Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Week 26: European Mole (‘Talpa europaea’)

The European mole was @SpeciesofUK from 23rd to 29th June, 2013.

Moles are subterranean burrowing species of mammals. The European mole is one of nine mole species in the genus Talpa, all of which are found in Europe or western Asia.[1]

A Mole
[Source: Wikimedia Commons © Mousse]

Moles are found throughout Britain wherever there is deep enough well-drained topsoil. They aren't dependent on sunlight and so can be active day or night throughout the year.[2]

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Week 25: Dog Lichen (‘Peltigera’)

Dog Lichen was @SpeciesofUK from 2nd to 8th June, 2013.

Peltigera, the 'dog lichens,' is a genus of about 91 species of lichen. Peltigera is from 'pelta' meaning small shield, in reference to its shape.[1]

Dog Lichen
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © amadej2008]

Dog lichen can occur on moss, trees, rocks, but most often you'll see them growing directly on soil.[2] They are just one grouping within the diverse and wonderful world of lichens!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Week 24: Lapwing (‘Vanellus vanellus’)

The Lapwing was @SpeciesofUK from 26th May to 1st June, 2013.

The lapwing is from the Charadriidae family (plovers/dotterel/lapwings), which contains around 65 species. A lapwing is kind of a large plover.[1]

It is a very familiar bird, often seen in farmland across the UK.[2] In fact, the lapwing is the UK's commonest breeding wader.[3]

The Lapwing
[Source: Wikimedia Commons © Alpsdake]

Aside from in the UK, the lapwing is found across Europe, Asia and North Africa. It's quite a widespread bird.[4] Across the whole of Europe there are somewhere between 1.1 and 1.7 million breeding pairs of lapwing. Globally there are as many as five million.[5]