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Full text of "Reading Naturalist."

339 6 



THE NATURAL 
HISTORY MUSEUM 

2 b MAR 1996 

PRESENTED 
j GENERAL LIBRARY 



The Reading Naturalist 



No. 48 




Published by the Reading and District 

Natural History Society 

1996 



Price to Non-Members £2.50 



THE READING NATURALIST 

|- 
No 48 for the year 1995 

The Journal of the 
Reading and District Natural History Society 



*ARY 



President 

Dr Michael Keith-Lucas 

Honorary General Secretary 

Mrs Meryl Beek, 29 Morecambe Avenue, Reading, RG4 7NL 

Honorary Editor 

Mr Kenneth Grinstead, 8 Wellington Crescent, Baughurst, Tadley, Hampshire, RG26 5PF 

Editorial Sub-Committee 

The Editor, Mr Brian R. Baker, Dr Alan Brickstock, Mr Hugh H. Carter, 
Miss June Housden, Dr Michael Keith-Lucas, Mrs Betty M. Newman 

Honorary Recorders 

Botany: Mrs Betty M. Newman, Earley Cottage, 25 Beech Lane, Earley, Reading, RG6 2PT 

Fungi: Dr Alan Brickstock,25 Cockney Hill, Tilehurst, Reading, RG3 4HF 

Entomology: Mr Brian R. Baker,25 Matlock Road, Caversham Reading, RG4 7BP 

Invertebrates other than Insects: Mr Hugh H Carter 

Vertebrates: Mr Hugh H. Carter, 10 Northbrook Road, Caversham Park Village, Reading, RG4 OPW 



CONTENTS 



Excursions 1994-1995 

Wednesday Afternoon Walks 

Meetings 1994-1995 

Membership 

A Day in the Life of a Bat Warden 

Presidential Address, 1 2 October 1 995 

Some Tropical Interactions (mainly between plants and insects) 

Freshwater Invertebrates found in the Kennet Valiey to 
the south-west of Reading and their conservation. 

Current Management in Pamber Forest 

Review of "A Bryophyte Flora of Berkshire" by J.W. Bates 

Recorder's Report for Botany 1995 

Recorder's Report for Fungi 1995 

Recorder's Report for Entomology 1995 

Recorder's Report for Invertebrates other than Insects 1995 

Recorder's Report for Vertebrates 1 995 

The Weather at Reading during 1995 

EDITORIAL 



Meryl Beek 1 

Alan Brickstock 2 

Mery! Beek 3 

4 

Graham Saunders 4 

Michael Keith-Lucas 5 

Robert Briers 9 

Graham Dennis 13 

Michael V. Fletcher 17 

Betty M. Newman 18 

Alan Brickstock 25 

Brian R. Baker 30 

Hugh H. Carter 42 

Hugh H. Carter 43 

Russell D. Thompson 45 



Now that I am feeling at home with word processing I can say that editing The Naturalist is a pleasure 
and in no way a chore. I have learned how the computer can check spelling and grammar and how 
the format set for previous years can be quickly duplicated. Compared with the task facing editors 
before the use of computers, mine is now very easy. 

I must thank those who have contributed articles and, as ever, the recorders who have supplied their 
material in good time and have checked my copy to ensure there are no errors. 

It is said that nature abhors a vacuum and as editor I dislike the look of a haif-empty page. Such a 
situation arose on page 4, following the section on Membership. I must thank Graham Saunders, who 
at very short notice, agreed to provide a note on his experience as a bat warden. 

I must also especially thank David Young for offering to distribute the copies of The Naturalist' last 
year and for continuing the task for the present year. 

This year the Recorders have received records from 30 members, all in good time, and they and I 
must thank them for their promptness. It would be pleasing to say that more than about 20 per cent of 
the membership send in records. These need not be of rarities, it is equally important to know if 
species are increasing or decreasing in any given locality. So please iet the recorders know if you 
think there have been changes in places that you visit regularly. They may not be included in The 
Naturalist each year but when there is a marked trend this can be noted. 

It is a good thing to look ahead and it has been suggested that the Society could mark the beginning 
of the second millennium with a special edition. Any thoughts would be welcome and in the shorter 
term any articles for the next Naturalist will be gratefully received. 



EXCURSIONS 

Meryl Beek 

For the season October 1994 to September 1995 the Society has been without a Field Excursions 
Secretary. To cover this deficiency, the committee has put together a programme of winter walks and 
summer field excursions. These took place as follows: 

!994 

On December 10 there was a visit by 25 members and friends to Wyld Court for a "rain forest 
experience". They enjoyed the comfort of the greenhouses and an informative afternoon in another 
world! 

1995 

Three people braved the windy elements on January 28 for a bird watching expedition with Martin 
Sell, starting in Church Norton car park. During the day, a little egret, three Slavonian grebes, three 
avocets, a drake eider and a glaucous gull were sighted. 

Michael Keith-Lucas led a party of seven to the Inkpen crocus field on February 19. Although not the 
most clement of days, the time was enjoyed and the crocuses were as good as ever. 

A small group enjoyed an excursion at Nippers Grove on March 18 to see mosses and liverworts with 
Dr. Eric Watson and with tea afterwards! Lists of previous finds were circulated, and one or two new 
mosses were added. 

Fifteen members were led by Graham Dennis in Pamber Forest on April 18. The expedition was 
linked with the talk to the Society on February 9. 

On April 30 Michael Keith-Lucas led ten people to South Stoke to view Loddon lilies. 

Martin Sell and ten other people got up early on May 6 to go to Theale gravel pits for the Dawn 
Chorus at 4.30 am. Two people later went on to the South Coast for more bird watching. 

Nine members went to Wittenham Clumps on May 20 with Michael Fletcher and enjoyed the 
contrasting habitats that it provides. 

On May 25 Stephen Jury led an enthusiastic party of 15 round the Harris Garden and the 
greenhouses of Whiteknights Park on a fine and sunny evening. 

Only six people made the Warburg Reserve on June 3, a rather wet day, but they greatly appreciated 
Rod D'Ayala's leadership. 

June 17, another wet day! Ten members joined Michael Keith-Lucas on Snelsmore Common to 
observe bog plants. Sundew and sphagnum moss abounded. 

On July 1 a member of the staff of English Nature led 12 people at the Aston Rowant N.N.R. Among 
other delights a red kite was sighted. 

George Osmond welcomed 12 members and friends to the Seven Barrows Reserve on July 22. 
Among other goodies, a dark green fritillary butterfly was observed. 

On July 29, 12 people were present at the Thatcham Nature Reserve, the venue of Brian Baker's 
mothing night. 

The Coach Excursion on August 12 to the New Forest was enjoyed by 40 people. The first stop, near 
Beaulieu Road Station, produced nine new records of plants, thanks to Humphry Bowen, who led the 
party. Many members were delighted to view Coral Necklace (lllecebrum verticillatum) near Hatchet 
Pond. Mary and Neville Diserens are thanked for the excellent tea at their Thorney Hill home which 
rounded off the day so well. 



Noar Hill was visited on August 20 by 12 members led by Martin Sell. 

Twelve members visited the fairly new Decoy Heath Reserve on September 9 and were led by 
Graham Saunders. 

On September 23 Michael Keith-Lucas led 19 people around Watlington Hill - and a few more red 
kites (with wing tags) were seen. 

Between 40 and 50 people enjoyed the Fungus Foray on October 8 at Heath Lake and California 
Country Park led by Alan Brickstock. This event had been well advertised by the Wardens! 

The committee are pleased to announce that as from the Annual General Meeting on October 12 
1995, Graham Saunders will be the Field Excursions Secretary. 



WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON WALKS 
Alan Brickstock 

Six excellent walks, organised as usual by Ken Thomas, were much enjoyed by small parties of up to 
nine people, as well as by up to four dogs. 

As well as varied and attractive scenery, these walks proved to be enjoyable social occasions, much 
enlivened by Ken's historical and architectural discourses. Some good lists of flowers were obtained, 
the number of species topping the hundred on three occasions. 

The series of walks opened on April 4 with a walk round Hazeley Heath and Bottom, on a warm 
cloudless day with no wind. There were some superb Blackthorn flowers and Hornbeam catkins. Tea 
was taken by a very attractive lakeside. 

On May 10 round Hurst and the river Loddon, we had another fine, warm day. A varied walk with 
some road sections, but also some very nice footpaths, some gravel pits, and a stretch of the Loddon, 
on the bank of which we took tea. This walk was much enjoyed by nine people and three dogs. 

On June 14 at Whitchurch Hill we recorded 116 species of plants, a record for our Wednesday walks. 
Again we had nine people, but four dogs this time! 

One of the highlights of the July 10 walk round Beenham and Upper Woolhampton was a field which 
was orange with Corn Marigold. This does seem to be making a bit of a comeback locally. 

We had a very hot, sunny day on August 16 for a walk through fine woodlands at Gallowstree 
Common and Kingwood Common. 

After the cold storms of the previous few days, we were lucky to have another fine, sunny day for the 
September 13 walk round Upper Basildon and Ashampstead. Highlights were about ten Red Admiral 
butterflies feeding on some rotting plums - no doubt becoming tipsy in the process - and a superb 
cluster of the beautiful little 'Birdsnest Fungus', Cyathus sthatus. In addition to flowers, we recorded 
22 species of fungi on this walk. 

The lucky few who went on these walks were again grateful to Ken Thomas for organising them. 
Absent members missed some very enjoyable outings. Why not more of you next year? 



MEETINGS 
Meryl Beek 

Once again the Society has been privileged to enjoy an excellent series of winter lectures. 

On October 27, 53 people enjoyed hearing Ian Evans speaking about the "Experimental 
Reproduction of the Red Kite to England". Results are very encouraging at the two South of 
England sites. Now all we want is a sighting in central Reading! 

Andrew Cleave's interesting talk on "Whales and Dolphins" was given on November 10 to 51 people. 
The speaker has travelled widely, sometime on organised whale watching trips. He emphasised the 
great size of these mammals and demonstrated with the help of a tape measure! Andrew explained 
that the threat to these intelligent creatures is no longer killings but environmental damage which 
deprives dolphins and whales of food, while the noise of ships, and other human activity, hampers 
their communication systems. 

On November 24 Nigel Phillips spoke about "Wildlife around Britain's Coast, including underwater". 
The meeting was attended by 43 people, and they were treated to a coastal tour including sightings of 
the Lizard Orchid at Sandwich Bay, Kent. Members were taken on to the mud chines of the Isle of 
Wight where the Glanville fritillary butterfly was seen. Later there were underwater shots on the Scilly 
Isles of spiny starfish, gooseberry sea squirts and soft corals. 

After Christmas, 42 people met Tom Harrison, who gave "An Introduction to British Beetles" on 
January 12. He pointed out that the UK has 1% of the 400,000 known species of beetle worldwide. 
The major beetle families were illustrated by slides and a few words about special features of their life 
histories were given. 

There were initial problems on January 26. Alan Brickstock was scheduled to speak on "The World 
of Fungi". As he was receiving hospital treatment, a substitute was found, but he was too ill on the 
day! Michael Keith-Lucas stepped into the breach and gave an illustrated talk on Alan's original 
subject. We thank Michael for giving 40 members an evening of very high standard. 

Graham Dennis spoke to 41 members and friends on February 9 on "Current Management in Pamber 
Forest". A precis of this interesting talk on a local Nature Reserve is given on pages X to x. 

On February 23 Dr. Keith Porter gave an illustrated talk on the national perspective of the Oxfordshire 
fens to 45 members. The focus was Cothill fen, which falls within the "Old Berkshire" vice-county. 
The chief botanical interest of the Oxfordshire fens lies in the restricted flush communities 
characterised by black bog-rush, blunt-flowered rush, grass of parnassus, marsh heleborine and bog 
pimpernel. These flushes contain a distinctive calcareous marshy peat, rich in a calcium mineral 
called tufa. 

An old friend of the Society, Charles Flower, was welcomed on March 9 and 44 members heard his 
fine lecture on "Pros and Cons of Wild Flower Seed Growing". He spoke of the management needed 
to recreate the wild flower filled meadows of days gone by. Removal of unwanted perennial weeds, 
including ryegrass and dock presented problems. Experiments were done on how much seed was 
needed for reasonable results. In some cases it could be as little as 100 grams per acre. 

As usual two members' evenings were held. On December 8, 39 people attended when Hugh Carter 
spoke on the data base being organised at Reading Museum, where he notes the current status of 
flora and fauna in the area so that future changes can be monitored. Later in the evening Shirley 
Townend repeated an old poem "The Owl Critic" by J.T. Fields, which brought back memories for 
some and good humour to all present. Martin Sell rounded off the evening with an account of a 1994 
holiday in Kazakhstan. A members' evening with not a slide in sight! 

The second members' evening on March 23 with 48 people was full of slides! Philip Staines 
delighted members with stunning pictures of New Zealand and Australia. Alan Brickstock gave a 
miscellany of slides including happy memories of last summer's excursions. After refreshments, 
Michael Keith-Lucas' slides included magnificent sky formations, frost on holly, snowflakes and sand 
patterns. Meryl Beek's slides on an autumn-into-winter walk down the Lamboume valley revived 
memories of Welford Park and the snowdrops seen by some in Spring 1994. 

This has been a good season, and grateful thanks are expressed to Brian Baker for arranging the 
programme for the Society. 



MEMBERSHIP 

At the Annual General Meeting in October well-deserved Honorary Memberships of the Society were 
accorded to Mrs Betty Newman and Miss Shirley Townend. both of who have given many years of 
valuable service to the Society. 

Betty is our Honorary Recorder for Botany. Her interesting and valuable reports in The Reading 
Naturalist have been appearing since 1962, the year in which her husband Jim ended his term as 
President. She also saw to the smooth running of our meetings by serving as Honorary General 
Secretary from 1964 to 1966. 

Shirley became a member in the 1950's, a period in which she promoted the Society's involvement 
with the South Eastern Union of Scientific Societies, the Young Naturalists' Evening (held annually in 
Reading Town Hall) and the formation of our Junior Section in 1961. She served as Honorary Winter 
Programme Secretary from 1965 to 1974 and as President from 1976 to 1978. 

At the Annual General Meeting the treasurer reported that membership of the Society numbered 163. 

The Society welcomes the following new members who joined during the year 1995. 

Mr. Eric, and Mrs. Alice Ayres 

Mrs. Barbara Ansel I 

Mr. Martin Harvey 

Mrs. Mary Knapp 

Mr. Vic and Mrs. Marjorie Mason 

Mr. Douglas Nethercleft 

Mr. Tony Rayner 

Dr. Malcolm and Mrs. Christine Storey 



A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BAT WARDEN 
Graham Saunders 

Last summer I had a call from a nursing home to say that bats were flying inside the house, a large 
country mansion where extensive building work was being carried out. 

When I arrived, an hour before dusk, the bats were continually flying along the top floor corridors and 
in some of the bedrooms. The reaction of the staff and ancient residents ranged from tolerance to 
near apoplexy! 

Further investigation showed that the bats were roosting behind the coving between the ceiling and 
the internal wall of one of the bedrooms. The bats were behaving very oddly, flying around the 
bedroom, backwards and forwards to the roost hole, just landing, then taking flight again, hanging up 
on the curtains and flying across the floor as if taking a drink from a pond. 

Over two nights I caught the bats, mostly from the curtains in the room, and put them out through the 
window to fly off, then closed the window. Some bats were caught in the corridor and in other 
bedrooms. 

I can only surmise that the bats, which were pipistrelles, had been evicted from their roosting site by 
the building work and had then flown in through the open windows (remember the long, hot summer) 
to look for another roosting site. 

It is extremely unusual for bats to roost inside a house as this group did. 

Funnily enough I had a call a few days later from a village about a mile away to say that a large 
number of bats had suddenly appeared in a house. 



SOME TROPICAL INTERACTIONS 
(mainly between plants and insects) 

Presidential Address, 12 October 1995 
Michael Keith-Lucas 

In tropical savannahs, deciduous woodlands and rainforests, complex interactions between animals 
and plants have developed over millions of years. These are often vital for the survival of the plants, 
and may be beneficial to the animals involved also, though this is not necessarily the case; 
sometimes animals are exploited by the plants. 

Starting at the seedling stage, many plants attract ants which may benefit them by removing the 
seeds or seedlings of competitors from their immediate vicinity. The classic case of this relationship 
is between Acacia and the ant, Pseudomyrmex, but there are other well-documented examples. As 
the plants mature, ants are often involved in the defence of the plant against herbivores as well, and 
this brings me to my first major topic - defence against herbivores. 

1. Defence against herbivory 

If the law of the jungle is that everything eats everything else, then the second law is that everything 
does whatever it can to avoid being eaten by everything else. Plants can protect themselves from 
being eaten by herbivores by a variety of methods: 

(a) Physical defences. 

These can be spines, hairs, etc. such as the spines on the leaf sheaths of rattan palms. Such 
adaptations have undoubtedly arisen by natural selection, as have all the examples I will be 
discussing. I have occasionally fallen into the trap of saying the plant does this in order to prevent 
itself from being eaten, as if it were a thinking being. This is just to save space, and is not intended 
to suggest that I do not believe in natural selection as the means of evolution! 

(b) Gums, resins and latex. 

These, though not necessarily poisonous, are released when the bark, wood, or other parts of plants 
are injured, and can act as feeding deterrents, and may also help to prevent fungal attack to the 
wound. 

