to show the relationship of the vari us Privates,
CHART I ...,-,•'
A* Cloved orbit- B» Open orMt,
- 5 -
The Tupaioidea are tree shrews, close to the basal insecti-
vore stock. The five genera are widely distributed throughout
the Far Fast.
The Ler.uroids are small to medium-size i, costly noc .:urnal,
primates comprising three ! ala-pasy f ar ilies and one which occurs
in the Far i.ast and Africa, with altogether fifteen gerera.
The Tarsioidea is a group containing one family ana one
genus; there are three species and twelve subspecies. They
occur on many islands of the I'alay Archipelago.
The Ccrcopithecoidea are Old \ orld monkeys with six Asian
encra, seven African genera and one genus, Kacaca , co; son to
The Old World (Catarrhine) r.onkeys have close, obiiduely
positioned nostrils that are easily distinguished fror" the flat
and broadly spaced nostrils of the New 'world (Platyrrhine)
monkeys who also may have prehensile tails.
The Tlorrinoidea are can, and the nan-like ape's* The group
contains three families; Bylohatidoe , Gibbons, with two genera
comprising seven species and seventeen subspecies; Pon :idae ,
Gorilla, with three subspecies, Chimpanzees ( pan ) , with two
species and three subspecies, and prang Utan ( Pongo )with two
subspecies, ■ and Ilominida'e- ", Man ( Bo .o ) with one species. Of
course many fossil genera, and species are also included in the
As LcGros Clark pointed out it is important to distinguish
clearly between 'iocinoidea the larger group and Hominidae, the
family of rsn. Hominid fossils have the maddening habit of
beins; not only s arce but also fragmentary, with a few welcome
excerptions. It is therefore of prise importance to be •d.lc to
recognise primate fragments from other ffiarr.ir.als and to distinguish
hominid fror pongid material.
The most frequent finds are skulls, usually broken, jaws
and teeth. In primate skulls, the orbits arc enclosed at the ,
back whereas they are 'Open in other mammals (fig. 1)'- In homin-
ids the dental arcade is arched, whereas in pongids it is square
(fig. 2). Obviously smaller fragments mivht require other
iiagnostiC criteria to identify them, such as the number and
torrri of cusps on teeth (fig. 3). Tooth patterns chan ,e slowly
and. regularly and are so characteristic that Dr. Davidson Black
was able io name Sinanthropu s pekinensis from a single tooth,
before the marvellous finds in the cave at Choukcuticn wore made.
The presence or absence' of a maxillary fossa or a diastr- a, the
position of the foramen magnum, the form of nuchal crests
( fi^. L r) arc also examples of these criteria.
FIG 2 Pongid and Hominid dental arcades And- palates.
Austr alopi t he c lib ,
^IC 3. The occlusal surfaces of the left , lower second
permanent molar ot A, Drffogithecus , a Miocene ape
and B. Madera man.
The typical Tfb' pattern
of Dryopi the cos.
The typical 4" * pattern
of Modern man.
Fia 4. Diagram to sno* tne position of nuchal crests (doxted areas)
in several hominoid sHculls
(seen from, "behind) I
^ g gfi* r
- 8 -
Lacking- series of fossils to show the ranpe of torn, and
variations due to are, sex and other causes, workers hud ;roat
difficulty \^hcn faced with describing and narrin;' one .r- . cntary
fossil, and the older the fossil the . renter the difficulty. If
it was primate and associated with stone tools, a eupheiisrf! for
\tfcapons, it was generally accepted as horinid. If not, then it
was open to considerable variation in interpretation by differ-
ent workers, and heated arguments were not unknown. As ore
fossils become available it is possible to revise earlier
namin/cs with some decree of confidence and so Pekin man is new
considered to be the same as Java man and both are considered to
be of pre-Neanderthal stock.
To aid in comparing animals of different sizes, in order to
dctcmine whether they core within the ran~e of form of a par-
ticular croup or not, it is useful to express sonie measurements
in terms of others. Good examples of this are cranial indices
in which a skull of any shape or forrr, can be orientated in a
standard way So that -measurements can be made and proportions
calculated which would have relevance to all specimens. The
skull is orientated so that a straight line from the orbit to
the auditory meatus is horizontal, the Frankfurt plane, and
neacurements arc made perpendicular or parallel to that ba.se
Palaeontologists have suffered from several trautr : tic
ex. sriences. Not the least was "Piltdown ran", which was
brilliantly exposed by LeGros Clark and Oakley, and of which
Tlowells and others wsrc so critical even before the last reat
war. In "Mankind So For" Howells wrote that "Piltdown Fan"
was the main impe liment to producing a family tree for huians.
riarlie", at the end of the 19th century, Dubois ;;ave up his
te-ichin." post in Holland to take a medical post in Java in or^er
to search for the "missing link" where he believed mankind had
its origins, and most surprisingly, within two years, discovered
in the sands of the Solo river a cranium and a femur, which he
named Pithecanthropus crcctus . It was the bold statement of a
yonng self-confident can which burst on the staid world of pal-
aeontology long before it was ready to accept that man walked
upright before he became sapient ran. There were sue'* arguments
as to whether the fer:iur belonged to the skull, whether
Pithecanthropus had achieved speech, whether, indeed, it was
hurra a or not, that Dubois retired with his fossil fro. the fray
for twenty years.
By 1916 the general uproar had subsided and Dubois* thesis
that Pithecanthropus was an upri ;ht hordnid was accepter?. Then,
in 1922, another youn'y man, Raymond Dart, an Australian • •■■ho
studied in London and took a teaching post in South Airica,
discovered the famous Taunts child's skull, which ho nhhel
A. Female gorilla skull
Cranial indices shown in respect of gorilla, skull and
australopitbecine skull orientated oa the Franfcfurt plane,
Bo Australopithecir.e sJcull.
- 10 -
Aus tralopithecus africanus and claimed as an ancestor of rr.odern
man* It too was heavily criticised, so that Dart withdraw from
the ocene for a number of years. The arguments were that] a
juvenile could develop more sirrian features as it matured, it
had small canines because of youth, it had not been fully dev-
eloped froff the matrix and so the form of the teeth was not fully
apparent, one skull was not enough evidence, and the mixture of
Greek and Latin in the name was very bad forr.:.
Dr» Broom,;'; a South African, found further australo ithecine
remains nt several other sites and in discussion with D-rt, per
suaded . him to work up the fossilif erous breccia from contempor-
aneous liucstone cave floors.
Doth Dubois and Dart were attacked for presuming that their
finds wore hominid and not hominoid in the absence of stone tools.
Han wast considered a tool raker, therefore any fossils not
associated with stone tools were highly suspect. Notwithstanding
that the stone tools themselves also showed an interesting
evolution, it was never considered that there r.irnt- be ~ pre-
stor.e culture, or that man had experimented with other itcriais.
Thus it was. that the analysis of fossils fror: the associated
breccia showed sore surprising results. Fiany baboon skulls tvere
recovered, each with a double, indented fracture to ine left
. arietal region. When shown to a police pathologist, he commented
that "it looked like mayhem committed with an early blunt instru-
ment". Later it was found that the distal end of an antelope
fetfur nicely fitted the injury. The conclusions to be drawn here
are that Aust ralopithecus was a carnivore, that he hunted and
ate, arron.^ others, baboons, that he was rirdit -handed and use 1 the
bor.es of his prey as "capons.
The bulk of the bones found wort of
analysed (Chart II) it can be seen that
Ch'vrt j-jT . v imp ii fied 1 ist of n on-ho:.in id
Fossil Pones Bovid
I uterus 518
r jibia 183
Tarsal/ a rpal 209
I etat-rsal 278
Horn core 21C
1 axilla 172
hey ere ol
'' ' i
4. M. -
T'cw vertebrae and no ribs were present, yet these are the rost
numerous bones in a skeleton. Such bones as were found were
numerically in direct proportion to their probable usefulness;
femora, hurori, dentaries with teeth (herbivores - scraping,
carnivores - slittin-*) an.! so on. Some were broken with use,
but cany showed consistent breakage such as would hap?5en if they
had been fashioned for a purpose. Indeed, these bone nieces
were shewn to be extraordinarily like some well-authenticated
bone implements cade only 15»000 years ago at Kalkbank in the
C e -.1 1 ra 1 Tr.s ns va >*i 1 .
Yet in spite of this similarity and the weight of the stat-
istical evidence, there was considerable antagonist to Dart's
"Osteodontokeratic" culture of the scutnern are. It Was consid-
ered, and this was a view which had been applied to other cave
finds of this sort, that these non-r rir.ate bones represented the
remains of seals of hyaenas which had inhabited the eaves at
about the Bare time as the fossil primates. A considerable
weight of opinion was behind this view from i&any eminent pal-
aeontologists including D. H. S. Watson. Dart checked back the
references to the hyaena theory to a German monk of the r id-
nineteenth century who had suggested it to explain the bones
often associated with pre-human remains in caves, he further
enquired of race wardens, who know animal habits well, wcether
modern hyaenas carry bones into their earths and was assured
tha.t they did not. One earth was extensively durr out and only
the undamaged bones of a tortoise were found. Now Dart made a
cardinal error. He stated that no hyaenas carry or carried bones
into their caves or earths. Such a dogmatic statement was indeed
impossible to prove. lie ripht have been able to convince people
that his fossil bones were untouched by hyaenas, but not that no
such incidents ever occurred.
It was very unfortunate that, just as Australopithec us had
been welcomed into the horainid fold, following a study of the
teeth by Gregory, its pre-stone culture was being discrc :itci. In
1955 there was an Anthropological Convention in Livingstone at
which Dart read ^is paper on the Cstecdontokcratic Culture of
Aus tralopithecus afrjeanus . It receive ■} scant attention frc'i
those presents who included L. S. 3, Leakey, and no-one bothered
to step into the next room, to sec the collection of bones laid
out for inspection. A cursory glance would have shown that tr.ese
fossils were untouched by the massive jaws of hyaenas, • robably
the rost powerful bone crunchers amonrp quarternary mammals.
There were no teeth marks whatever on ther. , the only datrage was
of a percussive nature. There would seem to be little doubt that
the hundreds of fossil bones carefully removed from several tons
of breccia represented the armoury of an ancient man«'»ape who had
not yet learnt to knap flints, but who knew how to use those
p;:rts of an animal that bit or kicked hin, and to select md
store there against future use.
- 12 -
It would seem that there has been a lot of erotional con-
flict as well as scientific argument and that the establishment
woul ri not bud;<;e fron old views, nor assimilate new oncf without a
considerable amount of evidence. This is not altogether a bad
thin'", but it does sotnetirres mean that progress towards tire truth
-nay be slower. The demolition of "Piltdown i-.an" was a steam-
roller cracking a nut; Irillinps taken fror the jpaw and skull
were 'hysic lly very different, two or three similar sinple tests
early on would have saved a r>ass of verbiare. Even today Dart's
"bone, tcoth and horn" culture is not generally accepted lor his
southern ape, although such implements are readily accerted for
nmch later rr.cn who already had a stone culture.
Surely the useful lengthening of the reach by wielding a
fenur or humerus would cojnrr.end itself to a primitive uin r;ore
than usinp a lar^e pebble which would brin? the hunter into
dan crously close proximity with the prey?
What rakes a nan? In the words of Joad it depends what you
rean by p '.an.
C. J. Leeke.
Ardrey, d, (1961) African Genesis. Collins, London.
Dart, A. A. with Crai^, D. (1959) Adventures with the i issin-"
Link. Har.ish Hamilton, Lti., London.
Day, I'.- V, . (I969) T'ossil Han. Paul Hanlyn, Lon ton.
TTowells, Wi "a. (19^^) Mankind do Far. American > useu; of Nat-
ural History. Science Scries, Vol. 5 (U.S. Arired
,, Forces e3n.) Doublcday -. Co., Inc., K'ewf York.
LeGros Clark, • . T. (195&) History cf the Primates., 6tu ein.
British [iuseut: (Ijat. Hist.), London*
Ivapier, J.--;i. and Niirier, P. H. (19&7) A Handbook of Livirp
Privates. Academic Press, Lon on.
Oakley, 1<.P. ;iari the Toolraker. British lluseun (I -it. ist.)
Third Paii-A'frican Conpress on j re-history - Li vin;^stone , 1955»
ed. J. D. Clark. London, 1957.
- 13 -
Fin> Frogs frou Dlack Spgiwn ( Ha n a t e m t o r a r i a L.)
by Arthur Price
On Ik march 1971 a pigmented female frop, Marfer, rlaughteff
of i'ickie, a pink (i.e. albino) double recessive (cc) m&lfe, and
herself single recessive (Cc) for -pigmentation (Price, 1971 )wao
placed in the r.orth pond in the Froghouse with the 1967 cc dale.
The expected result of this mating was:
cc rale x Cc female Cc Cc cc cc
The frogs vent into amplexus on 23rd March 1971 an! on 28th March
350 ml of black spawn was laid, 23% of which Was fertile. A
total of 400 tadpoles hatched out of an expected 1,750. All of
these tadpoles were pigmented but it was hoped that sore of their:
would lose their melanin and become pink frogs. This did not
ha:.- en, and about thirty pigmented frogs were placed in the "Prop-
house to provide Cc breeding material for future years. The
absence of ] ink frogs couli be explained by the fact that the
expected 50/1 cc froigs was in the 77% of the spawn 'chat -lit not
hatch. It may be possible to repeat this mating in 1972.
