Little Assynt Wildlife Project (3) – Torr Mor, Lichens

May 20th 2018

Little Assynt Wildlife Project (3) – Torr Mor, Lichens

On 8thApril 2018, lichenologist Dr Tony Fletcher, a regular visitor to Assynt, accompanied Gwen Richards and Ian Evans on a third trip to Torr Mor (photo 1).  Attention was focussed on the lichens of the hazel groves, as a contribution to Roz Summers’ Atlantic Hazel Woodland Audit, and the visit proved very productive.  Some of the older stems had profuse coverings of members of the Lobarion and Graphidion communities, including the less common lungwort Lobaria virens (photo 2) and the reddish dots of Arthoni acinnabarina (photo 3).  Tony also recorded from holly, rowan, downy birch, oak, the well-lit boulders in some of the south-facing glades and shadier rock-faces elsewhere.  The corticolous lichens alone amounted to some 86 species, including ones particularly associated with hazel such as Melaspilea atroides, Pyrenula laevigata and Pyrenula macrospora.

We were again impressed, on this visit, by the amount and excellent condition of the hazels along the southern margins of the woodland at Torr Mor. This is perhaps the only place where this tree occurs on Little Assynt, certainly in quantity.  Incidental observations on this visit included the tree slug Lehmannia marginata and two leafhoppers. The latter which accidentally drowned themselves in Gwen’s lunchtime cup of tea. They were later identified by Stephen Moran as immature Verdanus sp.

Ian Evans

This item, Little Assynt Wildlife Project (3), forms part of the Little Assynt Wildlife Project

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Manx Shearwater

27 birds off Bay of Clachtoll (DAH) (16/06)

Harbour Porpoise

Mother and calf off Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (15/06)

Small Magpie moth (Anania hortulata)

Single moth in garden, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH). This is only the second ever record of this micro-moth in the West Sutherland recording area, VC108. The first record was on 1st June this year in the garden of the County Moth Recorder in Melvich on the north coast. However, this does make it the first ever record for Assynt. Photo Gallery - Moths. (14/06)

Golden Plover

Eight birds over Clachtoll (DAH) (13/06)

Peregrine

Single bird flying over garden, Ardvar (Beccy Garvey) (12/06)

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Single butterfly, Nedd (Stefan Taylor) (12/06)

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Single butterfly recently emerged at Glen Leraig (AS) (11/06)

Barn Owl

Single bird hunting over croft land, near Stoer primary school (Jane Livingstone) (11/06)

Map