(c) Poisons and feeding deterrents. 

Many plants produce alkaloids, such as strychnine, or cyanogenic compounds which release 
cyanide when eaten. Others may produce unpalatable substances such as volatile oils, 
anthocyanins or tannin. The young foliage of many tropical trees and climbers is often coloured red 
with anthocyanins, before the leaves have become tough enough for them to be less attractive to 
aphids or other herbivores. 

(d) Hormones 

The production of ecdysone, which causes the insects feeding on the plant to moult, or oestrogens, 
which render female mammals infertile, is well known, and 'the pill' is made from a tropical yam 
which produces such oestrogens. 

(e) Movements 

The sudden collapse of the leaflets and petioles of many Mimosa species may deter even the 
hungriest of grasshoppers from eating them - the fright alone is often enough to make them look for 
a more stable dinner. 

(f) Crypsis 

Plants may prevent themselves from being eaten by camouflage (or crypsis - literally, hiding). For 
instance mistletoes in Australia mimic their host Eucalypts in terms of leaf shape and possibly 
protect themselves from being eaten by 'possums as a result, though they lack the feeding 
deterrents (eucalyptus oil, etc.) of their hosts. The mimicry may even extend to similar coloured 
flowers which can then share the same pollinators as their host. 



(g) Deception and imitation 

Plants may protect themselves from having eggs of butterflies laid on them by exploiting the 
behaviour of certain species of butterfly. Many butterfly species will not lay unless the leaf is big 
enough to support the caterpillar through to the pupal stage, or they will avoid a leaf that already has 
a butterfly egg on it. By having leaves with a pattern of small leaflets on a pale background, 
Calathea can fool a butterfly with evil intentions into believing that the leaf is not big enough. 
Similarly by producing pseudo-eggs on the leaf some species of Passiflora can likewise deter a 
female butterfly with maternal inclinations. 

(h) Symbiosis with an aggressive animal 

The most common example of this is a symbiosis with ants. The plant attracts the ants by offering 
rewards such as food (e.g. extra-floral nectaries or food bodies, as in some Acacia species) or safe 
lodgings as in the hollow spines of some Acacias or the hollow leaf sheaths of the rattan, Korthalsia, 
or the interlocking spines of the rattan, Daemonorops. In return, the ants defend the plant against 
grasshoppers, seed predators, or other marauding insects, birds or mammals. 

Not only do the plants need to defend themselves from being eaten, but so, of course, do the 
animals which feed on them. These animals, which are mainly insects, have adopted a number of 
similar strategies to the plants themselves. They may deter potential predators by: 

2. Defence against carnivory 

(a) Physical defence 

For example, the hairs on many caterpillars, or the hard wing cases of many beetles, may prevent 
predation by birds. 

(b) The production of secretions 

Many beetles produce unpleasant liquids or more violent secretions (e.g. the bombadier beetles). 

(c) Poisons 

On the whole, plants are better biochemists than animals, which seldom make their own poisons. 
Caterpillars, for example, have evolved to cope with particular plant toxins and concentrate them in 
their own bodies, where they remain through to the adult stage. The caterpillars and mature 
butterflies often have warning coloration, and good examples are the monarch butterflies which feed 
on poisonous asclepiads in their larval stages. 

(d) Crypsis 

Many tropical rainforest animals are green, blending in with the foliage of the trees. This is true of 
many butterflies and grasshoppers which are often potential prey, but is also true of the animals that 
prey upon them, such as mantids and tree frogs, and of the animals which in their turn prey on the 
predators, such as many snakes, lizards and birds. On the forest floor, brown leaf butterflies and 
brown frogs and toads may resemble dead leaves. Other insects may resemble spines, twigs (e.g. 
stick insects), bird droppings, etc. 

(e) Mimicry 

Mimicry of a poisonous species by a non-poisonous one (Batesian mimicry) only works if the mimic 
is in lower numbers than the model. It is particularly common amongst the Heliconia butterflies of 
S. America, and here the 'ploy' has been taken to its ultimate extent where the mimic can achieve a 
higher population by having its males imitate one poisonous species and its females imitate another. 

Many of the poisonous species have come to look very much like each other (Mullerian mimicry), an 
example of convergent evolution caused by birds learning to recognize particular colourations as 
indicating the presence of poisons. 

(f) Deception 

Caterpillars with false eyes on their rear ends or butterflies with false eyes on their wings may 



frighten potential bird predators. Often a similarity to a snake's head, and hence a form of mimicry, 
is found. 

3. Nutrient acquisition by plants 

Survival not only depends on not being eaten, but also on managing to get an adequate supply of 
nutrients or food. Many of the complex interactions seen in the tropics are concerned with nutrient 
acquisition. Plants have often evolved relationships with other organisms, to help them gain 
nutrients, particularly where soils are poor such as in tropical heath forests and cloud forest. Most 
tropical rainforest trees employ fungi as mycorrhizal associates to release nutrients from the leaf 
litter and soil and transmit them straight to the plant without the risk of the nutrients being lost by 
leaching by the heavy rainfall. Others employ living animals to bring the nutrients to them. Again, 
ants are particularly important in these relationships. 

(a) Ant-plants 

Ant-plants such as Hydnophytum produce tuberous growths in which there are complex passages 
and chambers. Ants bring the bodies of other insects to be consumed, and in the lower chambers of 
the tubers, their droppings, and the remains of the bodies of these insects and of the ants 
themselves, provide the plant with a useful boost of nitrate and phosphate. The ant-fern, 
Lecanopteris, has a rhizome with chambers in it which serve a similar purpose. It also has spores 
which in Lecanopteris mirabilis have remarkable hair-like outgrowths which get caught on the ants, 
and so are dispersed along the branches of the trees on which the fern grows. This is the only 
known example of an insect-dispersed fern. 

Another ant-plant, Dischidia. has pouch-like leaves which may house ants, and into which it sends its 
own roots. D. astephana appears to grow almost exclusively on Leptospermum in the cloud forests 
of SE Asia. Here the ants bore holes in the wood of the tree itself, and the Dischidia catches the 
sawdust and droppings in its leaves and extracts the nutrients from them. 

(b) Insectivorous plants 

The tropics are home to many insectivorous plants such as Heliamphora in S. America and 
Nepenthes in SE Asia as well as various Drosera and Utricularia species with a wider distribution. 
These are often found on very nutrient-poor substrates where catching living insects and digesting 
them forms a way in which nutrients from outside the immediate habitat can be gamed. 

4. Pollination 

In the tropics most plants are pollinated by insects, birds or bats, and wind-pollination is very rare. 
An enormous variety of floral adaptions to particular types of insect occur, and this would be a 
lecture in itself. These include clustered tubular flowers such as Ixora which attract butterflies, or 
others with less showy flowers which flag their presence on the dark forest floor with coloured bracts, 
such as Mussaenda. Many moth-pollinated flowers are white or pale yellow, showing up in the dusk, 
and often very fragrant. The ginger-lily, Hedychium is a good example, and the S. American 
Brugmannsias, which are said to "hook' their pollinators on drugs. The Madagascan orchid 
Angraecum sesquipedale has a spur up to 45 cm long for which Darwin predicted there must be a 
pollinating moth with a tongue of a similar length. When found, it was named Xanthopan morgani 
predicta. 

Flies are important pollinators in the tropics, and many flowers or inflorescences employ fly-trap 
mechanisms similar to those of Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum). Thus, the orchid 
Paphiopedilum, and and Dutchman's Pipe, Aristolochia, as well as some of the giant aroids such as 
Amorphophallus are fly-trap flowers. The last two and Rafflesia, the biggest flower in the world, have 
mottled crimson and white blooms, and resemble, both in colour and smell, rotting flesh. The flies 
they attract and trap, while they dust them with pollen, are carrion flies. Others, with appropriate 
odours attract dung flies. 

Bee pollination is particularly common, and is as varied as are the many different types of bee to be 
found. One example is the orchid. Oncidium, which is pollinated by Centris bees in which the males 
gang together to defend their territories against other gangs of male bees. The orchid dangles 



flowers which imitate a swarm of such bees within their territory, and the bees attack the flowers, and 
in so doing bring about pollination. In other orchid bees, the males use orchid scents to attract the 
females of their species. 

Wasp-pollination is also common, and the best example is probably the fig-wasps. The fig has three 
sorts of flower inside, male, female and gall flowers. The female lays her eggs in the gall flowers, 
and the male wasps emerge first, and mate with the as-yet unemerged females. These then emerge 
at the same time as the male flowers release their pollen, but after the female flowers have ceased 
to be receptive. The female wasps then fly off to another younger fig in which the female and gall 
flowers are receptive, and begin a new brood, and bring about pollination at the same time 

Many flowers, particularly in the S. American tropics, are bird-pollinated. Tubular red or orange 
flowers with abundant nectar are normally associated with bird pollination, though many of the bottle- 
brush flowers of Australasia, which lack petals, are bird-pollinated Bats are important pollinators of 
such plants as Agaves, bananas, dunans and Parkia and the sausage tree. Kigelia. of Africa, which 
attract their pollinators with unpleasant smells, said to be reminiscent of the bat colony itself, and 
often have mucilaginous nectar, as in bananas. 

5. Seed and fruit dispersal 

As with pollinators, most tropical plants rely on animals for the dispersal of their seeds or fruits. 
Many palm fruits are dispersed by parrots and many figs and other fat- and protein-rich fruits by 
toucans in S. America or hornbills in SE Asia. Birds are undoubtedly amongst the most important 
dispersers, often moving away from the trees in which they have collected their fruits so as to avoid 
competition and eat their fruits in peace. This habit also draws less attention from would-be 
predators, while helping to disperse the seeds widely. One reason for simultaneous fruiting of trees 
may be that the resultant competition amongst the frugivores results in a wider dispersal Bird- 
dispersed fruits are often brightly coloured, usually red. Monkeys also tend to move on from the tree 
in which they have collected their fruits and spit out the seeds some distance from the parent tree. 
Figs are said to account for about a quarter of the diet of orang-utans and they have the same 
laxative effect as syrup of figs on humans. This speeds their passage through the gut so the seeds 
are not damaged by the digestive juices. 

Squirrels and rodents may also be important dispersers, but tend to eat more seeds than they 
disperse. Larger ground mammals such as elephants may also be important. Elephants are said to 
be much attracted to fallen durians, which are intoxicating and result in the elephants leaving in a 
distinctly inebriate state. 

Bat-dispersed fruits tend to be dull brown or yellow and odorous, much as the flowers which they 
pollinate. 

6. Detritivores 

Finally, having shed their seeds and reached the end of their lives, most plants rely on animals and 
other organisms such as fungi to break down their tissues and release their nutrients back into the 
ecosystem. 

Wood-boring beetles and trilobite beetles which remain in a larval form, and spit digestive juices 
onto rotting logs, which they then reabsorb, may be important in the first stages of breaking down 
wood. Wood-rotting fungi are also an essential part of the ecosystem Some termites use fungi to 
provide their food. They collect fragments of plant tissue which they inoculate with a fungal culture, 
and then eat the fungus when it has developed sufficiently. On moving to a new site they carry a 
fungal inoculum with them, and keep it pure by carefully removing any fungus of the wrong species. 
In this way, along with ail the other detritivores, the animals have their place in the death of plants as 
well as in their establishment and reproduction. 

Many such interactions can only be witnessed in tropical regions, and leave one thinking, "isn't 
nature wonderful, even if it is all the product of natural selection". 



Freshwater Invertebrates found in the Kennet Valley to the 
south-west of Reading and their conservation 

Robert Briers 

Reading Urban Wildlife Group 

Present address: 

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, 

University of Sheffield S10 2TN 

For the past two summers (1994 - 1995) I have been employed by Reading Urban Wildlife Group for 
the purpose of surveying the wetlands in the Kennet Valley to the south-west of Reading. This area, 
while generally acknowledged to be of considerable ecological importance, is also subject to 
considerable development pressure for gravel extraction and housing. Data collection such as that 
carried out in this survey is necessary to ensure that the conservation value of this and similar areas 
can be properly evaluated. 

The survey area extended from the southern edge of urban Reading to the M4 motorway in the south 
and west. Sixty-one sites were chosen to cover the entire area and attempt to give a representative 
sample of the invertebrates present. This area has a great diversity of different types of water body; 
from the fast-flowing waters of the River Kennet and Holybrook to the more placid waters of the canal 
and the extensive network of drainage ditches. This diversity is reflected in the invertebrate fauna. 
One hundred and ninety species were recorded in sixty families, a full list is given in Appendix I. 

The species found included twelve that were new to the area. Previous surveys (e.g. Crichton and 
Baker, 1959; Brown 1948), data from the National Rivers Authority and national distributional data 
contained in various keys were used in an attempt to categorise the species into groups of differing 
rarity. However this categorisation is subject to the limitations of the data collected; there is a general 
lack of data concerning the occurrence of many freshwater invertebrate groups in the Greater 
Reading area or even on a county wide basis. However a number of the species recorded were of 
particular interest due to their rarity on a national or local scale. 

Three species of invertebrate found were classified as Red Data species, being either rare or 
vulnerable. 

These species are detailed below: 

Gyraulus (Planorbis) acronitus Ferrusac is a small ramshorn snail that is confined to the Thames and 
its tributaries (Macan, 1977). It is known from a number of locations between Oxford and Windsor but 
was first discovered in Fobney Meadows during a NRA survey (Bywater, 1992). Several populations 
were discovered during this survey but in the second year of sampling some of the populations 
appeared to have been lost. It may be that the populations have quite sharply defined boundaries 
and hence were simply missed by the sampling. This has been noted in other rare species of 
mollusc. However the populations may be threatened by unsympathetic management regimes in the 
drainage ditches they inhabit. Dredging, although necessary to maintain the function of the ditches, 
should be carried out in rotation to allow the invertebrate communities and vegetation to recover. 

Macronychus quadrituberculatus Muller is a very small riffle beetle which is nationally rare. It is 
mainly confined to the west and Wales in lowland areas. It was discovered in the Holybrook in the 
1992 NRA survey and has also been recorded from the Thames on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border 
(G. N. Foster, personal communication). This species is associated with tree roots and log jams in 
flowing water. Loss of this habitat through canalisation and clearance may threaten the species. 
Conventional management techniques favour the removal of dead wood and overhanging trees to 
prevent the water flow from being impeded and this may have contributed to its decline. Due to its 
method of respiration it is also sensitive to reduced oxygen levels associated with organic pollution 
(G.N. Foster, personal communication). 



Rhyacophila septentrionis McLachlan is a localised species of caddis-fly generally found in fast- 
flowing water living on or under stones. A single specimen was obtained from the Holybrook and it is 
uncertain whether it breeds in the area. 

There are numerous other rare or local species, including water-boatmen (Corixidae). pond-skaters 
(Gerridae), whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae) and caddis-flies (Trichoptera). Listing all these species 
would take up far too much room and hence a brief description of some of the more interesting 
species is given. 

Stoneflies are generally indicators of very clean water and one species, Leuctra geniculata, was 
found in the Holybrook. Although this species is quite common in the south of England, this is the 
first record in the Reading area as far as can be determined from searching relevant literature. 
Another rare and interesting species found was Corixa dentipes. This species of water-boatman was 
cited by Hutchison (1959) as a classic 'fugitive' species. Fugitive species are unable to compete 
effectively with similar species and only survive by being able to disperse between habitats more 
efficiently that their competitors. In this case C. dentipes was found in low densities in coexistence 
with the morphologically and ecologically similar species C. punctata which is much more common 
and generally outcompetes C. dentipes. A species to look out for near running water in the summer 
months is the white legged damselfly Platycnemis pennipes, which is only found in the south of 
England. The male of this species has a paler blue body than the common blue damselflies and the 
pale hairs on its legs that give it its name are easily seen when at rest. The female as in many 
damselflies is duller with a pale green body. A species that has recently invaded this country is 
Corophium curvispinum, a small amphipod 'shrimp'. This species was first discovered in Britain in 
1935 and can be easily distinguished from native freshwater shrimps by its stout antennae. It 
generally inhabits a small tube of mucus and mud which can be found attached to submerged 
structures such as the corrugated metal facings of canals and water lily leaves. It is found naturally in 
the Caspian area and has spread across Europe gradually in the last century. It is predominantly 
found in the Midlands canal system in this country, but it has become established locally too. During 
sampling for this survey it was found in the River Kennet and in the Kennet and Avon Canal. This 
and previous studies indicate that it is present all along the Kennet from Theale to the centre of 
Reading and it is also found in the Thames. 

Although this study produced good baseline data on the species found in the area, I would hope that 
it would stimulate further investigation. Very little information has been gathered on a wider scale and 
this information is necessary to be able to assess the rarity of species within the local area. The next 
step is to attempt a classification of the different communities to determine whether there are 
characteristic species found in a particular habitat. Conservation of the Red Data and other rare 
species should be seen as a priority, particularly as the areas they inhabit may be under threat. Rare 
species may be rare simply because habitat management techniques lead to the loss of the required 
environment, as is the case for Macronychus quadrituberculatus. Habitat management, whether by 
landowners or conservationists, may have adverse effects on some species unless it is carefully and 
thoughtfully carried out. However as well as conserving the rare species, maintenance of general 
diversity is equally important Invertebrates are often overlooked when assessing the value of a 
particular habitat, unless they are the more visible groups such as butterflies or damselflies. Anyone 
interested in habitat management is recommended to consult Kirby's (1992) book (see References). 