The mating of the 19&8/4 pigmented fefcale with Lickie,
cc dale, resulted in the layinp of 350 ml of fertile black spawn.
On 25t v " March 1971 most of the tadpoles which hatched developed
normally, but on l6th I ay, thirty-ore legless tadpoles, in which
the tyelariin was breaking up into patches, were isolated. Three
similar tadpoles were found on 30th day. Py 27th June, the
melanin had entirely disappeared and on 11th July six ink frops
viore feeding on aphid's • \\e thus have pink frogs seen to develop
iron black spawn, Sm-illcoabe (194-9) had suggested a similar
cccurrer.ee. All of these frops died within two months of meta-
rrarrhosit.. The small nucber of pink frogs su pmests crosb-ovcr
as the cause of their lack of pigment.
After fertilising Farfer*s black spr^wn on 23rd Parch 1971,
the 1967 cc Kale was offered to one of the 1968 cc fersale frops.
The result was immediate as; plexus. On 24th March, 100 ■: 1 of
white spawn was laid, 50% of which proved to be fertile. It
developed normally and by 17th July seven pink frogs were thrivin
on aphids and small insects. Four pink frops wore still alive on
2'Vth November, the largest being 40 mm Ion." and weighing 6;.7c" g.
Twenty-one of the pink frops bred from the I967 cc rale and
the 1968 cc female in 1970 are still alive, but their progress
in development is eIow due to their poor si ht and. the fact that
oore than the qptirur: number were retained in order to rovide
breeding stock for the future. d ? our of these frogs exceed 4b vr
in length?. So far only one ra-lc hafe been identified dut as
fifteen of the drops are less" than 47 mm in length more . ales
could be found later.
u -14 -
In addition to the thirty hybrid pigmented fro c (Cc) frora
furor's j-rrnwn of 1971 , tKere are in the "ro rhousc t-r ~r roxi vr- tcly
twenty-four second /ear, rigrcnted frogs fror; trie rating:
1968/10 cale x 1968 cc female
and these should certainly be Cc. . Tour of the inles, spcie over
50 far 1 Ion-;, have been seen, two of which could breed in 1972. If
these sales ~rc crossed with sore of the 1968 cc ferrol: s the
results could be of Teat interest. The three oiler, ~i ented
frogs in the Frorjhouse, namely The Matriarch (90 &n., 8jJ g),
1968/4 female ( 60 : rr., 49 g) and Marfer (75 t'^» 53 ;)» arc hibern-
ating in the water, under a stone slab in the north pond. Soate
of the smaller frogs are hibernating under wood out of the water.
During a visit to the Hitfhrcoor dond lone on 21^t February
1971 t seventeen dead and decaying frogs were found, ."any were
fogies, so- c of wjhich contained white spauyio i'ro. Jeflery
stated that sore dead frqga were seen in the . ond in January. A
few had been onened up ventraliy; the pond does contain old fish,
newts ond several pairs of the water-beetle Jytiscus i ^ rinalis L.
Deed fro? s have also been reported from two other ponds during the
3 c period and under siinilar circumstances. This phenomenon
could be explained by a ieficiency of oxyr.cn ag ;rav ted by the
continuin g decay of detritus in the pond throughout tru. : ild
winter of 1970/71. Only five c lumps of white spawn were found in
this pond ir. the spring of 1971 all of which were recjovqc! to
b t i'lans'ficld Road for study. Three clutprs produced ICO',.* recesa-
ive tcCdp.ol.os which pi Rented -as they develojcd, whilst on- srrall
clu ; yielded * snail number of pink tadrolcs., none of v. ich
riiet.ar.:orphosed . A percentage of the sor. 'Ics were returned to the
The. fifth clump of white spawn yielded a significant per-
cent?; c of pink tadpoles. This clunp contained 275 >Pl of spa', n
and the resulting tadpoles were 75% recessive, which Tip, ented,
and 25/ link. The pink tadpoles included a hi"'her proportion of
kinked tadpoles (Trice 19&7) than is nor; :1 but those which latere
not kinked a vera red 4o i^l in length. During retanorrhosir these
frogs experienced great difficulty in forcing the front le;s out
oT the oTerculur:,. 3o v :.e did not succeed whilst those which Jiu
bad clenched legs which here not functional. This condition was
confirmed by two other naturalists who undertook to rciir sosie of
this spawn, A great nany froro rretaa.orphosed; none survived. The
■ ro, ortion o± the different types of tadpoles in the 25, clump
seepiS to confirm: the earlier suggestion that the albino strain
is aintajnc' in this pond by Cc x Cc ratings.
It beca' o essential during 1971 that tn Ui.iu.ojr itoad Fond
should be cleaned cut as it was becoming progressively > ore
.polluted by decay in;.; detritus. On 28th October the pond wad
cc,', lately emptied, cleaned out and refilled with water. During
- 15 -
tbis operation fourteen adult, $ i.aTJonto \ frc:s wi- re found, all
of which bore the characteristic black patches of this strain.
They were found in the pud around the lily roots and under the
rils of cardinal vegetation. All fourteen frops were males*
Van Gelder (1971) states that he also found males and no feisales
in b pemd durirr the winter. ia!e rust halancfc a ainct this fact
the discovery of dead females in the Hirtrhaoor Koad Fond .'uriri-
J :hur. ry/Feb rus ry 1971 -
1. i\o pink frops resulted fror the ciatinf" of Marfcr, a C
fcrale, with the 1967 cc nalc in 1971.
2. link frors were reared froe black spawn.
j. A ciurrp of white spawn froi_ the niphr.oor R-oad Pond yielded
25 c /- cc tadpoles i.e. a Cc x Cc iratinp.
h. Four 'ink fro-s were bred froffi the white spawn laid by 19^8
cc female rated with 19&7 cc rale.
A -ain ry thanks are dae to a Treat nurber of people who
have helped. They also serve who only stand :-:nd listen.
Van Gelder, J. J. & Hoedtiakers II. C. K. (1971)
Sound activity and v iaration durinp tae b-reeOin period of
xi? n a te E poraria I.., ii. arv.alis Nils son, Peloba ts-.s fuse us Lair,
and d. esculent a L. Journal of Anlflfal looloay ^0 no. 3 9
Price, A. RcadsLw? naturalist I\os. 19 (1967), 20 (1968),
21 (19&9), 22 (1970), 23 (1971).
8' oe lie oi-:te, 'a . A . ( 19^9 ) • Albinisn in 3ana terrpo- r -rie . Journal
of' Genetics A-9 no, 3. pp« 286-290.
- 16 -
.So"c Notes on the Life-history o f the
PUILEIK MOTU (Cucullia verbasci)
by A. II. San <! els
At the end of June, 1969* eoCfi thirteen strikingly patterned
caterpillars were observed feedinc on a cultivar of Ve rb a/; cur.:
bla ttaria (Koth i ullein) in the garden of "Stonccroft" , Chimin
Norton. As sirilar larvae had been seen previously feeding on
nir-:rum (Black I'ullein "> and Scrophularie aquatic a (Water Fi wort)
they were identified as C ucullia verbasci L.
garly in July, two of the largest larvae were brought in-
doors in or:!er that the pupating staae might be observer:,, So.j e
of the food pl"nt and a container with soil was provided, anc
within two iays both caterpillars had constructed cococc- of
earth and snail stores "cemented'' together with strands of fine
silk. They were oval, about 1#" x 1", and attached to each other.
By the riddle of July all the retraining caterpillars except one
had disappeared - presumably they hai gone to earth.
The two cocoons were kept in an open container on the kit-
chen win lowsill luring the ensuing nine months. At the e.;d of
April, 1970, a newly eirerged roth, light fawn and brown in colour
with very ragged wing margins was seen flying around the kitchen
light in the late evening. A second one e... er.ed a day or two
later. About a week later the two roths were placed ri the early
evening or the woody ster.sof Potontilla frut i cij3_a (Si ru" by
Potentilla) ir the near vicinity of the food-plant. The'- r. o the
blended well into the background of- fibrous bark; both h'gd dis-
appeared by the following morning.
A c- reful inratch was kept on the Kullein plant, and just over
a week later a nufjber of pale Teen, do- ed and ribbed- eg s, laid
singly, were observed, rainly on the- underside of the leaves.
By the end of the first week in June sorre call larvae, about >+'•
Ion;', rale coloured and with apparently dark horizontal strives
were seen, and the eggs had vanished. These larvae quic'-.ly
increased in size, and soon the characteristic yellow tches
and black • ark in?; were visible, The larvae began by eating the
leaves of their food-plant, but as they increased in size they
roved upwards to feed on the buds and flowers, for which at
this stare they exhibit a reference, though if these arc not
obtainable they will resort again to the foliage.
By the end of June all the caterpillars had lisappeered,
gone to earth, and thus ha:3 completed their life-cycle under
the observation of a botanist.
- 17 -
J.969. July 7th. 2 larvae brought indoors (nearly full-fed)
July 9th. both pupated.
1970. April 30th. one roth er.errved.
May .3rd. second r, eth had °i. or _ cl.
J-iay 10th. : oths placed outside:.
f,-Wy 19th. e f e seen on F.ullein.
June 7th. sir.all larvae appeared.
June 10th. yellow and Hack r.arfcs visible unapr lens.
Juno 26th. all larvae one to earth.
V'ILD LLAIxTS OF C £I \-TTAL j^ADIftG
by L. V. l-'lctcher
The weeds, aliens and other wild plants of Keaain •: constit-
ute one of the cost colourful and distinctive ? rou;.e in the local
flora. Thcurh often only represented by s t all numbers of slants,
the number of species is surprisingly larae.
In the 10 V . arid square conte-inina Heading, about 700
s ocieo were recorded in Dr. Eowen*s Flora of Berkshire. This
total is only equalled in one other square, the one containing
part of Oxford. The total is not fully relevant since jl
includes cany plants found in the country near _<eadina, hut
absent froc the centre of tne town. The rrcc ; «rt account ib- of a
a .".11 area of waste "round, old houses and arders in the inner
suburbs, bounded to the ••■.ect by London Street, to the South by
London Qo-d, to the North by the -viver Ke'nnetj and- inclv.dir-.-v the
roads as far east as the 'Technical College and Cerctery Junction.
This area, of less than > sq. k v . has been built over for < ore
t] n " century, and contains very few original "native" lants.
Several interesting; sreeies which occur just outside the ~rca
ar** exclude >. Lven so, over 1^0 species ^ave been seen, several
are rare or even new to the county, and so.ee distinct coin unities
have f brined, While rarities will receive a aention, the. bulk of
the account concerns the- behaviour of the c6ni&:cner plants in an
entirely urban setting.
Any list of -species is bound to he arbitrary ir auch an
area, for at least three reasons. First, Mich of the round
consists of private ~?rdens, which are inaccessible and invis-
ible to the public. Several plant's known to occur but not
visible fro my public riht of way have been oritted. Second,
the 'iatinction between n: tive, established, casual and
- 18 -
cultivated plants is neanimless in towns. Thirl, secies ane^r
or become extinct far more often |than is usual in the o ; 'r.
As vi ;'ht be expected, there rre r.any annuel or biennial
species. Of the 132 rienticncd, over fifty arc annual or biennial,
About thirty have seeds which could ~tc expected to travel Ion'
distances by air, including cany of the l cct successful ri ecicc,
especially the Coiarositae anl apilobiu"!' spp, with a feathery
pappus. The larr.e number of foreign introductions, about
thirty-five, is note\'.'orthy, also the fret that soce of the
cor."" onest of these, especially the ubiquitous Genecio Sijualidus L.
(Oxford ra wort) an i Buddle.ja davidii Franch. (Buddleia) were
unknown, or very ::uch rarer a century a ;o.
The plants will be mentioned in connection with th« ir rcost
characteristic habitat. "Habitat" is rerhars too r;rand a ten:
for the unpromising niches to which these plants are so well
adapted. All the conr unities arc fairly open ones in which
chance arrivals can ,<a'?-in a foothold, and rrnny species are likely
to be found almost anywhere.
The nomenclature (incluhin; rr.ost I'.'n lish nar.ee) is, aith few
exceptions, as in The Flora of the Pritish Isles, 2rv.' e 'ition, by
Cla iharr., Tutin an:i fcarburg.
The banks of the Rennet are ceaented, except for the stri
of round by ,usc-nhs Re . d car park* on which is found the only
se&i-natural Vegetation in the area. Alp us 1 i< tin a : p\ (L.)
G-aertn» (older) is orly found, her;-. There arc sever 1 trees and
sccdlin ;c, toacther with Acer pscudoclatarras L. (sycamore) which
appears with ionotonous abundance on oil waste ground* here is
also an ash Frax inus excelsio r L., and & corron sallow, Saljx
cjn erea ssp. atrocincrea (Prot.) Silva & Sobr. Foth are occasion-
ally self-sown elsewhere. There are sore characteristic water-
side herbs, including L pilobiun." hi r sutui" L. (great hairy willow
herb), Scroph ularia a .i uatica L. (water betony) an. a lar;e
sterile eed.c, G.-Jrex rip'ria Curt, (great pond sed ; ;e). . h'uyhar ■
lutes (L.) Sr . (yellow water lily) .rows sub- ervea in the, swift
current nearby. The: rough turf here contains a few cc .: an
grassland plants lsttle seen elsewhere. These include Achillea
r.' i'lle'folltir. L. (yarrow), which has spread widely by the ear r .-.rk,
, yr cricua pcrfor^tm. L . ( c or c on St. J ohn ' s wort ) , r. /eoch acris
radicata L. (cat's car), and Arrhena thcrur cla tius (L.) J. : C.
