Monday, 9 May 2016

Myosurus minimus at last

I have tried to find the mousetail (Myosurus minimus) on two occasions so far.  Last year I tried a location near Hartley Wintney and couldn't find it.  This year I tried a known site near Plastow Green but may have been too early.

On a walk with the grandchildren from North Warnborough to Odiham along the canal and back on a footpath across the fields we came across a water trough in the middle of an area of pasture which had been well trodden by cattle the previous autumn.  I had walked through this field last summer and had considered it suitable habitat for the mousetail.  I was delighted to find not one but hundreds of plants in an area about 15 metres by 15 metres. Although inconspicuous, once you got your eye in the grandchildren were well able to spot the plants.

Myosurus minimus near North Warnborough

My granddaughter also spotted a bug crossing the path which turned out to be the first time I'd seen a member of family Cydnidae.  Identification to family is straightforward with the spines along the legs. I decided to produce a key for this family which is now published here  The species was one of the commoner ones in the family, Legnotus limbosus, associated with bedstraws. The closest of these was in the nearby hedge.

Legnotus limbosus

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