I would welcome any correspondence concerning freshwater invertebrates in the Reading area. 
Further records of species known to occur would be particularly appreciated. If specimens are 
collected that are difficult to identify, Reading Museum may be able to help and there are a number of 
simple keys and field guides to the major groups likely to be encountered (e.g. Croft, 1986 or Fitter 
and Manuel, 1994). Anyone with an interest is urged to go out and explore this local area. Many 
water bodies have never been sampled and without the efforts of local naturalists they probably never 
will be. Local knowledge gained from these efforts can be of help to conserve our watery areas and 
it's also great fun 1 

References 

Brown. E.S. (1948) A contribution towards an ecological study of the aquatic and semi-aquatic 

Hemiptera-Heteroptera (water-bugs) of the British isles; dealing chiefly with 
the Scottish Highlands, and East and South England. 
Trans. Soc. Brit. Ent. 9 151-195 

10 



Bywater, J. (1 992) Kennet Park development - A biological survey of the Kennet valley between 

Reading and Theale. NRA Report 

Crichton, M.I. & Baker. B.R. (1959) Records of Trichoptera from the Reading area 

Ent. mon. Mag. 95 85-87 



Croft. P. (1986) 



A key to the major groups of British freshwater invertebrates. 
FSC Publication 181 



Fitter, R & Manuel. R. (1994) Collins photo guide to the lakes, rivers, streams and ponds of Britain 

and North West Europe. Harper Collins 

Hutchison, G.E. (1959) Homage to Santa Rosalia, or why are there so many kinds of animals? 
Am. Nat. 93 145-159 



Kirby, P. (1992) 



Habitat management for invertebrates: a practical handbook. JNCC 



Macan, T.T. (1977) A key to the British fresh- and brackish-water gastropods. 

Sci. Pub. Freshwater Biological Association. 13 



Appendix 1 : Check list of Freshwater Invertebrates found in the survey area 

Turbellaria Flatworms 

Dendrocoelum lacteum Dugestia sp. 

Polycelis nigra 



Hirudinea 



Leeches 



Erpobdeliidae 
Glossiphonidae 

Piscicolidae 
Physidae 

isopoda 

Aseilidae 

Amphipoda 

Corophidae 
Gammandae 



Erpobdella octoculata 

Boreobdella verrucaria 
Glossiphonia heteroclita 

Piscicola geometra 

Physa fontinalis 

Crustacea Crustaceans 



Asellus aquaticus 



Erpobdella testacea 

Glossiphonia complanata 
Helobdella stagnalis 



Corophium curvispinum 

Crangonyx pseudogracilis Gammarus lacustns 

Gammarus pulex 



IVtoSlusca 



Molluscs 



BivaSvia 

Unionidae 

Sphaemdae 



Bivalves 



Anodonta cygnea 

Sphaenum corneum 
Pisidium sp. 



Unio pictorum 
Sphaerium sp. 



11 



Gastropoda 

Ancyiidae 
Hydrobiidae 

Lymnaeidae 

Neritidae 
Physidae 
Planorbidae 



Valvatidae 
Viviparidae 

Plecoptera 

Leuctridae 
Ephemeroptera 

Baetidae 



Caenidae 

Ephemerellidae 

Ephemeridae 

Heptageniidae 

Neuroptera 

Sisyridae 

Odonata 

Zygoptera 

Agriidae 

Coenagriidae 

Lestidae 
Platycnemidae 



Snails 

Acroloxus lacustris 

Bithynia tentaculata 
Potamopyrgus jenkinsi 

Lymnaea auricularia 
Lymnaea peregra 

Theodoxus fluviatilis 

Physa fontinalis 

Gyraulus aero nit us 
Planorbis albus 
Planorbis contortus 
Planorbis leucostoma 
Planorbis vortex 

Valvata piscinalis 

Viviparus viviparus 

Insecta Insects 

Stone-Flies 

Leuctra geniculata 

Mayflies 

Baetis buceratus 
Baetis niger 
Baetis scambus 
Centroptilum luteolum 
Cloeon dipterum 

Brachycercus harrisella 

Ephemerella ignita 

Ephemera danica 

Ecdyonurus insignis 
Lacewings 

Sisyra sp 
Dragonflies 

Calyopteryx splendens 

Coenagrion puella 
Ischnura elegans 

Lestes sponsa 

Platycn a mis pennipes 



Ancyclus fluviatilis 
Bithynia leachii 



Lymnaea palustris 
Lymnaea stagnalis 



Planorbarius corneus 
Planorbis carinatus 
Planorbis laevis 
Planorbis planorbis 
Segmentina complanata 



Baetis fuscatus 
Baetis rhodani 
Baetis vernus 
Centroptilum pennulatum 



Caenis rivulorum 



Ephemera vulgata 



Enallagma cyathigerum 
Pyrrhosoma nymphula 



12 



Anisoptera 
Aeshnidae 

Libellulidae 

Megaloptera 

Sialidae 

Hemiptera/Heteroptera 

Aphelocheiridae 
Gerridae 

Naucoridae 

Nepidae 

Notonectidae 

Hydrometridae 
Corixidae 



Veliidae 
Trichoptera 

Caseless 
Hydropsychidae 

Polycentropodidae 
Polycentropodidae 
Psychomyiidae 
Rhyacophilidae 

Cased 

Brachycentridae 

Goeridae 

Hydroptilidae 



Aeshna cyanea 
Anax imperator 

Sympetrum striolatum 

Alder-Flies 

Sialis lutaria 

Water-bugs 

Aphelocheirus aestivalis 

Gerris gibbifer 
Gerris odontogaster 

llyocoris cimicoides 

Nepa cinerea 

Notonecta glauca 
Notonecta marmorea viridis 

Hydrometra stagnorum 

Callicorixa praeustra 
Corixa panzeri 
Cymatia coleoptrata 
Hesperocorixa sahlbergi 
Sigara distincta 
Sigara falleni 
Sigara lateralis 

Velia caprai 
Caddis-flies 



Hydropsyche angustipennis 
Hydropsyche instabilis 
Hydropsyche siltalai 

Cyrnus flavidus 

Neureclipsis bimaculata 

Lype reducta 

Rhyacophila dorsalis 

Brachycentrus subnubilis 

Goera pilosa 

Agraylea multipunctata 
Ithytrichia sp. 



Aeshna grandis 



Sialis nigripes 



Gerris lacustris 
Gerris paludum 



Ranatra linearis 
Notonecta maculata 



Corixa dentipes 
Corixa punctata 
Hesperocorixa linnaei 
Micronecta poweri 
Sigara dorsalis 
Sigara fossarum 
Sigara nigrolineata 



Hydropsyche contubernalis 
Hydropsyche pellucidula 



Cyrnus trimaculatus 
Polycentropus flavomaculatus 
Psychomyia pusilla 
Rhyacophila septentrionis 



Silo nigricornis 
Hydroptila sp. 



13 



Leptoceridae 



Limnephilidae 



Moiannidae 

Phryganeidae 

Sericostomatidae 

Coleoptera 

Dytiscidae 



Elmidae 

Gyrinidae 
Haliplidae 
Hydrophilidae 



Diptera 

Chironomidae 

Culicidae 

Chaoboridae 

Tipulidae 

Muscidae 

Simuliidae 



Adicella reducta 
Ceraclea dissimilis 
Mystacides longicomis 

Anabolia nervosa 
Limnephilus auricula 
Limnephilus flavicornis 
Linmephilus rhombicus 

Molanna angustata 

Phryganea bipunctata 

Notidobia ciliaris 



Athripsodes cinereus 
Mystacides azurea 
Triaenodes bicolor 

Halesus radiatus 
Limnephilus binotatus 
Linmephilus lunatus 



Phryganea grandis 



Beetles 



Acilius sulcatus 
Agabus didymus 
Colymbetes fuscus 
Dytiscus marginalis 
Hydroporus incognitus 
Hydroporus pubescens 
llybius ater 
llybius fuliginosus 
llybius subaeneus 
Laccophilus minutus 
Potamonectes depressus 



Agabus bipustulatus 
Agabus nebulosus 
Colymbetes sp. larva 
Hydroporus angustatus 
Hydroporus palustris 
Hyphydrus ovatus 
llybius fenestratus 
llybius quadriguttatus 
Laccophilus hyalinus 
Platambus maculatus 
elegans 



Elmis aenea Limnius volckmari 

Macronychus quadrituberculatus 
Oulimnius tuberculatus 



Gyrinus bicolor 
Gyrinus urinator 

Brychius elevatus 
Haliplus lineatocollis 

Anacaena globulus 
Enochrus testaceus 
Helophorus alternans 
Hydrobius fusipes 
Laccobius minutus 

Two-winged Flies 

Chironomus spp. 

Culex sp. 

Chaoborus sp. 

Tipula sp. 

Limnophora sp. 

Simulium aureum spp. group 
Simulium austeni 
Simulium ormnatum 
Simulium subexcusi 



Gyrinus substriatus 

Haliplus confinis 
Haliplus obliquus 

Anacaena limbata 
Helochares punctatus 
Helophorus brevipalpis 
Laccobius bipunctatus 



Simulium equinum 
Simulium salopiense 



Oligochaetes and hydracarina were not identified past group level. 



14 



Current Management in Pamber Forest 
Graham Dennis 

Historical Background 

From earliest times there was probably extensive tree cover over the area now known as Pamber 
Forest. It is first recorded as part of the Royal Forest of Windsor set up by William the Conqueror 
after 1066. When no longer a Royal Forest the land became the property of many owners. Deer 
were hunted, trees were felled for timber, foliage was cut for fodder and bracken was gathered for the 
bedding of animals. Where and when appropriate pigs were allowed to forage for acorns, this 
practice was known as pannage. During these times habitats would have ranged from dense 
woodland with many tree species, through heath lands with birch, gorse and heather to pasture land. 

When the practice of coppicing was introduced it required that an area should be protected from 
grazing and earth banks were constructed which remain to this day. The numbers of deer were few 
but there were domesticated animals which needed to be excluded. Stakes were set on the banks 
when this was required. The banks also delineated ownership of the ground. Of a coppiced area of 
about 20 to 30 acres, perhaps 2 to 3 acres were cut at a time, 6 to 7 years being the period to 
complete the copse and 11 to 20 years would then elapse before recutting. 

The produce of coppicing, thin hazel and oak stems, was used to make crates. These were sent to 
the Potteries for packing china, the crates being resilient ensured less breakage than the use of a 
more rigid structure. Hazel stems were made into hurdles, which were used for sheep pens on the 
surrounding downlands, and chestnut was used for fencing stakes. After the second World War the 
practice of coppicing ended. 

That the woodland remained much as it had always been is evidenced by the species still found 
there. There are several hundred wild service trees, an uncommon species, and other survivors are 
yellow archangel, Solomon's seal and wood spurge. 

The situation since 1S80 

Following the abandonment of coppicing the forest was neglected for a number of years and it 
became obvious that some form of management was needed. The area of the forest was 478 acres 
and an arrangement was reached in 1980 between the owners, The Englefield Estate, and the 
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council whereby it became a Local Nature Reserve. In 1984 a 
Resident Warden was appointed and an action plan was agreed upon. 

Along the rides 750 oaks were felled selectively to give differing characters, some shaded and others 
with large open areas. The many paths were also treated in a similar way. Hawthorn trees were left, 
mostly to provide nectar for invertebrates, and together with crab-apple trees to provide fruit for birds. 
It will take many years for the varied habitats to develop fully but to ensure the survival and hopeful 
increase of some species it is essential that there is variation. For example the ringlet butterfly needs 
warm, humid conditions, the silver-washed fritillary, hot sunshine and brambles, the purple emperor, 
sallow and tall trees as well as open rides where it can obtain minerals. Leaf feeding beetles and 
those species whose larvae feed on them, need open sunny sites with easy ways through the forest. 
Brimstone butterflies favour heathy glades where their larvae feed on the alder buckthorn. On the 
open sunny banks remaining from the days of coppicing, ants, bees and wasps find a home and 
adders can bask in the sunshine. 

The reintroduction of coppicing 

In 1991 it was decided to restore the system of coppicing. Twenty-five areas were designated initially 
on which grew 80 to 100 timber trees per acre. It was decided to fell to the level of 10 trees per acre. 
The damage from felling and removal of timber was considerable but it was a "once for all exercise" 
and the land has been returned nearly to its former state by suitable earth-moving machines. With 
the removal of dense tree cover and disturbance of the soil many dormant seeds were enabled to 
grow and foxgloves flowered in vast numbers after the clearance. 

15 



Some of the species that appear after clearance are bugle, wood sorrel, wood anemone and violet. 
The violets provide food for the larvae of small pearl-bordered and silver-washed fritillaries but at 
different stages in the development of the plants. Later the ground is colonised by grasses, 
brambles, marsh thistles and primroses. Some dense vegetation is left to give cover for grass snakes 
with piles of cut wood for their shelter. The old thick woodland favours the white admiral butterfly for 
its larvae do not survive in sunny positions whilst its food plant, honeysuckle, can tolerate the dense 
shade of these areas 

There is now a large deer population in the forest, mainly roe, but also fallow and some muntjac. All 
like grazing in the coppices which encourage more vigorous growth in the light open situations and 
some culling has been undertaken in recent years to reduce their numbers. Exclosures have been 
constructed to monitor the effects of grazing. In areas where they grow, sallow and willow are eaten 
in preference to hazel and alder, and it is the sallow and willow which are the species required as 
food plants for the purple emperor larvae. 

The decision was made to leave some of the older, larger, more mature trees which could contain 
damaged or dead wood to provide homes for woodpeckers and owls, roosts for bats, food for beetles 
and a substrate for fungi. 

When the hazel has grown to a height of about 12 feet, it is cut and the cycle begins again. To have 
coppice in various stages of maturity it will need to have different areas cut and harvested in rotation, 
which will take some time to achieve. Standing trees will not be felled as a coppice is cut, they will 
be left to continue to mature. The chestnut trees which were planted in Victorian times are being 
felled. 

The management of heath land 

There is also a plan to promote open heath land development by cutting out birch trees, and it is 
hoped to control and eventually eradicate bracken, which is rampant, by using chemical sprays. 
Species such as sundew, wood-sage and devilsbit scabious may then establish themselves. The 
grayling butterfly, which is uncommon, may increase in numbers and perhaps nightjars will nest. 
Grazing by beasts is to begin in March of this year, control will be by fencing but grazing in the 
coppiced areas is too labour-intensive to be practicable. 

Wetland habitats 

There are some ponds in the Reserve, one is nutrient deficient, the other nutrient rich and together 
they have a dragonfly fauna of 19 species. The rich pond attracts a large number of frogs at 
spawning time. 

The survey of species in the forest 

At present only about one half of the forest area is managed, trees that fail naturally are left to decay 
and for these areas a policy of "leave well alone" is practised. Flies, bees and wasps are collected in 
insect traps set up in a few rides and moths are taken at light to determine species present. Bats are 
detected using special sonar equipment and there are some bat boxes which so far have been found 
to be occupied by only the commoner species. 

In conclusion it must be said that the plans so far carried out are in their early stages, much has been 
done, much has still to be done. Pamber Forest provides a place of recreation and interest for many 
people and although there have been complaints at times there has been general approval of the way 
the forest is being managed. 



16 



A Bryophyte Flora of Berkshire 

J. W. Bates 

(Imperial College, Silwood Park, Berkshire SL5 7PY) 

Published in the Journal of Bryology, 1995, Vol. 18, pp. 503-620 

Review by Michael V. Fletcher 

The bryophytes of Berkshire have been well recorded. A bryophyte flora of Berkshire and 
Oxfordshire was published by Eustace Jones in three instalments in 1952, 1953 and 1955. He also 
published comments on the changing flora of the two counties during the 1980's. H. J. M. Bowen's 
Flora of Berkshire included substantial sections on lichens, fungi and mosses, the last containing 
many new records. It also had an excellent introductory section on climate, geology, land use, 
habitats, plant communities and changes in the flora. 

Jeff Bates set himself a major task, to make a worthwhile advance on these works. Nobody who has 
got stuck in the mud with him on a winter recording excursion can doubt the enthusiasm with which he 
tackled it. However there have been many advances in the knowledge of mosses and hepatics since 
Eustace Jones' flora, and a great deal of experience has been gained meanwhile from the 
comprehensive mapping of the British Isles for the bryophyte atlas. Also the long history of local 
recording, which does not exist in many other counties, gives him a basis for comparison and for 
analysing trends. 

His introductory material has similarities to that of Bowen's Flora, but it is more detailed, especially on 
topics relevant to bryophytes. The discussion of air pollution is particularly thorough. 

It is worth remembering that mapping in 5x5 km. squares represents four times as much work as 
mapping in 10x10 km. squares. This flora is therefore a very thorough work, and the great mass of 
records is sifted and presented in many useful ways. I found the set of maps showing numbers of 
species associated with various habitats in each square very informative. Though written as a formal 
scientific paper, it uses clear concise language making it a pleasure to read. Most naturalists in our 
area, even those with no interest in mosses, would find it well worth studying. 