Presl. (false oat *rass), Eura t oriun canna hin ua L. (hca.i
a ariacny) i ay have originated by the water but is abundant on
waste -round nearby, s*nd is a colonist. of daap cracks in fc&e area
thou ah lees aften reaching seeding size in such situations.
- 19 -
"'"' \e only flowerin<- plant ch ^ractcrirtic of brick valk is
Cyr.a;;-la ria ■< uralis Gaertn., ;ey. & Scherb. (ivy-leaved toadflax).
I fin- perennial with a long seeding season and with seed pods
which discharge their seed into the ©revices of the wall, it has
an v.ni^ue a Jvanta e over all other plants, wl$ich normally beco e
established on walls by chance. Howeverj the old lir:cst'Ong
wal.s >n I crurblin.p oolitic lirestone around the houses in biJon
rcoad support a few characteristic plants, These are Gory la lis
Jute:-' (L.) DC. (yellow fumitory, \ ntirrh ir w p pppj U£ !•• (snap-
'r ;ch)and Centranthus ruber (L.) DC. (re.', valerian) • By these
walls have ~lso been seen C heli "oniu- r '.ius L. ( renter celandine]
an , rarely, 1 a r i e t a r i a . 1 i f f u s a Pert. & Koch (wall pcliiiory).
ChrysanthegiUC pa rth en iurr (L.) Bernh. (feverfew) is also coraron-
cst in the'p ; ardens of the licestone houses.
Fern spores do not becoae established on the loose dry
soil | exce.t in d<- r p cracks a^pm* cement or bricks, i^ive species
have been noted., all on walls, ft e ri i i up a^ui J i nu; (L.) Kuhn
(bracken.) 'ocs row ir; two gardens, possibly plantfd, but it is
rare freuuenfc in a stunteJ for:: arpun^ broken ;utt;rs on walls.
Perhaps impurities washed down in the polluted town rainwater
enable it to survive in a normally calcareous habitst, fhe
co. :'ionsst fern seen on cost darn walls is Dry o r t e r i s f i 1 ix -i a a
(L.) Schott (ale fern). It is never well d*ev e loved , but some-
times fertile. Cth..r closely related s-ecics pay possifely occur,
fhylli tis scol oi-end riur'i (Lj ilewr.. (hart*s tongue) is less
frequent. A sin le > lnnt of Asplenia tr ie hot: .ancK L. ( a i.denhair
S", le.nwort ) on a lacap lirectone wall died when the utter : ; oove
was re 'ired. Scattered plants occur in other ; arts of central
; e a. ■ ' i n ~ . A ' s r \ a 11 c o 1 o ny o f Polypodiug) vul arc h, ( a 1 / o d y )
rov.s en a slopin cei.ont rockery w~Jl in El .'on Gardens.
Those arc the r ost obvious niche in all towns. Only sr all
lants can cvelop fullv, and they 3re subject to weeding and
occasion; 1 oxter ination by weedkiller, especially at the hci ht
of the rowinp season- Thou 1; plants which , s ain a hol>~' have
little co! petition and enjoy constantly r. oist coil under the tar-
i'.'>c, few species can r ainta'in a permanent population in -•averment
cr c "s alone. Outstandingly successful is F oa annua L. (annual
Poa«), which can be found in Central Lomon, far frov. any other
possible habitat. In Heading it is by far the co-.. ron.at pave— ■
c.xic-cr..tck plant. Tt has relatively few seeds, which are not
adapted Tor win:) dispersal. On the other '.and, it rows ^nd
seeds throu flout the year, and can run to at least three ener-
ations ir this tire. The if. port a nee of this Ion: season was
demtmst rated by a fine colony of Senecio scj Uclidus en a slopin :
brick wall in Sadir-outh Street, which was destroyed by weedkiller
in June 19o?. This plant seeds throughout the year, and has
- ?0 -
recovered its forrter abundance. Sa -jna ££QCu^bong L. ( rocu. bent
pearlwort) has also reappeared there, but Conyza canadensis (I.)
Cronq. (Canadian fleabane), which produces a far larper nu'r.ber
of seeds, thouah only between Auyust and October, w-s extcn in' te i .
Nevertheless, aaver ent cracks are constantly recolonisec.
froiy elsewhere. Airborne seeds are the ost licely urrivals,
and those brushing a;vaifist walls *til fallin; to their base hove
an advaat": e. So perhaps do snail or nointcd seeds, which can
loi "e in tufts of joss. Covron annuals ^re Senecio suu;Iidus,
C onyza c a n a d e n s i s , Senecio vul aris L. ( rounds el), Sor e hue
ol err eg us L. (cow thistle) and Stellaria gedia (L.) Viil.
(chickwe-ed), Srall willowherbs are co t on, Epilobinrj hirsute^: ,
F L * 1 1 on t a n\.\i- (broad-leaved willowh-^rb), id. roat.ur Sch.r:-a. ffrall-
flowercd willowherb) , and h. tetra onur: I, . ssy. l a yi (a.
Schultx) Leveille (sqiiare-steraned willowherb) have been noted.
Others probably occur. Chai".? en c rion an ustif oliun (L.) Scop,
(rose&ay willowherb), thou di not co. i. on in any ha *it«t Pearby,
baa beete seen several tires in avei. ent 6 racks. The chr.ee
no tnrc of .est arrivals is chowr. >y the frequency with v?'dch
Uiico 1 , ccctd !«lants (*nl there are |uite ~ lot of thes ) can be
traced to ' vearby arden. Such escapes inclu c Ancrcnc ? h ybri.la
P'^lon (Japanese ance'orie), Cr r,/s-?r;thcr u' ; axiru _ Karon.' ( . r-
i.u:ritc or Shasta daisy), Diai talis j urj ure -< L. (fox lav.),
Trag escaht ia y ir r iniana I., and Vcrb^scur tha^ suK L. (nil a in).
Perenn al plants are less well re-resents 1. Taraxacum
offi cinale Weber (dandelion) is the corxioncst. It . i at be
expected that the perennials rr.enti.oned later, with rhiso'ires able
to creep alona cracks and survive weeding culd be : ore ca. on.
Perhaps colonics of such j lants receive individual attention if
they become too successful. Pcwever, two re triable lants with
this habit are known only in pavement cracks, doth are rasccs.
P o • •- s ubc o e r u 1 e a Sir. is frequent in several roads near Sids outh
Street. This species is recorded in 'Flora of the British Isles'
r,G ff» pratensis L. ssp. irrigate (Lindn. ) Lindb. f. f a nsrae
regarded by Dr. C. E. Hubbar i, as invalid. The plant is not con-
sidered by so: e botanists as a species distinct fro; F. pratgnsis .
The deadiny plants are very siirilar to those identified as F.
subcoerulea at Sonniny by Dr. Hubbard (See Grasses. Heading
Naturalist no. 2i (1971) ;■• 28). The leaves are e,tron 1, hoodc d t
■-m:' vtlien youn •■■; '.re, in the local -.lants, stii'ily erect and con-
cave with a pronounce. 1 dark blue tinae on the u per surface.
Setaria y rnicul't " (Lax.) Eeauv.j a tropic 1 Ar eric .-.n arfos,
doraad. a ood colony by a south-f ^cin - wall in South Street. It
was arobably introduce."' in birdseed tf persisted for two jrcare,
until 1970, .-^n:'. set :ood st-.:. The "-ark red anthers arr. con-
spicuous an youn.; flower heads frori July to Se] teaber. dd.e only
ot^er perennial -rasses npted in ave; ent crocks -re Lol tur
; cronn e L. ('erenni n l rye r-iss) and Fest uca rubra L. (re
fescue ) .
These aye the richest an rcost obvious habitat..;, lite n->e
0/ the houses, the variety of their occupants, and the li ht
noil ensure a diverse flora, especially of annuals. Gardens
ran ■ x: lzov neat rectan. les of sterile soil to incipient sycamore
fprcct- Lany co< • on weeds of disturbed or arable land can be
listed without co-irent. Aethusa cynapiuv P. (fool's parsley),
C£_[^e^ lr; bursa-- ■astr.-r is ( L . ) i ; edic . ( she] h erd • s pu rsc),
Ch gnoi oaiui: albur- 1. (fat hen), Eujhorbia re plus I. . (jetty
si ur e"5 , I. hclios c or la L. (sun spurge, rare), Gal Jul , a ra rino L.
(po.osegrrass), Lar.iuai uurpureu::. L. (red dead nettle), Percurialis
annua L. (arrual vercury), Pyc elis i uralis (L. ) Cur 1 , (v.- 11
lettuce), i-olyonu; persicaria L. (spotted j ersicariu) , (J r tic a
ursng Lk(annual nettle), Veronica > ersica Pair., and V. 'eucri -
[olla I"- (Buxbaun's an 6 ivy speedwells; the latter is the
coroner,). On harder round Ar abide;. sis this liana (L.) "eynh,
(Th-ile cress) and Plantapo major L. (preat plantain) are coffij on.
The annual /trasses Anisantha sterilis (L. ) Nevski (barren bro.:e),
and Hqrd eui rurinun L. (wa 11 barley) are also conv on, an' ray
dominate dry soils two or three years after they have been
A number of tore interesting" and strikin •• annuals and bi-
ennials, often introduced as -arclen plants* appear in -nrden
cods, and soi e of thea achieve spcradie abundance on disturbed
wrote round* laravcr rhoeas L. (field poppy") is the only
native in this roup, thou di not co» 1 an. P. soaniferur L.
(opiun poppy) is rarer still. Oenothera erythrosepala Boreas
(cvenin rric rose) is frequent, and owes its success to iarpe
numbers of windblown seeds, whiqh in my garden have tr Lasted
ever a r&riod of at least four 'ears. C a 1 e n d u 1 a _ o if i c i pp i is L.
(aaripol a) is co'.'ion, and persists in the face of veeaia , aided
by its lon~ seeding season. Lora< naturalise'' populations have
siaale, : ore uniformly coloured flowers than those recently
planted. Ca i end uia arv er.sis L. appeared in one aarden.
Del,, h ini ur. o rient ale J. Gay ( -arden larkspur) is soactiaes
! Paitcd, but is well established in aardcr.s near ^ueens .Head,
ana is often encouraged. Most puzzlin is Eup horbia 1 a t h y r u s L.
(caper spurr:e), noted in three places. The seed of the last
two species cannot be very effectively dispersed, and aaay of
their sporadic a/iearances r.ay be fron lonp dormant seed.
Galinso-.a : r ar viflara Cav. (tvew-wced) has existed i'or at least
four years by .aueens Road, hut has not spread or become plenti-
ful. J i - ■ a t i e n s la n d u 1 i f u r a Koyle ( Police; an' s help.et) is
rcadin;;" rapidly ir. several '--are ens, ai:,od by its explosive
ecodpods, and T patiens rarvi flora DC.' (S ail balsai ) , cstab-
lisne ■ for soae years on the ola University site, a, , cared in a
SioYcuth Street rard'eri ir 1971. I have aem both species
abundantly or waste -round in other towns, but act yet ir
ion air ■"•'«
- 22 -
Trte intermittent enthusiast of iarty local -a'fdeners aro-
vid.es ideal cdnditions for Annuals an' biennials, ■■'ncrc neglect
is rolon.cj, and especially on the wrste ground in Kewtcwn, a
quite different selection appears. Perennials, ec- cciaily those
vith cree;in' ; roots and stolons oeco.:c important. Tfc oo • oncat
are k c :■■ o - o a i u ■ r o d a •-•: ra r ia L. (around elder), A rostis atolor.ii c ra
L. (crerain lent), Aster novi-bcl.--;ii L. (ddchael. as "if--y;
cultivate' '"'or' g ^ersisti cut only the "wild" for> with pale
nauvte flowers about 1 csu in liar. eter seens to a; rear iror, seed),
Ciroiue a rv aris e (1.) Scol • (creerinh ta.ii;tlc), Convolvulaa
arv cnsJK L. (bindweed), Loaiur albu r L. (white 'c-aj nettle),
"Rue ox cr iiJ'iK: I. . ( curle:i dock), Solida .r :o canadensis I. ( olden
rod), T rifoliu! re-ens L. (white clover), and Urtica < ± •.-■:' c a J,,
(at in "in nettle). Festuca rubra is Cerrtcn , and aolcus 1 rictus
L. C^orksHxre fo-) is a bund nt. Other species : entione e later
arc also coat on, es_ ccially vvhere there is .sore tr3*.:rl£n\dj of a
lot of rubbish or rubble, Less coar.on 'ire Dectylis lo: crat a L.
(cock's-f oot Tasc ) , Cirsiui vul are (aavi) Ten. (spear thistle),
Rub us srpi (blac cherries, three records, two of cultivated for s,
the thirl of a. ulr ifolius Bchott.), Silcnc dioica (T.) CJnirv.
(red carpion), 5. vul aria Oocnch) Clarke, (bladder cr ion),
: "'.°j--' c .'.l- r . ■j Mlcai-.nra t. (woody nightshade )-£ Tucsi la o f.-r^ r"; L.
