This Bullhead (also known as Miller’s Thumb) was found underneath a stone in Park Brook. Closer inspection revealed its eggs attached to the stone. Apparently, in the spring the male makes a shallow hollow in the stream bed in which several females lay eggs. Then he guards the eggs until they hatch after about a month. He was certainly very amenable to having his photograph to be taken under water before we gently replaced his stone.
Ephemera danica (sometimes called the Green Drake) is a species of mayfly that is seen as a larva in the brooks of Wyre, and as adult in the summer months. Kevin McGee obtained this excellent photograph of a larva from Dowles Brook. The larvae live in tunnels in the stream gravel from which they feed by filtering organic debris.
Kevin McGee photographed this mayfly larva Ecdyonurus venous from Dowles Brook where the closely related Ecdyonurus torrentis is also present. There are 4 species of Ecdyonurus in the UK. These larvae cling to submerged rocks in stream riffles from which they feed. They may be seen as adults between May and October.
Our book ‘The Nature of Wyre – a wildlife-rich forest in the heart of Britain’ (Pisces Publications 2015) was officially launched on Friday 29th January 2016 in the Wyre Forest Discovery Centre, generously hosted by the Forestry Commission and attended by many contributors, friends and associates.
For those who stayed up late on 27/28 September 2015 to see the eclipse, these were some of the views.
In the spring and summer female aphids reproduce by giving birth to live young parthenogenically (without the need for fertilisation), but in the autumn they produce males and females which mate, and those females lay eggs which overwinter. Some of these eggs are black and shiny like these that we found on a Scots Pine sapling near Dowles Brook recently.
Whilst pond dipping in Snuff Mill Pools, with permission from the owner, we caught this tiny creature. It was about 2 mm long, flattened, transparent and fast swimming. Will Watson has identified it for us as the free-swimming stage of the fish louse Argulus foliaceus. This is a crustacean that will eventually parasitise fish by attaching itself to the skin which it pierces to feed on its body fluids.