Turning to the records themselves. Through his thoroughness he has found or refound many plants 
which are undoubtedly very rare locally, giving a rather optimistic impression of what one might hope 
to see. It is always hard to decide whether a species is increasing or declining but his list of over one 
hundred declining species is alarmingly long. The likely reasons seem convincing. Some are 
connected with familiar decreasing habitats, especially chalk downland and valley bogs, but he also 
points out other highly specialised habitats of significance for mosses which are decreasing. They 
include the mud capping which was traditionally renewed annually on limestone walls near Oxford, 
changes in farming which have reduced opportunities for autumn ephemerals, reduced diversity in 
woodland rides and clearings, changes in bank and laneside management, and the loss of elm trees. 
One factor he does not mention, which Eustace Jones considered, is the change in climate and 
humidity. The extraordinary warm dry summers of 1967, 1976 and 1995 probably affected some 
plants of moist ground, or their habitats. 

To set against these losses are increasing species and genuine new discoveries, though many of the 
fifty-seven "increasing" species may have been overlooked previously. Most notable is the 
reappearance of some epiphytes in east Berkshire, in response to falling sulphur dioxide levels. The 
end of the Cold War has also brought a bryological bonus, since Greenham Common is now 
accessible, and several plants, locally rare in or new to Berkshire, have been found there. 

There are many unfamiliar names at both generic and specific levels. Several common Barbulas, 
making bright yellow-green tufts on walls and paths in Reading are now placed in the genus 
Didymodon and some have new specific names as well. It is helpful that Jeff gives the familiar 
previous names in brackets. 

The Journal of Bryology is not the most convenient source for many of our members who would 
undoubtedly be interested in the discussion material but the author has some spare reprints, and is 
willing to send copies to interested persons. 

(Editor's note. Mr. Bates has kindly sent me a reprint of this article which can be loaned to members.) 



17 



THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR BOTANY 1995 

Betty M. Newman 

The summer of 1995 produced a good show of flowers before the heat burned the countryside brown. 
Over 450 species were found by members during the year. On one day in June Dr. Jury listed 105 
species found on newly disturbed ground around the Kwik-Save car park in Lower Earley. A selection 
from the records received is printed below. 

When rain ended the drought plants greened up amazingly quickly and there were bumper crops of 
fruit. The holly tree in our garden was loaded with berries and beech nuts from two small beech trees 
were lying thick on the pavement. 

The records on the following list are arranged according to the "List of Vascular Plants of the British 
Isles" by D.H. Kent 1992. Where a family name has changed the older name is put in brackets after 
the modern one. An alien taxon is indicated by an asterisk (*) and the English names are from 
"English Names of Wild Flowers" by Dony, Jury and Perring 1986. 

EQUISETACEAE 

Equisetum telmateia Ehrh. Great Horsetail 

Beenham and Upper Woolhampton, 19.7.95 (AB); Bramshill Plantation, 19.9.95 (C&RG). 

DRYOPTERIDACEAE 

Polystichum setiferum (Forskal) T. Moore ex Woynar Soft Shield-fern 
Spencers Wood, 10.4.95 (C&RG). 

Polystichum aculeatum (L.) Roth Hard Shield-fern 
Redhill Copse, Bucklebury, 25.3.95 (MWS). 

BLECHNACEAE 

Blechnum spicant (L.) Roth Hard Fern 

Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95 (AB); Benyon's Enclosure, Silchester, 15.9.95 (C&RG). 

PAPAVERACEAE 

*Papaver somniferum L. Opium Poppy 

On new roundabout by ASDA, Lower Earley, 5.6.95 (C&RG) 

Papaver dubium L Long-headed Poppy 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (C&RG). 

Meconopsis cambrica (L.)Viguier Welsh poppy 
Bottom Wood, Mapledurham, 14.6.95 (C&RG). 

CHENOPODIACEAE 

Chenopodium rubrum L. Red Goosefoot 

Old canal, Up Nately, 1.9.95 (C&RG). 

Chenopodium polyspermum L. Many-seeded Goosefoot 

Outside Decoy Heath reserve, 9.9.95 (AB). 

Chenopodium fid folium L. Fig-leaved Goosefoot 
Beenham and Upper Woolhampton, 19.7.95 (AB). 

CARYOPHYLLACEAE 

Stellaria nemorum L. Wood Stitchwort 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

18 



Spergularia marina (L) Griseb. Lesser Sea-spurrey 

Spring Plantation, Hermitage, 6.7.95 (MWS). 

Spergularia rubra (L.) J.S. Presl & C. Pres! Sand Spurrey 
Earley Gate, Whiteknights, 28.5.95 (C&RG). 

POLYGONACEAE 

Rumex hydrolapatham Hudson Water Dock 

A few plants, Thamesside, Reading, at Kennet mouth and near Sonning, summer 1995 (MVF). 

CLUSIACEAE (HYPERICACEAE) 

Hypericum elodes L. Marsh St John's-wort 

Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.6.95; Welshman's Pond, Burnt Common, 5.7.95 (C&RG) 

VIOLACEAE 

Viola odorata L. Sweet Violet 

White form by lake at Ashenbury Park, Woodley, 31 .3.95 (C&RG); Moor Copse, 24.4.95 (AB). 

Viola palustris L. Marsh Violet 

Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.6.95 (C&RG) 

BRASSiCACEAE (CRUCIFERAE) 

*lsatis tinctoria L. Woad 
Warburg Reserve, 17.6.95 (AB). 

*Erysimum cheiranthoides L. Treacle mustard 

Hurst and river Loddon, 10.5.95 (AB). 

*Hesperis matronalis L. Dame's Violet, Sweet Rocket 

Fox and Hounds pit, 25.5.95 (AB). 

Rorippa sylvestris (L.) Besser Creeping Yellow-cress 

Old canal, Up Nately, 1.9.95; Bramshill Plantation, 19.9.95 (C&RG). 

Iberis amara L Wild Candytuft 

Occasional on pavement edges, Watlington Street, College Road, Reading, a plant with small white 
flowers resembling the native one. Possibly a garden escape, but sometimes far from an obvious 
garden source, as in Craddock Road in July 1995 (MVF). 

*Coronopus didymus (L.) Smith Lesser Swine-cress 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ); Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95 (AB). 

RESEDACEAE 

Reseda luteola L Weld, Dyer's Rocket 

On new roundabout by ASDA, Lower Earley, 24.4.95 (C&RG). 

ERICACEAE 

Vaccinium myiiilus L. Bilberry 

Frilsham, 7.4.95, Benyon's Enclosure, Silchester, 15.9.95 (C&RG). 

CRASSULACEAE 

*Crassula helmsii (Kirk) Cockayne New Zealand Pigmyweed 

Bucklebury Common, 30.6.95 (MWS); acid pond near Three Mile Cross in September 1994 and 
ponds at St Peter's school. Earley and Westwood Farm school. Tilehurst in autumn 1995 (MVF). 



19 



Sedum telephium L. Orpine 
Bradfield, 28.6.95 (MWS). 

Sedum album L White Stonecrop 

In thin turf on mortar rubble, waste ground opposite Centra! Library, Reading. Probably from an old 
garden wall, long demolished (MVF). 

SAXIFRAGACEAE 

Chrysosplenium oppositifolium L. Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage 

Aider moors, Woodley, 31.3.95, Bucklebury Lower Common. 3.4.95 (C&RG). 

ROSACEAE 

Geum rivale L. Water Avens 

Longmeadow Plantation, Bradfield, 10.6.95 (MWS). 

*Acaena Mutis ex L. Pippi-pirri-bur 

A species of Acaena is spreading under rhododendrons in Whiteknights Wilderness. 4.6.95 (C&RG) 
According to Stace the burs may be accidentally imported in shoddy. It is also cultivated in gardens 
and may escape (BMN). 

Rosa rubiginosa L. Sweet-briar 

Bucklebury Common, 28.6.95 (MWS), Beenham and Upper Woolhampton. 19.7.95 (AB) 

FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE) 

Vicia tetrasperma (L.)Schreber Smooth Tare 
Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

*Lathyrus latifolius L Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea 

Earley Station, 29.6.95; ASDA car park, Lower Earley, 15.7.95 (C&RG). 

Lathy rus nissolia L. Grass Vetchling 

Fox and Hounds pit, 25.5.95 (AB); waste ground by Bader Way, Woodley, 8.6.95 (C&RG). 

*Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam. Ribbed Mel i lot 
Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95 (AB). 

Medicago arabica (L.) Hudson Spotted Medick 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

Trifolium micranthum Viv Slender Trefoil 

Bucklebury Cemetery, 13.5.95 (MWS). 

LYTHRACEAE 

Lythrum portula (L.) D. Webb Water-purslane 
Welshman's Pond, Burnt Common, 5.7.95 (C&RG). 

THYMELAEACEAE 

Daphne laureola L. Spurge-laurel 

Bottom Wood, Mapledurham, 26.4.95; Quarry Wood, Cookham, 1.6.95 (C&RG); Whittles Farm and 

Collins End, 5.9.95 (AB). 

ONAGRACEAE 

*Epilobium ciliatum Raf. American Wiliowherb 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15 6.95 (SLJ). 



20 



VISCACEAE 

Viscum album L. Mistletoe 

On Populus, Thamesside Promenade, Reading, 26.4.95 (C&RG); on lime trees, Bluecoat School, 
Sonning, long established; on lime trees, Richings Park near Slough, about 40 plants visible from M4 
(MVF). 
EUPHORBIACEAE 

*Mercurialis annua L Annual mercury 

Sainsbury's Homebase car park, in flower December 1994 (C&RG); outside Decoy Heath Reserve, 
9.9.95 (AB). 

Euphorbia lathyrus L. Caper Spurge 

Waltham St Lawrence, 12.7.95 (C&RG). 

RHAMNACEAE 

Frangula alnus Miller Alder Buckthorn 

Holly Wood, Bucklebury, 30.7.95 (MWS). 

GERANIACEAE 

Geranium rotundifolium L. Round-leaved Crane's-bill 

Sandford Copse car park, 31 .5.95 (C&RG). 

Geranium pyrenaicum Burm. f. Hedgerow Crane's-bill 

Sandford Copse car park and Ashenbury Park, Woodley, 31.5.95 (C&RG); Whitchurch Hill, 4.6.95, 

Sulham, 1.6.95 (AB). 

Geranium pusillum L. Small-flowered Crane's-bill 

Sulham, 1.6.95, Whitchurch Hill, 4.6.95 (AB); waste ground by Tesco, Reading, 14.7.95 (C&RG); 
Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

Geranium lucidum L. Shining Crane's-bill 

Near Sandford Mill, 20.4.95; Greys Court, 26.5.95; Tippings Lane, Woodley, 29.5.95; Quarry Wood, 
Cookham, 1.6.95 (C&RG). 

APIACEAE (UMBELLIFERAE) 

Hydrocotyle vulgaris L. Marsh pennywort 

Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.9.95; Welshman's Pond, Burnt Common, 5.7.95; Heath 
Pond, Finchampstead, 13.6.95 (C&RG); Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95 (AB). 

Berula erecta (Hudson) Cov. Lesser Water-parsnip 
Moor Copse, 8.6.95 (AB). 

Oenanthe aquatica (L.) Poiret Fine-leaved Water-drop wort 

Sulham, 1.6.95 (AB). 

Silaum silaus (L.) Schinz & Thell. Pepper Saxifrage 
Waltham St Lawrence, 12.7.95 (C&RG). 

Apium inundatum (L.) Reichb. f. Lesser Marchwort 

Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.6.95; Welshman's Pond, Burnt Common, 5.7.95 (C&RG). 

Sison amomum L. Stone Parsley 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ); Waltham St Lawrence, 12.7.95 (C&RG). 

MENYANTHACEAE 

Menyanthes trifoliata L. Bogbean 

Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.9.95 (C&RG). 



21 



Nymphoides peltata Kuntze Fringed Water-lily 

Fox and Hounds pit, 25.5.95 (AB). 

BORAGINACEAE 

Echium vulgare L. Viper's Bugloss 

Warburg Reserve, 17.6.95; Hartslock, 21.6.95 (AB) 

Anchusa arvensis (L.) M. Bieb. Bugloss 

Great Hollands, Bracknell 3.5.95; Finchampstead, 2.6.95 (C&RG) 

Cynoglossum officinale L. Hound's Tongue 
Moor Copse, 8.6.95 (AB). 

VERBENACEAE 

Verbena officinalis L. Vervain 

Waste ground by Tesco, Reading, 14.7.95 (C&RG); Whittles Farm and Collins End, 5.9.95; outside 
Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95; Watiington Hill, 23.9.95; the Holies. 22.6.95 (AB); Four Elms, 
Hermitage, 1.8.95 (MWS). 

LAMIACEAE (LABIATAE) 

Lamium hybridum Vi liars Cut-leaved Dead-nettle 

Cole's Farm, Buckiebury, 25.6.95 (MWS); Beenham and Upper Woolhampton, 19.7.95 (AB). 

Nepeta cataria L Cat-mint 

Whittles Farm and Collins End, 5.9.95 (AB). 

*Melissa officinalis L. Balm 

Alder Woods, Woodley, 29.5.95 (C&RG). 

PLANTAGINACEAE 

Plantago coronopus L. Buck's-horn Plantain 

Now arrived in Reading town centre, but rare. Single plants by bus depot and at edge of turf by 
roundabout near Reading prison seen this summer (MVF). 

Plantago media L. Hoary Plantain 

Over 100 plants in turf by St Giles church in Southampton Street, Reading, especially shaded turf on 
north side (MVF); the Holies, 22.6.95 (AB). 

SCROPHULARIACEAE 

Verbascum nigrum I. Dark Mullein 

The Holies, 22.6.95 (AB); Forbury Gardens, by archway to Abbey ruins, 1 .7.95 (C&RG). 

*Scrophularia vernalis L Yellow Figwort 

New Barn Farm, Buckiebury, 23.4.95 (MWS) 

*Mimulus guttatus DC. Monkeyfiower 

New roundabout by ASDA, Lower Earley, 5.6.95 (C&RG). 

Chaenorhinum minus (L.) Lange Small Toadflax 

Turville, 13.7.95 (C&RG). 

*Linaria purpurea (L) Miller Purple Toadflax 

Whittles Farm and Collins End, 5.9.95 (AB). 

Veronica scutellata L Marsh Speedwell 

Welshman's Pond, Burnt Common, 5.7.95 (C&RG). 

Veronica catenata Pennell Pink Water-speedwell 

Fox and Hounds pit, 25.5.95 (AB). 

22 



Veronica agrestis L Green Field-speedwell 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

OROBANCHACEAE 

Orobanche minor Smith Common broomrape 

The Holies, 2.6.95 (AB); roadside, Frilsham, 2.6.95 (MWS), on Cirsium vulgare in Kwik-Save car 

park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

CAMPANULACEAE 

Legousia hybrida (L.) Delarbre Venus's-looking-glass 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ); Cole's Farm, Bucklebury, 26.6.95 (MWS). 

VALERIANACEAE 

*Centranthus rubra (L.) DC. Red Valerian 

Shottesbrooke Park, 12.7.95 (C&RG). 

ASTERACEAE (COMPOSITAE) 

Cichorium intybus L. Chicory 

Whittles Farm and Collins End, 5.9.95 (AB); Waltham St Lawrence, 12.7.95; Assendon, 13.7.95; 

outside JDB Garden Centre, Eversley, 18.7.95; Ipsden, 3.8.95 (C&RG). 

Lactuca serriola L. Prickly Lettuce 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ); Gallowstree Common, 16.8.95; Fox and Hounds 
pit 25.5.95, Sulham, 1.6.95 (AB). 

Cicerbita macrophylla (Willd.) Wallr. Common Blue-sow-thistle 

Bucklebury, 23.7.95 (MWS). 

Erigeron acer L. Blue Fleabane 

Four Elms, Hermitage, 1.8.95 (MWS); Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95 (AB). 

*Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. Canadian Fleabane 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

Tanacetum vulgare L. Tansy 

In field south of Cookham village, 1 .6.95 (C&RG); Gallowstree Common, 16.8.95 (AB). 

Achillea ptarmica L. Sneeze wort 

Between Sindlesham Mill and Loddon Bridge, 27.7.95 (C&RG). 

Matricaria recutita L. Scented Mayweed 

Kwik-Save car park, Lower Earley, 15.6.95 (SLJ). 

Bidens cernua L. Nodding Bur-marigold 

Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.9.95 (C&RG). 

BUTOMACEAE 

Butomus umbellatus L. Flowering Rush 

Hurst and river Loddon, 10.5.95 (AB); Little Wittenham, 14.9.95 (C&RG). 

POTAMOGETONACEAE 

Potamogeton polygonifolius Pourret Bog Pondweed 
Decoy Heath Reserve, 9.9.95 (AB). 

JUNCACEAE 

Luzula sylvatica (Hudson) Gaudin Great wood-rush 
Park Wood, Hampstead Norreys, 21.4.95 (C&RG). 

23 



Luzula rnultiflora (Ehrh.) Lej. Heath Wood-rush 

Finchampstead, 2.6.95 (C&RG). 

CYPERACEAE 

Isolepis setacea (L.) R.Br. Bristle Club-rush 

Bradfield Plantation, 30.6.95 (MWS). 

Eleogiton fluitans (L.) Link Floating Club-rush 
Three Firs Pond, Burghfield Common, 5.6.95 (C&RG). 

Carex pallescens L. Pale Sedge 

Whitchurch Hill, 4.6.95 (AB). 

LILIACEAE 

Polygonatum multiflorum (L.) All. Solomon's-seal 

Street End Copse, Rotherwick, 25.4.95 (C&RG). 