(coltsfoot) and isolated sterile or lafae"; Cruciferae', inelud-
in a f parent ly Pi ylotaxis and Sinap-is s^. Squally conspicuoiis
thou h uc a ore rare, ire r oly e onun cun i : : a tu . Sieb. '/- /Puce.,
Cl o at j s -/itolba L. (traveller's joy), I-arihenocissus tricus -,
•i.data (dicb. h Zuzc.) blanch. (Virginia crtaer) sn.l ."a a. ulus
Lu; ulua J. . ( h o p ) •
d succession takes place as the cor i on annuals arc crowded
oat of a.li but the uost barren patches of ♦ rubble or ^.avin^i The
• ;:rcnnirl herbs ar<--: in turn shaded Out by bushes and trees.
Sycaeore is overwhelmingly a bun da, nt, Sarbucus ni m L. (elder)
is coruD on* 3o !,| c | lu. and apple", and occasional ash, ar = car.
Buddleia seedlings ore coraon. They reach seedin ai^.c ia throe
or four years, '-'and on hears-" of rortar 6r rubble beco. th6 dot!-
In a ln.rre -ar.Ten between Crt'a "fioad ; : -.n0 Kin-G xio?dd,
no ; lecte ! for over twetty years, n f.airly stable itate has oecti
rcr:cbe-;« The air ost ature woodland ,' nearly all of s.yc ore,
caatf: a - -nee shade ir; wnich little rowo. In the lados ; er-
onnial raatxs fori; a dense eat fr-or which ?11 annuals ?n ! youn
creeo are rxcluied. Trie monotony o •" thia TounJ id re' rVoble.
A curious shrub, Lyciutu h.alir if oliu.- 1 Mild, (t-a troc ) ie
atundont in a snail area of h'ewtown, tr.:.ilin over old frails and
T ca as of rubble .
- 23 -
There re several si. all corners or strips of waste land,
.ore affected by trn; ,plin r , , but able to swpj ort 'ore anV3 bi ;er
plants th -i.o •-' ea.ver.'cnt crack. These often develop s chr roctcr
of their own, pertly as a natter of chance* -rrtly because of the
v.-ry different soil and ? icrcclif j .te. A few square feet ef
•■round near Fildcn iiiaad., t'acin - -: north, ami little affected by
Vu: -.-:r. feet or litter, cu -ports a turf lar ely of Fes^uca rubra .
The fopr-rd eoripacted ravel a :ainst 2 south- facing wall i. The
Grove }y.\s an abundant aril inci e;.'sin r : colony of halva ne l ecta
hailr. ('dwarf fallow). Further out fror the sane wall ±z
'. tricarie . r 'tricc.rioidcs (Leus.) Porter (pineapple weed.), a
g: "11 annual very resistant to crushing by feet or even car
tyres. V.here the -round is dus or disturbed, c>any garden weeds
a- car. The SQuth edae of queens Hoad car pefrk is a strij of
: : r] litter-strewn rubble, and its plents -/y be influence ' by
their exposure to suri.er breezes off a lar e ores <-,£ hot tonne,
or tjtirred ui by the hea,v,y ;aGsin ■ traffic. Arte i si' vul,
L. (eu wort), which sonetii es ' rows on exposed "rrar ins of t
road, is abundant hore, afne Foeniculu- vul' arc Mill, (fennel)
has ]. srsijeted and needed for sever?.! years. The presence of
Hera a ri; .ny here has already been note -1 . A few plante otely
eeer in such sr all corners include Arctiu i : inus sap. air, us
■' oriih. (lesser bur Jock, frequent), Althaea rosea (L.) C~>v.
(hollyhock, soaeti T iss a relic froa former itecrdens), oi.^.y - riu
o fficinale (L.) Sec;, (heap, rustiard), Ir if oliua h yhridui' L.
(Alsike clover)}. holy ; ot:u: a r cm g t r u' Bor; (sriall-leavc knot-
rac-s) is coi'or. or trampled prounJ, f . aviculare L. (kho«t roae)
~y occur, b alvf. sylvestris L. (co ton ;iallow) is widespread,
d n- fror sbort-stc 1 . ed or rostrate ( oneibly
a; erect latrt about 1 • hi h with leaves
croKB and iark car' in e f lowers. Plants with
in yueens koad' Car p rk r.ay be diseased, hut
■.•■:'- variable?, ran
stunted) for PS, t
locj t:hon 5 c o. a
in town a r..i; ht
w o r t a a o r e a 1 1 c n t i on .
The trees ore, with the few exceptions noted,
tixeuph isolated aie.-cus ilex L. (holi oak), Toxus b
(yew), SB:' Ulj us :1a b ra Puds, (wych eli ) ay pne-da
ir a. with i.hic, they ore associated. Trees not yet
which se.edlinfs appear with soae frequency,, ore
c < lulo doth (silver birch), La burnue anaay roides j 1
(laburnui ), oni hoi-inia a ssudoaca cia L. (acacia;).
yew e.vi of Ilex sguif oliur.' L. (holly) hove appeared
on firr soil, especially calcareous soil in ry rard
l-'V. b they arf= prpbably wi Icly disperse:' by 1 irdf ,
to find suitable conditions' elsewhere.
r B n
ta r .
ticne i ,
y tit cs
QAfffliift 'U V 'D PPCD PLANTS
Food ; lents ore often recorded, but hove no cieii to be
- 24 -
considered naturalised here, since none of the;- h;ave nerctietcJ.
The following have been seen: ' et^to, torato, hffbad bean, arn
t-,he birdseed . raster Panicu:. g ileaceur, L. ( illet), Ph-al^ris
con ariensis L. (canary rracc, not seen recertly), Setori a viri.-iis
(L. ) dcauv. (; rcen bristle pr^ss) an:) 4c a rays L. (Indian cjrn,
i'.'hi,cjh r-rely even flowers), Pore worthy of oention are arden
v lants which i ersist for many ye=<rs, but lack the ability tc
ciis 1 ' erse their seeds or forr. new colonies. A- or " these are
Convallaria • ajalis L. (lily-of-the-valley ) , Tent ha oricato I.
(si: e r.r>. i rt ) an I Gxelis Coryrbaao DC .
KATIVE Sb RVIVCiiS
The oldest "lar.t communities I have seen are i r: the erdena
cjf the ol .Jt-r nouses, especially ir the v;ell-i/ : aintaina: turf of
P-ldon (i:-r r 'erz , and of so c houses nearby. This ; ay have rxistej
in its ; resent for. for over a century. Be llio vercmiE I,.
(J.iisy), Ccrastiur. holosteoides Fr. (co:aon rouse-ear chickweed)
and Plant a ;o aedia L. (hoary Tlintain) have beer, seen in this old
turf. Apkanes arvensis L. (rarsley iert) is ?bun^'nt ia ] art of
the lawn in Elrion Gardens.
The ifficulty of ainifi'- access to v ore thfSn a few of tueee
old --rdcr-s rakes it irossible to jud e v/hich' oriin;d i lento
have ;ersistei. Several S] eciee not seen elsewhere ~;rov near vn<\
behind Trinity Con repational Church, out to not su cast m vest
i e of countryside. The native for. of Ned era helix T... (ivy)
hanga over vails in bid on Terrace. Tt was , robably - r ^c:it ir.
the heel es of Ort's Fd,r».' 150 years aao. Hy awn ■-•ardr-r when I
first aav; it in 1^'Gk cental ned few plants, out 'on- t',c were
C i re a e a 1 u t e t i g n a 1. (enchanter's ni htshale), Geut. ur^'iui: L.
(wool avene), ana Viola riviniar.a tfchb. sax •. rivini ana (co 1 i on
violet). 'tdou h r-rely visible frou the road, thi se 1 ■ ats ccur
in sc e other pardons nearby, which were walled off fro; a r^vel
pit and waste round in the-: l8?0s. On the other hand, the first
two have hooked seeds which could cosily be introduced :rv. cloth-
ing, or carried by c-'ts. Id:c violet is abundant ir. a corner i.y
to~tlin ton rouse, dein - ev?.r rcen it i:-= v.ell c^ui^ pej bo survive
saor;-' a deuce . rowtn of other T lants, anji- bavin ■ a Ion weeding
season caul ! reappear ?.;ftcr occasional weeding fcfotlir ton house
was built ir, 1688., in open country, and it is tev ..tin to con-
sider the violet as our of the aid est inhabitants. An isolated
plant bos arr.e«re*3 in a ravebent crack ir The Grove.
It is not clear how ruch the plants in the area owe to the
local cli ate, and how < ucb to the specialised habitats available •
Airborne pollution, including dust, traffic fu es, and especially
sulphur dioxide have an overwhelming effect on the oss and
lichen flora, but no comparable effects or, the hi her lrr.ts.
Sor.;C cpccics ray have specialised mineral needs v/hich ,re best
- 25 -
i.et in polluted areas. The drier and warier clirate r.ay be
important • Though the avers- e ten ; erature is little hi her then
in the nearby country, and c\ rin bulbs, for instance, :tc
little earlier than in the outer suburbs, there are hot'C ir.a.ort-
ant effects. The heat stored in sunny brick walls and 1 at fro
buildings provides substantia*! protection fro* frost. The low-
est around ciiniciUiTi recorded in oy garden since 196'* ha., been
- 8 C, and no ground frost has been recor.ied between 20th
Aril ani 30th October. Many all-the-year plants halo letter
propress in winter than would be possible in root country areas,
increasing further their advantage over plants with a ore
restricted secdinp season, and nture plants of Calendula
officinalis atrd Plalva spj>. often overwinter without . uCh laraae.
In surlier, the slower fall of tec.r.erature in the ovar.in lurin a
hot weather ray help sot, o species. The- scarcity of :lew* is very
It is vorth repeatin - that no final list of _ 1 nts is poss-
ible in an area like this. There have been t "*ny o- i.sai ons , sai e
ca 1 i on plaints which so? eti:.cs appear^. Many of the plants s en-
tioned have been se^ri in si- ilar conditions in ether towns ana
arc , art of ? widespread 'town flora 1 . Individual specie*-: of
this flora, often seer -to have coa,l;x ana i uzzlinp ecalaic 1
needs, and sa-e of the co: a >ut;i ties they for: are as well orked
'a those in rany natural habitats. let plants in 'towns have
deceived little attention. A close study of thca is alaost
crtair to \ rove rewar iirp- .
T should like to thank. Dr. H. J. I-i. Bowen, Dr. C. L.
Hub bard and Mr, C. C. Towns? end for sup r, estin~- or chick ir the
nar.ee of soae t -lasts I have athered.
3olc "t<ar blinps" of a "Nature Lover"
■ .■■..■i — — n ■— — — ^— win i -■— — — — «■ -■ ■■■—■——■ i i
by M . A. Saallcorr.be
As far back as ay v erory serves . c, ar.ythinp fciiat v.'ri^ lc"
r flew, attracted r y attention. Flowers always ap/aeare'-l
"pretty", while colour and shapes intri :u~ d :-e. Lven now , I
roc :11, vividly , seeing a larva of a Trivet Kawk 1 'jth at the tov
f a rivet twip, just < fter a star of rain. It s.ee-a.e ! tia t
little pieces of %$A rainbow had been laced at a slant r.lon- its
Lri ht r^cn trunk. Whatever was that curved horn for? V as ii
poisonous? The followin . ray fo'und s.s telling r-,y school fellows
- at* the request of y teacher - about ray find. Every cater-
I illar that I found went into a tin or jar with bits sf leaves
and thus --raclu.lly the life histories of the Garden Ti cr, buff
:r ine, Caaba- e aoth, : an:i a host af others became a natural art
- 26 -
of y life. V ith paternal enc-ur& -e;..e:it , I collected hundreds of
larvae 01' peacock and Si roll Tortoisee-hel3 ^utterfliet-: in a huae
en e, r.ri then, on the sunny day pf hotchira" of the - aln-si an "led
u ae, wondered at the- t iracle of these lovely injects taking
their first fli ht into the World.
Of course I kept Silkwarr s - in py bedroor.- - in p ciriboard
box :ifl- ; fed ther upon lettuce or aanJelion loaves ao there was
no Mulberry tree near. The * oths ?'?ted within seconds of enierft-
ir. fror the cocoons. The cardboard box had a ch< r; cteristic
rerfuie, which I thou :ht was the natural srell of silkwor s, an".
it was not until I handle:! a. cardboard box so.. e 70 years later
th&jtj T realised that it V.AS the pardbaarjd an:\ KCT the silkworms
taat pgtve., the odour 1
But life was not all insects. Fro-s, Toads, Mewts, Snakes
and Liaards ear;e within cy experience. I bad a i^r^e - ct Toad
in the reenhouso and also a Green Lizard fror Jeracy; I used to
think and believe that they both knew re, as di ! c~ Grass Snake,
hj inches Ion.-, which I faun J in the Cotswolds. When, at lcT.t I
cau ht it. there was a bi -; bui c ir its do_iy. and 1; ter on, it
vaaitod a lar e. dead toad in y knapsack. Pros -. vA x^A^
always seeaej to dreed in separate ponds and these ai } .iil ians
wou|^.] spend the winter underne-'.th a larja© waterbutt in the -ar-
den. (liy involvement with the albino fro'S in Wcadin .•-, you no
doubt have read about, and the research beina carried out by
ir# A. Trice at the rrt-se*it tine),
p dr is were fascinating and also their cor. ,s with which I
beco; e very familiar* I : ow intri ued I was, whejn I nearo y first
JMi- htin alo, Corncrake, Nirhtjar and the Grasshopper ftarblerj
C ■"-'.- c the day when I tracked a ni htin /ale to its nest i;: a copse.
