Thursday, 16 April 2015

Exciting mosses in the Black Mountains

I was surveying Silurian moth habitat on Darren Lwyd today, so it would have seemed rude not to pay my respects to the only known population of Antitrichia curtipendula in south Wales. The crag was looking very different today compared to when Graham visited in January, with all bryophytes looking parched after the recent dry weather. There was a great range of species present on the crag and it took me a while to locate the Antitrichia, but it was pretty obvious once I'd spotted it.

The grapnel-hooked leaf tips were just about discernible with my 10x hand lens. The Field Guide mentions Rhytidiadelphus loreus as a similar species, but I couldn't really see any similarity between the two. Among the many other species on the crag were Pressia quadrata, Frullania tamarisci and Neckera crispa. There was also a female Ring Ouzel nearby.

Later in the day, I investigated some potential Welsh Clearwing birches on the eastern side of Bal Mawr. On the descent I noticed four patches of Leucodon sciuroides on a pollard Ash at SO268297. The Atlas shows several black dots (i.e. recent records) for the Black Mountains, so perhaps this is not such an exciting find here?
Leucodon host tree (moss on other side!)

Around four Leucodon patches on this side of the tree


  1. PS Thanks to Graham for the info on finding the Antitrichia.

  2. Leucodon is very sparse in south Wales and always an exciting find. There may be a lot of 10km records in the Atlas, but most of those are just 1 or 2 sites per 10km. Several Black Mountains colonies are on rock rather than trees too.

  3. Very nice finds George. I'll be paying homage to the Antitrichia in good time - sounds like a damp day may be better.

  4. I think nearly all the Leucodon I have seen in eastern part of BBNP has been on stone apart from a small patch on a large ash by the track to Table Mountain above Crickhowell