Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tuesday 19th. October 2010

I spent yesterday with other members of the Surrey Hedgelaying Group , doing some training with people interested in getting some knowledge of the craft , so not much wildlife was seen , apart from a Common Buzzard being mobbed by Corvids . But one of the other members brought a fungi , which I have often looked for , but never found . From the top , just another non-descript specimen , but underneath , not gills or pores , but spines , from which it's spores are dropped . Hydnum repandum , but I much prefer it's common name , Hedgehog Fungus .
Today , it was Reptile and Dormouse survey time again , up on the Greensand Ridge .
Two Grass Snakes were recorded , this one enjoying the sun , the other under a refugia .
Five Slow Worms , one adult and four of this year's juveniles , identified by their small size and the dark dorsal marking , running it's full length . Just two Adders , both males , the rest probably already hibernated .Two pairs of Yellow Necked Mice were found in the Dormouse boxes ,and I managed to get my clearest shot yet of the yellowish collar that gives them their name .
Four Wood Mice were also recorded , three together under one regugia , but I wasn't quick enough with the camera , and they dispersed at speed to all points of the compass .
Regarding Dormice , I was expecting just the odd torpid specimen to be found , and was surprised to find 12 in the first 50 boxes , with 3 being the most in a single box. It was good to find several of what were probably , going by weight , this year's juveniles in different boxes from last month , but still pretty close to where the were born . Their weight was about 13/14 grammes , but some had obviously been making the most of the Autumnal harvest , and weighed in at 33 grammes , like the one above . 'Posting' these individuals back into their boxes took a bit more time .The other 20 boxes produced another 5 specimens , including this little fella , making 17 in all on the day .
As we made our way back to the car , a few spots of rain started to fall , and on reaching the car , the heavens opened . Great timing to finish a successful day .


ShySongbird said...

The last photo of the Dormouse is a beauty! I had to smile at the seemingly overweight one :)

I knew I shouldn't have looked the fungus up as I may have opened a can of worms again! Some sites say it is quite common and edible but a BBC report I found says it is rare and a protected species. Also after looking at pictures and descriptions I tentatively wonder if yours may be Hydnum rufescens rather than Hydnum repandum which seems to have a creamy white cap.

Warren Baker said...

Songbird is turning out to be quite the fungus woman :-)

I liked the 'fat' one too :-)

Phil said...

Is a fungus woman the opposite of a fungi?

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
I can certainly see where you are coming from .
My two reference books , Jordan and Phillips , both refer to (1)H.repandum and (2)H.repandum var. rufescens basically as a colour variation of the same species .
Jordan describes the respective colours as (1)cream and (2)salmon pink , whereas Phillips is (1)cream , yellowish or pale flesh coloured and (2)orange/brown .
The specimen posted was at least two days old , so was drying out , which normally causes colour change to confuse the issue .
Thanks for your detective work , once again , and I would be quite happy to meet you half way with Hydnum sp.

Phil ,
I'll leave Warren and yourself to work that one out .
I don't want to get involved in any sexist controversy on my Blog !

ShySongbird said...

Thanks for the comprehensive reply, Greenie. As I said before I had a feeling it was a bad idea for me to start this and I know very well that you are far more knowledgeable on this subject than I am...but!... The bit I didn't mention yesterday and I apologise for not doing so, was that in the pieces I read it was stated that apart from colour the defining difference between the two is that Hydnum rufescens has:

'Hanging down like stalactites, soft spines cover the fertile beneath the cap. Unlike those of its close relative, Hydnum repandum, the pink spines of this species are adnexed or almost free rather than decurrent to the stem.'

Of Hydnum repandum it says:

'Hydnum repandum is larger and cream coloured; its spines are decurrent to the stem rather than adnexed.

The clearest information I found on this was found here:


You will see there is a link on the page to Hydnum repandum.

I realise I may be in far above my head on this Greenie but it is a fascinating subject and I will leave it to you to see what you think.

Re. Warren and Phil, I told Warren on his blog what I thought about his title for me :) and I'm thinking Phil is perhaps getting too 'Sharp' for his own good :)

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
I too read the adnate/decurrent information last night , but was then thrown by the following .
Jordan states that H.repandum has decurrent spines , which I take to mean the spines run down the top part of the stem as well as the underside of the cap . Only trouble is that the only specimen showing the spines , only has them on the underside of the cap .
Phillips doesn't say whether spines of H.repandum are adnate or decurrent , and shows specimens of both in the same shot , but does state that H.rufescens does have non decurrent spines .
Confused , so am I .
One of the other hedgelayers attends a weekly fungi class , and had told me of the differences of opinion that occur on even the most common species .
I'm not sure , but I think I have just made things even worse .

ShySongbird said...

I think I will retire gracefully (I may need to lie down in a darkened room) and perhaps we can call it a draw :)

Thanks for the discussion Greenie, it was fun...I think :) :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.

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