Those five olive-brown c : tts in a rou hly built nest; what a
sensation it was - it was beyond anything tc ae. I ere- t away
and later ca;.e back and hear:', the parents sin/? - I trie' to
whistle! At ho.e T kept a ha-;pie. Jackdaw, Jay snd a Sou ■.
Thrush - rut not in ca ;cs loeke " ur . I fed the - well but wert
when the/ in turn died.
As I rew u^ I consorted with a fine, very a -c 1 naturalist
- V\r, .1. J. Charbonnier of Glveston, Glrs.. lie taught ■• c. a
A. .1 T • ... -. ^ - _ _ » .5 _ . . A. I- _ . . _ ._ J X*_ . T . _. '■ /. -_ J . rnL „ -i-
including the wonderful ways of Ant
- 27 -
voriet.y an;' then a •plc'en yellow fort:, :*n :' fro*, tr.t letter rise'
soi:? lorvae, lut to iy ! ic ust, they were all taken :t'*-ay by ants
- trie v-tG i ht have they lit t'ocy wtrc ^ealin'r with the lervae
of t ! ie L-r e Blue butterfly!
I rooto. Ler, too, the fun that ry cor; onion ah5 I ho ' v-.'vn we
went "suoorin-" for ictus one evenirv. On the way to the Ice
in r. ^reb for collecting, we r:urchaee! a sr.all bottle of itUM in
o ublic house. V.'o • ixe i this ■■.■ ith tne trooclc ir a s ociol
tin, which y friend cli^ e * to the front of his cot. i ountirv"
our cycles a '-ft in - it was ettin dorh' - I hod csuoc to recuse
y frier.- for la .■;/:in ?i behind on! twice he fell off hie cycle. At
loot I .'iscovero that the er-cll of the rui encburh o." hiu to
lick toe hrush r.ev^.rol ti.es - in foct he '.ceo e ti">sy or.: 1 fin-
oily fell into a stream while fir flying the treacle to to. trunk
of o willow treet After hclyirr to . ull hi:, out, wo c lied ^t
o friend's cotto. e ono a i.air of oversize .1 trousers were loot tc
* y follow enter olo 1st - for hi? own wore soaked on.; v. ;. v.o
finv.lly ro^cned "ristol ot oid-ri • ht ooeorin./ ■ ore li=.<: tr»r- r ;B
t hi ■ »•• c n t ot ol o i s t s •
At taic : eriod of by life 1 !i.i hot' know thot the ?);neu;
world woo- to be ry fote - :iit it hos been on ! y nature '*ock-
Tounv bos boor extended vcr; i uch over the years* TK re is not
oroco litre to talk about Geolo *y and Archo col o : y which v.cre to
take ir o ood deal of ry tire. Crchi is become o reot ottr<o.c t-
i. ■•■»-: and intercot to re. To cxeerier.ee the intense , Icos'to of
s.o.'iro- the liofikey, h'r-.r , Tusk, Fro , i3ee, ~'ly, Liz r : t.. 1 Others,
irclu.oir toot extraordinary flower, the Leafless E}.±\ coco ,
•ro^is:one.-r bea'din* has been o thrill tnot'no' ohty cowl -1 buy.
hiCiic ex - crie ces ft^tre? "orouoht J e intr; contoct with ::.*?, y kin. rod
oirits, e.o.jle whor I res; ect end adioire. To the. , woo loot
re. oin r.a. oless, I pay tribute. T treasure, their - . c ory, for
they have shored with re the reol joy of "rai blii: " in its true
r er nin ;.
So to conclude these few "3nr Llir^s" . i)urit\- o recent
enforce 1 i cried in o beoroc" 2h g; ecies of bir:"s c:oe within ry
viuW. Tic Siskins" wrre 's *eci <lly welco e.
3o;te.'bcr jjx- 1, 1971.
- 28 -
Recorder's Report for Vertebrates 1970 - 71
by H. H. Carter
ZK found a number of dead Pike Esox lucius L. on
the edge of Aldernaston gravel pit in the spring
and autumn of 1971. Most were between 300 and 400
mm (12 and l6") long.
Bufo bufo (L,) Toad. Still common at Hill's
Meadow, Caversham. Only one seen at Priestwood in
last few years (Mrs. Dalton). One dead on Peppard
Road south of Sonning Common, 22.3.71.
Rana temporaria L. Frog. Very scarce this year in
the Newbury area (RSJH). Breeding in large numbers
at a pool in Mrs. Dalton 's garden, Priestwood,
Bracknell. About 50 dead on road, presumably killed
on migration to breeding grounds, New Lane Hill,
Tilehurst, 20.3-71. 5 dead there on 28.9.71. and 10
dead on 12.10.71* In the same period and area
single corpses were f.ound in Furley and Long Lane on
26.9.71 and at Cane End on the Woodcote Road on
30.9.71 (all ZK - compare with very similar observ-
ations last year.)
Anguis fragilis L. Slow-worm. A male about 275 ran
(11") long in grass at Spring Lane near Swallowfield,
6.12.70. One at Chapel Hill, Tilehurst, 26. 5. 71
(ZK). One at Coley Park, 28.6.71, and a juvenile
there next day (Mr. Winchcombe). A male, female and
several young ones in a garden rubbish heap at
Pangbourne in August. One at Theale gravel pit,
Lacerta vivipara Jacquin. Lizard. A close view of
one at Theale gravel pit, 2.V.71, and one at
Aldernaston gravel pit, 2.5.71 (ZK). One caught in
West Reading near the Bell inn, 2^.8.71 (RLN).
Several on Burghfield Common during the summer.
Natrix natrix (L) Grass Snake. One *f00 mm (15")
long, sunning itself on a gravel path at Upper Farm,
Gatehampton, 6. 7. 71 (ZK). One about 16 mm (6")
long caught at Ideal Casements Ltd., East Reading,
in October. A female 875 ran (3^") in length from
the railway embankment at Coley Park, 18.4.71 (BS).
A very small one, presumably in its first year, at
Spencer's Wood (PAB).
Vipera berus (L.) Adder.
Padworth, 2.5.71 (BRB).
Two in Cowpond Piece,
Talpa europaea L. Mole. Many fresh molehills
south of Pangbourne, 4.4.71; also in Crowsley Park,
30. 6. 71; dead noles at Twyford gravel pit, 13.4.71,
Manor Farm, 19.6.71 and Theale gravel pit 19.9.71
(all ZK). kolohilla at Gil£aP#tmf0 Co- f <dd, Peppard Con-
mon , - Sonning) Cora-ion aincl' jjwjflff ard in -January a-nC ibpbruary.
All these sites are on gravel, and the saue is true
of most of the other localities near Reading where
moles have been recorded. They also agree with
earlier observations in being either river valleys
or level uplands, the intervening slopes being
Sorex araneus L. Shrew. Several spring and autumn
records in the Tilehurst area from ZK. (February,
March, August and October). Heard at Chalkhouse
Green, Marley Tile pits and east cf Goring in April,
Moor Copse and Sonning Common in May, Bishopsland
Farm south of Sonning Common, 15.7.71. One dead at
Pangbourne, 2.9.71. •
S . minutus L. Pygmy Shrew. None seen by ZK or
myself. An adult male found dead at Bearwood,
11.4.71 by BTP, one at Southcoce, 8.6.71 (AF).
Neomys fodiens Pennant Water Shrew. On bank
Kennet above Burghfield Bridge, 16.6.71 (BRB)
Erinaceus europaeus L. Hedgehog. 3 records
Tilehurst, 4.4.71, 11.5.71 and 28.5.71 (ZK) of
which the first only was a road death. Common at
Newbury (RSJH) and Priestwood near Bracknell
(Mrs. Dalton), 2 dead on the road at Spencer's
Wood, 29.5.71, one dead in Emmer Green, 8.7.71, one
dead in Sonning Common, 12. 7 • 71, 2 dead in Caversham
Heights, 22.7.71 and 3. 9. 71. As last year, the
species is still abundant but road casualties are
less than formerly.
Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Schreber) Pipistrelle.
One flying by day near Aldermaston Wharf gravel pit,
27.3.71; one flying round the Abbey ruins by day,
11. 4. 71; one at Chapel Hill, Tilehurst, 11.4.71,
19.9.71, five there 9.10.71 (all ZK). An unident-
ified small bat near Birchen Copse, Riseley, 15.4.71,
and two unidentified large bats at dusk at Theale
gravel pit, 7.9.?1.(ZK) . '
Vulpes vulpes (L,) Fox. Several records from the
Sulharn area from 21.12.70 to 8.5.71; one seen at
close range in Whiteknights Park at dusk, 10.3.71;
four cubs playing and feeding on the remains of a
farmyard goose at Hattonhill Shaw, Gatehampton,
16.5-71; an adult seen repeatedly carrying an
object in its mouth in Birchen Copse, Riseley,
30.5.71 (all ZK). A male killed by a car in Greys
Green Road, Rotherfield Greys, 15.1.71 and collected
by Mrs. Nawell.
Droppings at Heckfield Heath, 29.5.71. One seen at
Bishopsland Farm, south of Sonning Common, 13. 9 .71.
One dead on the A4 by the Travellers' Friend,
Calcot, 11.8.71 and a female seen daily between 8
and 10 p.m. in the observer's garden at Padworth,
1.9.71 to 22.9.71 (MJH).
One seen at Warwick Road, Reading, 22.5.71 and
Meles meles (L.) Badger. Status in the Sulham
area unchanged, with the usual pattern of some
setts becoming disused and others developed. Not
yet affected by forestry operations (ZK). A female
(as usual) killed on the road, the B3024 near White
Waltham, 28.3.71.. One dead at Downe House School,
north of Newbury, where there is a sett in the
grounds, 6.4.71. Two adults collecting bedding and
two cubs playing at Stonycroft Plantation sett
20.00 - 20.50 E.S.T. on 8.4.71 (EMT).
Mustela erminea (L.) Stoat. One adult at Sonning
Eye gravel pit, 2.4.71 (ZK).
M. nivalis L. Weasel. Four records from the Kennet
valley (Theale to Aldermaston) 4.11.70 to 25.4.71.
An animal at Binfield Heath, 8.7.71, displaying
characteristic curiosity, making repeated forays
from cover to watch the observer over 5 minutes;
one dead on A329 at Basildon; one crossing the
Woodcote road at the Pack-Saddle, 28.8.71 (all ZK).
One Hazelmodr Lane, Sonning Common, 24.1.71 One
found dead at Swyncombe, 25.11.70.
Artiodactyla Cervus dama (L.) Fallow Deer. Nine in Hungry Hill
Wood, Wormsley Park (Chilterns near Bucks, border),
l6.12.70 (ZK). One oi the dark phase at Goring
Heath,- 24.12.70 (AL) . Six feeding in coniferous
woodland at Nuney Green, 16.5.71 (ZK). Two seen
feeding in field then crossed lane into Birchen
Copse*. Riseley, at 20.30 B.S.T. on 15.4.71 (ZK).
A buck with fine antlers in Bramshill Forest,
A doe surprised at close quarters by the RDNHS
excursion to Clayfie'ld Copse, Ernmer Green, made
off across an open field to the north, where tnere
is no cover, 15.5.71. (Tracks had already been
seen in Clayfield Copse but until we saw the animal
RODENT I A
- 31 -
I was hardly prepared to believe in the presence
of deer in this small and much-f requented piece
of woodland on the ed^e of a built-up area.)
Tracks seen in Sulham Wood, 5.8.71 (ZK).
Muntiacus reevesi (Ogilby) Muntjac. One seen
in Rumerhedge Bottom, Goring Heath, 2.2.71
(Mr. Taylor). One seen on several occasions
near Berkeley Avenue Reading up to 27.6.71
(DW). A mangled corpse with short antlers by
the Goring Heath road near Collegewood Farm was
probably of this species, 1.10.71 (ZK).
(Unidentified deer near Inkpen were probably
C. dama , 28.4.71 (RAR)).
Lepus capensis Pallas Brown Hare. One on fields
near Marley Tile gravel pit, 27.10.70, two there,
27.3.71, one 9.4.71 (ZK). One there 30.4.71.
One by Theale gravel pit, 6.12.70 (ZK). Two at
Manor Farm, 15.3.71, one there, 14.7.71 (ZK).
One at Sonning Eye gravel pit, 13.4.71 (ZK).
One at Summerhouse Plaitation, Binfield Heath,
8.7.7« (ZK) and many records from Bishopsland
Farm south of Sonning Common as usual, but less
numerous than in some previous years (maximum
five on 29.1. 71.).
Many records from Berkshire Downs, maximum ten
on 7.7.71. (ZK). '
Ory ctolagus cuniculus (L.) Rabbit, ZK provide
many records from all the areas, where they have
been most active during, the year, principally
the Sulham area,' the Kennet valley from Marley
Tile Pit eastwards, and the Thames valley from
Goring to Twyford. Most of these relate to
single animals, a few to two or three together.