Ornithogalum pyrenaicum L. Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem 

Spring Plantation, Hermitage, 2.6.95 (MWS). 

Ruscus aculeatus L. Butcher's-broom 
Little Wittenham, 14.9.95 (C&RG). 

IRIDACEAE 

Iris foetidissima L Stinking Iris, Gladdon 

Park Wood, Hampstead Norreys, 21.4.95 (C&RG). 

ORCHiDACEAE 

Anacamptis pyramidalis (L.) Pyramidal Orchid 

White form at Warburg Reserve, 26.6.95 (C&RG). 

Dactylorhiza maculata (L.) Soo ssp. ericetorum (E.F.Linton) P. Hunt & Summerh. 

Heath Spotted-orchid 

Hazeley Heath, 14.7.95 (C&RG). 

Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Druce) Soo Southern Marsh-orchid 

Bramshill plantation, 27.6.95 (C&RG). 

CONTRIBUTORS 

Thanks are due to the following contributors: 

Alan Brickstock (AB) Michael Fletcher (MVF) Colin & Renee Grayer (C&RG) Stephen Jury (SLJ) 
Betty Newman (BMN) Malcolm Storey (MWS) 

REFERENCES 

Kent.D.H. (1992) List of Vascular Plants of the British Isles 

Botanical Society of the British Isles, London 

Stace, Ciive A. (1 991 ) New Flora of the British Isles 

CUP, Cambridge 

Dony, J.G., Jury, S.L. & Perring, F.H. (1986) English Names of Wild Flowers 2nd. Edition 

Botanical Society of the British Isles, London. 



24 



THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR FUNGI 1995 
Alan Brickstock 

'1989 was yet another 'odd' year - is any year 'normal'? After a prolonged hot dry season, many 
species were very few and far between, and diligent searching was required on all our forays. 
Families such as Russula, Lactarius and Tricholoma were often almost absent'. 

No, I haven't got the date wrong 1 The above is the beginning of my fungus report for 1989: if you 
change the date, this applies exactly to this year, which has again been a very strange season 1 After 
the long hot, dry spell, many species that are normally common or abundant were sparse or totally 
absent from most of our local woodlands. 

Conifer woods in particular seem to have been the most affected. The False Chanterelle, 
Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, normally seen in hundreds or even thousands, has hardly been seen at 
all, a few specimens appearing in mid to late November. There have been very few specimens of 
Gymnopilus penetrans, and with only one or two slight exceptions, Russulas of all kinds have been 
almost non existent. The exception was at Pamber Forest, where one small area had quite a few 
specimens of a number of species. Even things like Earth balls have proved to be uncommon. 

In contrast, some species that are normally uncommon have been found in great numbers. The 
Death Cap, Amanita phalloides, has been numerous in many places, most notably at the Warburg 
Reserve at Bix, where one complete ring of them had at least a hundred fine caps - enough to kill off 
a large percentage of the population of Reading! The Panther Cap, Amanita pantherina, has been 
quite numerous in many local woods, although we normally find very few, if any at all. Quite a lot of 
Amanita excelsa have been found, and Amanita fulva has been abundant. Amanita muscaria 
appeared in some numbers early in September, disappeared during October, and has been 
appearing again in mid November. The 'Yellow Stainer', Agaricus xanthoderma, has been another 
species found in great numbers. An unusual find for Sulham Woods was a hundred or so specimens 
of Clavariadelphus fistulosus, not usually found at this site. Interestingly, they were all under Birch. 
Has anyone else found this association? Other finds at Sulham included some excellent Giant 
Puffballs, and a nice array of the beautiful, green Panellus serotinus. The latter used to appear 
annually at this site, but I have not found it there for the last few years. Another interesting find at 
Sulham was Pterula multifida, fine white, branched hair-like strands growing clustered on fallen wood. 

Out of the total of 503 species found, which easily beats our previous record of 453, an amazing 230, 
46 per cent, were found only once during the season. Most surprisingly, these 230 species included 
things like Russula emetica, usually one of the most abundant in pine woods! 

Many thanks to all the people who have identified species and sent me foray lists. 

A selection of the less common species is given below: 

GILL FUNGI 

Agaricus semotus Fr. 
Cucumber Wood 2.10.95 (GC) 

Amanita inaurata Seer. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Amanita solitaria (Fr.)Quel. 
Pamber Forest 14.10.95 (HFG) 

Collybia racemosa (Pers.ex.Fr.)Quel 

Baynes Bomb Dump 7.10.95 (MWS) A strange little fungus with black sclerotia, and branched 

outgrowths from the side of the stem. 

Cortinarius croceo-caeruleus (Pers.ex Fr.)Fr. 
Davenport Wood 5.11.95 (RFG) 



25 



Cortinarius decipiens (Fr.) 
Pamber Forest 14.10.95 (HFG) 

Cortinarius phoeniceus (Bull.)Maire 
Pamber Forest 14.10.95 (HFG) 

Chroogomphus rutilus (Fr.)Muller 
Suiham 12.10.95 (AB) 

Entoloma nidorosum (Fr.)Quel. 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Flammulaster carpophila (Fr.) Earle 
Harpsden 28.10.95 (RF) 

Gomphideus roseus (Fr.)Karst. 
UftonNervet 4.11.95 (1MB) 

Hohenbuehelia geogenia (DC. ex Fr.)Sing 
Suiham 11.11.95 (AB) 

Inocybe godeyi Gill. 
Harpsden 28.10.95 (RF) 

Gyroporus castaneus (Bull.)Quel. 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Hypholoma sublateritium (Fr.) Quel. 
Pamber Forest 14.10.95 (HFG) 

Inocybe cookei Bres. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Laccaria tortilis (Bolt.ex.S.F.Gray)Cke. 
Bearwood College 19.11.95 (RFG) 

Lactahus brittanicus Re id 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (RFG) 

Lactahus cimicarius (Batsch.)Gill. 
Pamber Forest 14.10.95 (HFG) 

Lactahus obscuratus (Lasch)Fr. 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (RFG) 

Lepiota brunneo-incarnata Chodat & Martin 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Lepiota fulvella Rea 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Lepiota mastoidea (Fr.)Kumm. 

Cucumber Wood 7.6.95 (GC); 03.9.95 (GC) 

Leptonia euchroa (Pers.ex.Fr.)Kumm. 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Melanoleuca arcuata (Fr.)Sing. 
Lambridge Wood 1.10.95 (RF) 

Mycena amicta (Fr.)Quel 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (RFG) 

Mycena sepia J.Lange 
LackmoreWood 20.10.95 (GC) 



26 



Nolanea infula (Fr.)Gillet 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (RFG) 

Nolanea staurospora Bres. 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (RFG) 

Panaeolus sphinctrinus (Fr.)Quel. 
Davenport Wood 5.11.95 (RFG) 

Phaeomarasmius erinaceus (Fr.)Kuhn. 
Holly Wood. Bucklebury 17.9.95 (RFG) 

Pluteus galeroides Orton 

Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (JW) A delicate, pink-spored agaric. 

Psathyrella bipellis Quel. 
Harpsden 28.10.95 (RF) 

Resupinatus trichotis (Pers.)Sing. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (PC) Small 'hanging saucer like' agaric, on Hornbeam. 

Russula pectinatoides Peck. 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (HB) 

Tricholoma lascivum (Fr.)Gillet 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) 

Tubaria conspersa (Pers.ex.Fr.)Fayod 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD) Cinnamon brown, cap with greyish velar fragments. 

Volvariella bombycina (Schaeff.ex.Fr.)Sing. 
Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (RFG) 

BOLETI 

Boletus lanatus Rostk. 

Snelsmore Common 21.11.95 (RFG/NHS) 

Boletus leonis Pers. 

Pamber Forest 14.10.95 (HFG) 

Leccinum carpini Schulz.ex.Pers. 
Heath Lake 8.10.95 (RFG/NHS) 

Leccinum holopus ( Rostk. )Watl. 

California Country Park 8.10.95 (RFG/NHS) 

Uloporus livid us (Buil.)Quel. 

Moor Copse 12.10.95 (MWS) Rare in Britain. 

APHYLLOPHORALES 

Amphinema byssoides (Pers.ex.Fr.)Erikss. 
The Lookout 18.2.95 (PC) 

Calyptella capula (Holmsk.ex.Pers.)Quel 
Highstanding Hill 3.12.95 (TG) 

Ceripoha purpurea (Fr.)Donk 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) 

Clavariadelphus fistulosus v. contorta Corner 
Highstanding Hill 3.12.95 (TG) 



27 



Coniophora arida (Fr.)Karst. 
The Lookout 2.12.95 (RFG) 

Dacryobolus karstenii (Bres.)Oberw.ex.Parm. 
The Lookout 2.12.95 (RFG) 

Hapalopilus rutilans (Pers.ex Fr.)Karst. 

Highstanding Hill 3.12.95 (EG); Suiham (AB) 'Gingerbread fungus' 

Hydnellum spongiosipes Peck)Pouz. 
Brick Pits Conservation site 3.12.95 (TG) 

Hymenochaete corrugata (Fr.)Fr. 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) 

Merismodes anomalous (Pers.ex. Fr.)Sing. 

Bearwood College 19.1 1 .95 (RFG) Clusters of tiny cup or saucer shaped fruit bodies. Light brown 

with a cream margin. 

Mucronella calva v. aggregatum (Fr.)Pil. 

The Lookout 2.12.95 (RFG) Tiny, densely clustered, pointed white spines, on rotten Spruce. 

Oxyporus populinus (Schum.ex Fr.)Donk. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) A parasite of various hardwood species. 

Phellodon confluens (Pers.)Pouz. 

Brick Pits Conservation site 3.12.95 (TG) 

Phellodon melaleucus (Sw.apud Fr.ex.Fr.)Karst. 
Brick Pits Conservation site 3.12.95 (TG) 

Radulomyces confluens (Fr.)Christ. 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) 

Pterula multifida Fr.ex.Fr 

Suiham 11.12.95 (AB) Fine, white, branched hair-like strands, clustered on fallen wood. 

Resinlcium bicolor (A&S.ex.Fr.)Parm 
The Lookout 18.2.95 (PC) 

Scopuloides rimosa (Cke.)Jul 
Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) 

GASTEROMYCETES 

Cyathus striatus (Huds.)Wied. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 15.10.95 (RD); Ashampstead 13.9.95 (NHS) 

Scleroderma cepa (Vaill.)Pers. 
Benyon's Enclosure 20.8.95 (HB) 

HETEROBASIDIOMYCETES 

Exidia truncata Fr. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) 

ASCOMYCETES 

Anthrocobia maurilabra (Cke.)Boud. 

Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (JW) On burned ground. 

Anthrocobia melaloma (A&S.exFr.)Boud. 
Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (HB) On burned ground. 



28 



Peckiella lateritia (Fr.)Maire 

Four Elms (SU 513747) 5.11.95 (MWS) Parasitic on gill fungi. Hinders formation of gills in the host. 

Pezizella alniella (Nyl.)Dennis 

Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (JW) Grows on scales of fallen Alder cones. 

Phacidium multivalve (DC.)Schum. 
Warburg Reserve 30.4.95 (PC) On Holly. 

Pyrenochaeta ilicis M. Wilson 

Warburg Reserve 30.4.95 (PC) On Holly; Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (RFG) On Holly 

Spathularia flavida Pers.ex.Fr 

The Coombes 19.11.95 (RFG) Small yellow fungus, with distinct stalk and fan-shaped head, among 

conifer needles. 

Taphrina pruni Tulasne 

Briff Lane (SU 546698) 6.1 1.95 (MWS). On Blackthorn. Covers young fruits, which become yellow 

and distorted. 

MYXOMYCETES 

Trichia persimilis Karst. 

Warburg Reserve, Bix 30.4.95 (RFG) 

FUNGI IMPERFECTI 

Pycnostysanus azaleae (Peck)Mason 

The Lookout 2.12.95 (RFG) Azalea bud blast. 

Paecilomyces farinosus (Dicks. ex.Fr.)Brown & Smith 
Hollywood 17.9.95 (MWS) Grows on dead larvae and pupae. 

ZYGOMYCETES 

Pilobolus crystalinus (Wiggers)Tode 

Warburg Reserve 30.4.95 (PC); Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (PC) On Rabbit dung. 

HYPHOMYCETES 

Oedocephalum pallidum (Berk.& Broome)Cost. 
Pamber Forest 20.5.95 (PC) On dung. 

Stilbella erythrocephala (Ditmar)Lindau 
Warburg Reserve 30.4.95 (PC) On Rabbit dung 

In addition the following Hyphomycetes were found and identified by Paul Cook on leaves taken from 
a stream in Pamber Forest on 20.5.95; 

Alatospora accuminata Ingold Periconia cookei Mason & M.B.Ellis 

Anguillospora longissima (de Wiid)!ngold Tetrachaetum elegans Ingold 

Articulospora tetracladia Ingold Tetracladium marchalianum de Wild 

Clavariopsis aquatica de Wild Tricladium chaetocladium Ingold 

Clavatospora longibrachiata (Ingoid)Nilsson Tricladium splendens Ingold 

Flagellospora curvula Ingold Varicosporium elodae Kegel 
Lemoniera aquatica de Wild 

CONTRIBUTORS 

Henry Becker (HB), Alan Brickstock (AB), Ivy Brickstock (1MB) , Paul Cook (PC), 

Gordon Crutchfield (GC), Rod DAyaia (RD), Richard Fortey (RF), Ted Green (TG), 
Hants Fungus Group foray (HFG), R&DNHS (NHS), Reading Fungus Group foray (RFG), 
Malcolm Storey (MWS), John Wheeley (JW). 



29 



THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR ENTOMOLOGY 1995 

Brian R. Baker 

The order and nomenclature used in this report are those given in Kloet and Hincks (1964-1978), 
supplemented by Bradley and Fletcher (1979,1986). 

EPHEMEROPTERA : MAYFLIES 

Ephemeroptera lineata Eaton 

This large mayfly, until recently considered as very rare nationally, has been recorded at several sites 

within our recording area. 

Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95, one hundred plus (CMR); Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 5.7.95, about 12, 

5.8.95, one (MVA); Matlock Road, Caversham, 17.7.95 (BRB); Kiln Ride, Upper Basildon, 3.8.95, 

seven (MH); Snelsmore Common C.P., 5.8.95, one at mercury vapour light (MVA, MH). 

ODONATA : DRAGONFLIES 

Gomphus vulgatissimus (L) Club-taiied Dragonfly 

Hartslock N.R., 10.6.95, observed again this year flying over the Reserve and cast nymphal skins 

found on the foliage near the Thames towpath (CMR). 

Sympetrum flaveolum (L.) Yellow-winged Darter 

Swinley near Ascot, 7.8.95 (DJS); Decoy Heath N.R., 19.8.95 (MH). This is a migrant species which, 
on few occasions, is thought to have bred in this country. 

Sympetrum sanguineum (Muller) Ruddy Darter 
Decoy Heath N.R., 9.9.95 (BRB). 

ORTHOPTERA : CRICKETS, BUSH-CRICKETS, GRASSHOPPERS, GROUND-HOPPERS 

Meconema thalassinum (Degeer) Oak Bush-cricket 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 23.7.95 (MVA); New Lane Hill. Tilehurst, 28.11.95, resting on a fence, 
a very late record (BRB). 

Tettigonia viridissima L. Great Green Bush-cricket 

The Holies, 28.8.95 'An estimated one hundred of these spectacular insects were singing in an area 
of long grass. They were very elusive, for despite their large size, they seemed able to hide behind 
the thinnest of grass stems" (MH). 

Methoptera brachyptera (L.) Bog Bush-cricket 

Snelsmore Common C.P., 5.8.95 (MH), Decoy Heath N.R., 9.9.95 (MH). 

Conocephalus discolor (Thunb.) Long-winged Cone-head 

Decoy Heath N.R., 19.8.95 (MH), 9.9.95 (BRB). This striking insect was until quite recently restricted 

to the south coast. 

Conocephalus dorsalis (Latr.) Short-winged Cone-head 
Decoy Heath N.R., 19.8.95 (MH). 

Tetrix undulata (Sowerby) Common Ground-hopper 

Snelsmore Common C.P., 5.8.95 (MWS). 

Omocestus rufipes (Zett ) Woodland Grasshopper 

Snelsmore Common C.P., 5.8.95 (MH); Upper Basildon, 6.8.985 (MH); Ashampstead Common, 
13.8.95 (MH); Kiln Ride, Upper Basildon, 3.9.95 (MH). 

Gomphocerippus rufus (L.) Rufous Grasshopper 

Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95 (CMR). 



30 



DERMAPTERA : EARWIGS 

Labia minor (L.) Lesser Earwig 
Decoy Heath N.R., 19.8.95 (MWS). 

HEMIPTERA : PLANT BUGS, WATER BUGS, LEAF HOPPERS, APHIDS 

Palomina prasina (L.) Common Green Shield Bug 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 2.4.95 (MVA) 

Derephysia foliacea (Fallen) 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 23.7.95 (MVA) 

NEUROPTERA : ALDERFLIES, SNAKEFLIES, LACEWINGS 

Sisyra fuscata (Fabr.) 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 30.7.94 (MVA) late record. 

Hemerobius humulinus L. 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 5.7.95 (MVA). 

Hemerobius lutescens Fabr. 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 7.8.94 (MVA) late record. 

