Westcountry Wildlife

Giant House Spider – Tegenaria Gigantea

Look away now if you’re scared of spiders! This fine specimen is Tegenaria gigantea, the Giant House Spider. It is one of the most common species of spider you’re likely to find in your house, and can be quite easily identified by the intricate black and brown patterning on the abdomen. Females are larger than males,…

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13th April 2018

Millipede – Cylindroiulus Caeruleocinctus

While perusing through a small log pile recently, I came across this lovely little millipede, which I am tentatively identifying as Cylinroiulus caeruleocinctus.  While narrowing a millipede down to a particular species is quite tricky, I’m often asked how to differentiate between millipedes and centipedes – and that particular question is much easier 🙂 Firstly, millipedes…

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13th April 2018

Two-Banded Longhorn Beetle – Rhagium Bifasciatum

I recently posted on the importance of dead wood for wildlife, and this fantastic Two-Banded Longhorn Beetle, Rhagium bifasciatum, is a great example of this. Longhorn beetles all depend on the presence of dead wood to tunnel into and lay their eggs. Like many beetles, the young of Rhagium bifasciatum can remain in their larval…

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9th April 2018

Lichen Safari – Pixie Cups – Cladonia Pyxidata

I was recently walking around Wimbleball lake, and while crossing a short section of boardwalk I was treated to a spectacular series of mini lichen gardens, one on top of each of the upright wooden posts. The delicately green and pink hued lichen Cladonia pyxidata was looking even more fascinating than usual with a dot…

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9th April 2018

Plant Mythology – Stuff and Nonsense?

There are very few people who have heard of Nantree and even less that know where it is… It was my Gran, who, according to my dad, was always full of stuff and nonsense, who use to take me and my sister there.  It was her favourite spot, an ancient pedunculate oak deep in the…

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9th April 2018