Higher nupibers were four at Theale gravel pit,
25.4.71, seven in Englefield Park, 25.8.71, eight
at Burghfield gravel pit, 15.11.70, and over 15
in the Sulham area, 8.5.71, and in Crowsley Park
east of Sonning Common, 30.6.71 (also ten there
on 8r7.71» )• Other records include many from
the area between Sonning Common and Reading, and
from the areas conered by ZK including ten at
Marley Tile Pit, 30.4.71., 7-8 at Cane End,
16.5.71., and south of Reading at Burghfield
Common and Heckfield Heath.
ZK report two cases of myxomatosis, at Sulham on
1.1.71- and at Theale gravel pit on 6.9.71.
Muscardinus avellanarius (L.) Dormouse.. A col-
ony of this species was discovered during 1971
- 32 -
in a hedge of
Symphoricarpus rivularis Suksdorf, Snowberry,
near Tadley (LC). Most of the records of this
species in recent years have been from the south-
ern side of the Kennet Valley. It is also
reported from the High Wycombe district outside
the range of the RDNHS .
Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin Grey Squirrel.
ZK supply a total of 75 seen in the Sulbam-
Tilehurst area during the year, but never more
than three at a time. They also found it common
around Binfield Heath in July. Records were if
anything more frequent during the winter months,
when of course the animals (when active at all)
feed more often on the ground and are easier to
see when in trees. My own impression is that the
species occurs in virtually every wood in the
Reading area where beech Fagus sylvatica L. or
oak Quercus robur L. are present. Other Quercus
spp. may also be able to support it but this I
cannot confirm. Large numbers are found only
when there are mature oaks in the vicinity.
Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout Brown Rat.
Recorded by ZK at the Kennet Valley gravel pits
and as road casualties elsewhere. (Theale,
Pincents Hill, Appleford.) Also seen dead on the
Peppard Road as in past years.
Mus mus cuius L. House Mouse. The only record
received was from ZK - one dead at Chapel Hill,
Arvicola amphibius (L.) Water Vole. Several
records from the Kennet valley in spring and
autumn (ZK). Common on the Thames near the
Nautical College boathouse, Pangbourne (JS).
Microtus agrestis (L.) Short-tailed Vole.
One in Cornwell Copse near Tilehurst, 1.1.71,
and one on a hedge-bank opposite Hill Copse,
Sulham, 17.3.71 (ZK).
One at Gallowstree Common, 26.8.71, and one dead
on the site of the old Southern Railway bridge
over Vastern Road, Reading, 27.8.71.
Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber) Bank Vole.
One sitting outside its hole in Barefoots Copse,
One dead at Theale gravel pit, 15.3.71. (both
- 33 -
B. R. Baker A. Lawson
G. A. Bell R. L. Nicholls
P. A. Bowden B. T. Parsons
Mrs. L. Clarke R. A. Rutland
Miss A. Fletcher J. Sheringham
M. J. Hitchcock B. Sturges
Mrs. R. St. J. Hawkins Mrs. E. M. Trembath
Zdsislaw and Zbigniew Karpowicz Mrs. D. White
The Recorder's Report for Entomology
1970 - 71
by B. R. Baker
Order Plecoptera (Stone-flies)
Less than a dozen species of stone-fly have been recorded
from the Reading area, for our lowland rivers and streams cannot
duplicate those conditions afforded to stone-flies on rivers in
the north and west of Britain. However, our River Kennet holds
the quite impressive species Perlodes microcephal a (Pict.). Male
Perlodes have very abbreviated wings and specimens should be
sought in the cracks of bridge piles, lock gates, etc. Two
specimens were found on 20th April at 11.15 p.m. below the wooden
bridge over the Kennet at Woolhampton; (see Reading Naturalist
No. 13 for notes on this species at Woolhampton in i960).
Order Odonata (Dra'gpn-f lies)
The long spell of sunny weather from late August until mid-
November provided ideal conditions for dragon-fly flight, and it
proved possible, and enjoyable, to observe a number of species
in some abundance. Our first record is, however, of an early
Gomphus vulgatissimus (L.) Club-tail Dragon-fly
Mr. Price and some members of his class, who had been work-
ing the banks of the Thames near Earley Power Station on 29th
May, were fortunate to find a fine example of this uncommon
species, which they presented to the Museum's reference collect-
- 34 -
Aeshna mixta Lat. Scarce Aeshna
Mr. Gambles took a specimen on the occasion of the Society's
excursion on 4th September; later in the month, 20th September,
the species was numerous on a Kennet backstream beyond Southcote
where females were observed ovipositing in stems of Typha at a
point well above that of the present water level. The brilliant
blue males of A . mixta were abundant on the gravel pits at
Burghfield on 2nd October and a few were still present at the
same locality on 23rd October.
The celebrated Fishpond on Wokefield Common was alive with
dragon-flies when this locality was visited on 2nd October. The
following species were seen:-
Aeshna cyanea (Muell.) Southern Aeshna; A. juncea (L.) Common
Aeshna, (a single specimen); Sympetrum striolatum (Charp.)
Common Sympetrum, abundant, with pairs flying in tandem; and
S . danae (Sulz.) Black Sympetrum. From Owlsmoor Bog near
Crowthorne we record Q rthetrum coerulescens (F.) Keeled
Orthetrum past their best on 11th September, with A. juncea
very fresh on the same date.
Order Trichoptera (Caddis-flies)
The odd looking little caddis Chaetopteryx villosa (F.)
was noted along the banks of the River Pang within the Moor
Copse Nature Reserve near Tidmarsh on 15th November, 1970.
Specimens were still to be seen as late as 29th November.
Order Lepidopter a (Butterflies and Moths)
Vanessa atalanta (L.) Red Admiral
Very few recorded, viz: Stratfield Saye, 12th May, and on
Buddleia at Earley, 6th and 8th August (B.T.P.) ■
Vanessa cardui (L.) Painted Lady
A single specimen seen on Buddleia at Earley on 1st
September and another on Asters in Parkside Road, Reading,
5th October (B.T.P.).
Acherontia atropos (L.) Deaths Head Hawkmoth
A perfect example of this immigrant was brought to the
Museum by Mr. Adrian Searle who had discovered the moth upon a
line of washing at Clayhill, Burghfield on 27th August.
Herse convolvuli (L.) Convolvulus Hawkmoth
Mr. M. Palles-Clark of Leighton Park School reported an
example of this uncommon immigrant being found at Tilehurst on
1st or 2nd October.
- 35 -
Gonepteryx rhamni (L.) Brimstone butterfly
. This butterfly is said to be the longest lived of any
British species, its life frequently extending to a year. The
single brood appears in July or August and the butterflies
usually enter hibernation shortly after emergence. However, we
have records of three late-fliers in 1970:- a female seen in
St. Peter's Churchyard on 5th November, and two males (locality
not given) on 24th November. Given favourable weather brim-
stones reappear again from late February onwards, but with the
bitter weather of early March, , 1971 (the 6th being the coldest
March day for 30 years), it was not until 27th March that these
brilliant yellow butterflies were observed in Pamber Forest in
Celastrina argiolus (L.) Holly Blue
Although not as frequently seen as in 1970, this species
had quite a good year with several sightings across Caversham
gardens between 2nd and 9th May and again on 1st August.
Strymonidia w-album (Knoch) White-letter Hairstreak
This little hairstreak has long been known from the
Hardwick-Goring Heath area, and it is evidently still in
strength in that region. From the same line of wych elms where
we were shown our first larvae 25 years ago, it proved compar-
atively easy to beat a quantity for breeding purposes on the
evening of 13th May.
Euchloe cardamines (L.) Orange Tip
Observed in a garden at Earley on 1st and 2nd June, and
3rd- and *fth-instar larvae found at Dunsden on 23rd June (B.T.P.).
Limenitis Camilla (L.) White Admiral
This beautiful butterfly had a splendid season in 1971 and
the Recorder 'had never seen such quantities as were on the wing
in Pamber Forest on 10th July. Specimens were still on the
wing on l8th August (though obviously worn); careful searching
produced a 3rd-instar larva on 6th September and a further
example on 13th September (B.T.P.).
Apatura iris ( L.) Purple Emperor
We have several records of this fine species: larvae from
Pamber Forest on 29th May, 2nd and 6th June; a female imago
observed sitting low down on an alder leaf on 17th July; a
female flying around sallows on l8th July (R.L.), several
males observed around oaks also on l8th July. Of special inter-
est is the finding of a 3rd-instar larva by a careful search of
sallows on 6th October (B.T.P.).
- 36 -
Argynnis aglaia (L.) Dark Green Fritillary
Watlington Hill, several observed on 7th July, (B.T.P.).
Aglais urticae (L.) Small Tortoiseshell
An extreme variety of this colourful species was observed by
our President at East Hendred on 11th September; Miss Cobb con-
tinues in her note "Small Tortoiseshells became very numerous in
late summer". (Varieties of this species are rarely encountered
- the Recorder only ever sees normal onesl).
Leucoma salicis (L.) White Satin Moth
On 17th July a single example was attracted to mercury-
vapour light on the Kennet bank between Newbury and Thatcham.
Plusia cbryson (Esp.) Scarce Burnished Brass
Several examples to light 17th July, at the above locality.
Gypsitea ieucographa (Schiff.) The White-marked
A first record from Woolhampton reed-bed was made on 20th
April; yet this locality has been worked frequently by local
entomologists over the past 20 years without species ever being
Bapta distinctata Herr. Schaff . Sloe Carpet
A single example taken at Dr. M. I. Crichton's Rothampsted
trap at Mortimer on 22nd/23rd April. This is a notable record;
apart from an example in the Sitwell Collection in Reading
Museum (from near Wokingham) we have no previous indication of
this moth's existence in the Reading District.
Aegeri a formicaeformis (Esp.) Red-tipped Clearwing
Larvae were discovered in osier stumps at Woolhampton on
17th April, and several pupal cases from which adults had
emerged were seen at the same locality on 31st May. Careful
searching low down among osier stumps revealed a newly emerged
moth on 2nd June.
Aegeria myopaeformis (Borkh.) Red-belted Clearwing
Mr. Price and the Recorder .were both able to confirm the
continuance of the colonies of this little clearwing in apple
trees growing in gardens close to Redlands School. The peak
emergence took place between 21st and 25th June.
Aegeria andrenaeformis (Lasp.) Orange-tailed Clearwing
Larval borings were discovered in wayfaring trees at
Garson's Hill, Oxon. on ^fth April. From one cutting taken an
adult moth emerged on 19th May.
Aegeria vespiformis (L.) Yellow-legged Clearwing
Clearance of oaks is seldom welcomed by naturalists; we
- 37 -
merely record that felling near Oval Pond, Padworth t has created
a favourable habitat for A. vespiformis and that larvae were
discovered in the stumps when searched for on 5th May. These
produced moths on 23rd and 29th May.
Order Coleoptera Beetles
Lucanus cervus (1.) Stag Beetle
Mr. W. L. South of Streatley wrote to the Museum with the
following interesting observation: "About 10 a.m. on the 6th
July I opened my kitchen door to the garden and was astonished
to find 5 stag beetles in am empty V/2 gallon bucket. They were
crawling round but could not get up the slippery sides, and there
was no room for a flying take-off. There were k beetles with
'horns' but there was one beetle with no 'horns'; I
assume that the 4 were males and the 5th a female". This inter-
esting observation is indicative of the nocturnal flight activity
of these large beetles which one is sometimes able to witness
around dusk on a warm summer evening. (See Mr. Leatherdale 's
observations in Reading Naturalist No. 16 . p. 17.) • Mr„ South 's
observation relating to the sexes of the specimens is, of course,
Order Diptera (True Flies)
The detailed list relating to this Order has been submitted
to the Recorder by Mr. H. H. Carter and embodies records made on
behalf of Dr, E. Burtt, Mr. Roger Leeke and by Mr. Carter him-
self. The Diptera is the second largest Order of British
Insects and contains upwards of 5*000 species. The records sub-
mitted, although numerous and frequently concerning common
species, all merit inclusion in the Report. Except where
indicated they relate to species new to the Reading Museum
Collection of Diptera and it is very satisfying to know that
this Order is now being worked by local entomologists.
Tipul a pruinosa Wiedemann; female, 18.6.70, Goring Heath (EB).
Limnophila meigeni Verrall; female, 1^.7.71, Wokefield Common
L. lucorum (Meigen) ; female, 1^.7.71, Wokefield Common (HHC).
Molophilus griseus (Meigen); female, 20.5.70, Goring Heath (EB)
Trichocera fuscata Meigen; female, 20.9.70, Reading (EB).
T. hiemalis (Degeer); male, 25.11.70, Reading (EB).
Chironomus dorsalis Meigen; male, 13.10.70, female, 20.10.70,
Reading (EB) .
Pachygaster leachii Curtis; female, 4.8.70, Wokefield Common
Acrocera globulus Panzer; female, l8.7»71» Pamber Forest (R. G.
Leeke). This family has only three British species, which are
seldom collected but are biologically interesting as brood-
parasitoids of spiders.
Scenoplnus niger (Degeer); female, 10.7-70, Reading (EB).
Chrysogaster macquarti Loew; both sexes, 29.5.70, Wokefield
Criorhina ranunculi Panzer; female, 15.5«71, Nuney Green (EB).
Microdon eggeri Mik; female, 6.6.71, Wokefield Common (EB) .
Two further species of Syrphidae -
Syrphus lineola Zetterstedt and
Helophilus frutetprum F. have been discovered among older mater-
ial taken in I967 when they were
confused with other species.