Hemerobius micans Olivier 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 9 7.95 (MVA). 

Wesmaelius subnebulosus (Steph.) 
Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 30.4.95 (MVA). 

Chrysopa flavifrons Braur 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 23.7.95 (MVA). 

LEPIDOPTERA : BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 

Zeuzera pyrina (L.) Leopard Moth 

Hartsiock N.R., 10.7.95 (CMR); Edgcumbe Park Drive, Crowthorne, 10.7.95 (DJS); Wellington C.P., 
10.7.95 (DAY). 

Adscita statices (L.) The Forester 

Hazelwood Meadow near Bracknell, 10.7.95 (DJS), near Prince Albert Drive, Ascot, 29.6.95 (DJS). 

Synanthedon vespiformis (L.) Yellow-legged Clearwing 

Edgcumbe Park Drive, Crowthorne, 23.7.95, on a windowpane (DJS). 

Bembecia scopigera (Scop.) Six-belted Clearwing 

Four Elms, 1.8.95 (MWS). 

Epiphyas postvittana (Walk.) Light Brown Apple Moth 

Harcourt Drive, Earley, 1.12.95 (NMH). New v.c.22 Berkshire record. 

Chilo phragmitella ( H ubn . ) 
Thatcham Reedbeds, 28.7.95 (MH). 

Margaritia sticticalis (L.) 

Kiln Ride, Upper Basildon, 3.8.95, two at mercury vapour light (MH); Woolhampton, 3.8.95, one at 
mercury vapour light (BRB). This migrant Pyralid micro-moth has only once before been recorded in 
Berkshire, in 1931, but in 1995 it was widely recorded in southern England, presumably as a result of 
a large immigration (MH). 

Mecyna flavalis ssp. flaviculalis Caradja 

Hartsiock N.R., 10.7.95 (MH. CMR). This chalk down Pyralid micro-moth is a scarce species 

(provisionally Red Data Book 2). The first v.c.23 Oxfordshire record was 23.7.93 (BRB). 



31 



Strymonidea w-album (Knoch) White-letter Hairstreak 

Burghfield Bridge, 21.4.95, a larva beaten from flowering wych eim (DAY). 

Alicia agestis (D. & S.) Brown Argus 

Pamber Forest, 15, 30.8.95, recorded on the Butterfly Transect, new to the Pamber Forest list (BRB). 

Celastrina argiolus (L.) Holly Blue 

Beech Lane, Earley, much scarcer than usual in the early part of the year, but quite plentiful, and 
much earlier than usual, in the second half, 2 and 7.5.95, 4.7.95 to 20.8.95 (BMN); Matlock Road. 
Caversham, ovipositing in the garden, 26.7.95 (BRB) 

Apatura iris (L.) Purple Emperor 

Pamber Forest, 12.7.95, one specimen flying round an oak (PGS); Kiln Ride, Upper Basildon, 
12.7.95, "at first glance I took this butterfly to be a small bird, but it settled briefly on the wall of the 
house, allowing me to confirm a very pleasing garden butterfly record" (MH). 

Cynthia cardui (L.) Painted Lady 

Beech Lane, Earley, 2.8.95, one on buddleia (BMN); Tesco's, Reading, 10.8.95. five on buddleias 
(BRB); Wash Common, Newbury, 4.10.95 (NC). 

Polygonia c-album (L.) The Comma 

Whitchurch Hill, 14.6.95, seen during Ken Thomas' Wednesday afternoon walk, a full grown larva 

resting on a fence (BRB), Ramsbury Drive, Earley, 1 .8.95, six larvae in the garden (BTP). 

Scopula immutata (L.) Lesser Cream Wave 
Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95 (MH, CMR). 

Semiothisa notata (L.) Peacock Moth 

Edgcumbe Park Drive, Crowthorne, 31.5.95 (DJS); Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95 (MH, CMR). 

Chloroclysta siterata (Hufn.) Red-green Carpet 

Wellington C.P., 23.10.95, two (DAY); Harcourt Drive, Earley, 11.10.95 (NMH). 

Rheumaptera cetvinalis (Scop.) Scarce Tissue 

Tilehurst, 1 and 3.5 95 (DAY); Harcourt Drive, Earley, 2.5.95 (NMH). 

Eupithecia expallidata Doubl. Bleached Pug 
Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95 (MH). 

Plagodis pulveraria (L.) Barred Umber 

Wellington C.P., 10.7.95 (DAY). 

Macroglossum stellatarum (L.) Humming-bird Hawkmoth 
Wash Common, Newbury, 17and 18.9 95 (NC). 

Hylesgallii (Rott.) Bedstraw Hawkmoth 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 29.8.95, a specimen of this scarce immigrant was found resting on a 
wall of a school building (TDH). 

Cerura vinula (L) Puss Moth 

Tilehurst, 3.5.95 (DAY); Edgcumbe Park Drive, Crowthorne, 2.5.95, bred from a 1994 larva found in 
the garden (DJS). 

Stauropus fagi (L.) Lobster Moth 

Snelsmore Common C.P., 5.8.95, a full-grown, well camouflaged larva (MWS). 

Callimorpha dominula (L.) Scarlet Tiger 

Harcourt Drive, Earley, 30.6.95 (NMH); Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95 at mercury vapour light (MH), also 
seen flying on slope 4 of the Reserve and along the tow-path during the daytime (CMR); near 
Stanford Dingiey, 30.6.95 (MH); Thatcham Reedbeds, 25.4.95, larvae on comfrey (MH), 18.7.95 
adults flying in sunshine (BRB). 



32 



Agrotis cinerea (D. & S.) Light Feathered Rustic 

Aston Upthorpe, 28.5.95 (MH); Hartslock N.R., on several occasions at mercury vapour light during 
the season, first seen on the very early date of 30.4.95 (CMR). 

Polia bombycina (Hufn.) Pale Shining Brown 

Hartslock N.R., 30.6.95 (CMR). 

Cucullia lychnitis Ramb. Striped Lychnis 

Lane leading to Chambers Copse, Emmer Green, 6.8.95, four larvae on dark mullein (JWM). 

Lithophane hepatica (CI.) Pale Pinion 
Harcourt Drive, Earley, 11.3.95 (NMH) 

Conistra rubiginea (D. & S.) Dotted Chestnut 

Harcourt Drive, Earley, 2.5.95 (NMH) 

COLEOPTERA : BEETLES 

My thanks go to HHC for the usual preselection of records from the comprehensive list submitted by 
TDH. 

TDH writes " please note that all my previous records for Longitarsus iacobaeae Waterhouse 
should be deleted ". 

Perigona nigriceps (Dejean) 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 11.2.95, in compost heap in a garden within parkland (TDH). New 

record (immigrant) (HHC). 

Badister sodalis D uftsch m i d 

Pamber Forest, 12.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covering rotting stump in damp part 

of oak-wood (TDH). Three old records (1918 - 1924) (HHC). 

Lebia chlorocephala Hoffmansegg 

Near Hall Farm, near Shinfield, 4.2.95, in flood refuse in clump of deciduous trees on bank of river in 

area of farmland (TDH). Two old local records (HHC). 

H ah plus flavicollis Sturm 

Bramshill Plantation, 13.8.94, in shallow inlet of flooded gravel-pit within area of conifer plantation 

(TDH). Two records (HHC). 

Laccophllus hyalinus Degeer 

Bramshill Plantation, 13.8.94, in flooded gravel-pit within area of conifer plantation (TDH). Three old 

records (Price) (HHC). 

Guignotus pusillus Fabricius 

Bramshill Plantation, 13.8.94, amongst submerged vegetation in shallow arm of flooded gravel-pit 

(TDH). Three local records (HHC). 

Coelambus confluens Fabricius 

Bramshill Plantation, 13.8.94, amongst submerged vegetation in shallow arm of flooded gravel-pit 

(TDH). Two local records (HHC). 

Cercyon lugubris Olivier 

Near Shinfield, near Reading, 8.3.95, under bark of fallen deciduous tree beside a stream at edge of 

woodland (TDH). One local record (HHC). 

Cercyon pygmaeus, llliger 

Whiteknights, Reading, 14.9.94, extracted from fallen bodies of Polyporus squamosus, which were 

growing on fallen section of deciduous tree, in deciduous woodland (TDH). One old record (HHC). 

Cercyon sternalis Sharp 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 24.2.95, under bark of dead but still standing deciduous tree in 

plantation of coniferous and deciduous trees close to pool (TDH). New record (HHC). 



33 



Cryptopleurum subtile Sharp 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 1 1 .9.94, in compost heap in a garden (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Anacaena bipustulata Marsham 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 12.10.94, in water filled ditch choked with vegetation in area of 

meadows (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Laccobius atrocephalus Reitter 

Decoy Heath Nature Reserve, near Padworth Common, 28.9.94. in shallow siity running water in a 

ditch on landfill site now reverting to heath land (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Laccobius striatulus Fabricius 

Decoy Heath Nature Reserve, near Padworth Common, 28.9.94. in shallow silty running water in a 

ditch on landfill site now reverting to heath land (TDH). Three old records (HHC). 

Helochares lividus Forster 

Bramshill Plantation, 13.8.94, amongst submerged aquatic vegetation in shallow arm of flooded 

gravel-pit within conifer plantation (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Berosus signaticollis Charpontier 

Decoy Heath Nature Reserve, near Padworth Common, 28.9.94, in shallow silty running water in a 

ditch on landfill site now reverting to heath land (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 

Plegaderus dissectus Erichson 

Whiteknights, Reading, 23.11.94, under bark of rotting birch log, in ornamental deciduous wood 

(TDH). New record (HHC). 

Plegaderus vulneratus Panzer 

Benyon's Inclosure, near Mortimer West End, 1 . 1 0.94, under a flake of bark on a conifer log in conifer 

plantation (TDH). One old record (HHC). 

Acritus nigricornis Hoffman J. 

Leighton Park School, Reading. 11.9.94, in a heap of compost in a garden within parkland (TDH) 

New record (HHC). 

Gnathoncus buyssoni Auzat 

Leighton Park School, Reading. 15.9.95, one male and one female in an old tit nest (which contained 

a dead chick) inside a nest box attached to a solitary Turkey oak within parkland (TDH). New record 

(HHC). 

Gnathoncus nannetensis Marseul 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 19.5.95, in moss trap (baited with fish head) in a sycamore tree (at a 
height of six metres), which was set up on 29.4.95. The tree situated in a tree-lined hedgerow at edge 
of parkland (TDH). New record (one non-local) (HHC). 

Onthophilus striatus Forster 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 18.3.95, obtained by shaking a sheep skull over a sheet, at 

edge of woodland on calcareous slope. One old record (HHC). 

Ochthebius minimus Fabricius 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 22.9.94, amongst duckweed in water filled ditch at edge of 

deciduous copse in area of river meadows (TDH). One old record (HHC). 

Hydraena riparia Kugelann 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 22.9.94, amongst duckweed in water filled ditch, at edge of 

deciduous copse in area of river meadows (TDH). One Devon record (HHC). 

Pte nidi urn intermedium Wankowicz 

Near Bowdown House, near Thatcham, 26.3.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from feathery moss 

growing on old decomposing logs in marshy area in mixed deciduous wood (TDH). New record 

(HHC). 



34 



Acrothchis fascicularis Herbst 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 1.9.94, in compost heap in a garden within parkland (TDH). New 

record (HHC). 

Hydnobius punctatus Sturm 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 5.10.94, general sweeping of grass and herbs on cretaceous 

slope (TDH). Old records, Tubney, Wytham (HHC). 

Ptomaphagus subvillosus Goeze 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 31.7.94, in flight interception trap set up beside a ditch bordering 

tree-lined hedgerow at edge of parkland (TDH). Three recent records (HHC). 

Nargus wilkini Spence 

Pamber Forest, 12.2.95, under a small deciduous tree log in clearing within oak woodland (TDH). 

Two old, one recent record (HHC). 

Neuraphes elongatulus Muller P.W.J. & Kunze 

Pamber Forest, 12.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss found covering rotting tree-stump in 

damp part of oak-wood (TDH). Two recent records (HHC). 

Scydmaenus rufus Mu Her P.W.J. & Kunze 

Whiteknights, Reading, 29.8.94, under bark of horse chestnut log in ornamental deciduous wood 

(TDH). New record (HHC). 

Scaphisoma agaricinum Linnaeus 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 12.4.95, on underside of fungus infected deciduous log section in 

deciduous wood (TDH). One old record (HHC). 

Megarthrus depressus Paykull 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 12.4.95, on underside of fungus infected deciduous log section in 

deciduous wood (TDH). One old, one recent record (HHC). 

Hapalaraea pygmaea Paykull 

Whiteknights, Reading, 20.9.94, on fruit bodies of Polyporus squamosus, which had fallen from top of 

a diseased beech tree in ornamental deciduous wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Phloeonomus punctipennis Thomson C.G. 

Whiteknights, Reading, 26.7.94, on fruit body of Pleurotus sp., which was growing on oak log in 

ornamental deciduous wood (TDH). One recent record, Pamber (HHC). 

Carpelimus pusillus Gravenhorst 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 3.8.94, attracted to mercury vapour light set up on flat roof of a 

building in parkland (TDH). One old record, Tubney (HHC). 

Anotylus mutator Lohse 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 26.10.94, in compost heap within a garden in parkland (TDH). New 

record (HHC). 

Stenus carbonarius Syllenhal 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 24.2.95, hibernating under bark of dead but slill standing 

deciduous tree in plantation of coniferous and deciduous trees (TDH). Three old records (HHC). 

Rugilus similis Erichson 

Hartslock Nature Reserve, near Goring, 25.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss growing on 

top of calcareous slope with grass and herbs (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Tachyporus atriceps Stephens 

Pamber Forest, 13.1.95, extracted from feathery moss which was collected from base of oak-tree in 
oak woodland. Near Shinfield, near Reading, 8.3.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covered 
log at edge of pond in copse of deciduous trees (TDH). One old, one recent record (HHC). 

Gyrophaena bihamata Thomson C. G. 

Whiteknights, Reading, 26.7.94, on partly decayed fruit body of Pleurotus sp., on oak log in 

deciduous wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

35 



Gyrophaena fasciata Marsham 

Whiteknights, Reading, 26.7.94, on partly decayed fruit body of Pleurotus sp.. on oak log in 

deciduous wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Gyrophaena joyi Wendeler 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 14.9.94, on gills of fruit body of Pleurotus cervinus, on log in 

tree-lined hedgerow (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Bolitochara bella Markel 

Whiteknights, Reading, 28.8.94, on Pseudotrametes gibbosa fruit bodies growing on a log in 

deciduous woodland (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 

Bolitochara lucida Gravenhorst 

Whiteknights, Reading, 28.8.94, on bracket fungus which was growing on a log in a log pile in 

deciduous woodland (TDH). Three old records (HHC). 

Atheta fungivora Thomson C.G. 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 25.10.94, in pitfall trap set up beside compost heap in garden within 

parkland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atheta nigricornis Thomson C.G. 

Whiteknights, Reading, 29.7.94, on fruit body of Collybia fusipes, growing on soil embedded around 

roots of upturned oak-tree in deciduous woodland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atheta pallidicornis Thomson C.G. 

Whiteknights, Reading, 29.7.94, on fruit body of Collybia fusipes, growing on soil embedded around 

roots of upturned oak-tree in deciduous woodland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atheta amplicollis Mulsant & Rey 

Hartslock Nature Reserve, near Goring, 25.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss growing on 
calcareous slope. Near Shinfield, near Reading, 8.3.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss 
covered log near a pond in copse of deciduous trees (TDH). New records (HHC). 

Atheta aterrima Gravenhorst 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 17.4.95, in compost heap in garden within parkland (TDH). New 

record (HHC). 

Atheta nigra Kraatz 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 6.1.95, in compost heap in garden within parkland (TDH). New 

record (HHC). 

Atheta graminicola Gravenhorst 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 3.8.94, attracted to mercury vapour light set up on flat roof of a 

building in parkland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atheta laticollis Stephens 

Leighton Park School. Reading, 30.8.94, in compost heap in garden within parkland (TDH). One 

recent record (HHC). 

Atheta coriaria Kraatz 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 18.9.94, under the fungoid bark of a part burnt oak log at edge of 

mixed deciduous woodland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atheta faevana Mulsant & Rey 

Near Bowdown House, near Thatcham, 26.3.95, under pieces of dog dung in a mixed deciduous 

wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atheta longicornis Gravenhorst 

Near Shinfield, near Reading, 8.3.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covering a log at edge 

of a pond in copse of deciduous trees (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Trichiusa immigrata Lohse 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 17.4.95, in compost heap in garden within parkland. A recent 

immigrant to Britain from America via Europe. First Berkshire record (TDH). New record (HHC). 

36 



Oxypoda induta Mulsant & Rey 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 11.11.94, in pitfall trap set up beside compost heap in garden within 

parkland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Aleochara brevipennis Gravenhorst 

Near Shinfield, near Reading, 8.3.95, under bark of felled deciduous tree at edge of pond in copse of 

deciduous trees (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Bryaxis bulbifer Reichenbach 

Pamber Forest, 12.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covering a rotting tree-stump in 

damp part of oak-wood (TDH). One old, one recent record (HHC). 

