Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Industrial interest

I've not seen Tortella bambergeri before, however a specimen I collected from a bank of limestone chippings (location shown above - site n.w. of Merthyr) seems to fit the bill nicely and if confirmed will be an addition to the county list. I've still yet to check it out under the microscope, but it matches photos in the field guide and a few I've found on line, with narrow, broken-tipped leaves with nerves that are matt below (though there is a little bit of shine in some angles, so any opinions welcome).

The habitat is a bit different to the species' described haunts, as was the community it was found in - although Herb-Robert can be seen to be abundant on the bank, the only verge constants were Small Toadflax, Field Forget-me-not and Schistidium crassipilum. Associates included Sticky Groundsel and Wall Lettuce, the latter locally abundant in places across the site.

As I wasn't quite sure what the putative Tortella was when I found it (in fact I suspected it was odd-looking Didymodon sinuosus) I didn't take any reference shots, nor recorded how much there was. However, I do recall there being several scattered patches at the location shown, plus I'm pretty sure I saw it again at a different part of the site. In any case I'll be back, so will see what I can find...

Some images of my voucher, in drying and wetted states:


  1. It looks pretty promising, although T tortuosa can sometimes have fragile tips. Unfortunately it sounds as though there are further Tortella splits in the offing soon, affecting T bambergeri as well as T tortuosa, so please hang on to any odd-looking Tortella you find!

  2. It's fasciculata following the new key by Köckinger & Hedenäs in JoB