Ulidia erythrophthalma Meigen; male, 4.7-70, Goring Heath, (EB).
Anomoia permund a (Harris) reported by R. G. Leeke without date
or place. (This specimen is not in Reading Museum).
Stenepteryx hirundinis (L.); female, 1.7.71, Reading (Mr. Wyeth),
Much less frequent in the Reading area than
Crataerina pallida (Latreille). The two specd.es are brood-
parasites of martins and swifts respectively.
Lydina aenea (Meigen); female, 29.7.70, Goring Heath (EB).
Macquartia praefica (Meigen); female, 30.6.70, Wokefield
Common (EB) .
- 39 -
Eumea westermanni (Zletterstedt ) ; male, 22.6.70, Reading (EB) .
Winthemia quadripustulata (F.) a male and two females bred
from larvae of
Cucullia verbasci (L.) on display in Reading Museum. (From
B. T. Parsons at Earley.)
Actia crassicornis (Meigen); male, 8.8.70, Wokefield Common
Tachina erucarum Rondani; male, 27.8.71, Reading (EB).
Voria trepida Meigen; three females, 27.8.70, Wokefield
Common (EB) .
Rhacodineura pallipes Fallen.; male, 20.7.71, Reading (EB).
Siphcna maculata Staeger; male, 1.5*71, Goring Heath (EB).
S. cristata (F.); female, 31.7.71, Reading (EB).
Parafeburia maculata (Fallen); female, 17.8.70, Wokefield
Melanophora roralis (I*); two males, 22.6.70, Reading (EB).
Styloneuria discrepans (Pandelle); female, 8.7*70, male,
""" 27 ^ 71 ^ Reading ( EB ).
Pachyophthalmus signatu s (Meigen); male, 28.7.70, female,
. „..,.. _._„.....,.... 27.6.71, Reading. (EB).
Sarcophaga aratrix Pandelle; several records of both sexes
1970-1971 ( EB, HHC ) .
S. carnaria (L.); males, 27. 7. 71* Goring Heath and 21. 9. 71,
""" -— ■- Wokefield Common (HHC).
This is the common species of the text-books, but is
clearly much less numerous in our area than S. vulgaris
Rohdendorf or S. subvicina Rohdendorf with which it was
formerly confused. (The females are still regarded as
inseparable . )
S. dissifflilis Meigen; both sexes from Goring Heath,
22.7.70 - 30.7.70 (EB).
S. frenata Pandelle; female, 25.7.70, male, 29.7. 70, Goring
S. haemorrhoa Meigen; male, 20.7.71, Wokefield Common (HHC),
female, 26.8.71, Goring Heath (EB) .
S. haemorrhoidalis (Fallen); male, 4.8.71, females, 1.9.70 -
10.9.70, Reading (EB) .
S. incisilobata Pandelle; male, 17.6.71, Wokefield Common (EB)
S. nigriventris Meigen; females, 3.9.71, Goring Heath (EB) .
- ko -
S. scoparia Pandelle; male, 22.6.71? Wokefield Common (HHC).
S .- setipennis Rondani; females, 31.7.70, Caversham Park and
l^f.9.71, Goring Heath (HHC).
S. subvicina Rohdendorf; many records of both sexes 1970-71
(EB and HHC). The material hitherto ascribed to this species
and S. carnaria (L.) in Reading Museum has been re-examined
and proves all to belong to S . vulgaris Rohdendorf, a species
intermediate between the two, long considered to be merely a
sub-species of one or other of them until the accumulation of
data on localities and dates showed that it co-exists with
both and must be a full species.
Pollenia raria (Meigen); both sexes, 18-19.7.71, Reading, male,
3.9-71, Goring Heath (EB).
Phaonia gobertii Mik; male, 27.9*70, Reading (EB).
P. pallida (F.); many records in 1970-71 (EB).
P. palpata (Stein); male, 25.5.70, female, 30.7.70, Reading
P. rufipalpis (Macquart); female, 12.9.71, Nuney Green (EB).
P. serva (Meigen); male, 1.5.71, Reading (EB).
P. trimaculata (Bouche); male, 30.8.70, Reading (EE).
Dendropha pnia querceti (Bouche); female, 22.9.70, male,
18.7.71, Reading (EB).
Pogonomyia decolor Fallen; female, 20.7*71, Wokefield Common
Ophyra leucostoma (Wiedemann); several records in 1970 (EB
Hydrotaea cyrtoneurina ( Zetterstedt ) ; males, 8.7.71, Nuney
Green. (EB). Not new to the Reading Museum collection, but
apparently a county record for Oxfordshire.
H. irritans (Fallen); female, 3.8.70, Wokefield Common. It is
remarkable that this species should so long have escaped cap-
ture: it is not only very abundant, but makes itself
H. occulta (Meigen); male, 9.10.70, Reading (EB).
Mydaea ancilla (Meigen) ; male , 3.9.70, 2 College Road (EE).
Apparently new to Berkshire.
M. discimana Malloch; male, 22.7.71, Goring Heath (HHC). New
M. setifemur Ringdahl; female, 22.7.71, Goring Heath (HHC).
New to Oxfordshire.
- ifl -
Helina communis Robineau-Desvoidy ; female, 20.7.71, Wokefield
Hebecnema af finis Malloch; female, 24.9.70, Reading, (EB).
H. vespertina (Fallen); females, 22.9.70 - 24.9.70, Reading
Spilogona denigrata (Meigen); male, 15.6.71, Wokefield Common
( HHC ) .
Allognota agromyzina (Fallen); females, 21,9.70 and 9.10.70,
"" Reading (EB).
Coenosia lineatipes ( Zetterstedt ) ; females, 30.8.70 - 16.10. 70,
" Reading (EB).
C. tricolor (Zetterstedt); males, 16.9.70 - 1.10.70, female,
1.10.70, Reading (EB).
Caricea humilis (Meigen); females, 25.9.70 - 18.10.70, males,
28.8.70 - 1.10.70, Reading (EB).
Piezura graminicola Zetterstedt; female, 15.10.70, male,
' (? date) 1971, Reading (EB).
Fannia armata (Meigen); several records of both sexes 1970 -
1971 (EB and HHC).
F. aequilineata Ringdahl : females, 4.9.70, males, 1.10.70,
F, manicata (Meigen); male and female, 16.9.71 - 18.9.71,
F. pallitibia (Rondani); females, 4.9.70 - 22.9.70, Reading
F. polychaeta (Stein); three females, 16.7.70 - 22.7.70,
Goring Heath (EB).
F. rondanii Strobl; male, 18.5.71, Nuney Green (HHC).
F. similis (Stein); female, 22.7.71, Nuney Green (HHC).
We acknowledge our indebtedness to the Director of Reading
Museum for allowing us every facility to incorporate such Museum
records as we wished, and also express our best thanks to the
Dr. E. Burtt Mr. R. M. Gambles
Mr. H. H. Carter Mr. Roger Leeke
Miss L. E. Cobb Mr. B. T. Parsons
Dr. M. I. Crichton Mr. A. Price
- kz -
The Recorder's Report for Botany
1970 - 71
by B. M. Newman
Fewer records were received this year. Those sent in by
the following members are gratefully acknowledged:- Dr. H. J. M,
Bowen (HJMB); Mr. H. Carter (HC); Miss L. E. Cobb (LEC); Mrs.
E. M. Trembath (EMT) ; Dr. J. Toothill (JT); Miss J. M. Watson
The nomenclature and order are according to the "Flora of
the British Isles" by Clapham, Tutin and Warburg, 2nd edition
1962. An alien taxon is indicated by an asterisk (*) and a new
county record by a cross (+). English names in common use have
been given where possible and more recently invented names are
put in quotation marks.
Miss Cobb sent a record of Papaver hybridum , a plant des-
cribed as rare in the "Flora of the British Isles" (Clacham,
Tutin and Warburg), and said to be decreasing in Berkshire in
the "Flora of Berkshire (H. J. M. Bowen).
Dr. Bowen sent lists of plants found on Woodley and
Smallmead tips, and Mr. Carter a list of plants found in Nuney
Green chalk pit. These plants are placed at the end of the
report as they are more interesting considered together than as
Dr. Toothill has very kindly pointed out an error in the
previous issue of the Reading Naturalist (No. 23). On page 35 »
the location for Chrysanthemum segetum L. should be "Field near
Aston", and "Marshy ground near the river Loddon" refers to
another plant, Thalictrum flavum L. which was accidentally
omitted when my typewritten copy was made.
List of Members' Records
Asplenium adiantum-nigrum L. 'Black Spleenwort'
Asplenium ruta-muraria L.
Cuxham; Little Milton.
Papaver hybridum L. 'Round Prickly-headed Poppy'
Cornfields below Thurle Down. NHS walk. (LEC)
Fumaria micrantha Lag.
Thurle Down. NHS walk.
Viola odorata L.
Swyncombe Downs, near Worth Farm. (LEC)
- ^3 -
Hypericum montanun L. 'Mountain St. John's Wort'
Stonor Park. (HJMB)
*+ Silene muscipula L.
One plant in pavement crevice at AERE, Harwell, Berks. (HJMB)
*Vaccaria pyraraidata Medic .
Garden at Caversham. Sent in by R. G. Messenger. (HJMB)
+Lavatera arborea L. Tree Mallow
Flowered from seedling found at Woodley tip, Berks., in 19&9.
Geranium lucidum L. 'Shining Cranesbill'
Bere Court Drive, Pangbourne. NHS walk. Found by Dr, B.
Sanguisorba officinalis L. 'Great Burnet'
One plant seen at Kennet Meadows, Sulhampstead. NHS walk.
Daphne laureola L. Spurge Laurel •
Wood near Quick's Green. (JT)
Viscum album L. Mistletoe
On Maple, Hawthorn and Apple, Hamstead Park, Berks. (HJMB)
Thesium humifusum DC. 'Bastard Toadflax'
Widespread on chalk grassland at Gatehampton* (EMT)
Myrrhis odorata (L.) Scop. Sweet Cicely
Roadside between Stonor and Henley r well established. (HJMB)
Bupleurum rotundifolium L. Hare's-ear, Thorow-wax
Prospect Street, Caversham. Mrs. Sambrook, 15.8.71. (HC)
Oenanthe aquatica (L.) Poir. 'Fine-leaved Water Dropwort'
Sulham Pond. (EMT)
Foeniculurn vulgare Mill. Fennel
Roadside, May's Green, Oxon. (HJMB)
Polygonum bistorta L. Snake-root, Easter-ledges, 'Bistort'
By canal near Hamstead Marshall, Berks. (HJMB)
Anagallis arvensis L. Scarlet Pimpernel
Pink form at Bradfield Common near the Bladebone. (JMW)
Vinca minor L. Lesser Periwinkle
Roadside (northside) near Quick's Green.
Roadside (southside) near Thurle Grange. (JT)
Gentianella germanica (Willd.) Borner
Swyncombe Downs, NHS walk. (LEC)
Gentianella amarella (L.) Borner Felwort
Swyncombe Downs, NHS walk. (LEC)
Cynoglossum officinale L. Hound' s-tongue
Stonor Park, Oxon. (HJMB)
- Vf -
Cuscuta epithymum (L.) L. 'Common Dodder'
Chalk grassland, Gatehampton, and Sulham Woods on. Lotus.
Atropa belladonna L. Dwale , Deadly Nightshade
Stonor Park, Oxon. and Blount's Court, Sonning Common,
30.10.70. (Mr. Taylor) (HC)
Antirrhinum orontium L. Weasel's Snout, Calf's Snout
Churchyard, Pangbourne. Lower Bucklebury Common, NHS walk.
Linaria repens (L.) Mill. 'Pale Toadflax'
Thurle Down. NHS walk. (LEC)
Chaenorhinum minus (L.) Lange 'Small Toadflax 1
Thurle Down, NHS walk. Plentiful. (LEC)
Kickxia spuria (L.) Dum. Fluellen'
Thurle Down, NHS walk. Plentiful (LEC)
Kickxia elatine (L.) Dum.
Thurle Down, NHS walk. Plentiful. (LEC)
Orobanche minor Sm. 'Lesser Broomrape ♦
Plentiful on rough chalk slope west of Stoneycroft Plantation,
Whitchurch, also in pasture, Hardwick Farm. (EMT)
Verbena officinalis L. Vervain
Thurle Down, NHS. walk. (LEC)
Salvia horminoides Pourr. Wild Clary
Road verge, Whitchurch. Ten fine plants cut when in full
bloom by road cutter. (EMT)
Lamium amplexicaule L. Henbit
Swyncombe Downs, NHS walk. (LEC)
Galeopsis angustifolia Ehrh. ex Hoffm . 'Narrow-leaved Hemp-
Swyncombe Downs, NHS walk. (LUC)
Cultivated field, Tidmarsh. (EMT)
*Campanula rapunculoides L. 'Creeping Campanula'
Swyncombe Downs. (LEC)
Campanula glomerata L. 'Clustered Bellflower'
Swyncombe Downs, NHS walk. (LEC)
Legousia hybrida (L.). Delarb. Venus 's Locking-glass
Swyncombe; Thurle Down. (LEC)
Adoxa moschatellina L. . Moschatel, Townhall Clock.