Bryaxis puncticollis Denny 

Pamber Forest, 12.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covering a rotting tree-stump in 

damp part of oak-wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Rybaxis longicomis Leach 

Near Shinfield, near Reading, 8.3.95, A male extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covering a log at 

edge of a pond in copse of deciduous trees (TDH). One old, but several non-local records (HHC). 

Trox scaber Linnaeus 

Leighton Park School, 6.5.95, inside a house while mercury vapour light was running in back garden 

within parkland (TDH). One recent record (HHC). 

Clambus pubescens Redtenbacher 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 11.8.95, attracted to mercury vapour light set up in front of house in 

parkland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Clambus punctulus Beck 

Whiteknights, Reading, 4.6.95, found in a moss trap. The trap baited with a fish head had been 
placed down a rabbit hole, part of a burrow, located at edge of a mixed deciduous wood on 30.4.95. 
New record (HHC). 

Aphanisticus pusillus Olivier 

Hartslock Nature Reserve, near Goring, 25.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss growing on 

calcareous grassland (TDH). Old records, Tubney and Wytham (HHC). 

Trixagus cahnifrons de Bonvouloir 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 23.6.94, on windowpane inside house within parkland (TDH). One 

old, two recent records (HHCO. 

Trixagus dermestoides Linnaeus 

Pamber Forest, 13.1.95, extracted from feathery moss which was collected from base of oak-tree in 

oak woodland (TDH). Two oid records (HHC). 

Lampyris noctiluca (L.) Glow Worm 

Reading Golf Course, 22.6.95, first sighting, 28.7.95, maximum count of 52 females, 9.9.95, last 
sighting (JWM); Bucklebury Common, 1.7.95 (MWS), Hartslock N.R., males caught throughout the 
flight period in the mercury vapour trap, though never more than one at a time. In one sweep of the 
field ten to twelve females were seen in the grass and at least one of these was paired (CMR). 

Reesa vespulae Mi 1 1 iron 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 26.6.94, on windowsill of room on first floor of house within parkland 

(TDH). One recent record at same location (HHC). 

Carpophilus mutilatus Erichson 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 28.10.94, in compost heap containing rotten fruit in garden within 

parkland (TDH). One recent record (HHC). 

Meligethes erythropus Marsham 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 29.7.94, collected from flowers of Lotus corniculatus in meadow 

(TDH). Two old records (HHC). 



37 



Atomaria apicalis Erichson 

Whiteknights, Reading, 14.9.94, on fruit bodies of Polyporus squamosus, growing on log in deciduous 

woodland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atomaria nigrirostris Stephens (= A. fuscicollis Mannerheim) 

Pamber Forest, 12.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss covering a rotting tree-stump in 

damp part of oak-wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Atomaria linearis Stephens 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 25.6.94, general sweeping on calcareous slope supporting 
rich flora. Leighton Park School, Reading, 6.5.95, attracted to mercury vapour light set up on back 
porch of house in parkland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Ephistemus globulus Paykull 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 31.7.94, in flight interception trap set up beside a ditch bordering 

tree-lined hedgerow within parkland (TDH). One recent record (HHC). 

Olibrus corticalis Panzer 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 25.2.95 under bark of diseased but still standing beech tree 

in woodland on calcareous slope (TDH). One recent, three old records (HHC). 

Cerylon fagi Brisout 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 18.3.95, hibernating under bark of a rotting deciduous tree 

log in area of marshy ground on river bank (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Sericoderus lateralis Gyllenhal 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 31.8.94, in compost heap in garden within parkland (TDH). New 

record (HHC). 

Scymnus frontalis Fabricius 

Hartslock Nature Reserve, near Goring, 25.2.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss growing on 

calcareous grassland (TDH). One old non-local record (HHC). 

Aridius bifasciatus Reitter 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 18.3.95, extracted by Tullgren funnel from moss growing on 

calcareous grassland (TDH). One recent record (HHC). 

Enicmus testaceus Stephens 

Whiteknights, Reading, 29.8.94, obtained by shaking pieces of bracket fungus over a sheet. Fungus 
growing on (hornbeam?) log in log pile in ornamental deciduous wood (TDH). One old non-local 
record (HHC). 

Enicmus transversus Olivier 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 31.7.94, in flight interception trap set up beside a ditch bordering 

tree-lined hedgerow within parkland (TDH). One old, one recent record (HHC). 

Dienerella separanda Reitter 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 31.8.94, in compost heap in garden within parkland (TDH). New 

record (HHC). 

Cortinicara gibbosa Herbst 

Whiteknights, Reading, 20.9.94, on fruit bodies of Polyporus squamosus, which had fallen from top of 

a diseased beech tree in ornamental deciduous wood (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Cis fagi Waltl 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 24.2.95, under bark of dead larch in a plantation of coniferous 

and deciduous trees (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Corticaria serrata Paykull 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 12.10.94, under bark of dead but stili standing coniferous tree 

in plantation of coniferous and deciduous trees (TDH). New record (HHC). 



38 



Mycetophagus populi Fabricius 

Pamber Forest, 1994, one specimen collected from the forest by the Warden, Graham Dennis. Given 

to (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Athtomus filicornis Reitter 

Whiteknights, Reading, 18.6.93, six specimens collected from amongst fruit bodies of Stereum 
hirsutum which were growing on (hornbeam?) logs in a log pile in ornamental deciduous wood. 
Numerous specimens observed. New to Britain, identified by Dr. Michael Cox. None were found at 
this site in 1994 or 1995. Leighton Park School, Reading, 10.8.95, One specimen obtained by 
beating dead branch of oak-tree which stood at edge of deciduous woodland within parkland. 
Leighton Park School, Reading, 20.8.95, three specimens beaten from dead branches of hornbeam 
tree growing at edge of deciduous woodland within parkland. Near Hall Farm, near Shinfield, near 
Reading, 21.8.95, one specimen obtained by beating branch of dead alder tree in tree-lined 
hedgerow in area of farmland. Species clearly spreading and well established. (TDH). New records 
(HHC). 

Cicones variegata Hellwig 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 25.2.95, under bark of diseased but standing beech trees in 

beech and yew wood on calcareous slope. (TDH). One recent record (HHC). 

Corticeus bicolor Olivier 

Near Hall Farm, near Shinfield, near Reading, 4.2.95, under bark of dead but standing elm in hedge 
of elm and other deciduous trees in area of river meadows (TDH). A common species but all records 
are old, the most recent 1963 (A. Price) (HHC). 

Orchesia micans Panzer 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 4.6.95, beetles emerged from fruit bodies of Inonotus dryadeus which 
had been kept in a tin since 11.3.95. The fungus had been attached to bole of diseased oak-tree 
growing in hedge at edge of parkland (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 

Conopalpus testaceus Olivier 

Pamber Forest, 1994, one specimen collected from the forest by the Warden, Graham Dennis. Given 

to (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 

Mordellistena neuwaldeggiana Panzer 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 27.7.94, on hogweed blossom in garden within parkland (TDH). One 

old record (HHC). 

Metoecus paradoxus (L.) 

Upper Bucklebury, 16.8.95 (MWS). 

Arhopalus rusticus Linnaeus 

Pamber Forest, 1994, one specimen collected from the forest by the Warden, Graham Dennis. Given 
to (TDH). Hartslock N.R., 10.7.95 one at mercury vapour light (MH); Snelsmore Common C.P., 
5.8.95, one at mercury vapour light (MH). One recent record (HHC). 

Strangalia quadrifasciata Linnaeus 

Pamber Forest, 1994, one specimen collected from the forest by the Warden, Graham Dennis. Given 

to (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Longitarsus flavicornis Stephens 

Leighton Park School, Reading, 3.8.94, attracted to mercury vapour light set up on flat roof of a 

building in parkland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Apion cineraceum Wencher 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 5.10.94, obtained by general sweeping of calcareous 

grassland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Apion onmopordi Kirby W. 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 5.10.94. obtained by general sweeping of calcareous 

grassland (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 



39 



Hypera meles Fabricius 

Hartslock Nature Reserve, near Goring, 25.2.95, extracted by Tuligren funnel from moss growing on 

calcareous grassland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Hypera plantaginis Degeer 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 18.3.95, obtained, by shaking over a sheet, from moss 

growing in calcareous meadow (TDH). One old record, Tubney (HHC). 

Acalles misellus Boheman 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 25.2.95, under bark of diseased but standing beech trees in 

beech and yew wood on calcareous slope. (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Orthochaetes setiger Beck 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 18.3.95, extracted by Tuligren funnel from moss growing on 

calcareous grassland (TDH). One old, one recent record (HHC). 

Smicronyx jungermanniae Re i ch 

Hartslock Nature Reserve, near Goring, 25.6.94, by sweeping Cuscuta epithymum in calcareous 

grassland (TDH). Four old local records (HHC). 

Tychius flavicollis Stephens 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 25.6.94, obtained by general sweeping of calcareous 

grassland (TDH). New record (HHC). 

Tychius junceus Reich 

Near Gatehampton Manor, near Goring, 25.6.94, obtained by general sweeping of calcareous 

grassland (TDH). Many old records (HHC). 

Rhynchaenus alni Linnaeus 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 8.3.95, hibernating under bark of dead but slill standing elm 

tree in hedgerow (TDH). A common species but ail records are old, the most recent 1963 (A. Price) 

(HHC). 

Scolytus multistriatus Marsham 

Near Shinfield Grange, near Reading, 14.9.94, resting on trunk of young but diseased elm in 

hedgerow (TDH). Many old records (HHC). 

Acrantus vittatus Fabricius 

Near Hall Farm, near Shinfield, near Reading, 4.2.95, resting on debarked wood of dead but standing 

elm in hedgerow (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 

Hylastes ater Fabricius 

Benyon's Inclosure, near Mortimer West End, 29.10.94, under bark of coniferous log on ground in 

coniferous plantation (TDH). Many old records (HHC). 

Hylastes attenuatus Erichson 

Benyon's Inclosure, near Mortimer West End, 1.10.94, under flakes of bark of coniferous log on 

ground in coniferous plantation (TDH). One recent record (HHC). 

Hylastes opacus Erichson 

Benyon's Inclosure, near Mortimer West End, 1.10.94, under flakes of bark of coniferous log on 

ground in coniferous plantation (TDH). Two old records (HHC). 

HYMENOPTERA : SAWFLIES, ICHNEUMONS, ANTS, BEES AND WASPS 

identifications for the late records of Hymenoptera were checked by George Else. 

Lasioglossum calceatum (Scop.) 
Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 2.7.94 (MVA). 

Melitta leporina (Panzer) 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 2.7.94 (MVA). 



40 



Osmia caerulescens (L.) 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 2.7.94 (MVA). 

Nomada fabriciana (L.) 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 2.7.94 (MVA). 

DIPTERA : TRUE FLIES 

Asilus crabroniformis L 

Hartslock N.R., 26.8.95, not seen here for over five years until 1995 (CMR); The Holies, 28.8.95, four 
seen basking on a track through a grassland area (MH). This predatory black and yellow robberfly is 
Britain's largest fly. 

Xanthogramma pedissequum (Harris) 

Hargrave Road, Maidenhead, 20.5.95 (MVA).; Frilsham, 2.6.95 (MWS). 

Conops ceriaeformis Meigen 
Ashampstead Common, 13.8.95 (MWS). 

Conops flavipes L. 

Bucklebury Common, 29.7.95 (MWS); Four Elms, 26.8.95 (MWS). 

Conops quadrifasciata Degeer 

Bucklebury Common, 29.7.95 (MWS); Decoy Heath N.R., 19.8.95 (MWS). 

Physocephala rufipes (Fabr.) 
Decoy Heath N.R., 19.8.95 (MWS). 

Myopa testacea (L.) 

Frilsham Church, 2.5.95 (MWS). 

Thecophora atra (Fabr.) 
Frilsham, 2.6.95 (MWS). 

Sicus ferrugineus ( L . ) 

Bucklebury Common, 29.7.95 (MWS); Ashampstead Common, 13.8.95 (MWS). 

Fannia nidica Collin 

Hartslock N.R., taken in 1995 by Adrian Pont in the lane that runs to the Reserve (CMR). 

Drosophila funebris (Fabr.) 

One on rotting apples in compost heap, 10 Northbrook Road, Caversham Park Village, 1.11.95 

(HHC). 

Drosophila hydei Sturtevant 

Male and female on rotting apples in compost heap, 10 Northbrook Road, Caversham Park Village, 

1.11.95 and 7.11.95 (HHC). 

Drosophila immigrans Sturtevant 

Female on rotting apples in compost heap, 10 Northbrook Road, Caversham Park Village, 1.11.95 

(HHC). 

Drosophila melanogaster Meigen 

Twelve males and ten females on rotting apples in compost heap, 10 Northbrook Road, Caversham 

Park Village, 7.1 1.95 (HHC). 

Drosophila species continued to appear until a hard frost on 8.12.95. 

(Records of D. hydei 1970 - 73 should be referred to D. repleta) 



41 



CONTRIBUTORS 

The Recorder expresses his appreciation to the following for their contributions:- 

Martin Aibertini (MVA), Hugh Carter (HHC), Nigel Cleere (NC), Norman Hall (NMH), 
Thomas Harrison (TDH), Martin Harvey (MH), John Marshall (JWM). Mrs Betty Newman (BMN). 
Basil Parsons (BTP), Christopher Raper (CMR), Peter Silver (PGS), Malcolm Storey (MWS). 
Des Sussex (DJS), David Young (DAY). 

REFERENCES 

Bradley, J.D. & Fletcher, D.S. (1979) A Recorder's Log Book of British Butterflies and Moths. 

Curwen Press, London. 

Bradley, J.D. & Fletcher, D.S. (1986) Indexed List of British Butterflies and Moths. 

Kedieston Press, Orpington, Kent. 

Kloet, G.S. & Hincks, WD. (1 964-1 978) A Check List of British Insects. 

Handbook of British Insects Vol. 11 

Royal Entomological Society, London. 

1964 Part 1: Small Orders and Hemiptera 106pp 

1972 Part 2: Lepidoptera, 153pp (revised by Bradley, J.D., Fletcher, D.S. & Whalley, D.E.S.) 

1977 Part 3: Coleoptera, 105pp (revised by R.D. Pope) 

1978 Part 4: Hymenoptera, 159pp (revised by M.G. Fitton et al) 

1976 Part 5: Diptera and Siphonaptera, 139pp (revised by KG V Smith et al) 



RECORDER'S REPORT FOR INVERTEBRATES OTHER THAN INSECTS 1995 

Hugh H. Carter 

ARACHNIDA : SPIDERS 

Araneus diadematus Garden Spider 

Common as ever at 10 Northbrook Road; a large female in a web of which one side was attached to 
a cypress tree caught and ate Cyphostethus tristriatus, of which Cypress is a host plant alternative to 
the textbook Juniper. 

HSRUDiNEA : LEECHES 

Theromyzon tessulatum 

One at Pangfield Farm (SU 568 714), 16.7.95 (MWS). 

CRUSTACEA 

Chydorus sphaericus 

One Bucklebury Common (SU 558 691 ), 28. 1.95 (MWS). 

Daphne obtusa 

One at same place and date as the foregoing (MWS) 

The Recorder expresses his appreciation to Malcolm Storey (MWS) for his contribution. 



42 



THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR VERTEBRATES 1995 

Hugh H. Carter 



FISH 



Leuciscus leuciscus (Linnaeus) Dace 

Several reported by angler in Kennet and Avon Canal west of Woolhampton, 12.3.95. 

Abramis brama (Linnaeus) Bream 

One reported by angler in Kennet and Avon Canal west of Woolhampton. 12.3.95. 

Leuciscus cephalus (Linnaeus) Chub 

One 320 mm (13 inches) long in Kennet and Avon Canal west of Woolhampton, 12.3.95; one about 
180 mm (7 inches) long in Holy Brook at Centra! Library, 11.7.95; three 180 to 280 mm (7 to 11 
inches) long there, 27.7.95; seven in Emm Brook at Dinton Pastures, 7.7.95 (EMC). 

Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus Perch 

One in Emm Brook at Dinton Pastures, 7.7.95 (EMC); hundreds of small fry of this and other species 

in Dreadnought Reach, 4.9.95. 

AMPHIBIANS 

Rana temporaria Linnaeus Frog 

Four litres of spawn in the Horse Pond, Gallowstree Common, 20.3.95; six litres of spawn in the 
upper pond, none in the lower pond at Greenmore Hill, Woodcote, 20.3.95; two litres of spawn in 
Rose Hill pond, Emmer Green, 20.3.95; one hundred and eighty frogs found_hibernating when a 
garden pond in Rotherfield Road was cleaned out, reported, 24.3.95; many frogs and much spawn at 
2a Hawthorne Road, Caversham, 3.4.95 (PG); tadpoles in garden pond, Gayhurst Road, Caversham 
Park, 8.4.95; juvenile 30mm (1% inches) long on footpath at Warren Row west of Maidenhead, 
19.8.95; juvenile in Balmore Park, 5.10.95 (MJC). 

Bufo bufo (Linnaeus) Toad 

Migrating 11.3.95, five dead on roads in Caversham Park; two in pond opposite Coach and Horses, 
Binfield Heath, 20.3.95, one male and three to four litres of spawn there, 5.4.95; none seen at 
Greenmore Hill, 20.3.95; one in Rose Hill pond, 20.3.95; return migration 7.10.95 - eight dead on 
roads around Caversham Park; one dead on Queensway, Caversham Park, 26.1 1 .95. 