Flint House, Goring, 15.4,71. Wood by Marl ey Tile pit,
Picris echioides L. 'Bristly Ox -Tongue '
Little Milton. (LEC)
- ^5 -
*Nothoscordum inordorum (Ait.) Nicholson
Middle Assendon, Oxon. Found by Mrs. V. N. Paul. (HJME)
Iris foetidissima L. Gladdon, Stinking Iris
Several plants in wood near Quick's Green. (JT)
Festuca heterophylla Lara.
Roadside through woodland near Pangbourne. Confirmed by Dr,
C. E. Hubbard." (EMT)
Hordelymus europaeus (L.) Harz. 'Wood Barley'
Layfields Copse near Ashampstead. (EMT)
Plants seen at Nuney Green chalkpit, all in about half an acre.
Iberis araara L., Wild Candytuft; Polygala calcarea F. W. Schultz;
Rhamnus c'ltharticus L., Buckthorn; ' Sorbus aucuparia L., Rowan;
Sorbus aria (L.) Crantz; Sorbus torrainalis (L.) Crantz, Wild
Service Tree; Blackstonia perfoliata (L.) Huds., Yellow-wort;
Euphrasia neraorosa (Pers.) Wallr.; Odontites verna (Bell.) Dum.,
'Red Bartsia' ; Prunella laciniata (L.) L; Cephalanthera
damasonium (Mill.) Druce, White Helleborine: Anacaraptis
pyramidalis (L.) Rich., 'Pyramidal Orchid' - this last species
had several hundred blooms.
Plants seen at Woodley tip. (HJMB)
*+ Impatiens balsamina L. ; * Lupinus arboreus Sims, Tree Lupin;
•f Phaseolus multiflorus ; * Verbascum phlomoides L.; * Salvia
horrainum L.; * Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass.; ^- Tetragonia
Plants seen at Smallmead tip. (HJMB)
*+ Amaranthus retroflexus L.; Chenopodium hybridum L.; Sowbane;
* Tropaeolum peregrinum . L. ; Polygonum patulum Bieb.; * Cannabis
sativa L., Hemp; * Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass.; + Tagetes
erecta L.; African Marigold; Centaurea dilut a Aiton;
*Carthamus tinctorius L. ; False Saffron.
WEATHER RECORDS IN 1970
by A. E. Moon
The data refer to Reading University Meteorological Station. This is now situated
on the eastern side of Whiteknights Park. Records- were discontinued at the main site h
London Road on 31st December 1967 after nearly 50 years of almost continuous recording,
As the station is an entirely new siting, the averages for the main site station are no
longer applicable and are omitted from this summary. A "rain day" is a day on which
rainfall equals or exceeds 0,01 of an inch. For the designation of frost and ground
frost days see Yi/eather Records in 1961.
STATION - READING UNIVERSITY. HEIGHT ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL - 226 ft.
- <*7 -
MONTHLY, WEATHER NOTES, 1970
A mild, dull and wet month after a cold start. It
was the wettest January since 19^8 and the dullest
A rather cold but very sunny month; it was the sunni-
est February since sunshine records were started in
Reading in 1939 •
Cold and rather wintry; the coldest March since 1962.
The cold weather of March continued into this month
and it proved to be the coldest April since 1922 with
1936 the next coldest. Temperature reached 60 F for
the first time this year on l6th.
A fine and dry month; it was the warmest May since
196^-, driest since 196l and the sunniest since 1966 .
This was the warmest June since i960 and the sunni-
est since 1937* Thunderstorms in the evening of
llch produced 2.38 inches of rain, 1.8^ inches of
which fell in 29 minutes in' the hour ended 17.00
G.M.T. and this can be classified as a M very rare"
fall. Flooding occurred in the Pepper Lane-
tlniversity-Christchurch Green areas. The total rep-
resents the heaviest fall recorded at iheUniversity
stations on any one day since reliable records began
about 1920. This rainfall ended a "dry spell" of
During a heavy thunderstorm, between 02.30 and 03*10
G.M.T. on the 8th, 0.^2 of an inch of rain fell in.
12 minutes at 02.35 •
This was the sunniest August. since 1964, but the 20th
was the coldest August day since 6th, 1962 (57 F).
The warmest September since. 196A- and the sunniest
As October last year, this proved an unusually dry
month, and cemperature was a little above the normal.
Exceptionally wet; the wettest November since 1951
when the total was 6.6^ inches. Six inches has only
been exceeded twice before this in this month -
namely 19^-0, 6.2^f inches and 1929, 6.58 inches.
The driest December since 1963. The first snow of
the winter fell on Christmas Eve with a little snow
lying on Christmas morning.
- 48 -
Measurements of smoke concentration and sulphur dioxide
(S0 2 ) are summarised in the following table. They constitute
the results of daily measurements of smoke and SO2 pollution by
air filter and volumetric method respectively from apparatus
installed in the Geography Department, Reading University, at
A star against a month indicates that the eleetricifcy
supply was interrupted at some time during the period in which
the apparatus was in operation.
Microgrammes per cu. m.
Sulphur Dioxide (SO-)
Microgrammes per cu. m.
Month :Mean j Highest
5 20th, ■
4 21st, 22nd
30 8th, 1
16 16th I 26th, 27th
2 8th, 9th
16 2nd, 24th'
j 264 4th
> 215 13th
! 194 8th
80 250 31st
81 264 4th
56 11th j
42 7th, 8th!
38 30th I
21st, 23rd 1
38 19th !
- 49 -
WEATHER RECORDS IN 1971
by A. E. Moon
The data refer to Reading University Meteorological Station,, On 31 st December
I) the station was moved to a new site on the level ground adjoining Bridges Hall
Uig to building and development of the Plant Sciences grounds on which the station has
36l situated for the past two years. Records began on the new site on 1st January this
!£•. As in the past two years, this being a new site, the averages for the London Road
.1; are no longer applicable and are omitted from this summary. A "rain day" is a day
i hich rainfall equals or exceeds 0.2 mm. or more, (Rainfall measurement in milli-
ites was brought into force on 1st January this year.) For the designation of frost
ic ground frost days see Weather Records in 1961 »
\T)N - READING UNIVERSITY. HEIGHT ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL - 215 ft.
j #tLiJEB. i«ftp<iAP^ I MAY- 1 JUNE [ JULY;! AL)8» j SEFT j OCT J_NOV . 1 DEC . I
, 45.0 I 46.5 ! 47.7 I 53.2J 63.31 62.5 [ 73.7 I 68.8 j 68.0 | 61.9 [ 49.9J 48.0 j
""i& jHO.St^ |r^j|^Jf"JgJ1 ftjjfljj fWJl 53.5" J43.TT "USI
rySTiti fi2 ijTiu "l^M WnGliwj"T|i95 rjgy] 153 j 1J\
30.5 ! 27.0 | 28.2 | 32.5 1 34.7 T 43.4 ! 45.1 j 48.0 j 38.4 j 37.1 j 28.8 j 34.8f
. DATE """
days w i tk frost
" ■ ground""fr6st "
54 I 53 ! 55 ! 69 ! 72 ! 72 j 84 ! 77 I 76 173 j 61
?3 121 !24,30 I 22 111,12 1 2,24 [11
r.'tir 7AV?. ■.'.'. T/.TWWflMWIlJB
f PQSS. """"
I DAILY MEAN.
BBB Bt WWWIWWMWJW<IWW»f
tt 1 D AY
RUN OF CONSECUTIVE
SNOW OiR SLEET DAYS
DAYS SNOW LYING
3 | f3 M8
117 I 19 "XW^ 28
;»pw:/ttw/w«:(nnimwMw,w«iTW».77; >n»mmil'. :*wm fsvwwni.-inmfl w//,wAWJj»rnpww3W/w»H^w«wffmw^
39.5 ! 78.7 109.2 J129.8 1246.7 J146.8J247.6 1151.0 |179.3 J149.4 1107.0 j 34.0! J619.0
" "IFT 28 " i - * ''"' ' '
j 57 | 84
2 j 1,2 ! 20,21 j July 11
738 HJ !J5 J 30 r 22
T" Ts j" nJ^-l.'jT'.L ': J "^Ty
T"27""T'i9 r "fir Fj? T 2 """"
,^ j„_ j_. 1 ^ Nov -2o"-
•ri,...,. rrtr-rr. t t-i, trwrrrr ....... twttfrrti • . . . « « * < < r < fr' "ttrn rttrmrrtm nw* nim wruinHHiinii
l ; [ 9 1 f-T™ 4 f
I 31 |51 I 30 j : 50^ JJ4 ( j 47 [J^ _ 1 40 I 14
i 2.81 -IJftTl^lT^TwTlW ! 4JB7' I K98 j jC82j 3.57 i U1 ol
■■■!.6 I 17.2 [ 54.2 | 53.6 | 47 J) H 55 J I 19.0 | 63.4 I 8.5 | 56.9 [56.2 I 26 J I
9 M1 M3
15.1 I 18.0 I 14.5 I 54.7 I 7.2 I 18.4 I 4.2 [17.2 ! 17.8 [ 11,1 |
i 0900 G.M.T.
HJMRST0RM \ DAYS OF THUNDER
9 13 10 1 1 I
I 1 j 4 2
- 50 -
MONTHLY WEATHER NOTES, 1971
January Very cold for first five days then mild with rainfall
February The driest February since 1965; average temperature
and sunshine above normal.
March A rather cold month with sunshine below average.
April This was the dullest April since 2 966. Temperature
reached 60 F for the first time this year on 15th.
The sunniest May since 1956.
This was the coldest and wettest June since reliable
records became available at the University in 1921.
June 1955 was the previous wettest with 4.32 inches
(109»7om). It was also the dullest June since 1956.
In contrast to June this month was the driest since
1955 and a drought period of 17 days ended early on
Cool and with rather less sunshine than average.
A remarkably dry and sunny month; it was the sunniest
September since 1964 and the driest since 1959* A
drought period of 24 days ended on 24th.
This was the sunniest October since sunshine records
began in Reading in 1939 and temperature was well
The sunniest November since Reading sunshine records
began in 1939 and the only November to reach or
exceed 100 hours in that period. The first air frost
occurred on 7th and first snow of the present winter
■ on 23rd. ..•■•■• -
December The warmest December since 1954 and the driest since
- 51 -
Measurements of smoke concentraTion and sulphur dioxide
(S0 p ) are summarised in the following table. They constitute the
results of daily measurements of smoke and S0~ pollution by air
filter and volumetric method respectively from apparatus
installed in the Geography Department, Reading University, at
(grammes per cu. m.
- 52 -
The following changes in membership have occurred since the
publication of the Reading Naturalist No. 23.
Newly elected Honorary Members :
Dr. E. V. Watson, Little Court, Goring-on-Thames, Oxon.
Miss J. M. Watson, 30 Westwood Road, Tilehurst, Reading.
Loss through death :
Miss J. M. Tobias.
Resignations and lapses :
S. E. Bland, C. J. Cadbury, Dr. Margaret Fishenderi,
Mrs. J. D. Harrison, C. Horwood, Miss I. Loam, Mr. & Mrs.
Lockwood, Mrs. Major, Miss E. N. Merrifield, Miss R. Parry,
Miss B. Rand, P. Stapleton, Mr. & Mrs. Timmins & Miss J.
Timmins, F. E. Timpson & Miss Ruth & Miss Sarah Timpscn,
Charles Vincent, Miss Louise Vincent, Jeremy White,
Mr. & Mrs. J. H. White, Dr. & Mrs. G. W. Whit tall.
L. H. Williams, Mrs. R. D. Williams, R. L. Winter.
C hanges of address :
Dyczek, Christopher, k? Argyle Street, Reading
Leatherdale, D., F.L.S., F.R.E.S., 19 Swanston Field,
Levy, B.G,, B.A., Ph.D., Tinepits Cottage, Whitchurch Hill,
New Members :
Adlam, Mrs., Moonrakers, Busgrove Wood, Stoke Row, Henley, Oxon.
Andrews, Mr. Pa -crick, 9 Wychwood Close, Earley, Reading
Benda, P., 3 Tupsley Road, Coley Park, Reading
Bristow, B., 3^ Longmoor Lane, Mortimer Common, Reading
Bristow, Mrs., " " " " "
Crog.han, Mrs. M. A c , 5 Woden House, Goring, Reading, Berks.
Davey, Miss T., B.Sc, M.A., M.I. Biol., 17 Halpin Close,
Calcot, nr. Reading, RG3 5RA
Finn, Mi^s Abigail, 130 Tilehurst Road, Reading
Harrigan, Dr. W., 68 Winton Road, Reading
Harrigan, Mrs., " " " "
Hartwell, V., 37 Byron Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 1EP
Hartwell, Mrs., " " " " " M
Jones, W., B.Sc, 9 Micklands Road, Caversham, Reading
Jones, Ian, " » " " "
- 535 -
Knowles, Stephen, 17 Broomfield Road, Tilehurst, Reading
Leeke, Roger, 7 Heathway, Chapel Hill, Reading
Lewis, Miss P. E., 39 Salcornbe Drive, Earley, Reading
Mayes, Miss A. E., B.Pharm., M.P.S., 5A The Precinct, Milestone
Way, Emmer Green, Reading
Olver, Miss Catherine, 5 F?axrnan Close, Earley, Reading
Pretlove, Dr. A. J. t 11 Kenilworth Avenue, Reading
Pretlove, Mrs., " " " "
St. Joseph's Convent, Broad Oak, Upper Redlands Road, Peading