REPTILES 

Natrix natrix (Linnaeus) Grass Snake 

One in pond at Coach and Horses 20.3.95, two there, 5.4.95; one cast skin Bucklebury Common 

(SU 559689) and one alive there (SU 559 688), 1 1.9.95 (MWS). 

Vipera berus Linnaeus Adder 

One juvenile Bucklebury Common (SU 556 691 ), 4.7.95 (MWS). 

MAMMALS 

Talpa europaea Linnaeus Mole 

Active between Jouldern's Farm and Thatcher's Ford, Farley Hill, 9.4.95. 

Erinaceus europaeus Linnaeus Hedgehog 

One dead on Lowfield Road, Caversham Park, 21.6.95, 16.9.95; three dead on Caversham Park 
road, Lowfield Road (Caversham Park) and near Twyford station, 12.8.95; one three quarters grown 
dead on Northbrook Road, Caversham Park, 8.10.95. 

Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Schreber) Pipistreile 

Two small bats probably of this species by Clayfield Copse, Emmer Green, 12.8.95 and 16.8.95. 

Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus) Fox 

One dead on road at Satwell. 30.1.95 (EMC); one reported in March (MRWS); one on Emmer 

Green reservoir, 28.6.95; one dead on A417 between Streatley and Wantage, 17.8.95. 

43 



Mustela vison Schreber Mink 

One reported at Piper's Island, 26.8.95 (MJC) 

Mustela nivalis Linnaeus Weasel 

Male at Cray's Pond, 28.4.95; one dead on road, Goring Heath, 3.7.95. 

Dama dama (Linnaeus) Fallow Deer 

Reported from Pamber in January (GJD); doe in Midgham Park, 12.3.95; doe (or juvenile) on verge 

of A4 by Maidenhead Thicket, 30.10.95. 

Capreolus capreolus (Linnaeus) Roe Deer 

Reported from Pamber (GJD) and Buckiebury (MWS) in January. 

Muntiacus reevesi Ogilby Muntjac 

Reported from Pamber (GJD), Buckiebury (MWS), and Netherleigh (Pangbourne), (CF) in January; 

siot in Blackhouse Wood near Caversham Park, 3.4.95. 

Lepus capensis Pallas Hare 

One in Reade's Lane, Sonning Common, 8.7.95 (MJC); two in field west of Nettlebed, 29.11.95 

(EMC). 

Oryctolagus cuniculus (Linnaeus) Rabbit 

Thirteen at Land's End gravel pit, 11.1.95; one at Twyford gravel pit, 11.1.95; one dead at Cross 
Lanes, 12.2.95; one dead on Maidenhead Road, 3.3.95,13.9.95 and 29.12.95, ten at Hardwick, one 
on Path Hiil, 6.3.95, two at Hardwick, 3.7.95 and 29.10.95; one at College Farm, south of Cray's 
Pond, 20.3.95; one to four on Caversham Park Primary School playing field, 22.3.95 to 12.8.95; one 
or two by Milestone Wood, Caversham Park, 24.3.95 to 7.8.95; three dead on Maidenhead Road at 
Surrells Wood and Straight Mile, 25.8.95; one dead on Peppard Road, 26.3.95; one dead on road, 
Swallowfield, 9.4.95 and 9.9.95; one dead on road near Jouldem's Farm, Farley Hill, and signs north 
of this, 9.4.95; two at Tesco's and two by Dreadnought Reach, both near Kennet mouth, 19.4.95 
(EMC); one dead on road, AWE, 30.4.95; eight to seventeen by Peppard Road south of Sonning 
Common, 1.5.95 to 26.6.95, one dead on road near Dolphin School, Hurst, 7.5.95 and 13.10.95; two 
at Twyford, two at Stanlake, 14.5.95, five to eight between Clayfieid Copse and reservoir, 
Caversham, 14.5.95 to 15.7.95, after which the growth of crops prevented further observations; one 
juvenile Blackhouse Wood, 16.6.95; two in hedge nearby, 16.8.95 (EMC); signs at Wellington 
Country Park, 2.6.95; three Ufton Nervet, 11.6.95; one to three Eight Oaks Farm, Dunsden, 28.6.95 
to 15.7.95 (HHC and EMC); five east of Nuney Green, 3.7.95; five along lane 600-1 000m north of 
Mill Road, Goring, 15.7.95; two dead on A417 between Streatley_and Wantage and two dead on 
road south of College Wood, 17.8.95; one dead on road at Maidenhead Thicket roundabout, 31.8.95, 
one at Coppid Farm, Binfield Heath, 4.10.95; three Dinton Pastures, 17.11.95; two seen at night by 
the Pack Saddle inn, Chazey Heath, 23.12.95. 

Rattus norvegicus (Linnaeus) Brown Rat 

Dead juvenile at 301 Northumberland Avenue, 6.9.95. 

Apodemus flavicollis (Melchior) Yellow-necked Mouse 

One (cat prey) Upper Buckiebury (SU 542 683), 4.8.95 and one dead earlier in the summer Stanford 
Dmgley, (MWS). 

Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber) Bank Vole 
One crossing the Straight Mile, Hurst, 14.7.95. 

Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin Grey Squirrel 

One at Crosslanes, 12.2.95; two in Blackhouse Wood, 18.6.95; one dead on Maidenhead Road 
north of Surrell's Wood, 30.6.95; one near old tennis court 300m north of Mill Road, Goring, 15.7.95; 
one in car park of Fox Inn, Cane End, 8.9.95; one in Harpsden Bottom, 20.9.95; one in Kidmore 
Road, Caversham, 18.1 1.95 and 13.12.95; several Peppard Hill, 25.12.95 (EMC). 

My thanks are due to the following contributors; 

Elizabeth Carter (EMC); Mary Carter (MJC); Graham Dennis (GD); Claire Frank (CF); 
Pam Gordon (PG); Tony Hall (TH); Martin Sell (MRWS); Malcolm Storey (MWS). 



44 



THE WEATHER AT READING DURING 1995 

by 

Dr. Russell D. Thompson F.R.Met.Soc. 

Department of Geography 
University of Reading 

The year 1995 was very interesting weatherwise and confirmed the vagaries of the British weather 
regime, with contrasting spells of weather occurring at different times throughout the year. 
Temperatures were above normal for every month apart from March and December, with readings 
more than 2.5°C above average in February, July, August and October. Overall, annual temperatures 
averaged 11.2°C, some 1.2°C above normal, making 1995 the second-warmest since 1959 (along 
with 1980). Indeed, it would have broken the record warmth of 1990 (11.3°C) if we hadn't 
experienced the bitterly cold weather of December (more than 2.5°C below normal). 

The annual precipitation was very close to normal (within 0.45%) although, like 1994, the individual 
months showed very considerable variations. There were wet spells in January (some 120% above 
average, making it the wettest January since before 1921), February (73% above), September (77% 
above), November (46% above) and December (41% above). Every other month experienced below 
average precipitation especially between March and August, when totals ranged between 43% and 
94% below normal. 

Sunshine totals were 10% above average which represented a huge improvement over the previous 
three dull years (especially 1992 and 1993, when totals were 25% below average). As in 1994, two 
months exceeded 200 hours (compared with four such months in the brilliant summers of 1976 and 
1990). The 279 hours recorded in August made this month the sunniest since 1976 (281 hours). In 
contrast, June, September and (especially) December were dreadfully dull. 

The following monthly weather summaries are based on the table of weather records provided (Table 
1), along with mean values for the station over the period 1971-1990 (Table 2). All these data have 
been kindly supplied by the department of meteorology at reading University. 

January started with a very cold spell (with -5.6°C recorded on the 3rd), which soon gave way to 
more disturbed westerly and cyclonic weather. Consequently, the month turned out to be mild (1°C 
above normal and excessively wet, with rainfall some 120% above average (the wettest January for 
over 70 years). Indeed, the bulk of this rainfall (88%) was deposited in the second half of the month 
(after a very dry first half). The prevailing cyclonic weather gave generally dull conditions, with 15 
sunless days and total sunshine only some 19% of the maximum possible. 

February proved to be another 'winter-less', cyclonic month with temperatures an amazing 3°C above 
average (the third-highest since 1959, after 1961 and 1990). Consequently, the numbers of air frosts 
(1) and ground frosts (12) were well below normal, and the lowest since 1990. Temperatures 
remained below 0°C for only 30 minutes, compared with 460 hours in the record-breaking cold spell of 
February 1986. Very wet weather accompanied the unseasonable warmth with the highest number of 
raindays experienced in almost 20 years and precipitation some 73% above average. The overcast 
cyclonic weather was responsible for sunshine totals about 10% below normal although the 9.3 hours 
recorded on the 26th was the highest for any February day since 1977. 

March produced slightly below average temperatures since, despite the dominance of anticyclonic 
conditions, the location of these cells and the associated air circulation favoured mild S-SW-W winds 
for 62% of the recorded airflow directions. However, these maritime airflows were coupled with the 
prevailing anticyclonic subsidence and produced very dry and sunny weather (respectively 77% 
below and 67% above average). Indeed, this March was the sunniest since before 1939, recording a 
splendid 48% of the maximum possible sunshine hours. 

April continued the delightful warm, dry and sunny spring weather with temperatures some 1.6°C 
above average (and the fifth-warmest since 1959). However, around the middle of the month, some 



45 



clear cold nights produced the lowest grass minimum temperature of the year (and the lowest since 
before 1960). No rain was recorded during the anticyclonic first half of the month and, in spite of the 
return of more unsettled cyclonic weather on the 21st, totai rainfall was only 43% of the average 
Sunshine was 16% above average especially since seven days exceeded 10 hours duration. 

May provided perfect weather for the VE day celebrations with hot, dry and sunny conditions 
dominating the first week. During this period, temperatures exceeded 24°C on five days, with the 
warmest day of the year so far (25.5°C) experienced on the 4th. Sunshine exceeded 12 hours per 
day in the same period, which was also cloud/rain-less. A cold front from the north restored 
atmospheric normality on the 10th but, despite the more westerly and disturbed weather over the 
second half of the month, temperatures remained a degree or so above average. Also, the month's 
rainfall was only 56% of norma! (the sixth-driest since 1971) and sunshine was 11% above average. 

June recorded temperatures only 0.5°C above average, despite the complete dominance of 
anticyclonic conditions. The centre of the high pressure fluctuated between a position to the west of 
the British Isles (with cold northerly winds and overcast weather) and a position over the country (with 
hot, sunny weather). For example, maximum temperatures were a miserable 13-15°C between the 
1 0th-1 3th of the month, compared with 28-31 °C during the last three days Indeed, the 31.4°C 
maximum recorded on the 30th gave us the warmest June day since 1976 (when temperatures 
ranged between 32.1 and 34.0°C in the period 25th-28th). The dominant anticyclonic subsidence 
gave very dry conditions with rainfall 82% below normal (the driest June since 1975) and 13 
consecutive dry days recorded after the 17th. The anticyclonic 'gloom' of the first half of the month 
was responsible for the very dull weather (e.g. only a pathetic 3 1 /2 hours of sunshine were recorded 
over the six-day period 1 0th-1 5th). indeed, 80% of the month's sunshine was recorded during the 
second half (with a remarkable 15.3 hours measured on the 23rd). Overall, sunshine hours were 6% 
below normal, which represented a pathetic 36% of the total number of hours possible. 

July gave us glorious summer weather, associated with dominant anticyclones. Hot days and warm 
nights were responsible for mean temperatures up to a remarkable 3°C above normal. For example, 
the 31.9°C maximum experienced on the 31st was the highest recorded in any July during the past 
five years. Also, the 18.6°C minimum temperature recorded on the 19th gave us the warmest (most 
uncomfortable) July night since the 1976 heat wave. Rainfall was 49% below normal, with over half 
the month's rainfall deposited on one day (the 2nd), making it the fifth-consecutive month with below 
average deposition. Sunshine exceeded 200 hours, which was very slightly (2%) above average (and 
well below the 1976 record). 

August continued the glorious weather and prolonged the heat wave and drought, with the following 
remarkable weather characteristics:- temperatures up to 4.6°C above normal; rainfall 94% below 
normal and sunshine 45% above normal. Consequently, the month turned out to be the warmest 
August since 1947 (and only 0.3°C below this record temperature of 20.4°C), the driest since 1940 
(only 2.3mm below this record) and the sunniest since 1976 (only Vk hours less than this record). A 
23-day drought occurred from the 31st July to the 22nd August - the seventh-longest since 1968, but 
considerably shorter than the record drought of 37 days between 27th July and 26th August 1976. 
The night of the 2nd was uncomfortably tropical and 'sticky', when minimum temperatures only fell to 
20.8°C (the warmest August night for 35 years at least). In terms of summer records, the period June 
to August was the second-warmest since 1950 (only 0.3°C lower than 1976), the driest since 1920 
(45mm less rain than 1976) and the ninth-sunniest since 1956 (some 175 hours less sunshine than 
the brilliant summer of 1976). 

September proved to be quite a shock (weatherwise) after the continuous heat wave and drought of 
the previous two months. The dominating anticyclones finally moved away to return the British Isles 
to its more usual disturbed, cyclonic conditions, with associated dull and wet weather. Temperatures 
averaged 4-8°C below those of August, with the highest temperature on the 4th (20.9°C) well below 
the high 20's/low 30's recorded on 16 days in August (and the coolest September night in nearly a 
decade). Nevertheless, overall temperatures remained very close to average although cool nights 
(and four ground frosts) characterised the last week or so. Rainfall was 77% above normal which 
made the month the sixth-wettest September since 1971 (but way behind the record 145.7mm 
deposited in 1974). Sunshine hours were only 43% of the brilliant totai recorded in August and were 
17% below normal (but it still turned out to be the sunniest September since 1991). 



46 



October experienced the return of anticyclonic dominance and truly 'Indian Summer' conditions, with 
delightfully warm, dry and sunny weather. Temperatures were pleasantly about 2.5°C above normal, 
for the fourth month this year, with the highest maxima and minima for over a decade. Indeed, it was 
the second-warmest October for 74 years (only 0.1 °C lower than the record in 1921, mainly because 
of cold nights in the last week associated with clearing skies). The high pressure control was 
responsible for rainfall totals about half that expected as normal, but it only turned out to be the tenth- 
driest October since 1961, way above the record low of 3.6mm in 1969. Similarly, clear skies gave 
sunshine levels some 16% above average, although the month was oniy the eighth-sunniest October 
in the last 25 years, some 36 hours less than the record sunshine recorded in 1971 . 

November experienced alternating anticyclonic (dry) weeks (1 and 3) and cyclonic (wet) weeks (2 
and 4). Temperatures remained above normal (for the eighth consecutive month) by about 1°C, 
despite cold, frosty spells in the two anticyclonic (cloudless) weeks mentioned above (with the first 
winter frost occurring 42 days earlier than in 1994). The month's rainfall was 46% above normal (the 
sixth-wettest November since 1971, but only half of the amount deposited in the record wet of 1974). 
The two cloudy, cyclonic weeks were responsible for sunshine totals some 10% below normal, 
although it was still the sunniest November for five years. 

December ended the long run of above average temperatures (some 2.5°C below normal), due to 
dominant anticyclones being located to the east of the British Isles, with freezing easterly winds off 
the cold continent (52% of the winds blew from the NE/N). December was the sixth-coldest since 
1981, with the highest number of air frosts (13) since that infamous December (with 19 air frosts). 
Precipitation was 42% above average, although most of this was deposited on only four days (75% of 
the total recorded), especially the 19th when a deluge of 31 .3mm occurred. Snow falls accompanied 
the cold easterly winds and the number of days of snow observed and snow lying was the highest for 
14 years. On the 30th, rain deposited on very coid surfaces (concrete minimum was -9.0°C) turned 
immediately to freezing rain (black ice) with dangerous consequences. Sunshine was 24% below 
normal, the eighth-dullest December since 1956 (when a chronic 7.8 hours were observed). 



Postscript 1995 will be remembered as the year with the glorious hot, dry summer which was pretty 
close to the record heat wave of 1976 (i.e. only 0.3°C cooler). However, it was actually drier than that 
remarkable summer 19 years ago, but considerably less sunny. Above-average temperatures were 
recorded in 10 months of 1995, and four of these experienced temperatures more than 2.5°C above 
average. December shocked us all with the first cold spell and real winter weather for many years 
(which carried on into January and February 1996). 1995 obviously continued the warming trend of 
recent decades, with three of the warmest years since 1959 recorded in 1990 (the warmest), but only 
0. 1 °C warmer than 1 990 and 1 995 (of equal warmth). 

Whether this trend is evidence of global warming, due to the enhanced greenhouse effect, remains to 
be seen (in 50 years time!), since seasonal heat waves (and indeed cold spells) are clearly distinctive 
synoptic deviations caused by extreme pressure distributions. Their spatial and temporal variations 
are controlled by upper air circulations (i.e. Rossby waves and jet streams) which behave 
independently of minute increases in atmospheric trace gases (including carbon dioxide). Despite the 
summer drought (and indeed well-below average rainfall in seven months of the year), rainfall was 
well-above average in the remaining five months. Overall, the rainfall recorded was virtually the 
normal amount expected. Again, wet/cloudy and dry/sunny spells are caused by alternating cyclonic 
and anticyclonic dominance, which are controlled in the same synoptic ways as the heat waves and 
big freezes discussed above. 



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